I have try many methods to record the wiring, configurations of devices, scenarios and automations.  There is a lot of information and most people I have met,  use a big folder of papers containing installation guides, descriptions and configuration steps.  But the folder is understood only by its owner, the folder is hidden away because it contains private information.  In spite of all the laws saying that a copy of the circuit diagram must be filed at the city office by the installer, it is difficult to retrieve such documents.

Here are some methods that I have tried to improve my documentation over the years:

  1. BTicino (BT) software - I found that it is limited to single device like F452 or MH200, and other design software like Project that does not include all devices I have purchased from BT and other vendors).
  2. BT service, My Home Web Portal - Everything was OK, but no modification where allowed after the initial installation.
  3. XML files - These descriptions are great only for certain system integrators or programmers, but does not includes maps to identify the location of devices,  what they do, and the related scenarios.

All the methods of documentations I have seeing so far are aimed at installers, and it becomes difficult for a regular user in the house to find a good manual describing what the switch on the wall does, how does it work, and what to do when it is not working.  Most of the documentation are marketing pamphlets aimed at the user saying "yes I like it" and after that, the installer does everything like magic, but the magic normally disappear when the installer finishes the job.  User are so scare of touching any thing because they are afraid of remaining in the dark, and paying for a service to repair the system because there is not a free customer support.  Once you are in the dark a paper manual or book does not help (there is no enough light to read it) and we need something smart like a PC, a notebook or a smart phone that can diagnose the problem and suggest simple solutions a user should try to fix the problem.

SOLUTION - May be in the future, a service will monitor my home installations, searching for faults and fix the problem remotely. This type of software is well known by telecommunication providers where problems are detected and fixed before the user notice the fault.  For example, i dream for BT software ship a light bulb to my home to replace the faulty one, and to have the options to call the installer to change the faulty bulb or follow the multimedia guide showing me how to change a light bulb, may be  the sofware will execute a scenario that turns off the power for me to change the lamp safely. Putting most of the information into PDF files looks as a viable solution to keep most of the documentation in the iPad and the cloud. I create PDF documents, using applications in my computer, to easily read and update, the description of the wiring in the home. 

The are about 25 spaces in my apartment that are related to my home, each space is represented by a rectangle (not to scale) with a title, and a note.

  1. TITLES.  The title has the name of a room, and subtitle with a BT gateway, or WEBCAM.  The gateways and the webcam have URL links to access the devices using their own software.  Each software has its own login ID and password.
  2. NOTES. A note describes important information for my home like SCS address, IP addresses of gateways, working scenarios in the room, and any additional information written in plain english. The notes are read by passing the mouse over the note, a click on the note will open a left column with all the notes, the notes can be scrolled, annotated or modified with additional information, notes can be closed, and a print will show only the opened notes.

My Home Village creates software for groups of users to collaborate in checking their homes.  For example, only for a short time, guest usesr are allowed to see the WEBCAMs and the notes describing the installations.

Click the image above to open a new window showing the anotations in Safari.  Open the PDF file with the Preview viewer, or any other pdf viewer with notes, then click the notes to view and edit them. The services of the pdf viewer can be used to select and control the actiators. The image above is a example of how to keep information and test all the actuators in the home.

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