Home automation conundrom. Need to solve with next 4 weeks. - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 39 Old 02-16-2012, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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I am 3 months away form the completion of my new home. My wife and I have been saving, scrimping and borrowing, and the dream is almost here.

But nobody seems to be able to help us with Home Automation.

I would more than happy to compensate any expert out there if you are able to guide me. Or better yet, design the whole system, soup to nuts, and I'll pay for your expertise.

I can email the auto-cads, but I just dont know wheret to begin.

I understand that x10 is becoming obsolete, but I am not sure if the answer is Z or Insteon, or Control 4 (cant afford Crestron).

And what is the point of a home automation system if programming the scenes is too cumbersome. My wife and I are very tech savy, but one cannot know all ramifications of all things in all systems....

I am looking for a security system, a CCTV system and smart home functions that control: lighting, thermostat, sprinklers, swimimng pool (probably Jandy heat pump), maybe the garage door, maybe floodsensor/water shutoff.

The security systems guys I have spoken with have no idea about smart home programming, and say the systems should be separte, and to leave it at that.

The Audio-Visual guys I have spoken with are all about selling me SurroundSound throughout the house and putting plasma TV's everwhere.

You're not going to believe this, but two of the companies I talked to actually told me that their lowest end systems start at about 100 thousand dollars! (I know the dollar has taken a beating, but they must be kidding or delusional!!!!).

My architect/builder is a very cool guy. He has agreed to wire the entire house with CAD5 and run it whereever I need with (drum roll here....) no extra charge.

The walls are still open, the sheet rock is not up, I can may my dream house a true smart home, but I have to move on this now.

I should have done this research earlier, but I thought the security guy my architect/builder reccomended would have a clue what a SmartHome was. He did not.

I like to DIY things around the house, but I think I'm out of my league. I've spoken with some electricians and others in the field who can do the wiring, but know nothing about designing the system.

I am gravitating towards the Insteon-ELK-M1 system for both security and lighting, an RVS thermostat....but honestly, I dont know.
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post #2 of 39 Old 02-17-2012, 12:40 PM
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I really hope a pro does take you up on your request, because at this point, you really need fast, reliable professional advice to get it done right. But in the meantime, I'll offer a few basic comments:

(1) Do you have a central location identified for all of your equipment (your equipment closet)? If not, you'll want to do that, because it won't do you any good to run cat5 cable anywhere if you don't where it should all go to.

(2) You should confirm with your builder that it is cat5e at a minimum. If it's truly plain old cat5 - then it's really not as useful as you need, if at all.

(3) Cameras - Whether you want wired or wireless, it's a good idea to run both power and cat5e to the locations you want the cameras, with the cat5e going back to wherever you will locate the dvr part of the system (likely the equipment closet I mention in 1).

(4) Lighting - so, is all of your electrical wiring done? If so, then going down the retrofit Insteon/whatever path is your only option. AFAIK, this can all be done without anything extra, so you don't have any additional wiring to do here before closing up the walls (assuming your loads have been wired to switch locations already).

(5) Anywhere you want to control something, run cat5e from there back to the central equipment closet. There are some good threads here and on cocoontech forums that discuss best pre-wiring practices (for current and future needs).

All that you want is possible, but the Insteon/Elk stuff is DIY, while Control 4 would be dealer installed. That's about all I can help you with, as I don't know much about Insteon/Elk and only slightly more about C4 from my research as a possible solution for my home.

Where are you located?
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post #3 of 39 Old 02-17-2012, 05:33 PM
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Disclaimer: I work for a Control4 dealer. You should be able to do what you want for much less than $100k.

We install DSC security systems--they integrate really easily with Control4. All you need is one Cat5E between the alarm panel and the controller.

When we integrate cameras, we usually use Panasonic IP cameras. Otherwise we use traditional analog cameras & they can be viewed from within the home or remotely. It's not a bad idea to run a Cat5e and a siamese RG-59 + 18/2 to each camera location.

C4 lighting & thermostats generally use standard electrical/HVAC wiring.

Run Cat5e from your controller location to the irrigation control location and pool control locations. Two to each would be even better.

You can run a Cat5e from the controller location to the water sensor location. It shouldn't require Cat5, but you'll be running it elsewhere so that's fine.

The easiest solution for integrating garage doors with C4 is a kit from Card Access, a company that works side-by-side with C4. I haven't installed one personally, so I'm not sure about its wiring requirements.
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post #4 of 39 Old 02-17-2012, 06:31 PM
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Dennis Erskine, active AVS member (search for his posts), and pro AV install guru, runs a home theater design service, very professional, and IMO affordable. They also do whole-house low voltage design work. All remotely, but he's in Atlanta. Search for reviews of his work here on AVS, and give him a call.

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post #5 of 39 Old 02-17-2012, 07:35 PM
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I don't know what you can reliably do in just a few weeks by yourself. And, that's pretty short notice even if you hire someone.

If you want to find some good installers go and visit the CQC folks at www.charmedquark.com. The folks that hang out in those forums are second to none.

-Mike
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post #6 of 39 Old 02-17-2012, 08:46 PM
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Just curious about where you're building this house, and what claims your 'architect/builder' is making. In NY, ethics, the licensing board, and logic prohibit an architect from being the builder and vice versa. The reason is, it's the architects job to not only be a liason between the two, but to also ensure that the owner/builder is 'protected' not to call all contractors evil, but they do exist, and even if we don't have to deal with an 'evil' one a contractor's primary goal is to make money on CONSTRUCTION of the home, the Architect makes money on design of and administration of construction of the home. In an over simplification, building codes dictate a minimum level of construction, simply doing things 'to code' doesn't mean you're getting the best possible, yes cost can be a factor, but it isn't always. But you can be almost certain that if a builder can make an extra buck or two by using a different or 'better' product (as he may present it to you) he will. I hope this person was very carefully selected, he is in a position of conflicted interest, beware.
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post #7 of 39 Old 02-17-2012, 09:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Than you all for your time and your candor.

I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to lend me your guidance.

I didn't know about the central equipment closet, but in retrospect it is easily taken care of.

I will be using either a licensed installer (control 4 probably ) or I'll have an electrician wire and build the system. He only asks that I provide him with plans and hardware.

The electric is already wired, but the electrician says he's flexible, not asking for more $ unless he has to "rewire the whole house"....

CAD5 or CAD6 or doubleCAD5 to each room (bedroom, den, computer room)?

As for your query about separating architect from builder, I understand your concerns. They are valid. Be it a Builder, or an Architect, they do not have a fiduciary relationship, and the conflict of quality versus profit is ever present. But, my wife (pain in the but at times, but meticulous!), interviewed about 15 builders, taking over a year before finally choosing a talented , honest and terrific guy, and while I have only heard horror stories about builders and the construction industry, this guy is a fine person. In this regard we chose well.

Thank you all again. I will take all your suggestions under advisement!

Live in NY if anyone wants to take a crack at it!
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post #8 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 04:23 AM
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If you're set on C4, I suggest you sign a contract with a local C4 installer now. He can make sure all the cables you need are installed. 'Two category (cat) cables to each room' will be insufficient. Get the C4 dealer involved now.

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

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post #9 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 07:21 AM
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You did not mention how many zones of AV. It can be done for less than 100K, but specifications would help with biudget setting. Try CEDIA.org to find another company for control. Also, you never said where you live. There may be a dealer on the board who can help you design the system and install it.

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post #10 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 10:58 AM - Thread Starter
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until your Post, I didn't even know the term "AV Zone" but I think, 3.

However, I only mentioned the 100k quote because it seems so outrageous.

I think it would be fantastic to embrace this new technology and how it can enhance a modern lifestyle. But I have 3 children to put through college. I would like to spend less then 20k for the project.
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post #11 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamfit View Post

CAD5 or CAD6 or doubleCAD5 to each room (bedroom, den, computer room)?

It's CAT (short for category) not CAD. Commonly you will encounter CAT3, CAT5, CAT5E or CAT6.

I use CAT6.

Just FYI when wiring the last house I ran:

- 4 CAT6 and 4 RG6 to each location where a TV might be located.
- 2 CAT6 to each location where a computer might be located
- 2 CAT6 to each location where a POTS (telephone) might be located
- 2 CAT6 to each location where a thermostat was going
- 2 CAT6 and 2 16/2 for the home automation touch panels
- as needed for the security system control panels
- as needed for security system sensors (door and window switches, smoke detectors, motion detectors, CO detectors, etc)
- 1 16/2 for each security speaker
- as needed for the intercom stations
- 1 16/4 for each pair of whole house audio in-ceiling speakers
- 2 CAT6, 2 16/2, 2 24/2 STP for each security camera
- other stuff that I cannot remember off the top of my head

As you can see it can take a lot of wire.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #12 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 01:25 PM
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Bringing in a certified dealer in your product of choice (sounds like C4 at the moment) will be very helpful, but it seems you need to ask yourself some questions about what you actually want.

Your wishlist is very vague, and you can count on being bombarded by questions by the dealer as he attempts to design a system around it.

If you are looking to integrate your audio and video system, it will be broken up into zones of audio & video, and zones of audio. How do you want to control these zones? In wall controllers, handheld remotes, smart phone?

Do you want surround sound in your primary TV zones? Do you want all the equipment mounted remotely, or local to the area which it serves? Will your installer provide all equipment and displays?

Will there be many zones of just audio throughout the home & outdoor (commonly referred to as distributed audio)? What are your desired sources for this audio? Is it important to be able to control this from your primary control system, or is a separate controller/app OK?

To integrate the security & CCTV a system that allows 3rd party communication and control will be selected. Do you want the ability to view the cameras away from the home on a smart phone or web page? Do you want security controls to be available from a 3rd party controller, or regular security consoles/keypads?

For the lighting, you are definitely going to want a professional product. Even with a control 4 system I would not even consider control 4 lighting as an option. Stick with Lutron, Crestron or Vantage. Personally if you're not exceeding the device caps of RadioRa 2 it will be an excellent choice but it will really depend on your expectations of the system.

How many zones of light do you want control of (zone = 1 switch leg, or bank of lights switched/dimmed together)?

Do you want local control, or keypad control? Do you want lighting pages integrated into the whole home controllers?

Do you want your exterior lights to be controlled through the system? What are your desired results?

100k may seem like a crazy number, but if we're talking about a fully integrated system with a few zones of video & audio, lighting, HVAC, swimming pool security with some 3rd party CCO zones and sensors tied in - well, all of this adds up especially when using professional hardware and not DIY **** from smart home.

In addition to narrowing down your wish list, I would also suggest determining a budget, and breaking it down by audio & video, security & CCTV, lighting, and control system. I understand having limited knowledge of these systems can make it hard to dedicate a specific part of the budget to, so if you're having a hard time with that, list them in their order of importance to you and your family. You can always pre-wire the system as designed, and finish it in phases. Many dealers will be familiar with this approach, as many jobs get finished in phases.
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post #13 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 02:28 PM
 
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This really should have been something that was considered before a shovel ever hit the dirt. At this point, if the walls are finished, it will be hard to run the wires like they should be, when done during the time that the sub's are in there to do mechanical's (hvac), plumbing, electrical.

You also never stated what your budget is for this, which will be the first thing that will be asked of you, and asking an installer to do it after the permit is issued for you to habitat the structure, you can just imagine that the price will be doubled, unless you can find someone that regardless, does not inflate the pricing for installation.

Personally, I would get three bids, and one of them should not be from Best Buy. The hvac controls can be done by the installer that put in the system, due to monitoring modules for stuff like Prophilex & ecobee thermostats can only be obtained by licensed installers. Stuff like the Honeywell IAQ can be obtained by the home owner.

What ever you go with, I would make sure that it will be compatible with the systems as a whole, otherwise there will be problems down the line.
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post #14 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 06:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fcwilt View Post


It's CAT (short for category) not CAD. Commonly you will encounter CAT3, CAT5, CAT5E or CAT6.

I use CAT6.

Just FYI when wiring the last house I ran:

- 4 CAT6 and 4 RG6 to each location where a TV might be located.
- 2 CAT6 to each location where a computer might be located
- 2 CAT6 to each location where a POTS (telephone) might be located
- 2 CAT6 to each location where a thermostat was going
- 2 CAT6 and 2 16/2 for the home automation touch panels
- as needed for the security system control panels
- as needed for security system sensors (door and window switches, smoke detectors, motion detectors, CO detectors, etc)
- 1 16/2 for each security speaker
- as needed for the intercom stations
- 1 16/4 for each pair of whole house audio in-ceiling speakers
- 2 CAT6, 2 16/2, 2 24/2 STP for each security camera
- other stuff that I cannot remember off the top of my head

As you can see it can take a lot of wire.

I think I see the Light! Amen!!!

If I cannot get a suitable plan in place, I will pre-wire the house, and proceed with the rest at my leisure. The only essential systems are the security system and the CCTV (which will function like nanny cams). I have three young children and they are my whole universe.

The thermostat, sprinkler, lighting control and any AV are all nice, but not essential.

I will pre-wire.

(And thank you for correcting me- i understand it is CAT, not CAD. My error.)
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post #15 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 06:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gregzoll View Post

This really should have been something that was considered before a shovel ever hit the dirt. At this point, if the walls are finished, it will be hard to run the wires like they should be, when done during the time that the sub's are in there to do mechanical's (hvac), plumbing, electrical.

You also never stated what your budget is for this, which will be the first thing that will be asked of you, and asking an installer to do it after the permit is issued for you to habitat the structure, you can just imagine that the price will be doubled, unless you can find someone that regardless, does not inflate the pricing for installation.

Personally, I would get three bids, and one of them should not be from Best Buy. The hvac controls can be done by the installer that put in the system, due to monitoring modules for stuff like Prophilex & ecobee thermostats can only be obtained by licensed installers. Stuff like the Honeywell IAQ can be obtained by the home owner.

What ever you go with, I would make sure that it will be compatible with the systems as a whole, otherwise there will be problems down the line.

Thank you for your advice. I didn't realize the complexity involved in home automation, or I would have researched it sooner. nevertheless, the walls are Not finished, and I will have the electrician pre- wire them next week, and continue my education.
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post #16 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BradKas View Post

Bringing in a certified dealer in your product of choice (sounds like C4 at the moment) will be very helpful, but it seems you need to ask yourself some questions about what you actually want.

Your wishlist is very vague, and you can count on being bombarded by questions by the dealer as he attempts to design a system around it.

If you are looking to integrate your audio and video system, it will be broken up into zones of audio & video, and zones of audio. How do you want to control these zones? In wall controllers, handheld remotes, smart phone?

Do you want surround sound in your primary TV zones? Do you want all the equipment mounted remotely, or local to the area which it serves? Will your installer provide all equipment and displays?

Will there be many zones of just audio throughout the home & outdoor (commonly referred to as distributed audio)? What are your desired sources for this audio? Is it important to be able to control this from your primary control system, or is a separate controller/app OK?

To integrate the security & CCTV a system that allows 3rd party communication and control will be selected. Do you want the ability to view the cameras away from the home on a smart phone or web page? Do you want security controls to be available from a 3rd party controller, or regular security consoles/keypads?

For the lighting, you are definitely going to want a professional product. Even with a control 4 system I would not even consider control 4 lighting as an option. Stick with Lutron, Crestron or Vantage. Personally if you're not exceeding the device caps of RadioRa 2 it will be an excellent choice but it will really depend on your expectations of the system.

How many zones of light do you want control of (zone = 1 switch leg, or bank of lights switched/dimmed together)?

Do you want local control, or keypad control? Do you want lighting pages integrated into the whole home controllers?

Do you want your exterior lights to be controlled through the system? What are your desired results?

100k may seem like a crazy number, but if we're talking about a fully integrated system with a few zones of video & audio, lighting, HVAC, swimming pool security with some 3rd party CCO zones and sensors tied in - well, all of this adds up especially when using professional hardware and not DIY **** from smart home.

In addition to narrowing down your wish list, I would also suggest determining a budget, and breaking it down by audio & video, security & CCTV, lighting, and control system. I understand having limited knowledge of these systems can make it hard to dedicate a specific part of the budget to, so if you're having a hard time with that, list them in their order of importance to you and your family. You can always pre-wire the system as designed, and finish it in phases. Many dealers will be familiar with this approach, as many jobs get finished in phases.

I will pre wire the system, beginning next week, but the only essentials are the security system and the CCTV (which will function like nanny cams mainly). My children's safety is my priority. The sprinkler, HVAC, and lighting are nice, but not essential.
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post #17 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
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So, assuming you are willing to put in the time and learn how to use a program, which systems give the homeowner control?

Is it or correct that Control4 and Crestron are proprietary systems and for each change to the system you must have "them" do the programming for ou? This would seem make you eternally beholden to them.
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post #18 of 39 Old 02-18-2012, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adamfit View Post

So, assuming you are willing to put in the time and learn how to use a program, which systems give the homeowner control?

There are hardware based systems from HAI and ELK which are, in essence, security systems enhanced to do some home automation tasks. Quite popular - I have installed both. These system are often used in conjunction with another, more full featured, home automation system.

There are software based system (CQC is one) which can do most anything if you are willing and able to climb the learning curve.

There are those system that are intended to be installed by your dealer but depending on the relationship you build with your dealer you may have some ability to make changes to the system yourself. You have to meet with your dealer(s) and see what might be possible.

I do agree having to rely entirely on a dealer for every change, no matter how small, can be less then ideal.

Regards, Frederick C. Wilt
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post #19 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 04:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Someone of you has to write a book!

I have learned enough from you guys in 2 days to get a sense of direction.

one I could not get from books (SmartHomeHacks) or the Internet.

To put it simply, at least now, I know what I don't know.

...I will prewire, and continue learning.

4 wires to AV zones, 2 everywhere else.

Wholeheartedly, "THANK YOU" to all of you for taking a moment and giving me your expertise.
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post #20 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 04:56 AM
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My first suggestion was to call a pro.

Then, I said call a pro.

You don't have enough time to learn how to DIY this prewire, at least properly.

You don't know what you're missing.

RG6, LAN drops/WAPs, touch screens, alarm keypads, POTS, motion/vacancy/occupancy sensors, water/flood sensors, overhead garage door contacts, front door cam/doorbell/access control, other cameras, in-wall and in-ceiling speakers for distributed audio, keypads for control of that audio, wired thermostats, future control of irrigation system, basement to attic chase for future cables, TV speaker surround sound wiring, antenna cable for possible future satellite dish, and good places for alarm window/door contacts.

If you had a year, I'd say you could DIY. You still have a lot to figure out.

Think about the things in that list that you would like to do eventually, and prewire now.

Cocoontech forums are another good resource for prewire and HA. You may also want to read/post at CQC forums for prewire recommendations.

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

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post #21 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 05:30 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm not Doing it myself. I'll have the electrician run the wires while I continue to interview professionals and get bids/estimates.

It just seems silly to rush headlong into something without first doing my homework.

But I do know, I would never buy a system I could not access myself.
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post #22 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 05:51 AM
 
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Quote:
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I'm not Doing it myself. I'll have the electrician run the wires while I continue to interview professionals and get bids/estimates.

I would not have any electrician pull the wires. Hire someone that does technology wiring. Unless your electrician does this kind of stuff also, it will end up being a mess, when it comes time to hook up the gear. BTW, if you have a GC, are they also in the loop on this, and know the time frame that you need to have all of the drops pulled and avail., for when equipment comes in at a later date?

I personally would use "Octopus" for the drops to tv's and audio equipment. You can centralize all of the equipment in a rack in the basement if you have one, or in a room that you have for this purpose. Depending on the square footage of the home, also look at adding extra network access points for allowing stuff like iPhones, android devices, netbook/laptop to be able to get online, or stream music back to the server.

There is also whole house battery backup solutions, for taking the load of the house, while waiting for the genset to come online, so you do not lose uptime, or have a crash of the system. Plus it would also serve as a UPS to help keep the wave form from the genset conditioned.
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post #23 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 05:59 AM
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I agree about using a technology contractor to pre wire CAT and cable runs

you should have an approved wiring diagram with specs: the contract should call for every run to be labeled, terminated, and tested

according to an unwritten rule in the home automation business, no matter how much pre wiring you plan, you will always end up at least one cable short after all is completed,meaning you can never pre wire enough

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post #24 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 07:50 AM
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But I do know, I would never buy a system I could not access myself.

IMO, this is very wise thinking. I am just an amateur user, but I would never lock myself into a proprietary system and be forever beholding to someone. Good and not so good people come and go, systems come and go. Desires and needs change. Stay flexible and in control. It's your money, you should run the show at all times.

Wiring everything for future access and future replacement is very wise. Things will change during the life of the house. Faster than you can imagine.

In case you want to use Z-Wave, UPB or Insteon in the future, make sure you have a neutral available in every switch box.

You can also do your own software control if you choose. Elve, CQC, Homeseer are just 3 that have good reputations. CQC probably has the steepest learning curve of these 3. Using you own software control, you're not locked into anyone's proprietary hardware. You can mix and match the best of all worlds.

My point here is that there are lots of things you can do in the future if you wire the house for flexibility now. In the short time you have, you can't possibly get a complete enough education to make all the right decisions. That's why you should build flexibility and change into the wiring.
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post #25 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 03:28 PM - Thread Starter
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So then, in an ideal world, what is the best plan for wiring?

4 CAT6 or CAT5e to every TV area

And

2 CAT6 or CAT5e to everything else?
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post #26 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 03:37 PM
 
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Figure HDMI over ethernet, which you really only need one drop, a drop for ethernet, so device can connect to the LAN if you wish. In an ideal world, the tv would have sound & video if there is not a surround sound system for tv/movie viewing in that room, with all equipment in a central location.

If placing equipment at each tv location, then figure ethernet for LAN, hdmi for set top/dvr, blu-ray or gaming system, coax for set tops/dvr, whether satellite or catv/fios.

I ripped out all of the coax in my house, since I have U-Verse, and run everything over LAN, from the RG to the set tops & dvr. I have two drops for two of our sets, one for the one in the bedroom, which works out great. If needing more for a location, I can just place a 1000mbps switch at that spot.
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post #27 of 39 Old 02-19-2012, 03:51 PM
 
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I will pre wire the system, beginning next week, but the only essentials are the security system and the CCTV (which will function like nanny cams mainly). My children's safety is my priority. The sprinkler, HVAC, and lighting are nice, but not essential.

One thing that has not been mentioned (at least that I saw with my brief scan) is conduit. If you install conduit in the walls then you can remove wires and run wires after the drywall goes in. This way if you forget something, a connector goes bad or a new type of cable is invented, you can still run cables later.

Every room in our house has a least one conduit running from the attic (crossing between the rooms is done in the attic). Saves lots of headaches and allows you to add more cables in the future.
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One thing that has not been mentioned (at least that I saw with my brief scan) is conduit. If you install conduit in the walls then you can remove wires and run wires after the drywall goes in. This way if you forget something, a connector goes bad or a new type of cable is invented, you can still run cables later.

Every room in our house has a least one conduit running from the attic (crossing between the rooms is done in the attic). Saves lots of headaches and allows you to add more cables in the future.

The problem with that, is that you end up tearing up the other cables in the conduit, when pulling stuff. It is okay for back to the racks, but not a necessity if you build for the future, or know that later on you are going to be ripping stuff out somewhere in the next 10 to 20 years, and redoing it.
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post #29 of 39 Old 02-20-2012, 06:37 AM
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The conduit is installed empty, it's for possible future cable pulls.
____
As far as the OP's concern - I can just see 4 category cables hanging from the middle of the ceiling, in each room. Electrician: "You said 'to each room'."

adamfit, you need to install the correct cables, in the correct locations.

The security installer, who I assume is installing the alarm cabling, has to get it right, too. Category cables to all possible keypad locations. The alarm controller should be co-located with the other equipment.

IP cameras are still pretty pricey, and you may want to consider CCTV. The cabling is different. Do you know where you want all cameras, now and in 5 years?

You need more cables. You should think about the prewire more.

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post #30 of 39 Old 02-20-2012, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

The conduit is installed empty, it's for possible future cable pulls.
____
As far as the OP's concern - I can just see 4 category cables hanging from the middle of the ceiling, in each room. Electrician: "You said 'to each room'."

adamfit, you need to install the correct cables, in the correct locations.

The security installer, who I assume is installing the alarm cabling, has to get it right, too. Category cables to all possible keypad locations. The alarm controller should be co-located with the other equipment.

IP cameras are still pretty pricey, and you may want to consider CCTV. The cabling is different. Do you know where you want all cameras, now and in 5 years?

You need more cables. You should think about the prewire more.

Ok. My biggest conflict at this point is that from all of your sage advice, I begin to understand that a professional with expertise will do a vastly different wiring job then just an electrician, who may crudely dump a few wires, in labeled, untested, etc...to each location.

But that would be free.

Literally free...already part of the contract, and done with a smile.

I am ambivalent.
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