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BIG Home Automation Project 2011


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#1 NewZealandHome

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 01:44 AM

Hi All,

Ok so its not going to be the BIGest project ever done, and it might take more than just 2011, but I can't change the title now :) lol.

I'm new to cocoontech, I'm just building my first home... I didn't even know this industry even existed. Great site you guys have here.

Are there any other forums that are good I can read?

I would like to start with home lighting, then set up some security features and irrigation, then set up some media center features. Please keep the thread to home lighting for now, else I'll get too overwhelmed. thanks.

1st Project Goal:
• Lighting Switches: 2011 style switches (must be a cat5 wired to each switch for reliability and google-like millisecond response times) lights must react to within 300ms of pressing the button.
• Lighting Dimmers: 1amp 240Volt AC for each lighting circuit in the house (should give me up to 200Watts per circuit?). (a dimmer normally comes in a 4 lighting circuit or 8 lighting circuit module)
• Lighting Relays: 10amp 240Volt AC for each lighting circuit in the house. (should give me up to 1000Watts per circuit?) (a relay is just like a normal computer controlled 240V switch: on/off, these can be bought individually or as a pack of 4,8,12)
• Lighting Wiring Plan: All lights in the house will be wired back to a central cupboard, where the dimmers and relays can turn them on and off, from a central control box or PC.
• Central Control Box or PC: Will use a miniPC. All controllers I have found are WindowsXP(or embedded) or Linux(or Android) based anyway. A miniLaptop with 128GB solidstate and battery (great for backup) will do just fine for reliability using Windows7 - should get close to 500+ days uptime. Will allow remote internet access to the lighting system, including Android and iPad/iPhone control via WiFi.

I will build an interface from the miniPC to the lighting bus.
next will be to build an interface to the Infrared and RS232 ports on the AV equipment.
next will be to build an interface to the Security equipment.
next will be to build an interface to the GPRS network to send txt messages if an intruder cuts the power and telephone wire, and Send via MMS any movement from internal cameras.

Wiring existing house lights back to a central point is not as hard as it sounds, it would not actually cost you that much if you have a single storey home. But this project is mostly from a new house build perspective.

Why are dimmers cool?
• A dimmer allows the lights to dim quickly as you press the off switch at the wall, makes for a cool house... you know you're in a home automated house when the lights turn themselves off by use of a quick dimming down to off action.
• With touchscreen phones these days, sliding a dimmer bar across the screen with your hand and watching the lights increase or decrease realtime, is very awesome.

Edited by NewZealandHome, 30 April 2011 - 10:54 AM.


#2 NewZealandHome

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 02:01 AM

My Lighting Evaluation so far (220V-240V)

                     | Score out of 10 for   | Overall system cost         |                              |                                                         |                      |
                     | switches style        | switches/dimmers/relays,etc |                              |        bus / wire technology                            |  OEM bus connector   |
---------------------+-----------------------+-----------------------------+------------------------------+---------------------------------------------------------+----------------------+
Clipsal (C-Bus)      |   10 / 10 LED Saturn  |   $24500NZD (Wiser)         | 2A Dimmer per circuit:$191NZD|    RS485? +35V 2wire(uses 2 twisted pairs together) 9600bps (aka C-Bus)   |  5000SM/2 |
                     |                       |                             |                              |                                                         | 
Vantage (Infusion)   |    9 / 10 Blue LED    |   $19075NZD (Infusion)      | 2A Dimmer per circuit:$202NZD|    RS485? +24/36V 2Wire  (aka Station Bus)              |     ?      
                     |                       |                             |                              |                                                    
Mode eDin (Control4) |    3 / 10             |                             |              ?               |    RS485? 4wire? (aka M-Bus)            
                     |                       |                             |                              |                                        
Phillips Dynalight   |    9 / 10             |                             |                              |     
                     |                       |                             |                              |    
Lutron Homeworks     |                       |                             |                              |            
                     |                       |                             |                              |    
HDL (Smart-HDL)      |                       |                             |                              |    Smart Bus 
                     |                       |                             |                              |    
HDL (KNX)            |                       |                             |                              |    KNX


Security Systems list to evaluate so far is:
NESS(ELK) M1
HAI Omni Pro Controller ($2800) HAI 16 Zone/16outputs expansion ($650)
DSC ($1000)
Ditec

Edited by NewZealandHome, 04 May 2011 - 07:31 AM.


#3 nzspark

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 04:58 AM

I'm in the same boat as you,building my first house and living in New Zealand.
I am going with C-BUS lighting, NESS(ELK) M1 alarm for security and automation and CQC for software to tie it all together.
Down in this part of the world half the products are not available, but products like CBUS are alot cheaper.
Would post links to get you started but as i'm a new member i need some posts under my belt.

#4 NewZealandHome

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 09:43 AM

I've only been researching for a week, seems everyone has lighting solutions for the the 220-240Volt market (NZ included), and is actively selling products.
Thats one of the biggest problems. lack of information.

Edited by NewZealandHome, 30 April 2011 - 10:41 AM.


#5 Dan (electron)

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Posted 29 April 2011 - 12:30 PM

Welcome to CT!
The ELK M1 is definitely a good choice, and they do have a CBUS interface for it. I would also take a look at UPB, which supports 220V, but might not be as affordable.

#6 nzspark

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 03:50 AM

being a registered electrician i have a fair idea of what is available in NZ.
Yes some of the other brands are available in NZ but the selection for a 230v product is very slim or very pricey.

Plaese let me know is you find a good source for 230v z-wave or UPB products

#7 NewZealandHome

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 09:58 AM

There is a lot of old technology around, lots of technologies have come and gone, and only a number of reliable standards remain.

I wrote a list of technologies as I came across them...

RS485
Twisted pair (2 wire) multi-point (i.e multi-drop daisy chain your switches or devices on the wired network) this entire length of wire multi-drops is called a 'Bus'. normally each device has two plugs, one for in, one for out, or you twist the wires together and screw into the same screw location. At each end of the 'Bus' you need to put terminators (a little resistor or plug) this stops the signals reflecting off the ends of the cables and coming back down the bus. Twisted pair is immune to noise and interference, makes it ideal for a 'Bus' up to 1000metres long. (See more detailed description below)
Ethernet
Twisted pairs Cat5 or Cat5e(shielded) or cat6 cable for Network cabling, used for sending HDMI high def also sometimes, can also send low power voltages down the wires to power devices this is called PoE (Power Over ethernet, the connectors at each end are called RJ45. All modern desktop and mini PCs have one of these plugs.
Z-Wave
New technology that uses radio signals to communicate between modules. Each module can act as a repeater, so range is not an issue, and each module can also report it's status. Signal transmissions are virtually guranteed by the use of a mesh network, and confirmation status is available. Switching of modules is faster and more reliable than with X10. Wireless broadcast commands only to those that are programmed to listen, each device is addressable, therefore provides smart network of routable wireless devices. There are 3 frequency models depending on your part of the world. Extends up to 120 meters. Supports 2 way communication. very fast... 50millisecond response time (0.05 seconds) ZenSys makes and sells these microchips at a low cost/high quantities of $1 each to OEMs.
USB
PCs, Laptops and mini laptops, and standalone Android devices all still have usb interfaces, it is the most common interface in the world. It allows for cheap USB multi port hubs and fast plug and play recognition. USB passthough is 1 millisecond, so it is very fast too.
You can get USB to Infrared, USB to RS232, USB to RS485, USB to Z-Wave, USB to Ethernet, USB to X10
Because of all the available USB adapters, this makes the ideal and cheapest solution for a central controller.
Infrared
These come in two styles: Transmitter (i.e remote) and Receiver i.e TV, Satellite or Cable box, AV (audio visual) equipment.
RS232
Most people recognize this as a 'com port' yes it is the same thing. This is used to send data and commands down a single straight wire pair (non twisted) these short lengths are useful for connecting AV equipment together so that they can communicate without the need of infrared adapters. RS232 can be easily prone to noise and interferance when used in long lengths of wire.
WiFi
Otherwise know as wireless b/g/n. N being the fastest. also known as 2.4Ghz wireless. also used in all laptops for wireless networking back to your ADSL internet router. Wireless N can be speeds up to 300Mbps. Definitely get a Wireless-N ADSL network router for your house.


Depreciating Standards I found:
UPB (old 2way PowerLine technology!? therefore its not 100% reliable?)
C-Bus (strange proprietary? RS485 two wire multi-point, 35V power is also on the same wires as the signal!?)
X10 (retrofitting houses will use this to get signals down the power lines when the AC signal crosses the 0volts mark, inherently unreliable as pressing two buttons at the same time will conflict!? therefore its not 100% reliable?) X10 doesn't generally support 2 way communication. X10 takes 2 seconds to send a command to activate. not very good for home automation lighting. X10 is generally only limited to 30meters
Zigbee (broadcast shortrange signals, within the house, broadcast storms means the same command gets broadcasted by each zigbee device leading to slow response times)

Edited by NewZealandHome, 01 May 2011 - 10:43 AM.


#8 NewZealandHome

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 10:10 AM

Differential signals with RS485: (source: lammertbies)
Longer distances and higher bit rates
One of the main problems with RS232 is the lack of immunity for noise on the signal lines. The transmitter and receiver compare the voltages of the data- and handshake lines with one common zero line. Shifts in the ground level can have disastrous effects. Therefore the trigger level of the RS232 interface is set relatively high at ±3 Volt. Noise is easily picked up and limits both the maximum distance and communication speed. With RS485 on the contrary there is no such thing as a common zero as a signal reference. Several volts difference in the ground level of the RS485 transmitter and receiver does not cause any problems. The RS485 signals are floating and each signal is transmitted over a Sig+ line and a Sig- line. The RS485 receiver compares the voltage difference between both lines, instead of the absolute voltage level on a signal line. This works well and prevents the existence of ground loops, a common source of communication problems. The best results are achieved if the Sig+ and Sig- lines are twisted. The image below explains why.


Noise in straight and twisted pair cables
Posted Image

In the picture above, noise is generated by magnetic fields from the environment. The picture shows the magnetic field lines and the noise current in the RS485 data lines that is the result of that magnetic field. In the straight cable, all noise current is flowing in the same direction, practically generating a looping current just like in an ordinary transformer. When the cable is twisted, we see that in some parts of the signal lines the direction of the noise current is the oposite from the current in other parts of the cable. Because of this, the resulting noise current is many factors lower than with an ordinary straight cable. Shielding—which is a common method to prevent noise in RS232 lines—tries to keep hostile magnetic fields away from the signal lines. Twisted pairs in RS485 communication however adds immunity which is a much better way to fight noise. The magnetic fields are allowed to pass, but do no harm. If high noise immunity is needed, often a combination of twisting and shielding is used as for example in STP, shielded twisted pair and FTP, foiled twisted pair networking cables. Differential signals and twisting allows RS485 to communicate over much longer communication distances than achievable with RS232. With RS485 communication distances of 1200 m are possible.

Differential signal lines also allow higher bit rates than possible with non-differential connections. Therefore RS485 can overcome the practical communication speed limit of RS232. Currently RS485 drivers are produced that can achieve a bit rate of 35 mbps.

Edited by NewZealandHome, 30 April 2011 - 10:37 AM.


#9 NewZealandHome

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 10:31 AM

I had a look inside a Clipsal C-bus microcontrolled switch. I think I can interface directly with that Bus system... Do Clipsal mind if I interface directly with their bus system?

Edited by NewZealandHome, 30 April 2011 - 10:34 AM.


#10 NewZealandHome

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Posted 30 April 2011 - 09:15 PM

updated 2nd post with system cost comparison.

#11 nzspark

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:32 AM

Yes Clipsal have a C-Bus Open Protocols website have no idea about how it works, I dont do software.

Have a read at the CIS (clipsal cbus) technical website there is docs for all their products.

You cannot buy american products they do not work at 230V you can use UK stuff but good luck getting someone to install it.

If you are not a registered electrician i think you are better off working out what you want your lighting to do and going to the yellow pages and find a automation installer. You cannot do the work yourself as you will not get a COC and it will be hard to find a electrician to finish work off and sign a COC for you.

I am going with cbus and ness as I can walk into my electrical wholesaler and get the parts within a day and i can do the work myself.
I am saving money buy using ness sensors and the M1 alarm to trigger events for my lighting - CBUS sensor 4 times the price.
Also using the M1 low voltage outputs where i can, saves me 4 times again.

You will find alot of the automation brands in New Zealand only let you install their product if you have done their training courses.

#12 NewZealandHome

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 01:34 AM

found some interesting details about z-wave and x10

Speed
Z-Wave:32x
X10: 1x

Avg. response time:
Z-Wave: 0.05 seconds (50 milliseconds). 9600bps
X10: 2.00 seconds (2000 milliseconds) 300bps

Recommended installation size
Z-Wave: Whole House
X10: 1-3 rooms

Maximum size
Z-Wave: 120 metres
X10: 30 metres

2 way communication
Z-Wave: Yes
X10: Limited

Edited by NewZealandHome, 02 May 2011 - 12:38 AM.


#13 nzspark

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 03:19 AM

just read your edited 1st post.

Why would you build your own lighting/pc/txt/security interfaces?
note also that cbus can tie the lot in for you without a pc, but it will cost you.

wiser(pc) $1100NZD (get this and you dont need a computer)
NIRT (IR control for equipment) $550NZD
5500CN (pc/rs232) $550NZD
M1 C-Bus Interface V3.00 (security) $350NZD
5100TAU (phone interface) $870NZD

My system i will have a clipsal PACA to program my cbus lighting logic

Cbus-M1 interface to the ness M1

Ness M1 doing security plus have pet aware dual sensors and door/window reed switches trigger logic in the cbus PACA
M1 will also control:
low voltage lighting for wardropes and cupboard lights.
24V coils for underfloor heating and ventilation system

Ness M1 to pc interface so pc can control
IR control of av equipment and appliance monitoring
Caller ID
Touch screens
Tablet PC's/ smart phone

All my logic will be in CBUS or M1 so i dont have to worry about a PC going down and taking my whole house out. The PC will only be used as a user interface and AV control.

#14 FrankMc

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 03:41 AM

I had a look inside a Clipsal C-bus microcontrolled switch. I think I can interface directly with that Bus system... Do Clipsal mind if I interface directly with their bus system?


Hi

Clipsal sell a sim module which allows you to talk to CBUS via ttl level rs232...

5000SM/2.....theres been some recent chat on the CBUS forums regarding it...

http://www.cbusforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=6163

HTH
Frank

Edited by FrankMc, 01 May 2011 - 03:43 AM.


#15 FrankMc

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Posted 01 May 2011 - 03:48 AM

just read your edited 1st post.

Why would you build your own lighting/pc/txt/security interfaces?
note also that cbus can tie the lot in for you without a pc, but it will cost you.

wiser(pc) $1100NZD (get this and you dont need a computer)
NIRT (IR control for equipment) $550NZD
5500CN (pc/rs232) $550NZD
M1 C-Bus Interface V3.00 (security) $350NZD
5100TAU (phone interface) $870NZD

My system i will have a clipsal PACA to program my cbus lighting logic

Cbus-M1 interface to the ness M1

Ness M1 doing security plus have pet aware dual sensors and door/window reed switches trigger logic in the cbus PACA
M1 will also control:
low voltage lighting for wardropes and cupboard lights.
24V coils for underfloor heating and ventilation system

Ness M1 to pc interface so pc can control
IR control of av equipment and appliance monitoring
Caller ID
Touch screens
Tablet PC's/ smart phone

All my logic will be in CBUS or M1 so i dont have to worry about a PC going down and taking my whole house out. The PC will only be used as a user interface and AV control.


Hi Guys

I use Homevision to control my CBUS Lighting and Matrix switcher....

http://www.csi3.com/homevis2.htm
HTH
Frank




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