IVB\’s Home Theater and Home Automation

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

Reviewing HA to-do lists

Posted by IVB on December 8, 2006

This was my to-do list on 5/4/06

1) Run a 2nd 18/2 power wire from main Elk to 2ndary cabinet.
2) Run wiring for 20-ish more sensors.
3) Connect telephone to the Elk and CQC so that I can have the CD pause if the phone rings
4) Rewire doorbell so I can create a naptime mode where it doesn’t ring, and a daytime mode where it does ring. These would be selectable via a toggle on the wrapper
5) Mount & run wiring for internal speakers in 2 more locations where we can’t hear the doorbell, setup Elk to send chimes to those locations when the doorbell rings [but only in daytime mode]. These speakers would also be used for security announcments [i.e., “dude there’s a fire”], or to warn intruders [“hey buddy, you better get out now – the camera has begun recording and the cops have been called”]

6) Disconnect ADT and run the door sensors and RJ31X-main telco line from it into the Elk

7) Reformat one of my machines to act as a file server/CCTV recorder, setup & configure all software, test with the camera to make sure it all works.

8) Mount the front-door camera in a covert fashion

9) Mount & run wiring for 11 in-ceiling speakers in 7 rooms.

10) Mount & run wiring for 7 in-wall volume controllers for each of the above rooms

11) Install amps in a heat-friendly location, hook up to ZPR68

12) Switch over all screens to using the ZPR68 in production mode.

13) Run video wiring from ZPR68 to Kitchen & MBR so that I can render SDTV/DVD in those zones

14) Setup CQC/SageTV Server to send composite out to ZPR68, to act as a SDTV/DVD source.

Well, 7 months later, i’m shockingly done with many items on the list.  Still didn’t finish wiring the initially planned sensors, but i did probably 15 other/new ones so that’s a wash. The only thing I deprioritized was the telephone/doorbell thing.  Also, the ZPR68 isn’t working with composite video, but given that I’m tossing all my SDTV’s cuz i’m sick of PC sync issues, that’s irrelevant.  Plus I accomplished much more that’s not even on the list, like:
1) maglock installation
2) zWave lighting (11 mounted so far, 8 to go)
3) Elk->zWave integration (ie light on via keypad or closet door open)
4) many more cameras mounted than planned

So here’s my new list. Rather than timebox this, i’ll just say “2007”. I have a feeling i’ll want to take a break from adding new stuff for at least 5-7 days after the first item (stable zWave).
Will do:
1) Mount 2nd 8870 in KBR, setup CQC to turn T1 off at 8pm and turn T2 on, then flip control at 8am.
2) Stabilized lighting control via zWave, install remaining switches.
3) 2nd HDTV, distributed HDTV via the autopatch
4) Link both TVs via RS232 for auto-off. Both TVs will be commercial Panny plasmas. (i’m already exchanging my current consumer one with my F.I.L. who has a commercial that’s the same age but wants one with speakers. )
5) Maglock all doors in an invisible (or nearly invisible) fashion.
6) Electric Door Strike on select doors.
7) Mount Proximity sensor that I already bought on one door
8) Mount pin/prox reader on front door, link to electric door strike so a pin code could open door
9) Get a wireless keyfob and receiver so wife can turn on lights/etc when she approaches house.

Would like to do:
10) RFID control. Not necessarily for security, potentially for lighting, but not sure how realistic carrying an RFID card around is going to be.
11) VR. Now THIS would be useful – I’d love to be able to walk into the entry and just say “lights on” or “open door, disarm”. I wouldn’t put it all over the house, as i’d prefer to not spend $4K on a Gentner mixer. the entry is perfect, as we could force kids to be quiet to avoid ambient noise.

I guess once I get through that list, then I can really focus on automating my home.


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