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Thread: New Project, Need some advice.

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default New Project, Need some advice.

    Hi all,

    I am pretty new to all this, and want to start a home automation project for my house. I love all things gadget ect. I have a very strong IT grounding, and am building my server at the moment.

    1st thing on my list, is what central software is my best option. I have seen so much out there. I am a windows user, so no Linux stuff for now.

    I will want to control the following eventually

    CCTV, All lights (control brightness), Heating, Alarm.

    At the moment, I am looking at the CCTV side. I was planning on a DVR card in the server, is this an option? How about compatibility with the home automation system. Also I have a dome camera, to PTZ control is needed too, for example when someone presses the door bell I would like the cam to pan round and show me who it is.

    Also I have an I-Phone and soon an I-Pad that I will want to use with the system.

    I have a super thermostat that uses MOD BUS at the moment, so would like to make use of that too.

    Sorry to ask so much, but as I am building the server at the mo, might as well get the right kit from that start.

    Cheers,
    Will

  2. #2
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
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    Take a look at Idratek, there's lots of folks here with the knowledge. http://www.idratek.com Also check out Gumby's blog for some more useful info.

  3. #3
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    idratek looks just the ticket, thank you, I will have a good look over there website

  4. #4
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    Please look madartsoft. Our solutions are based on the ZigBee (wireless technology). We're creating web interface for control appliances via the internet.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    might be just me, but (via Safari) the MadArtSoft web-site is mostly unreadable (overlapping text & boxes) & when I tried to contact them (from the website) all I got was MAC error messages ...

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris_j_hunter View Post
    might be just me, but (via Safari) the MadArtSoft web-site is mostly unreadable (overlapping text & boxes) & when I tried to contact them (from the website) all I got was MAC error messages ...
    Hi Chris, Just tried it in IE8. FF3 and Chrome and it looks OK in al of them. downloaded Safari for Win7 and the madartsoft server isnt responding atm but one thing I have noticed is that if your window is less than 1280 wide the text boxes on the right overlap the central content. Happens in all the browsers listed above. What resolution are you running on the Mac ?

    BTW.... I hate stylesheets atm.... am currently battling with one trying to get a page to layout properly in IE
    KAT5.tv - affordable high quality AV Distribution
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  7. #7
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    yep, not responding for me, either - & 'was quite slow first time !

    thanks, screen resolution is 1920 x 1200, window was something less - I'll try again next time they're up ...

    interesting - there are quite a few HA systems to choose-from, all with their own pros & cons, none without gaps - wish them luck !

    Chris
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 6th April 2010 at 04:51 PM.

  8. #8
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    I've tried open the web site and it works ok (Internet Explorer, Firefox and Opera). For more information please contact us office@madartsoft.com

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    yep - worked this time ... inclined to be slow but OK when (as Kat said) we open-up the width to something quite large (for a window) ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 6th April 2010 at 05:09 PM.

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend TimH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wcavanagh View Post
    Hi all,

    I am pretty new to all this, and want to start a home automation project for my house. I love all things gadget ect. I have a very strong IT grounding, and am building my server at the moment.

    1st thing on my list, is what central software is my best option. I have seen so much out there. I am a windows user, so no Linux stuff for now.

    I will want to control the following eventually

    CCTV, All lights (control brightness), Heating, Alarm.

    At the moment, I am looking at the CCTV side. I was planning on a DVR card in the server, is this an option? How about compatibility with the home automation system. Also I have a dome camera, to PTZ control is needed too, for example when someone presses the door bell I would like the cam to pan round and show me who it is.
    Hi Will,

    Think about whether you *need* to have a server running all the time but also what would happen if the server crashed. There are other solutions which don’t require a PC to be on all the time, e.g. Homevision, CBus, Idratek (partially). The Idratek Coretex software is very feature rich and while it does need a PC to run on, the Idratek modules can revert to a basic control state in the event of a PC crash.

    How much mains re-wiring were you looking to carry out? Do you need a wireless / plug-in module solution?

    Geovision has a very competent CCTV product although this is best run on a dedicated machine. A dedicated front-door camera might be a better /additional option – you may also need to trigger the frame-grab prior to the doorbell being pressed if you want to capture a face.

    Also have a look at the xAP protocol (www.xapautomation.org) it’s a home automation protocol that grew out of the HA community with the intent of offering a single “glue” to join disparate bits of automation technology together, e.g. have the phone number of the caller be displayed on a SliMP3 player for example, as well as your doorbell-photo idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by wcavanagh View Post
    Also I have an I-Phone and soon an I-Pad that I will want to use with the system.
    Some vendors have their own apps you can use (Sonos is the first that springs to mind) not sure about other vendors. I’ve just checked and Geovision also seem to do a free one for their CCTV products (http://www.cctvcamerapros.com/Geovis...etup-s/329.htm).

    You’re probably into rolling your own though if you want a single “app” to cover all of the systems.

    Quote Originally Posted by wcavanagh View Post
    I have a super thermostat that uses MOD BUS at the moment, so would like to make use of that too.
    Modbus is usually employed in industrial automation – what’s the make & model of the thermostat and how is modbus presented?
    How does it currently interface with your heating system?


    Quote Originally Posted by wcavanagh View Post
    Sorry to ask so much, but as I am building the server at the mo, might as well get the right kit from that start.

    Cheers,
    Will

    No worries – come back with further questions

    HTH,

    Tim.
    Last edited by TimH; 8th April 2010 at 12:53 PM. Reason: flippin' typo

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