Is Everyone still using xAP ?

3 replies [Last post]
United Kingdom
Joined: 22 Nov 2012

The forums are fairly quiet these days and most HA talk on the web varies around MQTT, NodeRed, Node.JS, Z-wave and OpenHAB

No offence to Brett & Dereks hard work the HAH xAP system works great for me and many others but i struggle to encourage others into it

they tend to head over to OpenHabs site and have a MQTT broker up and running in little or no time

with that said i wonder if we should be looking at keeping up with other technologies to stay along side the game and not behind it.

thanks Andrew

Providence, United States
Joined: 9 Jan 2010
Andrew,I hear you and no


I hear you and no offence taken.   People migrate to where the most development work is being done.  At the time I started playing with xAP there was really not much momentum in the IoT world.  In fact I'm not sure that term existed at the time.  Pachube was only data aggregator about for the emerging IoT market, nows its one of many.  Everybody wants to be the new kid on the block with something shiney.  I did write a MQTT/xAP gateway when I was playing around with the ESP8266 chip.  xAP can play in this space if its needs to.  I guess its all about integration and not throwing everything away just because its not "sexy" anymore.

The thing for me is that xAP does everything that I want and it runs 24/7 without ever having to reboot, restart, or monitor it.
I want rock solid stablity front and center.   I have not experienced a crash from the xAP code in years.

Some of these tools that are being used now would have required beefy computers to run them on but with the advent of the PI, BeagleBone and other small form computers its shifting what has traditionally been the realm of the "embed market" to a larger audience of "desktop developers" who have no concept of running things withing resource contraints.

They can use all their fancy tools and frameworks to create what would not have been possible in a traditional embedded world.  We are working in whole new spare where 1-2Gb of memory on a small form factor is normal vs 16Mb on the livebox.
This memory difference is not even in the same ballpark and it opens up many more possiblities.

Javascript, OpenHAB, MQTT these are all resource beasts which are not a problem for a PI. But remember the PI did not exist when I started nor did many of these other small form factor computers so I used what was cheap and available (livebox).

For me xAP has been a great learning experience and hacking a 10 GBP router to make it something more has been fun.  It was done for the sheer enjoyment of doing it.  I hope those that have hacked around with have had as much fun.  Time is my enemy for hobbies these days so I'd probably go with OpenHAB as a turnkey solution.


Glasgow, United Kingdom
Joined: 26 Oct 2009
Horses for courses

Hi Andrew,

Well, it's pretty much like Brett says. We both do IT for dayjobs and the industry is such a fashion show. Everyone jumps on the latest bandwagon. The hardware races ahead. Sadly, the software and the software architecture is still firmly in the slow lane. 

The reason for the Livebox as a platform was largely driven by the lovely MMJ connector that exposes the serial port. It was just begging to be re-purposed. Other little bits of hardware came from my collection of 'bits and pieces' that lives in my basement workshop.

xAP and the plugboard are just ideal for adding software support to HA setups. Solid as a rock in operation (SWMBO thinks that the Joggler 'just knows' what the temperature is outside). It's always on and always working. This isn't an accident, Brett architected the software environment in the HAH before developing it.

All done and documented just for the fun of it and the joy of learning new stuff. If I was ever going to look at something a bit more trendy, I'd probably start with MQTT.


United Kingdom
Joined: 22 Nov 2012
Thank you Brett & Derek for

Thank you Brett & Derek for your wonderful replies.

I also do IT for a dayjob (When i'm not googling HA info) HA becomes a hobby and a passion and one of those projects for me thats always in development stage...

SYMBO has probably comes to terms with boxes of wires (as she calls them) hanging around performing simple temperature collection and so on plus its a talking point for anyone who comes over and probably regrets asking me what are those things (nodes) hanging from the picture frame over there

Derek, the MMJ connector is the first point i make when im explaining why its a repurposed orange router to friends, i want them to understand the hacking thats took place to make this all possible

Brett, i hear you 100% on the hardware front, the electonic hobby world has grown exponentially even in the past 5 years and we really have so many options its difficult to stay ahead of the game
with that said progression and change are what we live for.

Yes OpenHAB with Mqtt is very powerful and probably as you have both said the way to go however...personally i think for a tinkering platform and a true DIY approach the xAP driven HAH has the edge

An example would be a URFtx and or URFrx solution on OpenHAB requires an off the shelf transiever at 100 euros -
we can achieve these on the HAH with a couple of cheap £4 433mhz moudules and bretts coding efforts.

I have been playing with OpenHAB in the background as general interest from friends has spurred me on, I have had some luck in having it run along side the xAP modules on my Beaglebone Black so could be best of both worlds but for now for me xAP lives on :)

Thank you to both of you for your efforts.


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