What's The Best Hardware Available

Hello Members,

I have recently developed a new found interest in home automation. I was hoping some of you could give me some direction as to what type of equipment and software I should use in my new home. My last home had X10 switches and receptical that gave me much trouble. It was highly sensitive to electrical "noise". The recepticals could not transmit there on/off state. And they did not work with incandesent lighting.

What type of equipment should I purchase thats reliable, informative, yet still reasonably priced that uses my home current eletrical wiring?
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
You seek the GRAIL

There is no simple answer to this question, as new technologies are just starting to come to market and have not as of yet proven themselves worthy.

Hardware technologies to watch out for:

Insteon
UPB
Z-Wave

You can have a pretty reliable X-10 system, you just have to have a good coupler repeater in your breaker box and get a signal meter so you eliminate the signal sucking sources you have pluged in your home (by putting in a signal block).

That said software to use really depends on what interface (i.e. how elaborate) you want. If you are happy switching lights on and off with a palm-pad you don't need much, but if you want a web interface that interfaces with your wireless palm-pad or want touchscreen capabilities, well you need more.

Common software to look at:

Homeseer
Main Lobby
Home Automated Living
Medio
Charmed Quark

There are also a number of security and programmable interface control panels (i.e. not PC run) that you may want to look at as well. This list includes:

GE Caddx
Elk M1 Gold
JDS Stargate
HAI Omni
Applied Digital Ocelot

Just do a search on these items and start learning the advantages/disadvantages of each.

Regards,

BSR
 

bfisher

Active Member
I'll vouch for UPB. Still early in my implementation - but very reliable so far.

In addition to the hardware listed above, I'd consider HomeVision Pro (in fact I did consider it and I bought one!) ;)

Edit: I should have added that I already had implemented a Caddx security system when I purchased HVPro. If I hadn't, I'd have considered the Elk M1 much harder...
 

AutomatedOutlet

Senior Member
I just yanked out my Caddx system in my house this morning to make room for a new Elk. Been running the Elk in the office for a couple of weeks now.

My understanding is that HomeVision Pro doesn't work with the Elk but they are thinking about adding it.
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Yes, I currently have a Caddx NX8E and an Ocelot with RLY-8 (Output) and SECU16I (Input) modules. The Elk M1 Gold was not out at that time. Wish it was as I would have purchased that instead of the above.

BTW: Forgot to tell you: Welcome to CocoonTech.com ;)
 

rocco

Active Member
BraveSirRobbin said:
Hardware technologies to watch out for:

Insteon
UPB
Z-Wave
Don't overlook ZigBee. After looking over all of the technologies, I think ZigBee holds the most promise in these areas:

Most reliable mesh-networking
Most functionality with no computer
Lowest cost (though SmartHome claims otherwise, and they may be right)
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
AutomatedOutlet said:
BSR, not too late to upgrade... I already sold the Caddx that was in the house :D
Hehe, I hear you. I have been tempted, but I just got everything working the way I want right now!

I am thinking about using this in my friend's house (he is building this summer), but it will be some time till be get to the automation phase (though we are planning on running a ton of wiring before drywall goes up). ;)
 

Treetop

Active Member
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

You all too funny :)


Now, I've seen threads get off track before.... heck, I've pulled them off track before.... but this one is just too funny...

The man asks about 2-way switches, and you all are babbling about security systems and gear that isnt even on the market yet :p

Newbe,

Asking for the "best" is a loaded question... and well, you can already see how that goes :D

Here are some other threads where the word "best" were used:

Best X-10 Interfase
which home automation software is best

As to:
My last home had X10 switches and receptical that gave me much trouble. It was highly sensitive to electrical "noise". The recepticals could not transmit there on/off state. And they did not work with incandesent lighting.

Look at Leviton 2-ways.... dont know their model numbers
Everyone has their preference... hopefully they will chime in (I still use the el-cheapo x10 switches).

They are pricey, but work well. You also mentioned "noise" in your "last" house...
Depending on what you have plugged-in, you may need some filters. UPS and Plasma TVs are notorious signal suckers. It could be anything or nothing... Filters may be the answer (even the wiring in the house can have huge impact= you hinted that you are in a new house).

X10 is not perfect, but for everything wrong with it, there are workarounds... (ie. couplers/repeaters, filters, etc)

UPB is recent to the scene, but from limited reviews it seems to be working well... at a price.

It sounds as if you havent touched x10 in a while... what software did you use? What components, devices, etc.? What do you want to do?

Controlling a few lights in the Home Theatre?

Sidebar: Mind control is being slowly implemented... understand, that while you may want to be able to control the WAF.... it has a mind of its own ;)

Good luck, and Welcome to the board!

Treetop
 

BraveSirRobbin

Moderator
Treetop said:
Now, I've seen threads get off track before.... heck, I've pulled them off track before.... but this one is just too funny...

The man asks about 2-way switches, and you all are babbling about security systems and gear that isnt even on the market yet :D
Dude: Read the post:

I was hoping some of you could give me some direction as to what type of equipment and software I should use in my new home

As far as not on the market yet, which system mentioned above are not currently available?

With a question as "general" as this, I was thinking he may need a "ground up" look at everything available so he investigates all the above mentioned software and equipment before he purchased anything.

BUT, I do see your point as well if I didn't interpert the post correctly and all he really wanted was to learn more about X-10 switches!

Well, seems like he got BOTH! (Isn't CocoonTech great?!?!) ;)

BSR
 

Treetop

Active Member
Sorry if it came across as a flame... I was only joking around ;)

As to which isnt out.. Insteon.

I don't think you misinterpreted his question at all... it is so generalized that discussion on the Robosapien could even fit in here.
 
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