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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know this isn't a rocket science solution, but it just occurred to me last night after looking into how to wire up the kitchen for audio. The only time it would be needed is when my wife puts the 3yr old & 1 yr old at their little kid table to eat a snack while she's cooking dinner. She's been blasting the living room/zone2 speakers, but they're 30' and one room away, so it's not very efficient. Plus they're these little paradigm Cinema 110's, so they really can't project decent sound that far.


My genius solution was to split the analog/headphone out on the family room HTPC [which was currently only going to the receiver], and have one end run to a 20' 1/8" extender cable, which then plugged into.... a $100 set of Creative PC speakers. I already owned these speakers and wasn't getting much use out of them, so I just moved them to the top of the refrigerator.


Works great. My Creative speakers have a volume control and on/off switch located on a little metal thingey that attaches via a 3' cord to the speakers [i.e., the volume control isn't on the speakers], so I ran that to the side of the fridge and mounted it there via a velcro strip that I glued to the back of it.


Technically this means that I can only listen to whatever audio source the family room HTPC is playing back, and will never be able to have independent audio. However, this constraint is fine for us as we'll never be watching a movie in the F/R while someone wants to listen to music in the kitchen.


Not very elegant, but it was very cheap, and the wife is excited that I didn't buy in-wall speakers and a niles volume control, which would then mean that I'd be ripping out walls and hoping I could put everything back together and make it look somewhat decent.


Another upside was that my wife made a comment about this being the 4th room in the house wired for sound. She asked which was next, the dining room, bedroom, or the bathroom. She could have been sarcastic, but just in case I better buy another pair of speakers just in case.
 

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Cool. I want to do the exact same thing, but want to be able to control the pc from the kitchen. This is what I’m thinking:


Limited control: use a X-10 type software/hardware (homesteer/ocelot) to launch itunes and start a playlist/or random. Think it would be pretty cool to be able to walk in and push one button to turn on lights/start music. Anybody know what the right way to do this would be?


Possibly could also add a small lcd touch screen like the 7†lilliput for full control options. Would also need to figure out how to integrate in a video switcher to the pc to get a 3rd video output..
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
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Originally Posted by Jeff J
Cool. I want to do the exact same thing, but want to be able to control the pc from the kitchen. This is what I’m thinking:


Limited control: use a X-10 type software/hardware (homesteer/ocelot) to launch itunes and start a playlist/or random. Think it would be pretty cool to be able to walk in and push one button to turn on lights/start music. Anybody know what the right way to do this would be?


Possibly could also add a small lcd touch screen like the 7†lilliput for full control options. Would also need to figure out how to integrate in a video switcher to the pc to get a 3rd video output..
X10 is too unstable for me; zWave would be better once it's fully baked.


I'm going to deploy CQC eventually so I can fully control via me/my wife's wifi cellphones. [i could use my old wifi ipaq, but cellphones would have that level of coolness about them]. We'll be able to pick the album/song, control lights, and anything else that you can automate.
 

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There have been a lot of perceived issues with Z-Wave, mostly, IMHO, because Zen-Sys hasn't really been particularly interested in helping folks like us implement really high quality drivers for their systems.


IVB has probably become paranoid about Z-Wave by listening to me ***** about all the problems I've had implementing support for it in CQC. But, as of this week, after many trials and tribulations and imagined heart attacks, I think I've finally had a breakthrough and the Z-Wave driver seems to really be hitting on all cylinders, I'm happy to say.


Before, I would have had trouble recommending it to our customers. No matter how good the technology is in theory, if it isn't stable in the way you need to use it (i.e. through the automation system of your choice), it's not going to work. And for other users with more challenging environments, it wasn't doing well at all.


I'm using Z-Wave in my apartment, and I've had moderately good results until now using Z-Wave through CQC. Now I'm getting the kind of results that make me happy to have it. It's doing extremely well, no errors, very fast response, and pretty low latency on two-way.


Having said that, it's not a high speed network, and if you are looking to run 50 modules or something, you have to consider whether you can tolerate the latencies involved for getting status from them. Some of them will probably need to be treated as one way (i.e. not polled) in order to allow the important ones to get their statuses updated quickly.


In my system, I have just 6 modules, and it's in a small apartment so they are fairly tightly packed, so I have a good mesh going I'm sure. In that environment, it's very snappy now with the newest drive, and most definitely makes X-10 look like the decrepit old man it is. Outgoing operations are practically instantaneous. Getting status changes into CQC are generally on the order of a couple seconds, worst case.
 

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wow. looks like I am a bit out of date with automation front (guess its actually homeseer..not homesteer). my head is sort of spinning after reading a bit - seems like there are a ton of hardware/software options out there. I'll need to read a bit more about z-wave to see if that is the right direction to go, but in keeping with the part of the el cheepo thread topic, not sure if I'm ready to drop about $500 on new hardware/software.


in the place that I'm in now my x-10 is actually somewhat reliable, but still would not trust it for anything critical. if I want to live with the given x10 buggyness, a copy of the new girder version and a powerlinc usb seem like a somewhat low cost potential solution (~$100).
 
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