Author Topic: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!  (Read 1353 times)

k2ham

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New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« on: April 19, 2009, 03:35:25 pm »
Good morning,

My wife and I are currently building a new home and I would very much like to incorporate LinuxMCE into its design and build. I've read the Wiki about building a new home around LinuxMCE and will incorporate its recommendations as much as possible. While I've not used LinuxMCE before, I am fairly familiar to Linux/Ubuntu and use the OS on my current desktop and laptop in our current home.

Right now, the features I'm most interested in are the home automation and security features. This new home will be located about 3.5 hours from our current home and I would like to be able to monitor things and control the HVAC from the internet as needed. I also want to think ahead and incorporate/design AV capabilities into our home but that is not the primary focus currently.
 
As for the advice I am seeking, if you were in my situation (building a new home, starting from scratch with LinuxMCE):

1. Which home automation technology would you build around/use and why?
2. Considering the upcoming 8.10 release, would that influence your choice of core/hybrid server (or components)? (I'll likely build and use a core server in a wiring/communications closet).


I would very much welcome any other advice, lessons learned, pitfalls to avoid, etc. from those of you that have been enjoying this project.  Knowing what you know now, what would you do if you could start over from the beginning??

I look forward to hearing from and learning from you!

... k2ham

Itsik

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2009, 05:32:35 pm »
Hello and welcome.

It seems to me that in order to be able to give the best advice, we need some more details, mainly, what stage of the construction have you reached and where are you located.
As for hardware choice, I would definatly make my choices with 0810 in mind. But I would also take into account the reomended HW info in the wiki, and try to follow it's guide lines.
Check this post: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=7354.msg47773#msg47773, as I think it is the perfect example of how to approach hardware selection for LMCE correctly.

Itsik

k2ham

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2009, 09:43:39 pm »
Hello and welcome.

It seems to me that in order to be able to give the best advice, we need some more details, mainly, what stage of the construction have you reached and where are you located.
Itsik

Hi Itsik,

Thank you for your reply. As for construction stage, the block walls have been set and the rough-in for the plumbing and basement slab will be done next. Then the subfloor, etc... we're pretty much at the early stages of construction. The house will be approx. 5,700 sq ft., log construction with main floor as well as loft and 2 bedrooms on the 2nd floor, with a full walk-out basement located in the Smoky Mountain region of Tennessee. My office as well as the mechanical room will be located in the basement. My initial thoughts are to see about building the communications/wiring closet within the mechanical room as long as we have adequate ventilation and cooling in there (which should be pretty good to start with since it in the back/underground part of the basement). I'm also anticipating getting the telephone, cable, etc. terminated in the mechanical room.

... k2ham

Itsik

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2009, 08:44:50 am »
k2ham

In your case, I'd go for a wired automation solution.
I know there's support (at least to some extent) for KNX/EIB, there's info on that on the wiki, but maybe some one else could shed more light on this. I never really messed with it thus I can't tell you much about it.
If you prefer a wireless solution, Z-Wave support is pretty good and as far as I can tell, the equipment is not vary expansive either. But bare in mind that wireless has some flaws you probably should take into consideration.

As for the media, if you'll have a central closet for everything, i'd try to keep as much as possible in there, including sat/cable boxes etc. I'd try to go for a totally clean installation with all the wiring hidden behind the TV's. I'd even consider having all the MD's in that closet but that might be vary restrictive, as you'll probably need to make sure all your TV's are rs-232 controllable and run RS-232 cabling as well as Audio/Video cabling to it, and all your control devices (orbiters) would need to be WIFI based (but that's an easier problem to solve).


Itsik
« Last Edit: April 20, 2009, 08:49:48 am by Itsik »

posde

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2009, 09:12:30 am »
itsik,

I prefer a clean  solution as well, but would not wire everything to a central place. one of the beauties of LinuxMCE is, that all you need to bring to the TV is the Ethernet cable. Plug a slim MD, like the eee box, on the back of the TV and be done with it.


Itsik

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2009, 10:22:19 am »
Posde, I agree, but the possibility exists. And altough it might be problematic I believe it is worth mentioning.

Itsik

totallymaxed

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2009, 01:25:37 am »
Posde, I agree, but the possibility exists. And altough it might be problematic I believe it is worth mentioning.

Itsik


We have installations that have taken both approaches - either approach is possible to be frank. The centralised approach has some advantages and the de-centralised other advantages. If you choose to centralise everything then look at running everything over CAT5 or CAT6 cabling as it makes your cable installation simpler as you only have to run one type of cable. We run HDMI, USB/Serial etc over CAT5 and use converters at each end to convert the signals back into their native cable type. At the screen end we would use a CAT5->USB converter paired with a small USB hub and then we can plug in an MCE IR Transceiver, Wireless Keyboard & USB->Serial adapters for control of the TV itself (if it has rs232 or we use IR blasting if not).

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
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alx9r

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2009, 02:28:15 am »
We run HDMI, USB/Serial etc over CAT5 and use converters at each end to convert the signals back into their native cable type.

Andrew,
I'm curious how many runs of CAT5 you would recommend for each media director in the centralised configuration.

Alex

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2009, 12:15:15 pm »
We run HDMI, USB/Serial etc over CAT5 and use converters at each end to convert the signals back into their native cable type.

Andrew,
I'm curious how many runs of CAT5 you would recommend for each media director in the centralised configuration.

Alex

Alex,

In the centralised config we'd currently use 2 x CAT5 for the HDMI connection, 1 x CAT5 for the USB and then in some rare situations where we need to get separate stereo audio to the screen we use another CAT5 for that...however normally we use the audio over the HDMI.

So thats 3 x CAT5 in most scenarios currently. However there are new HDMI->CAT5 adapters coming to market now which only need a single CAT5 to carry the HDMI signal so this would reduce it to two CAT5's.

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
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k2ham

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2009, 01:14:17 pm »
This is great information and I really appreciate it. It definitely gives me options to consider.

Since we are at the point where we can go wired as opposed to wireless, is there a particular wired home automation technology that you would recommend?

Any other suggestions, best practices, etc. regarding home automation?

Thanks again for the great help!

... k2ham

totallymaxed

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Re: New User - New Home - Advice Requested!
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2009, 03:24:53 pm »
This is great information and I really appreciate it. It definitely gives me options to consider.

Since we are at the point where we can go wired as opposed to wireless, is there a particular wired home automation technology that you would recommend?

Any other suggestions, best practices, etc. regarding home automation?

Thanks again for the great help!

... k2ham

We generally use either ZWave or KNX-EIB (but that really European centric). We are specifying a system now using Enocean but this will be our first use of that technology...so I cant say for sure yet why the 'real world' pluses & minuses will be yet ;-).

So I would recommend you look at using ZWave.

All the best

Andrew
Andy Herron,
Convergent Home Technologies Ltd
United Kingdom

Read My Blog; http://ellipticalcurve.com

Contact me for Smart Home consulting advice here;
@herron on Twitter, totallymaxed+consulting@gmail.com via email or PM me here.

Get a Dianemo S License: http://forum.linuxmce.org/index.php?topic=8880.0
iOS Orbiter: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Dianemo_iOS_Orbiter
Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dianemo-Home-Automation/226019387454465

Sales & Info:
http://www.dianemo.co.uk