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Harry G
2007-04-15, 19:18
I've been using Squeezeboxes for years and installed many plugins but when I read the instructions for BottleRocket, I feel like a beginner. So here I am.

I want to be able to turn my power amp on and off with the powering of the associated Squeezebox3. I'm using 6.3.1 on an XP box.

I hoped to use bottlerocket for this but in the instructions it says:

"Requirements
This version requires the 'br' BottleRocket command-line software to be installed on your SlimServer host. You must have an X10 Firecracker device on your SlimServer host. This probably only works on Linux and Unix systems."

Is there a version that will run on my XP machine? Is there another method for turning on an amp that this non-programmer should try? I've noticed Amp Switch, but it appears to send to an IR repeater and my amp only has a wired input for a trigger pulse, no IR.

peterw
2007-04-16, 06:05
Interesting timing -- just yesterday I started working on compiling a Windows/Intel .EXE for the BottleRocket utility! It's not ready yet -- first I have to check that it works, and then I have to deal with the licensing/distribution details, as I don't want to be on the hook for suppling megabytes worth of Cygwin source code if I can avoid it. I haven't bothered earlier because my Linux slimserver host does not run Windows, and most other Windows machines I have access to don't have serial ports.

AMP Switch requires you to build an AC relay, much like the X-10 appliance modules, that you'd connect to your Squeezebox. It doesn't use IR at all, simply controls AC power going to your amp. Where X-10 sends on/off controls either through the powerline or by radio frequency, AMP Switch gets its on/off commands via wired connection to the Squeezebox IR/headphone port.

IR Blaster uses IR. If your amp has its own IR remote control, you can control it with the Squeezebox and IR Blaster by connecting a $7 "IR blaster" device (a long cord with a tiny plastic box holding an IR emitter/receiver on the end) to your Squeezebox. Typically the IR blaster devices have sticky pads for adhering to the face of your amp, and you attach them beside or over the IR receiver port on the amp. The tiny plastic box is translucent, so typically you can still use the original remote (or so I've found; I didn't test range, usable angles, etc.). The IR Blaster web settings page lets you configure multiple IR codes to be emitted on Power On, Power Off, Volume Up, and Volume Down activity for each player. On my IR Blaster install I have it act on On/Off but leave the *amp* at constant volume and use the internal Squeezebox volume control.

IR Blaster is the most slick approach (except for sticking the IR emitter to your gear, but this seems to bug me more than my significant other), and probably the best if your amp has the ability to receive IR remote control commands.

AMP Switch should allow you to build a setup that's quieter than BottleRocket, as you'd have more control over the relay. But it means soldering, and soldering something to plug into an AC outlet.

BottleRocket lets you control without any soldering, using only "proper" gear; and lets your control many different X-10 devices from your Squeezebox remote control.

If you're still interested in BottleRocket, let me know and I'll keep working on BR.EXE and making the plugin Windows-ready. I may start bundling both the Windows BR.EXE and Linux 'br' app with BottleRocket so it's easier for everyone. There's probably no sense making a Mac OS version (serial ports on a Mac?).

-Peter

peterw
2007-04-17, 21:06
I've been using Squeezeboxes for years and installed many plugins but when I read the instructions for BottleRocket, I feel like a beginner. So here I am.

I want to be able to turn my power amp on and off with the powering of the associated Squeezebox3. I'm using 6.3.1 on an XP box.


I've got a BR.EXE that I've successfully used on XP. So it looks good for a new version of BottleRocket that will include everything needed for Intel/AMD-based Windows or Linux systems. But it'll only run on SlimServer 6.5.x. I've just posted the first beta at
http://www.tux.org/~peterw/slim/BottleRocket/?M=D

You could probably use the 6.3.x version of BottleRocket, but you'd need to
- copy BR.EXE and CYGWIN1.DLL from the 6.5 version to a new directory (C:\BR\ ?)
- edit BottleRocket.pm, replacing

my @brCommandArgs = ( '/usr/local/bin/br','-x','/dev/ttyS0','-r','3' );
with something like this specifying the path to BR.EXE

my @brCommandArgs = ( 'c:\br\br.exe','-x','/dev/ttyS0','-r','3' );
- also edit the $houseCode and %playerX10DeviceNumber definitions

And yes, you'd use something like /dev/ttyS0 (that would be for COM1; COM2 would be /dev/ttyS1, etc.). The 6.5 version will accept normal Windows COM port names and handle the /dev/ttyS stuff internally, but the 6.3 version will not.

-Peter

peterw
2007-04-30, 19:28
Harry, have you had a chance to give that BR.EXE a try?