Decent HA Weekend

IVB

Senior Member
I've been keeping a blog (in my sig), but this weekend was good enough that I figured i'd let you folks know. It's identical to the blog entry, but i'm happy enough that I figured I'd talk more. (and no, my cholesterol didn't go down, and no, i didn't get Geico - it was an HA-centric weekend)

(See what you can do when you stay away from biased forums, steve/rupp/piper_chuck? ;) ;) :D )

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Well, progress has been slow lately. Work has been truly horrific and political, and will likely continue to be so for the next 3 months. Hence, i'm in feast or famine mode - i either want to stay the heck away from everything and chill with the wife/kids, or dive into it and shut out the world. I did a little of both this weekend, bought a bike&trailer-car so 2yr old could sit in back while I go out for a ride with 4yr old on her bike, and get some decent progress on the HA side.

I got serious progress on 4 major fronts:
1) CCTV webserver working again. it broke when I tried to downgrade to Diginet V4.11
2) Front Door covert MotionDetector Camera working kinda. Either I got cheap cables, cheap BNC connectors, cuz I had a HECK of a time getting a connection to hold. Plus, see the pics below, the image is a little funky. This part isn't done yet.
3) 3400 can now run kick off a show on another PC which is hooked up to a TV. Uses the SageTV webserver, and I can Play/Pause/skip from 3400. This eliminates the need for any remotes in that room (except for TV on/off). This is more cuz I got excited about the progress beelzerob is making on the SageTV driver than anything else, wanted to start prepping for that.
4) CQC state logic and Elk rules setup so that I can tell if there's been activity in a room within the last X minutes. I initially started with 5mins, but will probably change that to 15 once this is debugged.

Wife/kids are gone next weekend, i can't go cuz of work, so i'm coming up with a big list of stuff to get done. With any luck, i'll pound through lots, but that's assuming I don't get slaughtered at work this week and go into hiding this weekend. I've got still 4 cameras, Elk speakers & custom boards so I can play custom WAV files on doorbell/telephone, network&telco distro, and more speakers all sitting in boxes in the living room.

Here's screenshots of 2/3/4:

VladStudio_Camera.jpg


VladStudio_SageTV.jpg


VladStudio_House_Motion.JPG
 
yes, sort of. It uses apache, so one of the CQC'ers walked me through how to hardcode in my ip/uid/pw into the HTML and instead of prompting for input, just posting it.
 
IVB said:
yes, sort of. It uses apache, so one of the CQC'ers walked me through how to hardcode in my ip/uid/pw into the HTML and instead of prompting for input, just posting it.
could you share the html code? Thx!
 
yeah, sure, np. Some of it is documented here, but i'll put the actual HTML files up tonight at www.myhometheaterpc.com/downloads and ping back here when done.
 
If the wife is away, IVB will HA...

Good day today. After the
- 2 hour babble-athon which was the new CQC user walkthrough that I did for some of the new folks (and old folks)
- 2 hour kitchen pipe-snaking inside the wall task and realizing there were 2 blockages in the pipe, both of which looked suspiciously like something I had put down the pipe [i.e.,not wife or kids fault]

I finally spent the rest of the day getting the MBR basically done. This meant:

1) Installing in-ceiling directional Niles speakers
2) Installing in-wall passive subwoofer
3) Installing volume controller, which is really just acting as a volume reducer so that we can quickly turn volume down in case of phone call/kids beating each other up
4) Correctly mounting the Elk temperature sensor, so I don't have this dang wire dangling which the wife hated
5) Mounting an Elk speaker for HA announcements.
6) Searching for the dang speaker hole saw for 1 hour, then deciding to say "screw it", and using a utility knife to cut an 8" hole. Hey, at least it was nearly a perfect hole, as I used the template to mark a circle.

It sounds decent, but it sounds like there's a little distortion. Not sure if that's b/c I used really crappy audio cables, or whether the 30W x 2 Parasound zamp is underpowered, leaning toward the former. I have current issues with some of my Delta 410/mp3 sound as I has to steal the good cables for something else and put in horrid cables that I had laying around.

Here's as good a picture as I could take on my cellphone. Wife has the digital camera. You'll notice the subwoofer on the bottom, VC at the std 45" high that all my switches are at, and the Elk temperature sensor to the left, roughly centered. All this sits to the right of the armoire, which holds the crap SDTV that's in the MBR. I might get an el cheapo $500 27" CRT HDTV so we can really leverage this thing.

subwoofer_vc_temp.jpg
 
Nice. One question: I had considered putting in some temperature sensors but had figured I would put them at outlet height. I understand chest height will be closer to what we feel, but were there any other considerations you had in mounting it there?

I figured the slight variation might be worth it for WAF and aesthetics (I think I'd get a lot of hell putting them up there).
 
Actually, the main consideration was that at outlet level is 1) the outlet, so I gotta deal with LV/HV seperation issues, and 2)a variety of power supplies that generate heat, hence messing up the temp.

Since it's behind the armoire, which you can't really tell in that pic, we'd rarely see it.

Ok, that's all a load of crap. The real reason is cuz I think that's the "right' height, she's gone this weekend, and it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission :)
 
Nice!

Good luck with that. I think it is the 'right' location, I was thinking outlet height would be 'accepted' and would probably have only a small variance.

I was not worried about this now, and figured I would revisit this once I got further along on my projects (and see if an alternative temperature sensor comes at some point).

I had the same consideration with glass breaks (and was thinking a decora mounted one at outlet height would also be 'acceptable' but I hadn't gotten far enough to verify if that would work properly (also was wondering for example if they needed LOS since it was 'listening' so it might further be hidden like your example.
 
Why use temp sensors? I use additional thermostats (that don't control anything) in rooms where I want to montor the temperature so I will have a local temperature display as well as centralized info in the system.
 
Interesting thought. If I use my CQC extension idea it can actually allow increased control of heating/cooling even if hooked up to nothing. A little more expensive but that would work. Not sure if I want one in each room though, but it might work in a couple of areas.

I'm going to test the idea of using CQC to update the alternate thermostat (heat/cool are hooked up separately) and if there are no issues with that perhaps that might be a good plan.
 
upstatemike said:
Why use temp sensors? I use additional thermostats (that don't control anything) in rooms where I want to montor the temperature so I will have a local temperature display as well as centralized info in the system.
1) Cost (i think)
2) Cuz I didn't think of it. Hmm, something to stew about.
 
upstatemike said:
Why use temp sensors? I use additional thermostats (that don't control anything) in rooms where I want to montor the temperature so I will have a local temperature display as well as centralized info in the system.
Because 1-wire temperature sensors cost a couple bucks each. And I can put small LCD displays anywhere I want - which can display anything - for a lot less than a thermostat. B)
 
ok, so now i'm getting pretty close to something cool. i hooked up the Elk-120 recordable voice module, and attached the elk output/relay expander, and put each speaker on it's own circuit. This means that I can turn on/off my elk HA speakers, furthermore I can play whatever sound I want.

Well, almost. I don't actually have the Elk-129 hooked up yet, just realized I need a power supply, trying to figure out what the right amps/volts should be. Once that's done, i'll have custom sounds/WAV files played back on doorbell ring & telephone ring. Finally, that'll also be the kicker for me to look into that whole "pause audio/video on ring" if i want.

I also created a UI so I could control the on/off from within CQC. I may record a few different sounds and create a page within CQC that allows me to pick which sound to render on doorbell. That gets a little more complex as I will need both Elk rules and CQC rules, not sure if it'll buy me that much.

I rejiggered the page so that on the zone control, it also showed some HA stuff. Not sure if i'll stick with this layout, i'll need to sit with it and see.

Here's what it looks like so far.
VladStudio_Floorplanview.jpg
 
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