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Messages - berlin

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Time has passed and the framing of the house has been built. I would like to thank you again for your support. That helped a lot.

Because it might be interresting to other newbies having the same question, here is what we did/will do:

- the lights in the groundfloor and some lights in the upper floor are connected in a "conventional manner" to the central wiring cabinet in the room marked "HWR". These lights are switched on an off by using pushbuttons (hope that's the right word), not switches. My electrician used the green EIB/KNX wire for the buttons so that we can use these cables for KNX later on.
- We will put a EIB wire in almost every wall, just a few centimeters below the ceiling with junction-boxes at strategic points
- we have used a separate wire with 5 cores instead of three to connect the power sockets in the living room. That gives us the option to decide later which power sockets should be switchable. The sockets in the kittchen are wired in the same manner with another cable, both cables ending in the HWR.
- we will put additional EIB wires to those switches that are conventional switches in the upper floor. That gives us the option to easily replace them by knx sensors if we want to.
- Most lights in the upper floor can be equipped with KNX actors easily because we have an inserted ceiling and the actors can placed in the attic.
- CAT7 cabling in almost every room

The changes mentioned above cost about 200,-€ extra (not including the CAT7 wiring) and give us full flexibility to switch to home automation later on. We are very happy with that solution because we can extend it step by step as we develop new ideas.

Please excuse my terrible english. I had to look up almost every second word and I'm pretty unsure about the technical terms.  ???

If you are interrested (and maybe are able to read some german) - we are blogging the complete building process and I will describe our wiring strategy in german:

And please do not hesitate to click on the interresting google ads there... That helps me to buy the nessessary KNX equipment even earlyer... ;D

Greetings from Berlin

Thank you very much for your feedback and your advice, guys. I've just ordered a KNX book to get to know more.

I'm afraid that the wiring cabinet has to be in the HWR room as planned, but I think this will do. Although I have read a little about ZWave but I somehow prefer the idea of a wired automation system. So I'll try to do my planning as good as possible and place as much bus wires as possible (walls and ceiling I think).

I agree that It would be best to start up with the favourite System instead of building a traditional wiring scene and switching to KNX later. Nevertheless we stumbled upon home automation just a short time ago so we currenty don't have the time (the house is currently already pre built at the manufacturers site) nor the money (budget already exhausted) to start a full KNX system. Plus: making use of all the other LMCE features will take some time and after that (provided we THEN have enough time and money ;-) ) we will switch to KNX. That might be a kind of interresting handyman project. That said my wifes top priority is having audio streamed everywhere and home automation in general has a lower priority. So the "Marschrichtung" is kinda set... ;-)

Thank you very much for your suggestions on dimmable spotlights. We will seriously take that into consideration.

Kind regards, greetings from Berlin and a happy weekend

There is no such thing as a "stupid question". :-)

Sorry, no way to place the wiring cabinet anywhere near the center. The problem is that the wall below the lights is only 2 meters high and is fixed only at four points to the walls on the left and right. It's meant as an eye catcher. Centering the wiring there wouldn't be a good idea.

Maybe I could place it under the stairs but that wouldn't help much, right? Maybe in the storage room in the first floor. That could bring it a little more to the center. How much space will be needed for that? [Edit: all the cables (phone, electricity, cable tv) arrive in the Room marked "HWR".]


I knew it was a great idea to post into that forum!  ;D I'm reading everything you write with interrest. As mentioned I'm completely new to home automation (luckily not to Linux in general) so thank you for every suggestion and please keep on sending more ideas.


Dear community members,

we are building a house and even my whife ("don't you dare touching my Vista-Notebook with that Linux stuff") is convinced of the awsome features and possibillities of Linux MCE. As it's too late (and too expensive ;-) ) to use complete bus system from the beginning (start of construction is in 4 weeks) I would like to prepare as much KNX/EIB wiring as possible/affordable. Therefore I kindly ask for your comments and suggestions! What we will do is CAT6 wiring into almost every single room. So at least we will have streaming media and voip everywhere.

Here is what I'm planning to do with the bus system in the final stage (maybe in 3-5 years or so):
- Controlling the inner Lights (mostly dimmable Spotlights integrated into the ceiling)
- Controlling the decentralized ventilating system integrated into the walls
- Maybe switching some power sockets as well
- Controlling the outer Lights and maybe things like a lawn sprinkler - who knows?
- maybe infrared sensors (By the way are there sensors that keep the light on even if I'm reading/working for an hour or so and realize the difference between a human and our cat?)
- a panic button to turn on all lights
- a "sleepmode button" to set the whole house to "power save mode" while nobody is at home
- and who knows what else... :-)

As mentioned above I'm planning to put a KNX/EIB wire into every wall and into the ceilings so I will have the possibillity to connect to it everywhere. I have some questions:

For later easy replacement of the standard switches by KNX/EIB switches I'm thinking of laying a bus wire directly to each button. Is that a good idea or am I completely wrong?

What kind of topology is needed? Where would you put the wires? Where the actors? I've attached a plan of our ground floor to have something to discuss about. Please feel free to paint on it where you would put which wires.

- Green X: "server room" ;-)
- RED A-C: lighting that schould be controlled separately (all of A; all of B; ...)
- Pink S: switches that are traditional switches first but should be replaced by KNX/EIB switches later.
- Blue D: Ventillation system
(of course these are only examples. Hopefully we will have light in our bath, too ;-) )

Is there a possibillity to use some kind of wireless bridge to expand the bus system into the garden and put wires from there to the actors or should I already put a bus wire through the outer wall?

I read through various german forums on KNX/EIB but the guys there didn't seem to be very helpful. The answers to similar newbie questions sounded pretty much like "We are Professionals, go read some books about it, build a complete bus house from the beginning and maybe THEN come back". That somewhat didn't satisfy me... ;-)

Please, any help would be appreciated. Plus: the better my planning is, the easyer would it be to convince my wife of new expansion stages later. She would kill me if I'd tell her in say 2-3 years "of course you can dimm the lights with that PDA but I have to open all walls and the complete ceiling to insert some kilometers of wiring first". ;-)

I really hope you can help us. Kind regards and greetings from Berlin

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