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Thread: New House, New Project

  1. #11
    Automated Home Jr Member stoop_uk's Avatar
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    I've written a wee bit about the remodelling of the master bedroom. You can read about it here if you like..
    Stewart Priest
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  2. #12
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    Default Alarm system

    From what I've read about Comfort (never actually used it) it seems like a really good system. I've always thought that there's no reason why you couldn't use a standard burglar alarm and wire it into comfort in a way that if your HA system fails, you can still fall back onto the standard alarm?

    toscal seems to be steering you away from having a PC running 24/7 - I personally prefer running a PC than entirely embedded. I am planning to buy a nice new high spec Dell server soon, and run VMware ESXi on it so that the one server can replace my 3 existing ones. Virtualisation is definitely one way to reduce your electricity bill!

    One word of advice I will give you, is label and document everything as you go along, as doing it afterwards will be quite hard, and if you don't do it atall, you'll find yourself in a mess if you ever want to modify/improve anything!

  3. #13
    Automated Home Jr Member stoop_uk's Avatar
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    Thanks add - our house insurance relies on us having a burglar alarm, and we currently don't have one, so I'll need to get one, one way or another.. I'll gladly take any help I can get on this subject!!

    I'll definitely be having a machine running 24/7. It doesn't need to be anything to power-hungry, it'll only be running Homeseer. I will, however, also have a server similar to the Jukebox Mk II which will serve up my media..

    Everything is being labelled and documented as I put it in - as well as photographing unusual runs. I plan on have a file which will sit at Node 0, and a copy which will sit in with my consumer unit. That way, if something bad happens to me, the next person will be able to figure out what we've done! :-)

    I've managed to get my hands on a couple of old IBM Thinkpad X41 tablets - this may prove to be a nice addition to my Homeseer setup, but I'm not quite sure how I'm going to use them yet!

    Any advice/offers of help will be gratefully received! :-)
    Stewart Priest
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  4. #14
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Be careful when running more than Homeseer on a machine. I used to run Homeseer 1.7 and my media all from the same machine, wasn't the best solution. I also beta tested Homeseer 2.0 which is also happier when running on its own machine. I put all my media on a homebuilt NAS using Server Elements NAS lite software. I currently have about 300Gb of storage over 3 disks. The good thing is that it doesn't need to be that high a spec PC. My current NAS PC is about 4 or 5 years old and was minimum spec then. I then use XBMC, (I just happened to have a decent PC lying arround doing nothing) in order to access my films, music etc.
    A client of mine got a good deal on some DELL pcs basically a 2x1 deal. One of them runs Homeseer, the other runs the Main Lobby Server, and his music, but has a backup of Homeseer on it just in case.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  5. #15
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    I would have thought if you beef up Jukebox 2 a little bit, put ESXi on it.. it could run Homeseer and FreeNAS (a cool NAS OS) - unless you're wanting WHS?

    I've never touched Homeseer.. I don't like proprietary So I don't know the caveats.. If you want to know more about alarm systems though then feel free to drop onto IRC and have a chat with me (though im not claiming to be an expert!)

  6. #16
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    For alarms, both the Infinite Prime and the Visonic range are also very good,though the way the Visonic manuals are written takes a little getting used to .
    Last edited by toscal; 16th July 2010 at 10:36 AM.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  7. #17
    Automated Home Jr Member stoop_uk's Avatar
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    Will both these alarms talk to Homeseer?
    Stewart Priest
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  8. #18
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    In theory they could do. The Visonic wireless sensors can talk via an RFXCOM product (which I think has a plugin for Homeseer) and Infinite Prime could do via the x10 module and a CM11 or CM15 pro connected to your Homeseer pc.
    If I was going that route then I would pick the Visonic system. The Visonic units do have an RS232 interface which is used to program the unit via a PC and for the external GSM communications. There was talk on the Homeseer forums about using this RS232 interface but Visonic guard the protocol much like Countries guard their launch codes. Which is probably why RFXCOM designed their interface to talk/listen to the Visonic sensors and key fobs instead.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  9. #19
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    Default Wireless and X10 Alarms

    Call me paranoid, but I've never liked wire-free alarm systems. I figure that it can't be too hard to jam the signals. With wires, you know what is connected. Wire-free means anyone could listen to the radio waves. Just the way I think I guess..

    I also think of X10 as quite unreliable. I certainly wouldn't trust it as the base of my house's security. I quite like the Scantronic and Optima panels - but they are only basic systems and would need to be wired into Comfort or a HA controller in whichever way you saw fit.

    That's just my opinion and is in no way a reflection of any facts :P

  10. #20
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    The Comfort system is an alarm system which has very comprehensive HA features as well.
    Wireless alarm systems tend to be very good these days. The ones we have installed (Mainly Visonic) also have anti-jamming detection, so if someone tries and jams the system they go off, which makes the whole idea of jamming useless.
    If you listen in on those radio waves you would have to decrypt the encrypted signals, that's if you got the right frequency. Then once you have decrypted the message string you would need to know why that string was sent. Some strings are just letting the panel know that a sensor is alive and the battery voltage is good. Plus most key fob signals are a rolling code message string so the same code is never sent twice. So even is someone could copy the key fob, it wouldn't work. We have also tried this with the automatic gate openers we install. We cloned one of the key fobs eight times each time with a different make of clone. We did it it over a period of 6 weeks. All eight clones failed to open the gates. So unless you have something worth stealing such as a long lost art painting most burglars aren't going to bother. The equipment needed to do it is just too expensive for the common thief, and there is no guarantee it will work either.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

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