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  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Lightbulb Newbie New Home Setup

    Hi All
    I'm a newbie with all this home automation stuff and I was wondering if any of you guys can point me in the right direction.
    Basically I have just moved in to a new home and I plan on installing a Vista media center server in the garage and then using a Xbox 360 as a media center extender in the living room for now, until a dedicated vista media center extender comes out, So the plan is to make most of the lights in the house automated and then controlled through the media center extender, but I dont know what software/automation protocol to use, I have been looking at HomeZix (seems nice and cheap) and Harmony for software and X10 or Zwave for hardware, but what PC interface can I use with either software, I will add more automated devices once I get to grips with it all, but I just need a bit of help getting started

    Knapster

  2. #2
    Automated Home Sr Member wywywywy's Avatar
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    Hi,

    I assume you are in the UK?

    If so, for X10 you will need an USB or Serial Port interface like this CM12U.
    http://x10-hk.com/store/product_info...roducts_id=152

    But I didn't know you could access the MCE plugin pages via an extender?

    There aren't enough Z-Wave modules at the moment in the UK to worth the investment I reckon...

    If you are going the X10 route, I would recommend Kevin Lo's X10^2 modules or the new Domia modules, rather than the "classic" X10 modules... as reliability isn't their strongest point.

  3. #3
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Also I would definitely think about adding a whole house X10 filter such as an FD10 or similar, this will filter out any noise and possible X10 signals coming into the house and prevent you broadcasting X10 signals out of the house. You may need to get an electrician to fit it.
    For X10 modules the micro modules such as the AW12 or LW12, are very good. There are also similar X10^2 modules as well.
    For software also take a look at Homeseer. www.homeseer.com . This aslo uses the CM12 or CM11. Homeseer also has a plugin for MCE
    Something to think about is a possible non pc route for the controller. I used to use Homeseer which is excellent, but the PC it was on kept crashing once every 3 to 4 days. This is why I switched to the Homevision controller. www.csi3.com .

  4. #4
    Automated Home Lurker
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    So do I just install an x10 filter anywhere on the mains ring e.g. my circuit breaker is in the garage, can I install one off that? and am i right in saying any stray x10 signals coming in/out of the house will only happen if im using a RF receiver/transmitter..
    Also, I'm loving the switches listed on x10-hk.com, I feel that this little project is going to become quite expensive!!

  5. #5
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    The FD10 is a powerline filter so is connected to the mains at the breaker box (Fuse box). Its designed to fit into the breaker box.
    Stray signals can happen for a variety of reasons, such as noise on the mains line, your neighbour a few doors down may be using X10 without a filter.
    You could still get interference from other nearby X10 RF signals, though it is possible to get an encrypted RF X10 system, have a look at x10-hk.com.
    There are also plugin X10 filters designed to filter the noise from washing machines etc. In my experience the most problematic things are old energy saver bulbs these can be quite noisy, and cheap low voltage lighting transformers. Most modern white goods tend to be quite good noise wise. And the X10^2 modules have some filtering built in.
    Good luck and if you have any more questions just ask even if you think they are silly. As I always say you learn more by asking those silly questions that others are afraid to ask.

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