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#16 123



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Posted 23 May 2012 - 08:49 PM

I missed your point about being defensive and you missed mine about centrally located touchscreens. If your "connected home" started off as per the OP's design, with a single immovable touchscreen, you would've lost your first "automation battle", namely convenience. My point was that you ensured there were multiple, conveniently located means to control your system thereby improving the odds of acceptance by family members.

#17 Frunple


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Posted 24 May 2012 - 07:35 AM

Make sure you at least look at Elve. It will do everything you are looking for including the "flashy" interface since you can make it look any way you want. I've been using it since it was called Johnny9 and it has grown incredibly since then. There are a few things about it that I think can be better and I almost ended up ditching it for another but I always end up remembering something the creator said to me a while back, I asked if I can do [this thing} with Elve and he said "You can do anything with Elve" and so far, it might take a little bit of learning, but I've been able to do anything I can think of with Elve. My most recent addition was the status (half mast/full mast) of the American flag. I now get a text message at 4am on the day of a change in flag status so I can make the change before I leave the house. It also displays the status on my "home" screen. Next I will be using this status to automatically change the flag for me once I find the correct motor (winch actually) that I can attach to the flags halyard.
As for the interface, I went with a "media center" theme and was going to incorporate it into media center itself so I can control everything right from the TV. the entire interface was controllable from a WMC remote control. Never actually got around to doing this and now with the Elve Android app released, and the fact that it runs perfectly on the GoolgeTV platform. theres no need for the WMC interface which is fine with me.
Here are some video's showing my Elve interface.

Shows the synchronization between desktop and tablet
Shows lighting control
Shows Elve on my TV using my GoogleTV Revue

The possibilities are truly endless.
Good luck and welcome.

#18 leftpawdog



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Posted 24 May 2012 - 10:30 AM

for leftpawdog - I wasn't exactly following how you wanted to control your sprinklers, but what I've done a few times now is put the 14" elk can (that comes with most packaged systems) out in the garage and extend the databus out there with a single Cat5. In this house, for instance, I have an M1XOVR (output expander) and M1RB (adds 8 more relays to the output expander) and an M1XIN (16 zone inputs) in that 14" box in the garage; that then connects to the garage door and gate inputs; and the outputs hook to the garage doors for control, plus the sprinklers; as well as a couple other auxiliary functions. Added bonus - I could add a keypad out there if I really wanted, or any other bus devices. That location is also right next to my electric panel, so I've considered moving my UPB PIM there for maximum reliability (not that it's been an issue for me).

I set up sprinklers long before we had iPhone apps - used to use my phone to RDP to a computer running ElkRM when I was doing sprinkler troubleshooting/overhaul at the last house - very handy! Was also invaluable the other day when troubleshooting zoning problems on my HVAC - was able to set all the zones as desired from up in the attic while watching the results.

I hadn't really thought of this... I am learning fast -thank you so much! Your post was really beneficial to me because one of the huge selling points to my wife (the Boss) who has given me the ok to purchase and install an M1K is that a couple of times a month the garage door gets left open. Terrible from a security standpoint because the whole house is open while we sleep. Though we have a really big dog that would wake us if anything where happening, it is still not good.

The expander module in the garage is an awesome idea as this is my domain! I like the idea! Now to just decide where to buy and with what pieces. So far I believe I need the X1G package, the EXP internet module, the M1XIN module and M1RB.... I am not so against purchasing the "full kit" now with a metal enclosure box, because I will now have a use for the additional enclosure. Thanks again.


#19 123



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Posted 24 May 2012 - 11:27 AM

... something the creator said to me ... "You can do anything with Elve"

That's quite the endorsement from on-High! Was it God, Allah, Vishnu, or VGER?

#20 Dean Roddey

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:45 PM

Any full featured automation system should allow you to do pretty much anything you want, though that flexibility will always come at the cost of more complexity because it has to be more open ended.

#21 leftpawdog



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Posted 24 May 2012 - 04:52 PM

I guess this is going to take me quite a bit of reading and researching. I am hooked. Now I am onto the z-wave trail and learning about MCV. I really would like to just get something up and running as I have a few ceiling fans to install along with the irrigation. The security alarm really can wait, as it is not that important right now. I was going to try and install the ELK M1g immediately then build from there, but perhaps one of the vera light controllers and some zwave components will work to learn with. I believe that I can then pick up additional components (z-wave or insteon) and get my low voltage lighting working.

I am on day 3 of continuous reading and not digging... the wife is starting to get a little peeved. I have to get something done!

#22 bobw



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Posted 25 May 2012 - 11:01 PM

Another thing to consider is the ease of interacting with the system. I have a hybrid HAL/Cinemar system which is not common in this forum. Don't know why. It allows a great deal of flexibility in scheduling and well as touch screen interaction. I find the voice control of the system paramount. I can call in remotely- no internet connection required- and manipulate everything. When I am on site a telephone or room mike allows me to control the house. iPhone, iPad, iWhatever works. Take a look at the Home Automated Living site as well as Cinemar before you decide.
I have 2 installations- one is a hybrid X10/UPB, the other all UPB. Both are integrated with ELK M1 and Russound, as well as local cable system. "Sophie"- the code word for voice recog in the mike system- emails me updates on temp, alarm status, codes entered- whatever.
Having friends and colleagues who have spent an order of magnitude more, I can tell you that this is a very robust system.
PM me if you have any questions, as this is not covered so much here.


#23 Work2Play



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Posted 26 May 2012 - 02:51 AM

When it comes to keeping the wives happy (and I think I have a really tough one to contend with), I've found a couple key points to be really important.
  • Safety of the family; knowing where the kids are; if they go out a door; if someone is coming in anywhere; if the gate is left open; etc. That's huge to the wife and justifies the spend on the door/window sensors, which are quite expensive when going wireless.
  • Efficiency - anything that should theoretically lower the household bills
  • Resolving my OCD - my wife has suffered through me circling the block 3 times or losing sleep while on vacation wondering about the status of the house; enough pushing, and she's tired of listening and glad there's a solution.
  • Convenience - this one gets me the least traction... she's OK walking around to hit 17 light switches on the first floor before going upstairs before spending $3K on light switches... but, I'm not. On the other hand, when she's coming home in the winter, carrying an infant carrier and telling the two toddlers to get inside, she does appreciate the lights turning on to light her path in.
When all else fails, separate bank accounts win - and you can always bury some of the real expenses :ph34r:

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