Basic Home Automation Guide

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nickr Offline
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Post: #46
Nice thread I am looking to do some HA. Thanks.

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DoubleT Offline
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Post: #47
Im also about a year into an x10 experiment in my flat. originally i had 50's wiring so this and powerline networking were simply out of the question.
The upstairs neighbour had a flood that gutted my flat, cue a full re-decoration on insurance, why not pay to do the electrics done properly at the same time and then decorate over all the in-wall work for free.
So i have cat5 alround the flat and brand new electircs, time for some x10 fun.

Ive had to put my x10 controller and one end of the flat, which means the bedside lamp at the opposite end of the flat cant be reliably controlled, happens to be my girlfriends...

When controlling lights in the ceiling ive gone for bayonet fittings, which cant dim, just on or off, but the other draw back being if we use the original wall switch and the x10 device is off, you get no light, and you can end up leaving the wall switch in the off position also, so when the x10 on command is sent, it doesnt make it to the bayonet light fixture. pain in the ass!

Its the little annoyances which mean my girlfriend has pretty much veto'd home automation. It had all initially gone very well, i used x10-commander as a web interface for activehome pro, so i was able to write a simple android app for the whole house control, using Tasker it became almost "aware". Stuff like, when my alarm goes off in the morning it fades my bedside light on, turns the hall light on amd turns it all off again when my phone disconnects from the wifi on the walk to the station. Equally when i get home the lights all come on, xbmc is woken up, the projector and sound system turned on. Its all overkill and ridiculous but the upside, almost unexpectedly has been my electric costs have gone down because everything is only on when its being used. I could use activehome pro's lifestyle function to fine tune it, but the live input from the android app side of things works well, so why change it.

next steps for me are looking into x10 micro devices to sit behind the wall switches. reasoning being you will always have local and remote control no matter what. which is essentially in my mind anyway what the whole thing should be about anyway?
also just bought an arduino uno, am looking to build a adalight / boblight type thing for the projector screen in the front room, also read i can set notifications into the led array, such as a white 360 ripple etc. im thinking door bell notification during a video. homeawesome have a great ip tv door bell plugin going on, linking that with these other toys just adds to the fun.

overall my implementation was always just a technical demo i suppose, i went for x10 as i knew it was cheap and it had the open-ness allowing apps such as x10-commander to exist, its simplicity is incredible and allowed so many other system to be "bodged together" to work pretty realiably, but there is always a weak link if you dont do it properly. If i were to build my own house, i think you could do it 100% spot on, working around its limitations, but otherwise, there are too many unknowns for it to be perfect.
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dbldown768 Offline
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Post: #48
Maybe I'm missing something here but hopefully someone can help me get started. Right now I would like to put the sconce lights that are currently on a dimmer on either an x10 or zwave setup. Just like the original post suggested I would like to use this in conjunction with the cinema experience. Since at the moment this is the only thing I want to automate what would be the cheapest quickest way to achieve this feature? I know I just need to swap out my current dimmer. I guess the part I'm missing is do I require a separate always on PC for this automation or can my xbmc be used to controlled this activity? Also my PC is behind a wall and uses RF for communication. Originally I was thinking of getting a mi casa Verde 2 but that is a lot of money for one light.

Maybe in the future I can do the doorbell or front door.

EDIT: so it sounds like a PC is going to be required for this. My xbmc machine runs Linux (xbmcbuntu). Not sure this can run the transceiver as well.

Motherboard P5N7A-VM, E8400 C2D 3.0 processor. NVIDIA 9300 graphics card. OpenELEC Stable - Generic x86_64 Version:3.2.4
(This post was last modified: 2014-01-15 15:40 by dbldown768.)
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nickr Offline
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Post: #49
Your pc has an operating system that multitasks. It can run more than one thing at a time, including running an x10 application.

You might also want to look at Philips Hue system. Networked light bulbs with a xbmc app already developed.

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