xAP Home Automation

An open standard for the home

Temperature sensing (Quasar 3145)

This was my first project using xAP back in 2003!

The objectives of the project were to familiarise myself not just with the xAP protocol but, most significantly with the C# programming language and the excellent class library for xAP written by Stuart Booth called xAPFramework.NET (xFx).

Stuart no longer maintains the framework; in fact I got so into it, C# and xAP from this little project I now maintain the framework myself.

For the project I equipped myself with a copy of Microsoft's .NET development environment. As this was a couple of years ago (2003), I paid for a copy of Visual Studio C# Standard Edition but these days all the tools are available for free in Microsoft's Visual Studio Express Editions.

quasar 3145 module

The hardware used is a small PCB module available in kit form or pre-assembled from Quasar in the UK. It is a very simple device that allows up to four Dallas Semiconductor '1-Wire' temperature sensors to be connected to a PC's serial port. The product page can be found here. It's a very limited device; I chose it as a simple introduction to working with sensors in a domestic environment. The device has become a bit of a little legend in home automation; there are countless software programs been written to integrate it into home automation scenarios. A notable example was a plugin for AutoM8it (now defunct). And I was not the first person to write a xAP-enabled application to connect to it, see Patrick's version.

So, a pretty pointless project in terms of breaking new ground for xAP, but this one was all about learning for me - having existing software connectors around was helpful for reference.

I present it here mostly for nostalgia but also so that maybe others can use it as a simple tutorial on the use of xAPFramework.NET.