IVB\’s Home Theater and Home Automation

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Access to house via Cingular PDA

Posted by IVB on June 29, 2006

Got a Cingular 8125 PDA/cellphone today with the unlimited PDA data plan [ie, blackberry plan equivalent]. This is mostly for work purposes, but wife also wants a way to monitor house/CCTV away from home, probably to make sure I didn’t screw up the Elk install.

I was researching ways to connect to my CQC instance [ie, logmein] when Mark Stega reminded me that the CQC DotNetViewer uses XML to communicate with the server, meaning that I can just port-forward the CQC XML server to my external IP address, and hit it directly [ie, no 3rd party sofware]. Plus, I can use DDNS via dyndns.com so that I can use an english name that’ll follow my external IP if my router resets.

In laymans terms, I set the config up on the CQC PDA viewer to hit My_House.dyndns.org:12345 [not the real name I picked, and 12345 isn’t really my CQC server].

I created some regular 320×240 interfaces, and loaded some new fonts on the cellphone so I could use cooler fonts than what came with it. I think I used too many pics, cuz performance is a little slow, but that could be my plaster/lathe house too. I get really horrid service in my house. I’ll try again tomorrow from my office in downtown SF, which obviously has fantastic coverage.

I can now do the following thing from any location my phone gets service:
– Check status of Elk, arm&disarm if need be.
– Check motion sensors
– Check HVAC, turn heat/fan up or down!! [that’s really cool]

I still have to do some more testing, also still have to create some more interfaces, but not bad for 1.5 hours of work.

Check it out. Looks pretty decent.

http://www.myhometheaterpc.com/screenshots/PPC/PPC_Home.jpg

http://www.myhometheaterpc.com/screenshots/PPC/PPC_Motion.jpg

http://www.myhometheaterpc.com/screenshots/PPC/PPC_Elk.jpg

http://www.myhometheaterpc.com/screenshots/PPC/PPC_HVAC.jpg

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6 Responses to “Access to house via Cingular PDA”

  1. Bilal said

    I want to control my lightning, security etc through PDA. Guide me

  2. IVB said

    No problem. Most efficient way to to this is to go to the forums for the CQC site (www.charmedquark.com, link is on the top right side), and post your question there. That me & the other folks who do this can all respond.

  3. Bilal said

    I tried to ask question on the forum, but it is not allowing me, though i made the account. Is there other way of home automation through pda without using cqc sys? If not tell me where i will find cqc products and guidelines that tell me how to creat PDA interference.

  4. IVB said

    There’s a variety of hacks to doing HA over your PDA without using CQC, but honestly it’s the only product I’d seriously consider using given that I’m exposing my HA system to the internet. It’s the only one with a native and secure PDA viewer – everyone else forced nonsense like logmein.com or other such junk on your server.

    In addition to that, CQC does all the dirty work for you to connect all these pieces of equipment, and all you really need to do is create the interfaces and some basic configuration. If you try and home-roll this, it’ll take tons of time and you wouldn’t be nearly as stable (or secure as stated above).

    Regarding your difficulties asking questions on the forum – email your forum username to support@charmedquark.com and ask them why it isn’t working.

  5. Bilal said

    Thax for replying. Please tell me how much it will cost me, and where i can buy this product?

  6. IVB said

    I noticed that you just put up a post on the charmedquark forum. If you go to the charmedquark.com site rather than the forum, you’ll see a buy tab.

    As far as cost, it’s on sale until Sunday midnight (your timezone) for $495 for the full package. After that, it’s $495->$895 based on the modules you buy. For PDA control it’s at least $595.

    There’s also a $95/year annual fee after year 1 which gets you upgrades.

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