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

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?

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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
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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:

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On 8 Aug 2006 08:24:00 -0700, "Carlos" posted:

I would NOT use X10 protocol for starters....! Here's a quiz to see if you are good enough to go to Heaven -->

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Stephen Wilson

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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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

H> I have degrees in automation and robotics and can say that I would do

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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):

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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

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

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!

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).

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

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