Migration Strategy


Senior Member

You are right. The help files aren't on the web site any more; they are included in the server software download. I took a quick look at mine and this is the table of contents for the technical section. Would any of this be helpful?

Artwork Setup
The SlimServer Web Interface
The SlimServer Command Line Interface
Skin Creation
The XML Skin
The SlimServer xPL Interface
SlimServer Plugins
Button Mapping
Input Modes
Font Files
The SLIMP3 Client Protocol
The Squeezebox Client Protocol
Data sheet for the display hardware (PDF)
Character set for the display hardware (GIF)

If you download and install the server software you will have access to this and be able to see the server first hand. I believe it will uninstall cleanly and shouldn't mess up the PC you install it on.

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
I'll poke around it a bit after 1.4 goes out (Labor Day.) Once 1.4 goes out, we are into 1.5 and it's primarily about expanding media capabilities, so this is something that we should take a look at, to see how much would be involved.


Senior Member

Regular old flip switches are 59 cents apiece at the local True Value Hardware so I guess you could have a pretty big house and still replace all the switches for less than the cost of a UPB switch!

I noticed something interesting today. I was replacing an old Leviton 6383 (made by X-10 for Leviton) switch today and installed a Leviton commercial grade occupancy sensor wall switch. For years I have struggled with automation switches that needed a neutral wire and that limited the models I could use in this location. But this motion switch, which has a relay and LED, does not need a neutral. It operates between Hot and Ground and yet it is a UL listed device. How come they can make a motion sensor relay switch like this but any RX type "no neutral" automation switch has to draw power through the load so no relays allowed?


Senior Member

what are you looking at doing with the squeezebox? have you looked @ xPL? i made some changes to the xPL plugin for slimserver a few months ago & it's in the latest release so i have a somewhat decent understanding of that module. if there's anything in particular you'd be interested in & if i have the bandwidth, i may be able to add to the xPL module.


Senior Member

I'll think about the tract homebuilder scenario some more. For basic functionality I am thinking along the lines of:

Whole house cat-5 network pre-wire

Elk M1 as the hardware interface for security, fire, thermostats and interior motion detectors.

UPB switches.

Panasonic TA-824 (basic configuration) for telephones and door boxes.

Prewire for optional Slim Devices networked music players as an upgrade.

Prewire for optional Panasonic network cameras as an upgrade.

CQC to make it all work together.

Is this anything close to what you had in mind?

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
Seems like a reasonable enough configuration to me. Like I said, we try to be agnostic about hardware. The big advantage for any automation vendor of a large set of standardized installs is that the payoff to do all the drivers and get them solid will be well worth it, as apposed to the more common scenario of spending more to get a driver done than the new customer it brought in is going to pay for your product :)

The same thing applies to home theater as well. Being able to set up a small range of home theater setups, and to have pre-fab automation set up for them, would make it infinitely less expensive to deliver a really slick, really tight automated theater. That's kind of a tough proposition, and probably only would work in the high end, since few people really pop for a whole system at once, and fewer still would allow the automation thereof drive the components. But I think it's a reasonable scenario at the high end.


Senior Member

I was using Xap to display messages on my SlimP3 music players when my Stargate triggered a flag in Homeseer. At some point the system broke and I'm not sure if it was due to a change in the SlimServer software, the Xap hub software, the Xap homeseer plugin, the JDS homeseer plugin, etc. but it seems like the arrangement had too many potential points of failure to ever be reliable.

I know there is native xPL support in SlimServer but I don't know how to bridge xPL to my stargate. I want to display text messages based on stargate events. I would also like to turn players on and off and start and stop playlists via stargate. It would also be nice if I could sync and unsync players.


Active Member
upstatemike said:
The system has auto-detected 24 UPB devices in your house. Please enter the name you would like to use for each device. (Clicking on any device will toggle it on or off to help you identify which device you are labeling).
FWIW: That's pretty much how UPStart works today right down to the type of device detected. However, there is a slight alteration to your identification scheme: The system only detects the switches you place into detection mode (by tapping the on toggle 5 times). Once detected, that device along with its own unique icon (every UPB device made has its own btw) is added to your network, programmed and placed into your network view. You could, if you wanted to, place the whole bunch into detection mode then have the system flash the LED toggle just as you describe (every UPB device has a bi-color LED that can be controlled by the system). In fact, this might be a more desirable way to set up a room full of switches..... You could walk into the room with your PIM attached Laptop then place them all in setup mode. Now flash the LEDs with UPStart as you're setting up each one to show you where it is.

Thanks for the idea!


Active Member
also: it sounds to me like you've been really stretching the limits of HA upstatemike. Perhaps instead of just dumping everything you might want to just throttle back a lot. Leave your switches installed and only automate little things. What were your favorite automation macros? Sensor controlled closet lights, all lights off from a bedside controller or front door switch, automatic bathroom lights and some basic lighting scenes are mine and none of these require a heavy duty HA system. If you have switchlinc switches, you still get dim and level presets without even bothering with their X10 capabilities. Or, slave two switches together by giving them the same X10 address and you can tie the tracklights to the overhead lights at the door switch. You'll get good reliability with these types of sequences if you remove most of your 2-way devices too.

It just seems to me that with your considerable investment it would be a shame to just rip everything out when there's so much it can do reliably.


Senior Member

I didn't know UPB setup worked like that! I think it is probably good the way it is but why not include the UPSart functionality in an HA program so everything is in one place?

Also just to clarify, I am not going to run around ripping out all my HA equipment. I am just changing my migration strategy. Over time, instead of investing in new HA technologies, I will gradually move back to non-automation alternatives. The lighting components will probably go first because they are the most expensive, most troublsome, and least important part of my system.

Things that really matter to me, like voice announcements triggered by hard-wired inputs, will probably stay in place longer. Since I use 12V wall warts to monitor remote loads (instead of depending on the accuracy of some module status table someplace), I can continue to detect a light left on in the basement even after it has been converted back to a plain old toggle switch.

Also if Dean or damage come up with a good way for me to re-integrate my Squeezebox music players with my stargate, I may invest in that solution.


Senior Member

first enable xPL support in slimserver under server settings/network. grab the command line xPL sender from http://www.xpl.myby.co.uk, under applications

now you can either issue the xplsend command using ascii out from your stargate or set up a batch file, which i prefer.

for example, this batch file (call it xpl_temp.bat) will print the outside temperature on all osd.basic devices, including the slims for 60 seconds:

xplsend xpl-cmnd * osd.basic command=write\ntext=Outside\s=\s%1\sF\ndelay=60

call it using from stargate with:
&&xpl_temp.bat 74

and it will print out on your slim:
Outside = 74 F

the osd.basic schema is described here:

looking at the command in the batch file, you need to add
\n between the "command" parts of the message schema (notice that \n separates the 'command' field, the 'text' field & the 'delay' field)
\s is used to replace a space

now IF you run in large size text mode all the time on your slim like i do, you'll need to change your bat file to be this:
xplsend xpl-cmnd * osd.basic command=write\ntext=\\nOutside\s=\s%1\sF\ndelay=60

notice the \\n between 'text=' and 'Outside'
that forces osd to display on the 2nd line, which is the line that is displayed when the slim is in large text size mode.

that's pretty much it!

now if you want to control anything on your slim via your stargate, you just need to set up an xpl command with the audio.slimserv schema:

take a look at that and let me know if you need any help setting up a script, etc. it's fairly straight forward once one get used to the xPL syntax.


Senior Member
Wow, what an elegant solution! No plug-ins or hardware or VB Scripts... can it really be that simple? And since the batch files fire from WinEVM on Com1 I can save a stargate serial port to interface with CQC down the road whenever Dean has the drivers to make my stargate talk to my RainWise weather station and Panasonic phone system!

It is supposed to rain here tomorrow so learning xPL has just become my "Rainy Sunday" project for this week!

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
Actually, that might work out well for us. There are basically three things we are looking at for CQC 1.5.

- UPnP support (and a JRiver UPnP driver and support for the various UPnP portable players out there.)
- Our own CD ripping facility and integration into an online meta-data service, so we can be a fully self-contained music server without our repository format and database and whatnot
- A 'global events' system.

The latter is what is interesting in this context. Our automation backend is very powerful, but it lacks the ability to generate events of the 'input X changed' events that other things can react to. This is because, unlike something like HomeSeer, CQC is fully networked, so these types of events have to be network wide. So I've held off implementing them.

But, that's now hit the top of the list on the automation front, and we'll address in 1.5. What I've been thinking is that I might just use the xAP scheme for our event system. This would kill two, actually three, birds with one stone. We'd get our event system that will work just fine outside of any xAP world. We'd have an event system that can integrate into an xAP world if the user has any xAP devices. And in the process I'd end up getting probably 75% of the work done to support an xAP server in CQC, so that it would be a fairly short extra step to provide that as an optional component, so that you could control/query CQC via xAP enabled clients.

In the Slim context, it looks like it would also allow for controlling the Slim server via xAP. I'd just do a generic xAP driver that, during loading of an instance of it, you select the scheme of the device you want to talk to, and it's indentifier. So that one driver would work for any xAP device, generically.

So there's a lot to be said for going this route with our event system, because so many other things fall out of it fairly naturally with a reasonable amount of extra effort.


Senior Member

yup that's pretty much it. the vbscripting comes in when you want to react to xPL messages. for example, when i start playing something on my slimp3, xPLHal (which is the scripting engine for xPL) sees the message that says my slimp3 is now on and it issues a command to turn on the amp that the slimp3 is connected to. similarly, at the end of the playlist, xPLHal will turn off my amp automatically.

you should check out the xPL group over on yahoo if you want to see what else you can do with xPL. i'm 'rleong1' over there.


one of the newest apps for xPL is xPLMediaNet

it's a replacement music server for the rio receiver, barix exstreamer, slimp3, media mvp, fully xPL enabled. it's not as fancy as slimserver but it has some really nice features.


Senior Member

Tried a quick test and didn't get any reaction from my squeezebox. Is there a way to confirm that xPL is working OK on slimserver? Should I load xPLHal on my Slimserver machine so I can see a list of devices?