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My CQC HA Interface on Cingular PDA

IVB

Senior Member
Got a Cingular 8125 PDA/cellphone today with the unlimited PDA data plan [ie, blackberry plan equivalent]. This is mostly for work purposes, but wife also wants a way to monitor house/CCTV away from home, probably to make sure I didn't screw up the Elk install.

I was researching ways to connect to my CQC instance [ie, logmein] when Mark Stega reminded me that the CQC DotNetViewer uses XML to communicate with the server, meaning that I can just port-forward the CQC XML server to my external IP address, and hit it directly [ie, no 3rd party sofware]. Plus, I can use DDNS via dyndns.com so that I can use an english name that'll follow my external IP if my router resets.

In laymans terms, I set the config up on the CQC PDA viewer to hit My_House.dyndns.org:12345 [not the real name I picked, and 12345 isn't really my CQC server].

I created some regular 320x240 interfaces, and loaded some new fonts on the cellphone so I could use cooler fonts than what came with it. I think I used too many pics, cuz performance is a little slow, but that could be my plaster/lathe house too. I get really horrid service in my house. I'll try again tomorrow from my office in downtown SF, which obviously has fantastic coverage.

I can now do the following thing from any location my phone gets service:
- Check status of Elk, arm&disarm if need be.
- Check motion sensors
- Check HVAC, turn heat/fan up or down!! [that's really cool]

I still have to do some more testing, also still have to create some more interfaces, but not bad for 1.5 hours of work.

Check it out. Looks pretty decent.

PPC_Home.jpg


PPC_Motion.jpg


PPC_Elk.jpg


PPC_HVAC.jpg


PPC_AVEquipment.jpg


PPC_AVSources.jpg


PPC_DVD.jpg


PPC_XM.jpg
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
Perty cool, mon. That stuff is all beyond me. I don't even have a cell phone, me and this one homeless guy in rural China. How much memory does that guy have for loading something like the DNV?
 

Squintz

Senior Member
Very cool! I was wondering...Does the DNV have built in security like the CQC main app does? I was just wondering why you needed/wanted to protect your domain and port.

Also, I noticed that you are using the DNV for reading statuses only. Will you be able to add buttons for turning the lights on and off or does the DNV not allow this?
 

IVB

Senior Member
How much memory does that guy have for loading something like the DNV?

128MB SDRAM

Very cool! I was wondering...Does the DNV have built in security like the CQC main app does? I was just wondering why you needed/wanted to protect your domain and port. Also, I noticed that you are using the DNV for reading statuses only. Will you be able to add buttons for turning the lights on and off or does the DNV not allow this?
All screens except motion have buttons; that's the only one that's read only. The same Interface Designer that's used for creating regular screens is also used for creating DNV screens, you have pretty much the same functionality. I actually copy/pasted the widgets off my regular screens. You cannot render alpha-based images, so for the actual buttons, I had to create another version with the background behind it. Dean gave me some info about how to create a button without alpha, with color-based transparency, but I didn't really understand the directions so I went with the "hardcoded background" approach.

There is uid/pw security, not sure what else. But, as I'm going to have the ability to arm/disarm my house, I wasn't sure if that was enough.
 

Paul

Active Member
IVB, I've got an 8125 also and I love it. I suggest checking out forum.xda-developers.com when you want to get your SNES emulator working for it (I'll never be bored again...I can play turtles in time anywhere I want!) Or for anything else, those guys do some cool stuff.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
The DNV works via CQC's XML Gateway, which requires that you log in with a CQC user name/password. The login sequence is quite secure, as documented in the XML Gateway document.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Paul said:
IVB, I've got an 8125 also and I love it. I suggest checking out forum.xda-developers.com when you want to get your SNES emulator working for it (I'll never be bored again...I can play turtles in time anywhere I want!) Or for anything else, those guys do some cool stuff.
Good lord, there's addictive thoughts.

I best not visit there again; wife got a little freaked when I called her from work and asked why the kids seemed to be moving around in their room, even though it was supposed to be naptime for them ;)

Also, had a decent idea - I could create a few HTPC interfaces for this, so that if/when the in-laws want to watch something while babysitting, I could just kick it off for them.

finally, wife was very stoked when I told her we could turn HVAC on remotely at will now. Hopefully she doesn't go out and buy herself an 8125 now...
 

IVB

Senior Member
Ok, this is a straight-up evil set of thoughts spawned now. Talk about Scope Creep, now that I realize I can use the CQC PDA DotNetViewer to hit my house server directly over the 'net, i've already got plans to install the CQC Desktop DotNetViewer on my wife's parents machine (they live 15mins away).

She goes there 2x/week with the kids, never has any idea when she's coming home as I either work late or go play squash 2 nights/week. In the winter, she'll be able to pull up CQC, and turn the heat up in our house/tell lights to come on in (x) mins from her folks' place.

I know we could do this via an 8125. I'm just making all efforts to not have to buy her a $350 cellphone. again. When she doesn't use the Treo650 she's got.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Well, a few days later, i gotta admit - that cingular GPRS is slow, so slow, so painfully slow. Even IE is a pain to use.

Much faster over wifi, i'll have to think hard about how&when to use this. I may look into SMS to CQC harder for a few specific items [ie turn on HVAC to current temp plus 5 degrees so furnace kicks off and house is warm when we get there].
 

IVB

Senior Member
Is anyone else using a cellphone network for web-surfing/etc?

I'm seriously getting bugged with the dog-a$$ slowness of Cingular. It's really really painful. Not just for CQC, I even attempted to surf cocoon/cqc/etc over the web, and it takes nearly 60 seconds per page load.
 

electron

Administrator
Staff member
Cingular is known to be slow. I have Verizon broadband access, and use my phone as a bluetooth modem, and am getting great speeds. You just have to make sure that you have coverage in your area. Sprint is starting to roll out a similar service now, but they don't have the same coverage as Verizon yet.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Well, dang. I've got another several months on my contract. Hopefully they'll beef it up as I do like the 8125, and over wifi it's awesome.
 

Steve

Senior Member
It's not fair to compare Cingular GPRS to Verizon Broadband. Thats like comparing dialup to DSL or Applesauce to Giraffes (idk - that what wife always says?). Anyway, GPRS is as slow as it gets, fine to text and email but not much more. EDGE is the next step up from GPRS, you should be able to get that now. In a few months you will start to see UMTS which will raise the stakes even more, then probably early next year you will see HSPDA which will knock your socks off - speeds tested up to 3.9MB - thats as fast as DSL or cable modem! The only thing is the current 8125 only supports up to EDGE. There will be a new model of the 8125 coming out that will support UMTS and then HSPDA with a software update probably in or around 90 days.
 
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