|Home Geek: Remote Active Home Pro Via WMI (x10 Home Automation)|
Active Home Pro (AHP) is a low cost software package from x10.com that allows programming of affordable home control devices that follow the x10 protocol. AHP does not natively provide network or web based access to the computer that is running the software. There are a variety of devices and software packages that can solve this problem for $100 or up – but all I really need is the occasional ability to control a single device. WMI is up to the task…
I use x10 with timed events downloaded to a CM11A – a programmable device that allows the use of schedules and macros without a listening PC. If I have need to turn off a device that is on a timer, I can’t simply use it’s off switch or it will not turn on according to the schedule the next time an x10 command is sent. So I need the ability to turn it off via x10. It is possible to use RF based controllers to send a signal to the CM11A and to have it do this – however, then the device must be purchased and batteries maintained. I have also found that there is a weak RF signal in a least one room where I wish to have this access.
The attached sample scripts have been developed and tested on Windows 7 and accomplish two things. First, one script allows configuration of the Windows firewall to allow inbound WMI to be received on the machine running Active Home Pro. The second script is copied to any computer needing to do control commands. The VBScript can have the command hardcoded internally or passed on the command line. Passing the arguments on the command line allows many shortcuts to use one copy of the script for a variety of commands. Also, the script can be used programmatically by other software if desired.
When AHP is installed, it installs a service that can respond to ahcmd.exe without having the entire AHP software up and running on AHP computer.
If you haven’t gotten into home automation yet, Christmas is a great time to clear it with your spouse with the “Christmas Lights Justification”