Basic Home Automation Guide

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biccies Offline
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Post: #16
I'd like to thank aptalca and Livin. I've recently moved house and am looking to get a decent media setup (Hopefully sharing media across rooms), I'm also hoping to throw in some home automation to the mix in the near future. LinuxMCE appears to be my best bet at the moment. However, from my reasearch it appears to me that LinuxMCE is just plain ugly!
Also, I'm living in the UK- I'm not sure that home automation has picked up here yet. You can buy switch & remote combinations in DIY stores but nothing that conforms to a standard that would allow whole house integration in one system.

I should note I used to use XBMC an awful lot as a student. I used to have a computer in my bedroom so it was ideal. I think it would look good in my living room (once I get some decent hardware for it) but I'm not sure it can beat LinuxMCE interms of sharing media.
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Shoop_NL Offline
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Post: #17
Hi,

I have used this Thread to create a new (service) Add-on

Check out this link

Thanx for the info that was posted here.
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Livin Offline
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Post: #18
Shoop_NL Wrote:Hi,

I have used this Thread to create a new (service) Add-on

Check out this link

Thanx for the info that was posted here.


Cool app but X10 is a dead technology in the USA.
If you want very basic on/off/dim using low-quality devices that will dies in a few years... X10 is fine.

X10 devices are no longer being made and compared to today's current technology (Insteon, UPB, Z-Wave, etc), X10 is crappy in every way.

I'm not an expert but I play one at work.
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Shoop_NL Offline
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Post: #19
Livin Wrote:Cool app but X10 is a dead technology in the USA.
If you want very basic on/off/dim using low-quality devices that will dies in a few years... X10 is fine.

X10 devices are no longer being made and compared to today's current technology (Insteon, UPB, Z-Wave, etc), X10 is crappy in every way.

Hi livin,

Had to start with something simple to see if it would work.
X10 suplied a very easy (and cheap) platform to reach my goal.

Now I can try to extend (so more Apps to add and more functionality)

I just wanted a simple add-on that control my lights when watching a video
Without configuring lots of difficult apps.

All other fancy stuff is already available in the Cinema experiance Add-on.

Regards
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Livin Offline
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Post: #20
Shoop_NL Wrote:Hi livin,

Had to start with something simple to see if it would work.
X10 suplied a very easy (and cheap) platform to reach my goal.

Now I can try to extend (so more Apps to add and more functionality)

I just wanted a simple add-on that control my lights when watching a video
Without configuring lots of difficult apps.

All other fancy stuff is already available in the Cinema experience Add-on.

Regards

I completely understand your goal and I like the overall method better than Cinema Experience which is too messy/large/complex for HA needs like ours.

I'll keep specific posts to your Plugin, in your thread. I look forward to see you expand your Plugin.

I'm not an expert but I play one at work.
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foghat Offline
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Post: #21
going to resurrect this thread. Does anyone know how I can do this with z-wave? I am using the mentioned HomeSeer HSPro software.

What I am not sure of is how to get the signal from my htpc either directly to my z-wave switches or to my HA computer running HSPro. My htpc is sitting in a room and does not have line of sight to anything. does anyone know if there is any sort of equivalent to the usb-uirt that will transmit rf and be understood by zwave devices or controllers?
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aptalca Offline
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Post: #22
Your best bet is to communicate with the computer that is running HSPro. HSPro will then communicate with your switches and control your zwave devices.

The easiest way to do that is through http commands. Check out this page for http control of Homeseer.


If your htpc is running windows, you can do the same eventghost setup I mentioned in the first post. You're going to be using the http commands the same way, just different commands that work with the homeseer plugin.
(This post was last modified: 2011-12-15 18:53 by aptalca.)
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rahulvfx Offline
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Post: #23
Hi all,

Reopening this thread again, as I found Home Automation is interesting to me. And thats also if I make it myself and control through XBMC. So now I got everything like PJ, HTPC, all the things required for home theater... whose setup is been made in a dedicated room. And also using XBMC for long, after knowing that XBMC can support this kind of system, I became mad to do for mu HT room.

Now the problem is, I came to know what needs to be done from this thread but the devices which you guys are working with is for 110 volts. Now can you guys guide me is there anything that can be incorporated on 220 volts, as I'm from India... if there is anything available in US (Amazon or any online store) also that will also be fine as I can get through my friend there ..

Thanks in advance.

Greetzzz
(This post was last modified: 2012-08-23 11:41 by rahulvfx.)
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Savage702 Offline
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Post: #24
(2012-08-23 11:38)rahulvfx Wrote:  Now the problem is, I came to know what needs to be done from this thread but the devices which you guys are working with is for 110 volts. Now can you guys guide me is there anything that can be incorporated on 220 volts, as I'm from India... if there is anything available in US (Amazon or any online store) also that will also be fine as I can get through my friend there ..

A quick search netted this result... I hope it helps, or puts you in the right direction.

http://www.x10europe.com/
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kemik Offline
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Post: #25
Does anyone know of a BBSB controller plugin please?
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GomezAddams Offline
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Post: #26
(2011-05-14 00:16)TonyNoone Wrote:  
aptalca Wrote:First of all, the two best options (if you're on a budget and want to do it all yourself) for home automation are: z-wave and x10. (For others, there are systems you can have installed by professionals and they include control 4, crestron, knx, etc. but they are beyond the scope of this guide)

That's funny. You managed to squeeze "best" and "X10" into the same sentence! That's a stretch. You could have used "cheapest" and "X10" but, BEST? How about UNRELIABLE and X10?

While I commend you for beginning a system and even more so for documenting it so others could benefit, I'm afraid that of every three who try to follow, two will fail. Simply because X10 is, well there's no nice way to put it, garbage.

Perhaps you'd care to explain how X-10 has remained the far and away undisputed king of home automation for 35 years.

X-10 works well (when used properly).
It is cheap.
It is open (tons of interoperable devices made).

How, exactly can this be classified as "garbage"? I've been using X-10 to computer control my Christmas lights since quite possibly before you were born.
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TonyNoone Offline
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Post: #27
Sure, easy. X10 is only the "king" of automation based on units installed. Not units still in service. Not units known for reliable operation. Certainly not units running in the homes (a la CEDIA) or commercial spaces (a a BMS systems) where people RELY on their automation. Ultimately, the age of the product and the affordability made it possible for the unwashed masses to begin playing (and usually cussing at) their cheap installs. The product is held in such high regard that even the OEM has ceased production.
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intertan Offline
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Post: #28
I am looking at possibly setting up something small soon, my living room consists of 2 plugin lights and one front entrance light. I would like to have a setup that when I am selecting a movie/tvshow all the lights will dim off, pause or movies is over will dim back on.
I have been looking at upb and almost decided to go with that tech.
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GomezAddams Offline
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Post: #29
(2012-09-01 03:27)TonyNoone Wrote:  Sure, easy. X10 is only the "king" of automation based on units installed. Not units still in service. Not units known for reliable operation. Certainly not units running in the homes (a la CEDIA) or commercial spaces (a a BMS systems) where people RELY on their automation. Ultimately, the age of the product and the affordability made it possible for the unwashed masses to begin playing (and usually cussing at) their cheap installs. The product is held in such high regard that even the OEM has ceased production.

It is king because it works, it is cheap, and it is easy to use. If this weren't true, X-10 would have died out a long time ago. You can sell people "trash" for a while, but I think 35 years would be enough time for people to catch on.

Now I'll agree that X-10's basic design is rather limited, but the fact is that X-10 works when used as designed.
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Crotia Offline
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Post: #30
(2011-05-12 00:59)aptalca Wrote:  Well, I literally just got into automation. I received all the hardware in the mail yesterday, but I was prepared software-wise (did a ton of research), so it only took about an hour to set it all up. Here's my little guide to setting it up.

First of all, the two best options (if you're on a budget and want to do it all yourself) for home automation are: z-wave and x10. (For others, there are systems you can have installed by professionals and they include control 4, crestron, knx, etc. but they are beyond the scope of this guide)

Z-wave is all wireless rf, more reliable, more secure and has 2-way communication, but it is a little pricier (each lamp module costs about $35).

X10 is the cheapest system by far, each lamp module costs about $7. It is a combo of rf and power-line signals. Most of the lamp/appliance modules receive power-line signals and they sell transceiver modules that receive the rf from remotes and convert it to power-line signals. Most modules are one way, meaning you cannot poll them, and if the module happens to not receive the command (due to noise in the power line) the software may think the light is on, but in fact it will be off.


With that said, I decided to go with X10 just to try it out. I didn't want to spend a ton of money upfront.

Here is what I purchased:

1) $49.99 - Complete software package + USB device (CM15A)
[INDENT]This came with the USB device that plugs into the computer and the powerline. It is the main controller and can send and receive both rf and plc signals. It also came with Activehome Pro and all of its main plugins including ActivePhone (which was essential for eventghost interaction)[/INDENT]

2) $6 each - Dimming/Soft-Start lamp modules (LM465)
[INDENT]You plug the lamp into the module and plug the module into the wall. You set the house code and unit code on the device. Pretty simple. (Works only for incandescent bulbs, not halogen, not fluorescent and not energy saving because they are not compatible with the dimming function. For those you have to get an appliance module that does not dim)[/INDENT]

3) $11 - Transceiver/appliance module (RR501)
[INDENT]This device converts rf signals to plc and also has a built-in appliance module for basic on/off. I plugged my halogen lamp into this. (This is not required as the CM15A usb device also acts as a transceiver, but I put this in a another room to increase rf range and I also needed an appliance module)[/INDENT]

4) $5 - Stick-on-wall light switch (SS13A)
[INDENT]This is a very thin remote that can control three devices and you can stick it on a wall and it looks just like a regular light switch. You can also carry it around and use it as a remote.[/INDENT]

Where are you getting such cheap prices!
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