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admin 20.08.2014

Quantum Scalar Energy Pendant is made from natural minerals that are fused and structurally bonded together at a molecular level. Plugwise are a Dutch company who’ve been making energy monitoring products since 2006. The Home Stretch 2.0 kit comprises of 9 plug-in modules, the Stretch gateway itself, plus the usual brackets, screws and cables.
Eight of the plugin modules are identical (with white backs), and there is one special one (with a grey back) that has a real-time clock in it. There are no instructions in the box, but you can download the manual, or you can save yourself the effort and just download the app which will guide you through the installation process. Plugwise recommend that you carefully plan and site your modules within 10m of each other throughout your home, but I opted instead to give it harsher test by building a righteous tower of Plugwise power, which is often a tricky test of radio performance, particularly during setup.
Installation is initiated by the app, which kicks off by asking you to enter the code on the front of the Stretch gateway into the app’s dialog. At this stage in the installation the Stretch will go online and find any new firmware that’s available.
And then, suddenly, you’re taken to the main appliance monitor page, which is a welcome (and, sadly, rare) exception.
There is a sometimes a significant delay between the state of a module changing and it being reported to the app, as the above image shows. At this point I redeployed the modules around the house, and the wireless networking performed flawlessly, seamlessly adapting to the changes in topology.
Notice that you get different icons once you’ve changed the appliance type and that the circles go grey if an appliance is off-line. Once you’ve got your appliances configured, the main monitor screen becomes a thing of beauty, and it becomes really quite absorbing watching all the little dots race around, even the living room lamp, bless it.
Once you’ve got some data to review, you can view usage and cost by the hour, day, week, month, or year, but the graph widget itself really is utterly horrible to use, and spectacularly counterintuitive.
This would be useful on a small display like an iPhone in landscape mode, but for some reason it’s not available on the iPhone app, meaning the actual interesting graph data takes up a tiny fraction of the available screen real estate. To view the settings from an earlier or later day, you can swipe the graph left or right, although the UI is once again tragic.
To end on a happier note, there is one more screen in the app that elevates itself above the standard user-interface tedium, and that’s the total power consumption screen, which you reach by tapping the unassuming little pie chart icon in the top left. In summary then, you get some capable power monitoring modules and bulletproof wireless networking, plus the gateway box, for about 35 sovs each. Alternatively, there seem to be a lot of Plugwise plugins for other systems like MicasaVerde, Domotica, HomeSeer etc. The Plugwise ZigBee implementation uses a proprietory protocol layer so their network doesn’t inter operate with any other ZigBee kit, repeaters or support network analysis software. Mine is an older Plugwise version which uses a PC ZigBee dongle rather than the Stretch 2 gateway.
The HomeSeer (Vera) integration has worked well for me allowing me full control and real time status reporting of Plugwise modules with the rest of my HA system.


There is no money at all to be made in generic Zigbee End Devices, and I’m not aware of any in the HA space. At best you will find ZEDs that implement a custom protocol and make some effort to support the interop clusters too (the original AlertMe security system took this approach), but if you’ve gone to the trouble of designing custom ZC, clusters, back-end service, network security etc you suddenly become a bit reticent about letting unbranded el-cheapo generic devices on to your network. As luck would have it, these are exactly the same problems that IPv6 has to solve, and there has been for many years an attempt to marry the two, called 6LoWPAN.
Do you know if I can contact with my BI software to the plugwise website \ database to collect the data?
DIYTrade accepts no responsibility whatsoever in respect of such content.To report fraudulent or illegal content, please click here. The Home Stretch 2.0 is their ?354 basic starter kit, and they offer a number of add-on modules for smart-energy meter monitoring, solar PV generation metering, manual switching, and PIR switching. With that done, you have a choice of connecting the Stretch to your home network either via Wi-fi or Ethernet.
This is one of the great benefits of Zigbee over the older and more common Z-Wave technology.
Here you get a circle for each of your modules, where a dot orbits at a rate proportional to the energy being consumed. One particularly nice touch is that you can use the settings to disable the turn-off-and-on-ableness, so that you don’t inadvertently deactivate anything from the app.
This seems to be more pronounced at startup, after a while things settle down a bit and modules respond within a few seconds.
But not your date format, which means you’ll have to put up with US format dates, an odd choice for a European kit with UK modules.
I reset the system a couple of weeks ago to get a nice clean set of data to provide screenshots for this review.
What you get here is a pie chart that shows the aggregate total energy use, or the total per day, week, month or year. This got me all excited until I saw Kevins comment regarding it having its own propriety protocol. The Zigbee Cluster Library does in fact contain a vast number of clusters for interop of zigbee nodes in any given application profile (Home Automation, in this case).
Instead, everybody seeks to differentiate themselves by using custom clusters and profiles.
Quantum Scalar Energy Pendant promotes positive flow of energy and helps to maintain energy balance.
This seems to be a common theme with European manufacturers of Home Automation kit, but this is the first time I’ve seen two different plug standards shipped in the same product. Each of the modules has a little sticker on with its unique ID, and there’s a duplicate sticker for each, which is a nice touch. Having formed your network, you can move the modules around as much as you like, as long as each module can see at least one other, the network will self-organise. Plugwise have wisely used some sort of cross-platform UI toolkit to make their interface the same everywhere, the practical upshot of which is, you get to experience the same dreary, ugly interface everywhere.


If you don’t have data for an entire day though, it shows you a subset like the second image above. The app software for the most part functions well, but is visually hideous, and the gateway needs some firmware fixes to survive a power cut, but this is all stuff Plugwise can address with future updates. This is especially attractive to a manufacturer because a custom end device requires a custom Zigbee Controller, and there are better margins there, plus you get to up-sell whatever cloud service the whole shooting match is hooked up to, *and* you get to mandate the network security. You wouldn’t need a fancy proprietary ZC, just something that can securely bridge packets between your WPAN and the internet.
Plugwise encourage you to download and print an inventory sheet to which these stickers can be attached so you can plan your installation. The Wi-fi setup involves the usual rigmarole of changing your settings to use the Stretch as an access point, entering your real access point settings, and then switching back again. When I came to generate the screenshots today, I discovered that I didn’t have quite as much historical data as I expected. By restoring the energy balance in the body this pendant helps one to maintain health and well-being.
This also means you get clunky windowing and navigation widgets, which behave differently and are considerably clumsier than whichever native ones you’re used to.
It’s not exactly easy on the eye either, but it does offer more functionality like grouping your modules together in to named groups. Once the system has bedded in, modules seem to report in every hour or so: that is to say, they report instantaneous changes almost immediately, but logging data is uploaded in chunks of one hour.
Either that or they throw away the hourly data after a couple of days have passed, I can’t quite tell.
Worse, I didn’t seem to have any live readings either, and I was no longer able to control the modules. Which is a pity, because (kettle aside) it shows that by far the biggest consumer is my gaming PC, even in standby. If ZigBee is to compete with Z-Wave it needs to make itself more universally compatible and less fragmented, every implementation of Zigbee I see seems to bolt on their own proprietary protocol. I can find no documentation or web-page to verify this as fact, but that seems to be what’s going on from observation. Installing the Mac app led to all sorts of complaints about not being able to see the controller. After a bit of digging, it appears that the Stretch controller forgets all its network settings in the event of a power cut.
You might think that that little zoom slider at the top would help, but that just makes the circles at the top smaller, i.e. This seems to me a major short-coming in a system whose sole purpose is to monitor power usage.



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