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Thread: New installation - heating, presence and pets

  1. #11
    Automated Home Jr Member Gangsta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFluffy View Post
    Even beam breakers cant say which direction you were going in...
    One beam breaker cant, but 2 side by side can!

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonS View Post
    We have both a cat and children and have used cheap pet-immune PIRS, Honeywell Activ8.

    In the future I will be replacing the Activ8s with dual tech sensors which cost about 5 times as much, but are supposed to work much better even with jumping/ climbing cats.

    HTH
    JonS
    I was looking at some dual tech sensors but have read somewhere that the microwave side is not very good if you have non-solid walls. Out NZ house is typical early construction and built almost entirely of wood. We have some lath and plaster internal walls downstairs, but the walls (and ceilings) everywhere else are constructed of planks of wood with either the original cloth covered with wallpaper or later added thin plasterboard. I suspect the walls will be invisible to microwave sensors which would be a bit of a disaster for presence sensing.

    I think I will go with pet immune sensors and see how we get on. So I think I will get a bunch of LTS light and temperature (+humidity for bathrooms) sensors to start with and then I can wire a pet immune PIR (will try the visionic as Toscal suggests).

    At least our house should be relatively straightforward to wire as there are floor to ceiling voids in the walls as only vertical studwork is required with this style of constructions and also very large voids (can climb part way down) adjacent to the chimneys. With completely woodern walls and ceilings no trouble with fixing anything, anywhere.

  3. #13
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MrFluffy View Post
    So how would sufficiently sensorising the bathroom .... .
    You are right that these scenarios can cause ambiguities, it is also the case that Cortex does have logic which can use the relative timing of PIR motion between adjacent rooms to make an occupancy transfer decision. And as you point out even this could result in adverse situations, however there are also a number of timeouts and catchalls which essentially smooth out such possibilities. In effect you get a compromise between how fast occupancy transfer occurs and error rates - which is the notion of fine tuning that JS refers to.

    Perhaps a simplification is to think of it as a spectrum of capability ranging from at one end - where you just have individual PIRs with timers to do automation (meaning you have to have long timeouts to avoid the sitting still issue) and at the other end of the scale a well sensorised house using all the information available to try and make more intelligent decisions in order to reduce such timeout values to a minimum (but not necessarily zero). Depending on the nature of your dwelling, and the efficacy of the sensory arrangement you are striving to get as much an improvement over the basic individual sensor concept as you can. But if your system becomes too 'jittery' you can gradually relax timeout conditions or even try different logic options.

    Other automation details such as what to do at night times can also be influnced by other logic. For example heating profiles in rooms which are not likely to be occupied at night times can be different to ones where humans actually sleep, so that pets wandering into those rooms wouldn't necessarily affect the heating there during that period anyway. BTW PIR activity during night time makes for interesting viewing and possibly some indication of how well you are sleeping

    There are many other automation complications when it comes to human interaction such as how to re-instate automation automatically after a user has overriden it and a multitude of interactions between various sensors and user desires to cater for. When you consider this it becomes a bit clearer why something like Cortex is really quite different to installing some arbitrary HA system and then trying to think of and program all the logic in for all the automation interactions step by step. So in this case the fundamental logic behaviour and interaction tracking has already been provided by the HA system ie. is an integral part of this system. Though it can of course be tweaked 'backwards' to the point where there is little or no automation at all.

  4. #14
    Automated Home Jr Member Gangsta's Avatar
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    I have been toying with the idea of face detection (not recognition) as built into the new cameras (for focus assistance)

    It is much easier to detect a face than to recognise it. My current thoughts were to program a high end PIC to perform the detection from a cheap and nasty low resolution b/w (read as <5) camera. And mount the lot into an existing pir housing. This would work quite well in most rooms, and I have made a point of only outputting an face detected signal instead of an actual video image (a requirement by my wife). We have camera all around the perimiter, but would prefer not to have any inside. Anyway something like this may work, and could be plugged into a standard input as you would a PIR. And for cameraphobes, there may be cameras in your house that you are unaware of. The most prominent example:- your wii remote (if you have a wii) - contrary to popular belief, the each and every wii-mote has a camera built in - thats how it moves the pointer on the screen!

  5. #15
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >face ...

    interesting ... but why, what for ? And, wouldn't anyone who wasn't supposed to be about be wearing some sort of cover - hood, balaclava, whatever ? And face detection in a normal camera situation might be quite a bit different in terms of context - ie: a much more constrained situation, allowing perhaps a better chance of avoiding false indications ?
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 11th March 2010 at 09:32 PM.

  6. #16
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >well sensorised house ...

    just wondering how far to take this (and hoping Idratek's lead-times are currently not too extended) - ie: reed-switches on every door, pressure-mats in many places (where people sit, enter, leave, stand to do things) ...

    and how to use push-buttons & switches - we've used them to switch lights on & off but, now we have HA, maybe the ones by the door would be better used to say we're coming-into or going-out of a room or space, and intend to say or not come-back, and the one's used to raise or lower lighting levels would be better placed by the sofa ?

    and cupboard doors, too, should they have reed-switches ?

    how many PIRs & reed-switches would be too many ?

  7. #17
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >face detect ...

    'wonder if movement detect might be more useful - and how distinguishable from noise significant movements might be (false-alarm avoidance) ?

  8. #18
    Automated Home Jr Member Gangsta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    >face ...

    interesting ... but why, what for ? And, wouldn't anyone who wasn't supposed to be about be wearing some sort of cover - hood, balaclava, whatever ? And face detection in a normal camera situation might be quite a bit different in terms of context - ie: a much more constrained situation, allowing perhaps a better chance of avoiding false indications ?
    well if your sitting still in a room, your face doesnt just dissapear. Therefore if a face is within the field of view the room is 'occupied', used in conjunction with a pir could make quite a good occupancy sensor

  9. #19
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    well, give it a go - good luck !

    wonder what's used in cars, to sense seat occupation - ours seem to work quite well (seat-belt warning etc) - 'temping to think of trying such a thing, too ...

    as I think Karam said, having a range of sensors might be good ...

  10. #20
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    Face detection +/- PIR would be the ultimate pet tolerant detector ... unless, of course, your pet looks too much like you.

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