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fillibar

Raspberry Pi Zero

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fillibar

Any opinion on whether the Domotz Agent will run on a Raspberry Pi Zero?

 

Unless someone really wants to say "no way" to doing so... I plan on trying it out once mine arrives.

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Giancarlo

 

3 hours ago, fillibar said:

Unless someone really wants to say "no way" to doing so... I plan on trying it out once mine arrives.

 

This would be really great. According with what I read, the Domotz Agent should work without any problem (very similar SoC architecture as other Raspberry Pi).

 

Just a small note: you need to use an external WiFi or Eth Dongle... but Raspberry Pi Zero is a great revolution!!!

 

Let us know how Domotz goes there. 

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fillibar

Will do. Should receive mine on Wednesday, and it is coming with a wifi dongle (and adapter) although I am debating about permanently soldering the wifi dongle on to make it a little more convenient. I thought there should not be anything that would prevent it.

 

Related note... do you folks have any recommendations to try to stress test it, find the limits it can handle? I only have about 40 network devices at maximum (between wired and wireless). I do not think that would be enough though. Is there a test algorithm or "fake" you would want me to run on it at the beginning to get an idea of what it might truly be able to handle? $5 for a controller, another $15 for cheap wifi, power, and case... so for $20 it may be possible to put together a decent piece of kit.

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Lars

Considering the Pi Zero technically speaking has faster hardware than the original Pi, there should be no reason for it to be any worse, it should in fact be better, with the exception of it not having any kind of built in network interface in this instance. By most of our testers standard, you still have a rather large network, but at the moment we don't have a way to add "fake" devices.

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fillibar

  No problem then. If I come up with something... Which I think I did. Which is more intensive for Domotz? A single device that constantly is coming on or off the network, or a large number of mostly inactive devices?

  I just thought of a way to make those fairly readily...

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Lars

40 devices should be a good starting point, as really the only thing we've seen that slows things down is adding more devices. We're working on improving that as well, but that's a different matter. Any of the tests or toggling devices on/off isn't going to cause much strain to the system.

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fillibar

OK. So I can bump it up a bit in number of devices. Maybe 100? If I go above 200 I will obviously start botching up things I really want...

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Lars

Going over sort of 50-60 devices you should notice a slowdown on the Raspberry Pi, but let us know how the Zero does. 

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fillibar

OK... First impressions:

RasPi Zero: This is definitely for headless installs. I wish they had integrated WiFi and made an easy way to do initial linking with a network. But they did not... So my recommendation for everyone is get a starter kit and a second one. Use the kit to get one running then switch the card to the one for your project. It works fine, but digging up a USB hub almost stalled me from the beginning. It also includes the latest Jessie build of Raspbian which has a lot of bloat to make it a PC. I do not need libre office and such. As a teaching tool... Pretty useless. The adapters, extras, and annoyances... Just get a RasPi 2. As a tiny (sort of) controller, once configured, it seems decent.

 

Now on to the Domotz agent:

1) No hitches with any part of the steps. Works just like my others.

2) However in the app it is still "Configuring... please be patient". The app was linked to my account about 7am... 2 hours ago. The agent itself was started last night.

3) Right now it has 23 devices identified (21 are active, 2 were are smartphones). Our other stuff is mostly inactive (to make the total 40+ I have). I may try to start creating the fake devices (I will manipulate the MAC on an Arduino repeatedly) tonight.

 

General note:

Domotz does not recognize domotz on other devices. That might be nice to do from a reliability and detection standing. Now that I have all 3 Agents functioning (recovered my original RasPi) it became noticeable. Thanks for killing off the old agent license.

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Lars

It's all about cost for the Zero, hence the lack of any kind of network interface, but yes, the common census here was exactly the same, it needs some kind of wireless interface.

 

The original RPi is also quite slow at scanning the network. Keep in mind that you're doing this over Wi-Fi and if it's in a location where it's not getting a strong signal, that would of course also increase the time it takes to find devices on the network.

 

And no, we don't list multiple Agents on the same network right now, but it might be something we'll change in the future. We'd have to figure out how to differentiate between the Agent in use and the other Agents on the network to do that. That said, normally you'd only have one Agent per network, so not sure if this is an issue that 99.9% of our users would ever run into.

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fillibar

Very true about multiple agents.

As for the zero, I understand cost but even in that case I would argue they made a mistake. The Zero should have been intended for headless use primarily. Cut out the micro USB and mini HDMI ports (besides the micro USB for power, although a power header could have worked). If they really wanted people to have the options leave a pinout.

My hope is that the RasPi Zero 2 (or whatever) and future RasPis will use the USB type C port for power, display, everything. But that one would be most useful for the Zero.

Edited by fillibar

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Lars

In as much as I can only agree with you, these are things you might want to take up with the Rasberry Pi foundation, rather than here, as we can't really do much to change things :|

 

USB type C isn't quite that easy to do what you're expecting from it, as it would require a few additional chips that are quite costly, such as high-speed signal muxers and the RPi is all about being affordable, so I can't see that happening for now. 

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fillibar

True. Yeah... I am getting side tracked from the main topic.

 

So far no problems with the RasPi Zero running the domotz agent. It seems to be responding just fine. Probably not going to get to stress it more until the weekend though.

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