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New home construction - newbie, need advice!


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#16 jml

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 02:12 AM

Ah I sort of misspoke - by "everything" over IP, I was thinking: lighting, power control, AirPlay (via AppleTV and AirPlay-compatible receivers), cameras, and a thermostat (although it doesn't seem like the Nest is as hackable as I hoped). I just don't want to keep having to switch between apps - one for lighting/power control, one for cameras, one for Nest thermostat, etc.

So, the big questions that remain at this point:

1) What should I run in the walls? Our electrician has a fat cable bundle with CAT6, coax, and telephone that he usually uses. I'll probably ask for an empty conduit/loom with a string, so that I can run stuff later.
I'd run 3-4 Cat5e/6 to each room you care about. It's cheap and super flexible (RS485, RS232, Ethernet, HDMI, IR). Run CAT6 to any location you can imagine trying to control something over Ethernet or serial (for example, Sprinklers, Remote ELK modules, Brultech power monitoring, outdoor WiFi, Pool Automation....). Also consider running speaker wire wherever you plan to put a speaker in the ceiling or wall, or outdoors - or if you want to spend big bucks, put 120V power at the speaker locations and use an Ethernet enabled speaker. Put power at any camera locations. Consider running power + Cat 6 to the headers of the windows for automated shades.

Only reason you'd need COAX/RG6 these days is for a satellite or cable box.

Edited by jml, 29 December 2011 - 02:13 AM.


#17 Lou Apo

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 09:53 AM

eh, I'd bet there's un-secure ways around that - like set a counter value to 25 then execute task "Special Disarm" which check the counter as a safety, then executes a rule to disarm; probably not the best idea, but I'd bet you could get around that very quickly!

I do think that's the way to go though - start with something that already does most of what you want, then bridge the gap... Hell - Elve will give you a free copy if you contribute some sort of useful development - maybe go that route!


Oh, yeah, you can totally get around it, but that would be custom stuff. Nobody would know it was there but the prorgrammer. So, in fact, you are right, you could use ISY/REST to control your Elk system, just not as a direct shot. Which, for security reasons, is a good idea. You wouldn't want a generic REST command to disarm all systems.

#18 Work2Play

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:11 PM

BTW - Elve looks awesome! Is there a Mac/UNIX equivalent?

Sure - run a virtual machine in Mac/Unix, load a very lightweight Windows install, and run it there! ;)

There are Mac and Unix compatible options - it's just that the windows ones are typically more mature and robust. That said, since you're budget minded and like coding, check out Premise here on the site... it's free and open source, and I'm pretty sure it'll run on Linux just fine (don't hold me to that though). It would be your one-stop-shop that talks to all your systems, and you could build interfaces for it. Talk to some of them - they might love to have someone who'll write an iOS interface, and because it's mainly maintained here on CT, you'd have a group of people helping you evolve the system.

The other ones to research are CQC/HomeSeer/Elve and even HAL - there's a software comparison spreadsheet here that would be worth looking at - it actually compares lighting, software, etc - it's a great resource for beginners to point you towards what to research next.

http://cocoontech.co...on-spreadsheet/

Also - you mentioned building off X10 which has been around for 40 years by going Insteon; UPB is similar - it's a similar powerline technology, but instead of 5V signals, it uses 40V signals that are more robust; and it has a more robust protocol... We all have different motivators for the systems we choose... so it's worth doing sufficient research. Lighting was the single most expensive component of my system.

#19 Dean Roddey

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Posted 29 December 2011 - 03:59 PM

That spreadsheet is kind of out of date. Dan started this new thingie here:

http://cocoontech.co...mation-software

#20 phandel

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:14 PM

Nice list! I'll take a closer look at OpenRemote, Heyu, and Mister House.

Thanks for the suggestion - I'll ask the electrician how much 3 extra Cat6 runs would be to each room ... that'll be a lot of cables coming into our network closet! :-)


Thanks,
Peter

#21 Lou Apo

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:35 PM

"I'll ask the electrician how much 3 extra Cat6 runs would be to each room ... that'll be a lot of cables coming into our network closet! :-)"

That's why I run conduit instead of wire. It costs the same or less than many wire types, it lets you upgrade, and it lets you skip putting in wires for "just in case" issues. Plus, it lets you run wire where your "just in case" wire actually wasn't enough (neeeded two "just in case" wires or a different type of wire). Run conduit only while under construction, add wires as needed after construction.

Now you just have to figure out all the "just in case" locations, but not the quanity/type of wire needed.

#22 phandel

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 03:40 PM

Good point! I'd much rather not run extras; conduit sounds great.

#23 pete_c

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 04:37 PM

Personally the more the better. The cost is minimal now; it's much more when the walls are up.

I would think of the "what if's" or "just in case" pieces even though it may be years down the road or whenever you find the time.

IE: I didn't get to doing anything except for the music stuff initially then years after the build (like 8) I wired for the HAI OPII panel. There is nothing really pushing once you have the base infrastructure in; no time constraints; on the other hand there is during construction just say relating to the walls going up et al.

#24 bobw

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 09:52 PM

I am not as technical as a lot of the other posters. All I can say is that I. Can use my system without a thought for the most part. Very
high WAF. This is a UPB system controlled by a hybrid HAL, Cinemar, Elk compilation. Touchpads- iPads as well as Sahara tablet PC's-automated schedules for lighting, motorized shades(Lutron,controlled by Cinemar) TV, digitized movies, voicemail, voice activation(play the GratefulDead in the kitchen), lighting scenes, Hvac- the system emails/ texts me if it gets too cold, send me an email,of a voicemail with a WMA or other file so I ca n pick it up anywhere, control by iPhone remotely or RDP, control cameras, let's me remotely open the garage door for a trade(and watch them), emails me when arm/disarm codes entered, turns own heat or lights based on occupancy , and more but I am not good at typing ! Oh- there is a graphical floor plan that shows me the arouse zones o the house and the status of lights,security, audio, temp, shade status , irrigation,telephone, yadda yadda. Hell, it can even send a grocery list to the local supermarket through voice, either in- room mikes or the telephone

This forum doesn't seem to like this approach, but this combo really works for me.
I actually have two places I have automated with this. Gives me great peace of mind.
HAL and Cinemar with the plugins to control a Russound audio system an he Lutron linds is considerably more than a hundred bucks but I is still not anywhere near an AMC or even Control4, and seems to be a lot more flexible, especially with the voice control

I agree with a lot of he above posts- use an existing control system, and as it seems, you at capable of enhancing the product with your programming skills.

Bob

#25 pete_c

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Posted 05 January 2012 - 10:06 PM

OK, I really need to know what "graphical floor plan that shows me the arouse zones"; maybe I can use this for WAF; getting old here; spark isn't what it used to be?

#26 phandel

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Posted 23 August 2016 - 11:52 AM

Just to circle back, here's what we ended up doing with our house:

1) Temp: We kept the dumb thermostat - since we live in NorCal, we rarely use heating/cooling, so we just handle it manually.

2) AV: AppleTVs everywhere.  Works great, except you need to keep the receiver on :-(

3) Cameras: Went with "analog cameras + a DW VMAX480 DVR" that our low-voltage guy recommended.  Pros: Good night vision; cons: only 480p, not very hackable = no way to stream video (it does stick a frame on port 80 every few seconds, which is better than nothing, and I could write a watchOS app with that), UI and app is mediocre.

4) Lights: Lutron RadioRA2 -> love it!  Had to take an online class to get the software, but now we just program it all ourselves exactly how we want.  Motion sensors are good, except it'd be great to be able to program "don't come on full blast at 2 AM".

4a) Outdoor lights are handled by our pool automation software (Pentair ScreenLogic2)

5) Locks: Keypad-based lock is awesome - goodbye keys!  Totally love it.

 

In retrospect, with 4 kids, there just isn't enough energy and time to integrate it all perfectly, but what we have works surprisingly well.  I'm keeping my eye on HomeKit!



#27 dw886

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Posted 22 November 2016 - 11:12 AM

"don't come on full blast at 2 AM"

 

We have RadioRA2, and I had the same problem as you have with the motion sensors turning on late at night, which are mostly in the bathrooms and closets for us.  There is a timeclock mode option in the RadioRA2 software that allows you to set the motion detectors for Occupancy/Vacancy (turn the lights on for motion and off when no motion), or Vacancy-only (only turn the light off when no motion).  So I have a timeclock setup that changes all of the motion detectors to "Vacancy-only" mode at midnight.  At 5am, it changes them all back to Occupancy/Vacancy.  This prevents you from being blinded at night, and seems to work fairly well.

 

The downside if obviously that you'd have to turn on the light manually if you really did want it on, but the upside is that you're not blinded in a half-awake slumber state...






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