License-free automation gear? - AVS Forum
Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
HLVwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi,

New here with a question.

I'm curious what's out there for automation systems that are non-proprietary?

I'm a Canadian electrician and have done a fair bit of work in installing and programming commercial automation (HVAC) systems, but looking for something geared more towards the home/small commercial market.

Something that can do the AV/security/lighting and power integration and can be controllable from a smartphone, and doesn't need a license to install and program.

I've done a few searches here, maybe using the wrong keywords, but have not come up with anything.

TIA.
HLVwa is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 12:46 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 79
I would check out Premise Home Control software.

Originally developed in 2001, Motorola open-sourced it in 2005.

http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/index.php?showforum=51

I don't know of any home control 'systems' that are non-proprietary. Elk M1 and HAI OPII might be good starting points, for sub-$1K.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #3 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 01:02 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
HLVwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi Neuro,

Thanks for the response.

I'm thinking "non-proprietary" may be the wrong term. Just looking for something I can use without having to travel half-way across the continent to obtain training so I can install and program their product. It's ok if the system is tied to a company and they exclusively sell that line, but the travel and training thing is a bit burdensome.
HLVwa is offline  
post #4 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 01:26 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 79
Then yes, Elk M1 or HAI OPII.

Each has a subforum at cocoontech.com, under Marketplace.

Most people start with one of those, and use another controller once limitations have been reached. For DIYers, the additional system is usually CQC, MainLobby, HomeSeer, Girder/NetRemote, or Elve. Live with the M1 or OPII for a good while before buying the 2nd controller - figure out what you really need first.

CQC would be the BMW of DIY control platforms. Here is nifty DIYer's home video:
http://www.youtube.com/user/CharmedQuarkSystems

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #5 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 04:45 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Dean Roddey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 19,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 66
BTW, CQC isn't just a DIY product. We do have professional installers and an Integration Partner Program, but all the training is available online and you don't have to travel anywhere to learn it. The best way would be to pick up a small system for yourself and do your own solution. 'Eating your own dogfood' is one of the best ways to make sure that you have created a solid solution. Tutorial videos are on the web site (www.charmedquark.com) then go into the Learn section. After the tutorial videos there are a set of technical reference documents with the hard core details. If you do end up signing up as an IP, we'll discount your initial system purchase from your signup fee.

Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd

www.charmedquark.com

 

Dean Roddey is offline  
post #6 of 14 Old 11-11-2011, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
HLVwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Neuro and Dean, thank you both for your input.

Going to have a look at the systems mentioned. I know HAI has been around awhile, just did some repair work at a house that had HAI installed.

This is what the guy had for an install. A little messy IMO, but one of the larger systems I've seen in a house:

HLVwa is offline  
post #7 of 14 Old 11-12-2011, 10:40 AM
Senior Member
 
BradKas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Posts: 253
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 12
I would also recommend HAI. The programing utility is very intuitive and has built in drivers for a lot of good 3rd party equipment.

If you don't want to buy online check local electrical distribution houses.
BradKas is offline  
post #8 of 14 Old 11-13-2011, 07:10 AM
AVS Special Member
 
Anthony A.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Canada EH?
Posts: 2,539
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Take a look at my home automation build thread in my sig. I used an HAI controller and use my iPhone to control lights, hvac, alarm, music, cameras, etc. I don't remember when the last time was that I used the light switch or alarm keypad .

Anthony A. is offline  
post #9 of 14 Old 11-14-2011, 05:21 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
HLVwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Hi Anthony,

Thanks for the links..I read a bunch the other day and plan on finishing tonight.

It's great people post their experiences with it, I know with commercial automation it can be challenging and the bugs alone could force someone off the deep end
HLVwa is offline  
post #10 of 14 Old 11-17-2011, 06:03 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
HLVwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Dean,

What would you recommend for a controller to work with CQC?
HLVwa is offline  
post #11 of 14 Old 11-17-2011, 09:29 PM
AVS Special Member
 
Neurorad's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Give a monkey a brain...
Posts: 5,071
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 79
I warned you.

CQC offers tremendous flexibility - limitless really.

CQC forums are very helpful, for CQC-specific questions.

Once people pick a specific 'overlord' controller, they tend to migrate away from AVS to the 'other' controller forum. Spend a good deal of time reading through the CQC forum.

Home automation will need to become a hobby, if you want to be successful with one of other controllers that I mentioed.

I believe many CQC users have chosen Elk or HAI as a security platform.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

Give a monkey a brain and he'll swear he's the center of the universe. -Fishbone
Neurorad is offline  
post #12 of 14 Old 11-17-2011, 11:46 PM - Thread Starter
Newbie
 
HLVwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Vancouver, Canada
Posts: 10
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Thanks for the reply Neuro.

For HVAC automation, I use Johnson Controls and Schneider Electric. They're both simple to do the engineering for and easy as pie to program. Between those two alone, there are so many processes going on in my city alone at any given minute.

I want to merge over to home automation as a profession, though. Frankly, I could care less what this valve is doing or that pump is doing, it's boring.

The typical companies - Crestron, Control4, etc. seem to want you to go to whatever school or factory it is to get trained in it, and frankly I'm not sure it's worth it to be running with the trend.

I like the gear you mentioned, and if ELK M1 and CQC can work together well, I'll use them. But having experienced it in the commercial world, there's always some "well this guy doesn't always like to talk to that guy" bug or glitch that will make life a royal pain for some time. If there's a combination - like those two - that work very well together, your answer saved me weeks of dry reading forums.

IOW, thanks
HLVwa is offline  
post #13 of 14 Old 11-18-2011, 02:09 PM
AVS Addicted Member
 
Dean Roddey's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 19,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked: 66
Yeh, mostly folks doing a simpler type of system would just use CQC as the low level controller, generally if they don't need to do security. Doing security, particularly professionally, brings obviously some liability issues and such, so you need to use something hardware in that case, and most CQC users who have such a need use the Omni or Elk generally. Then beyond security you can decide generally whether you want CQC or the Elk/Omni to be the one in direct control of some of the other things (and in the latter case CQC can control those things indirectly.) Once you get beyond security, lights, and HVAC, most other stuff probably generally you would just let CQC directly control.

Dean Roddey
Chairman/CTO, Charmed Quark Systems, Ltd

www.charmedquark.com

 

Dean Roddey is offline  
post #14 of 14 Old 11-23-2011, 11:36 AM
AVS Special Member
 
AV_Integrated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Northern, VA - Washington, DC
Posts: 2,963
Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 161 Post(s)
Liked: 283
Since it wasn't brought up, doesn't Universal Remote Control offer a fair amount of their training online and have a lot of local distributors offer in-house training so if you do need a day or two session it isn't a trip to Las Vegas to get it, but just a hour or so drive for it.

I know all my URC training has been done online using their videos. I haven't delved to deeply into their more advanced control system products, but they definitely have them.

AV Integrated - Theater, whole house audio, and technology installation in the Washington DC metro area.
AV_Integrated is offline  
Reply Home Automation

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off