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home automation and security where to look?

Discussion in 'Home Cinema Control & Remote Controls' started by brendank, Jan 7, 2004.

  1. brendank

    brendank
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    hi guys,

    i am at the planning stages in my home automation project and i am looking at the various options open to me to integrate my alarm/security into my overall home automation project

    I was wondering if someone with more experience or direct experience could tell me who/what is the most home-automation-friendly alarm system manufacturer?
    any advice/links etc would be greatly appreciated

    Thanks in advance.


    :confused:
     
  2. steev

    steev
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    I'd suggest a look at Comfort . It combines security and automation in a neat package.

    I've got one of these, but am still setting it up. It's my alarm system and also switches various lights using X10 modules. Untilately it will be able to phone me when the alarm goes off so I can check what's been happening.

    They have a technical forum on Yahoo Groups.
     
  3. bedders

    bedders
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  4. JohnS

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    There's quite a few manufacturers that offer x10 support, there are others that integrate better with cctv systems, specifically what do you have in mind, you may find it difficult to purchase on a supply only basis though.
     
  5. brendank

    brendank
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    hi guys,

    thanks for your replies,

    Johns, what i have in mind is some sort overall home automation software which will act as interface to be connected to hub/network/ switch which will be connected to either a USB UIRT or global cahce GC-100 type device

    from either the USB UIRT or GC-100 i can then connect my lighting,audio visual and security and so long as the home automation program has the necessary drivers for all the devices connected into the system i should in theory then be able to control everything from my home pc

    for remote control purposes of audio visual and lghting in main tv room i will have to add some ir receivers and blasters.

    i think what i am proposing here is a basic bus system with two way control

    so for security purposes i am looking for some system that has a main control unit that can be hooked back to the USB UIRT or GC-100 and hopefully the home automation software that i get for my pc will have the neccessary drivers/support for this unit.

    for information on USB UIRT see chirpychips post "USB-UIRT And Keene's IR Distribution Amp" i think he is in the middle of a much more ambitous project

    Thanks


    ;)
     
  6. JohnS

    JohnS
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    Hi Brendan,

    I have to ask the question, is it really necessary to integrate the intruder alarm into the home automation in the way you describe?

    I have a company which survey and installs intruder alarm and cctv products mainly for domestic properties. What you are describing is a particularly niche product which isn't available through the normal channels.

    There is a system available which provides serial port control of the main control panel but it is unlikly that the company that makes it would allow you to purchase (the rediculously expensive) remote control software for it as you are not an appoved installer.

    There are web based, remote notification of alarm activation services that can be linked in with Scantronic alarm panels, specifically the 9751, 9851 range.

    What feature do you need in an alarm that you want the pc to control?
     
  7. brendank

    brendank
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    Hi John,

    You raise a valid point, why pay a premuim for home integration when a stand alone unit works perfectly well?....

    Some people might say well I like the integration and the options it offers me as a home owner. There are a lot of reasons. Some that come to mind are:

    All lights on upon alarm on.

    When user code 3 turns security off, turn whole house music to her favorite music channel.

    When security armed in night mode and if garage door open.. Close it.

    When security off, set main temperture to my @ home temp

    When security away, set main temperture to away temp.

    The abilty to see a snapshot of your home status including all recent activity, motion, lights, zones, temps, etc.. on one webpage or mobile phone browser.

    The list and possibilities and permutations goes on.......

    Others however might say this is control gone mad.... thats not a house your living in "your living in a computer"

    Me, i am just investigating my options, i like the idea of integration but i am looking towards a low cost option and that means trying to find a supplier/manufacturer that has a main control interface(that will replace my existing one) with the ability of been controlled/linked to my home pc either through rs-232 serial port,usb etc, i dont need their software to operate it

    the home automation software package can be purchased seperately and if needs be i can ask someone to write the driver device for it if the software i will be buying does not currently support it.

    also the system that i am proposing is not all that high end it is entry level stuff in home automation and one that is achievable on a diy basis(with expert help/installation where needed). Any body who has a networked a couple of computers together or if you have linked your home pcs together(ethernet) you then have the basic framework to achieve this.

    hopefully others who have also embarked upon this type pf project can chip in with their opinions and experiences....

    thanks

    :) :)
     
  8. steev

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    I think the Comfort can do most of what you want, if not all. There are various PC based packages that can give extra features. e.g. Homeseer.

    A good place to ask about this stuff is UKHA. Beware, some of those folk are seriously obsessed!

    Have fun.
     

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