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  • Melesse
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    It defaults open? Weird. There's no polling, alarms when a sensor stops responding? I can understand wanting to avoid false alarms if it automatically calls the police. How disappointing.

    Mel

    Leave a comment:


  • cronek
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    Please don't use wireless X10 sensors for any type of security system. They work at 310MHz in the US and 433MHz in Europe which can be easily jammed, and a jammed sensor won't generate any alarm. Practically all wireless alarm systems use these frequencies and are set up not to trigger when they don't hear from a sensor (as to avoid false alarms).

    You can get the jammers cheaply on hongkong "electronic gadget" sites as "car remote jammers". They have a really impressive range so one can basically black out your security system and those of your neighbours all at once.

    Leave a comment:


  • Melesse
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    The iPad thing was almost exactly what I thought of. What I was looking for was a security system. I don't want an off the shelf Brinks system that just calls the cops and the company, I want a system that will feed into a slate of some kind, show a floorplan of the house, and then show the rooms where the sensors have been tripped. No big alarms, just enough to wake me up, and then I can observe where the intruder is in the house while I make the decision to call the police or not. Basically a bigger and much more useful remote, where not only does it tell me somethings up, but I can go to camera feeds to assess the situation.

    I have seen several wireless systems that you can buy piecemeal and rely on Zigbee for communications. It's something I've been considering for about 6 months. Most of the websites I have seen have the feel of scams and swindles, and I've been having trouble finding good information. This has been helpful, and I'm looking at X10 stuff right now. Thanks!

    Mel

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  • cronek
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    Originally posted by streaker69 View Post
    Research which application you're going to be using first. Many of them use ActiveX controls, so you're stuck using a browser that supports that. I haven't done much looking around at newer control software so there may be other options available now.
    I'm used to writing everything myself so I don't think I'll be using activeX controls :)

    Leave a comment:


  • hexjunkie
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    I had a similar idea using the iPad.. yeah i KNOW its worthless.. but I'm going to buy one to play with and see if I can't install a working copy of a linux disto like Ubuntu and then modify it for touchscreen control.

    With the lowest model being around $500 I don't think it would be a bad idea.

    The control unit I am designing would be another mac mini in the same closet at my web servers and networking hardware.

    As far as cabling, I have already come to grips with the fact that I'd be replacing at least 2 sheets of drywall per room so I'm budgeting for that after the down payment.

    I'll try to compile a list of "dream hardware" and post it soon.

    Smarthome[dot]com is a good place for hardware that I have found, anyone else have any other good sources?

    Leave a comment:


  • streaker69
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    Originally posted by cronek View Post
    I'm planning on putting an X10 system in my recently acquired house as well.

    An idea I had is to get a bunch of semi-old PDA's with wifi, and run a webbrowser in fullscreen displaying a custom web interface, and mount this on the wall in a nice-looking enclosure/flush mount. Then it'll only need a 5v supply and no control connections or PC's, which will save a lot of wiring trouble. Plus with the prices of PDA's on ebay I'll be able to put one in every room.
    Research which application you're going to be using first. Many of them use ActiveX controls, so you're stuck using a browser that supports that. I haven't done much looking around at newer control software so there may be other options available now.

    I have an Audrey in my kitchen that I was using to control the system, and I currently have 3 touchscreen machines sitting in a closet that were pulled out of service that could be easily repurposed for a control system.

    Geeks.com, I saw yesterday had touchscreen displays for under $400, which isn't a bad price. I also have a Modicon Compact PLC sitting in my garage that I would love to get integrated, as that would be the ultimate in home automation, but alas, I don't have the time to work on it.

    Leave a comment:


  • cronek
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    I'm planning on putting an X10 system in my recently acquired house as well.

    An idea I had is to get a bunch of semi-old PDA's with wifi, and run a webbrowser in fullscreen displaying a custom web interface, and mount this on the wall in a nice-looking enclosure/flush mount. Then it'll only need a 5v supply and no control connections or PC's, which will save a lot of wiring trouble. Plus with the prices of PDA's on ebay I'll be able to put one in every room.

    Leave a comment:


  • streaker69
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    Originally posted by bjaming View Post
    anyone have any experience with http://linuxmce.com/ ?
    Nope, but I'll probably be playing with it soon, thanks!

    Leave a comment:


  • bjaming
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    anyone have any experience with http://linuxmce.com/ ?

    Leave a comment:


  • streaker69
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    Originally posted by hexjunkie View Post
    I have heard about X10 having issues with "false positives" when there are power surges in the house. Have you experienced any problems like the lights turning on and off when there is no movement in the room or signal to turn them on?

    I am leaning more towards the Inseton system because it is compatible with the X10 for when I have something that doesn't depend precision (like a basement light or hall/closet lights) but the connection-oriented design behind the protocol for things that will such as exterior door locks and garage door opener, and the ability to work with radio signals when there is no hard wiring (such as a separate main entering the house for power).
    I have experienced no false positives with my system. I am not using the X10 computer interface though, I'm using a third party one, and I think that has a better false rejection than the X10 one does. I'm also using another device, but I cannot remember what it's called since it's been about 7 years since I installed. It's one that allows for better reception of the wireless devices, I'll go down later and see what it is.

    I've also gotten the device that ties the A and B sides of your breaker panel together to allow passage of X10 signals between the two. It's a simple thing that plugs into your dryer outlet. Does a capacitive coupling of the two phases.

    I'm using the X10 Decora style switches in various places through the house which turn on in when the Hawkeye's detect movement. I have X10 floodlights outside and my lamppost and lights over exterior doors are using X10 switches. I did have a big red button that I was playing with as a panic button. Press it, and it turns on all lights in the entire house that are controlled, it's good if you need to get out of the house quickly, or you want to scare the things that go bump in the night.

    There's a lot of options available now that weren't around when I started doing my system. But what I'm doing works fine. You can end up spending thousands on really complex systems, things from watering the lawn to closing drapes and controlling pool pumps.

    Leave a comment:


  • hexjunkie
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    I have heard about X10 having issues with "false positives" when there are power surges in the house. Have you experienced any problems like the lights turning on and off when there is no movement in the room or signal to turn them on?

    I am leaning more towards the Inseton system because it is compatible with the X10 for when I have something that doesn't depend precision (like a basement light or hall/closet lights) but the connection-oriented design behind the protocol for things that will such as exterior door locks and garage door opener, and the ability to work with radio signals when there is no hard wiring (such as a separate main entering the house for power).

    Leave a comment:


  • streaker69
    replied
    Re: Home Automation

    Originally posted by hexjunkie View Post
    Hello everybody,

    I am in the beginning stages of purchasing my first home this year. I have been eying home automation for about the last 6 months or so as a fun outlet and a source of never ending projects. With that said I know there are several systems to chose from: X10, Inseton, Linux Home Automation (xAP protocol), etc.. )

    I am assuming some of you have dabbled in this or perhaps a few of you design and build for the makers of these systems.

    Just wondering what types of systems you guys have built and what snags /tips and tricks that you have learned by doing it yourself.

    All advise is welcome :)
    I have X10 stuff throughout my house to turn on lights so that no one has to go into a dark room downstairs. I'm using the X10 Hawkeye's as sensors with HomeSeer and a plugin to monitor the Hawkeyes and turn on the lights when there's movement and turn them off when there isn't.

    I intended to eventually do HVAC as well, but not moving forward on that until I install a new furnace and central AC system.

    I also have surveillance cameras around my place with the output of a Quad processor being transmitted through my CATV network so that they can be viewed on channel 92 on all the TV's in the house. Don't know how Comcast's switch to Digital is going to affect this plan though.

    Leave a comment:


  • hexjunkie
    started a topic Home Automation

    Home Automation

    Hello everybody,

    I am in the beginning stages of purchasing my first home this year. I have been eying home automation for about the last 6 months or so as a fun outlet and a source of never ending projects. With that said I know there are several systems to chose from: X10, Inseton, Linux Home Automation (xAP protocol), etc.. )

    I am assuming some of you have dabbled in this or perhaps a few of you design and build for the makers of these systems.

    Just wondering what types of systems you guys have built and what snags /tips and tricks that you have learned by doing it yourself.

    All advise is welcome :)
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