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Thread: Where to begin?

  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Default Where to begin?

    Hi there,

    I am new to these forums and indeed Home Automation but after reading a number of posts here I think I have found a place where I can get some decent advice.

    I recently purchased a phillips ipronto remote for the bargain price of 500 (please DONT tell me if you can get it cheaper). After playing with my new toy I have decided that controlling just the TV and TiVo is not enough, so now I want to expand into home automation.

    I plan to start fairly basically, I want some light control and some sort of webcam (or ip security cam) monitoring. All this sounds perfectly reasonable I am sure you will agree.

    Now the confusion, I want to access my lighting via my ipronto remote as well as through my PC hopefully with web access to access the cam. I have looked at the harmony software and homeseer, both seem very good and seem to do the same thing.

    After reading this forum further I see that Z-Wave maybe the way forward for it's acknowledgement of commands etc

    Q1. Is homeseer the best software to use?
    Q2. Can I use my ipronto remote to control Z-wave devices?

    Or

    Q3. Would X10 be a better route to go down?

    Thanks so much for any guidance.

    Regards
    Paul

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member Jimll's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to begin?

    500 Bargain.

    Q1. Is homeseer the best software to use?
    I have only tried a couple of others But I think Homeseer is amazing HS2.1 is really working well for me.

    Q2. Can I use my ipronto remote to control Z-wave devices?
    Yes. You would need a IR reciever of some sort maybe a usb UIRT or IR to X10 device(you would then also need a x10 pc interface. you would also need z-wave compatible software.

    Or

    Q3. Would X10 be a better route to go down?
    I use mostly Z-wave it is very reliable and faster. While X10 is not 100% reliable it is not a bad place to start they are cheaper and easy to configure have a look at X102 there is a review on this site.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Guru FrankMcAlinden's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to begin?

    Hi Paul

    Most Newcomers start off with x10 ...But Zwave would be much more relaible i *think*.... Hard wire Lighting is even better ie CBUS , but of course more expensive....

    If you decide on x10 then try xPL ....Its FREE HA Software and there should be a Zwave plugin soon...

    http://wiki.xplproject.org.uk/index.php/Main_Page

    HTH
    Frank
    Home of FirM - the Multi Zone IR Transport System
    http://www.armaghelectrical.com.au/index.html

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Where to begin?

    If you install Homeseer you can enable the Homeseer web interface

    Using your pronto type in the browser the PC ip addreww and hey presto all your devices and their status will appear !

    If you have broadband the web pages will also be avaliable on the web !

    have a look on www.automatedoutlet.com for the z-wave modules and discounted Homeseer software (Just happy customer)

    I have expanded homeseer with a TEMP08 (Just happy customer)http://www.midondesign.com/TEMP08/TEMP08.html

    Great device and allows you to read in temperatures to Homeseer

  5. #5
    Automated Home Jr Member Jimll's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to begin?

    Quote Originally Posted by ukhauk
    If you install Homeseer you can enable the Homeseer web interface

    Using your pronto type in the browser the PC ip addreww and hey presto all your devices and their status will appear !

    If you have broadband the web pages will also be avaliable on the web !

    have a look on www.automatedoutlet.com for the z-wave modules and discounted Homeseer software (Just happy customer)

    I have expanded homeseer with a TEMP08 (Just happy customer)http://www.midondesign.com/TEMP08/TEMP08.html

    Great device and allows you to read in temperatures to Homeseer
    Unless you have the pronto tablet then I don't think your pronto will have a web browser so you will be stuck with IR.
    I have also bought from automatedoutlet and they are V good just watch out for the import tax when you buy from the US.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Where to begin?

    Great feedback guys, I am thinking of making my first automation purchase this weekend (it's payday for me). I think zwvae might be the future.

    I have the Ipronto so it does have a web browser on it so that solves that problem. I'm a bit miffed that I have to buy a zwave remote to set everything up tho.

    If anyone else has some advice for me I am very interested.

    With thanks
    Paul

  7. #7
    Automated Home Jr Member Jimll's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to begin?

    Ahh sorry I missed the "I" part :? . Homeseer also comes with a free touchpad interface that can be used in a web browser.

    If you do choose to go down the Z-wave route bare in mind that it works better the more modules you have, I would advise you start out with at least three modules within range off each other and the PC Controller and work out from there.

    Also I think the USB version has a power issue I have mine plugged into a powered USB hub on it's own and it works well.
    Also be aware that there is not much hardware out for Z-wave at the moment only plug in modules. Like I said I use mostly Z-wave and have 35 modules I then use X10 to fill in the gaps.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Where to begin?

    This is encouraging

    I have made a stance, and purchased a zwave SERIAL interface (UK) from tech-home.com for $89.95 as they were in stock, and I have bought the zwave wireless controller from simplyautomate.com for 27.75 (on special).

    Now I need to find the best place to get lamp and applicance modules, I assume there are no wall mounted light switches for zwave yet which is what I really want

    Paul

  9. #9
    Automated Home Jr Member Jimll's Avatar
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    Default Re: Where to begin?

    No switches yet!!!
    Automatedoutlet in the US or I have got most of mine from letsautomate

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