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im interested in a little home automation in the near future and controling it from my HTPC.


I was wondering what all can i control with my computer and how do i go about it? what do i need? I dont want to spend alot of money on automation but im thinking as a basis as basic light control like lamps, ceiling fan, blinds, and such.


Where do i get all this stuff and how difficult is it to set up?
 

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X-10 may help you, it use your current power lines to comunicate,cheap and easy to install, just a check noise in your 120V lines that could make it erratic, but otherwise it may help you a lot.

There is other options, but you will need to read about each one and find the best bet for you.
 

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It can be a complete headache. on this forum there is a home automation section. I use Girder and netremote ($150) and just got into Home automation. I use Insteon for lights and bought a couple switchlinc (smart light switches $40 each) and the connector thing for the computer ($100). I'm able to do all kinds of things like click movie mode where it'll turn off all the lights but dim the living room lights to like 10%, turn on projector, drop screen, change HDMI source, and turn on reciever to HDMI (using a USB-Uirt, or Global Cache). I also have links where one switch will turn on/off both the kitchen and dining room lights but they have their own switches. I also have a switchlinc on my outside lights and girder has them turn on 30 mins before sunset and and off at sunrise (it gets these times from my location). I plan on adding a home/away switch by my door where it'll turn off everything (including shutting down/sleeping computers) when im "away" then turning stuff on when im "home" (including turning on lights if its dark, but not when its in the middle of the day).


I'd suggest starting very small and buying the right software where you won't be limited, then buying 1 or 2 switches then setting them up exactly how you want, then buying a couple more. If you buy everything you might realize you dont need them all and/or not spend enough time setting them up to do what you'd like.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosenbush /forum/post/19507584


X-10 may help you, it use your current power lines to comunicate,cheap and easy to install, just a check noise in your 120V lines that could make it erratic, but otherwise it may help you a lot.

There is other options, but you will need to read about each one and find the best bet for you.

x10 is cheap which is good, but it's not very reliable (90%-95% works) most people switchout x10 with insteon. The good thing is x10 works with Insteon so you can use both together. They both use the common on powerlines. Make sure you have a common where your switches are as a lot of homes don't. and it could become a wiring nightmare


Also theres z-wave (uses RF) which is pretty reliable but they need to be close enough to reliably send signals. Also if you have a lot they start to become unreliable.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by justinm0424 /forum/post/19507638


x10 is cheap which is good, but it's not very reliable (90%-95% works)

you are much too kind....

my experience with X-10 has been much, much worse...


may favorite with x10 is the 'ghost' lights... lights randomly turning on or off on their own, at random times in the day or night...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Somewhatlost /forum/post/19507693


you are much too kind....

my experience with X-10 has been much, much worse...


may favorite with x10 is the 'ghost' lights... lights randomly turning on or off on their own, at random times in the day or night...

That's what i've heard,i only knew to stay away from it. You hear how bad they are then you'll hear about one person who has 100's and never had a problem...




My insteon lighting is 99.8% reliable according to girder. But I only have 3 switches (2 icon switchlinc's, 1 KPL). Usually it's pretty close to instant but sometimes it might take like .5 seconds to turn on, but it always works.


UPB i believe is pretty expensive just like the RA2. Zwave just didn't seem like a good fit for me.
 
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