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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Folks,


I'm trying to sell the idea of SmartHouse to my spouse for our upcoming house. In response she told me that just my excuse to buy a new electronic gadget and toy that eventually will not work, or too cumbersome to maintain. Some of it may be true..:)


But, having build my own home theater in our current home I really believe that the next stage will be an integrated smart and intelligence house. A house that not only have smart appliances inside but also connected to the Internet that make the house and appliances on "steroid".


I'm looking for feedback from forum member, that have an idea or already have and implemented this kind of concept for their daily life,


1. What application that you have in your house or that you have planned to build, automation? monitoring? security? Does it work?


2. What was your first stage in implementing this? I read about Structural Wiring in your house, is this the first stage?


3. Any recommended web site out there with this concept. I'm looking for a real life implementation not just a vendor.


Appreciate forum member input..


Regards,
 

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the first step is to decide what you really want- too much automation can be a problem and the technology will always be evolving- I still dont see how connecting my refrigerator to the internet will be of any benefit- but if the fridge needs service the internet connection will be blamed!


prewiring is the biggest single thing to plan, and you should talk to some installers/experts who do it all the time


I ran Cat 5 pairs/RG-6 pairs/telco to every room down to the home run area in my garage...and in wall/ceiling speakers wired to a space for whole house equipment rack with wire chases back to the home run- I use an Elan HD system which can integrate doorbell, phone system, etc


alarm system is stand alone


security cameras go thru modulators


links would include

www.smarthome.com
www.homecontrols.com


good luck!


Mark:)
 

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Yes, connect that Fridge to the internet!!

The benefits are endless

The computer sensors inside your refridgerator will detect the milk and soda levels and automatically place the order from your online grocer and deliver to your door.


The online, integrated flat panel monitor housed in the door will function as your grocery lists and gateway to order as well as monitor actual inventory of your groceries.


At least that's what those electronic magazines I subscribe to say.


Anyway I have the OMNI II system, and it integrates just about everything.

Lights, security, automation, etc...


Very easy to program via the PC. The best part is the weblink II software. It not only allows for realtime system monitoring and control of everything, but also email and cell notification on any event, as well as monitoring of all of your security video cameras installed throughout your house.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks!


Can the whole family (read the spouse) operate your installed system? My wife until now still need my assistance to turn on the HTPC, double click the Theater Tek icon, and play the DVD :) Will it be more complicated then our home theater? Will it fool prove?


cmcjo, do you have link to the OMNI II system? Sound promising.


Based on your input above, the first things to do is to wired the whole house. Do I need different type of cable for different medium? Say CAT5 for Data, and so forth, do they have an integrated cable now? I read about the Digital Harmony concept months back that will replace all type of cable for every medium in the house but cannot find it in the Internet. Have it become reality?


Anyhow, thanks for the input really appreciate it.


Regards,
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cmcjo
Yes, connect that Fridge to the internet!!

The benefits are endless

The computer sensors inside your refridgerator will detect the milk and soda levels and automatically place the order from your online grocer and deliver to your door.


.
DAMM!! That's my problem. I've been out of milk for 6 months now! :D


Dave
 

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I recommend you take a look at Homeseer by Keware softfware. Personally I don't have it yet but it seems to be very promising with a great user base at homeseer.infopop.net.


Good luck!


Dan
 

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We'll, my wife is still in the learning stages. ( actually I am too) She occasionally, will yell and/or throw a remote control at me for having all of this "great fantastic wonderful electronic stuff that no one else can use but me". But she can come home and the system will recognize her by her code she enters to deactivate the security system, from there she will be personally greeted, her lights will come on, her favorite music will play throughout the house and the system will call my cell phone to tell me she is home. (why I have that, I don't know, but It's cool).


Actually I have a 6 source 6 zone Audio distribution system as well. So there will be seperate controls for the audio system.


As usual everything is homerunned back to a control closet.

Cat5 to the keypads for the audio system, and (cat 5 or heavier?) to the thermostats for the OMNI, You can monitor temperatures throughout the interior and exterior of your home either through the mounted thermostats that control your heating/cooling or through the software over the Internet or local PC.


I think 18/4 GA wire to the Omni keypads, and speaker wire to 2 locations in each room. You will also need 18/4 GA wire for the speaker/microphone units that you will place in your home. This will allow for voice commands from the system as well as allow you to talk and listen to either the security monitoring station or anyone else the you have the Omni programmed to call.


As far as those really expensive fiber cables some people install, I don't know that they have use for it yet other than 1 gig networks they may have set up.


OK here's the link for the OMNI: www.homeauto.com

They are the manufacturer.


Good luck.




Quote:
Originally posted by adzan
Thanks!


Can the whole family (read the spouse) operate your installed system? My wife until now still need my assistance to turn on the HTPC, double click the Theater Tek icon, and play the DVD :) Will it be more complicated then our home theater? Will it fool prove?


cmcjo, do you have link to the OMNI II system? Sound promising.


Based on your input above, the first things to do is to wired the whole house. Do I need different type of cable for different medium? Say CAT5 for Data, and so forth, do they have an integrated cable now? I read about the Digital Harmony concept months back that will replace all type of cable for every medium in the house but cannot find it in the Internet. Have it become reality?


Anyhow, thanks for the input really appreciate it.


Regards,
 

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I have all the pieces and parts in place. Now if I can ever just find the time to integrate them. My hometheater project seems to be absorbing most of my time now.


Like many others, I homeran RG6 and Cat-5e everywhere. Like cmcjo, I have the Kustom 6 zone 6 source audio system driving in-wall speakers in all my rooms. I use the Kustom Keypads which have IR receivers built in as my whole house IR. I use channelplus modulators and distribution amplifiers for whole house video. I have the HomeVision automation controller and web server that doesn't do much of anything right now, although it's powerful enough to do everything. I use the AT&T model 954 phones for whole house paging/intercom/PDX functions. I use the Caddx NX8 security system that talks to the HomeVision serially, and Core technology motion/audio/video cameras for surveillence. Next up, the RCS serial thermostats that also talk to HV.


I'm now building my HT, and part of that is a Grafik Eye controller with RS232 control interface. That too will be going to my whole house pc for scene control of the theater.


Sigh....It never ends


My to do list is thicker than Bill Clinton's black book ;)
 

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My to do list is thicker than Bill Clinton's black book ;) [/b][/quote]


that is quite a list!


off topic re Grafik eye


I control my Grafik eye by IR commands now: I have an interface to Radio RA which is not used


is there any advantage to RS-232 control? I can do some RS-232 but would have to change interface?


Mark
 

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Hi Robertmee, How did you get that advanced member status? I better start posting more.


I thought you didn't want that caddx security system?

I had that for sale too.


That's funny how you have that really advanced Homevision controller that you just had to have. It's capabilities are endless, such a powerful piece of hardware. And what is it doing? Not much, about as much as it was doing for me. Turning some lights on and off. Please let me know when you use it to it's capabilities, especially the web control stuff.

JOE
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Joe and all,


I have visited and did some research on the link posted and other that I found in Internet for smart home product. All are good. One aspect of it that I found really interesting is the Internet capability. We can hook up the system to the Internet and we can control and monitor the system from anywhere in the world as long as we connected to the Internet.


I always believe anything hooked up to the Internet will be on "steroid", just like the Internet fridge mentioned above.. :) Not only monitoring and automation, but device or appliances connected to the Internet can be as smart as a stand alone PC and even more.


Yet, as Joe said, at the end it doing not much. Only turning some lights on and off. :( Wouldn't be nice, say when we come home, we will personally greeted, the lights on, favorite music play, and it tell us someone have replied to our posting in AVS Forum! That will be the day!


Any system out there can do that? Or even close?


adzan
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by markrubin
My to do list is thicker than Bill Clinton's black book ;)


that is quite a list!


off topic re Grafik eye


I control my Grafik eye by IR commands now: I have an interface to Radio RA which is not used


is there any advantage to RS-232 control? I can do some RS-232 but would have to change interface?


Mark
I don't know if there is any advantage or not to RS-232 control. Most times with the GE, you set up all your pre-programmed scenes and your done. You then simply select which scenes you want to operate via IR or RS232. If that's all you are doing, then I don't see any advantage. If you want to change the way scenes operate on the fly, then RS-232, I think, would be your only recourse. I don't think you can change scene functions remotely with IR?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by cmcjo
Hi Robertmee, How did you get that advanced member status? I better start posting more.


I have no life ;) Actually, I've been gathering alot of info for my HT construction, so I've been posting quite a bit.



I thought you didn't want that caddx security system?

I had that for sale too.



I already had the Caddx equipment when you were selling yours. I knew that I was going to get an HV someday, so I bought the Caddx well before I bought the HV :)



That's funny how you have that really advanced Homevision controller that you just had to have. It's capabilities are endless, such a powerful piece of hardware. And what is it doing? Not much, about as much as it was doing for me. Turning some lights on and off. Please let me know when you use it to it's capabilities, especially the web control stuff.

JOE



Well, you offered it at such a good price, I had to get it, whether I was ready to use it or not ;). Actually, I have a lot of plans for it, and I will use it to its capability, but right now I'm focused on finishing my HT construction, so it has taken a back seat for now. I have set up the web server, and I can check my home security from the Net, disarm/arm system, etc. It was pretty easy with the integrated setup for the Caddx system and the integrated web server.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by adzan



Yet, as Joe said, at the end it doing not much. Only turning some lights on and off. :( Wouldn't be nice, say when we come home, we will personally greeted, the lights on, favorite music play, and it tell us someone have replied to our posting in AVS Forum! That will be the day!


Any system out there can do that? Or even close?


adzan
Yes, most systems can do that. Homevision, JDS stargate, perhaps the Omni II. Add some software like ACE or Homeseer, and a whole house audio system, and what you want to do is quite easy. Just takes some time and money (doesn't everything) :D
 

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Robert


that is kind of what I thought


with IR, I can control any function the Lutron remote control for the GE does:


select any of 4 scenes

global brightness up/down

on/off


that is really all I need, so I will stay with IR


Thanks,


Mark:)
 

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I have a Leviton structured wiring panel housing my phone, data and cable terminations. I ran RG-6 and two Cat-5's to evey room from the panel. As far as automation, I started out with X-10 Powerline Carrier Products. After playing for a short time, I wanted to do logic control (if x is true, do this, else do that). I stumbled across a product called HAL2000 ( www.homeautomatedliving.com ). It is a pretty incredible package. It runs on a Windows PC and is very easy to use. It does light/appliance control with logic & schedules. It links to the net for, TV, stock, weather, etc. Using a mic input or a any phone in the house everything can be control by voice (works verywell). It integrates with the Ocelot. It has a answering service, MP3 player, etc, etc. Go to the web site and check it out. I did take the dealer course on this product but only yo learn more about it. I do not sell it.


Unfortunetly, my security system was in before I got into automation so while it does have a link via an X10 module, info transfer is limited.


As far as my wife using it? It's very easy to use since you simply talk to it using everyday words, but I do all the work on it. She loves it at xmas time when all here light, etc. come on by schedules.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
hi Vette95,


Thanks!


From what I gathered, Leviton provide the structure wiring for home, hence your home is "wired" once you put the Leviton Structured Media Systems in place. Correct me if I'm wrong but with the Leviton in place you get telephone distribution, audio/video distribution (incl. tv, security camera, stereo, etc) to practically every corner of the house. Not much automation doesn't it?


How will HAL "cooperate" with Leviton? Understand that HAL uses X10, does HAL requires Leviton at all? Or I can just put HAL works without Leviton?


What is the option for Leviton? or HAL? the competing product?


Pardon the question, but its really new to me :) It just too many jargon in this industry, make my head spin..:)


regards,
 

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IMO, structured wiring and home automation are two different animals. This is not to say that one does not affect the other. (eg. the structured wiring helps hook up HAL to the internet) You can install one without the other.


The Leviton structured wiring panel is just that a panel. You buy modules for use in the panel for data, phone & audio/video. It does not put this stuff in every corner of the home. You need to run wire from that panel to the corners you require. It just provides a clean way of tying it all together. There are many competing product. OnQ is one that comes to mind.


All HAL requires is a PC, a devices to control. You can add all the other HAL "toys" as time & money permit.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Vette95
It just provides a clean way of tying it all together.
Good explanation.
 
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