Wow! I like the Blacksumac Piper gadget a lot!

Hi all,

I just had this show up.  I supported them early on and today their product showed up.  I am talking about the Blacksumac Piper  - a very cool gadget.  They call it Home Security and automation in a smart little package.  And they got it right.  It took me less than 30 minutes to get it working.  And in the middle of it the little whippersnapper informed me it was doing an upgrade, but it seemed to keep a lot of the system up while it did this.  My less than 30 minutes did not include any of the Z-wave accessories - yes, it supports those.  I will not talk much of the install process as it is pretty easy.  I will mention it requires you to type in the password to your WiFi which I don’t think is necessary - NEST doesn’t ask you to do that for example.  But here is a tour and I think you will be surprised.

Here is what it looks like when on guard.

Piper on my desk
Piper on my desk

Here is where it starts getting very interesting.  First up is the dashboard.

This is where you can turn on or off the alarm and monitoring.  You also have a Vacation mode (and a Stay along with Away) which is handy.  But you also have a Status area too.  Note also the outside and inside temperatures.  You can check the Event log - where the events can be expanded for more info, and see any recordings that you may have.  The gear at the top right is for Settings.  Not many to worry about.

Here is the Events list for my Piper.  It appears it doesn’t log enabling the alarm or turning it off.  Seems odd.  I am  in Stay mode right now, and I made a loud noise, near the Piper, so I get a push notice, and it was logged in the event log so that is good.

List of events for my Piper
List of events for my Piper

And here you can see one of them expanded.

I love how they provide this sort of info.  I do like knowing what is going on.

Here is the Vitals area.

You can see quite a lot here - and of course you would see more if my Piper had been running longer.  But from the top we see outside temperature, followed by inside, than humidity.  After humidity, you get ambient light and sound.  Last is motion.  I will use this for a bit and see how theses indicators turn out and share a shot of them with more info.

On the Rules tab we can do rules for the different modes - Stay, Away, Vacation and Notify Only.  So you can do things like alert on loud noises in Stay in case you break something, but you can turn everything on for vacation.  Below you can see the possibilities for Vacation.

You can see a little more of what you get to decide for each of the rules above.

So you have some good choices to start with.

I have some Z-Wave devices to get going, and I am curious how the Vitals area will fill in.  I like the Support area of the Piper web site.  It does explain things like what the different colors of the LED on Piper is, and more.  Plus in the community you have a guy who has done a very well thought out wish list.    I think that geofencing, accelerometer, IFTT, battery levels, and web support so I can interact with my Piper from my computer when traveling are key.  But make no mistake, this is a cool gadget with real capabilities now, and a rich future!

It turns out that right now they do not support more than one Piper in the UI.  They will support up to five and I believe that is later this month.  Because I think I need another one!

This is a short review and introduction since I was so impressed.  I will provide more info as time progresses, as well I will update some of the screenshots when they are more interesting.

Alert: this has been added after I released this blog.  More stuff will be added in new blogs, but in case someone only reads this one I thought it important enough to add here.  The Piper application on your iPhone requires a specific non standard inbound port to be open in your firewall.  If you have a firewall like UPnP enabled ones you will not know as it will open the appropriate port.  But of course I did not know this and I do not use UPnP firewalls.  So I need to open TCP 7477 to get things to work.

So thanks to Blacksumac for a great little product - and a Canadian company!

Update: 2/6/14 1646 - added nicer picture of vitals and events so there was more information to see.  Also added the alert above.


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