Fortress

kwilcox

Active Member
The sensor jig? I'm almost ashamed to show it... I'll snap a pic at lunchtime so you can see why...
 

kwilcox

Active Member
I've refreshed the first post with a description of Fortress' current motion sensor configuration. Huge improvement.
 

kwilcox

Active Member
With the release of HCA v9.0, I've decided to end my HA virtualization experiment and move the environment to a dedicated low power solid-state machine. To test the concept, I recently moved the entire automation environment to my Samsung NC10 netbook which features 3 USB ports. My USB Insteon 2414U plugs in directly while my SA Serial PIM has a Prolific PL2303 Serial-USB converter set to COM3, and my W800RF32 has a Prolific PL2303 Serial-USB converter set to COM4.

This netbook is based on the Intel D945GSEJT motherboard which is powered by a 1.6 GHz Atom N270 along with 512MB of memory. It runs XP Home edition. HCA is having zero issues running my highly automated house on this platform. Consequently, I have a SolidLogic Johnstown T-1610 on order. I ordered it with no disk drive since I can locate a 16GB SSD for less than they sell it for. Total hardware price will be < $400. Power requirements are so low that the system doesn't even need a fan.

For anyone interested in Low Power hardware platforms for their HA systems, the hardware I ordered can be found here. When it comes in, I'll post a full set of assembly/implementation related pics and blog about it a bit as well :mellow:
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
This pertains to earlier posts you made of your system where you used the "hawkeye" motion sensors to sense a contact closure so it could transmit to a W800 receiver.

Why not condiser a palm pad mod instead of using all those hawkeye sensors? You can easily get twelve unique X-10 commands and, with the over voltage mod, get increased distance performance as well.
 

kwilcox

Active Member
This pertains to earlier posts you made of your system where you used the "hawkeye" motion sensors to sense a contact closure so it could transmit to a W800 receiver.

Why not condiser a palm pad mod instead of using all those hawkeye sensors? You can easily get twelve unique X-10 commands and, with the over voltage mod, get increased distance performance as well.

Oooh, nice mod. I initially wanted to use the palm pad but couldn't find schematics. I'll need to see if I can make it work with NC sensors. That shouldn't be a big issue though.
 

kwilcox

Active Member
I re-installed HCA on my new Atom based system last night. Here's some pics of this server:

jtt1610_big-vi.jpg
jtt1610_pic1_big-vi.jpg

jtt1610_pic2_big-vi.jpg


I also purchased a 30GB OCZ SSD from NewEgg. It was $70 after mail-in rebate, bringing the entire price to $300 shipped.

Setup was straightforward: Install RAM chip on motherboard. Place it on one half of the case and install the SSD in the other half. Then cable up using the attached diagram supplied by Intel. Fit the two halves together like closing a book and secure with 4 screws.

The system draws 12W and doesn't even need a fan. I also reused my two Prolific USB to serial controllers for my W800RF32 and Serial UPB PIM since this server has 3 USB but no serial ports installed (two are available on the motherboard itself however). Performance has been stellar. This server easily powers my extensive HA system.

In addition to the pictured stand, the system also comes with a bracket that can be attached to a wall. The server then just slides in. I'll probably end up mounting it in this manner.
 

kwilcox

Active Member
With HCA 10, I now have client/server capabilities. My atom processor now runs the HCA server. I have clients running on most of the computers located throughout Fortress. With a touch-screen client mode, all I need now is a good wall mountable device that can run windows/android.

hca-vi.jpg


Everything's pretty much fully customizable using html, I'm showing the default UI currently.
 

drozwood90

Senior Member
I'm liking your icons! Did those come with the software, or were they something you found online?

For the "main" choose a group of icons screen (choose a bedroom, a whole floor, etc.), I'd like something SIMPLE like that.

BTW, got my hands on one of those sensors you are using, have not hooked it up yet. Need to get a few parts. I figure I'm going to hardwire in to a joystick controller for my Homeseer setup.

--Dan
 

drozwood90

Senior Member
Are you still happy with the sensors? Have you used them in the bathroom at all? I'm curious how they work in a steamed up environment. Or if you sealed them with any RTV or anything, to try to prevent the UNIT itself from being saturated from all the moisture.

--Dan
 

kwilcox

Active Member
I'm beyond happy with the sensors. Automatic lighting has been pretty much flawless these days thanks to this sensor upgrade. I do have one in the bathroom and have had no issues with it. I didn't do anything special to seal it either. My next purchase will be a couple of Android tablets to run the HCA touch UI. Several enhancements were introduced in v10.1 and they are hinting strongly at a new Android App that will make use of them itnf. I'm waiting for some sort of custom UI programability so I can customize tablets for different areas of the house.

I'm also looking at adding Ademco sensors to the downstairs living areas since the spiral stairs are all in place. Here's a shot of them:

stair160-vi.jpg


Installation will be difficult from a wiring perspective since the drywalled ceiling down there doesn't have any direct access. No worse than the first floor ceiling on a traditional two story house though I guess...
 

TurboSam

Active Member
Impressive setup!

Another question about the Ademco sensors: how do they work in a room where someone is just sitting and reading or watching TV? Do you have to wave to the sensor ever x minutes to keep the lights on?
 
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