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Thread: If you could do it again what would you do different?

  1. #1
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    Red face If you could do it again what would you do different?

    Hi Guys Im moving house to do a refurb complete rewire replumb moving walls and reinstalling my home cinema kit

    I want to completely automate the house so far I've only meddled with Tv and Audio I want to do lights, central heating, alarm system, door locks, and Tv in every room with PS4 and Apple TV feeds also in every room the Cinema will be reinstated and run and xbox, PS4,ATV, Sky TV and so forth

    Now heres the question!!!

    If you had a chance to re-do everything you have done to date what would you change would you go from X10 to Lutron for example, Whats the latest and easiest installs whats going to be a must have and what should i avoid I'm up for any advice outside TV audio and i know i can only learn from you guys Thanks for the replies in advance

    Craig

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    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    If I was to redo, I would use either the Loxone system or Idratek. For multimedia I would use our own Android Set top box running XBMC. This would also feed a whole house Sonos system. I would still run a structured wiring system(either Abitana or just a plain cat 7 system around the house but I would double the socket count in the bedrooms (that's 4 instead of 2) and have 2 in the kitchen.
    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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    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    Are door locks a sensible think to automate yet?

    I've automated heating, lighting, security, SONOS for music, networked video, all the usual things, but haven't done anything with the final exit point locks, apart from fitting sensors in them so I know if the house is locked up when we go to bed.

    The reason is that home insurance companies, last time I bothered to look, wanted BSI approved 5-lever locks, so if anyone broke in through your z-wave or other automated lock, then your insurance was invalid. If they would insure you in the first place.

    What is the position now on this? Is it a sensible thing to do?

  4. #4
    Automated Home Guru Vangelis's Avatar
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    When I looked at having Central Locking within the house, there were roughly 4 directions I could take :

    1) EBay - this would be the Zwave type lock which are big in the US but I think are insecure and as stated, would not be supported by the Insurance

    2) Commercial - this is what you find at your workplace. RFID access such as Assa Abloy. These are stupidly expensive and I cannot justify the cost

    3) Built-In - these are where the lock has been built into the door, and will usually have a key override. These should be upto the spec required for insurance, but are usually for exterior doors, and would not work internally for retro-fit

    4) Electronic Deadbolt - this is the only technology I would want for exterior doors, as opposed to Mag-Locks or Electric Night Latches. I have found only one system in the UK that has fitting for a euro lock as well, but more importantly, does not require a door-loop (all the electronics are in the doorframe mech - and it doesn't use those shady power-contacts )

    So that's the hardware covered, now thoughts go onto activation.....Wifi Detection / RFID / Bluetooth / iBeacon / GeoFencing Safety is paramount i.e all interior doors would unlock if smoke detected, and exterior doors would have mechanical override on the inside

    For insurance in the UK I suspect you can get by with options 2,3, and 4

    Vangelis
    Last edited by Vangelis; 28th November 2014 at 10:30 AM.

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    for all the reasons, we went with route 4) & put two in our front door frame, high & low ... they're fired by a relay driven by the HA system, so are integrated with the rest of the HA, for good context sensitivity, in when & how they operate ...

    there have been some practical issues, though ...

    we already had a 24Vac power supply power supply installed to drive other things, so just added a 24Vac to 12Vdc converter between the two ... reliability was not good, and we found we needed one converter per solenoid ...

    in similar vein, we've found a Capacitor Discharge Unit essential to getting model railway point motors working reliably ...

    also, our door is inclined to warp slightly with the weather - so sometimes we have to put our hand on the top corner of the door & lean on it to allow the solenoids to operate (otherwise too-stiff to open, and too misaligned to close) ...

    the door's pretty heavy, so we'd thought it would be nice & stable & this wouldn't be a problem ...

    really annoying, because it means people can't reliably be let in & out remotely, and we can't reliably use our 'phones to let ourselves in ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 28th November 2014 at 01:43 PM.

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    Automated Home Guru Vangelis's Avatar
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    Chris - Could you not add a throw switch in the door lock recess or an over-current switch on the solenoids in order to detect a mis-fire (i.e door misalignment)? In could try a couple of times and then fail (sending you a notification of this to your phone maybe)

    Vangelis

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    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    maybe, but the door would not have opened in the first place, if someone was not there to lean on it ...

    over-current switch sounds interesting - might be useful in other situations, too ... but Googling shows them to be pretty expensive ...

    BTW - there's a glimmer of hope, in that the door is still just primed so, if we paint the under- & top-coats when it's straight, it might stay straight thereafter ...

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Craig4568 View Post
    Hi Guys Im moving house to do a refurb complete rewire replumb moving walls and reinstalling my home cinema kit

    I want to completely automate the house so far I've only meddled with Tv and Audio I want to do lights, central heating, alarm system, door locks, and Tv in every room with PS4 and Apple TV feeds also in every room the Cinema will be reinstated and run and xbox, PS4,ATV, Sky TV and so forth

    Now heres the question!!!

    If you had a chance to re-do everything you have done to date what would you change would you go from X10 to Lutron for example, Whats the latest and easiest installs whats going to be a must have and what should i avoid I'm up for any advice outside TV audio and i know i can only learn from you guys Thanks for the replies in advance

    Craig
    Personally, I wish, when we'd had floorboards etc ripped up, we'd put wiring around windows, for automated blinds to help with the 'still at home' look, while we're away.

    Oh, and also a neutral wire to each light switch, so that you can use the majority of the HA switches ;-)
    Last edited by tony_park; 6th December 2014 at 12:15 PM.

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