View Full Version : Now Playing 2008

March 11th, 2008, 09:08 AM
Well since I am working on my new skin I figured I might as well start a new showcase. The hardware for my setup has drastically changed this past few months. I am now running an Ocelot with a SECU-16IR for all my infrared needs as well as both the SECU-16 and SECU-16I for my digital input and output functions. I also have an Elk M1EZ8 which will be used for security as well as low level automation functions. All my lighting has been moved over to the Elk which has a PSC05 X10 interface. The Elk is interfaced with a new Girder 5 ELK plugin. I have increased my audio zones to six. I also sold off my Fujitsu 3400 tablets and purchased a 15" ELO Touchscreen and two Nokia 770 tablets. The ELO runs 1024X768 so my first skin will be enlarged to fit the native resolution of the monitor. I will then create a skin to match the 800X480 resolution of the Nokia 770.

So here are three of the screens I have re-skinned. I chose to finally migrate over to use GAC+ for my album browser which will also include genre, playlists, jump to letter and searching.

I have added this history behind my project from Cocoontech forum:

PC's :

3.0 Ghz P4 W/ 1.5 GB Ram automation/music Server running XP, JRMC 11, Girder 5, Netremote Media Bridge and Elk M1EZ8

750GB total storage for 800 CD's Ripped with APE lossless audio format.

Two Nokia 770 touch pads: Running RDP into a server

Dell Axim X5 running Netremote Pro

Hardware User Interfaces:

GUI Interface "Now Playing" for Netremote on the Touchscreens

Automation Hardware:

Elk M1EZ8 with Elk-M1XRF2G wireless receiver and PSC05 X10 interface
Ocelot 16 idependant IR zones
W800 Receiver
Various X10 Modules and Switches

Other Hardware:

WinXP Pro running SageTV for timeshifting running a 3800+ X2 w/7600GS for HD playback at 1080p
Buffalo WHR-G54S flashed with DD-WRT
16 Port 10/100 Hub

A/V Hardware:

Sony DA80ES A/V Home Theater Receiver
5x Technics SA-EX140 200Watt RMS Stereo receivers
Audio Distributed amp via Xantech.
M-Audio Delta 410 10 Channel Sound Card
Xitel PRO HIFI USB Sound Device used for TOS Output and Zone Synchronization
Xitel HIFI Link USB Sound Device for sixth zone added
Samsung 56" DLP HDTV
Polk Monitor 50 Speakers
Various speakers for the auxilary zones like the BIC in-wall speakers


Girder 5 w/Elk plugin
Netremote 2.0 Pro
Jriver media center V11

Some Applications:

6 independent zone touch screen controlled whole house audio system sourced by 800+ CD's and independent tuners
Announce all caller id and reminders over independent audio distribution system.
Announce end of washer and dryer cycles
Popup for caller id with monitor wakeup to all Fujitsu 3400's showing a scrolling caller log
Light control popup panels for touch screens
Weather details page for touch screens
Elk Security Panel control

ZoneMinder with 4 IR cameras for remote monitoring and motion capture


Well here a short history as to how my whole house audio has evolved in its design. I originally started with the idea of
having a single amp and use LPADS in each room. What I came up with was as cheap and offered much more features
and felt it was the best solution for the money long term.

The problem with using a single receiver to drive multiple speakers are numerous. First you will have to have
a way of impedance matching the speakers to your receiver. I seriously looked at devices like the HACS AB8SS
but those cost quite a bit more money and you still will have to have some way of adjusting the volume in each
room that you have your speakers in. For that you could use a manual or IR controlled LPAD mounted in the wall.
Remember that this LPAD has to dissapate the wattage your driving so plan on it getting HOT. In researching LPADS
I have read of many horror stories of people having them melt down in the walls. I also would be faced with all
the work of mounting them and running the wires. A decent LPAD can run you $50-$100 each for manual control and
double that for IR control.

I had no doubt that the 220 watt RMS receiver I currently had would drive all the speakers so power was not on
issue. My original setup would share a single 400 disc CD changer over multiple zones so again using a single
receiver would work quite well. Again what had a big impact on my decision was the cost of the LPADS that I would
need to purchase.

After weighing all those ideas (and trust me I was planning on going that route at first) I decided to take a
different approach. First I live in a home that has wet plaster walls and its a real pain to mount anything in
the walls so I was not looking forward to LPADS in each room anyways. I also wanted IR control so that I could
use a touch screen and Homeseer to control it down the road. That meant spending big bucks on the speaker
switcher/impedience matcher and all the IR controlled LPADS.

What I came up with ended up costing much less and really being much less work. I decided to purchase a
Technics 200 watt stereo receivers for each additional room that I wanted to put a 'zone' in. So keeping
my home theater system as the main 'zone' I purchased 4 extra receivers. Each receiver is IR controllable
from Girder 5 and can be powered off separately. Each zone then has its own volume, power, mute, bass & treble
controls. Since the wiring came down to running speaker wires from the 4 aux zones to each of the rooms it was
much easier as I had no LPADS to buy or install. Each room has its own 200 watts RMS so there is no chance of
a melt down. Once I chose the Technics SA-EX140 200Watt RMS Stereo receivers I looked on Ebay and bought 4 at
an average cost of $50 each. Thats less than the 4 manual LPADS I would have had to buy. All four receivers are
close to my HS server and are totally out of site. No need to have them visible when you can control them remotely
with IR control.

Now with 5 seperate receivers it opened up a few options. Each zone had its own tuner so that was a bonus. When
I first did this I shared a 400 Disc CD changer for all 5 zones. I have since went to a hard drive solution that
enabled me to really endulge by having 5 distinct zones. Using the M-Audio 410 PCI Sound Cards that has 10 channels
I am able to have a 5 zone setup with audiophile specifications. I use the built in sound card for my TTS voices
and everything works well together. All the receivers are controlled via my 'Now Playing' GUI interface done
using Netremote/JRMC/Girder 5/Slink-e. Some people have asked about the Slink-e and why I used it. First I
already had it to control my CD changer and second it has 8 independant IR zones. The IR zones need to be
indepenant due to the fact that I am using the same receiver for 4 of the 'zones'. One way around this would
be to use different model receivers for each zone or use an Ocelot with the IR module to get the indendant
IR zones.

Every day I sit down at my PC in the den and use my Now Playing GUI front end I have access to over 750+ CD's,
internet radio stations, and 10 preset FM local stations. My wife can play what she likes in the living room,
bedroom or kitchen and I play what I like. With 1300 Watts RMS available I have no worries about heat or clipping
the amplifiers and destroying the speakers. I also have to say it all sounds quite nice.

I now have dropped Homeseer and went with Girder 5 as the home automation solution. I find it more stable and integrated better with Netremote. I also have added an Elk to my setup and use the Elk plugin for Girder 5. I also migrated to an Ocelot for IR control. Last I added a sixth zone.

With this design I implemented a hardware based syncing option that lets you play the same CD in more than one zone but still
allows you to play a different one in another zone.

Check this thread detailing how to play Winamp streams through JRMC


March 11th, 2008, 04:51 PM
A slightly updated Mainscreen

March 11th, 2008, 09:22 PM
How do the Nokia's perform running RCP to your remote pc would you recommend it?

Can you explain in detail your 770 and remote pc running NR setup as I want to try this approach

Thanks In advance

March 11th, 2008, 10:13 PM
I feel that the RDP with the Nokia 770 performs quite well. As I have just got them my experience is limited and I really want to do a skin designed for a smaller screen I still feel they will work out great. For instance I could easily control the sliders for the equalizer as well as the lighting panel.

As for getting it working I just configured the Nokia for my network and then using its web browser googled for "RDP Nokia: and downloaded and installed the RDP application then set it up to connect to my MCE box. I decided to use the WinXP Pro hack (MCE is essentially WinXP Pro) to allow 3 concurrent connections and use it as its on 24/7 anyways. There is a rather long procedure to get the Nokia to auto boot into the RDP session and can also be found by google'n for it. I will PM you the link. I have not done this as of yet and instead use the GUI version of RDP for the Nokia which means I have to click on some icons.

But yes I would recommend it as one who has owned a Fujitsu 510 and 3400 pen tablets. This is much more responsive then those. Of coarse it requires a WinXp Pro PC to be used as a host but that is the how it works.


March 11th, 2008, 11:57 PM
Great thanks so how do you get it to serve up the 800x480 screen is that just set on the host to that resolution to display on the nokia at that res or can I still run another user and desktop for the local machine at a higher resolution....ie want to use my gaming machine which has a 24 inch monitor on it running 1920x1200 and run one or two of these sessions at 800x480 as well is that possible?

Thanks rick

March 12th, 2008, 01:19 AM
Each RDP session will be at the clients resolution. My MCE machine is running the main at 1080p for my DLP HDTV and the two others will be 800X480 when the Nokia's are logged in. So I am going to make a 800X480 skin. Right now I used NRD and told it to resize Now Playing 2007 to 800X480. It actually worked pretty well for everything but the animated gif files.


March 12th, 2008, 09:00 PM
ok great so they showup as virtual monitors not real monitors

March 13th, 2008, 09:38 AM
Well I have been working on my Security and Lighting panel. I have my Elk bench tested and been playing around with the new Girder 5 Elk plugin.

Here are some screenshots


March 14th, 2008, 12:42 AM
Here is my 6 zone tuner control screen. Each zone has 10 preset stations that can be played independently.


March 26th, 2008, 09:09 PM
Whats better than a Nokia 770 running Now Playing...

Two of them both RDP'n into the same MCE box and both controlling different zones.

CPU usage while playing a 1080p clip on MCE PC was 22-55%

On the HA playing 3 zones at once 18-22%

Now that is cool...

I have to start re-skinning for the 800X480 resolution on the Nokia to get the most out of the display.

March 26th, 2008, 09:12 PM
Here is my weather forcast page

March 26th, 2008, 09:13 PM
And the animated radar page

April 4th, 2008, 09:39 AM
Whats better than a Nokia 770 running Now Playing...

Two of them both RDP'n into the same MCE box and both controlling different zones.

jwilson I admire your work! This is exactly what I have been dreaming about for the last few months. You can buy the nokia 770 for less than 200 bucks on ebay! I was thinking of getting 1 for the cinema 1 for the bedroom 1 for the kitchen/living and maybe even another one for good measure. I'm eager to hear your feedback and if its all positive i will order myself a few and get to work. One question though, is the screen size sufficient? this is the only thing holding me back...

April 4th, 2008, 01:05 PM
Well I have been busy working on my hardware. I have my Elk mounted and working so maybe in a couple more weeks I will be starting a custom skin for my Nokia 770. Remember these can not run Netremote but you can use RDP to access a WinXP Pro system so in that way they act as a thin client. With the XP Pro hack you can run two more concurrent login sessions.

The size of these are pretty small but still larger than any PDA I have owned. They work well even using my old skin. No trouble selecting stuff with the stylus.

April 4th, 2008, 08:30 PM

would love the link for info on rdp setup for nokia. Also where do i find the hack you are refering to to enable simultaneous connections in xp. I did a google search and there seems to be a number of hacks available...just wanted to see how you did it. Cheers

April 4th, 2008, 09:29 PM
PM sent to you

BTW I got both my Nokia 770 for around $120 shipped each

April 4th, 2008, 11:14 PM
The latest security and lighting control screen. I added the function keys to the NR screen.

I also now have my Elk Keypad F5 button start to blink if there has been a call and the CID log screen has not been looked at yet. I am planning some great integration with this Elk and NR/G5.

April 11th, 2008, 05:12 PM
For Sale:Powerlinc 1132U USB

This was the Powerlinc USB that I used for my HA setup and it worked great and have since moved to a PSC05 from my new Elk so I no longer need it.

Unit with USB cable no box. Asking $25 + shipping

PM me

April 14th, 2008, 09:39 PM
I have got myself a N800 and am keen to understand more detials on your 770 setup

Are you running Rdesktop on the n770?

How have you setup NR on the xp machine to get 840x400 resolution?
Do these session run separately to the main windows session at 1080p?

Thanks Rick

April 14th, 2008, 09:54 PM
I have got myself a N800 and am keen to understand more detials on your 770 setup

Are you running Rdesktop on the n770?

How have you setup NR on the xp machine to get 840x400 resolution?
Do these session run separately to the main windows session at 1080p?

Thanks Rick

Yes I run RDP on the Nokia 770 and with the hack for XP Pro you get 3 concurrent logins. With RDP it runs in whatever rez the client is at so it ends up running the rez the 770 is at.

April 15th, 2008, 10:32 AM
The latest security and lighting control screen. I added a NX-650 wireless sensor to my garage door and open and close images on the screen. A nightly check will announce that the garage door has been left open. You can also see the animated motion detectors in each area of the floor plan.

April 17th, 2008, 12:51 AM
can you point me at the hack for xp and the version you run of rdesktop? thanks rick

April 17th, 2008, 08:56 PM
can you point me at the hack for xp and the version you run of rdesktop? thanks rick

You have a PM

April 28th, 2008, 03:54 PM
Do you have to use a stylus with the nokia's or can you use your fingers? I'm trying to decided on a sub 10" touch screen to use, but would prefer not use a stylus.

April 28th, 2008, 03:56 PM
Well you can use a finger tip but as the screen is small the button you are hitting better be large enough.

May 2nd, 2008, 10:11 PM
Well I have started to create a 800X480 skin to use with my Nokia 770. Here is the first screen.

May 3rd, 2008, 07:43 PM
The Album Browser screen for the Nokia 770

May 3rd, 2008, 09:40 PM
This is the Tuner control screen for the Nokia 770

May 3rd, 2008, 11:03 PM
Here is the Weather and Radar screens for the Nokia 770

May 4th, 2008, 12:06 AM
The LastFM screen for the Nokia 770

May 4th, 2008, 10:46 PM
And finally the lighting and Elk security panel screen for the Nokia 770.

May 4th, 2008, 11:25 PM
Here is a picture of the Nokia 770 running the Now Playing 2008 skin designed for it. Sorry I did my best to take a good picture but its hard to get the lighting right. Trust me the display is crystal sharp and looks amazing.

May 6th, 2008, 08:43 AM
Well the more I use this Nokia with this new skin the more impressed I am with this little touchpad. Its made me rethink my desire for a larger mobile touchscreen solution. It even has my wife impressed.

May 6th, 2008, 11:23 PM
John, Very impressive! I'm a bit confused though- I thought the Nokia stuff ran Linux. Are you using the NR web browser? One of your pix looked like NR was running native on the Nokia. Please explain. Also, is the Nokia a touchscreen? Sorry if I seem lazy; I goggled the Nokia 770 but the first 6 hits were so much hype, I gave up looking for the tech specs.

May 7th, 2008, 07:16 AM
Ack!!! no web stuff for me.....

I use Remote Desktop Protocol (RDP) into a WinXP Pro machine I have setup for 3 accounts (using the hack available to allow 3 concurrent sessions). There is a version of RDP for the Nokia 770. The response is very good.


May 9th, 2008, 07:53 AM
With RDP you cannot use the hardkeys of pda ?

May 9th, 2008, 08:31 AM
Nope.... but I have never missed them as my skin is designed for touchscreen access.

May 9th, 2008, 03:17 PM
Cancelled - Sandro

May 9th, 2008, 03:30 PM
I use Nokia 770 by RDP and can use the hardkeys.



Ok I should have said I never tried....

May 9th, 2008, 04:01 PM
I use Nokia 770 by RDP and can use the hardkeys.



Are the hardkeys of the pda recognized by the NetRemote client on the PC ?

May 10th, 2008, 08:36 AM
Cancelled - Sandro

May 10th, 2008, 09:43 AM
Yes. I have learned the hardkeys arrow left, right, up and down.

My experience is only with Nokia 770 trought RDP with windows xp terminal server.



I don't understand ?
The NetRemote client is on the PC, not on the pda, how this NetRemote client can recognize the hardkeys of pda ?

May 10th, 2008, 11:05 AM
No offense but could you guys take this to another thread and not in my showcase.


May 10th, 2008, 11:39 AM
No offense but could you guys take this to another thread and not in my showcase.


Sorry, I go to create a new thread

May 11th, 2008, 09:53 AM
For those looking for the GUI version of rDesktop for the Nokia you can easily install it directly from here onto your Nokia


May 19th, 2008, 10:38 AM
Here is the draft copy for my Traffic Cam popup.

These will only refresh when the popup is open. They are actually refreshing from Girder and then updating all NR clients.

July 9th, 2008, 08:21 AM
Well I have taken the summer off from my project. I will be back in September to finish up and add some cool new hardware additions.

September 2nd, 2008, 11:08 AM
Well it seems the summer has flown by and I will be getting started on my project once again. Look to see some additional hardware changes.

September 2nd, 2008, 01:38 PM
I agree... this summer seemed way too short.
What sort of new hardware do you have in mind? I/O? Audio? Touchscreen GUIs? I just added a GPS to give me practice at writing a serial driver in Girder. Now I'm working on a CCF that plots the 32 or so GPS satellite positions when they are visible. It got a little too complex so I put off further development until winter.

September 10th, 2008, 08:21 PM
lovin your work John! Wandering if i could ask a favour. I finally got a hold of some nokia 770's (80 bucks each on ebay) and followed the links you provided but can't access the necessary software downloads. Hoping you still have them and could e-mail my way...

really excited about setting these nokias up...such an awesome idea and so cheap :)

September 11th, 2008, 11:32 AM
Well the link above still worked when I tried it today.


Best to goto the website with the Nokia and click the Click to Install

That how I did it. If it doesn't work then I have no ideas

September 11th, 2008, 11:36 AM
Well I have now upgraded G5/NR/NRD all to their latest versions with little problems. Good work for the guys at Promixis.

I am adding the GUI part to the new Caller ID Substitution database popup. No more going into G5 to add some new phone number and TTS pronunciation of the name for the CID database. High WAF factor.

September 12th, 2008, 02:32 PM
Ok another quick feature added but with high WAF (wife acceptance factor) is my phone on/off hook status done using the Elk. The music gets paused by an incoming call via the CallerID handler but now when the phone gets hung up the music will resume.

Also there is a phone line in use icon to see if the phone is being used.

September 12th, 2008, 08:24 PM
Well at the request of my wife I wrote an Elk routine that makes it possible to pause the music in all zones by picking up the phone and hitting the flash button once. When the phone is hung up the music will resume.

September 20th, 2008, 10:15 PM
Well I have been busy... I have 1 wireless motion sensor installed as well as 2 wired ones. I also cleaned up my rack and wires somewhat. I want to dig into the Ocelot soon and add some features.

October 5th, 2008, 08:19 PM
Here is an early look at Now Playing 2009. More of a face lift than a new skin this time around.

The new weather page

October 14th, 2008, 10:18 PM
Well I have been busy building up my ELO 15" touchscreen case that will go on a new bookcase we purchased for the living room. It was design to sit on the shelf and resemble a fish tank and will be running the Serene Screen-saver when not being used with Now Playing 2009.

I will be moving it to the bookcase in the next couple days. Here are a couple snapshots. The frame is made with wood and for the finish I used a 'hammered look' spray paint.

When not being used for Now Playing it will be showing the Serenescreen fish screen saver.

The last picture shows the backside which will not be used... with an old laptop stripped down to run Netremote on.

It has passed the WAF test.....

October 15th, 2008, 10:31 AM
Here is the ELO 15" touchscreen mounted into the bookcase and sitting at the correct eye level.

October 16th, 2008, 10:21 PM
Well I now have Girder 5 detecting a motion sensor placed in the bookcase and having it wake up the monitor and shut off the fish screensaver when you walk up to the ELO.

This also happens when a call comes in before the pop-up caller ID log screen shows.

As I am using a USB NIC I can't do WOL which is too bad... working on other ideas right now.

October 19th, 2008, 06:58 PM
I now have a button on the Now Playing skin that will tell Girder to place that PC into standby using the 'psshutdown.exe' command. I could have done it all locally only but I also wanted to be able to suspend via Girder with scheduled events or an email to Girder. I have the ELO touchscreen system setup to Wake on Mouse so a simple touch to the ELO screen will wake it up.

October 20th, 2008, 09:14 AM
Well I decided to take a couple pictures of my hardware setup for Now Playing. This picture shows my 3 PC's. The far left one is for my HTPC running SAGETV. The middle one runs Linux with Zoneminder for my security cameras. The far right one is my Now Playing server running Girder 5, JRMC and hosting over 800 CD's ripped using APE lossless format. Below them are the receivers used for the six zones (as well as a spare receiver).

Also shown is the Elk, Edgeport USB and the Netcaller ID boxes.

October 20th, 2008, 09:15 AM
The backside shows my Ocelot, SECU-16, SECU-16I and SECU-16IR along with my 1 wire interface

October 20th, 2008, 09:17 PM
Way cool John. What are you using for your one-wire interface? The box in the foreground at right doesn't look familiar.
Another question- That's a lot of wires going to a cart on wheels. Is that so you can get behind and wire? Why not panels on the wall (I'm thinking of the Elk here)?

October 20th, 2008, 10:25 PM
That is the Hobby Boards 1 wire master hub.


Well since I plan on moving in the next couple years I wanted something that I could take with me. Most of my Elk stuff is wireless so there is not as many wires for that as you would think. This rack on wheels can hold 1200 lbs on each shelf. Its a professional grade rack so no chance of it failing. It has really turned out well using it. Very easy to get behind as you say and do work.

October 27th, 2008, 09:47 PM
Well I spent time today upgrading to the latest Ocelot plugin for Girder 5 and adding two Bobcat Humidity sensors to my setup. They were added to the Lighting & Security screen.

I have one on the main floor as well as one on the lower floor in the family room

October 30th, 2008, 07:42 AM
I have switched over my washer and dryer alert to use the Mamac current sensor switch and NX-640 wireless sensors into my Elk. This makes them 100% reliable and better than the Powerflash I was using.

For my washer alert Elk rules care has to be taken as the current sensor will go on and off as the water is refilled at various times. A timer is used as well as a check to see if the motor has started back up. So here is what I did.

First I used the logic that when the motor is running the zone is secure.

Second I measured the longest amount of time that the motor was not running for tasks such as filling the water (less than 5 minutes)

The logic I used was this (modified to reflect the code assignments above)


AND Washer Status (Zn 2) IS NOT SECURE
THEN TURN Output 11 on for 5 seconds

Girder will pick up Output 11 turning on as an Event and make the announcement with Paul's voice over TTS

Basically this uses the logic that when current is no longer detected if will turn on output 100 for 5 minutes. When those 5 minutes are up Output 100 turns off which fires off the second rule. This checks to see if the motor has restarted and if so the wash cycle is not done yet. If the motor is not running then the announcement is made.

This routine will make the announcement 5 minutes after the last time current was detected. For mine I used a Custom Setting for the timer so I could change it from Girder and tweak the number some.

I hope this helps anyone with the same setup as I have.

November 4th, 2008, 09:59 AM
As people PM me with questions I will now post those with my replies in hopes that it might help other people

Q) Do you control Volume through IR to the receivers or through the changed the sound level being output to each zone?

A) Each receiver is controlled via IR. I use an Ocelot with the SECU-16IR module to have separate IR zones (it has 16 of them) so that only the receiver you want is controlled independently.

Q) Is there a good description somewhere of how to setup Multi-zone.?

A) It was pretty simple from what I remember. The Delta once installed should show up in the JRMC Zone Manager (menu Player/Playback Options/Zone Manager). Just click "Add a Zone" and click on "Output Mode Settings" then tell it which sound device to use (the channels should show up as M-Audio Delta 410 3/4 for instance).

Q) In your system, is each instance of NetRemote controlling a different Zone or can you can control Any Zone from any NetRemote client?

A) If you try the Flat CCF you will see a button called Zones on the upper right of the Music screen. This selects which zone is being 'viewed' by the NR client for JRMC. I do the same to select any JRMC zone from any client but also set some NR variables to allow me to control which receiver that corresponds to that particular zone. The IR control is really being handled by Girder and that is controlled by the NR client by sending 'events'.

Q) Is your new ELO-based machine using RDP or is it using a NetRemote client?

A) The ELO is using a 1.5Mhz laptop that had a defective LCD screen. I took the screen off and use it with a wireless network device.

Q) I have 45000 songs in 4200 albums on a fast Vista MC pc. I have several touch screens I want to add around the house driven by older (600mhz) laptops. What set up/ configuration/ skin would you suggest I use? I also have Girder and Net Remote and now have purchased JRiver MC 12.

A) Well at 600Mhz I would keep the interface basic and not use alpha blending as that tends to take more time to draw. Have you tried the Flat CCF on them to see how well it runs?

November 4th, 2008, 03:23 PM
I have finished my next hardware project. This box hooks up to me SECU-16 and has 6 opto-coupled inputs that will monitor the power status for all six receivers. Instead of using current sensors I decided a few months back to use some very cheap wall-warts I found. I plugged each into the switched outlet of each receiver. This came out to be a cheap as well as functionally simple way of handling it. Also in the box are 4 10AMP mini relays that will be used for such things as my Ocelot watchdog that will monitor my servers. The small switch on top is a watchdog override.

November 4th, 2008, 06:39 PM
For those Girder/Ocelot users here is how simple it is to have your LED's on the Netremote screen always reflect the true power status of your amps with the new Ocelot plugin. Of coarse this implies that you have the hardware in place to detect the power status hooked into your Ocelot. Either by a 'current sensor switch like a CT-800 or the way I did it using a walwart in the switched outlet on the amp.

Just have the default images be the dark LED's and then create a new STATE with the rule as shown below and use the red LED's for this state.

November 8th, 2008, 09:50 PM
That rack is pretty sweet! Mind if i ask where you got it and what it set you back?

November 9th, 2008, 10:31 AM
I bought it from Webstaurantstore.com

They have different sizes and heights for the poles. These are heavy duty commercial quality. Each shelf can hold like 1200lbs. The casters are large and roll easy with all the equipment on it. I like it




November 9th, 2008, 02:34 PM

John i just checked out your showcase; Hell yeah! some of the big companys i do stuff for don't even have a comms room like that.

I wish i was around for the start of this promixis stuff...I keep finding stuff & thinking "i'm sure i could use that to do..." ;)

November 22nd, 2008, 11:40 AM
Looks good on the 770, so just bought myself one on ebay.

You got any pictures of your tv setup?

November 28th, 2008, 06:02 PM
Here is a picture of the Nokia 770 running Now Playing (pretty close to actual size when you click on the thumbnail)

November 28th, 2008, 06:05 PM
Looks good on the 770, so just bought myself one on ebay.

You got any pictures of your tv setup?

I don't have a picture with it running Now Playing 2007 but I do have one with it running Now Playing 2005. Since I installed my ELO touchscreen I have not used the 56" to control Now Playing.

December 9th, 2008, 11:51 PM

this is an amazing showcase. bravo!
i am a farily new user to girder and netremote (1st and only install), but have been doing a lot of automation recently (did x10 work in college, then moved to carputer work after college).

is there any way that you could share the source files for your showcase, so I could load it onto my samsung q1 and try and tweak it to my needs?
I downloaded your "nowplaying" version 1002 off the main promixis website, but wanted to make sure i was working off the most recent build, and was hoping for some advice before going to far...


December 10th, 2008, 10:24 PM
I would recommend that you play with the Flat Style CCF demo that Promixis provided. Its what I started to use to do Now Playing 2008. My skin is heavily customized for my hardware setup and I have no plans at the moment to upload it.

December 11th, 2008, 12:13 AM
great advice. i will start there. again, beautiful setup!

January 16th, 2009, 10:43 AM
Well we hit a record low of -13F last night and it looks like the NX-650 wireless sensor I have installed in an unheated detached garage made it through the night ok. Its been super cold the past couple days. It will remain super cold for a couple more so we shall see. If it survives this then I would have to say I am impressed. The DS10 unit I had used previously would have died a long time ago.

February 21st, 2009, 11:01 AM
Well I have not decided if I am going to start a new skin this winter... the one I have now is working so well...

Any comments?

April 8th, 2009, 12:55 AM
Well I have been playing around with the newest NRD and modifying my skin somewhat.

April 20th, 2009, 08:09 PM
Here is my new Caller ID Database Updater. When a new call comes in that is not in the database I can use this popup screen to add it with a new name, number and text to speech announcement.

April 24th, 2009, 01:35 PM
Here is an updated block diagram.....

April 24th, 2009, 07:11 PM
nice work on visio john! Does the edgeport ever require a reset or is it pretty solid? It might be just what i need...

April 24th, 2009, 09:52 PM
Actually I used CADE for the block diagram. Yes the Edgeport is rock solid

April 24th, 2009, 10:25 PM
I have started a blog over on Cocoontech for Nowplaying


April 25th, 2009, 07:11 PM
Client/Server Configuration

April 29th, 2009, 09:14 AM
Well I have almost completed my new blog showcase on Cocoontech. Take a look

This link will jump to the start of the showcase:


April 30th, 2009, 07:28 AM

You have taken you setup to new levels! It gets better and better and nice work on all the documentation for us all, very generous of you...

Have you had much trouble with the nokia770? I had it all working some time ago but haven't played with if for a few months while doing some house renos and now i can't seem to get the rdp working. I have 2007he os installed but it gets stuck trying to download rdesktop.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.



Rob H
April 30th, 2009, 07:33 AM
John, just wondering, have you used the annotation feature at all in your CCF?

April 30th, 2009, 08:21 AM

You have taken you setup to new levels! It gets better and better and nice work on all the documentation for us all, very generous of you...

Have you had much trouble with the nokia770? I had it all working some time ago but haven't played with if for a few months while doing some house renos and now i can't seem to get the rdp working. I have 2007he os installed but it gets stuck trying to download rdesktop.

Any ideas would be much appreciated.



Mine still works and really have not looked at it much for awhile...sorry

April 30th, 2009, 08:21 AM
John, just wondering, have you used the annotation feature at all in your CCF?

I guess not as I am not sure what you mean... mind elaborating?

Rob H
April 30th, 2009, 10:14 AM
In the property grid you'll see an entry for each element called Annotation - this text will appear in the tree and lets you document elements. I think it works for pages and a few other things as well.

April 30th, 2009, 12:29 PM
In the property grid you'll see an entry for each element called Annotation - this text will appear in the tree and lets you document elements. I think it works for pages and a few other things as well.

Document Netremote? hehehehe didn't think that was etiquette.... j/k

Rob H
April 30th, 2009, 12:35 PM

May 4th, 2009, 08:34 PM
Thanks to harleydude and JohnWB I now have the MS Visual Earth Interactive radar screen. It operates very well as a flash object on Netremote. Looking forward to adding other flash objects down the road.

May 5th, 2009, 06:12 PM
Hi John,

Thanks for the help the other day.

Where did you get the screen saver from of the Aquarium?



May 5th, 2009, 06:26 PM

I got mine at Staples... pretty cheap...

May 11th, 2009, 09:45 AM
I now have Google Calendar embedded in Nowplaying.

May 13th, 2009, 12:07 PM
Well I am finalizing the graphic changes for Nowplaying 2009. Here are some of the final screens. My showcase blog on Cocoontech has been updated as well.

May 13th, 2009, 10:07 PM
I have added a popup flash calculator and drawing pad to my skin. Seems like they will come in handy at time. It will take awhile for me to get better at drawing freehand to leave notes.

June 11th, 2009, 08:04 AM
Thanks to some posts on the Cocoontech forum and Jonathan on the CQC forum for figuring out the flash object link, I spent a mere 15 minutes this morning and added a flash based interactive weather radar to Nowplaying. It works very well. And here I thought I was done for the summer.

June 11th, 2009, 10:51 AM
John -

What 'powers' the drawing skin? is it flash?



June 11th, 2009, 12:35 PM
Yes it is a flash object. Works very well.... will probably include it in the Nowplaying Flatstyle skin I am working on for release. Was hoping to have it done by now but have had some personal stuff come up that took my time away.

June 11th, 2009, 03:08 PM
Cool. Could you post a link to the object? I'd like to play around with it...



June 11th, 2009, 11:38 PM
Thanks to some posts on the Cocoontech forum and Jonathan on the CQC forum for figuring out the flash object link, I spent a mere 15 minutes this morning and added a flash based interactive weather radar to Nowplaying. It works very well.
This is way cool and very useful, John! So many providers are doing "clever" flash things to stump us page-scrappers. I don't like the extra bandwidth it burns, but it seems to be the latest thing to get weather images & radar. Can you share what's needed to grab such an image?

June 12th, 2009, 12:12 AM
You can get the info and the links in this thread. I will be out of town for several days.

It pays to read Cocoontech forum... the best home automation website there is.


June 28th, 2009, 08:55 AM
Well I found a deal on a cool device. It is a Advent ADV3500PC 7" Portable GPS Navigation with built in Tablet PC. This small system runs Windows XP. Netremote runs great on it. If your looking for a small touchscreen device this is the one to get. It listed for $1500 but is now available for $270

Wiki is here http://www.cocoontech.com/wiki/ADV3500PC

Available here: http://www.buy.com/prod/advent-adv3500pc-7-portable-gps-navigation-with-built-in-tablet-pc/q/loc/111/211223759.html

June 28th, 2009, 12:57 PM
Here is a comparison between the Advent and my Nokia 770

July 5th, 2009, 09:32 AM

Can you use the hard buttons on your nokia 770?

July 5th, 2009, 02:57 PM

Can you use the hard buttons on your nokia 770?

Yes, but you have to use the 770 with a RDP session.


July 5th, 2009, 03:56 PM

I have my 770 fully setup with RDP, and my overall interface for the remote is coming along nicely, its just I can't get any of the hard buttons down the left of the device to work?

Although they work fine when doing other tasks in the same rdp session??


November 20th, 2009, 10:55 AM
Just a note to let people know I am still around. Been rather busy with life.... hoping to get back to my project when the snow flies....

December 8th, 2009, 07:56 AM
"I have a question if you don't mind about how you were able to tell if your stereo receivers are turned on. Would it be possible to find out how you used the Ocelot to do that?

Thanks for any help you could provide....


There are two ways you can do this. First is by using a Current Switch that you use with one leg of the power cord that switches a relay on and off. I use this method for one of my receivers. I use this for my dryer status also. They are very handy devices that can be found on Ebay for a decent price now and then.

Typical one : http://www.mod-tronic.com/mod_pdf/veris/h708_908_d.pdf

Second (which is the way I chose for most of my receivers) is to use the 'switched' AC power outlet on them. I purchased some cheap low voltage (under 5) wall wart type power supplies from a surplus company cheap. I then wired these into the Ocelot SECU16i and used the analog input to detect for an on and off condition. I also went through some optical couplers but if you make sure the on voltage is not over 5 volts then you can hook them directly to the Ocelot's inputs.

If you check out my showcase blog on Cocoontech you can get some more information.

December 8th, 2009, 11:15 PM
Thanks John,


December 31st, 2009, 02:22 PM
Well I have been busy upgrading my home theater system with a new LG BD-370 Blu Ray player and an Onkyo TX-SR707 receiver. I also have upgraded my network to GiGe as well as adding a second Silcondust HDHR for my SageTV server. I will try and update the blog diagrams when I get everything finished.

I have to say I am quite impressed with the new Audyssey PLIIz Front High or DSX Wide sound fields as well as the Dolby TrueHD and DTS Master audio on the BD discs. Of coarse some of the new movies have quite impressive picture quality. That can range from 'oh geez that looks a bit better than DVD' to 'WOW that looks incredible'. All depends on the movie.

As for the Onkyo all I can say I am in love with this receiver. The quality of its Burr-Brown audio DACs are apparent as well as the video quality of the Faroudja DCDi Cinema chipset to upscale to 1080p.

I hope to integrate the Onkyo into Now Playing soon.

Some more info:




January 13th, 2010, 05:19 PM
Well I finally got around to adding the power status for my Sherwood (if doesn't have a switched AC outlet on it which is a pain). I used a current switch and monitor it with my Ocelot SECU16I module. A quick change in the Netremote skin and it is now working. So nice to know which zone receiver is actually one. Pretty easy to have a task to go around and shut them off at night just in case something got left on.

April 1st, 2010, 01:17 PM
A slight change to the main screen. Will play around some before summer gets here.

April 15th, 2010, 06:45 PM
I finished installing WinXP Pro Sp3 on the "All in one touchscreen computer. Used POS systems" that was being sold on Cocoontech recently for $75. This is a Celeron 850Mhz system with a 15" ELO touchscreen and I have to say I am quite impressed with its performance. It runs my Now Playing skin very snappy. Below is a picture of it with the Now Playing skin running. I used Flash 10.1 and the Interactive Radar works fine. This is all before I have tweaked XP.

October 9th, 2010, 05:07 PM
I decided to give Now Playing a slightly new look. I have also been pondering the future of my project. For now I will stick to what I have as it is working well and have a few projects around the house to attend to first. Hopefully as the snow starts to fly I will have time to look into how I want to proceed.

October 11th, 2010, 08:25 PM
As for the Onkyo all I can say I am in love with this receiver. The quality of its Burr-Brown audio DACs are apparent as well as the video quality of the Faroudja DCDi Cinema chipset to upscale to 1080p.Seems like the Onkyo lacks HDMI. I just bought the wife a new LED (backlite) LCD TV and was surprised to learn how "out of date" I am with the rest of my equipment... had to buy a new DVD player just to support the HDMI. Now I have to figure out how to get Girder to interface with all the new equipment. Had Sony equipment before and used SLinkE; now I think I'm looking at IR. How's the Ocelet IR engine? Easy to program with Girder?

October 11th, 2010, 09:11 PM
Not sure I follow you. My Onkyo TX-SR707 receiver has six HDMI inputs as that is required for any 7.1 and High Definition audio from Blu-ray like True Dolby or Master Audio DTS.

I just used IR to control it as it was just easy to do for my setup.

October 16th, 2010, 10:49 PM
Ahhh- I stand corrected. I didn't see the HDMI jacks in the picture at first.

April 6th, 2011, 11:17 PM
I have updated my Showcase blog on Cocoontech. Recently I added a Shinybow 8X8 Matrix Switch as well as a Grace Digital Audio Internet tuner. Take a look


April 8th, 2011, 08:25 PM
Well I have decided to upgrade my aging Dell server PC and rebuild the system while it is still running. I have to say that over the years it is easy to forget just how much configurations, applications and plugins there are on a system like this. I think this will take awhile to get just right and a wise move as I have a working system to keep going back to for reference.

December 2nd, 2011, 10:59 AM
Well thanks to the great work from harleydude and Tieske8 on the xplLib and the UPnPGateway as well as some example code for parsing XML I now have access to the Pandora Metadata from my Grace Digital Internet Radio. This is an awesome edition to Now Playing since I often find new artists that I like but was unaware of using my custom artist QuickMix station. I can also now perform a thumbs up and down and skip the track.

Thanks again to all those that worked so hard on the UPnp support for Girder!!!

December 4th, 2011, 05:52 PM
Using the UPnP gateway and the XPL plugin I can now get the metadata from most internet radio stations.

December 6th, 2011, 01:30 AM
Some great news... I have now converted everything over to UPnP calls for the Grace Digital Tuner. So no more IR to control it. Wow what a difference it makes. So much faster and more reliable. It took some head scratching to figure out the commands for the menu actions but in the end they are pretty easy when you figure out which of the commands you need (which then gives you more information for the next command) and in what order.

I now have all the Presets, Power On/Off, Power Status, Skip Pandora Track, and Thumbs Up and Down working now with UPnP calls and of coarse the Metadata for title, artist, album and URL link for album cover.

December 6th, 2011, 11:16 AM
Now that I have integrated the GDI-IRDT200 Grace Digital Tuner into Now Playing here are some of its specifications. There are Iphone and Android application for remote control of as well.

Listen to over 50,000 Radio Stations, Podcast, and on demand content
Supports online music services: Pandora, Live365 and PREMIMUM SIRIUS internet radio
Compatible with the Grace iPhone? / Touch remote control application
2 line backlit display w/ large font
Displays Station, Song Title & Artist info
Full function remote w/ 10 presets
10 presets on the radio + 99 station folder
Built in FM radio receiver
1/4" Stereo headphone jack
High quality RCA analog audio connectors
TOSLINK Digital audio connector
COAX Digital audio connectors
FM antenna connector
Supported audio formats: AIFF, AIFC, WAVE, CAF, NeXT, ADTS, MP3, AAC, Ogg Vorbis, FLAC, WMA
Supported playlist formats: ASX, M3U, PLS
Supported streaming protocols: HTTP, HTTPS, RTSP, WSMP, Shoutcast
Built in media player streams your audio files from your PC or MAC
Built in dual band equalizer
Up to 24bit / 96K sampling rate via digital outputs
Play music on your SD card. Up to 4 gig support
True 802.11g wireless connectivity
Works with all 802.11b/g/n routers
Supports WPA Personal, WPA2-AES, and 64/128-bit WEP encryption
Built-in Ethernet jack
Clock & Alarm
12 or 24 hour clock with date
Clock is auto synched via the internet
5 individual alarms
Wake to buzzer or music
Set each alarm for daily, weekly, weekend, week days or one time
Sleep Timer: 30 seconds to 23 hours
30 backlight brightness settings

March 8th, 2012, 05:31 PM
I have finally upgraded my Now Playing server. The old Dell 4300 has been an awesome PC to say the least and ran 24/7 for all these years with not even a fan going bad. This new server is a lot faster and has 4 cores. Just took awhile remembering all the plugins I had and how they were all setup. I decided to use Girder 5.1 with a fresh install.

I spent today working on a way to mute my Grace Digital Internet Tuner when a phone call comes in. It seems that the tuner's hardware design will only let you use the UPnP 'volume' and 'mute' commands with the headphone jack. The TOSlink or RCA high quality outputs are not effected. Since the tuner connects into the Shinybow 8X8 Matrix switcher it was not as easy as muting a receiver as it could be switched to any of the six zones. So I decided to change the Shinybow plugin to create a pseudo 'mute'. When a call comes in, any of the Matrix switcher inputs that are set to the Grace Tuner are change to input eight which is not used. When the phone is hung up the reverse happens and whatever input is set to input eight is switched back to the Grace Tuner's input. The other five sources that come from JRMC are handled through a win.SendMessage command being sent to JRMC to pause the track being played. Everything is working great now. Just in time for spring when I usually stop working on my project till fall.

On a side note I finally tracked down a final problem with my TTS sound. This new ASUS MB comes with an EPU-4 application that is suppose to reduce power consumption. The problem was it also killed the sound after a period of no console activity. I deactivated it and so far things are working great.

August 20th, 2012, 10:39 PM
Now that I am using my Kindle Fire almost all the time for my Now Playing control I created a custom skin for it. Here are some screen shots

August 20th, 2012, 10:40 PM
And some more screens

November 21st, 2014, 03:08 AM
Well it has been awhile since I read this forum. I am still using Now Playing in my home everyday. Been relaxing and enjoying my two new grandkids. I deleted some of my inbox so if someone wanted to message me feel free to do so now.