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Topics - jgalak

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Users / LinuxMCE and NextAlarm
« on: December 22, 2013, 04:16:49 pm »
Still planning the new house, and thinking about doing the house alarm.  I'm thinking of wireless, so probably zwave?  

Here's the big question:  I want to use NextAlarm for monitoring.  Has anyone done this?  They are an Internet-based monitoring service.  My current home alarm panel (an old ADP Ademco 20P panel) is designed to dial the monitoring station, so NextAlarm provides an adapter that has a phone jack and transforms that phone signal into some sort of VoIP signal that goes to them.  Can LinuxMCE emulate an alarm panel and dial a modem?  Or even emulate the adapter?  If not, is there a panel out there I can buy that'll talk to NextAlarm but also to LinuxMCE?

Thanks.

For reference, NextAlarm supports natively the following panels: http://info.nextalarm.com/help/abn-compatibility

So if LinuxMCE can emulate, or control, any of them, that will work.

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Users / Ductless air conditioning
« on: January 14, 2013, 02:48:23 pm »
We are considering a multi-head ductless Central AC system for the new house, probably from Fujitsu.  Does anyone know if these things support any sort of control inputs for integration into HA, and if so, does LMCE support any of them out of the box?

They generally have IR remotes, so in a pinch IR blasters can control them, but it'd be kind of a PITA to set that up in each room...

3
Users / Will a Dell Optiplex GX280 work as a headless core?
« on: December 30, 2012, 11:32:12 pm »
I have an old GX280 mini-tower lying around, specs are here: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/opgx280/en/ug/specs02.htm

Would this work as a headless core (ok to use monitor and kb/mouse for setup, headless after initial setup)?  Mostly for home automation and audio streaming (probably not video).  Might want to have a bunch of squeezeslaves-on-the-core running on it.

So the questions are: 1) is it compatible with LMCE out of the box (without significant tweaking), and 2) is it powerful enough to do the job.  Memory and Hd upgrades are not a problem.

Thanks,
Juliean.

4
Users / Squeezebox and multi room audio
« on: December 21, 2012, 02:58:10 pm »
Still exploring the multi-room audio idea, and had some questions.  My understanding is that LMCE simply runs a squezeserver instance on the core, right?  So from the point of view of the squeezebox device, it just looks like a normal squeeze server?  Therefore any hardware or software player that works with squeezebox should work?  Including the controls on such device?

Assuming the above is correct, is there any way to route the audio stream outside the internal network and out to the Internet?  There are squeezebox players for iOs and Android that can steream over 3/4G (or wifi) from a squeeze server, and it seems like this would be a nice additional feature.

On the hardware side, I am looking to provide audio, eventually, to 8-12 zones, all pre-wired for speakers.  With that many zones, I'd like to keep prices low, ideally under $100 per zone (excluding the cost of the speakers).  I'd also prefer to use unpowered speakers.  I am currently considering three approaches:

1) Cheap wired device (Raspberry Pi is my top choice right now - $39) running squeezeslave plus a cheap amp (https://www.sparkfun.com/products/9612 is my current choice - $29).

2) USB sound card (~$20), plus the same amp.  Running squeezeslave on core.

3) A USB DAC with built-in amp (like the T-30 - $89).  Running squeezeslave on core.

Any other options I should consider in the same price range?

I am also concerned that with the T-30 or the USB sound card, the amp is always on,  which is a power drain, and, more importantly to me, you can get hum/noise from the speaker when there is no audio signal.  With the raspberry Pi, I can use one of its GPIO pins to mute the amp.  I suppose an X10/ZWave switch can be used to power off the amp, but that's another device that must be paid for for each zone...

Another issue is whether with this many zones, will squeeze slave on core be an unacceptable CPU load.  Not that more than 2-3 zones will usually be in use at once, but it's certainly possible that most/all will be on at the same time.

Advice appreciated.

5
Users / Multi-room audio
« on: August 28, 2012, 11:31:16 pm »
Still in the early stages of designing the home system, one of my thoughts is on piping audio to multiple rooms.  I can have the house pre-wired for speakers, but not sure what the best way to do this is.  I would like sound in 5-6 rooms. 

I saw the option of using network audio players (like the SqueezeBox), but that seems expensive to put in each room. 

Can I just put conventional speakers in each room, and wire them to a bunch of sound cards?  Can LinuxMCE support multiple sound cards in one computer and pipe different music to each?  Or would I need a separate media director for each room (expensive for just audio - most of these rooms will not have video).

Any other options?

Thanks,
Juliean.

6
Users / Newbie camera question
« on: July 04, 2012, 08:27:38 pm »
I am in the early stages of designing an automation system for my new house, and one of the things I'd like to do is have surveillance cameras.  To that end, I have a few questions:

1) Do I understand correctly that with IP cameras I can have either pan/tilt/zoom, or motion-triggered events, but not both?

2) With motion triggered events, is the system able to exclude non-human motion (cats, etc.)?

3) In terms of IP vs. analog cameras, what are the pluses and minuses of each approach?  I plan on a mix of indoor and outdoor cameras, and see at least 3 different options - IP cameras, analog going to motion capture cards (I am expecting about 10-12 cameras, are there any cards that can support that many inputs?), or analog going to a separate security DVR (designed for multiple cameras), most of which have an IP output, not sure if anyone's used any of these with Linux MCE.

I've heard that IP cameras can be laggy, by as much as 8 seconds or so, any truth to that? 

Also, if I have IP cameras and want to output to a TV, I assume I can do that through a media director, but how's the quality in those cases?  Can I have a media director with an HDMI output to get good quality video on the screen?  In the past, hooking up a computer to a TV (using composite or S-video) has left much to be desired in terms of quality, never tried it on an HD TV with HDMI connections.

Thanks,
Juliean.


7
Feature requests & roadmap / Tekmar heating controls integration?
« on: December 07, 2011, 07:11:49 pm »
I am planning a new house, and was hoping to install some home automation features.  LinuxMCE seems like a perfect way to go, but one key (for me) feature is missing - I intend to use a Tekmar heating control system (put one in my current house and love it), but I don't see it listed as supported anywhere.  Any chance this is a project someone will be doing in the next few years?  

The full specs for the protocol are on the tekmar website, but I can't seem to post a link to it.  It's on the tekmar control website, search for "482", then click the "Information for Custom Developers" button at the top.

Doesn't look too tough, but not really within my ability to program - I've never done any sort of low-level protocol programming before...

Thanks,
Juliean.

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