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Thread: Noobie Alert

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Noobie Alert

    First I'd like to say Hi, great forum. Been reading here for a few days now and I've got a few questions.

    Initially I liked the idea of X10, signals through the mains. I want to be able to control ceiling lights (with multiple bulbs on each fitting) via controlling software on my Vista PC, which is on all the time. I also liked the look of the module, which retained settings, should my PC be down e.g. on holiday, so that some timed functions would still be working.

    However, some people seem to think that as the technology is old, its outdated and there are newer better technologies available. Fair enough, I thought.

    When I started looking into these newer systems, mainly wireless connectivity, I struggled to see how they would control a ceiling light with multiple bulbs? maybe I am missing something?

    I also want to have security and other powered items under the saem control system, but I didn't see many problems with that, although I do like the idea of wired cameras, rather than wireless ones.

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default

    I always try and keep wireless things to a minimum. This leads to less interference and problems. Too many products on similar frequencies can lead to all sorts of problems. A friend of mine has wireless video senders around his house and every time he turns the microwave on, uses his mobile or cordless phone he picks up interference. If wireless is the only route to go then try and spread out the frequencies the technologies use, this lessens the possibility of reduced band width on any given frequency.
    As regards to X10 being an old technology, you could say the same about the car. Sure there are newer technologies, but will they still be here in 30 years time. X10 was conceived in 1975 with the first units being available in about 1978. Its come a long way since then. And its also quite reasonable in price.
    Another powerline technology is PLC-Bus, this seems to be gaining some ground and the people that use it seem to be very happy with it. Its very similar to UPB (another powerline technology).
    As for controlling a ceiling light with multiple bulbs do you want to control each bulb individually or all together.
    I also prefer wired cameras as they tend to be more reliable. Wireless cameras still need a power supply.
    If you give us more of an idea of what it is you want to achieve then we can give more specific advice.
    Some things to think about:

    1. Are you reforming your present house, building a new one etc
    2. Signal distribution (video, telephone, PC networks etc)
    3. Home automation and security, how do you want to control this:
    a: PC based / Stand alone
    b: When away from the house, via moble/telephone, and ot internet.
    c: In house control via touchscreens, remotes, voice (still not 100% reliable but getting there) or a combination or something else.
    4. What do you want to control, lights, sockets and or heating.

    That should get you started
    Some sites to look at www.homeseer.com, www.csi3.com, www.abitana.com, www.intouchtech.co.uk, www.casatech.eu
    Last edited by toscal; 7th October 2007 at 04:51 PM.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default

    Thanks for your reply.


    1. Are you reforming your present house, building a new one etc
    I am buying a house, which will have an extension added to it in a few years.

    2. Signal distribution (video, telephone, PC networks etc)
    PC Networks and possibly telephone, if required for remote access.

    3. Home automation and security, how do you want to control this:


    a: PC based / Stand alone
    I do not want stand alone. It has to integrate very well into Vista Media Centre, or at least run from Vista/Microsoft Home Server.

    b: When away from the house, via moble/telephone, and ot internet.
    Yes

    c: In house control via touchscreens, remotes, voice (still not 100% reliable but getting there) or a combination or something else.
    yes, via Media PC in lounge and extenders.

    4. What do you want to control, lights, sockets and or heating
    All and possibly other 0 - 10 v sensor projects.

    I have homed in on Harmony software with C-Bus hardware.

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