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Author Topic: A plethora of options  (Read 3438 times)
c-side
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« on: February 02, 2010, 05:15:48 AM »

I am looking to purchase a plug computer, however, research seems to show many variants and options available from various suppliers which is leading to some confusion and questions!

Despite the new 2GHz versions being on the cards for the near(?) future of all the versions I have seen the GlobalScale Guruplug Server Plus appears to me to be the best bet. It seems to offer the best connectivity (if I can wait until April!) It seems a shame that the JTAG interface has been removed from the core product as at this stage in the lifecycle the majority of units will be for development purposes but that's the way these things go I suppose.

As a UK purchaser, New IT seemed to be a good source since they appear to be allied to GlobalScale but their website does not mention these new variants especially as pre-orders through them could take advantage of the free JTAG module inclusion.

The other area of interest is the U-SNAP I/O port but I don't seem to be able to obtain any information about what is made available through this? Does anybody have any idea?

Any help/advice will be much appreciated

Andrew
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MarkF
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« Reply #1 on: February 02, 2010, 06:45:00 AM »

Check out http://www.usnap.org

From the home page:
Quote
Introducing the U-SNAP Alliance

The term U-SNAP is an acronym for Utility Smart Network Access Port, a simple, yet cost effective solution that enables any HAN (Home Area Network) standard, present and future, to use any vendor's Smart Meter as a gateway into the home, without adding additional hardware in the meter. By providing industry with a protocol independent serial interface, it is possible to extend the Smart Grid directly to energy aware consumer products.

This looks like a communications interface into the CPU being defined for the "green home" stuff.  In theory, it allows "Smart Stuff" (grids, meters, thermostats, appliances, etc) to be built now and the physical communications protocol (ZigBee, ZWave, PLC, etc) to be decided later.

Contrary to you, I like the idea of the JTAG interface being in a separate device. Smiley It allows the Plug to be as small as possible in it's deployed form (like plugged in at various spots in my house) while letting any Plug be a development platform by connecting a cable.  IMHO, since they moved the SD card to the main Plug body, it is a better solution than the Iconic's.  YMMV.
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c-side
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 04:07:34 AM »

Thank's for that - I don't know how I missed the Alliance! This would seem to be a good step forward for the product and opens up far more possibilities for its use.

I guess that in the longer term the separate JTAG does have merit, especially if it makes the plug smaller since I have "permission" to have it anywhere in the house not just my study!

It seems that I shall have to wait until April/May to get my hands on one. The big question is whether I preorder at GlobalScale or wait until New IT decide to bring them to the UK.

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MarkF
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 07:44:19 AM »

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Thank's for that - I don't know how I missed the Alliance! This would seem to be a good step forward for the product and opens up far more possibilities for its use.
I'm more of a realist than an optimist or pessimist.  I don't currently see many products with this interface.  While it is too early to tell, if U-Snap ends up being a "California only" thing, it could be a waste of time and money.

I'm happy to see this interface added to the Plug to add a bit more weight (one more adopter) behind the U-Snap interface.  I hope this interface will be exploited by more than just the green crowd to let me add stuff other than communications gear.  After all, the physical interface looks like power, ground, an "external interrupt" pin and a SPI port.  There are MANY things that can be done with a SPI port. Smiley
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c-side
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 10:00:14 AM »

I don't think you will see many products at this stage since the whole smart grid thing is new but it's good to see that somebody is, at least trying, to get some sort of standards in place early. I guess the big driver will be how many Governments actually add a requirement to their projects to ensure interoperability.

Using SPI seems a good idea and does allow the "brewer to" interface to many other device types over and above the transmitters for which it is envisioned. I assume, however, that this is why GlobalScale are touting Zigbee and Z-wave interfaces for the unit.

It looks to me, though, that U-Snap have gone further than just the interface for the hardware by incorporating command and response sequences which seem to be related to metering control and basic temp, etc information (in a decidedly American way using degrees F!) in their intial specification. It would seem to me that there needs to be better coordination between the smart grid and home automation/control communities at this stage - but what do I know!

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rickyleeb
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« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2010, 06:13:15 AM »

I have emailed NewIT asking if/when they will be getting the guruplug version of the plugs in and if they will be doing pre orders, soon as I hear back from them I will update you.
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rickyleeb
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« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2010, 06:20:44 PM »

Well NewIT have been back in touch and informed me they will be stocking the guruplug-server units and will be taking orders 10 days before aconfirmed delivery date from Globalscale (sometime in April).

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Digmecy09
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« Reply #7 on: February 11, 2010, 12:34:20 PM »

How can I find out which options are included on the Sebring I just purchased?  The dealer does not have the original window invoice.  Can this be located using the VIN?  Thanks
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UnaClocker
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« Reply #8 on: February 11, 2010, 02:22:00 PM »

How can I find out which options are included on the Sebring I just purchased?  The dealer does not have the original window invoice.  Can this be located using the VIN?  Thanks
The vin won't tell you jack.. You'll get the build location and the engine, and that's it. There's a "build plate", on a Sebring it's on or near the driver's front strut tower in the engine bay. It'll have a dozen 3 digit codes. Each one of those represents and option your car was built with. But even with those codes, they change from year to year, so you need a factory service manual to look them up. Best to take those codes to a dealer and get them looked up, I imagine. If you're REALLY up for a challenge. Remove all of the seats, and then remove the carpet. You'll probably find the factory build sheet stuck somewhere under the carpet somewhere in the car. It's a printout that they used to build your car at the factory, the "recipe" if you will. But being that the Sebring is a Mitsubishi chassis, rather than Dodge, it may not even have that build sheet. You can run the vin here:
http://www.allpar.com/mopar/vin-decoder.html
And if it says it was built in the US, then it should have that build sheet. If it was imported from overseas, I wouldn't bother yanking the carpet looking for that.
I found the build sheet for my '88 Omni when I removed the carpet to install sound deadening a couple years ago. I was very surprised it had survived the years so well under the carpet. If the car has ever been soaked or flooded, there's very little chance the build sheet survived.
Isn't this question a bit off-topic for this forum? Smiley
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c-side
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« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2010, 07:04:34 AM »

Thanks for the info ricky.
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