In my last post, I outlined the process of writing my own plugin to integrate my pool system to the rest of the automation system. Well, it turns out I'd like to do the same with my whole house audio system.
Like the Pentair Intellitouch system, the NuVo Grand Concerto has a serial port for exactly this kind of purpose. I already know how to talk to and read from a serial port at this point, so that's good. Also, the Grand Concerto serial port operates at a MUCH higher speed than the Intellitouch, which makes the whole plugin feel faster and snappier. Funny how significant fractions of a second can seem.
For the most part, this plugin was going to operate pretty similar to the Pentair one. You will be able to create devices in Indigo, and then turn on and off zones, set volume and source, etc... Now, I actually don't have a huge desire to integrate this with Indigo. The Grand Concerto keypads are fully functional, and usually more convenient that digging out my iPhone (considering that when I want to listen to music, I'm in that room anyway, very near a keypad). The reason I created this plugin was that I wanted Indigo to be able to make household announcements. This would require activating the relative zones, switching inputs to something the computer could use, making the announcement, and then setting things back to how they were. I was going to need to write a plugin for this.
So, I downloaded the serial protocol to the Grand Concerto as well. As I was reading through this, I found you could also send a text message to any keypad (active or not) and it will show up for a few seconds. How could I not add in that functionality as well?
Writing the first plugin was a pretty big task and took me a pretty long time. However, once that was done and I had the knowledge, writing the second plugin was simple. I was able to write this inside of a week using just my spare evenings after work and after my kid went to bed. The bulk of the work was one in the first 2 evenings, with the fine tuning work dragging out over the rest.
At this stage, I am actually encouraged by the appearance of a serial device on anything I want to add to my home, since I'm confident I can whip up the appropriate plugin and communicate with it in short order.
You can download it here.