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Author Topic: Does the Almond need a UPS  (Read 21602 times)

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Offline Pestus

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2014, 06:44:55 am »
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The Synology DS411+ has an Atom D510 processor, not an ARM based processor. See http://forum.synology.com/wiki/index.php/What_kind_of_CPU_does_my_NAS_have for details.
ARM processors are indeed RISC based, but ARM processors are usually a System on a Chip (SoC) and they tend to have dedicated video decoder/encoder/transcoder offload engines that deals with video related tasks. If they lack these, they can usually not be used for any kind of video related processing, as they're simply too under powered to handle video related tasks.
This is what Intel has done with some of the Atom CE5300 parts as well, as this frees up the Atom cores to do other tasks. It seems to be the Atom CE5335 as far as NAS devices are concerned, but it does require some additional drivers and software to be able to do the video transcoding on the fly.

I'm beginning to understand.  I see now why Synology just flatly said "yes" or "no" on transcoding support on their models.  I had thought that some models just might not be strong enough to keep up, is all.  This makes more sense.

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Sorry, I wasn't clear here, Air Conditioning units. The ones sold in Asia at least, in general come with an IR remote that's used to control the temperature.

Oh yeah it should work, if you're talking about the Global Caché unit.  Like any good universal remote control, it has a learn function that ought to let you configure your own codes.  It's awkward but it works. Then any software or hardware on your LAN ought to be able to interpret it when properly configured.  If you then had a temperature sensor with an electronic output, you could probably create a thermostat function if combined with a home automation gateway.

http://www.globalcache.com/products/itach/models2/
http://www.smarthome.com/65456/Everspring-ST814-Z-Wave-Temperature-Humidity-Sensor/p.aspx

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The Tegra 3 isn't a bad chip, but I don't think it's enough for a "console" that's supposed to play games on a 1080p display.

I don't think they ever intended to compete with the big boys.  No AAA titles here.  It was meant as a platform for indie games, and it's a good choice for that.  For media tasks, it's stellar assuming you can hobble together workable software for the awful OS.

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HDMI over Ethernet is pretty interesting, how well does it work? I meant to install something like that for a mate, but we couldn't get hold of the hardware easily locally at that point in time, so it was never done.

This works very well.  Quite seamless.  Frankly I've never seen any Monoprice product that didn't work exactly as advertised, and very well at that.

http://www.monoprice.com/Product/?c_id=109&cp_id=10110&cs_id=1011012&p_id=8121&seq=1&format=3#specification

LGNilsson

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2014, 09:23:12 pm »
Right, I misread with regards to the IR stuff and yes, I've seen those, they're not cheap though.

We've just placed an order with Everspring to make sure we fully support all of their sensors and devices.

I guess we're way off topic by now though  :P

LGNilsson

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2014, 11:04:51 pm »
On topic, I'm powering an Almond on my desk of a 5200mAh battery pack that's normally used for charging mobile devices.
It's technically doing the work of a UPS and is a lot cheaper  :P

Offline Pestus

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #18 on: February 14, 2014, 06:23:36 am »
That's my purpose here.  To hijack threads and transform them!

Back on topic;  The design of the Almond+ is such that it's meant to be wall mountable.  I'm not certain where people are going to opt to put them, but it stands to reason fishing cables is going to be a necessity.  I intend to back this up with a UPS, generally in the basement. How long is the AC adapter that is included?  Most manufacturers loathe the idea of people snipping their power cables and running a length of wire.  Some manufacturers give little connectors that support doing that.  How is this going to work here?

Thanks!

LGNilsson

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #19 on: February 14, 2014, 10:54:27 am »
The Almond+ power adapter will have a 1.8m cable.
I'll discuss the option of providing just the connector with a wire at the other end as an "accessory".
We'll be supplying a 12V 2.5A power adapter, this is a worst case scenario as far as the calculated power usage goes and would include two bus powered USB hard drives.
We do have a wide range power input though, I think it's possible to go up to 21V or maybe even 24V, but I'll double check that with the engineering team.
We were looking at doing a 19V adapter, but they become both bulky and expensive, but as we have a wide range input, it does at least mean that a different power adapter can be used.
If I remember right, the "plug" itself is somewhat unusual as it's 12.5mm long which is apparently not that common.

Offline Pestus

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #20 on: February 14, 2014, 06:36:41 pm »
Interesting.

Just to put it out there, most traditional alarm systems have a DC output of 12V, with a maximum load of 750mA.  Most don't come close to this amperage, so it can often be purposed for more exotic things.  This by the way, would mean that a UPS would not be needed, for anyone with an extensive network.  The alarm system incorporates surge protection and battery backup.

Offline pete

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #21 on: February 15, 2014, 04:57:11 pm »
Yup here utilize Leviton HAI OPII panels.  That said also a subpanel for touchscreens.  Both are backed up with 12VDC "storage batteries".

I have been utilizing the 12VDC power source from the panel for little things and its worked fine for a few years.

I do though back up the POE switches with "regular USP's".  Lately been playing with TP-Link POE power injectors with multiple DC voltage outputs and mostly using the 5VDC outputs for tabletop touchscreens and the 12VDC outputs for POE installed IP cameras.  No issues to date right now.

One thing that I have been playing with and it is bugging me is the "scrambling" of an SD card in the Raspberry Pi when it loses power.

It is a bit irritating.
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Pete
Lockport, IL  USA

Offline pete

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #22 on: February 15, 2014, 04:59:31 pm »
Lars,

Is the Almond + power connector a 2.0mm or 2.2mm or 2.5mm barrel connector?

Thinking the default is some 2.2mm; but forgot now...
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Pete
Lockport, IL  USA

LGNilsson

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #23 on: February 15, 2014, 11:59:38 pm »
I think it's 2.5mm, but I'll have to check in the office tomorrow.

Offline Pestus

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2014, 01:06:47 am »
HAI looks like an alarm panel on steroids.  I've never worked with it, but it has all the similarities to a UL/ULC rated security device.  Very expensive, too, from what it looks like.  Seems HA has been pretty pro for a long time, and I have to respect that engineering.   DC 12V output appears to be the standard for this class of hardware and should be considered the default for anyone looking to tie in to traditional systems.  Given that a vast majority of currently existing sensor networks work this way, it would be a natural choice.

PoE is stellar.  I love that technology.  I've run WiFi access points into the rafters of buildings using PoE, knowing that they are so low maintenance.  Likewise, security cameras work this way, and doing power and signal over a single Cat5e/RJ45 makes install logistics trivial.

The Almond+ is consumer level hardware, however.  It's meant to appeal to end users in an affordable manner.  That usually means a dead simple AC/DC adapter with a usual form of cylindrical plug.  It's understandable why that approach would be taken.   Unfortunately that runs counter to a wall mount philosophy.  Architectural differences country by country are drastic enough that unless the cable for that AC/DC adapter is 20 feet long, it will fail as a wall mountable device.  Then either it's going to sit on a desk or table, or it will end up near the other LAN hardware, having it's touchscreen unused. 

It would be better to either incorporate a PoE capable WAN port, or a terminal input for an AC or DC circuit, or perhaps allow either, with a DIP switch to select which mode you prefer.  I've heard auto sensing circuits are getting cheaper too.

All of this may be moot however.  Isn't the Almond+ already in production phase?  Talking about changing the hardware at this point should almost be out of the question... shouldn't it?


LGNilsson

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2014, 02:55:17 am »
Something like this should work



And yes, sadly is way too late to make any changes like that at this point in time. Even if we wanted to, we don't have the space on the PCB for it.

Offline pete

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #26 on: February 16, 2014, 07:50:42 am »
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The Almond+ is consumer level hardware, however.  It's meant to appeal to end users in an affordable manner.  That usually means a dead simple AC/DC adapter with a usual form of cylindrical plug.  It's understandable why that approach would be taken.   Unfortunately that runs counter to a wall mount philosophy.  Architectural differences country by country are drastic enough that unless the cable for that AC/DC adapter is 20 feet long, it will fail as a wall mountable device.  Then either it's going to sit on a desk or table, or it will end up near the other LAN hardware, having it's touchscreen unused.

Yup here utilize patch panels and switches in the communications "closet" area of the home.  This is where all LV wires are home run.

The Leviton HAI panel 12VDC (which is backed up) goes everywhere in the house such that I can utilize this power or POE power redundancy for the Almond +.

I utilize a PFSense firewall with multiple WAN / LAN connections.

The Almond + will most likely sit on an end table with one network cable to it or maybe in a wall doing the below stuff.  The WAN connectivity to test will be one LAN connection to the PFSense firewall providing an autonomous wireless LAN.

Yup; here keeping the POE to standards and the TP-Link multivoltage injector has done well.  Prior to this used single voltage Injectors from Tycon.  I do currently also use a number of midstream POE injectors from Tycon.  Largest one is a 24 port managed midstream injector.

It is working today for me for the Leviton HAI Omnitouch touchscreens, tabletop mini touchscreen tablets and IP cameras.

I have another subsystem for a number of legacy connected via serial touchscreens.  These do stay up over an hour connected to their subpanel.

These are very robust and made for outdoor AP's (Ubiquti is favorite here).

I have here too extended low voltage stuff by just using 18/2 or 16/6 to regular to keystone wall plates - but this way would just provide you with an RJ-45 network and a LV jack plate.  If you wanted to mount the Almond + inwall you could take everything inside the wall as it is only low voltage.



I then utilize a Keystone blank F-Type insert with a standard LV barrel connector to extend the LV connection.  I do solder the wires to the connector. 





You can also fit a TP-Link POE injector in the wall box and run the cables to the Keystone wall plate.



« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 08:17:43 am by pete »
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Pete
Lockport, IL  USA

Offline Pestus

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #27 on: February 16, 2014, 09:32:32 am »
Lars,

What is that exactly?   It looks like it might fit the bill!

Pete,

You are my kind of geek!  I do similar things for similar reasons.  Although the inserts I work with don't require soldering, the rest of it I understand and employ semi regularly.  So much nicer than an ugly wire coming out of a hole in the wall!

Injectors are nice, but I ended up just getting myself a nice PoE switch.  A bit more cost effective than a bunch of PoE injectors.  Also only one power transformer rather than a bunch makes it easier.  I'm beginning to think that when costs come down on PoE, that almost every manufacturer should use this spec.  Hardware can be placed anywhere, and the proliferation of power bars can end.

Ubiquity make excellent products.  No argument there!

How is HAI?  Had I got into home automation a few years earlier, I probably would have gone with HAI.  It seems like the best of the traditional systems.  A colleague of mine wanted me to go for a training course for Control4, but it's so high end that only very wealthy people would bother.  Same goes for Crestron etc.  Even HAI looks a bit unapproachable to middle income people.   Now that cheaper controllers exist, it gets easier to do fancy lighting systems or lock control etc for people.

LGNilsson

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #28 on: February 16, 2014, 10:34:41 am »
Very low cost PoE adapter, one part each end of the Ethernet cable that goes to the device that should be powered. Power in one end, power out the other.

Offline pete

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Re: Does the Almond need a UPS
« Reply #29 on: February 16, 2014, 12:52:13 pm »
Yup.

This is a custom any voltage power injector.  It is a custom means to inject power into a catXX cable.
It works but doesn't really take into account DC/AC voltage drops across long cables and the 22 guage diameter of one wire inside of the CatXX cable.



The TP-Link power splitter utilizes a standard POE voltage and converts it to another DC voltage.  That said I am using standard POE switches and Tycon POE midstream injectors (different but similiar to a POE switch).



In summary though there are a bunch of ways to provide redundant power to the Almond + while concurrently integrating it to your home network such that you do not have to plug the little AC adapter into a UPS.

I have recently here migrated to using managed Gb 24 port switches for now most of the network.  I am familiar with using Cisco and historically always have for commercial stuff.  For home though found this device to work just fine.

I am too now adding 24 port POE switches to the mixture of smaller POE switches and my Tycon midstream injectors.

Currently in place is some 15 touch screens which are utilizing network POE connections.  These have been working fine now for over a year in this manner.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2014, 12:59:33 pm by pete »
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Pete
Lockport, IL  USA

 

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