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-   -   ALM Family Theater automation using iRule (https://www.hometheatershack.com/forums/remotes-cables-accessories-tweaks/63398-alm-family-theater-automation-using-irule.html)

ALMFamily 11-21-12 11:37 PM

ALM Family Theater automation using iRule
 

I have not seen a whole lot of information here at HTS on the iRule app to control one's theater, so I decided to start this thread to detail my journey through it.

After reading through a slew of build threads and seeing what was used to control the room, I decided to follow Simon's (raZorTT) and Moggie's steps and use iRule to control the room. Main reasoning was we already had an iPad that could be used (as well as a couple iPods) and it had the ability to tie in with the Lutron GE well to handle lighting. It did not hurt that I could ask Simon questions too. ;)

I tried the free 2 week trial earlier this year to see how intuitive it was. TBH, I was a bit nervous about it because there is a learning curve involved and the trial did nothing to sway me from that opinion. However, for those considering iRule, using the trial does not give you a real good idea of building panels.

I took the plunge and purchased the GC-100-12 a couple weeks ago. Once I got the modem, router and switch set-up earlier this week, I purchased the iRule license. I decided to go with the Pro license as opposed to the basic - for $50 more, you get 2 additional handsets, the ability to use the feedback functionality, and you can share panels, etc.

The GC-100 is a communication device as far as I can tell. You connect it to your network (it needs a direct connection - I used one of the ports on my switch) and all communication is done through it. You can use IR emitters which plug into an IR port on the GC-100 and the emitter side is placed on the unit you wish to control over the IR point. Fortunately, it seems like most of the newer equipment has an IR port that you can plug a TRS jack into instead of taping the emitter to your equipment.

When I installed the Lutron unit, I ran a length of Cat6 from the Lutron into my AV closet (using cat6 was suggested by Simon). The Grafik Eye has an IR Com and Data connection point - these are used to send commands to the GC-100. I used the Orange and white/orange lines. I put a TRS on the other end.

Yesterday, I used one of the Panels that was already there called LIGHTING and, using iRule's iBuilder page (you need a Google account to do this), set up the panel that would allow me to turn the lights on and off. It was a simple matter of using the database codes that were already provided for the Lutron units and dropping them onto the buttons.

Once that was done, I installed the iRule app to my iPad and configured it using my Google account. Once that was entered, I clicked the Sync button so that it could pull any panels I created using iBuilder.

Then, I set up the equipment. I connected the GC-100 to my switch and plugged the power in. I then plugged the TRS jack from the Lutron unit into IR Port 1.

Now, it was time to create the Gateway so I grabbed the iPad, tapped the Gateway icon, and it brought up a list of the different unit types (mine is the GC-100). Then, I clicked on the EDIT buttion which allows you to search for gateways for each device. Once I clicked on ADD for the GC-100, it started a search for an existing gateway and found the unit I had just powered up. Then, I selected IR Port 1 which brought me to the ADD DEVICE screen. There were several to choose from - the first was Lutron. I selected that and it brought me back to the previous gateway display screen. I then renamed the gateway and saved it.

Finally, I touched the Panels tab - it brought me up my list of panels of which LIGHTING was one. When I selected that one, it took me to the panel display I created. Be sure to check in the lower right corner for a green "wi-fi-like" icon. If it is green, it is connected to the gateway; otherwise, you have an issue. I then touched my LIGHTS ON button and VOILA! The lights came on. I was so excited. ;)

That is as far as I have made it thus far - I spent the next 30 mins or so creating scenes on my Lutron unit so I could program those into iBuilder when I next had a chance.

I realize this is an incredibly lengthy post - thanks for bearing with me. I will do my best to get some screen shots or pictures when I can. If you have any questions as I go along - fire away!

AudiocRaver 11-22-12 05:03 AM

Re: ALM Family Theater automation using iRule
 

291 Attachment(s)
Nice explanation. Thanks for all the detail.

It really is cool, the possibilities that are opening up for remote control of home theater and audio systems from pads and smartphones and such devices. Plus, it opens up whole new realms to fiddle and dabble within, a joy in itself. Have fun.

ALMFamily 11-22-12 11:56 PM

Re: ALM Family Theater automation using iRule
 

I was trying to figure out how to set a different background image and was struggling a bit to get it figured out, but I just got it set. In order to make a background layer, you have to make sure to switch from all layers to background layer only.

I was not seeing it right off because it is in the lower left corner of the display panel which you need to scroll to see.

I uploaded a picture of my HT as it is right now and set that as a background - we shall see how it looks.....

Harold Dale 11-24-12 09:38 AM

Re: ALM Family Theater automation using iRule
 

I bought iRule and a POE glocal Cache IP2IR device a while back. I'm quite excited about the software and what not, but I have yet to build an interface for it! It's certainly going to be an accomplishment when I finally do.

I had a similar issue with the backgrounds. I think my biggest issue is I want it to look REALLY professional and sleek so that means I have to edit all the backgrounds, buttons, and what not and create overlays and so on that all work together on the resolution the device will be. At some point I'm really going to tackle this but the only place I found decent information was over on AVS and I can't get anyone to help me out! People post in the threads, but when you ask a question it's like it's invisible or something.

ALMFamily 11-24-12 12:31 PM

Quote:

Harold Dale wrote: (Post 566535)
I bought iRule and a POE glocal Cache IP2IR device a while back. I'm quite excited about the software and what not, but I have yet to build an interface for it! It's certainly going to be an accomplishment when I finally do.

I had a similar issue with the backgrounds. I think my biggest issue is I want it to look REALLY professional and sleek so that means I have to edit all the backgrounds, buttons, and what not and create overlays and so on that all work together on the resolution the device will be. At some point I'm really going to tackle this but the only place I found decent information was over on AVS and I can't get anyone to help me out! People post in the threads, but when you ask a question it's like it's invisible or something.

I have found it quite handy so far - I am sure I will be tweaking screens and such over time, so I used a lower res pic for the life right now.

I completely understand - AVS is the only place I have found discussion to this point which is why I started this thread. Feel free to ask questions here Harold - if I cannot answer them straight off, I can at least start poking around at it too so we can figure it out.

Now, if I can just figure out a way to get a good screen shot.........

Harold Dale 11-24-12 01:06 PM

Re: ALM Family Theater automation using iRule
 

Yeah, I was mostly asking questions about how to size and place overlays and boxes and stuff on the background to make them line up with the buttons and what not in photoshop. I think I'll likely start a bit basic and start adding things I go like feedback and what not. I just have to get up the motivation to sit down and do it haha.

Harold Dale 11-24-12 01:11 PM

Re: ALM Family Theater automation using iRule
 

As far as screen shots, I'm not sure about iOS apps but there are gestures to use with android to take a screen shot I believe. You can also print screen the panels from the iRule builder.

ALMFamily 11-24-12 02:18 PM

Quote:

Harold Dale wrote: (Post 566567)
As far as screen shots, I'm not sure about iOS apps but there are gestures to use with android to take a screen shot I believe. You can also print screen the panels from the iRule builder.

That is probably what I will have to do - take them from iRule builder I mean. I will try and get the lighting one posted in the next couple days.

Harold Dale 11-24-12 02:28 PM

Re: ALM Family Theater automation using iRule
 

I'll be interested to see them!

ALMFamily 11-24-12 10:27 PM

Re: ALM Family Theater automation using iRule
 

OK, remember this is just a first run at a screen so no laughing! :bigsmile:

http://i1224.photobucket.com/albums/...m/Untitled.png

One thing I have to figure out - for some reason, the gateway IP changes periodically so I have to find a new gateway and change the IP in my existing one. Definitely need to figure that one out as it is very tedious having to update it.


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