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Author Topic: WINBOOK TW802  (Read 402 times)


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« on: November 30, 2017, 01:17:08 PM »

In my experience Active Home Pro does not require a lot of computer horse power.  Not to diminish the importance of X10 control, but I usually took the oldest desktop for a last run with AHP.  Although desktops consume less power that many servers, there is power consumption.  Also, desktop box, monitor, keyboard, mouse and UPS take up space.  So, I wanted a simple, low power alternative.  Did I say low cost as well. 

iPads and Chrome tablets are fairly common.  Windows tablets not so much.  I started to research and found a couple of interesting candidates.  One was the Winbook TW802, which has a full-size USB port.  I go into Best Buy and am looking at numerous tablets, the sales guy comes up with a big positive smile on his face and asks if I would like help.  Yes – I said, I am looking for a Winbook.  Smile went to frown, and he walked off.  Did not know I needed my political correctness at Best Buy.  Turns out Micro Center had been selling the TW802 and TW101 at a deep discount.  So much so, people were buying at Micro Center and reselling on eBay for a fair profit.  I bought a TW802 at MC for $79.00.  The TW802 can still be purchased.  and comes with Windows 8.1 Home.

My plan was to play with the tablet for a little while and then put it into service for a small X10 control center.  I did.  About that time Microsoft started rolling out Windows 10 upgrade for free.  The TW802 upgraded just fine.  I knew I was going to have some trouble getting AHP running because of the bankruptcy.  LifeJacket did the job, I just needed a different Volume ID program to write the new ID.  Mounted the TW802, CM15A, XPPF filter for the wall warts, an APC USB HUB and power boxes on a 2’X2’ board and screwed to the basement wall.

I already had a USB wireless key board and mouse- therefore the USB hub.  Everything worked well.  I created a local user without password and set up the tablet, so it would boot and start up AHP unattended.  I really liked the touch screen for flipping switches or starting macros.  However, the 8” screen is just a little on the small size for doing changes or even Windows updates.  The tablet has a micro HDMI jack.  So, I ran a micro to full HDMI cable to a TV close by.  This worked for a few days, then the tablet started crashing.  Never did a full trouble shoot.

I had a USB to HDMI converter the I ran over to a near by TV.  The tablet stopped crashing and ran this way for quite a while.  The only problem was that the tablet screen would flip from horizontal to vertical even when I locked the display.

I knew that upgrading the tablet to Win pro would eliminate the keyboard, mouse and TV.  Buying a software upgrade that cost more that the hardware was a little hard to take.  One of my concerns was if the TW802 would except the upgrade.  Did not want to explain to the wife that I rolled down the window and pitched out a handful of cash.  Finally bought the upgrade.  It went in just fine.  Now I could access the tablet via Remote Desktop Connector.  USB hub, keyboard, mouse and TV all went away.  Worked well.  One twist, instead of logging off RDC, I would reboot the tablet.  That would auto login the local user account and restart AHP.

I don’t have X10 cameras anymore or anything else hooked to the tablet.  So, cannot say how additional equipment will function.   

Recently, Microsoft has been doing some heavy up dates, even includes Cortana talking through the steps.  Well, I had my brain switched to dumb and made a mess of the tablet.  The tablet is fine now, but AHP not so much.  I am really thankful, Tuicemen’s Lifejacket gave me an extra two years of AHP.  What has it been, four years without an update on AHP?

I moved on.  Won’t be buying X10 cameras again, since I bought another brand.  My neighbor figured out that his IR TV remote would trigger my backyard light IR sensor.  So, he doesn’t even need to get out of his chair to add my light to his backyard.  X10 security is not going to happen here.  That leaves me with just lights and a few fans.  I have been looking at alternatives ever since AHP went belly up.  Many are easy to sort out since these do not support X10.  Finally needed to make the push.

Homegenie has promise, but with the main programmer out of the picture it too may crash.  I am giving it a try mainly because it supports X10 and other platforms. AHP is back on a HP DC 7600SFF.  Actually, it never left.  I had been using it for offline editing.  Not sure about Homegenie on the TW802.  Got a rough start with the USB interface.  Will keep going.  Hope it works as well or better than AHP.

I think tablets will be a valued addition to home automation.  Raspberry Pi or similar products are great.  Especially for applications that need specific hardware requirements.  However, tablets include a screen, a host of connections and built in battery back up for a lower cost.  Micro Center has dropped the TW802.  Not sure why.  Walmart currently has window based tablets under $200.

Although this post is about use of tablets in Home Automation, one last comment about X10.  Finally had a XPS3 switch fail on me.  Over 10 years old.  Bought a XPS4.  Really nice.  I am really looking forward to the new products being worked on.

Model TW802
Processor Intel Atom Baytrail-TZ3735F Quad-Core 1.33GHz
Memory 2GB
Storage 32GB
MicroSD slot for additional storage
Screen 8” 1280x800, touch screen
2 megapixel cameras front/back
G Sensor, Light Sensor
WIFI 802.11b/g/n
Bluetooth 4.0
micro HDMI
1 x USB 2.0
1 x microSD Slot
1 x Micro USB
1 x Micro HDMI
1 x 3.5mm Audio Headphone/Microphone Combo Jack
OS Windows 8.1 home

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