Coding and Dismantling Stuff

Don't thank me, it's what I do.

About the author

Russell is a .Net developer based in Lancashire in the UK.  His day job is as a C# developer for the UK's largest online white-goods retailer, DRL Limited.

His weekend job entails alternately demolishing and constructing various bits of his home, much to the distress of his fiance Kelly, 3-year-old daughter Amelie, and menagerie of pets.


  1. Fix dodgy keywords Google is scraping from my blog
  2. Complete migration of NHaml from Google Code to GitHub
  3. ReTelnet Mock Telnet Server à la Jetty
  4. Learn to use Git
  5. Complete beta release FHEMDotNet
  6. Publish FHEMDotNet on Google Code
  7. Learn NancyFX library
  8. Pull RussPAll/NHaml into NHaml/NHaml
  9. Open Source Blackberry Twitter app
  10. Other stuff

FHEM Setup on Windows Home Server - Part 2 of 2

In Part 1 of this tutorial, we installed Perl onto our server, we setup a CUL device and did some basic testing to prove the hardware was working and installed correctly.  In this second part, we're going to install FHEM, configure a basic FHEM setup and install the necessary add-ons to Perl to get it all working.


Categories: FHEM
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FHEM Setup on Windows Home Server - Part 1 of 2

For a few weeks now I've been running an FHEM installation on my laptop so I can play around with the software and get a feel for it, the time has come to install on our Windows home server.  Hopefully this will be a straight-forward process, let's see.

This first on a two-part series looks at installing the Perl environment, installing a CUL USB computer controller and testing the hardware using PuTTY.


Categories: FHEM
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Spammed to oblivion

Hi all,


Just a quick one, my last post got spammed to oblivion with bogus comments - I've just deleted ALL comments, so if yours was amongst those deleted and it was a genuine comment, sincere apologies, I've now enabled Recaptcha in the hope it helps!


Categories: Blogging & Social
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Logging FHT Updates to a Database


The front end I'm developing for FHEM has a requirement to draw charts and give access to historic data. The existing front ends seem to (from my very limited research) handle this based on text log files. However, I'd like to be able to handle a range of ultimate interface designs without changing my server, so I'd like the websites to have access to the raw data directly, and a flat text file is not a performant way to do this.

One option is to store log data in a database format, where it can be quickly and efficiently queried, it can be flexibly cached at the web end and different views of the data can easily be constructed for different scenarios. Fortunately, there's already an FHEM contribution to do just this called "dblog", which in the distribution seems to live in a folder called "contrib/dblog". A cursory glance over the "" file suggests that the extension supports the FHT devices, so off we go.


Categories: FHEM
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FHEM and FHT Home Automation for Windows

Hi all (well currently that will just be me as this is my first post!),

Over the last few weeks I've been playing around with some home automation, specifically a heating control system comprising the following elements:

  • Electronic central heating radiator valves
  • Electronic room thermostats (FHT80 I think they're called)
  • A USB wireless computer interface (a CUL device from the folks at
  • A server controller application called FHEM

There have been some fairly sizable stumbing blocks to getting the above to play nicely, hence me starting to blog about my experiences, so that hopefully others can follow in my footsteps and maybe these devices will become a little more popular here in the UK.  The following three problems stick out in my mind right now...

Language Barrier - These devices are manufacturer and distributed primarily in Germany, there is a whole load of information about these devices available in German, but not so much in English!  And sadly I don't speak German or have any immediate plans to learn the language.

Operating System Barrier - The software that most people seem to use for serious computer control of these devices is targeted at the Linux OS, although as it's a Perl app it is possible to get it running on Windows, but there's a fair bit of tweaking that would be nice to have documented!

Unofficial Hardware and Software - The guys who manufacture these wireless devices also sell their own computer interfaces (FHZ1000 and FHZ1300 are the two that spring to mind) with their own software, but high cost of the official device and the closed nature of the official software have led me down alternative unsupported routes.

Well that should do for an introduction - at the moment I've got the stuff setup in a test environment on my laptop, and I'm working on some upgrades to the FHEM software, including a brand spanking new .Net front end, so expect my next blog post to go into a little more detail on these areas.


Categories: FHEM
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