• 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.

New Controller Recommendation

baldacchino

New Member
Hello,
I am currently thinking about upgrading my controller at home but to be honest I am a bit lost with all the options and the investments I have made in modules. I am after some advice. If it helps I am in Australia.

My current system is as follows
- Homevision Pro + 2 x I/O Expansion Modules (i2c)
- X10, I leverage an XTB-IIR and have approx 60 modules and the house is reliable
- Serial
  * Innerrange Integriti - 36 PIR's, door locks etc. (my eyes of the house)
  * NAD multi channel audio
- Digital / Analogue IO, approx 20 digital inputs, 5 analogue inputs and 15 outputs
- One Wire, Dallas DS1820s digital temp sensors, I have 8 of them
- Integration - I leverage a lot of AWS native services as glue (I work for Amazon) and need the ability to call Powershell / Node or another script engine
- Amazon Alexa via HA Bridge
- I use NetIO
 
I have a quick look on the market but can't find something that really meets my needs. I have a large X10 investment and really would like to leverage these units. I also need an even based system where if something occurs on a serial port (such as activity in a zone or door is opened) then my controller can take action.
 
My issues I am finding with the Homevisio Pro are
-8 bit, makes programming a bit annoying
-I have a lot of events occurring. With an alarm system spewing out a stream like a firehose the controller slows down from time to time and it can become annoying

Thoughts and suggestions welcome.
 
Thanks Shane
 

pete_c

Guru
Welcome to the Cocoontech forum Shane.
 
upgrading my controller
 
A controller can be pure hardware, software or a combination.  IE: a CM11A is an x10 controller with a serial interface to another device which controls it. 
 
In the late 70's lighting was controlled via automated switched which were controlled by firmware or software mostly using X10 powerline.
 
Today home automation is much more than light control. 
 
My issues I am finding with the Homevision Pro are
-8 bit, makes programming a bit annoying
-I have a lot of events occurring. With an alarm system spewing out a stream like a firehose the controller slows down from time to time and it can become annoying.
 
Innerrange Integriti
 
Very nice stuff and I see that you can integrate the device with automation controllers.
 
Do they have modules for X10 control? 
 
Much discussed here are combination security / automation panels from ELK and from Leviton these days.
 
These are old designs now past the 10 year mark. The AD works great is is much faster than wireless or network AD devices (my opinion) and probably faster than your Homevision Pro device.  I am impressed with what it can do.  Never heard of it.
 
Here in the late 80's purchased an alarm panel which had speech and X10 control on it.  Worked OK and it was difficult to program.  Programming was just pressing buttons on the panel and watching the LED lamps.  You could do some stuff with the basic keypad at the time.  I kept using it until the early 2000's when I switched over to the HAI OmniPro2 panel.
 
Primary here see old serial stuff being fastest with direct connections, USB is so so, Wired Gb is good (except you have to back up power).  Never like using wireless for any dependent automation.  (that is me).
 
Personally best lightning automation is wired and next best is powerline (because it exists in your home today) and last is wireless because wireless is mickey mouse and a wireless hybrid is also mickey mouse (my opinion). 
 
Thing is too if you are off the grid and making your own electricity then the approach is a bit different.
 
My Leviton Omni panel (HAI user since around early 2000's)  is doing
 
1 - all of the wired sensors (including temperature / humidity) - 16 X 3 zones ==> 48 zones plus outputs
2 - X10 via Jeff Volp's dual phased TW-523 emulator - works well.
3 - UPB via an HAI PIM (using phase repeater and have used phase couplers).
4 - Zigbee via a Leviton ZIM * (one ZIM)
5 - ZWave via a Leviton VRCOP *
* limited a bit
 
I have automation software (Homeseer user since ~ 1998) running here for integration to:
 
1 - 1-wire network - old was using Midon Temp08/05 serial devices (3 old ones) - changing over now to utilizing an RPi2 combo POE connected ZWave dot me, RTC Shim and a 1-wire network for just the second floor with old AAG / Midon and HB combo temperature and humidity sensors which work well.
2 - Ocelot (still use devices over 15 years old now) - AD and TW-523
3 - more X10, UPB, ZWave - software using CM11A, variety of UPB PIMs and now 3 autonomous ZWave controllers.
 
4 - Samsung Hub - internet dependant tinker toy *Integration to Samsung hub is via OmniPro software and Homeseer talks to the Omnipro
5 - Amazon Echo - internet dependant tinker toy
6 - Google Voice - internet dependant tinker toy
7 - Securifi Almond series (all) - you can shut off the internet dependancy if you want but stifling a bit (no direct integration)
8 - Microsoft SAPI - years now and recently use of the Kinect - can run it without the internet.*
 
* preferred because I have a collection of voice fonts now some 20 plus years in a variety of english dialects and non english speech (french, portuguese, italian, german, et al).
 
9 - starting to play with mosquitto mqtt
 
I am trying to not be dependent on the Internet...that said doing everything a la carte here now...
 
1 - two internet connections for redundancy
2 - current primary is a tad under 100Mb but new stuff going up to 900Mb-Gb now
 
For security prefer direct wired devices and stay away from wireless relating to security (that is me).
 
@Shane...looks like you are very comfortable with your HomeVision automation and InnerRange security stuff and X10 powerline lightning.
 
It is really what you want to do with it and adding any new stuff and budgeting. 
 
Software can be an inbetween. 
 
DIYing your software to hardware can be easy or difficult. 
 
The mention of Elk and HAI is that of two of the first and only hardware devices today that combine security and automation which are old now but very simple multi functional controllers. 
 
The Elk system is modular and you can start simple with it and add piece by piece. 
 
The HAI system is an all in one system in a small footprint. 
 
Both panels can self sufficient run fine, software adds icing to the cake of the base of these two panels.
 
I apologize here as there is no one simple solution and just a bunch of them all put together mostly the long math way which works fine for DIY software / hardware engineering type individuals but not for a collective of a bunch of non software / hardware / engineering types of individuals.
 
You came to the right place as these types of discussions occur here on the Cocoontech forum all of the time. 
 

znelbok

Active Member
I would say that you need some sort of HA package like control 4, Homeseer etc.  I'll be honest that my preference is CQC because I can write custom drivers for my gear.
 
I'm also in Australia so I know the pain of not being able to use a lot of the Z-Wave stuff etc as its really expensive if available and just plain not available.
 
X-10 was never big here so I am surprised you have a significant install of it - although its outdated now and everyone has moved on.  For us downunder, lighting is either C-bus or Dynalite.  I know C-bus and there is a driver for it with CQC.
 
InnerRange from memory was an Aussie based security company so getting it to integrate with anything is probably going to mean you write your own driver/interface.  THe Elk M1 mentioned is sold by Ness here and called the Ness M1.  (Again a CQC driver for it).
 
As for controllers, The M1 is an automation controller but you probably dont want to replace the InnerRange.  CQC is a controller that can handle all events and take actions so maybe that will suffice, but if you want a hardware controller solution then I can't think of one.
 
Top