Basic Home Automation via Nightstand Tablet - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 08-13-2012, 06:52 AM - Thread Starter
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I have a pretty modest Home Automation goal.
I want a nightstand, tablet style device that can control the lights and thermostat of my apartment. I would like this tablet to also double as an alarm clock. I need to be able to turn the brightness of the screen down to 0% with a simple touch.

I rent this apartment, so I am looking to be as minimally invasive as possible. Room for expansion and new features would be great, although not a top priority with this project.

I know nothing about Home Automation so even a basic tutorial about how it works would be helpful.
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post #2 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 05:24 AM
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Depending on your level of experience and motivation, you may want to take a look at the Chumby/Sony Dash/Insignia Infocast. I think you'd need a 2nd system for the lights and thermostat, e.g. Micasaverde Vera Z-Wave controller.

An iTouch in a dock may work too, for more money and less work, in place of the Chumby, with the Vera.

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post #3 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 07:14 AM - Thread Starter
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I actually have a Sony Dash. Thanks for pointing me towards the Vera, that seems to be a viable option.
I am still fuzzy on the basics of Home Automation. Let's say I got a VeraLite and controlled it via a tablet. What hardware would I need to automate my lights, which are currently controlled by in-wall dimmers. I see Vera recommends Z-Wave, but I am still a little fuzzy on what is required.
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post #4 of 7 Old 08-14-2012, 10:00 AM
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Micasaverde has a forum. Not sure how much programming will be required to use the Sony Dash as a frontend for Vera.

With Z-wave switches, you basically swap a Z-wave switch for a standard switch. They can move with you when you move out, if you think you might have a need for them down the road.

Micasaverde offers controllers which interface with z-wave devices like switches/dimmers, door locks, and thermostats.

Micasaverde forum: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,3734.msg18330.html#msg18330

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post #5 of 7 Old 08-15-2012, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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What would it take to be able to control X-10, RF technology with IR technology such as the Harmony One or Harmony Link?
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post #6 of 7 Old 08-16-2012, 03:37 PM
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post #7 of 7 Old 08-17-2012, 01:43 AM
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If you want to go Insteon and start slow, this may be a cheaper starting point:
http://www.smarthome.com/2412N/SmartLinc-INSTEON-Central-Controller/p.aspx

As with zwave you install switches or outlets that are compatible.

The ISY is a much nicer solution, and makes programming easier, but may be overkill
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