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Thursday, 16 August 2012

mControl & VeraLite integration nightmare!

Most of you who read my blog will know I am a mControl Home Automation user and I’ve done several posts about mControl in the past. I decided to sign up for a dealership with Micasaverde and purchase a VeraLite unit for testing. My plan was always to keep mControl as its integrated in to Windows Media Center on every TV in the house!
I was told by a friend of mine that he had successfully integrated mControl & Vera using the mControl Vera Luup Driver. With my original setup with mControl I was using an Aeon Labs Z-stick as the primary Z-wave controller, this was connected to the back of the WHSV1 server where mControl is installed. The plan when VeraLite box arrived was to use the VeraLite as the primary Z-wave controller and then use the mControl Vera Luup Driver which sends HTTP requests to Vera to control your lights and other devices, thus making the Z-stick totally redundant and no longer required. This all sounded great however now I have got the VeraLite box up and running the integration between the two systems has not gone as smoothly as I would have liked and there are two big problems that are making this integration a no go.
I have done a YouTube video explaining what these two problems are and until I get them resolved my mControl installation is now basically broken!
The problems in short are:
1. Device status not being correctly updated in mControl UI - Turn lamp on via mControl UI and mControl does not update the status of the device and shows it as still OFF when actually the lamp has turned on OK. Also the dim level stays at 0% when should be 100% (Vera Luup Device Type = Dimable Light).
2. ON button not working properly for appliance modules - The off button in mControl UI does work and the ON button also turns off the appliance. ON button does not turn on the appliance module.
(Vera Luup Device Type = Binary Light)
Watch the Youtube video to see what I mean, this is a call out to any other mControl and Vera or VeraLite users that have got this setup and working for any advise or possible solutions.
There is a 3 page thread I started on the Micasaverde forum about these issues, also one here and one here on the mControl forums. I don’t know who originally wrote the mControl Vera Luup driver? I have contacted mControl support but no reply as yet. I may now contact Micasaverde support as well see if they know anything? Although I have contacted them a few days ago about another question of how to make the Z-stick a secondary to VeraLite being primary controller as I see this as a plan B if I can’t get the mControl Vera Luup driver working, but I’ve not heard from their support either yet! Not sure how long is a normal wait time?
I am really liking Vera however in the few days I have been using it, I bought it mainly so I could have timers for lights coming on and off that will work when the mControl WHS server is in sleep mode. But Vera is showing to be a very powerful and cheap Z-wave Home Automation gateway solution. I will probably do some blog posts about Vera when I have got it all setup and know how stuff works more.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Stolen my blog articles and traffic for cash generation?

Update: Blogger aka Google have now taken down the offending site. I have to say their response time was much quicker than I expected it would be, so a big thumbs up to them for sorting it out!

Its come to my attention that there is a cloned fake “The Media Center Blog” on the Internet, the fake blog can be found here: Whoever created this blog has stolen a large selection of my past article content, every article on the fake site was originally written by myself. I can only assume they have done this to steal content and traffic to generate cash as there is a Paid-To-Promote banner at the top of the fake blog.

I am currently discussing this with the legal team at Google with the hope that the fake blog will be taken down off the Internet. If you happen to see any other blogs that look like they contain my Media Center blog content please let me know so I can report those as well.

I don’t know how long the fake blog has existed? But the ticker says 2000 + hits and it is now appearing in Google search results for Media Center and related keywords that I write about.

My genuine URL’s for my two blogs are:

If you have a Google Blogger blog and find yourself in the same situation you can contact Google by filling out a DMCA Report.