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post #1 of 77 Old 04-07-2013, 01:22 PM - Thread Starter
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I have 3 light switches and 2 fish tanks that I want to be able to control with a single remote. Want to be able to dim them, and turn them on/off. What would be a nice added bonus is something that I can program that turns off some lights whenever I hit play and brings them back to a dim when I pause the movie. I also have a couple fish tanks in the wall and would love to be able to control the lighting for the tanks with the same remote as well(doesn't have to dim these just either on or off or blue moonlight) The fish tank lighting will be plugged in to an outlet so i'm not sure if not having a light switch will matter.

Does anyone know if keeping the subwoofer in the same rack/shelving as the receiver and player is a good idea. I don't have a ton of room in my HT and was planning a semi big rack/shelving unit under the screen and almost the width of the screen for the equipment, center channel, sub, and blurays.


Also what is the max distance for HDMI cable before any kind of loss? would 23 - 24 feet be good


Thank you for your time.

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post #2 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 07:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone please?

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post #3 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

I have 3 light switches and 2 fish tanks that I want to be able to control with a single remote. Want to be able to dim them, and turn them on/off. What would be a nice added bonus is something that I can program that turns off some lights whenever I hit play and brings them back to a dim when I pause the movie. I also have a couple fish tanks in the wall and would love to be able to control the lighting for the tanks with the same remote as well(doesn't have to dim these just either on or off or blue moonlight) The fish tank lighting will be plugged in to an outlet so i'm not sure if not having a light switch will matter.

Does anyone know if keeping the subwoofer in the same rack/shelving as the receiver and player is a good idea. I don't have a ton of room in my HT and was planning a semi big rack/shelving unit under the screen and almost the width of the screen for the equipment, center channel, sub, and blurays.


Also what is the max distance for HDMI cable before any kind of loss? would 23 - 24 feet be good


Thank you for your time.
Take a look at Insteon lighting from SmartHome.com. They should be able to do what you want to achieve.

<25' is totally acceptable given if you are using some good quality (NOT equal to name brand tho!) HDMI cable.
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post #4 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 08:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the link. Still trying to fully understand their products and what I'll need. Monster cable a good brand for HDMI? Or perhaps something of the same quality but cheaper lol.

Is there a controller that can control all the lighting how I want it controlled and the devices all in one? I've seen the Harmony remote pop up in conversation a few times.

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post #5 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 08:21 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Thanks for the link. Still trying to fully understand their products and what I'll need. Monster cable a good brand for HDMI? Or perhaps something of the same quality but cheaper lol.

Is there a controller that can control all the lighting how I want it controlled and the devices all in one? I've seen the Harmony remote pop up in conversation a few times.
When anything about cables, Monoprice.com is your good friend.

And yes, a relatively cheap Harmony remote could be use to control both of your equipment & the Insteon light switches.
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post #6 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 08:27 AM
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I would suggest Monoprice for your HDMI cabling question. Here is what I have and it works very well. It is one directional so you have to make sure you get the correct end hooked to each piece of equipment. It's also more flexible than most cables of this length so it's great if you have to make some turns.

http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=102&cp_id=10255&cs_id=1025506&p_id=9430&seq=1&format=2

Insteon would be a good fit for your tanks. Lutron I believe also makes some dimmers that can be controlled by IR. A Harmony remote could be configured to control them.

Only issue I see with the sub is having a source of vibration so close to a spinning disc. I'm sure you could isolate the equipment some from the sub and be just fine.
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post #7 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies. So regardless of the remote being used I will need the Insteon light switches correct? Was looking at the Harmony 900 but heard it was discontinued...

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post #8 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 08:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Thanks for the replies. So regardless of the remote being used I will need the Insteon light switches correct? Was looking at the Harmony 900 but heard it was discontinued...
You can still get brand new factory Harmony 900 for close to $200 on Amazon. And I too use the 900 through out my home too.

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post #9 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 08:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Thanks for the replies. So regardless of the remote being used I will need the Insteon light switches correct? Was looking at the Harmony 900 but heard it was discontinued...

Yes.

Insteon is the platform. It's a communication protocol that takes place over your existing home power wiring. You will need the following

  • Insteon switch or dimmer per light (or zone) that you want to control. For example, your main theater lights could be a zone and each of your fish tanks a zone. This will give you independent control. (i.e. one fish tank on, theater lights and other fish tank off). If you wire them all to a single zone then they will all have to either be on or off at the same time. Check your fish tank lights to see if they are capable of being dimmed.
  • Insteon IRLinc - This is what will receive the IR signal from your Harmony or whatever remote you use. It will registered that you pressed a button (i.e. fish tank 1 on) and then transmit over the power wiring to the switch/dimmer that corresponds with that button press.
  • Setup Time - The downside to the Insteon products is that you have to take time to set them up. The upside is that the combinations of Insteon devices enable you to do some creative stuff. They have garage door closers, appliance switches for toggling heavy loads (like a refrigerator) ect.
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post #10 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 09:19 AM
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Does anyone have an opinion of which Monoprice HDMI cables are the best bang for the buck? Is RedMere technology all it's cracked up to be?

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post #11 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 10:21 AM
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For shorter runs (under 10') I generally just get their basic 28AWG cables. For my run to the projector (just under 30') I chose to go with the ultra slim Redmere cable. Main reason was ease of installation because it will bend easier and put less stress on the HDMI connectors than the 22 or 24AWG cables (which I have bought in the past) do. Plus they don't have much of a premium as far as cost is concerned over the standard cables. So far I have been very happy with my Redmere cable.


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post #12 of 77 Old 04-08-2013, 06:17 PM - Thread Starter
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Man all of you have helped me immensely. Do I need to tell my electrician to wire for these Insteon outlets and switches a special way or just normal wiring protocol?

Would it be possible to put, for example, 2 separate switches and an outlet that aren't wired together on the same zone in the remote?

I'm having a hard time finding information on what the Harmony 900 can and can't do. Would it be able to control: http://www.smarthome.com/3141C1/Corded-Drapery-Motor-w-IR-Control/p.aspx
to the point of programming where the curtains will stop for 2.40, 16.9, etc?

Actually here is what I need the remote to do(whatever brand):
Control different lighting zones with dimmers via Insteon
Control different outlets with dimmers via Insteon
Go through walls and cabinets so RF is a must.
Control the curtains like mentioned above.
Obviously all the A/V equipment.
Be able to turn multiple things on at once(macro for projector, bluray, receiver, lights at once)

I was looking at the Harmony 900 and while it doesn't support custom macros I think it covers all of the above...i THINK. I was looking around for other remotes that had custom macros AND RF and I failed to find one within my budget.(the 900 being the ceiling for price)

With the 900 would I have to get more RF and IR modules for the tanks as they're not inside the A/V cabinet but on the other side of the drywall on the adjacent wall or would the normal IR remote signal make it through the wall/water?

Sorry for all the questions, trying to hurry and get this all figured out, so thanks again.

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post #13 of 77 Old 04-09-2013, 05:31 AM
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No special wiring required. Wire it as you would normally and then just sub in the Insteon products. The switches/outlets can be anywhere in the house and still be controlled as long as you have the IR module to receive the inputs from the remote.

I believe the 900 would work for all these. It should be able to learn the commands from the devices remote if Harmony doesn't already have them in it's database.


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post #14 of 77 Old 04-09-2013, 03:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok great to know, now just have to figure out how many outlets and switches I want on Insteon and where to place them.

So all i would need to control outlets through walls is: http://www.smarthome.com/2411R/IRLinc-Receiver-IR-to-INSTEON-Converter/p.aspx right?

I think I'm going to go with either the Harmony 890 or URC R40 as they are much cheaper and can handle lots of macros of which the R40 can handle more i believe.

What would I need for a RF setup for either of these remotes?

Would it be possible to put, for example, 2 separate switches and an outlet that aren't wired together on the same zone in the remote?

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post #15 of 77 Old 04-11-2013, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone have input for my newest batch of questions.

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post #16 of 77 Old 04-11-2013, 02:46 PM
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You might be better served asking these questions in the A/V Control and Automation>Home Automation Forum subforum
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post #17 of 77 Old 04-11-2013, 08:03 PM
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Smarthome has an Insteon forum. Work out the Insteon details before buying anything.

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post #18 of 77 Old 04-12-2013, 05:22 PM
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You need hot, load, neutral and ground for each Insteon switch or dimmer. New construction is usually set up that way.

Have you looked at iRule for your remote control needs? Uses an iPad, iPod, or android device for the control. Works with pretty much everything. Takes a bit of work to set it up though.

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post #19 of 77 Old 04-15-2013, 07:34 PM - Thread Starter
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I did not know iRule works with anything other than Apple products...interesting indeed.

Would it be possible to put, for example, 2 separate switches and an outlet that aren't wired together on the same zone in the remote?

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post #20 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 05:36 AM
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You can control just about any arrangement of Insteon products with one remote. You can start by just linking them together (basic) and then eventually expand out to create scenes (advanced) and what not. Additional control equipment may be necessary if you want to get really creative.
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post #21 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 07:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Anyone know if iRule can get that creative and extensive with sequences and control?

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post #22 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 08:07 AM
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Yes, iRule can run extensive and complex macros - there is essentially no limit. For example, one button on my iRule remote turns on all of my theater devices (pre-pro, amps, Blu-ray player, projector, lens sled etc.), sets the lights to a certain level, and sets the proper volume. A second button dims the lights, starts the movie, adjusts aspect ratio, and increases the volume to movie level. A third "intermission" button pauses the disc, adjusts lights etc.

iRule is also inexpensive - you'll need to purchase the builder license ($50 I think). You'll also need iPad/iPhone/Android or other control device as mentioned above. If your devices are IP controllable, that's it. Otherwise you can add Global Cache devices as necessary ($80-100) for IR or RS-232 control.

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:

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post #23 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 08:20 AM
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How are you getting iRule to set the volume (specific volume, not volume up/down)? I am only getting my feet wet at this point so I'm not fully versed in iRule. I can see how everything else is done except calling out a specific volume. Do you just have it step the volume based on where it left off the last time?


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post #24 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 10:31 AM
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Hi vanice - my receiver is IP controllable (Marantz AV7005) and there is a command to set a specific volume. (MV$$/x0D, where "$$" is the desired volume level). If you want to shoot me a PM I can certainly give you more details on how to set that up. I also have an "end credits" button that has a slow volume fade and a slow increase in the step & rope lighting to exit the theater. Then there's a two minute delay and then iRule stops the disc and returns the lights to entrance mode.

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:

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post #25 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 10:47 AM
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Wow! That is impressive. I have a Denon 3312ci which I believe I can control in much the same way. I will definitely hit you up if I can find time to start digging into it and have questions.


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post #26 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 11:55 AM
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Yessir - I'm pretty sure that piece can be controlled with exactly the same commands and parameters. (I only quickly looked at the protocol but it appears to be the same.)

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:

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post #27 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 08:11 PM
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You might also check out the new Harmony Ultimate ($300) or Harmony Smart Control ($130) remotes that were announced today. They use an IR Hub and also use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and RF. They look pretty interesting and also have an app for iPhone and iPad.

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-ultimate

http://www.logitech.com/en-us/product/harmony-smart-control
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post #28 of 77 Old 04-16-2013, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AirBenji View Post

Hi vanice - my receiver is IP controllable (Marantz AV7005) and there is a command to set a specific volume. (MV$$/x0D, where "$$" is the desired volume level). If you want to shoot me a PM I can certainly give you more details on how to set that up. I also have an "end credits" button that has a slow volume fade and a slow increase in the step & rope lighting to exit the theater. Then there's a two minute delay and then iRule stops the disc and returns the lights to entrance mode.

Wow way to have exactly what I want and make me drool in jealousy haha. So glad to hear iRule functions like this. What are you using for your lighting, Lutron or Insteon dimmers?

What device are you using for your iRule, I was thinking Kindle Fire but not sure.

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post #29 of 77 Old 04-17-2013, 08:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mijotter View Post

Wow way to have exactly what I want and make me drool in jealousy haha. So glad to hear iRule functions like this. What are you using for your lighting, Lutron or Insteon dimmers?

What device are you using for your iRule, I was thinking Kindle Fire but not sure.

Hi mijotter - If there's anything you should take away from my post, it's that what you're trying to do is very achievable! I know very little about networking/programming etc. and was able to get all of this going pretty easily. (I will admit that there were a few frustrating evenings but I eventually got my act together. redface.gif) Once you get the hang of iRule, setting up macros is just like dragging and dropping files into a folder on your computer. You can adjust the amount of delay between commands easily as well. And that's just scratching the surface - iRule is a very capable control program.

I have a Lutron Grafik Eye that receives commands from a Global Cache IP2IR box and it works very well. (I considered getting the GE ethernet interface but couldn't swallow the price tag - the Global Cache option was much less expensive and appears to work identically.) The GE also isn't cheap, and I remember whining about it a lot at the time. rolleyes.gif However, it brings HUGE wow-factor to the HT and my guests always comment on the cool lighting modes. I would do it again in a heartbeat - awesome device. And I am using the iPad and iPhone to control iRule.

The Esquire Theater Construction Thread:

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post #30 of 77 Old 04-17-2013, 03:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah I considered the GE as well but, like you, price doesn't agree with my wallet. Opting for Insteon instead. Going to control lighting very similar to your setup with their switches and simple zones connected to those switches then controlling it all with iRule. Glad to hear that you don't have to be a software engineer to use theirs as I am anything but.

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