DIY Research Resource


I am putting together some documentation of various techologies and solutions that might appeal to the DYI crowd in the AV Control and Automation areas. What I plan to do is list the popular subsystems (ie. audio, lighting, alarms, irrigation, etc.) and control systems (CQC, Control4, Adagio, Cortexa, etc.) with some information about each.

What information do you think would be useful for current and future DIY'ers? We seem to constantly ask the same questions over and over and to be honest with the vast number of options out there today it is almost impossible to do your own thorough research on each system that is available.

I was thinking for lighting: Availabilty, cost, techology (zwave, zigbee, etc.), supportibility, maturity, future outlook, wiring needs, expandibility, integration with the various control systems. And then bascially picking up with the other sub-systems a set of other criteria that we find useful.

Google docs and spreadsheets seems like a good place to host this and if you are interested in helping build this information please email me at elmer.millikan @ gmail. com . If you are interested in the end result also email me and I will get you invited to the documentation once it's ready for review.

Any comments?



PS. Cross posting this to AVSForum, Cocoontech and CQC forums.
Cost is certainly one.

For lighting:
Types of Switches
Maximum Load (Watts)
Voltage (120/240?)
Is there a UK version available?
Are they available to DIYers or through Pro-Installers only?
A link to the manual would be nice.
Known Compatability and Technical Issues?
Is the protocol freely available or do they offer some type of developers kit?

Alarm systems:
Number of Zones?
Types of Keypads available
UK Version available?
RS232 and/or eathernet control?
Is the protocol freely available or do they offer some type of developers kit?
Does it have analog inputs? In other words can it measure voltages level and if so to what precision?
Digital IO?
Number and type of Outputs?

If you are writing this more for the DIY crowd then some systems that you listed probably do not apply. There is a list of controllers floating arround on this site somewhere. The list is huge. In fact I think it may be a poll of what systems the DIYers are using. Use that poll to narrow your matrix down to the 10 most popular systems.

Good luck. Sounds like one big project.
This seems like a classic place to use a wiki. I think electron should (in his spare time ;)) set this up on CT, sort of a FAQ on steroids.
Good points... you are correct about some of the ones listed not being DIY friendly. I guess maybe there should be two views, one for pure DIY and another for general research of the market.

I don't plan on doing this by myself but I was hoping to have community support in gathering the data elements and data for the greater good of all that might benefit from it.