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Thread: Newbie some help please

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Jan 2006
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    Default Newbie some help please

    Hi all,

    I am looking into automating my new home one step at a time, I am a cat5, fibre optic, structured cabling installer by trade. I am looking to start from scratch, My house is a brand new house already built, so installing a whole new network would be achievable but i dont really want to have trunking in all my rooms.

    I want to automate lighting controls with dimmers, get my blinds working by remote, send my sky signal and tv, video and audio around the whole house try and integrate touch screen lcds, control appliances, I want everything basically,but one bit at a time, at an affordable price.

    Where would be a good place to start, and what sort of system to use?

    any help would be appriciated
    Danny D

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie some help please

    As you are already a structured cabling installer then I would look at Abitana's structured cabling system. This uses a modified cat5e cable twisted pair 7 & 8 use a slightly bigger wire size and have extra shielding. With this system you can distribute audio, TV, composite video, telephone and of course computer networks. Abitana can be contacted at www.abitana.com their UK distributor is Minitran at www.minitran.co.uk. Both companies are incredible helpful.
    For automation things you could either go for X10, good range of products but does have some reliability issues, though if the system is designed well then it should be quite reliable. Zwave not very many modules at the moment, uses RF and each module can talk with others so you shouldn't get dead spots when you send a command the most direct route may not work, so the modules will relay the command until it reaches its destination. C-Bus this utilises cat5 cable another similar system is EIB which also uses Cat5 cable for the communication. A newer technology is UPB similar to X10 and from what people who use it say, it is more reliable than X10. Its supposed to be compatible with X10 as well.
    I use X10 in my house and have found it to be very reliable.
    Once you have decided on the system you will need a controller. C-Bus and EIB utilise their own controllers though you can connect a PC up for initial programming etc. HomeVision by CSI at www.csi3.com is auite a good controller for homeautomation, can handle X10 and I believe there is a 3rd party module to convert x10 to UPB.
    Homeseer V2.0 if you want to go the PC route, is very good, but does require a very stable PC system running XP pro. There are a huge variety of plugins for this software. www.homeseer for details.
    For curtains and blinds I know it can be done with X10 and EIB but as for the other technologies I don't know.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Re: Newbie some help please

    Thanks alot mate, i need some thing that i can integrate all items into, i.e appliances, lighting, house alarm, video, audio, DAB, is there anything outhere to do this? and where is the best place to start?

  4. #4
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    Default Re: Newbie some help please

    At present I have lighting and my kettle cntrolled by X10 inside the house. Outside is still to be done. I controll the lighting in four ways via an all in one remote, the actuall light switch and at certain times via the HomeVision controller. The fourth way is via an 8 way x10 programmable switch unit, This I use for triggering macros from the HomeVision unit, and for the outside lights when I get them fitted. The bedtime macro basically turns off and on selected lights dims down to zero the rest over a 5 minute period. Just enough time to do the normal bedtime rituals etc. The lights gradully come on about 30 mins before sunset. Its got to the point where we think that we should turn on a light in the lounge as its getting dark and hey presto a minute later it comes on. This doesn't happen all the time but its pretty close.
    The on weekdays the kettle switches on at 7am, I pre fill it and switch it on the night before and the socket is switched off during the bedtime macro. Very nice. At weekends the kettle comes on at 7.30am.
    I'm in the process of during the structured cabling, as I'm having an extension built its an ideal opportunity to install the Abitana system to most of the house.
    I also have a media server set up using a pinnacle show center, this along with the Spanish version of a freeview box will be connected to the Abitana network for distribution around the house, plus the DVD player as well.
    If you want send me a PM and I will give more info or help.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Re: Newbie some help please

    What I want to do is distribute my Sky +, DVD, terrestrial TV, Radio, DAB, over a network, so that if my missus is watching a dvd downstairs, I can watch the football on sky Upstairs. Also I want to integrate my pc into this so that I can watch a divx movie from my hard drive on my pc, and watch it on any tv in the house, also I want speakers Built in to all rooms, Is this all possible with the system your are talking about and do the company sell the end user equipment to make this possible? I donít want to end up forking out a fortune though. Am I asking too much?, do I need to bite the bullet and cough up a bucket load of money? Any help will be brilliant, I already own a Network and Installations company so I want to test it out in my house, then try and bring it into my business it, I know a few people who are really interested.

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