Results 1 to 4 of 4

Thread: Home Auto Newbie

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    1

    Default Home Auto Newbie

    Hi all,

    I'm new on this forum and also new to the home automation game.
    I've read a bit about x10 but wouldn't know where to start and what hardware to buy?

    I work in the IT Industry and I have a 19" 1m rack in my garage, with two Intel servers and one unix. I have space left for other hardware.
    Do you run the home auto from a server, or do you buy a controller that runs independantly?

    I'm looking for a security setup rather than controlling my audio/video. I may link the two in the future but not yet.

    What I'm looking for:
    LCD touch screen front end
    All power sockets in main ring and all lights in in ring controlled
    CCTV indoors and out
    Text notification
    House electricity usage display
    All contactable from the outside on my home network.

    Is x10 the best for this purpose?
    Can you point me to literature I can read up on this?
    In your opinion, what would be your hardware shopping list if you wanted the above?

    As you can see, I have very little knowledge of this and want to get into it - I find asking the experts about the concepts will give me the foundation I need to go off and teach myself.

    All answers appreciated,

    Cheers,

    JC

  2. #2
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    437

    Default

    Hi JC,

    There are several systems available that may also meet your needs, perhaps better than x10, which would require quite a lot of integration to link up all your requirements.

    My personal choice is the Idratek system - there's quite a lot of activity on the Idratek specific forum here on AH, so you can get a feel of what it can do.
    ----------------------
    www.gumbrell.com

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member Ad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    34

    Default

    There are a load of HA systems that could fit the bill, the main things to consider are;

    1) Do you want to rewire the house
    2) How much money and time do you have

    I use X10 and only have a few problems with it, nothing that I can't live with. For a trouble free status report/no loss of signal then the only option is a hardwired solution (Idratek/Others), however this comes linked with 1), you will probably need to rewire some circuits. For X10 most things are plug in and require very little alteration to wiring, but you lose the ability to get status reporting.

    I use HomeSeer HSPRO so can only offer opinion on that system, it runs on any PC and there is little system load, it comes with a web interface as default and HSPRO comes with HSTouch, which is a custom LCD front end. It is up to you to design the interface however.

    You can run it on a windows PC, or purchase one of the Hometrollers for dedicated use, I run mine on a windows PC and if you have a server already might be easier to run it on that.

    Text notification can be easily integrated with an sms - email gateway, I monitor power useage with the CurrentCost meters and a serial interface and import the data into HomeSeer. CCTV is a bit more difficult, HS struggles with it 'out of the box' but there are plugins/alternative solutions available.

    Probably best you try and decide how you want your lights/sockets controlled first;

    Just controlling power sockets sometimes serves very little purpose, if you turn on/off a TV from a power socket it will probably just go in and out of standby for example. You need relatively dumb appliances to get anything out of it. The X10 WS10 is a power socket relay, however its not particularly attractive and you will lose a socket as it takes a double gang box and there is one output socket. HomeEasy make nice UK double gang remote controlled sockets.

    Lights are another thing, X10 LW10's are pretty ugly, and they don't support soft start/dim - but on the other hand are quite cheap in comparison. You can get DIN rail mount X10 lighting controllers, but again you may need to rewire every circuit back a new box due to the way most lighting circuits are wired.

    It might be worth looking at the differences in Idratek/X10/ZWave/CBus/Homeeasy before making any further decision, they all have varying pros and cons.

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Near Alicante Spain
    Posts
    2,008

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ad View Post

    I use X10 and only have a few problems with it, nothing that I can't live with. For a trouble free status report/no loss of signal then the only option is a hardwired solution (Idratek/Others), however this comes linked with 1), you will probably need to rewire some circuits. For X10 most things are plug in and require very little alteration to wiring, but you lose the ability to get status reporting.
    .
    You can get status reporting with X10, the Xanura modules and many of the marmitek micro modules also do status reporting. The xanura modules will send out a status command even when they are controlled manually. so its easy to keep track of whats on and whats off.

    I use a Homevision ( http://www.cs3i.com ) unit best piece of home automation kit I have ever bought. Has never let me down, works as it should. Has its own built in routines in case of power failure. It has much of the functionality of Homeseer plus it doesn't need a pc to be connected all the time. The PC is used for changing settings and if you want a touch screen interface. Like many other HV user i use the software by Schelte it has the advantage of running on either Windows or linux and its excellent plus its free. http://hv.tclcode.com/
    The homevision users group is worth a look as well http://groups.yahoo.com/group/homevision-users/
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •