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Messages - trentend

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Users / Re: New apartment - retrofitting
« on: June 04, 2013, 12:51:54 pm »
The thing that puts me off with these devices is that the general build quality is not great. There are a lot of reports of failures around the 12-18 months time.  I use KNX - it's expensive, but it really lasts.  Three years now, and every device still going strong - and a lot of those were bought second hand.

Users / Re: Ductless air conditioning
« on: January 14, 2013, 06:27:21 pm »
I know that Zennio do an AC controller for KNX -  although that's no good if you're not using KNX, or your unit is not supported.


Similarly it would appear that there is a zwave one.

There is a potential low cost DIY route into a knx implementation with Freebus, for personal non-commercial use only.  I don't have any experience with it, or where the project is in terms of reliability.  Generally I accumulate KNX devices via ebay, where some occasional bargains are to be found.

Users / Re: 2 home automation gateways
« on: September 06, 2011, 08:13:36 pm »
I wasn't aware that you could go long distances with the signal (EIB bus).
If i may believe following document:, i should easily bridge my 2 installations (about 60m from each other).

If this is the case, linuxmce will work out of the box...  :-\

I would preface my comments by saying that I haven't done it, but my understanding is that this is correct.  You might be wise to seek advice (from a knx retailer or training centre - I know that would do so in the UK).  I have done a short knx course, and I understand this to be an integral part of the design philosophy of knx.  You could certainly arrange the buildings using line couplers or bus couplers (I don't know which is appropriate, as I have not done this, and it is also dependent on the requirements of the individual buildings) in such a way that conversion to independent systems (at some time in the future) was relatively trivial.

You might want to ask about the appropriate power supply/supplies and their location, depending on the size of the installation and subsequent load.

It should be doable, though, whatever the situation (if you have the budget available....).  KNX is used extensively in the Heathrow Terminal 5 building, and that's quite big (and KNX was not in any way responsible with the teething trouble after commissioning of that building).

KNX is a good fit for large projects.  Companies like ABB have systems teams that design, install, and commission their own large scale building management systems.  They don't call it as such, but it's KNX.  It's only recently starting to drift down to the residential and small business level.

Users / Re: 2 home automation gateways
« on: September 05, 2011, 10:52:58 pm »
If you are controlling KNX from the same computer/server, then you will have to wire to it.  An option would be to integrate the KNX bus to encompass both buildings - thus only requiring one interface, and also allowing events/actors in one building to control/respond to events/actors in the other building.....if you don't exceed the number of supported addresses on one line, you don't even have to add another line.  Equally if you are talking about very large installations (and you probably are not, because the necessary scope and budget would be significant) then you can have an extremely large installation with additional line and backbone couplers.

Some information on topology and extensibility here in this pdf..

It may not suit you to extend the KNX side, but if you are looking for a single point of control this is the way I would probably approach it.

Users / Re: SSD Is it worth the money?
« on: August 25, 2011, 12:02:00 am »
My thoughts on ssd are to run the core on one, and then run a media director, with digital tv/satellite tuners, and a big lump of traditional media storage.  This way the core and basic functionality (alarm, lighting, etc.) runs on low power/heat (and ups backed up), and when it needs to deliver media it turns on the tuners and media storage through the first MD.

I don't know how easy/viable this is.....I'm experimenting.

Users / Re: New to HA. Cheap tempreature sensor to control X10 plug
« on: August 23, 2011, 09:18:30 pm »
I hope to do some documentation of 1-wire stuff.  Currently I have yet to get my core and media directors rack working properly.  I am showing patience, but what I setup (knx, 1-wire, DVB-S2, and asterisk) is what I intend to document as comprehensively as possible.

Users / Re: HP T5545
« on: June 29, 2011, 08:46:44 pm »
VIAChrome9 HC3 Integrated Graphics.  Not well supported, and likely to be pretty messy if you want graphics, and almost no chance with HD video.  Not a great choice for Linuxmce.  Unfortunate if you can get the HP's really cheap, as new they're massively inferior to other options. Run, don't walk, to your cheapest Acer Aspire Revo.  They're the real deal and almost perfect as media directors.

Users / Re: Asrock ION 3D 152D for hybrid ??
« on: June 08, 2011, 11:55:43 pm »
I (am intenting to) use a Tyan S3115GM2N board as a core (it has dual NIC, atom processor, but only Intel 945GC graphics), and standard asus ion boards (single NIC, but nVidia ion graphics) as MD's.  I've built four boards (one core and three md's), two three drive bays (six hard drives), four power supplies, and cooling, into a custom built case (using polycarbonate) roughly twice the size of centre speaker.

If I hadn't blown the core power supply (got a short in the kettle lead trying to be a smart arse and cut it down to route it tidily inside the case) and have to rebuild it, it would probably be up and working by now.......

Users / Re: New TV but what to buy?
« on: March 31, 2011, 06:34:26 pm »
Another vote for LG here.  I have a 32" (two years) and a 40" (1 year) and never have had a days trouble.  They won out (on the basis of my preferred criteria at the time) on, features, appearance, aesthetics, and cost.  They are a lot of TV for the money.  I generally recommend that people look at LG - since they rebranded from goldstar they've got their act together.

Users / Re: LinuxMCE with HAI devices
« on: March 25, 2011, 11:31:06 am »
I'm really busy with work at the moment (and yes, outside hours as well).   I will do the stuff that I've undertaken to, when I have a free window.

Users / Re: LinuxMCE with HAI devices
« on: March 21, 2011, 10:06:23 pm »
It's a public wiki, just create an account, and go. :)

official documentation on how KNX works, and ETS3 training materials would be nice for LinuxMCE, definitely :)


Obviously I have to respect copyright, but I'll review the materials and do a summary.  Can you add graphics to the wiki, if so how?

Users / Re: LinuxMCE with HAI devices
« on: March 21, 2011, 12:59:59 am »
trentend, can you expand upon that KNX page, with the relevant information, then?

There are definitely those of us in the US who wish to investigate all the possibilities of what is honestly, one of the best automation buss options out there.


I can.  I'm intending to document my own KNX setup, but crashed into a problem of making the page that I collected appear on the user setup list.  I also have a bit of a problem with work at the moment (a systems and networking crisis that is requiring around the clock work).

What do I need to do to publish/edit pages?

Also I notice that people are talking about ETS3 here.  ETS4 is out.  I haven't upgraded yet, and am only trained on ETS3.  Nevertheless I have a lot of the official documentation for how the KNX system works and ETS3 training materials.

If you want to give me a specific documentation task, I will aim to complete it in a timely fashion.

Users / Re: LinuxMCE with HAI devices
« on: March 20, 2011, 02:33:49 pm »

it depends on the devices. My actors (MDTAutomation) all need 230V mains to function at all.

Okay.  There are ways of doing it (particularly if you centralise services and use din rail mounted units) without needing specific voltage devices.

Users / Re: LinuxMCE with HAI devices
« on: March 20, 2011, 11:18:32 am »
Essentially all you need is a KNX power supply, suitable for 110V.  That provides the bus voltage and another low voltage supply.  All of the mains switching is done using outputs.

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