Forums : SG20 and SG30

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SG20 and SG30


Sat May 15, 2004 2:00 am
I have an SG20 and a SG30. The SG30 sports a serial port and two USB ports. Does MisterHouse support USB communications with a controler like the PowerLink USB?
Also, since the SG30 runs hotter (62° and 39°, all three fans on most of the time) will an network RS232 adapter like the MOXA NPort Express DE-311 (while you're there, check out the 'embeded systems') work with the SG20 an an interface like the PowerLinc II Serial/TW523?
Eric Schneider


Tue May 18, 2004 8:32 pm
MisterHouse says it works with the cm11 powerline interface and the cm17a firecracker. Both are serial port devices. If the SG30 has two serial ports, it sounds like a done deal to me. I personally recommend the cm11 interface. Why? It works, I know it works, and it is easy to set up and use.
The ONLY reason I use a network-based serial port is because of the utter lack of an external port on the SG20. I could, I suppose, steal the serial interface used to run the display...
I tried the N-port (admittedly an older model) and a couple of Digi Portserver products. The problem: getting an installable and working linux driver, or cost. I did not want to spend $200+ for a serial port!
The Comtrol works very well, the proper driver and install proceedure are here. The only thing left is to find one. When I purchased the ones I needed, they were going on ebay for around $50. They are an older model, and have RJ45 (like network) connectors for the serial interface. There is a newer model available, that has four DB9 ports - but it was too rich for my blood.
All of this leads back to my original recommendation: If you want to run MisterHouse on an SG20, get a Comtrol Rocketport Network Serial Hub. They still show up on ebay once in a while, and the demand is certainly not fierce... how many peeps with a magnia want to run home automation?
The Stargate interface for the Magnia is just plain worthless! It has NO real timers. MisterHouse allows for CONDITIONAL PROGRAMMING! I ended up disabling the httpd_intranet on my magnia - who even needs it?
If you run MisterHouse on your SG30, you can just hook the powerline interface directly to one of the serial ports. Yeah, it runs hotter. So? You're not just going to put it in the closet, are you? If you're going to run it as a router it will be running 24/7 anyway (who would want to wait for a magnia to boot just to access the internet?) so why not use it for your home automation?
If you simply cannot find a Comtrol, and will not use your SG30, you will have to experiment yourself with other network serial interfaces. Remember they must have Linux software that emulates/redirects a local port across the network. Most of the devices I looked at new were too expensive, too limited, or had zero linux support.
If you DO find a device that works, please post your results here so others may benefit from your experience.
Thanks for your time!


Wed May 19, 2004 2:48 am
The SG30 only has one serial port. Is there a need for two?
Does the Comtrol have a driver redily available?
The N-Port says it has a Unix driver (compatible with Linux? Dunno) and can be found for around (like you say) $170+s&h.
Eric Schneider


Sat May 22, 2004 7:07 pm
If the SG30's serial port is unused for anything else, you're set - you only need one serial port to run MisterHouse. Use your SG30 if you can "hack" into it using my instructions from the SG20. I can't imagine that Toshiba altered the system software all that much. If you can gain telnet access, enable ftp, and install WebMin... from WebMin you can do just about anything.
There is a tested and working driver for the Comtrol on this site here:
/files/vs1000.tar.gz (268kb)
and in Article 5: Adding serial ports to your magnia.
The 4-port version new is called a RocketPort Serial Hub Si and is running around $400. I can't imagine paying that much. Even $180 is too rich for me, I paid that for my SG20 !
Here's what a Rocketport looks like:
except the older model has RJ45 ports instead of DB9 ports. Again, if you are patient, you can pick a used one up on ebay for about $50.
Unix and Linux are two different things as far as drivers are concerned. You would have to be able to build and compile the driver into the kernel (not something for a beginner) and then it still might not work. Even my install of the comtrol driver was touch-and-go, because I didn't use the "custom" kernel source that Toshiba used. (you can see the error message in the install example, but it works anyway so...)