What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?

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I am buying a house, and I want to automate it all -- centralized media
server, home theater, security cameras, motorized drapes, sprinkler
system, multiple music zones, touchscreens in every social area, timed
events, and remote access to it all.  I am somewhat geeky, so I can
take technological challenges. I curently have Windows Media Center on
one PC, and I feel it would be nice to use one single interface for the
media, the cameras, and everything else. So, I appeal to your
experience and your wisdom... Which technology should I use (Insteon,
Z-wave, UPB... )?  Which control program (HomeSeer, mCentral, ... )?
How should I distribute the media (Media Center Extender, Xbox, or just
cable it all?  And what would you do differently in your experience?


Re: What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?


Im not sure you can do all this through pc control.  I have an
extensive AMX system.  I have all the stuff that you have and just some
other extras that come to mind

1. Wired mailbox sensor
2. Wired flood sensors
3. Wired motion sensors which activate certain cameras
4. Driveway detector
5. Ability to get weather updates to determin various macro events ie
sprinkler
6. Pool / Spa control
7. Vacation mode settings, activating video recording, lights etc
8. Bathtub activation
9. Astroclock timed functions
10. Doorbell functions
11. Garage door
12. Telephone/Intercom integration
13. Network
14. HDTV
So not sure how much you want to do now or leave for later, but from
the above list you can see the list goes on and on.  I have all the
above and am constantly looking for new ideas.  Its a work in progress
and I love it.
Would love anyone else to add to what they have.  ALWAYS LOOKING FOR
NEW IDEAS


Re: What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?


I would run tons of wire to every room first, then conduit.

For software, I love my CQC, definitely CQC. Check out the sig below for
what i'm doing with it. HVAC, irrigation, security, CD, XM, DVD, TV &
CCTV(via a web browser), doorbell, also controllable via Cingular PDA for
when i'm not home. I'll probably get RadioRA for lighting with the bonus
early next year.

I got a few Fujitsu 3400 10" touchscreen tablet PCs for cheap control
throughout the house.

I can get a single program to do the front-end interface and the back-end
control. No way can HomeSeer even come close to touching that.


-----------------------------------------------------
Note: I am a mere end-user with no financial stake in any products that I
may discuss.

My Personal Website w/my Home Automation PC:
http://www.myhomeautomationpc.com , last updated 4/11

My Home Automation Blog: http://homeautomation.wordpress.com /
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Re: What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?


I have degrees in automation and robotics and can say that I would do
it all myself from scratch with a wirless laptop ot tablet and some
remote modules, but for the average user I would say your best bet is
multiplexing everthing you can or wireless control to everything,
thatway everything you forgot to do when you set it up is still an
option.

Empress2454 #124457


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Carlos wrote:
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Re: What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?


Having Degrees and telling people that you have them the first time you
talk is not very good, do you have any experience?

Going wireless is not good due to reliability problems with
interference and distance
Using a laptop or any central system as main control is madness
distributed control is the only way to give resilience.
I am sure no one wants to wait for the laptop to reboot to turn on a
light.
Systems like Konnex and C-Bus have this distributed control

Hope that is clear
Grahame

Going wireless is one not good due to r
empress2454@wowway.com wrote:
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Re: What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?



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Hmmm ... Dr David Nelson -- who designed computerized instrumentation for
experiments in nuclear physics in the 1960's, was a designer of PRIME
Computers, co-founded Apollo Computers (later sold to HP) and then started
Savoy Software and designed and wrote CyberHouse IBM PC-compatible home
automation software -- states that he has installations that have run
continuously 24x7 from 1998 to date. Does his experience seem adequate to
you? Where is the "madness" in his MS-OS, PC-based solution?

Dr. Nelson  makes available an extremely lucid beginning of a book on
concurrency in computer applications and its application to event-based home
automation software design.  Highly Recommended (slow download):

http://www.savoysoft.com/Downloads/Concurrency.pdf

I have run CyberHouse from Fall 1999 with no failure that I know of ever from
the software or OS. I received a free, full-version integer (3.x to 4.0)
upgrade as recently as this February. It has been hands down the best
software value for a major piece of software in 25+ years of dishing out $.
Folks that listened to the hardware bigotry and hawking software vaporware in
this newsgroups beginning in 1999 missed out on a spectacularly good, long
ride ...

And this (Cyberhouse) software can be modified to add and subtract devices on
the fly, and change rules on the fly -- no reboot necessary. In contrast, it
*is* in fact the distributed systems that use (eg) ladder logic that *must*
be stopped to be reprogrammed and then restarted/rebooted. This applies to
Ocelot, security panels and most  "distributed control" devices. One of the
most hilarious  claims made here in comp.home.automation is that 'you program
the Ocelot _once_ '.

(Clipsal is a notable exception that allows devices to added or subtracted on
the fly. Was that your point?)

... Marc
Marc_F_Hult
www.ECOntrol.org

Re: What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?


Well
"ladder logic that *must* be stopped to be reprogrammed and then
restarted/rebooted"
WRONG I have rewitten systems while still running over the last 20
years
You do not know what you are talking about

Both Clipsal and EIB have simular functionality but EIB has a choice of
120+ manufacturers
Why so many manufactures are they all stupid or is it good

If you have an argument atleast make sure you are correct in you
statments

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Re: What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?



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ROTFL

If I write: "people who can't read", does that mean that "all people can't
read " ? <joke intended>.

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Apparently I wasn't clear enough. One part I wrote that wasn't
clear/read/understood/responded to was: " This applies to Ocelot, security
panels and most  "distributed control" devices" [used in home automation in
North America].

Are you are claiming to be able to reprogram an Elk MM443 or Slinke on the
fly? Good luck!

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I didn't discuss European EIB, did I? The original poster is in North
America, not Europe, and the vast majority of all posts and discussion in
this newsgroup concern  North American homes with 110v systems, subject to NA
building and other codes. Clipsal pertains because a major US distributor has
announced that they will distributing Clipsal in NA this year. European
Installation Bus (EIB) is not in common use anywhere in North America as best
I know. This has nothing to do with anyone being stupid. It is a matter of
different markets, prevalent codes and other regulatory requirements, and
household line voltage (220 v 110).

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What I wrote is correct, but I can see how it could be misunderstood. I did
not say that all ladder logic or other devices had to be stopped. I
specifically stated that (eg) Clipsal could be updated on the fly. That is
not the case with many HA devices in common use in NA that are the subject of
discussion in comp.home.automation. European Installation Bus (EIB)is not
used in US and Canada.


... Marc
Marc_F_Hult
www.ECOntrol.org

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the
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on

Re: What would you do differently if you were to automate a new home from scratch?



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I would NOT use X10 protocol for starters....!
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