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post #631 of 767 Old 03-11-2013, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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My last system was all HAI and I had all three stats integrated. Everything was X10 and it was quirky. I must have had 6K invested into it. This was prior to Insteon. For me, having one system for integration of the home theater was more important than the rest of the house frankly. I installed a four camera external security system last year and I have iPhone, iPad and Web access to view those cameras and control the DVR. Same thing I expect to do with the Tstats (outside the theater of course). I'll end up getting two more nests and I can control them remotely through the iPad, iPhone and web. All the Nests are integrated into each of the three. For me then, the common integration is the iPhone, iPad and browser then - even if the security and tstats are in different apps. The theater is a whole different ball game - I want scenes or macros that control the stat, lights and equipment with one push of the button. Y0u see where I'm going. No way I could afford to do the rest of the house with Crestron.

The beauty about the Nest is not just the integration or access remotely though. It learns your schedule every time you adjust it. It can figure out if you're away - it has motion detectors built into it and will determine if it should put tiself in an away mode (you can do it manually as well). It also will send you a monthly report on your daily activities (turning up and down of the temps) so you can see your patterns and make adjustments accordingly. Since it's wifi enabled, it even updates itself. Here' s a better video for its capabilities. They claim that 90% of programmable t-stats are done incorrectly. The other 10% are probably AVSers though. smile.gif

I saw in the Nest forum that people are asking for APIs, but nothing yet planned as far as I know.

Bud
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post #632 of 767 Old 03-11-2013, 09:31 PM
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Bud:

I'm right there with you. I have been following Nest for some time. I like the look of their units and love some of the features, but I agree that the 10% with correctly programmed thermostats are probably AVS members. I work from home and the learning mode won't work very well for me. I'm also really interested in one control interface. I've been down the road of proprietary interfaces and loathe them. I do hope that the good folks at Nest are thinking that way too and that they will come out with an integrated solution (or even intergrate into an existing platform) soon.

The Insteon stuff seems really bulletproof so far. The lighting works well, and the thermostat features are undergoing some UI firmware updates (I am getting a HomeLink push every few days). It's nowhere near the beautiful interface of the Nest t-stats, but I want one interface.

The one down side that I have seen with the insteon gear is the crappy programming interface for the RF Link. It's just too darn hard to get it all set up as I envision. I'll plod through it, but I'll do so grumbling. The Ethernet webserver (I forget what it's called) has a basic interface, but I can see how this will all play together when I can get the darn RF link programmed correctly. mad.gif

I do have to ask a couple of questions about the Crestron gear:

Are you trying the DIY route?
If so, how are you getting the gear, and how are you planning to obtain the programming software.

Response via PM is OK if you don't want to say on the board. I looked into Crestron and it's great gear, but it's pricey and there was no DIY component. frown.gif

CJ

Follow my build here: Harvest Ridge Theater
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post #633 of 767 Old 03-12-2013, 03:42 AM
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I had a full-blown AMX Netlinx system in my last home and I have Crestron running my current home. However, the Crestron is being removed and I will be replacing it with Savant. www.savantav.com Really slick system, Apple-based so iPads, iPhones, etc. run the same native OS...even the main controller is essentially a modified Mac Mini. Contrary to popular belief, the price of the whole-home automation systems has come down dramatically in recent years and even a controller that is a couple of years old can be had for the price of an Oppo Bluray. Unfortunately there is not much DIY to programming these systems, so that is an unwanted cost that I am sure most AVS-ers could handle on their own, provided there was access to the programming software. Although now expired, I was AMX and Crestron certified at one point so programming and subsequent changes was not an issue for me and I bought the majority of my equipment used off secondary resellers.

Like you, I found X10 to be extremely "buggy" and the system had difficulty playing well with itself, let alone convenient integration with a third-party control system. I never bought any X10 devices because I had enough interaction with them to know they were bad news from a reliability standpoint. For lighting control I just can't seem to find any reason to get away from Lutron. The systems just work. They are also easily scalable and integrate well with third-party control systems. I have seen many times here on this Forum where folks will use banks and banks of Insteon controllers for just the home theater, let alone integration with lighting in the rest of the house and a third party controller. The system serves its purpose, but can introduce complications when it comes to system design and subsequent control as carboranadum pointed out.

The Nest thermostat certainly has some cool features and probably suits a wide range of homes where there is a single-zone thermostat in a high-traffic area of the home. No doubt it is a slick little system. However, it's not ready for "prime time" when it comes to home automation. Most glaring is that there is no provision for multiple nests running different HVAC systems within the same home to "talk" to one another. They are stand-alone devices. And Nest may have their own "app"...but they are certainly missing additional sales opportunities by having a closed control interface at this point. If any device doesn't allow third party control / access, then I immediately move on to a system that does. There should never be a device at this point that cannot communicate with and receive commands from other interfaces and control systems. One other surprising thing about the Nest thermostat is that you have to switch it into "heating" and "cooling" modes and there is no "auto" function where the t-stat either heats or cools to attain the proper temperature.
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post #634 of 767 Old 03-12-2013, 04:31 AM - Thread Starter
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What it really comes down to is what works for you.

I hear you about Lutron, it seems folks are pretty happy with it. I actually like their products. It would have been a cheaper alternative to Crestron and more open for integration. I've heard of Savant, just have never really dug into it. After the last round of automation issues and the discussions with Dennis, I went with Crestron. I doubt, but don't know, if I'd even attempt to do the programming myself - even after years of doing development and having a MSCS, I'm not sure I want to take it on. I've got two brand new URC -MX950s sitting in boxes in my office closet - one I tried to use for the Harmony 880 that crapped out last go theater around. Anyone interested in a new int he box MX-950? Nice remote! PM me. Will programming a URC remote cost me a bunch? You bet. Sucks, but hopefully I'm not making a bunch of changes after its done.

Insteon. I do plan on on doing some Insteon work in this house, although it's pretty simple what I'm doing. You can call it automation, but for me it's more of a convenience. I'd like a few lights to go on/off automatically. Remote access to turn lights on and off? Sure, that would be nice, but not a big deal frankly.

On the Nest - I don't expect it to appeal and work for every situation. My wife works at home, but spends almost her whole day upstairs, which has a separate HVAC unit. I still plan on getting one for that unit - even if the upstairs temp is consistent most of the day, we can still program it for night. You can still get the detailed reports. Its stilla lot easier for the kids to use it. I can still remotely shut it down when we head to the cabin remotely (you can have multiple nests and when you say "away" all three will go into away mode. I also plan on one in the basement. During the day, no one is down there (except weekends) except when my son comes home from school. He flips on the heat and never turns it off. I'm constantly riding him about it. I have pretty bad knees and I go down to turn it off a lot. Now it'll learn his habits (and mine) even when I'm remotely turning it down (to save my knees). We also have a cabin we rent two hours away. I'm going to replace the two T-stats there I replaced a couple of years ago with remote controlled thermostats that I had paid hundreds of dollars from smarthome. I had to buy additional devices for communication those to the access point and I never could get it to work correctly. Pretty much a waste of money. The cabin is short term rentals - weekends and weeks. I know when there are folks there or not, so being able to follow up behind a renter or a cleaning person with an adjust will save me a bunch of money over the year, considering the place is empty (away) most of the time. Don't get me wrong,though some months, like July, people are there the whole month.

You're right, its not made for primetime home automation, but that's OK for 90% of its users. Regardless of the integration, it is significantly more powerful for what it does provide than any other t-stat, integrated or not. I'm not sure they ever had automation in mind for it honestly. If you're interested in saving some money on your heating bill with out having to program and turning the heat/cooling up or down (by hand or remotely), then its a great option and not out of line costs wise. It's audience is really the average home owner.

Bud
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post #635 of 767 Old 03-12-2013, 05:00 AM - Thread Starter
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Gentlemen -

Has anyone sourced 4x36 registers/grilles? Look for a place to buy them online if at all possible. Thanks.

Bud
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post #636 of 767 Old 03-12-2013, 07:04 AM
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post #637 of 767 Old 03-12-2013, 07:04 AM
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Bud - I swear BIG just posted a link yesterday to an online store that does these Nailor grilles in all sizes from 3x12" to 6x50" but I can't seem to track the link down now. You may wish to ask him for the link.

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1289590
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post #638 of 767 Old 03-12-2013, 07:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog View Post

Gentlemen -

Has anyone sourced 4x36 registers/grilles? Look for a place to buy them online if at all possible. Thanks.

Bud

 

I ordered custom diffusers from Michigan Air Products in Troy, MI.  Their prices were much lower than anyone else I could find.  They custom ordered them to my specs and the prices included shipping directly from the manufacturer (Price if I remember correctly).

 

Even though they are only 30 minutes away from me, I did everything over the phone.  I used the Price web site to figure out the configuration and sent it to the sales person via email.  He sent drawings for me to confirm before placing the order.  They came much quicker than originally estimated.

 

Overall, a great experience.

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post #639 of 767 Old 03-12-2013, 07:44 AM
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post #640 of 767 Old 03-12-2013, 07:49 AM - Thread Starter
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Fred and Benji - looks like you guys are in synch! Thanks fr the info.

Nick, did you get them yet? Happy with them? Pictures in your thread of them?

Bud
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post #641 of 767 Old 03-17-2013, 10:46 AM
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If the Nest is IP and Nest provides the commands, it can be controlled from Crestron. (Or, you can "sniff out" the command exchange from your iPad/iPhone/Web interface a get the command structure yourself.)

A couple of points on the projector cooling fan:

1. If the room is not being used, who cares if the projector fan vents into the room ... no one is there to give a hoot.
2. The Crestron system should be programmed to do the following:
----When the system is on, the Temperature should be set to your choice for comfort;
----When the system is on, the Fan mode should be changed from "Auto" to "On"
----When the system is "shut down", the T-stat should be changed to it's "not in use set backs" and Fan mode set to "Auto"
----When the system is "shut down", you can start a timer (say 10 minutes) that will not reset the T-stat until the timer expires.

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post #642 of 767 Old 03-17-2013, 02:37 PM
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Not sure if you've ordered a grill/register yet, but this place is in TN, Nashville suburb.

http://fancyvents.com/

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post #643 of 767 Old 03-17-2013, 03:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Nuerorad -

Have not yet, I'm a little ways out, since I'm still wiring. I did find this one though, similar to what you were thinking. 129.00 each though. frown.gif

http://www.beaux-artes.com/products/arts_crafts_grilles.html



Bud
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post #644 of 767 Old 03-17-2013, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Slow progress today, knees were really hurting and the up and down the ladder was painful. Time for more cortisone shots I guess. Spent some time today running Cat6 back to the home run from the equipment rack and running some to the front of the theater. That's about it. I've go to order cables, speaker wire, etc still. I'll probably do that this week.

Bud
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post #645 of 767 Old 03-17-2013, 05:42 PM
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I don't think Crestron integration of Nest is currently an option. It's not simply IP.

Fancyvents.com can do any design, but prices are out of your range. They're high end custom.

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 #646 of 767 Old 03-18-2013, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog View Post

What it really comes down to is what works for you.

Agreed. I wasn't stating a case to influence you one way or another, just offering a different perspective for those of us who have automation systems and want a singular integrated source of control instead of individual apps for different devices.

Dennis - perhaps you had overlooked this in a previous post, but the NEST thermostat specifically does not provide the command codes, so the entire device driver would have to be built from scratch to integrate with third party control systems. You would think that the NEST folks would want to not limit their market by not opening themselves up to third part control.

There are code "sniffers" that will allow you to fully characterize every command to build a device driver - but who the heck wants to go through that laborious process? I've had to build my own RS-232 device drivers before back before the days of IP control and it is a tedious and thankless job at-best.

The other complicating issue with the Nest is that it doesn't accept static IP addresses. You could use DHCPD (daemon) some static leases as part of a DHCP pool, tying each static lease to a specific MAC address only, so the lease is only granted for that specific IP if the MAC address of the network card is the same as specified in the static lease. You have to hope that you never have a problem where another device would steal an IP defined as static lease, even if the specified MAC address was not present online. Those static leases are permanent DHCP leases (they are leased for ever, even if I have specified they should be leased for 1440 minutes). If you go this route, enable a DHCP pool with a maximum of 1 client. You could also define this IP as static lease, i.e. that it is only leased to a specific MAC address. So you would be sure that your device always connects at the same IP and that no other device gets that IP (well, except for hackers...).mad.gif So until the Nest is Crestron or Savant certified with an officially validated device driver, it won't be ready for prime time, particularly in multiple t-stat homes. But like Bud rightly said, it really depends on what works for you.
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post #647 of 767 Old 03-18-2013, 09:50 AM
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Tim, you're correct ... a bunch of work and likely not worth the time (been there done that as well). OTOH it may just be worth it to send the message to NEST ... proprietary will go the way of PrimeNet, DECnet, SNA/SDLC, 3270, and a long list of others.

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post #648 of 767 Old 03-18-2013, 02:40 PM
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You're dating yourself, Dennis...
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post #649 of 767 Old 03-18-2013, 05:52 PM
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Might as well. No one else will date me.

Oh, you meant something else. Hum.
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post #650 of 767 Old 03-18-2013, 06:12 PM
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Have you considered getting a home theater, Dennis? Can be a real chick magnet...from what I've read.

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 #651 of 767 Old 03-20-2013, 08:27 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Tim, you're correct ... a bunch of work and likely not worth the time (been there done that as well). OTOH it may just be worth it to send the message to NEST ... proprietary will go the way of PrimeNet, DECnet, SNA/SDLC, 3270, and a long list of others.

I took a couple of minutes to send a list of product improvements and here is a snippet of the e-mail they came back with:

"We definitely appreciate the feedback, but cannot accept feature requests over e-mail due to our legal policy.

This sounds like a great thing to post in the product suggestions section of our new community page."


So basically don't tell us so we have to include you in any patentable ideas, but volunteer it in community discussion so we can pick up on it. Ugh!
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post #652 of 767 Old 03-21-2013, 05:28 PM - Thread Starter
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Global Industry HVAC parts ordered. Still have not ordered grilles. Need to order LV stuff too. Dennis or others, forgive my ignorance, but whats technically a "balanced" audio cable? Dennis' design runs one to the front wall. What connectors?

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/balancedaudio/index.htm

bud
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post #653 of 767 Old 03-21-2013, 05:46 PM
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I'm gonna give this to you in my own lay-terms, which may misrepresent some facts. Balanced cables provide an additional conductor for better interference rejection from external electromagnetic fields. Also, the ground is not on the shield as with a normal "RCA" type cable. The better nose rejection makes the cables better suited to longer runs of low voltage signals. I think they are also more resistant to ground-loop hums, but don't quote me on that.

I haven't seen any equipment that I would think you would use that uses a phone jack (TRS) - I would expect you want an XLR connector. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Balanced_audio

Does the plan show what equipment it will connect?
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post #654 of 767 Old 03-21-2013, 06:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog View Post

Global Industry HVAC parts ordered. Still have not ordered grilles. Need to order LV stuff too. Dennis or others, forgive my ignorance, but whats technically a "balanced" audio cable? Dennis' design runs one to the front wall. What connectors?

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/balancedaudio/index.htm

bud

Your link is correct. It's simply a balanced XLR connector for line level signal transfer, especially good for over long distances. My guess is Dennis has you running it to a future powered subwoofer location. Run one wire if the sub you are using has a "loop through" for signal to additional subs or run two wires for stereo subs.

Of the wire choices in your link I've used the Canare wirree with the higher-end Neutrik connectors. I'm certainly not a soldering expert, but I found soldering the pinouts of XLRs to be among the easier of the soldering jobs.
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post #655 of 767 Old 03-22-2013, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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He also has scoped two RG59 cables as well as two Triad CinemaPlus Silver subwoofers.

Bud
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post #656 of 767 Old 03-22-2013, 10:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog View Post

He also has scoped two RG59 cables as well as two Triad CinemaPlus Silver subwoofers.

Bud

Regular RG59 will work fine, but if you want a better quality wire I can send you some Belden 1505a RG59 with Canare RCA ends, just name your length. Send me a PM if you are interested. I would have to make it for you because there are special cutting tools and crimpers needed which most people don't have since they are specialized and about $150, fyi.

EDIT: Link to specs: http://www.markertek.com/Cables/Bulk-Wire-Cable/Bulk-Digital-Video-Cable/Belden/1505A-0101000.xhtml
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post #657 of 767 Old 03-22-2013, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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RG59 will work fine, but if you want a better quality wire I can send you some Belden 1505a wire with Canare RCA ends, just name your length. Send me a PM if you are interested. I would have to make it for you because there are special cutting tools and crimpers needed which most people don't have since they are specialized and about $150, fyi.

Cool. May take you up on that. Thanks.

Bud
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post #658 of 767 Old 03-25-2013, 02:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chinadog View Post

Global Industry HVAC parts ordered. Still have not ordered grilles. Need to order LV stuff too. Dennis or others, forgive my ignorance, but whats technically a "balanced" audio cable? Dennis' design runs one to the front wall. What connectors?

http://www.bluejeanscable.com/store/balancedaudio/index.htm

bud

Here is a quick video I found helpful.

 

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post #659 of 767 Old 03-25-2013, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey, thanks. It was helpful. Hope all is well.

Bud
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post #660 of 767 Old 03-25-2013, 06:33 AM
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Glad it helped. All is well in VA. I've been following your thread closely, Bud. I'll try to touch base more regularly. Looking great so far man!

 

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