My involvement with xPL has come to an end. Automation has moved on considerably over the past few years, and it is now possible to buy a stand-alone controller off the shelf for a reasonable price, without having to spend hours writing your own code.
This website is being maintained as a record of my xPL development work up until 2011.
I have released the full source code of all my xPL projects into the public domain. You can download the archive from here.
Now thanks to RFXCOM and xPLMonkey, all HomeEasy devices can be controlled from a PC, allowing them to be integrated with other home automation products. Unlike some earlier RF systems such as X10 RF and Domia Lite, the HomeEasy dimmers support the direct setting of dim levels. This makes them a superior solution for control by PC, and allows for the creation of scenes - a feature normally found only on far more expensive systems.
HomeEasy is compatible with some other European home automation systems. The website of Dutch company KlikAan-KlikUit shows devices that will appear very familiar to HomeEasy users. Intriguingly the page also lists a universal remote and a USB timer interface that are compatible with HomeEasy, but are not offered as part of the current HomeEasy range.
All HomeEasy devices are supposed to be compatible with each other, but there are three different RF protocols in use, and a couple of incompatibilities exist. The older "manual" protocol (the same as used by Domia Lite) requires the user to set the unit address X10-style via rotary switches and is understood by all HomeEasy receivers except those in the Ultimate range. The new "automatic" protocol provides an address automatically without the need for switches (the address is randomly chosen from a very large range of possible values) and this is recognised by all HomeEasy receivers except the HE105 Heating Controller. The third protocol is used exclusively with this Heating Controller, and is only transmitted by the HE100 Master Remote and HE101 SMS Base Station.
There are only two HomeEasy transmitters that send commands using the manual protocol - the HE200 Timer Remote, and the HE403 Outdoor PIR. Both these devices are therefore incapable of controlling items from the Ultimate range.
To control HomeEasy devices from a PC, you will need a 433MHz transmitter from RFXCOM. For receiving commands from HomeEasy transmitters, RFXCOM now offer a 433MHz receiver that is not just compatible with HomeEasy, but with X10 RF, Oregon Scientific and many other protocols too.
There are a lot of options on the RFXCOM order pages, but these become clearer when the system is explained. Each interface is listed as being either "1 COM Port" or "2 COM Ports". Each "COM Port" can support either a single transmitter module, or up to two receiver modules. You cannot have a transmitter and receiver on the same "COM Port". This means that if you want to have both a transmitter and receiver, you will need either two "1 COM Port" interfaces, or a single "2 COM Port" interface.
Next, choose how you wish your interface to connect to your PC. The cheapest option by far is USB, but if your PC is out of range of the devices you wish to control, you will need one of the LAN or WLAN options. Personally, I use two USB interfaces, one containing two receiver modules (a 433MHz master receiver for HomeEasy, X10, Oregon Scientific etc, plus a slave Visonic receiver), the other containing a 433MHz transmitter.
If you already own an RFXCOM transmitter, you will need to check its version number to see if it can work with HomeEasy devices. The version number can be obtained by using the RFXCOM transmitter program. If the version is 0x0a or higher, you can control any HomeEasy receiver that is compatible with the manual protocol. If the version is 0x10 or higher, you can also choose to control HomeEasy devices using the automatic protocol.
The xPL software used to communicate with RFXCOM receivers and transmitters is xPLRFX. HomeEasy devices using the manual protocol are mapped to X10, and their messages use the x10.basic xPL schema. For the automatic protocol, the custom schema homeeasy.basic has been introduced.
Receivers compatible with both the manual and automatic protocols:
These modules respond to both the manual and automatic protocols, and can be controlled by transmitters from any of the HomeEasy ranges.
The 433Mhz RFXCOM transmitter (version 0x0A or higher) can be used to control these devices from a PC using the manual protocol. If the version number is 0x10 or higher, then commands can be sent using the automatic protocol too. Note that to set a dimmer directly to a specific brightness level, the automatic protocol must be used.
On/Off Ceiling Module
Receivers compatible with the automatic protocol only:
These modules from the Ultimate range are compatible only with the automatic protocol, and therefore cannot be controlled by the HE200 Timer Remote, or the HE403 Outdoor PIR.
Only a 433MHz RFXCOM transmitter version 0x10 or higher can be used to control these devices from a PC.
Receivers compatible with the heating protocol only:
The HE105 Heating Controller only responds to messages sent by the HE100 Master Remote.
To send these messages from a PC, an RFXCOM transmitter version 0x11 or higher is required.
Transmitters that use the manual protocol:
These transmitters can operate any HomeEasy receiver except those from the Ultimate range.
Messages from the transmitters can be picked up by any 433Mhz RFXCOM receiver that can also receive Domia Lite. They are mapped to X10 house and unit codes and appear in xPL as x10.basic messages.
Transmitters that use the automatic protocol:
These transmitters can operate all HomeEasy receivers from any range.
Messages from the transmitters can only be picked up by the latest 433Mhz RFXCOM receivers. In xPL they appear as homeeasy.basic messages.
The HE100 Master Remote also sends messages in a custom format for the HE105 Heating Controller.
1-Gang Outdoor Switch
2-Gang Outdoor Switch