Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?

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To give you an idea... my all-Insteon installation is approaching 90
devices in a 5000 square foot 3 story home, no repeaters, bridges or
noise filters of any kind (other than the 2 RF repeaters that are
recommended).  After 2 years of operation I have yet to have a glitch
or communication failure (honestly).  Of the 90 devices I had to
return only 3 of them for defects (and one of those I overloaded
myself).  I use the House Link Desktop software to program and manage
the whole network.  The house is wired with all steel conduit (Chicago
building codes dont allow Romex) this may or may not be adding to the
reliability.

I asked myself the same questions 5 years ago and decided to "wait"
for Insteon as I already had lived with X10 in my old house and wanted
something better and Zwave seemed stagnant.  I'm glad I waited the 3
years for Insteon to be developed.  I'm not shilling for Insteon here
but I have been very happy with my setup and I see new devices yearly
and at a faster rate than Zwave.  Now I just learned that they are
going to give me a free upgrade to the HouseLink software with the new
improved interface box just for returning the old one, I like that.  I
have confidence that I can re-sell my home some day without having to
explain to potential buyers all about a complicated system they need
to learn, which would not be a good thing.

HTH


Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
RickH wrote:
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Rick,

I quickly looked at a site that had Insteon devices listed.
It seemed to me to control the devices a computer has to be left turned on.
Are there any controllers that can be programed from the computer that
control the devices, so the computer can be turned off?

TIA
Rich W.

Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?

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I am a big fan of ViziaRF.  Its Zwave based, which is certainly not moribund
as a prior post claimed.  Can tie to a computer but the main controller is
handheld and acts as a remote as well.  Good gear, multiple vendors for
Zwave, and not under control of a single supplier.




Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
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They make keypads that can deal with controlling the devices.  Or are you
looking for timer and event oriented activities?  There is a standalone box
that can interface with Insteon.  Haven't used one myself so I can't offer
anything else about it.

-Bill Kearney



Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
Bill,

I did find a few on the site yesterday.
I may look into it more after the hollidays.

Thanks
Rich W.


Bill Kearney wrote:
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Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
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My approach was to NOT go for central-control but to have a very
flexible and robust lighting system that I can configure at the
keypads or with a computer program that I hook up momentarily.  And
one that had robust cross-linking, status indication, and scene
capabilities.  As a software developer I liked the robust packets
exchanged by Insteon devices and sheer number of these cross link
packets that can fit in device memory.  There is now I believe a stand-
alone computerless controller that will perform timing but not sure if
it does if/then/else logic, maybe ask Smarthome.  The Insteon chip is
licenseable and there are more manufacturers besides Smarthome using
it.  For my purposes I'm very happy, if I add a central controller at
all it is really secondary to the fact that my switches have been both
as dependable as mechanical switches and very easy to program.  I
figure a future-buyer maybe wont want to have a lot of dependency on
central-control nor do I want to teach them, but they will appreciate
the "virtual wiring" (ability to make any switch(s) control any
load(s) from any location(s)) and handheld remotes for the media room,
etc.  I'm not sure what I'd do with central control anyway other than
a few small programs to not let the garage door stay open too long in
cold temperature, or other things that I cant do with a dumb timer or
photocell.  I'm gonna get trashed for this, but I think central-
control is highly overrated, but having every switch and load be
"virtually wired" is amazing.


Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
Rick,

Thanks for the feedback.
I have a small X10 setup now that only controls a few lights.
What I like is that I can program the power line interface for when the
lights go on and off w/o having to leave a computer on.
I have to do a lot of reading before do anything.

Thanks again
Rich W.

RickH wrote:
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Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
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Hi Rich,
 I'm a security tech by trade but work for a home automation company
now, and we install those Centralized Processors for residential
lighting you just mentioned earlier.
I personally was content with the X-10 switches in my house 9yrs ago
and have been researching the newer protocols to design a system with
a high W.A.P. (Wife Approval Factor) for my current residence. (GE
security panel was the controller)
Z-wave, Zigbee, UPB are all good, but I keep coming back to the
Insteon product.

As much as you fight it you will eventually need to purchase some type
of small centrallized controller.
 It's not all that expensive if you subtract the cost of the PLM.

http://www.smarthome.com/12231P/ISY-99i-INSTEON-Enabled-Automation-Controll=
er-with-PLM/p.aspx
http://www.smarthome.com/12230P/INSTEON-Compatible-IP-Bridge-Controller-Hom=
e-Automation-Controller-ISY-26/p.aspx

This softwaremay be what you are looking for as well.
http://www.myx10.com /

http://www.hnausa.com/Products/INSTEON-Compatible-In-Wall-Touch-Screen-Cont =
roller__12005.aspx


Happy hunting!

Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
That is what I am looking for.
I have been using a few X10 devices for almost 20 years. (iIrr)
I find them intermittent in operations.  One light turns on every now &
then, sometimes I cant control it, and occasionally the light cycles
from off to full on to off over and over. (slowly, maybe 3 seconds to
full and off)
After the holidays I want to look into this more.
Your link is what I have in mind.
Thanks for the info.

karljacoboski@gmail.com wrote:
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Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
I agree that it's best to leave as much logic as possible within each
device.  This allows for faster and more reliable operation.

That being said, I highly recommend the ISY from Universal-Devices.  It's
simply the best central controller for Insteon.  Not only is it great and
handling triggers and events, they also have a model with IR built-in.  It
also makes programming even complex scenes extremely easy.


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My approach was to NOT go for central-control but to have a very
flexible and robust lighting system that I can configure at the
keypads or with a computer program that I hook up momentarily.  And
one that had robust cross-linking, status indication, and scene
capabilities.  As a software developer I liked the robust packets
exchanged by Insteon devices and sheer number of these cross link
packets that can fit in device memory.  There is now I believe a stand-
alone computerless controller that will perform timing but not sure if
it does if/then/else logic, maybe ask Smarthome.  The Insteon chip is
licenseable and there are more manufacturers besides Smarthome using
it.  For my purposes I'm very happy, if I add a central controller at
all it is really secondary to the fact that my switches have been both
as dependable as mechanical switches and very easy to program.  I
figure a future-buyer maybe wont want to have a lot of dependency on
central-control nor do I want to teach them, but they will appreciate
the "virtual wiring" (ability to make any switch(s) control any
load(s) from any location(s)) and handheld remotes for the media room,
etc.  I'm not sure what I'd do with central control anyway other than
a few small programs to not let the garage door stay open too long in
cold temperature, or other things that I cant do with a dumb timer or
photocell.  I'm gonna get trashed for this, but I think central-
control is highly overrated, but having every switch and load be
"virtually wired" is amazing.


Re: New to Home Automation - should I wait for Zigbee?
Quoted text here. Click to load it

The ISY physically stores all the scenes and links in the devices, so
if the ISY burns out or is removed everything still works (except for
the logic and timers of course) and dependability is as-good as if you
programmed the switches from scratch.  It does look like a nice
product and they are also porting it to UPB and Zwave in the future.
I may get it just to maintain scenes.  The UI can be browsed without a
router or LAN in your home, by just using an ethernet crossover cable
directly to your laptop.


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