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Thread: Remote Control of Mains Sockets/Appliances

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Remote Control of Mains Sockets/Appliances

    Hi All,

    I'm in the middle of a new build and am putting in a lot of automation including centralised lighting, security, heating etc. However I also want to have control over other devices which are plugged into standard wall sockets. I have my alarm panel connected into a lot of the other systems which allows various actions to be taken when the alarm is set. E.g. Switch off the mains water, turn off the lights etc. This is simply done with a set of voltage free output contacts from the alarm panel. Ideally I'd like to do this with the mains sockets I want control of.

    So far I've looked at several options including LightWave RF, Z Wave, HomeEasy and PlugWise. I particularly like the PlugWise offering as it can independently measure and log electricity usage from each connected appliance. However it's drawback is that it needs a PC to run the software and the PC has to be on to allow remote control of the PlugWise units whether within the LAN or outside. LightWave RF is a possibility but doesn't have the ability to log usage and from looking at their website and their means of control outside the LAN, it doesn't seem to be the most professional of setups. The website is very basic and having to direct all WAN requests through their servers is not ideal in my opinion. I'd rather have an internal web server doing this.

    However none of the systems I've looked at seem to have an easy way of utilising the alarm panel as a signal device. I'm sure it's possible but may take a bit of head scratching.

    Anyone know of a system which might suit my needs? To be clear this is for control of devices plugged in or wired in on the normal ring main.

    Thanks for any ideas.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Guru Wexfordman's Avatar
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    Wink

    Why comfort of course :-)
    Z wave cbus eib velbus x10 the whole shooting match!

    My current setup is a mixture of x10 (90%) and velbus (10%) controlled by comfort and moving to 95% velbus/comfort shortly

    And with comfort iPhone app, gives you full local and remote control of all your devices and any ip cameras etc also?
    Last edited by Wexfordman; 20th February 2012 at 03:21 PM.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default

    Looks interesting but is not what I'm after as Velbus requires cabling installed for the bus. I already have my own means of control for the majority of the property. What I'm after is plugin modules for control like the ones I mentioned. I've used X10 before but personally don't like it.

  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default

    did you look at Comfort :

    http://www.cytech.biz/page.php?page=Overview

    or, how about AlertMe :

    https://www.alertme.com/shopping
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 21st February 2012 at 06:07 PM.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Sr Member b_weijenberg's Avatar
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    Default

    With Homeseer or DomotiGa you are able to control:
    LightwaveRF, HomeEasy, Z-Wave and PlugWise
    http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/New-P...ghtwaveRF.html
    http://homeseer.com/support/newslett...s-Day-Sale.htm
    http://www.domotiga.nl/projects/domo...ki/Screenshots

    An alarm panel is default available in the Homeseer RFXCOM plug-in

    Homeseer and DomotiGa can run on a low power PC (15-25W)

  6. #6
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default

    Thanks for the replies.

    I did look at AlertMe but again this offers no way of feeding an alarm input from my current panel. They also don't have modules which you can wire in direct I.e. without needing a normal plug. PlugWise do a Stealth unit which allows connection to any device which you might normally have connected to an FCU.

    I'll have a look at the other options. You say one of those systems can control PlugWise. Can you point me to which one and how. I was told by PlugWise that their Zigbee was type specific and therefore not controllable except through their Source software.

    Edited to add: ignore last comment just found loads of info on Domitiga forum. Thanks for the link. Very useful.
    Last edited by andyh; 21st February 2012 at 12:07 PM.

  7. #7
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default

    Have a look at PLCbus, similar idea to X10 but has many improvements etc. This will work with Homeseer, and various other HA systems.
    From what I have seen and read on various forums, its more reliable than X10 and seems to be quicker. It also doesn't suffer from many of the problems associated with X10 installs.
    Some links for you:
    http://www.hometomation.com/homeplanner/
    http://x10-hk.com/store/index.php?cPath=22
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
    www.casatech.eu Renovation Spain Blog

  8. #8
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default

    Hi

    I use a Telldus Tellstick to switch my remote sockets on and off. compatible with lots of different sockets, especially Home Easy.

    Drivers for Linux, Windows and Mac. I use Linux running on a hacked Pogoplug as it's low power. Should also run on a Raspberry Pi when they arrive. I think the drivers are also available for certain routers with USB ports.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default

    Another User of Comfort here.

    I have it connected to my C-Bus System (Did try Velbus but the quality control and support where lacking) Cytech's support has been brilliant.

    You could use the comfort panel with X-10 or Z-Wave for the plugin modules.

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