Niles Audio Receiver - Introduction and Installation

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Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:47 pm
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Niles Audio Receiver - Introduction and Installation

Quick Download: Plugin v2.0.0 | GitHub Repository

Introducing the Niles Audio Receiver Plugin
This Indigo 6.0+ plugin allows Indigo to control a Niles Audio Multi-Zone Receiver (ZR-4 or ZR-6) without the need to purchase additional keypads or control points from Niles Audio (though the plugin can work in tandem with those as well.) This plugin connects via a serial connection to the Niles Audio Receiver and is able to both read and set nearly all aspects of the device.

INDIGO 6 IMPORTANT NOTE: The Indigo 6 version of this plugin is end-of-life with respect to new development, however the latest stable version on Indigo 6 is still available on the releases page and is working as expected at the moment. Please consider an upgrade to Indigo 7 to support further development of our favorite HA platform!

Hardware Requirements
This plugin should work with both the four and six zone receivers, ZR-4 and ZR-6 respectively, from Niles Audio. It does not require any additional hardware (such as keypads or touchscreens) for setup or operation... in fact, this plugin was originally conceived and built to avoid spending additional money on those! The plugin is able to control up to two additional slave ZR-6 receivers, allowing up to 18 zones of distributed audio.

Installation and Configuration
Downloading the Plugin Package
The latest version of the plugin is v2.0.0 and may be downloaded here.

Previous and pre-release versions of the plugin are available for download in the GitHub Releases section... those versions in beta will be marked as a Pre-Release and will not appear in update notifications. Once installed, you may use the Check for Updates option in the plugin's menu to check for and download updates.

Configuring the Plugin
Upon first installation you will be asked to configure the plugin; please see the instructions on the configuration screen for more information. Most users should be fine with the default values.
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Plugin Devices
Receiver Devices
You will need to create a new Niles Audio Receiver device in Indigo for each MASTER receiver:
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You do NOT create a device for slave receivers attached to the master via a control cable; however, the plugin does support multiple master receivers if you have that need.

In the Device Settings you will need to set a couple of options such as selecting the serial port and, optionally, adding source information / labels:
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Audio Zones
After the receiver has been created, you must create an Indigo device for each zone attached to the receiver (or its slave receivers):
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In the Device Settings you will need to set a couple of options including selecting the receiver to which this zone is attached and the number of the zone (on the receiver). Note that slave receivers continue the numbering scheme from the master, so for ZR-6 receivers the master's zones are numbered 1 to 6, the first slave 7 to 12 and the second slave 13 to 18.
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Available Actions
  • Party Zones - All Off / Mute All
    These two actions will turn off or mute all of the zones on the receiver that have been marked as part of the Party designation; by default if you have not setup this feature it will act on all zones.
  • Tune to Radio Station
    This will tune the receiver's radio station to the station requested; the entry may be in AM (XXXX) or FM (XXX.X) format.
  • Zone Power - Toggle / Set
    These actions control the Power On/Off state of a zone... Please note that the Toggle actually relies on the current state of the zone within the plugin, so if you have additional controls outside of Indigo (such as zone keypads) then be sure to enable the status polling in the receiver's device configuration screen.
  • Set Zone Source
    This action allows selection of the source of the audio to play on the zone.
  • Zone Volume - Set Value / Adjust Value
    This action will change the volume of the zone; the adjustment simply increments or decrements the volume similar to an up/down volume button. The Set value will allow you to set the volume to a specific value, but it must do so by internally using incremental up/down volume calls (this is a limitation of the Niles Audio control interface). To do this requires the current state of the zone so, as with the power, it is important to setup the status polling if you have external controls that may change the volume level without Indigo knowing.

    Please note that the Niles Audio Receivers prevent a rapid succession of commands, so adjusting the volume by large amounts is sometimes slow (it takes about 0.15 seconds to execute each unit of change).
  • Zone Mute - Toggle / Set
    These actions control the Mute On/Off state of a zone... Note that the Set action actually relies on the current state of the zone within the plugin since the receiver does not provide discrete on/off controls, so if you have additional controls outside of Indigo (such as zone keypads) then be sure to enable the status polling in the receiver's device configuration screen.
Available Device States
This plugin will track the current status/state of many of the properties of the zones attached to the device - such as power status, mute, volume, current source, bass and treble levels.

Posted on
Sat Jan 25, 2014 10:48 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Posts: 1780
Joined: Nov 13, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Niles Audio Receiver - Introduction and Installation

v1.0.6 Released
Niles Audio Receiver has been upgraded to v1.0.6, with the following changes:

  • Added additional error handling to avoid errors in the even the Niles Audio device sends back unexpected information (such as noise on the line or a disconnection).
  • Changed host web server for the download and versioning check

Posted on
Thu Jul 03, 2014 3:22 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Posts: 1780
Joined: Nov 13, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Niles Audio Receiver - Introduction and Installation

v1.0.9 Released
Niles Audio Receiver has been upgraded to v1.0.9, with the following changes:

  • Added a feature that will attempt to automatically reconnect to the Niles Audio device following a network interruption

Posted on
Tue Nov 04, 2014 3:27 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Posts: 1780
Joined: Nov 13, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Niles Audio Receiver - Introduction and Installation

v1.0.12 Released
Niles Audio Receiver has been upgraded to v1.0.12, with the following changes:

  • Improved plugin response time when multiple commands are sent in a short amount of time

Posted on
Sat Mar 21, 2015 9:27 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Posts: 1780
Joined: Nov 13, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Niles Audio Receiver - Introduction and Installation

v1.0.14 Released
Niles Audio Receiver has been upgraded to v1.0.14, with the following changes:

  • Made changes to make plugin compatible with Python v2.6 (so now is compatible with Yosemite-based Indigo installations)
  • Added new event that will fire whenever the plugin is updated
  • Added a graphical window for checking for updates (found via the Plugin's menu)

Posted on
Tue Feb 09, 2016 3:01 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Posts: 1780
Joined: Nov 13, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Niles Audio Receiver - Introduction and Installation

v1.0.19 Released
Niles Audio Receiver has been upgraded to v1.0.19, with the following changes:

  • Unicode support on devices names
  • Device state set as error on failure to connect / maintain connection

Posted on
Sat Nov 12, 2016 10:44 pm
RogueProeliator offline
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Posts: 1780
Joined: Nov 13, 2012
Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Re: Niles Audio Receiver - Introduction and Installation

v2.0.0 Released
Niles Audio Receiver has been upgraded to v2.0.0 and may be downloaded here. This release contains the following changes:

  • Updated to full Indigo 7 support
  • Updated the plugin to run without error on Python 2.7
  • Sped up Indigo's processing of zone updates when zone is On
  • Indigo 7 is required for this and all future plugin versions

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