• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

Before Time runs out...

ctay

Active Member
I would like some input on the most appropriate software package for my needs. Here are my goals:

1) Control Sage TV PVR functions.
2) Play DVD's riped to HD. Planning on streaming them to TV's based on Sage MVP unless someone can tell me a better way. I'm trying to stay away from having a PC in each room to be a client.
3) Automate Lights (turn on light A when motion sensor B gets tripped). Planning on running OnQ ALC lighting.
4) Automate Security. Planning on buying a Elk M1 Gold for the whole house security. Would like to include 4 security camera's.
5) Automate Sprinklers.
6) Stream MP3 files over whole house audio. Looking at the Cav6.6 but I don't really know what I'm doing here. I want to stream audio to 7 zones. Really interested in Compoint Intercom.
7) Distribute other Video sources like DVD & VCR players.
8) Control HVAC.

If I could do all this I would be really happy. I am running 3 CAT6 and 2 RG6 to every outlet in the house, and CAT6 to every other place I can think of that I may at some point want some type of controled device.

Once the price increase hits for CQC it will probably be out of my reach so I am thinking about buying the software before I am ready. However I have heard really good things about Homeseer and Mainlobby. I really have no idea how things are going to work together, so I am having a hard time making a educated decision.

Any help??

Chris
 

Steve

Senior Member
1) Control Sage TV PVR functions
IVB and some others use Sage with CQC.
2) Play DVD's riped to HD. Planning on streaming them to TV's based on Sage MVP unless someone can tell me a better way. I'm trying to stay away from having a PC in each room to be a client.
Can't help much with that, but it is doable without pc's in each room
3) Automate Lights (turn on light A when motion sensor B gets tripped). Planning on running OnQ ALC lighting.
Very easy thru the Elk M1 as mentioned in 4
4) Automate Security. Planning on buying a Elk M1 Gold for the whole house security. Would like to include 4 security camera's.
Don't know exactly what you mean by automate security, but the M1 is a good choice. HAI would perhaps be best right now for A/V integration but Elk has IP camera support in beta, but it requires the TS-07. But there are lots of ways to do cameras depending on exactly what you are trying to do.
5) Automate Sprinklers.
Easy. Can be done direct with relays via the M1 or a separte irrigation controller like that from WGL
6) Stream MP3 files over whole house audio. Looking at the Cav6.6 but I don't really know what I'm doing here. I want to stream audio to 7 zones. Really interested in Compoint Intercom.
For audio only, I think Nuvo is a better choice but if you need intercom then yes you are better off with Russound and Compoint. Paul K is the resident Russound/Compoint expert. There are CQC drivers for both Russound and Nuvo.
7) Distribute other Video sources like DVD & VCR players.
I would guess this would be similar to 1 or 2 and can be done either via the CAV or something like an autopatch. Others fore experienced in that stuff can answer better
8) Control HVAC.
Easy with M1. Choice of HAI, RCS or Aprilaire stats

As far as the CQC vs ML decision, take a look at this thread on AVS. It can be debated as hotly as religion or politics. I agree with stwd on that thread that it is a highly personal decision. I faced the same decision when CQC went up in price last time and I jumped in and don't regret it a bit. CQC will be a great supplement to the M1.
 

ctay

Active Member
As far as the CQC vs ML decision, take a look at this thread on AVS.

I was reading that thread, as well as one here, but I had a hard time relating that to what I am facing right now. I don't fully understand how things work together (for instance why is it that many seem to use ML and Homeseer when both products tell you on their websites that they can do everything that the other can do).

My wife is a computer programmer but she is the type to leave work at work so getting her to program CQC would be a non starter and I am unsure of my abilities in this area as I am a CPA by trade. (Anyone want to setup my system in exchange for a free tax return? :angry: )

Chris
 

Steve

Senior Member
You don't need to be a programmer to use CQC or ML. As long as you understand the devices and how you are trying to tie them together, most stuff can be done thru dropdown menus and such, at least in CQC 2. Homeseer is good for a general automation package but its Achilles heel is lack of a great UI for touch screens. You can almost certainly do anything you want with a combination of Elk and CQC (or ML). ML used to be just a front end to Homeseer but newer versions have some functions that make it more automation complete. Still, there are things in Homeseer you can not do completely with other stuff such as phone control and VR for examples. CQC is growing and adding new stuff at a much faster pace than ML so as long as it is a function that would be wanted by pros, I would bet it would get added to CQC in a timely manner.

As you can see on the CQC forums, there is alot of camaraderie and people willing to help, including template samples, graphics, even monthly conference calls as well as a dedicated user forum besides CQC. The new video tutorials Dean is doing is also a great tool to help get you going. I'm sure if you ask specific questions on CQC forum, you will get intelligent answers. I would like to think the same at ML but I can't comment since I don't frequent there.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Not sure if you caught it, but I posted this thread over on avs about me hosting a "Setting up an HA system using CQC" webex. This is targeted towards helping the fence-sitters determine whether CQC is right for them or not. I don't get paid either way, i have no stake in CQC (other than the obvious card-carrying cult member), so whatever decision you make is fine by me. However, if you're a newbie who bought CQC but haven't gotten into it, this could also provide value.

(see, that $495 plus $95/year gets you more than just a great product with a great architecture and great support and a great DIY forum, you get live walkthroughs by guys like me who need a break from the tension of our daily jobs, and love to talk. And given by my post count here, @avs, and @CQC, you can tell that I love to talk...)

Reply over there if you're interested, so I can find a time that works for all.

Here's a quote.
This isn't going to be some kind of sales call - I don't know everything CQC does, and I know for a fact there's things that I do that are not "CQC best practice". I also found out after yesterday's CQC monthly user group webex that i'm doing things the hard way for a few different things. Given that it's all already setup and stable, i'm reluctant to change given that i've got so much else on my plate.
.
.
.
While we're waiting to see if others respond (ie miltimj indicated interest in another thread), you guys should think about what you want to see. Sample topics could be a subset of the following (too much for a single session, you wouldn't absorb it):

BTW, Dean has a set of video tutorials he's building now. You'll get a lot more out of this if you're able to watch those videos and also read through the written tutorial on the CQC site. I know that Elk put up 2 long videos on te cocoontech site, but they're pretty long, and I haven't watched them myself, so that could be overkill at this time.

"Intro"
- CQC Overview (30 mins)
- ElkRP Overview (5ish mins)

"Theory of CQC"
- CQC Interface Building (strictly front-end type stuff)
- CQC Event Engine (scheduled events like HVAC, triggered events like IR receipt and security system armed/disarmed)
- CQC State Engine (Hide or disable GUI widgets based on some set of rules. For example, don't show the disarm button on your security screen if the system is in disarm mode)
- CQC Media Repository Engine (aka CDs and DVDs)
- Building Drivers inside CQC

"Theory of Elk"
- Setting up an Elk
- Setting up Automation rules inside the Elk

"Applied Theory"
- Getting the Elk and CQC to work together to accomplish something
- Media Mgmt from within CQC
- HA from within CQC
- etc.
 

IVB

Senior Member
(Anyone want to setup my system in exchange for a free tax return? :angry: )

BTW, while I won't setup your system for you, keep in mind that during the monthly sessions, newbies often call in from their CQC machines, we'll switch them to being the presenter, and one of the regulars will "take control" over their machine and help resolve any problems they're having. By forcing you to sit down and either watch us fix your system, or watch while we fix someone else's system, we're effectively teaching you to fish so you can extend this thing yourself.
 

dbinaz

Active Member
I am in this boat as well. Don't know what software pkg to go with. I checked out the CQC site, but found it kind of hard to figure out exactly what it does and what it needs to do it.

It looks promising tho and I wouldn't mind jumping in on it, especially b4 the price increase, but I think I would need a lot of help possibly. I am a web programmer and have done vb6 and some .net, so it is not incomprehensible to me.

I also agree with HS GUI and lack of a good touchscreen interface.

Is CQC a linux package?

Derek
 

Steve

Senior Member
No, CQC is Windows based, written in C. The RM software on the TS-07 from the othr thread will get you alot, at least for the automation side. CQC would be a great add-on if you want to totally customize your interface, add such things as TTS, CID, etc that Elk can not do or get into advanced AV/HT stuff.

Help is never an issue, just stop by the CQC forums and there is plenty of help. IVB also does walkthru's and conf calls. I would download the 2.0 beta and take a quick look at it to decide, but it is a great value at $495.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Just scheduled the one referred to above. 8:30am PST on Sunday 11/26. PM me for login details, it'll be both a gotomeeting.com (webex clone) and an audio conference. I may try out one of these VoIP/landline bridges, hoping that we can set it up so folks can join via either their regular phone or their PC.
 

IVB

Senior Member
BTW, keep in mind that there's a chat room on cqcusers.com that we just started using more heavily. http://www.cqcusers.com:8080/chat/flashchat.php .

The forum is still probably the best place to ask questions and get answers from tons of folks, but if you have a small nit question and want an immediate answer, you can see if anyone's there. It's mostly a later-night type of thing.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
No, CQC is Windows based, written in C.

Just to be anal, it's written in very high level C++ (for the most part, with some assembly in key places like some of the image processing.) I'd have long since hooked the hose up to the tailpipe if I had to do this in C :)
 
AutomatedOutlet said:
That's very nice of you to offer your time for that!
Yes IVB's willingness to share has made a big difference for me learning CQC. Just last night I "reverse engineered" one of his templates and figured out how he was sending 4 digit codes to the ElkM1G. I was stymied. Thanks IVB!

I wouldn't miss the webex session for the world.

-chuck
 

DeLicious

Active Member
Well, it's an easy decision for me... CQC doesn't appear to support UPB lighting protocols, otherwise, I'd probably be all over it.
 

IVB

Senior Member
DeLicious said:
Well, it's an easy decision for me... CQC doesn't appear to support UPB lighting protocols, otherwise, I'd probably be all over it.
FYI: some of the folks (read:Toymaster) have already hassled him bigtime about this, and I think Dean said that once 2.0 goes G/A and stable, he's all over it. I'd hate for you to decide to not get it now and then regret it within 2-3 months of GA.

Mark Stega is also going to look at upgrading the zWave support once he finishes upgrading the 2.0 DotNetViewer, which can only be done once 2.0 is final as it sits on that, so within a few months CQC will have strong support for both of those. Given that Insteon is getting done by an end-user, there's your lighting protocol coverage.
 
Top