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EasyGrow Greenhouse
Follow our adventure of assembling an 8x12 EasyGrow Greenhouse.
AVR Programming Guides
We have some nice AVR code samples to share. Lots of AVR goodies like timers, interrupts, and pin I/O for the beginner.
Watts Tables
Use these tables to help you determine how much various items in your house cost you by the day, month, and year.
Saving Electricity
A list of a variety of ways to help you save money by learning how much it costs to run things.
What is a Kilowatt Hour
Saving money on your electric bill starts with understanding what a kilowatt hour is.
How To Measure Watts
Learn a variety of ways to measure watts in your house.
Read Your Power Meter
By reading your power meter you can get a good idea of how much various electrical devices cost you.
Electronics Fundamentals
Learn some basic electronics fundamentals and see if you enjoy the field of electronics.

Intro to Insteon Programming

Do I Need the Insteon SDK

Probably not, but it depends on your goals. Are you going to develop a product for resale or profit? If so, then you bet you do. The fact is $199 bucks is a pretty cheap SDK. I have not purchased an SDK myself because I do not want to accidentally break any non-disclosure rules. I'm sure the SDK is a solid piece of engineering muscle, but we don't really need all that muscle. We just want to slap together some Visual Basic applications that make our lights go on and off. Maybe set some timers.

If you are just a homebrew Home Automation software maker, then I don't think you'll be needing to buy that SDK. You will need a Power Line Controller (PLC). These are currently about $70, and worth every penny. I use the USB model, as all of my serial ports are connected to 8051's most of the time.

Getting Started

The heart of Insteon software hacking is the Smart Home Device Manager, or SDM. I found this thing available for download all over the web. FredricksenSoftware.US has it available for download on his page. I will not mirror it here because, again, I don't want to break any laws. I don't know if the SDM is freely distributable.

Download the SDM and install it.

It turns out, SmartHome gave us exactly what we need to do some serious Insteon software hacks. They released an ActiveX control that works in Visual Basic.

We have some programming guides that should help you get going in our guides section, under the category Insteon. Please take a look.

Source Code

We have a free application that uses the SmartDeviceManager ActiveX control, and even source code to show you how to make your own applications. It's called Insteon Timer Configs, and you can download it and the source code here.


Jason Bauer

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Jason Bauer is an owner and programmer for Portforward.com. He's allergic to twitter and facebook, but you can find more of his articles in the Guides section.
Wednesday, 21-Mar-2018 11:24:34 PDT