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Thread: Raspberry Pi Tips and Tricks

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2012

    Lightbulb Raspberry Pi Tips and Tricks

    Like some of you out there I am in the process of converting my Girder 5 windows XP based home automation system to Girder 6.
    With Girder 6 we now have more hardware platform options to execute our automation systems.
    One of these new platforms is the raspberry pi linux based pc.

    Let's face it. The best thing about windows is the fact that hardware manufacturers are "all-in" with it and design most of their products to work with it.
    This is not the case with raspberry pi. Getting hardware to work with it is sometimes a problem.

    I thought that this thread would be a good place for users to post their solutions to hardware and software integration issues that are specific to raspberry pi.
    Last edited by tcrom; August 4th, 2014 at 04:09 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2012


    PIR-1 or PIR-4:

    To get the PIR-1 or PIR-4 working with raspberry pi, plug the PIR-1 or PIR-4 into an on-board USB connector before powering up the rpi.
    If you wish you can use a USB hub to connect the PIR-1, but you cannot use just any old hub you buy at the store.
    You must get one from the list of verified periphials. Search for "approved rpi hardware" on google.

    Make sure that the device is recognized by the operating system before running x-windows (startx).
    You can verify that the device was recognized by looking through the text that is displayed when the rpi is booting-up. If you see a reference to "Promixis", then it is recognized.

    If you run Girder as the "pi" user, Girder will not be able to manipulate the PIR-1.
    You must run Girder as a user with a high enough security level to use it.
    I have run Girder as the "root" user and have been able to use the PIR-1.
    For more specific information see the Girder 6 thread called "PIR-1 on Raspberry Pi".

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012



    I use X10 for control of the lighting devices in my house.
    Even though it is unreliable at times X10 is a cheap solution for PLM device control.

    For my old Girder 5 system I used the CM15 X10 interface to do PLM device control.
    Since I am converting to raspberry pi and Girder 6, I cannot use the CM15 anymore so I got myself a new CM11 interface.

    I had some problems getting it to work. Here is what I found:

    If you want to use the CM11 with the raspberry pi you must get yourself a USB-to-serial converter cable.
    Again, you can't just use any cable with raspberry pi, you must use one from the list of approved periphials.
    Search for "approved periphials rpi" on google.

    Plug your USB-to-serial cable into the raspberry pi before you boot-up.
    Check to see if the operating system recognizes your USB-to-serial cable by checking the text that is displayed during boot-up.
    Try to determine the device reference the operating system has assigned to the cable. If you only have one USB-to-serial cable connected, then
    the reference will be "/dev/ttyUSB0". This reference is like the "COM" port assignment in Windows.
    Type "ls -l /dev/ttyUSB0" at the "$" prompt.
    The response "crw-rw---T 1 root dialout 188 0 Aug 10 20:44 /dev/ttyUSB0" means your cable is detected and connected to "/dev/ttyUSB0".

    If you have just taken your new CM11 device out of the box, then the device will need to be initialized.
    Plug the CM11 into the serial side of the USB-to-serial converter cable and plug the CM11 into a wall outlet.

    The best method I have found so far to initialize the CM11 is to compile and load the "Heyu" X10 scripting commands for linux.
    Here is how you install the Heyu script commands:

    Get the file: heyu-2.10.tar.gz from the heyu website.
    Put the file onto your rpi and change to the directory where it is located.
    Then type the following commands:

    tar xf heyu-2.10.tar.gz
    cd heyu-2.10

    sh ./Configure
    sudo make install

    Heyu will ask two questions when run for the first time.
    Answer the first question with a "1".
    Answer the second question by typing in the USB-to-serial cable reference (/dev/ttyUSB0).

    Now type the command:

    heyu info

    After 5-8 seconds the CM11 should report back some status.
    If that happens you have successfully initialized your CM11!

    Now re-boot your rpi and run Girder.

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