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Home Automation

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Ryan Wright, Oct 31, 2001.

  1. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    In http://www.hometheaterforum.com/uub/Forum2/HTML/005744.html[*]Exterior sprinklers are controlled by the system and announcements are made when they're activated. Eventually I'm going to put a small weather station on the roof so I can monitor wind speed, rainfall, etc. That way, if it's too windy to water or it has recently rained, the system can automatically postpone watering until a later time. There are others who have scripts (I haven't done this yet, but really want to!) that download the forecast off the net every morning before deciding whether to water. If it calls for rain, the sprinklers don't water that day. A weather station can then measure rainfall in conjunction with this, so if it rained for x amount of time, but not enough to really soak the lawn, the sprinklers could go ahead and run for a shorter amount of time.[*]Most of my houseplants are watered automatically by the system.

     
  2. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    How do you deal with a power failure affecting your security? Wouldn't an intruder just have to cut your power and he's in?
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Craig Chatterton

    Craig Chatterton Stunt Coordinator

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    Wow Ryan, that's an impressive setup! I want to get something similar when I finally get a house of my own. But I'm more interested in the Music-in-every-room and automated lights aspect. Although if adding security is as easy as you make it sound, then I may do that too.
    How long did it take you to set all this up? And is this an ongoing hobby (like HT) or are you considering it finished? And one more; how much has it cost you so far?
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    Virgo: All Virgo's are extremely friendly and intelligent, except for you. Expect a big surprise today, when you wind up with your head impaled upon a stick.
     
  4. BrianW

    BrianW Cinematographer

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    Real Name:
    Brian
     
  5. Bill Catherall

    Bill Catherall Screenwriter

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    Ryan? You out there? Did somebody cut your power and get to ya? [​IMG] Or are you afraid to answer my question for fear that someone will exploit the security hole I found? [​IMG] [​IMG]
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    Bill [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    Ryan, that's a really sweet system you got there.
    We have a simple pre-installed alarm system with armed doors and windows, and a horn going off if someone breaks in (with the option of hooking it up to a security comapny and their central alarm response unit). Not as refined, but works for us. I wonder if I could add some of the things you have to our system? I noticed that the sensors we have seem to be the same that you have, and your equipment seems reasonably inexpensive. Seems like a fun little project. You've inspired me. [​IMG]
    Of course, in your neighborhood, where crazy people seem to be roaming the streets constantly, you'll probably need a system like yours. [​IMG] (kidding)
    /Mike
    [Edited last by MickeS on November 02, 2001 at 11:33 AM]
     
  7. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Power: I currently do not have my setup on a battery backup. My servers are on a medium sized APC SmartUPS, however the automation equipment is not. It does not lose it's programming during a power outage, though, and executes a script upon power recovery that re-sets the devices in my house. For instance, if the fish tank light was supposed to turn on at 9:00am, and the power was out from 8:00 to 10:00, as soon as power is restored the system will turn that light on.
    This is not a full fledged, monitored security system. Heck, it's not even a "security system". It's a home automation system that has security features programmed into it designed to discourage most would-be intruders and protect us through advance notice. The idea is that I'll never wake up to find someone standing at the foot of my bed who shouldn't be there. If someone decides to cut the power to my house before breaking in, I'll wake up immediately. We have a carbon monoxide detector that emits a loud chirp when the power goes out, and the UPS on my servers is fairly loud as well.
    If I wanted to, I could plug my amps and automation equipment into my UPS, then sound an alarm and send an announcement if the power goes out. Eventually, I'm going to buy some of http://www.smarthome.com/7460.html
    quote: Not as refined, but works for us. I wonder if I could add some of the things you have to our system?[/quote]
    Well, with a full fledged security system, you're more likely going to be creating an automation system from scratch and then linking the two together. Most security systems do not have the capability to send X-10 signals, and those that do are very limited in their abilities.
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    -Ryan ( http://www.ryanwright.com )
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

    [Edited last by Ryan Wright on November 02, 2001 at 12:02 PM]
     
  8. Ryan Wright

    Ryan Wright Screenwriter

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    Bill: You're correct that in it's current form, a power outage would deactivate the security aspects. I could fix that with ease but don't really have a desire to. As I said, I'm mainly concerned with having a warning should someone break in while I'm sleeping, and if they cut the power I'll wake up immediately and go out to investigate.
    If someone breaks in while I'm away from home, the system will flash a few lights at them and tell them to leave, which should scare them away. Unless they come in through my front door, in which case it will welcome them home and turn on some lights for them. [​IMG] It's really not designed to discourage any professional thief. Mostly, it's there for convenience, and the security aspects protect my family while we're home. If I was really paranoid I'd buy a real security system and integrate the two. Eventually I'll do that. [​IMG]
    Also, some advice for anyone who is thinking of getting into this: Look into the JDS Stargate. It's a $1000 controller but is one of the best in the X-10 category. I would have bought this one, but it wasn't available when I purchased my Timecommander. Eventually I'll upgrade; my expansion modules will work with the Stargate as they're made by the same company.
    These touchscreens also make sweet tabletop or wall-mounted controllers, and I'm going to buy a few one of these days...
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    -Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
    Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
    That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
     

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