Home Automation

Discussion in 'Around the House' started by Picklz, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Picklz

    Picklz SUDO Make me a SAMCH

    So I'm curious if anyone here has done anything with home automation at all? If so what all you'v done, what products you've used, what you like and dislike, and anything you would do differently now.

    My reasoning for asking - Earlier this year I put a home theater - for that room I have an RF Remote control which controls all of the A/V equipment housed in a closet at the back of the room, it also supports controlling 'Z-Wave' switches, so the dimmer switches for the theater and fan for the closet are all z-wave switches, allowing the lights to be controlled from the same remote. I do like the setup, but it lacks a bit in its ability to really customize what it's doing, and only does so-so at controlling devices like my boxee box or home-theater PC's.

    Anyway - I started doing a little research around home automation and what all could be done using an iPad / iPad2 as the main interface, right now I'm looking at a combination of products - namely iRule for A/V control along with a iTach network IR device, and possibly indigoServer + Insteon light switches. Reason I was looking at Insteon instead of z-wave is the z-wave switches seem to go for $60+ and insteon around $30, quite the difference if it starts to be 10-15 switches.

    I like the idea of using the iPad2 as the main control device as it fits in well with the ability to control DirecTV / DVR functions, view the guide, etc as well as items like the Boxee box much better than a regular 'universal' - I'm also thinking of putting a Home theater PC in the bedroom so I can stream online content as well as all the movies and TV shows on my file server which again the ipad would handle much better than a regular remote control (IMO).

    Really I'm just kind of in a research / curiosity stage and wanted to see if anyone else had done any of this - or had interest in doing anything similar.

    Note: Please leave your Apple / iPad hate at the door. I've done enough research and used multiple tablets and as much as I love android, for my purposes Apple still win's this game, sorry.

    Product links:
    Last edited: Aug 24, 2011
  2. mOjO

    mOjO Member

    Go X10 and have someone do some custom coding? *cough*dan*cough*
  3. Picklz

    Picklz SUDO Make me a SAMCH

    I think I'd rather stay away from X10 - they are cheap but have their own issues with reliability and feature functionality. The Insteon stuff isn't all that much more expensive and is far more reliable.
  4. spek1098

    spek1098 Guest

    So are all these systems you speak of wireless based? I don't have time to dig into your links at the moment, but I'm very interested in this subject. I'm remodeling a house and want to intigrate a system in when I rewire the place. I would like all outlets and switches connected as well as blinds, hvac and the like. I was thinking a hard wired system would be best, since I will have all my walls opened up. I'll be keeping a close eye on this thread.
  5. micahlarson

    micahlarson Guest

    I tried using a home automation thermostat, and eventually returned it because it was a small head ache to install but at the same price as the honeywell didgital I purchased I might try it again down the road.

    It really made me excited because if I went on vacation to work or whatever and wanted to make a change or forgot to set something I would be able to do it anywhere.
  6. Picklz

    Picklz SUDO Make me a SAMCH

    All of the stuff I am looking at work via wireless of some sort. The irule application connects to the ir/serial gateways either over ethernet (what I would use as my whole house is wired for ethernet) or wifi for control, same with the indigo application. The Insteon devices send signals over the power wires in your house for control of outlets, switches, etc.

    I'm still doing a lot of reading / research and I'll try and condense what I end up learning once I have a handle on what I think I may do.

    For phase 1 I'd like to swap out the most commonly used light-switches with controllable models, maybe a few outlets, a thermostat I can control via the ipad (z-wave, insteon, or other), and all of my audio/video devices to be controllable as well. Eventually I'd like to add things like a garage door open/closed sensor and the ability to open and close it. Possibly some webcam type security items, door locks, etc. but that'd be down the road a ways.

    Right now I'm trying to find out if there is a semi-inexpensive combination of hardware and a single software app that will do everything, if not then I'll start looking at a 'best of breed' type solution and possibly just have to launch a couple/few different apps for control of different items (one for lights, one for a/v, one for hvac for instance). Right now I'm focused on trying to find a single app solution though.

    YSOSLO is the word, beotch

    If reliability is your #1 goal, then I highly recommend a quality English-trained butler. They'll keep your stuff set, change the channel, adjust the volume turn lights on or off, up or down....whatever you want AND they'll bring you a beer, serve you dinner in bed etc. Just sayin'...if I had Picklz money I'd be checking out butlers.
  8. dmention7

    dmention7 Hater

    What he said! lol
  9. DrWebster

    DrWebster Guest

    Never mind
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2011
  10. Picklz

    Picklz SUDO Make me a SAMCH

    Thanks for the excellent input, after re-reading my thread I can totally see how that fits in exactly with what I am trying to accomplish and how I wanted to go about doing it.

    *rolls eyes*

    This is in the on-point section - so I'd appreciate it if maybe we could try and keep at least the threads in here on-topic, since that's kind of the point of the section.

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