Global Cache iTach, IP to Contact Closure

I want to be able to turn my computers on and off with the push of a button on my phone. This is a pretty simple problem IMO because all I have to do is wire the chassis buttons to a contact closure.

I was looking at Global Cache iTach, IP to Contact Closure

Has anyone worked with one of these?

Any reason you’re not just using WOL? (Wake on LAN protocol) That’s pretty much what it’s for, and you don’t need extra hardware.

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WOL doesn’t work. I send WOL packets to my computers till the sun goes down. They work when the computer is asleep or hibernate but when it’s shut off they don’t work.

On top of that my motherboard is very finicky about booting off of a USB where I have the OS installed. If I see that the server didn’t come back up I’d like to be able to reboot remotely.

Im ready to go ahead and purchase this but I really don’t know how to incorporate third party gadgets. I tried to head over to the groove website to start learning the basics of coding in groove but most of the links are 404ed.

Can someone throw me a bone and direct me on how to get up and running in order to build my own smart apps?

A couple suggestions…

  1. You might be more successful using a SmartThings ThingShield with an Arduino running a set of relays. Driving the ThingShield is a lot easier than many other methods.

  2. The Developer Documentation has good examples for simple Device Types and there’s lots of code shared on the Forum. In other words… You need to walk before run. Build and tweak some existing simple Device Type Handlers first before tackling something complex from scratch.

You’re welcome to Private Message me for further guidance or even contracted custom development or training.

iTouch uses TCP socket interface which is not officially supported by SmartThings. You can make it sorta work (one way only), but it’s really lame. Also, you’d need to write a custom device handler.

You’ll have to hack something up using relays and Arduino + SmartShield or a RaspberryPi.

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Actually cheaper solution too, even though it takes a little effort to solder together.

5v DC relays are cheap (and there’s boards with 4 of them), an Uno clone ~$10, and a ThingShield (if they are in stock) = $35, + a proto board or proto-shield and a USB 5V power supply, and whatever wires or cabling you wish to arrange to the switches.

It’s a “good”, but no overly complicated Arduino Relay project that demonstrates the value of the ThingShield.

Thanks for the suggestions.
One stupid question though: how does groove fit into all this?

Later today I’ll put together a shopping list and post it for approval. Sounds very fun.

Groovy is a lazy version of Java (ok, there are probably more accurate definitions).

SmartThings requires a Device Type Handler to be written in Groovy with some special definitions at the top and a few mandatory methods, and the rest is up to you. The ThingShield passes plain text messages to / from SmartThings and the Groovy code parses these messages and acts upon them (and vice versa: if you send an Command relayOn(2) to the Device Handler, all it needs to do is convert this to a message “Relay #2 on.” to send to the ThingShield / Arduino, which, in turn, sets a pin high or low to activate the #2 Relay.

Object Oriented languages like Java and Groovy are easy once you grasp the concept … some folks like the shortcut versions (i.e., Groovy) because you can skip over a lot of implied code, but, personally, I find that makes it more confusing.

Start here:

But serious; if you want this project to go easy, just PM me. I don’t know what your experience with Arduino is either. Gotta start with a simple blinking light project, then a single relay with an LED, and so on, baby steps until you can handle a multiple-Relay board. It’s a short trip, though, even if baby steps required.

sent you a message and ordered the smart shield. Going to hold off on buying the aurduino part until I get some more info. Still a little fuzzy on how that part fits into the mix.

Really excited about this project. No more calling my Girlfriend and walking her through my complex home lab set up just to get some equipment turned back on or power cycled.

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Yup… Good timing!

I just got my first “real” ThingShield project installed!

It’s a 2-Relay controller to raise and lower my home theater projection screen. I just added support to sense the 12v trigger output from the Projector as well (to automatically lower and raise locally, even if SmartThings down).

And I’m thinking of trying to add RS-232c output so I can send the Epson Projector “ON” and “OFF” commands directly. This could be done via Infrared, but RS-232c port is available and worth a try since this project lives in short cable range; Heck, could add IR support to the same board too if I don’t run out of memory.

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Plus with RS232 you can check the state of the projector and not have the control fall out of sync. that’s the one problem with IR the control can fall out of sync. My harmony app is never in sync because my girlfriend uses the cable box remote while I use the app.

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