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Need new home advice.....

I am building a new house and will be starting the wiring shortly. The following is what i would like to do and i'm looking for suggestions on what to do and product suggestions...... 6000 sqft house..

I am going to be doing insteon dimmers throughout the entire house including outside lights.

I want whole house audio in every room. in ceiling speakers everywhere. Xm radio a must..... also access to all my mp3's. I do not want to buy one of those expensive russound media servers to hold my music.

Alarm system lots of wireless window contacts and some door contacts. a few motions.

Camera at front door with audio..... couple of cameras out side with zoom cabability and would like to be able to pan them as well. couple of cameras in key spots through the inside of the house. All cameras to be full motion video.


I would like to distributed DVD video to all TV's but they would be blueray dvd which would be a tremendous amount of storage. Also a lot of long hdmi runs.

I would like to ability to control everything from key rooms....i.e.--- bedrooms, living rooms, office.

Any help/suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Philip
 

Rustytek

Active Member
Why wireless on door window contacts? Wired is MUCH better. No battery replacements and in a 6000 sq. ft home you may have a distance problem (especially if ranch style.)

Insteon is having some troubles (see other threads). I personally would go with UPB or Z-wave. You will probably save money and time when you end up replacing all of the switches.
 
Wireless door contacts because i cant do recessed wired ones because they are vinyl windows. I chose insteon because i want to be able to see which lights are on and which are off. Does upb or z-wave do this?

In addtion to my post above, i also want an intercom system.
 

IVB

Senior Member
The good news is that you've got tons of options.

The bad news is that you've got tons of options.

First question first: Is this something that you want to DIY and spend some elbow grease doing, b/c regardless of which option you choose and which hardware and software, it's going to take time to set it up? Or would you rather write a check to a pro to come in and do for you, where you just make sure that whatever he/she's done is integratable and maintable by you?

If the answer is DIY, then the 2nd question is this:
Is this something that you want to DIY and spend some elbow grease doing?

I'm not being overly dismissive either - i've spent considerable energy DIY'ing my whole house, and there's many areas where I wish I'd just written the check (ie wiring). I'd still DIY, but I'd much more heavily outsource. And, for most of my friends who've seen me, they've opted to just write the check and be done with it.

If the answer to both questions is still "DIY", then first thing i'd do is scan the parts list to my HA setup in chapter 1 of this PDF file.

After looking at the parts list, imagine what running all that wire and setting up all that stuff takes, and if you're still interested in DIY'ing it, I'm happy to walk you through all the excruciating detail about how to accomplish everything on your list and much much much more.
 

IVB

Senior Member
pjwinstalls said:
Wireless door contacts because i cant do recessed wired ones because they are vinyl windows. I chose insteon because i want to be able to see which lights are on and which are off. Does upb or z-wave do this?

In addtion to my post above, i also want an intercom system.
zWave does. I've put more lights under control since the attached pic was taken, but you get the point.
 

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Definately DIY.... I will be doing all the electrical in the house. I am a professional home theater installer and networking. No home automation though. I would appeciate your help and suggestions. I need to start wiring next week so I have to start ordering stuff.

Thanks
 

jlehnert

Active Member
I am a professional home theater installer and networking
Oh Poo! I guess that means that we can't tell him to put electron grease on all the network connections to make sure the electrons don't get stuck. :lol:

If you haven't already done so, take a look at the Official CocoonTech "Wiring Your House 101" guide.
 

Digger

Senior Member
in a 6000 sq. ft home you may have a distance problem

If you use an M1 you wont have this problem anymore. You can have up to 13 receviers when the ELK RF receivers come out in about a month. You cant ask for anything more.

Oh Poo! I guess that means that we can't tell him to put electron grease on all the network connections to make sure the electrons don't get stuck.

You reminded me that we used to send newbies to the meter room for RF Grease where I used to work. Told them not to come back without it no matter what the meter room guy said.
 

royalj7

Active Member
So you want to DIY, which is good, but what budget are you looking at for all this? The list of requirments you have are pretty steep, beleive it or not. I would really, really take a look at was IVB said about farming some of it out. And if you need to start wiring next week then I think you're going to need some help. However, if you are positive you want to do this yourself, see below :lol:

pjwinstalls said:
I am building a new house and will be starting the wiring shortly. The following is what i would like to do and i'm looking for suggestions on what to do and product suggestions...... 6000 sqft house..

I am going to be doing insteon dimmers throughout the entire house including outside lights.
Ok just the standard warning. Insteon has had some "problems" in the past with quality control and reliability. Some people have had great success, and some have pulled their hair out dealing with the problems. UPB, while more expensive, has *much* less complaints that I've seen. And most people on the forum would advise if you are doing new construction, look at your budget and see if you can't go hardwired. When rolled up in your mortgage, the cost isn't that bad, but the reliability will never be a concern. Insteon has a lot of potential, but make sure you are willing to deal with their growing pains to save some money.
I want whole house audio in every room. in ceiling speakers everywhere. Xm radio a must..... also access to all my mp3's. I do not want to buy one of those expensive russound media servers to hold my music.
How many zones are you looking to have? Remember, a zone isn't a room, but an area where you would like a common source to play. Most multi-zone systems come in sets of 6 or 8 zones, with the ability to link to another unit and double your zones.
Camera at front door with audio..... couple of cameras out side with zoom cabability and would like to be able to pan them as well. couple of cameras in key spots through the inside of the house. All cameras to be full motion video.
Could go with a dedicated DVR, which I don't have any experience with. Or you could have a PC based system. Something like a Geovision capture card, PC to host it, and some PTZ capable cameras.
I would like to distributed DVD video to all TV's but they would be blueray dvd which would be a tremendous amount of storage. Also a lot of long hdmi runs.
How long is long? With repeaters I think HDMI has a limit of 65 feet, someone can correct me if I'm wrong. Over on AVS, I've heard nothing but problems trying to distribute hdmi. If you do, I think the RapidRun system looks pretty cool, but I've never used it myself. When you distribute your DVD, do you want different sources playing in different rooms or is the same source ok? If different you’ll need a matrix switcher. Component switches are pretty common, but you’ll have to look around for an hdmi one. Blueray is so new, I don't have a clue how one would do that.
I would like to ability to control everything from key rooms....i.e.--- bedrooms, living rooms, office.
Here you would need one of the many control packages out there. CQC, ML, Homeseer, Control4, etc. This is a whole thead on to it's self. Good luck!!
 
Farming it out isnt an option. I am not deadset on insteon but i need to be able to see which lights are on and off. I also like their keypads.

Hardwired is toooooo expensive.

10 audio zones.

very interestsed in cqc
 

royalj7

Active Member
If I'm correct, UPB has status indication. For ten zones you will need two systems. There are plenty of options (and posts, some by myself). The most popular is probably Russound CAV6. Others are Nuvo, Xantech MRC, Proficent Audio M6. Or your could roll your own like UpstateMike or IVB did. Using cheap amps and a PC with a multi-output soundcard (ie Delta 410).

CQC is a great system. If you are set on using that, make sure you look at their supported equipment list. It will narrow down your equipment choices considerably.

Hardwired is too expensive until you get up in the middle of the night and stub your toe because the light didn't come on like it should of :lol:

--Jamie
 

ctay

Active Member
Not all hardwire lighting systems are expensive... I'm planning on using EDT I-line stuff (link) which is about the same price per switch as insteon. The high voltage is wired traditionally (i.e. not a star system like some other hard wire systems) so you can switch out to something else or get rid of it entirely later if you wish.

I think you are going to have a hard time distributing HDMI. The copy protection stuff really gets in the way. You should check out AVS forum to see the trouble people are having with that. I do think that Audio Authority either has or is about to release a matrix switch that can distribute HDMI with out problems over 2 cat 5 but I'm not totally sure about that...

Good luck!

Chris
 

IVB

Senior Member
Apologies if this is too elemental for you given your background, here's my thoughts: Let's figure out what your technologies are going to be, creating a wiring diagram to match, then deal with 1 manufacturer over the other. After all, that's the pending task in front of you - you could take months to decide insteon vs UPB vs zWave vs ..., as it won't affect your wiring runs.

Attached is a plan that I helped someone else with. There's tons of stuff not on here b/c it wasn't relevant to that person. For you, you should determine what wiring you'd want/need for you. Here's what I read as your potential wiring needs:

1) Audio. The attached diagram covers it all pretty well.
2) Security. I put motion sensors in *every* room so I could use it for HA purposes. But it's not just motion, also door, window, CO, smoke, speakers (run wiring anyway even if you think you'll use the in-ceilings. It doesn't hurt, and I had issues with performance of my a/v equipment switching in time to accurately trap doorbells/etc). In addition to the standard door/window stuff, you may want to run internal doors like closets/etc so that you can automatically turn on closet lights if you open/close the door or other neat stuff.
3) Cameras. There's a great thread going on CQC right now about this and wiring needs, but net net: Based on IP camera or regular, you'll need 2 CAT5 and RG6 to over-cover your needs.
4) Video. Basic component distro covered below. Distributing HDMI is going to be a hassle, and I don't think it's the right time. You could run either 3RG6 (minicoax is simpler) or CAT5 if you get that cool Audio Authority stuff (which is $$$).
5) touchpanels & in-room vol controllers or keypads. Run an 18/2 (LV power), CAT5 (network), and speaker wire (in case you decide to go the russound controller route and want that room to be a subzone, you'll need speaker wire as they do local amplification.)

I think that covers it, hope this post added value.
 

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Apologies if this is too elemental for you given your background, here's my thoughts: Let's figure out what your technologies are going to be, creating a wiring diagram to match, then deal with 1 manufacturer over the other. After all, that's the pending task in front of you - you could take months to decide insteon vs UPB vs zWave vs ..., as it won't affect your wiring runs.


It would affect my wiring runs if i did EDT hardwired controls. What do you think of them?



Attached is a plan that I helped someone else with. There's tons of stuff not on here b/c it wasn't relevant to that person. For you, you should determine what wiring you'd want/need for you. Here's what I read as your potential wiring needs:

1) Audio. The attached diagram covers it all pretty well.
2) Security. I put motion sensors in *every* room so I could use it for HA purposes. But it's not just motion, also door, window, CO, smoke, speakers (run wiring anyway even if you think you'll use the in-ceilings. It doesn't hurt, and I had issues with performance of my a/v equipment switching in time to accurately trap doorbells/etc). In addition to the standard door/window stuff, you may want to run internal doors like closets/etc so that you can automatically turn on closet lights if you open/close the door or other neat stuff.


So if i run door contacts to internal doors, those contacts could be used to turn a light on in a closet?


3) Cameras. There's a great thread going on CQC right now about this and wiring needs, but net net: Based on IP camera or regular, you'll need 2 CAT5 and RG6 to over-cover your needs.

Why two cat5 cables?


4) Video. Basic component distro covered below. Distributing HDMI is going to be a hassle, and I don't think it's the right time. You could run either 3RG6 (minicoax is simpler) or CAT5 if you get that cool Audio Authority stuff (which is $$$).
5) touchpanels & in-room vol controllers or keypads. Run an 18/2 (LV power), CAT5 (network), and speaker wire (in case you decide to go the russound controller route and want that room to be a subzone, you'll need speaker wire as they do local amplification.)


I want to have touchpanels like you do in bedrooms, living room, front door foyer......(what wire do these need? How do you charge them?)

in the other rooms, kitchen, bathroom, spare rooms, I want just a way to turn on the audio.....dont need touchpanels......... what do you suggest?
 
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