Lots of new hardware!

After what has been quite a long wait since the original announcement, there is now finally a lot of new Texecom hardware and software released to go with the recent v4 firmware release.

The first of these is the ‘Texecom Connect’ app, which promises a significantly improved user experience over the former apps, which from my experience didn’t work well and were quite basic. The main problem with the app from my point of view is that it is for iOS only… and I don’t have any iOS devices at all. So until an Android version comes out I’m not going to be able to get any further with this.

TexecomConnect

There is more info about the app (and the rest of the range) here

The other and more interesting products from my perspective are the Texecom Connect hardware interfaces. The most important is the Texecom Connect SmartCom:

smartcom

I’ve not quite got my head around this yet, but it appears to be provide quite a wide range of capabilities including an ethernet interface (so the same as the COMIP) but also provides an interface with an upcoming range of home automation products. I’m not sure if it interfaces with any other standards (ZWave etc) but it is using Ricochet protocols to communicate with the ‘SmartPlug’ (see below). I’ve been quite impressed with Ricochet for the sensors etc, and this is quite an ambitious move to take hold of the burgeoning home automation market.

smartplug

The ‘SmartPlug’ as seen above is exactly as the name implies. This is a good start although from my own experiences of HA you really want something which can be ‘stealth’ installed and not lose the manual control. So for a table light it’s all very well switching it through the Texecom app but you also want to be able to switch it by hand. However, the idea of integrating HA with alarm sensors hasn’t been done very much and especially not by mainstream security companies.

What is also good news is that the pricing is a lot more sensible than before, with the SmartCom available for about Ā£75 (from Alert Electrical among others):

smartcomsale

Overall I think these are very interesting developments and it’s great to see Texecom developing their products and expanding their functionality. I’m still really interested in being able to use the whole range as part of a bigger HA system and I would love to be able to surface the sensor data into Fhem. I am sure this is possible and I have got some documentation but I will need brush up my programming skills quite significantly first!

I’m looking forward to seeing what else comes out, and maybe at some point I will get some of it in to play with.

7 thoughts on “Lots of new hardware!”

  1. Hi J!

    I did mention a micro current sensor to use with the hard wired in-line switches on lamps, as I believe this has been done on some other Home Automation products?

    Certain products on the market can still detect the user switching the lamp on and off in the traditional manner which prompts the plug to turn on/off respectively

    However, if the manual switch was left in the off position, if you turn the Automated plug on, it would have no effect, so without a third wire to override this, I’m not quite sure how it could be resolved šŸ™‚

    JG

  2. Thanks John. I’ve not seen this done, and it’s an interesting idea – but as you say doesn’t really address the issue. The only way it can work seamlessly is if the switch on the lamp directly controls the plug and it’s hard to see how you would do this with a plugtop device. I have thought of converting table lamps that have enough space inside using the small modules (eg Fibaro dimmers) for light switch pattresses, and then wiring the switch directly to them.

    One way around it is to have a master switch somewhere else which remotely switches the plugs on and off. I’ve done this using Zwave and it works quite nicely.

  3. I am not sure that the SmartCom by itself will help you very much here… although as you say it’s not yet clear what the interaction might be. I still think that you need a computer based system of some kind to really do justice to a system like yours when you have lots of different device systems. The manufacturer provided ones (eg Fibaro HomeCentre) are good if you only have their products, but much less useful if you are bringing in other systems. This is why I’ve liked FHEM so much (see other posts) as it is really good at integrating loads of different system together. I’ve got Fibaro, TKB, Hue, Sonoff and a few other devices and FHEM allows them all to work together seamlessly. I’ve even got an interface with the Amazon Echo going although that is a bit of a fiddle. I would love to get a proper interface into the Texecom system in FHEM but no-ones built one yet. I’d love to… and I think I could but I’ve not really got the time together in one place to do it. I think that would be a perfect system.

  4. “Iā€™m looking forward to seeing what else comes out, and maybe at some point I will get some of it in to play with.”

    Maybe….maybe…. šŸ™‚

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