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Home Automation systems, whats the scoop Login/Join 
thin skin can't win
Picture of Georgeair
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I'm using free apps with specific hardware on a by-need basis until the overall systems are better integrated, economical and reliable.

For example MyQ for garage, Sensi thermostats, BT programmable plugs in a few cases, alarm company for that system only.

Sure it's a few more apps on phone but I can manage that and like you I just want the automation and ability to easily edit, not the BS of talking to my devices audibly.



You only have integrity once. - imprezaguy02

 
Posts: 9076 | Location: Madison, MS | Registered: December 10, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
Picture of HRK
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95flhr. You’ve got mail

I’m interested sounds great



"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 12755 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
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I used an X-10 controller for many years. I switched over to another platform a few years ago that does require a little programming knowledge.

https://universal-devices.com/

I have several lights and devices connected - right now I'm using the Insteon units, but I'm looking at moving to Z-Wave. The system can be programmed to change lights on of off based on the annual cycle.

There are a lot of completing protocols out there. You have to know if what you are looking at will work with other systems.
 
Posts: 2147 | Location: Northern California | Registered: December 01, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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quote:
Originally posted by SigSAC:
I used an X-10 controller for many years.

We have a bunch of X-10, currently. With all the added electonic-y stuff plugged in everywhere, I can no longer talk to all the devices from everywhere.

In fact: I can't hit all the devices from anywhere, any more Frown. It's time for X-10 to go.

quote:
Originally posted by SigSAC:
I switched over to another platform a few years ago that does require a little programming knowledge.

https://universal-devices.com/

That looks pretty good.

quote:
Originally posted by SigSAC:
I have several lights and devices connected - right now I'm using the Insteon units,...

Insteon is too expensive for me.

quote:
Originally posted by SigSAC:
... but I'm looking at moving to Z-Wave. The system can be programmed to change lights on of off based on the annual cycle.

Z-Wave I think might be the most economical alternative. I was just looking at GE's Z-Wave products. Prices are not quite as crazy as some of the others.

I wonder if there's a Z-Wave IR controller? A device you can talk to with an IR remote that emits commands to Z-Wave devices?

quote:
Originally posted by SigSAC:
There are a lot of completing protocols out there. You have to know if what you are looking at will work with other systems.

Yup.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"Whenever somebody uses 'liberal,' when what they really mean is 'leftist,' they immediately lose my attention." -- Me
 
Posts: 14526 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
Picture of mcrimm
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My system centers around Smartthings. Many of my interior and exterior lights are controlled by zwave switches. I have a number of motion sensors and garage position indicators on all of my garage doors. Some lights are automated by sunset or sunrise. I have moisture detectors as well.

Independently I have a Nest for my HVAC and a few Alexa devices for voice control. I have 6 Amcrest cameras for monitoring inside and outside via Blue Iris.

We’re gone half of the year and I like to monitor my house while we’re away.

Mike



I'm sorry if I hurt you feelings when I called you stupid - I thought you already knew - Unknown
...................................
When you have no future, you live in the past. " Sycamore Row" by John Grisham
...................................
Liberalism is a failure to find pathways to intelligence in your brain. - David Lawrence
 
Posts: 1604 | Location: Kalispell Montana & Florida’s Emerald Coast for the Winter | Registered: December 24, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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Following-up to myself...

quote:
Originally posted by ensigmatic:
quote:
Originally posted by SigSAC:
I used an X-10 controller for many years.

We have a bunch of X-10, currently. With all the added electonic-y stuff plugged in everywhere, I can no longer talk to all the devices from everywhere.

In fact: I can't hit all the devices from anywhere, any more Frown. It's time for X-10 to go.

quote:
Originally posted by SigSAC:
I switched over to another platform a few years ago that does require a little programming knowledge.

https://universal-devices.com/

That looks pretty good.

Or not?

Found this in Universal Devices' forum:

quote:

My experience coming from a TW523 or ACT TI 103 to the PLM is that the PLM is a weaker X10 transmitter.

Ref: using old X10 appliance modules?

That could be a problem. I'll have to research this carefully before I go plunking-down over $300 for a home automation controller.

(You'd think that, for that price, and claims of X-10 support, they'd get something like that right.)




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"Whenever somebody uses 'liberal,' when what they really mean is 'leftist,' they immediately lose my attention." -- Me
 
Posts: 14526 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Ammoholic
Picture of Skins2881
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Ditch the X-10 stuff. It's horrible.



Jesse

A couple SIGs and a few others
 
Posts: 12688 | Location: Loudoun County, Virginia | Registered: December 27, 2014Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Skins2881:
Ditch the X-10 stuff. It's horrible.

I will, eventually, but I'd be looking at several hundred dollars in replacement costs.

The Plan is to phase the X-10 stuff out over time.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"Whenever somebody uses 'liberal,' when what they really mean is 'leftist,' they immediately lose my attention." -- Me
 
Posts: 14526 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Thank you
Very little
Picture of HRK
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ensigmatic:
quote:
Originally posted by Skins2881:
Ditch the X-10 stuff. It's horrible.

I will, eventually, but I'd be looking at several hundred dollars in replacement costs.

The Plan is to phase the X-10 stuff out over time.


That is part of the point of my OP, right now theres a ton of things being introduced and several "operating" systems for integration of all the automated things available for purchase.

If you're not careful down the road you could be spending a lot of money, only to find that you can't integrate them into a single source application control system



"My rule of life prescribed as an absolutely sacred rite smoking cigars and also the drinking of alcohol before, after and if need be during all meals and in the intervals between them." Winston Churchill
 
Posts: 12755 | Location: FL | Registered: November 07, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by HRK:
That is part of the point of my OP, right now theres a ton of things being introduced and several "operating" systems for integration of all the automated things available for purchase.

If you're not careful down the road you could be spending a lot of money, only to find that you can't integrate them into a single source application control system

That's why the ISY controller looked attractive. I can use it to control my existing X-10 investment right away, and even gain a bunch of functionality I've been wanting for years, and slowly swap-out the X-10 switches and dimmers for Z-Wave devices.

But if its X-10 transmitter is weak, that'd leave even more of my existing X-10 infrastructure instantly obsolete. That won't work for me.

ETA: Got an answer to the question regarding X-10 transmitter signal strength: It's significantly weaker (3.2v vs. 5v). Plus they've removed support for X-10 from their sales literature. So that's not the solution for me.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: ensigmatic,




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"Whenever somebody uses 'liberal,' when what they really mean is 'leftist,' they immediately lose my attention." -- Me
 
Posts: 14526 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
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So, after a couple days of research I've decided I'm not going to be at all interested in spending ±$1,000 on a controller and Z-Wave devices any time soon.

Since any controller I'd get would likely have the same problems with my existing X10 devices the current controllers do, I've ordered an X10 repeater that should cure my problems. (The existing SmartHome BoosterLinc I have nearly does--when it's not off in the weeds).

And I've bought a couple X10 things off eBay as backups for the two things that aren't readily available any more: The X10 IR controller, which we use to adjust light levels in the family room, and the 16-device controller I use in the computer room.

From there I'm thinking an OpenHAB controller on a Raspberry Pi ($70, w/PSU, case and WiFi). Add a SmartHome Insteon PLM to control the X10 stuff ($80, less on eBay) and a Z-Wave USB stick ($45 for the Aeotec) when I'm ready to start deploying Z-Wave stuff.

Total cost: Less than $200 for the whole shebang. Has a web interface, apps for Android and iOS, and don't have to use a "portal" for remote access.

So that's my plan, HRK.

If I were starting fresh, I think Z-Wave is the way to go. JMHO. YMMV.




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"Whenever somebody uses 'liberal,' when what they really mean is 'leftist,' they immediately lose my attention." -- Me
 
Posts: 14526 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Nullus Anxietas
Picture of ensigmatic
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by ensigmatic:
quote:
Originally posted by Skins2881:
Ditch the X-10 stuff. It's horrible.

I will, eventually, but I'd be looking at several hundred dollars in replacement costs.

The Plan is to phase the X-10 stuff out over time.

Update ...

Or maybe not. I bought a JV Digital Engineering XTBR High-Power Plug-in X10 Repeater. Now, every controller in the house is hitting every device in the house.

My (see below) home automation needs are modest. Just a few lights, be able to schedule "occupied residence simulation" when we're away, and control the Christmas lights. I can put together a controller that'll give me the scheduling I want for about $100, using a Raspberry Pi Zero W and cm15a X10 interface.

(I say "my" because my wife really has very little use for all this. Though she does like the ability to control all the lights in the family room with her universal remote.)

As for the rest of our home automation:

  • The alarm system monitors the garage door for us. That system will remain independent of the home automation stuff.
  • I may add a MyQ gateway. I'm not convinced there's a point to doing so.
  • I'm putting in a surveillance system. That, too, will be independent of everything else.
  • I don't need remote control of the HVAC system.
  • The irrigation system will get an automation upgrade, incl. network connectivity and rain sensor, but will be stand-alone.
  • The whole-house TV/DVR system will remain independent.
  • I have no plan to put listening devices in the home.

So I'm purposely avoiding an excess of integration. In fact, once I get VLANs implemented, the automation bits will be further-isolated from one another. For anybody who's ever watched the remake of Battlestar Gallactica, this may all look familiar Smile




"America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system,,,, but too early to shoot the bastards." -- Claire Wolfe
"Whenever somebody uses 'liberal,' when what they really mean is 'leftist,' they immediately lose my attention." -- Me
 
Posts: 14526 | Location: S.E. Michigan | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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