OK, I've spent a week getting my head around as much of LinuxMCE as I can, I've set up a couple of MDs (using lightweight orbiter UI, but I've ordered a graphics card that will hopefully let me use UI2), got a USB remote working and media playing in different rooms. I'm now ready to dip my toe in the Home Automation water. I've read the wiki and the forum entries and browsed a couple of UK home automation etailers (http://www.letsautomate.com
) and still can't figure out which way to go. Here is what I do know:
X10 devices are cheaper, but for security sensors you need wireless as well as mains electrical. This means you need a standard CM10/11 serial interface for the computer to control the X10 stuff plus something to grab the wireless signals and translate them to the electrical wires to get to the computer like TM571. The combined CM15 device does both but seems to not be stable according to what I have read on the forums. It also looks like X10 is harder to setup and signals can be lost when sending across mains electrical. Is X10 that hard to setup?
Z-Wave devices seem to be more expensive but easier to setup, but I can't figure out what the minimal starting point is. The UK home automation sites suggest that just having a PC serial to Z-wave interface like ZWave ZCU201 (like this http://www.letsautomate.com/12434.cfm?
) will also need a Z-wave remote control (like thishttp://www.letsautomate.com/11109.cfm?
) in order to setup all the devices like a motion or door sensor. But reading the wiki it sounds like I can get by with just a Z-Wave USB stick like this http://www.letsautomate.com/12799.cfm?
to setup all the z-wave devices and have the LinuxMCE PC control them, is that right?
If someone can enlighten me I'll gladly try it out then write a wiki entry on easy entry to LinuxMCE home automation.
I i'd thought i'd sure share some noobie thoughts as I have bought kit from those sites you mentioned. I have picked Z-Wave for similar reasons and have installed 6 Z-Wave light switches (ZDW232) and am using the Aeon Labs Z-Wave Stick.
Its easy with the stick - you just press the button on the stick wait for a flashing blue light and press the light switch to include it. Then when plugged into your LinuxMCE it will detect all lights included, and go through a lighting wizard to name and locate them.
Once you have done that you can turn them on and off ! no need for a separate controller.
I'm actually trying to figure out how to control using Perl, or the command line. I've found a Ruby gem (derailed-rhouse) but cant seem to get it working . Am looking into the RPC-plugin too for control over HTTP. As this is all new, and my programming skills (mainly Java, Perl) are a bit rusty, all this is abit steep.!
Im actually tempted to try out X10 with MisterHouse as it is based around Perl, I need to be control a heater for a project i am working on.
They way I see it , as that nowadays LinuxMCE is more associated with Z-Wave as it has the driver already built in - and for free!