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Thread: unRAID + Home Automation

  1. #1
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    Question unRAID + Home Automation

    Hey,

    I'm looking to set up a home automation system in conjunction with unRAID in 2013. But it has to be wireless and/or over electric due to the fact I'm still renting! My main reason for automation is I am a wheelchair user with the use of one hand

    I would like a system that once setup is completely seemless but can be built upon/transfered to another home when I move. I am after a system that can be activated by voice, Android phone/tablet and by bluetooth/wireless to sense I have left/arrived home (lights, door opening etc).

    I would like these automation a lot of functions in my flat:

    1. Automated/voice controlled blind opening/closing; horizontal blinds.

    2. Remote controlled/voice activated/motion lights; I have LED GU10 bulbs throughout my entire flat except for the kitchen and bathroom which are BELL 2D ENERGY SAVING FLUORESCENT TUBE Lamp / Bulbs. My spotlights can all dim although I have no setup to do so.

    3. Video streaming; Using my unRAID NAS which is in my office. I will be using XBMC on my dedicated media center which is connected to my TV and I am looking at buying two Raspberry Pi's to stream to my bedroom and office.

    4. I would like to be able to stream music throughout all of my rooms including my bathroom but have no idea how!

    5. Energy/water monitoring; energy/water waste is my biggest bug bear ; I want to be able to monitor energy usage to help reduce it as much as possible.

    I already have 9w LED installed in every room, I have underfloor heating which I have now been told is one of the most non efficant forms of heating... I am hoping to lower my consumption by using home automation (maybe using some sort of weather/inside temperature monitoring?).

    Is it possible to monitor water?

    6. Heating management; Exact temperature control via a calibrated setup that can have morning, day, night, summer and winter programs.

    7. Security Monitoring; I live on the ground floor of a block of apartments which has a camera entry system; is there a way to get this camera feed on to my TV? To allow me to view who is at my door and to enable me to release the outside door (magnet lock I think). Currently it's a push unlock button on the telephone entry system which is made by 'urnet'

    8. Food; If I run out of a item of food I want to be able to add it straight away to a shopping list which I can split up to different shops e.g. Tesco for most items and Lidl for a few. The Tesco shop would be a monthly shop etc and to remind me of food used by dates; I hate wasting food!

    9. Bathroom - Can you get a mirror which can function as a screen; so I could access the weather report for the day, read the news etc when brushing my teeth and having a shave

    There maybe more but I cannot remember, what system would you advise I purchase? A starter kit would be great but I want a "future proof" one.

    Max budget is around 800 for everything. Any advice is appreciated.

    Misc
    I have a Windows 7 PC, a 12TB NAS ()Office, a XBMC PC, a LG 47" TV with surround sound etc (Lounge), a Nexus 4 and a non working Android tablet soon to be replaced by the Nexus 10

    Ideally the home automation server software etc would be located on my NAS as it is on 24/7.

    Kind Regards,
    Jon
    Last edited by hilljd00; 13th March 2013 at 02:16 AM. Reason: UPDATED 13/03/2013

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    The biggest problem is that you are in rented accommodation. This will probably be more of the limiting factor as to what is possible.

    Automatic/voice blind opening/closing
    Remote controlled/voice activated lights
    Take a look at Homeseer for the system and then Z-wave, Insteon or even PLC-Bus And at a push you could use X10, For the modules.

    Video streaming - Using unRAID + XBMC (I have a dedicated media center connected to my TV)
    Music streaming through the rooms including bathroom
    Music streaming could be done via Sonos. and there is a Sonos plugin for XBMC.
    I think you have answered your own question as regards XMBC, though using wifi to access the server may mean no HD, from experience HD via wifi is a bit hit and miss and more miss.

    Energy monitoring - Monitor energy usage to help reduce it as much as possible. I already have 9w LED installed in every room + I have underfloor heating but I'm sure I could lower my consumption by using home automation (maybe weather/inside temperature monitoring?). Is it possible to monitor water?

    Heating management - Exact temperature control via
    Energy monitoring is possible. Various stand alone systems that can also interface to a computer. Is it electric underfloor heating or a wet system. Temp monitoring is possible as is intelligent control.
    Security Monitoring - I live on the ground floor of a block of apartments which has a camera entry system; is there a way to get this camera feed on to my TV? And is there a way to allow me to release the main door (magnet). Currently it's a push unlock button on the telephone entry system which is made by 'urnet'
    Probably not unless Urnet do an interface to do this, and it will mean modifying or adding to the current system. At the very least you would have to take apart the monitor housing and look for the composite video feed.

    Food - If I run out of a item of food I want to be able to add it straight away to a shopping list which I can split up to different shops e.g. Tesco for most items and Lidl for a few. The Tesco shop would be a monthly shop.
    You would need to integrate some sort of bar code scanner, so either when you run out you scan the label, or every time you use something you scan it, and set the system up so that it knows that 4 scans of item y means you need to order more.

    Bathroom - Can you get a mirror which can function as a screen; so I could access the weather report for the day, read the news etc when brushing my teeth and having a shave
    Yes but they are not cheap, at least 600 to 1000 pounds for a 7" screen hidden in a mirror so when its off it looks like a mirror and then when its on you see a small screen in the mirror. http://www.simplymirrortv.co.uk/prod...oom-mirror-tvs

    There maybe more but I cannot remember. Is it worth waiting to January to setup? Do home automation companies have January sales?
    Doubt it. You may get some deals on some of the items.

    Some other things to look at
    RFXCOM for wireless systems.
    EnOcean
    Last edited by toscal; 12th December 2012 at 10:17 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    The biggest problem is that you are in rented accommodation. This will probably be more of the limiting factor as to what is possible.
    I've been looking for my own place but still have not found something I really like.

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    Take a look at Homeseer for the system and then Z-wave, Insteon or even PLC-Bus And at a push you could use X10, For the modules.
    Will do, I thought x10 went bankrupt.

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    Music streaming could be done via Sonos. and there is a Sonos plugin for XBMC.
    Ok thanks

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    I think you have answered your own question as regards XMBC, though using wifi to access the server may mean no HD, from experience HD via wifi is a bit hit and miss and more miss.
    That is hard wired/home plugged.

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    Energy monitoring is possible. Various stand alone systems that can also interface to a computer. Is it electric underfloor heating or a wet system. Temp monitoring is possible as is intelligent control.
    Under floor heating.

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    Probably not unless Urnet do an interface to do this, and it will mean modifying or adding to the current system. At the very least you would have to take apart the monitor housing and look for the composite video feed.
    Ok, I'll have a look, thanks.

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    You would need to integrate some sort of bar code scanner, so either when you run out you scan the label, or every time you use something you scan it, and set the system up so that it knows that 4 scans of item y means you need to order more.
    Guess it looks like I'll be building something then...

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    Yes but they are not cheap, at least 600 to 1000 pounds for a 7" screen hidden in a mirror so when its off it looks like a mirror and then when its on you see a small screen in the mirror. http://www.simplymirrortv.co.uk/prod...oom-mirror-tvs
    I'll pass for the moment ha.

    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    Doubt it. You may get some deals on some of the items.

    Some other things to look at
    RFXCOM for wireless systems.
    EnOcean
    Thanks I'll take a look!

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    X10 is the name of the protocol and a company as well. It was the tenth project from a Scottish company called Pico which then formed a partnership with BSR to become X10 Ltd. It then became X10 inc. when BSR went out of business on 1985.
    X10 the company is having a few financial problems they may just survive then again they may not. But the X10 protocol is used by several companies, Xanura/Marmitek are probably the biggest supplier in Europe.
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  5. #5
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    WIRSBO is the make of underfloor heating.

    What system would you personally recommend me using?

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    Which you personally recommend?

  7. #7
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    If it was my own house and I could put in extra cables etc then it would be either Loxone or Idratek.
    The Loxone also allows you to use Enocean wireless modules but they are not cheap.
    If I wasn't able to start bashing holes every where I needed to run cables then I would choose PLC-Bus running Homeseer software (I used to beta test their software) on a dedicated PC.
    As regards to PC especially for Idratek or Homeseer. I wouldn't run anything else on it. Doing this lessons the chances of crashing etc. The Idratek system (Cortex is the name of the software running on the PC) is probably better at handling crashes as it can run in a standalone mode. Where as if Homeseer crashes you are kind of stuffed. Connecting to a UPS and running some sort of script to power down the system gracefully then back up once power is restored is an option. Check the Homeseer forums for this.
    For heating there are various options, but depends on which system you choose.
    As I have said earlier your biggest problem is the fact you are in rented accommodation. So the landlord may not want too many alterations done to his property.
    The PLC-Bus stuff is probably the best bet as regards this since you could take it with you. As its all either modules that fit behind switches or plugin devices.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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  8. #8
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    Where would you advise me buying PLC Bus kits from?

  9. #9
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    This place seems to have the best selection.
    Just thought another option would be Insteon.
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  10. #10
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    Sounds to me like you would be better off with a lightwaverf system or something like that, or you are going to end up trailing cables round your gaff. If you have electrical underfloor heating you could put a plug on it and then switch it from a lightwaverf socket.
    Lightwaverf has an energy monitoring feature but not voice control however I am sure it won't be long for the lightwave rf iOS app to get Siri intergration.
    For the grocery shopping the slickest method I use is the tesco iOS app which has a barcode scanner built in (using the camera)
    For the door entry system you could probably hack the one you have to get a feed but that doesn't sort the issue of the fact you have then got to get a cable from there to your TV. I would probably go for a wireless ip camera at the door however I am not sure how you would get power to it as it is not your property.
    Personally if you are already considering buying your own place then save up your cash now for a proper HA system and start to plan for it now, I am installing a Loxone system and it is proving to be a very robust and reliable system which is getting more and more advanced by the day.

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