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Thread: Sorry guys another newbie question.

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Sorry guys another newbie question.

    Just getting into home automation. Have got my HTPC running XBMC so all is good there. Next on my list is sockets.

    Looking at getting the Vesternet Z-Wave USB Controller, but can't find how it can be used.

    1. Does it come with pre installed software, and if so what is it like. Will it be worth using openzwave. I have no programing experience but don't mind having a go if it's not to complicated.

    2. My PC is in the living room, will the signal be able to reach the bedrooms upstairs.

    3. Can I use my android phone to switch sockets on and off.

    4. Would it be better to use the VERA internet gateway.

    Thanks
    Steve

  2. #2
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
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    Default

    I saw your post in 2 places, so have answered it in both too.

    I am also just getting to home automation, and chose the Z-Wave route. I looked at the Vesternet USB controller but decided to go for the Vera instead for a couple of reasons. Main one is not being reliant on the PC being on 24/7.

    To answer your questions though:

    1. Vesternet USB stick comes with drivers for Linux, mac and windows. Reading the info though, I think the 'management application' is windows only, but there's a Z-Cloud website application you can use for all three OSs

    If I read correctly, then if you're not on windows and the website is down, you're up a creak.

    You can use it with LinuxMCE though, but for me, having the PC on all the time would soon even out the extra initial cost of the Vera.

    2. most (if not all) of the modules act as repeaters, so the on/off/dim/etc commands from your pc/vera will reach downstairs via your plug component or your screw-in light component etc.

    3. yes! there are a couple of apps at least. I have already installed 2 (but cannot use until my stuff arrives!!) They are called "Home Buddy" and "AutoHTN"

    4. I chose to go with Vera. it uses next-to-no power. Also the time saving aspect. Vera used to have a usb dongle attached. you go to component, press a button on the dongle and it saves the info. then you plug it back into Vera and it knows what you have.

    in V2 you get a battery pack to attach to vera and take it to your components. even more of a huge saving faf-factor-wise.

    Watch the video about it, shows you how it all works. presented by a yummy mummy who can't remember her lines, but you'll forgive her!

    Daniel

  3. #3
    Automated Home Lurker
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default

    Thanks for that, I was beginning to give up hope of getting an answer.

    Think I'll be going for the VERA. The more I look into it, the USB doesn't seem to be that good an option. Seems to be very little support out there for it.

    Time to go shopping I thnk

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