Another newbie


New Member
Hi all

I'm starting my home automation project and have found this site to be in invaluable. I’m in the middle of an extensive remodel of a house built in 1985. I’ve had bundles puled from two or three places in each room to a closet where I terminated at a 16 zone SuperPro Panel. Each bundle contains 2 Cate5e, 2 RJ6, and two fiber optic cables. I also had an alarm company pull wires for everything without installing anything yet. I’m still tryign to decide on hardware and software. I’m thinking aobut the ELK M1G controller with either HomeSeer or CQC. (I can be pursuaded to change).

I am pretty overwhelmed with the possiblilities and the choices but I’ll keep reading and altering my design. Thanks all for the great info.
You can't get a better combination of hardware and software than the Elk M1G and HomeSeer. My advice to all new automationist is to develop a plan and then implement it one step at a time. Too many irons in the fire makes automation no fun. Keep it fun and work it through. Decide what you want to automate the most and start there.
If you know you are going to use an M1G (which is a great choice), look at what you will be doing with it, then narrow your choices of software to complement it based on what those 'complementary' needs are. While I have nothing negative to say about HomeSeer, please take the statement "You can't get a better combination of hardware and software than the Elk M1G and HomeSeer." as 100% opinion from a person who helps with the product. There are actually several very good software package to complement the M1G. It all depends on what you want to do and budget. Keep in mind for all its strengths, Homeseer's Achilles heel and gaping hole is lack of a robust graphical front end system (yes, there are some capabilities, but not in the same league as CQC or ML). If you want robust and powerful graphics capability CQC and Mainlobby are better choices. If you want integration with AV, again CQC and ML are better choices. Homeseer is a great and powerful HA product on its own and does complement the Elk well, but it doesn't fill in voids as mentioned above.

There are plenty of threads comparing CQC, ML and HS, they can keep you busy for a while. Bottom line is define your 'wants' and 'needs', pick a few products in that arena and evaluate them. You will find one that is more intuitive and fits you best. And, Welcome to CocoonTech!

FYI, I just posted this thread about the next "Intro to HA" class, where I go over how to set them up.

But, i think it's way too early for us to even suggest Elk or CQC yet (even if all roads lead there). First thing that would help is guidance on what your end picture looks like. Is it total world domination? Something smaller? What does total mean to you? Also, phone/PDA control, or just PCs? Remote controls?
Thanks for the suggestions.

I'm still defining my goals. While i read what other people have done my goals keep expanding. However, i think i am beginnig to crystalize a basic foundation. This house is a vacation home so a primary goal is security and web access from main home. I'd like to 'turn the heat on' before we leave our main home or check the cameras if motion is detected or to see what the weather looks like. Timed lighting control would help make the home looked lived in while away and i like the idea of one touch scenes -- especialy a bed-time scene (i have several kids which means wondering around the house turning lights out only to get up the next morning and finding half of them on again)

While the second home won't need too much in the way of AV, i might adapt some of the ideas for that in my main home. I have fairly extensive programming experiencev so CQC seems somewhat attractive. However, i don't think i need that much customization at the cabin.

I'll keep reading the threads :blink: