IVB\’s Home Theater and Home Automation

You don\’t have to spend a lot for that smarthome.

If the wife is away, IVB will HA…

Posted by IVB on August 7, 2006

Wife was gone all weekend, got tons done. 

I spent the Saturday getting the MBR basically done.  This meant:

1) Installing in-ceiling directional Niles speakers
2) Installing in-wall passive subwoofer
3) Installing volume controller, which is really just acting as a volume reducer so that we can quickly turn volume down in case of phone call/kids beating each other up
4) Correctly mounting the Elk temperature sensor, so I don’t have this dang wire dangling which the wife hated
5) Mounting an Elk speaker for HA announcements.
6) Searching for the dang speaker hole saw for 1 hour, then deciding to say “screw it”, and using a utility knife to cut an 8″ hole. Hey, at least it was nearly a perfect hole, as I used the template to mark a circle.

It sounds decent, but it sounds like there’s a little distortion. Not sure if that’s b/c I used really crappy audio cables, or whether the 30W x 2 Parasound zamp is underpowered, leaning toward the former. I have current issues with some of my Delta 410/mp3 sound as I has to steal the good cables for something else and put in horrid cables that I had laying around.

Here’s as good a picture as I could take on my cellphone. Wife has the digital camera. You’ll notice the subwoofer on the bottom, VC at the std 45″ high that all my switches are at, and the Elk temperature sensor to the left, roughly centered.  All this sits to the right of the armoire, which holds the crap SDTV that’s in the MBR. I might get an el cheapo $500 27″ CRT HDTV so we can really leverage this thing.


And, on Sunday, I sarted getting pretty close to something cool. i hooked up the Elk-120 recordable voice module, and attached the elk output/relay expander, and put each speaker on it’s own circuit. This means that I can turn on/off my elk HA speakers, furthermore I can play whatever sound I want.

Well, almost. I don’t actually have the Elk-129 hooked up yet, just realized I need a power supply, trying to figure out what the right amps/volts should be. Once that’s done, i’ll have custom sounds/WAV files played back on doorbell ring & telephone ring. Finally, that’ll also be the kicker for me to look into that whole “pause audio/video on ring” if i want.

I also created a UI so I could control the on/off from within CQC. I may record a few different sounds and create a page within CQC that allows me to pick which sound to render on doorbell. That gets a little more complex as I will need both Elk rules and CQC rules, not sure if it’ll buy me that much.

I rejiggered the page so that on the zone control, it also showed some HA stuff. Not sure if i’ll stick with this layout, i’ll need to sit with it and see.

Here’s what it looks like so far.


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