Originally Posted by kimvi
I am just trying to figure out if there is a piece of "hardware" will satisfy my need to distribute my sources to zones via Cat-5 or RG6. No seems able or willing to just suggest a make and model or even ac company for me to research. Distribution is one part of the puzzle. Once the sources are distributed I still have to figure out out how to control them. In my mind I plan on using wireless touchscreens for contorl.
First off, I already suggested a company. I suggested that you find a modulator from "Channel Vision". I would have pasted a link, but I wasn't allowed to, since I was still considered a newbie. Here's a link to a viable candidate. There are probably hundreds of modulators that would do the trick. This is just an example:http://www.smarthome.com/7704cm.html
I am relatively new to the HA, but I have over 10 years designing, installing & administering networks (MCSE and CCNA certified. I an starting a new business and setting up my new construction home (5000 sq/ft ,- 10 sources, 12 zones, Lighting, Security, Cameras, HVAC, Irrigation, etc) as my show room. Currently evaluating CQG, Homeseer & ML.
Your IT background will serve you well. It will also frustrate you. I come from a heavy IT background, too and have been in home automation for two years now. You won't get as much respect from the A/V guys as you think might be appropriate and you won't get as much help from them as you think would be courteous. I haven't entirely figured out the mentality yet, but they're all a little territorial and snooty. I remember the IT world fondly, where everybody knows he'll need a tricky question answered tomorrow and will gladly answer one for someone else today. In some areas, particularly in the more complex home automation, the old school guys are starting to get this concept and be more open with their help.
I just wanted to forewarn you where I've experience grief in making this transition.
If CQC, HomeSeer, and MainLobby are your primary candidates, then I recommend that you do some more research. It sounds like you are basing your candidates on what you find on the net. At the very least, you need to know what your competition is using. It's not any of those 3, or at least in not any large numbers. Look for big names like Crestron, AMX, Elan, Vantage, Lutron. The one that I've put my weight behind (Control4) is starting to become a big name. Go to some trade shows and start reading some of the trade rags.
Personally, I think that the PC based stuff and more open source approaches are getting ready to blossom. Most consumers don't take them seriously, want to do it themselves, or don't have the money. But it's still starting to come around.
You're welcome to chat me up later (when I'm not so sleepy) about what I've learned in leaving IT and coming to this business. Particularly if you've got profitable opportunities that involve me being in the Carribean
Back on point here. JCM had an excellent point regarding the fact that your buddy's yacht is not going to stay parked on top of a foundation. It is
important that you stick to older and more proven technologies so that a talented electronics expert in another port somewhere might be able to figure it out. Unfortunately, this means that you may have to mess with some things that aren't quite as easy to do, like infrared distribution and controlling everything with infrared. It would also be a good idea to keep printed copies of all the product manuals somewhere in the boat along with design documents for the crew in the next port.
As much as wireless touchscreens would be nice, you really shouldn't do them unless it's entirely ancillary to the operation of the system or your buddy is just willing to accept the consequences if they stop working until he's back at your port. Your best bet would be to use remote controls that are popular and highly supported on RemoteCentral.com. Then, each room would have an infrared receiver and would distribute its signals from there back to the devices.
As far as how to get your video signals around the boat, I think that the RG-6 is a better choice. You're going to want to use the Cat5e for networking gear and, with only one port, you can at least hookup a switch in each room. There are a few products that have just recently hit the market that will turn your sources into IP streams, but the winners and losers haven't really proven themselves yet. It doesn't fit into the "tried and true and serviceable in any port" bandwagon that I'm jumping onto here. There are also analog video over CAT5 solutions, but they pretty much take over the whole wire. RG-6, on the other hand, can handle all sorts of things modulated over it.
I'm getting sleepy and have to be at a client site in the morning. Write back and let me know what question you want answered next.