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The 2 year update. Driveway sensor solved and lighting control

Posted by Shinyshoes , 02 November 2015 · 1073 views

Sheesh, its been 2 years?  wow.  I guess I should adjust my expectations of how often I update this blog.  
 
I do have a semi-valid excuse this time.  My wife and I welcomed our 2nd child to the family in January 2014.  Its amazing how much time the munchkins take away from my hobbies.  
 
Anyhow first the things I have completed:
 
I think i finally solved my driveway sensor problems.  I built a detached garage on my property in August of 2014.  During the build process, the contractor had to dig a trench across my lawn to get power to the garage.  I took the liberty of using the trench to bury a couple of cat 5 cables to the garage as well as a 22/2 cable to the fence line.  I then hired an underground sprinkler company to come and use their fancy sprinkler line burying tractor to run 350 ft sprinkler line from the fence to the gate. While he was there, I had him bury 2 lines to the fireplace area so I can install speakers there at a later date.  I put the cable attached to the driveway sensor probe in the sprinkler line and then spliced it to the cable I buried in the trench. End result?  The "wireless" transmitter is now in my house, mounted on the wall a couple of inches from the receiver.  I have not had a problem with reception since.  I even took the liberty of actually burying the probe.  I have been talking about doing this since 2011 and finally can say with some certainty that this issues is finally dead.  It has been working flawlessly for about a year now so I cant complain.
 
I am still (i know!) working on finishing the basement.  I have all the framing, electrical, plumbing rough-ins, and mechanical work complete.  I still have a few low voltage lines as well as some central vacuum ports to plumb in.  As I mentioned in a previous post, I have installed UPB light switches in the basement.  I was having great success with them and it has started to bleed elsewhere on our property:
1) I installed a UPB switch for the soffit plug for Christmas lights.  I then ran a script that turns on the Christmas lights for 10 minutes when the driveway sensor is tripped or a garage door is opened.  This way we get to enjoy our lights when we leave or arrive home and don't waste power by leaving them on all the time.  
2) I installed UPB switches in the new detached garage so I can turn on and off the interior and exterior lights from inside our house.  
3) I also installed the light switch that has a switch on top and 4 buttons on the bottom in place of our exterior light switch.  I set up triggers in premise for the buttons on the bottom to turn off the basement lights, turn on/off the shop lights, suspend the driveway sensor for 3 hours (for mowing the lawn) and to re-enable the driveway sensor.  
 
I seem to have some communication issues sometimes with UPB/Premise but most of the time it works very well.
 
I also purchased a NV-M3 music server for the Nuvo Whole House Audio System.  It worked great and I was able to load all of my songs onto it and have it set up as a source for the keypads.  I was really happy with it. Until I read about its replacement, the NV-MPS4.  The only real differences between the M3 and the MPS4 are 1) the way they sync (M3 uses windows media player and the MPS4 uses its own software) and 2) the MPS4 has an android app that allows you control of the entire system. Not just the songs and stuff on the MPS4.  It allows you to turn on and off zones, change the volume, change the source, everything.  That would be super handy when we are on the deck or down by the fireplace.  I had to have one.  I started watching on Ebay and Kijiji and found one at a reasonable price and it was only an hour away.  I have since got it hooked up and it works flawlessly.  I am very happy with it.  Now i just need to sell the M3.
 
I also upgraded the security camera for the driveway sensor. I wasnt happy with the resolution i was getting with the camera I bought so I bought one with much higher resolution. I replaced the camera on the house for the driveway sensor and I'm quite happy with it.  I have already mentioned the new detached garage. I decided to put the old camera on the detached garage and point it towards the house.  This way I have 1 camera to see who comes in my yard and 1 camera to see what they are doing when they are there.
 
Finally, At the request of my daughter (4 year old a the time) and my wife I retrofitted a speaker and Nuvo controller into the main bathroom.  I even asked my wife if we should put one there when we were building and she said no.  sigh.  I have spare cat 5 cables in the attic but I didn't run any spare speaker cable.  I had to fish speaker cable up from the downstairs mechanical room up to the attic and figured while I was running speaker cable I would run a cat 5 with them.  I got that done and the speaker installed.  My daughter is ecstatic and now she spends twice as long in the shower.......
 
I think that's it for things I have got done.  As for other things going on:
 
I think i have given up on the Yamaha driver.  I purchased a used Integra dtr 50.2 so I could utilize the HDMI Switching.  I have gotten as far as hooking up the HTPC, the satellite receiver and the Wii but I have not moved the speakers over or the xbox yet.  I have not tried the Premise Integra driver yet either.  This will tie me over until I get the basement media room complete and have a need for a 2nd receiver.  I will make a decision on the Yamaha at that point.
 
I also havn't made much progess on the MSC400/MX900 remote control situation.  The origional MSC400 I bought kicked the bucket so I have since bought a replacement.  To be honest, I don't even think it is plugged in at the moment.
 
That about it for now.  Ill try to keep you updated.




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