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Messages - jgalak

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For the 1404 net install, what's the recommended version of Kubuntu?  I know it says 14.04, but it looks like the latest version of that is 14.04.5 LTS, is that the right one?

Also, 32 bit or 64 bit?  Does it matter?


Users / Automated Blinds Control
« on: June 06, 2016, 04:46:13 am »
We are planning on a LinuxMCE based home automation system in the new house, and were wondering about automating blinds.  Is there an inexpensive version?  I see some Z-wave controllable blinds out there, like from Bali, but the cost is prohibitive - around $150 per window!  Is there something cheaper out there?  Maybe something that connects to continuous-loop blinds and just uses the loop as a chain?


Users / Re: Ductless air conditioning
« on: December 22, 2013, 07:55:52 pm »
Because my research shows its the best ductless system on the market, and in a pinch I can control it with an IR blaster.  Would just prefer to have a more robust, 2-way connection.

Users / Re: Ductless air conditioning
« on: December 22, 2013, 07:02:49 pm »
System installed.  Dealer has no idea.  Will have to see what the manual says (or what I can find on the unit) once construction is done.

Users / Re: LinuxMCE and NextAlarm
« on: December 22, 2013, 04:52:14 pm »
More digging on the NextALarm website.  Looks like it needs the system to use the "Contact ID reporting format".  Is that something LinuxMCE can do?

Assuming it can,  can any zwave controller support alarm-type sensors, or would I need specific ones?


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?


For reference, NextAlarm supports natively the following panels:

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

Users / Re: Ductless air conditioning
« on: January 15, 2013, 01:11:43 am »
The zwave looks great, and would simplify things, though I'd still prefer some sort of "direct"control - Ethernet, serial, etc.

With a multi-head system, each head is independently controlled by an IR remote, so I'd need one of these per room.  Wat I'm hoping for is some sort of way to plug directly into the "central brain" of the system, and control the whole thing.  Not sure if that's possible...

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...

Users / Re: Will a Dell Optiplex GX280 work as a headless core?
« on: December 31, 2012, 05:45:43 am »
Yeah, I figured on the 2nd nic, more drive space, maybe more ram, maybe an RS232 card.

If I need more USB ports (for controls), can I just use a powered hub, or should I get a USB card?

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:

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.


Users / Re: Raspberry Pi as Media Directory
« on: December 26, 2012, 04:01:53 pm »
Getting your hands on enough is the first problem...  I got 1, need about a dozen (not for MD use).  Still, nothing out there with the same price/capabilities.

Users / Re: Squeezebox and multi room audio
« on: December 21, 2012, 10:43:36 pm »
I use/recommend these amps!/~/product/category=285320&id=867437  Auto on, Auto Off when not in use.

Can be daisy chained together for single source multi-zone and has second input override for multi-source multi-zone applications.

I want each zone to have its own audio stream.  With the second input, do you mean it can act as an amp for two separate zone?  If so, that's a possibility.  If its just one per zone, that's way too expensive (even one per two zones is pushing the cost higher than ideal).

The kit amp I linked has a controllable mute pin, which I can trip with the GPIO pin on the Raspberry Pi, though auto-off would obviously be easier.

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 ( 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.

Users / Re: Welcome
« on: December 21, 2012, 03:01:41 am »
What about X10/Insteon support?

Users / Re: Multi-room audio
« on: September 09, 2012, 10:58:58 pm »
I use these auto on amps

Get an extra punch with these usb DAC's

Either work great as  a squeeze slave. Daisy chain the amps to have synced or independent audio in each zone.

Ok, I understand using the USB sound card to get more audio zones, and I understand using that (or another) amp to boost the sound card's output for use with unpowered speakers,  but what are DACs for?  Are they for use instead of the sound card, or am I missing something?

I was actually thinking of using these guys - - as amps, for the low coast and small size.  Would USB sound card -> amp -> normal home theater speaker work well here?

Another thought was to try installing squeeze box software onto a Raspberry Pi (done by someone on the Squeezebox forums), and then using that amp.  Might be too much work though....

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