Just want to start a thread for my house, so that others can use anything the think will work for them, or comment on anything they think I could do better.

The story so far:

The house is a 3 bed, detached bungalow, located in south west wales. I want to fully automate the house, and have recently started wiring.

Equipment so far:

2x 14 way Consumer Units

We have 3x Duel 2.4Ghz optron servers, with a HUGE (27TB) amount out harddisk space divided between the 3 servers. Configured as RAID 5 arrays

a) Media server - this one handles our media streaming
b) Comms server - this one handles all comms in/out of the house
c) Automation server - this one handles the automation

4x NDJ 12 channel dmx dimmers
2x Electric door strikes
1x 24 port 10/100/1000 switch (for network)
1x 24 port 10/100 switch (for phones)
1x 24 port PoE injector
1x Duel skybox controller via rs232
8x Xbox's running a customised version of xbmc
2x Sky boxes (1 sky, 1 sky+)
4x 4Channel cctv cards
13x security cameras
1x Custom built alarm system (Classified - lol)
72x Data outlets - our house has a basement and garage too (its quite a large house for only 3 bedrooms)

loads of driver boards, relays, sensors, etc

The media server serves up our dvd collection, tv shows, music, pictures etc
it is based on ubuntu server, with samba filesharing providing the SMB shares. It runs a kernel mode, remote filesystem which lets me mount the drives from the other two servers as part of the device tree. This server also monitors the UPS status and controls the sky boxes - and the xbox's - sky via a dusky controls box, and xbox's via the Web_API.

The xbox's are powered on using a custom interface (based on a PIC16F628A), and are shutdown using the Web_API, this reduces power consumption considerably, as the Xbox's are only powered on when needed, switch off the TV and the xbox linked to it shuts down.

The sky channels are controlled either inside XBMC, choosing a channel from a list - or from the universal remote.

I have to say - I am VERY impressed with ubuntu server, if your looking for a great looking system to impress your friends, this is NOT the one for you. If you want something that works very fast and very well - with so far 100% reliabliliy - this is it. When it is running, this is all you get

Server b, is the comms server, again ubuntu server, running firewall, email server, apache web-server, mysql, php. This is all used from both within and outwith the house - it will eventually allow me full control from anywhere in the world. Most importantly it runs asterisk, providing all the gateway, voip, IVR, voicemail, sms, etc. I only have one voip phone just now for testing, but once we have settled on a features list for the phones we'll be up to 10. The phones play a major part in my plans.

The automation server has not been finalised yet, its currently running XP pro, with various bits of custom software, but again id love to put ubuntu server on their too - but i need to learn a whole new coding style for that.

I wont burden anyone with the details of the cat-5 installation, as im sure everyone knows how hubs,switches etc work - I will mention that I have a PoE injector, this is just in line with the connections to the phone sockets to provide power-over-ethernet to the phones, as it eliminates ugly power adapters everywhere. I hope to have it shutdown most of the phone during the night, and power them up - if required.

I have a DMX module attached to the home automation server, that controls the dimmers, I (should) have enough channels to run every bulb in the house automagically, including the fish tanks, fireplaces etc

Thats it for now, probably too much to read in one go anyway - you can follow my blog at http://graham.my-digital-house.co.uk as i tend to update that every day or two.