Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

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pete
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Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sat May 21, 2016 6:20 am

Looking at a Cisco Itron Openpeak controller today. It is model # CGH-100-72BE.

I have played with a Commonwealth Edison Openpeak energy monitor. It only had a thermostat and electric meter setting.

This one has a bit more to it and includes a Zigbee water meter and heater. It is labeled Cisco Home Energy controller.

Found a description here ==> http://thetechjournal.com/electronics/t ... -hec.xhtml

Cisco announced an Intel Atom-based, tabletop Home Energy Controller (HEC) device based on OpenPeak’s Home Energy Manager (HEM) design. Running Ubuntu Linux on a 1.1GHz Intel Atom, the HEC offers a seven-inch screen, networks via cellular, 802.11n, ZigBee, and ERT wireless, and works with back-end services enabling consumers to monitor and control energy use. * Not sure what ERT wireless is.

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Announced along with Cisco’s new enterprise-focused Cius Android tablet, the Home Energy Controller is almost certainly based on the OpenPeak’s Intel Atom- and Moblin-based HEM design, which was announced at this January’s CES show. Cisco doesn’t mention OpenPeak, but the specs and features align, and the devices and interface look almost identical.

OpenPeak’s HEM is in turn based on the company’s OpenFrame 7 tablet design, which debuted originally as the now-defunct Verizon Hub touchscreen VoIP phone, and was recently revamped as the Intel Moorestown (Atom Z6xx) based OpenTablet 7 consumer tablet design. Demonstrated by Intel CEO Paul Otellini at CES, the tablet is likely to ship later this year with the Moblin- and Maemo-based MeeGo operating system.

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Aimed at energy utilities, the Home Energy Controller, also known as the CGH-100, was announced as part of a new Cisco Home Energy Management Solution. The solution includes hosted Energy Management Services that utilities can use to manage data from thousands of homes while integrating with their back-end applications, says the company.

The products were announced along with related “Connected Grid” and “Smart Connected Buildings” portfolio announcements, including a new Cisco Network Building Mediator Manager 6300 appliance (pictured below), which is said to enable centralized management of energy-monitored “smart buildings” across global enterprise operations. Cisco also announced a Cisco Network Building Mediator 3.1 software platform said to link multiple disparate building automation systems. It was unclear whether these products are also based on Linux.

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The Cisco Home Energy Management Solution and the HEC device will first be used by Duke Energy, and is aimed at utilities that want to build upon their Smart Meter deployments, says Cisco. The solution provides homeowners with detailed energy control and management, down to the appliance level, says Cisco.

The HEC device helps consumers make more informed energy choices, as well as set policies and schedules for energy use, says Cisco. Analysis can be based on real-time household, historic, and individual appliance consumption.

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Consumers can control peripheral devices that communicate with the HEC, such as thermostats, intelligent sockets and, in the future, smart appliances like refrigerators and water heaters, says Cisco. Eventually, utilities will be able to coordinate with customers on new pricing and demand-side management services, says the company.

Similar features and benefits were listed by OpenPeak for its HEM device and related back-end software. The HEM solution is being deployed by energy provider Direct Energy, along with secondary partners Whirlpool Corp., Best Buy, and Lennox International. A somewhat similar energy monitoring product based on the OpenPeak design is being offered by GE, OpenPeak said earlier this year.

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Equipped with a 1.1GHz Intel Atom processor, most likely the original Atom Z510, the Cisco HEC offers 512MB of DDR2 DRAM, as well as 1GB or 2GB of flash memory. This is said to be expandable to 64GB at the factory, and external flash expansion is available via a USB 2.0 port. It is unclear whether the USB port is available for other peripheral options, as well.

The HEC is equipped with a seven-inch, 800 x 480 capacitive touchscreen, as well as a gigabit Ethernet port, says Cisco. The device is said to be available in a variety of models with different wireless options, but a cellular and 802.11n modems appear to be standard on most.

As with OpenPeak’s HEM, support is also offered for the ZigBee short-range wireless technology used to communicate with other ZigBee-ready household appliances or home networking systems. In addition, one model offers an Encoder Receiver Transmitter (ERT) compatible iTron certified radio module, a radio technology that is used on smart meters.

Specifications listed for the Home Energy Controller (HEC) include:

* Processor — Intel Atom @ 1.1GHz
* Memory:
o 512MB (533MHz) DDR2 ECC DRAM
o 1GB to 2GB mNAND flash (factory expandable to 64GB)
o External USB 2.0 flash memory slot (via hub fanout)
* Display — 7-inch, 800 x 480 capacitive touchscreen with LED backlight
* Networking — 1 x gigabit Ethernet port
* Wireless communications:
o 802/11b/g/n (via PCIe)
o GSM GPRS/EDGE/HSPA or CDMA EV-DO cellular radio (currently not available in CGH-100-7ZB, CGH-100-7ZBE models)
o ZigBee Smart Energy Profile 1.0 Certified with SEP 1.0 (ZigBee module firmware upgradable to SE 2.0 when available)
o Encoder Receiver Transmitter (ERT) Compatible iTron certified radio module (CGH-100-7ZBE model only)
* Audio — Intel HD Audio (IDT codec); 3.5mm headphone jack
* Power — DC Power 5V, 4A
* Operating temperature — 32 to 104 deg. F (0 to 40 deg. C)
* Operating system — Ubuntu Linux 2.6.29 for Mobile Internet Devices (MID)

Stated Paul Fulton, GM, Cisco Prosumer Business Unit, Cisco Smart Grid, “Utilities around the world are moving toward a more modern, efficient and environmentally friendly energy infrastructure. Cisco’s Home Energy Management Solution can be an integral part of that transition by helping utilities empower their customers to make choices about their consumption, understand the trade-offs related to time-of-use pricing, and be in better control of their energy efficiency.”

Cisco expects to eventually go global with its Cisco Home Energy Management Solution and Home Energy Controller, but the company will start with deployments in North America this summer, beginning with Duke Energy.
- Pete

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by hawsey » Sat May 21, 2016 7:50 am

Great stuff Pete , I thought all the current ones were on their way out ...
I wonder if they will Efi boot ;-)

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by Man in a van » Sat May 21, 2016 11:03 am

Working over here

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sat May 21, 2016 5:57 pm

I had no problems here booting up Buzz's Ubuntu from the USB stick.

When I saw these for sale my concern was that first boot to the internet would lock up the EFI boot.

I am guessing it is a stock Openpeak and the DECT chip is there but not mentioned for use.

The deals were OK at $50 USD but not as good as the Openpeak with the DECT phones sold as new for $35 USD a couple of years ago.

That was sold new in an Openpeak box, generic for sale to the telco vendor with nothing but Openpeak stuff.

That said I do think this is a stock base and the chit chat above was proposed but never fully implemented. (The announcement above is from 2010).

The EFI boot chip on these is soldered in to place such that if you brick it you have toasted it. 2Gb base disk space is good. mini PCie is good but it is not mSATA or MLC SATA (I tried). I was able to install a Crystal HD mini PCIE HD card for running KODI and it did fine streaming 1080HD live or recorded.

I am curious about:

1 - addition memory upgrade to 64Gb
2 - SIM card stuff
3 - Wireless ECT
4 - upgradable Zigbee

That said on the motherboard that I play with there is a SIM card area with solder pads, MicroSD solder pads and a second mini PCIE below the first one.

I wonder if this Cisco device has populated the solder pads mentioned. I mean it saids that the 2Gb can be upgraded at Cisco and I don't think they would solder on more memory; probably would utilize the MicroSD slot though.
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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by Paul Webster » Sat May 21, 2016 10:27 pm

ERT - Encoder Receiver Transmitter
Compatible iTron certified radio module
From WikiPedia
Encoder receiver transmitter (ERT) is a packet radio protocol developed by Itron for automatic meter reading. The technology is used to transmit data from utility meters over a short range so a utility vehicle can collect meter data without a worker physically inspecting each meter.

The ERT protocol was first described in US Patent 4,614,945. More technical detail is explained in later US patent 4,799,059.

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sun May 22, 2016 12:52 am

Thank you Paul.

I would how or if the radio is fitted inside of this Cisco device. I am going to open it up in the next few days mostly out of curiosity.
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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Tue Jun 14, 2016 3:25 pm

Update 14th of June, 2016

Noticed something different in the Cisco EFI boot ROM versus the Avaya EFI boot ROM.

If I put the Cisco EFI boot ROM in the Ayaya device the screen turns white and video is a bit fuzzy when booted to an OS.
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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by hawsey » Thu Jun 16, 2016 7:30 pm

If you try these other efi boot ROMs on a standard Joggler do they work OK ? Is there any advantages ?
Interesting experiments :-)

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:04 pm

With the Cisco Openpeak device it appears that only the Cisco EFI / Energy Utility company EFI boot bios works.

The Avaya EFI boot bios while starting all white did go to the Linux GUI except that the video was sort of fuzzy such that I just went back to the Cisco EFI boot bios. For a time I couldn't see the screen such that I could only SSH to the box with the stock and posted Joggler base OS.

That said I did get it to boot in Windows but having issues with the combo blue tooth wireless mini PCIE in that only the bluetooth is working in XP. That and I cannot get the sound to work (different chip) in Windows plus the 64Gb MLC ZIF card works only in Windows and not in Linux. Such that I will probably just utilize the windows set up with a Gb connection and no sound.

The combination older Broadcom combo card works fine in Windows 10 and it is now a popular choice for new computers.

I did test out a remote touchscreen while going on a short mini vacation last weekend. I configured the Joggler tablet with a IPsec VPN tunnel connecting wirelessly to my LTE smart phone. Worked fine. This hotel was not providing free internet but rather a two tier approach to fast internet for streaming (like netflix) or a slow internet connection for basics. Never seen that as all previous hotel stays /. hotels provided free internet.
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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sat Jun 18, 2016 6:44 pm

Quit playing with it for the time bean.

Today got my two mini alienware Xi3 corporation looking mini boxes. Interesting as I was going to download the manual and the site is gone now. Looks like maybe they went out of business?
Xi3.jpg
Xi3.jpg (29.94 KiB) Viewed 5292 times
These are built to last; hopefully they do. No wonder I got it so cheap.
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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by hawsey » Sat Jun 18, 2016 9:06 pm

They look great Pete , they are Steam machines , I guess you won't be using them for that .
How much were they ? Any links :-)

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:05 pm

They are on Ebay for $76.99 USD. Note that the company is in receivership.

That said I can throw one out my second story window and it will not break but rather cause a dent in the front lawn.

They are all over the place price wise. Look for this one (162096475647) which is a buy it now at $76.99 USD. Offer $60.00 and you will get it + shipping. There are more expensive ones listed with Windows on it.

Very well built device. Like an old Bakelite telephone in a way. BUT it wasn't worth $1000 USD.

Thing about it is that you can update the SSD drive in it. I am turning one here in to a KodiBuntu box. I just read though that the fan is a tad loud which can be fixed with a bit of tweaking. I do not hear my fan on my KodiBuntu Intel box as it runs at a low speed almost all of the time unless you reboot it. I do utilize the air compressor and clean the inside of it every few months. The heatsink on the intel box is large and laptop style.

I am doing a take apart show and tell on it and will post it here. They are heavy enough to be paperweights.

Add up the price different relating to say a RPi3. By the time you get a case, power supply, RTC you are over $60 but it is new though rather than used.

It is an '86 based AMD architecture with is plug n play for Windows, Linux, iOS these days. A bit easier to tweak/mode than an Arm based CPU and much more memory. IE: like the Joggler Intel base stuff and Buzz's Ubuntu running on the Joggler. It has a real BIOS and RTC in it like a big computer. It is slower than the PipoX7 quad core Atom CPU but you cannot expand the CPU or Hard drive on the PiPoX7 and it's BIOS is unique and a bit hardened for Android and Windows and tricky for Ubuntu.
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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by hawsey » Sat Jun 18, 2016 10:39 pm

Have you a link Pete ? My eBay search throws up nothing :-(

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sat Jun 18, 2016 11:42 pm

Yup; it is also on the UK Ebay website with the same Ebay number.

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Xi3-Modular-M ... o-OS-/1620
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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by hawsey » Sun Jun 19, 2016 2:42 pm

It just says the listing has been removed :-( thanks though.

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sun Jun 19, 2016 3:33 pm

- Pete

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by hawsey » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:58 pm

Got that one , cheers :-)

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Sun Jun 19, 2016 4:59 pm

Just noticed booting the first one up that it is booting in a a first time Windows 7 configuration. The description mentions no OS. Might keep it at W7 for a bit.
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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by hawsey » Sun Jun 19, 2016 7:06 pm

Nice one :-) i prefer 7 to 10 or 8 myself .
What about Linux ? Does it have an efi boot or the older USB boot options ? To boot off a use stick.

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Re: Cisco’s Home Energy Controller (HEC)

Post by pete » Mon Jun 20, 2016 12:16 am

Newest boot options in an easy to play with BIOS.

Here is the manual for it.

Downloads.xi3.com/start-up-guides/X5A_s ... shrunk.pdf
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