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Home Automation

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I'm starting to read up on Home Automation. I am just creating this thread so I have a place to record my thoughts.

I plan on integrating some home automation concepts into my new house. That means I have a bit of time between now and construction to get everything right.

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First, I've only been researching this for a couple of days. But so far I've selected Z-Wave based technology, as it uses 900mhz which is superior in my case of solid concrete walls. Z-Wave seems to also have the most market traction, so it works out well for me on all fronts.

Other systems include ZigBee, X10, Insteon -- and many more. ZigBee uses 2.4ghz which is less ideal in my environment due to all the concrete. X10 is old school. Insteon seems to have current products but little adoption when compared to Z-Wave.

Anyway, I feel good at this stage focusing my efforts on Z-Wave.

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This is a very short very quick video on the control center I plan to use, called openHAB.



It's open source Linux and basically lets you pull everything into a single system to control each individual device.

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I've ordered Amazon Echo and a set of two Phillips Hue lights to arrive on a friends container coming in end of November. This is just a quick foray into all this, and will allow me to play around for a bit in this rental house while still designing the bigger system for the new house.

The Echo just enables always-on voice commands. I plan to integrate it with openHAB. Through openHAB, I can control Kodi (formerly XBMC), which is my media center for all TV content in my house.

I plan to write some routines that let me quickly see which new favorite shows have new episodes, or some nightly "relax" routines to just play the newest Daily Show, for example.

The Phillips Hue lights are just quick shortcuts to allow lighting control by remote, while still keeping the physical switch operational. This way I can be in bed and just say "Alexa, turn out all the lights" and it will be done. Or when watching a movie I can set the scene automatically and reduce the brightness to 25% for example.

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This is a how-to for enabling Echo and openHAB communication via a open source bridge on github.

Control your OpenHAB Items using the Amazon Echo

Quick video of end result:



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Here is the general concept I am shooting for with the new house:

- Proximity location, so system knows when I am home (phone is on wifi, or GPS)
- When I am arriving home after being away and it is after dark, turn on all exterior lights down my road and entrance gate
- Valves for the primary/secondary water pumps, pool filters, propane, etc so they can be remotely controlled
- Smart electric meter to monitor in real-time the kwh usage
- Scheduled one-time verbal commands "At 6pm today, turn the sprinklers on"
- Security with smart-locks, keyless entry into house
- Security system, master bedroom will have a wall panel and panic button, turns all lights inside and out to maximum and sounds alarms, calls police, sends text messages, sends whatsapp messages, etc all with single button
- In-wall control center in a couple locations in the house, to quickly control everything in the house on a larger touch display

All of this can be accomplished based on what I've already read. And all without monthly maintenance costs or service fees.

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Here is a great thread on openHAB that talks about building your own dashboard (for use in a wall-mount control center) using dashing.io (another open source framework)

https://community.openhab.org/t/dashboard-ui-suitable-for-tablets/2329

Some quick examples:







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Forgot to mention some other security related objectives

- Real-time sensors throughout property, can set lights and send notifications to me anywhere
- Security cam integration, show me real-time or historical video
- Front gate intercom/doorbell system, answer doorbell anywhere in the world with two-way communication and video

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An example video of some of the things you can do. I plan to improve on what he shows here...



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Another demo based on GPS proximity and motion sensors.



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In this video, they talk about Samsung Smartthings, which is Z-Wave based but Samsung's brand of products.



This guy created some rules that demonstrate some of what you can do, but he didn't do anything very complex because he was limited by his hub (Smartthings).

openHAB is a million times more powerful with a full scripting language.

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This video shows a few extra things including sprinklers, blinds control, AV scripting, etc



For those of you that have Harmony remotes, the idea is similar only far more powerful, and using an input device like your phone, tablet, or Amazon Echo (Alexa) you can issue voice commands for complex scripts.

For example "Alexa, play movie Wall Street" and then openHAB can create a scene that:

- Dims lights
- Closes shutters/blinds
- Turns on TV, receiver
- Queue movie on Kodi
- etc etc

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This is a playlist from Z-Wave for CES 2015 with over a dozen vendors showing off their new products.

The playlist gives a good example of what kinds of products are available for integration into your home automation system.



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Are Google's Weave and Brillo and Apple's Homekit rival standards to Z-wave, or something else?

Also, you might want to include a trap-door in the floor that opens on command and lets whoever is standing on it drop below into a pool of sharks

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srgtroy View Post
Are Google's Weave and Brillo and Apple's Homekit rival standards to Z-wave, or something else?

Also, you might want to include a trap-door in the floor that opens on command and lets whoever is standing on it drop below into a pool of sharks

I don't know much about them. I'm not an Apple guy and would rather go with open protocols like z-wave.

It seems Brillo is a hub of sorts like openHAB. Could be interesting but I've seen nothing on it, whereas I've seen openHAB mentioned many times.

I'll dig around.

Sent from my phone

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Big Mike View Post
I don't know much about them. I'm not an Apple guy and would rather go with open protocols like z-wave.

I agree. The Apple standard will most likely ultimately end up being a closed system for non-tech types aka IoT for Dummies. Google's standard will probably be more open, but ultimately designed to focus on their Nest product line. Sounds like the way you are going will be most powerful for someone with tech skillz...

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Here's more on Google/Nest Weave:

https://readwrite.com/2015/10/01/nest-weave

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Big Mike View Post

I'll dig around.

Sent from my phone

To create a shark pit with trap door?

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tturner86 View Post
To create a shark pit with trap door?

@Big Mike is just being humble. This is more along the lines of his real plans:


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Windows 10 Pro includes Hyper-V, so today I created a quick Debian virtual machine and will use this as my openHAB server. I could use something like Raspberry Pi or one of the NUC's I have laying around, but this was easiest. This workstation is on 24/7 and has BBU.

I'll post my progress as I have some time.

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I have openHAB installed and running now on the Debian box.

Used the Oracle repositories for Java 8 JDK, and openHAB's repo's to install 1.7.1 of openHAB.

Good article here for installation instructions:

https://github.com/openhab/openhab/wiki/Linux---OS-X

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List of all the add-on's (bindings) available... I also noticed there are a lot of persistence options for data.

 
Code
# aptitude search openhab
p   openhab-addon-action-astro                                           - openHAB Astro Action
p   openhab-addon-action-harmonyhub                                      - openHAB HarmonyHub Action
p   openhab-addon-action-homematic                                       - openHAB Homematic Action
p   openhab-addon-action-mail                                            - openHAB Mail Action
p   openhab-addon-action-mios                                            - openHAB MiOS Action
p   openhab-addon-action-nma                                             - openHAB NotifyMyAndroid Action
p   openhab-addon-action-openwebif                                       - openHAB OpenWebIf Action
p   openhab-addon-action-prowl                                           - openHAB Prowl Action
p   openhab-addon-action-pushover                                        - openHAB Pushover Action
p   openhab-addon-action-squeezebox                                      - openHAB Squeezebox Action
p   openhab-addon-action-tinkerforge                                     - openHAB TinkerForge Action
p   openhab-addon-action-twitter                                         - openHAB Twitter Action
p   openhab-addon-action-weather                                         - openHAB Weather Action
p   openhab-addon-action-xbmc                                            - openHAB XBMC Action
p   openhab-addon-action-xmpp                                            - openHAB XMPP Action
p   openhab-addon-action-xpl                                             - openHAB xPL Action
p   openhab-addon-binding-LightwaveRf                                    - openHAB LightwaveRf Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-Plex                                           - openHAB Plex Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-Withings                                       - openHAB Withings Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-alarmdecoder                                   - openHAB AlarmDecoder Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-anel                                           - openHAB Anel Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-asterisk                                       - openHAB Asterisk Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-astro                                          - openHAB Astro Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-autelis                                        - openHAB Autelis Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-benqprojector                                  - openHAB BenqProjector Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-bluetooth                                      - openHAB Bluetooth Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-bticino                                        - openHAB BTicino Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-comfoair                                       - openHAB ComfoAir Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-configadmin                                    - openHAB ConfigAdmin Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-cups                                           - openHAB Cups Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-daikin                                         - openHAB Daikin Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-davis                                          - openHAB Davis Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-denon                                          - openHAB Denon Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-digitalstrom                                   - openHAB DigitalSTROM Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-dmx                                            - openHAB DMX Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-dmx-artnet                                     - openHAB artnet interface for DMX Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-dmx-lib485                                     - openHAB lib485 interface for DMX Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-dmx-ola                                        - openHAB OLA inteface for DMX Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-dscalarm                                       - openHAB DSC Alarm Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-dsmr                                           - openHAB DSMR Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-ebus                                           - openHAB eBus Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-ecobee                                         - openHAB Ecobee Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-ecotouch                                       - openHAB EcoTouch Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-ehealth                                        - openHAB Libelium eHealth Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-ekey                                           - openhab addon binding ekey
p   openhab-addon-binding-em                                             - openHAB EM Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-energenie                                      - openHAB Energenie Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-enigma2                                        - openHAB Enigma2 Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-enocean                                        - openHAB EnOcean Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-enphaseenergy                                  - openHAB Enphase Energy Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-epsonprojector                                 - openHAB Epson projector Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-exec                                           - openHAB Exec Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-fht                                            - openHAB FHT Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-freebox                                        - openHAB Freebox Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-freeswitch                                     - openHAB Freeswitch Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-fritzaha                                       - openHAB Fritz AVM Home Automation Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-fritzbox                                       - openHAB Fritzbox Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-frontiersiliconradio                           - openHAB FrontierSiliconRadio Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-fs20                                           - openHAB FS20 Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-gpio                                           - openHAB GPIO Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-harmonyHub                                     - openHAB HarmonyHub Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-hdanywhere                                     - openHAB HDanywhere Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-heatmiser                                      - openHAB Heatmiser Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-hms                                            - openHAB HMS Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-homematic                                      - openHAB Homematic Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-http                                           - openHAB HTTP Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-hue                                            - openHAB Hue Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-iec6205621meter                                - openHAB IEC 62056-21 Meter Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-ihc                                            - openHAB IHC / ELKO LS Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-insteonhub                                     - openHAB InsteonHub Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-insteonplm                                     - openHAB Insteon PLM Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-intertechno                                    - openHAB CULIntertechno Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-irtrans                                        - openHAB IrTrans Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-jointspace                                     - openHAB JointSpace Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-k8055                                          - openHAB k8055 Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-knx                                            - openHAB KNX Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-koubachi                                       - openHAB Koubachi Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-lgtv                                           - openHAB Lgtv Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-mailcontrol                                    - openHAB MailControl Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-maxcube                                        - openHAB MaxCube Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-maxcul                                         - openHAB MaxCul Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-milight                                        - openHAB Milight Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-mios                                           - openHAB MiOS Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-mochadx10                                      - openHAB Mochad X10 Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-modbus                                         - openHAB Modbus Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-mpd                                            - openHAB MPD Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-mqtt                                           - openHAB MQTT Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-mqttitude                                      - openHAB Mqttitude Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-neohub                                         - openhab addon binding neohub
p   openhab-addon-binding-nest                                           - openhab addon binding Nest
p   openhab-addon-binding-netatmo                                        - openHAB Netatmo Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-networkhealth                                  - openHAB NetworkHealth Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-networkupstools                                - openHAB NetworkUpsTools Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-nibeheatpump                                   - openHAB Nibe heat pump Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-nikobus                                        - openHAB Nikobus Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-novelanheatpump                                - openHAB Novelan Heatpump Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-ntp                                            - openHAB NTP Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-oceanic                                        - openHAB Oceanic Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-omnilink                                       - openHAB OmniLink Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-onewire                                        - openHAB 1-Wire Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-onkyo                                          - openHAB Onkyo Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-openenergymonitor                              - openHAB Open Energy Monitor Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-openpaths                                      - openHAB OpenPaths Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-opensprinkler                                  - openHAB OpenSprinkler Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-owserver                                       - openHAB OWServer Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-panasonictv                                    - openHAB PanasonicTV Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-piface                                         - openHAB Piface Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-pilight                                        - openhab addon binding pilight
p   openhab-addon-binding-pioneeravr                                     - openHAB Pioneer AVR Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-plcbus                                         - openHAB PLCBus Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-plugwise                                       - openHAB Plugwise Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-primare                                        - openHAB Primare Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-pulseaudio                                     - openHAB Pulseaudio Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-rfxcom                                         - openHAB RFXCOM Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-rme                                            - openHAB RME Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-s300th                                         - openHAB S300TH Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-samsungtv                                      - openHAB Samsung TV Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-satel                                          - openHAB Satel Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-serial                                         - openHAB Serial Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-snmp                                           - openHAB SNMP Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-sonos                                          - openHAB Sonos Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-souliss                                        - Souliss - Arduino based SmartHome - openHAB Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-squeezebox                                     - openHAB Squeezebox Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-swegonventilation                              - openHAB Swegon ventilation Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-systeminfo                                     - openHAB Systeminfo Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-tcp                                            - openHAB TCP/UDP Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-tellstick                                      - openHAB Tellstick Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-tinkerforge                                    - openHAB Tinkerforge Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-tivo                                           - openHAB TiVo Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-urtsi                                          - openHAB Somfy URTSI II Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-vdr                                            - openHAB VDR Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-wago                                           - openHAB Wago Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-weather                                        - openHAB Weather Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-wemo                                           - openHAB Wemo Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-wol                                            - openHAB Wake-on-LAN binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-xbmc                                           - openHAB XBMC Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-xpl                                            - openhab addon binding xPL
p   openhab-addon-binding-yamahareceiver                                 - openHAB YamahaReceiver Binding
p   openhab-addon-binding-zibase                                         - openhab addon binding zibase
p   openhab-addon-binding-zwave                                          - openHAB ZWave Binding
p   openhab-addon-core-jsr223                                            - openHAB Core Jsr223
p   openhab-addon-io-cul                                                 - openHAB CUL Transport
p   openhab-addon-io-cv                                                  - openHAB CV Interface
p   openhab-addon-io-dropbox                                             - openHAB Dropbox Connector
p   openhab-addon-io-gpio                                                - openHAB GPIO IO Module
p   openhab-addon-io-harmonyhub                                          - openHAB Harmony Client IO
p   openhab-addon-io-multimedia-freetts                                  - openHAB Multimedia FreeTTS
p   openhab-addon-io-multimedia-googletts                                - openHAB Multimedia GoogleTTS
p   openhab-addon-io-multimedia-macintalk                                - openHAB Multimedia MacinTalk
p   openhab-addon-io-multimedia-marytts                                  - openHAB Multimedia MaryTTS
p   openhab-addon-io-multimedia-speechdispatcher                         - openHAB Multimedia SpeechDispatcher
p   openhab-addon-io-myopenhab                                           - my.openHAB Connection Service
p   openhab-addon-io-serial                                              - openHAB Serial Transport
p   openhab-addon-io-squeezeserver                                       - openHAB Squeeze Server
p   openhab-addon-io-xpl                                                 - openHAB xPL Transport
p   openhab-addon-persistence-cosm                                       - openHAB Cosm Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-db4o                                       - openHAB db4o Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-exec                                       - openHAB Exec Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-gcal                                       - openHAB Google Calendar Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-influxdb                                   - openHAB InfluxDB Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-jpa                                        - openHAB JPA Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-logging                                    - openHAB Logging Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-mapdb                                      - openHAB MapDB Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-mongodb                                    - openHAB mongodb Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-mqtt                                       - openHAB MQTT Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-mysql                                      - openHAB mySQL Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-rrd4j                                      - openHAB RRD4j Persistence
p   openhab-addon-persistence-sense                                      - openHAB Open.Sen.se Persistence
i   openhab-runtime                                                      - openHAB Distribution
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I've got the Android app up and running and connected to the openHAB server. All very seamless and simple so far.

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Big Mike View Post
I've got the Android app up and running and connected to the openHAB server. All very seamless and simple so far.

Mike

For the Apple guys, I should mention there is also an iOS version.

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A quick note that I am using the latest stable release of openHAB which is 1.7.1, but openHAB 2 alpha builds are available.

https://github.com/openhab/openhab2

The major changes, in their own words:


Quoting 
So far the “productive” openHAB code is at https://github.com/openhab/openhab. This project here is the home of the next-generation openHAB aka openHAB 2. A major focus of openHAB 2 is adding administration UIs to the system to make it more user-friendly for “regular” users (i.e. not the developer type). For this, openHAB 2 is now based on the Eclipse SmartHome project. You can find information about the relation of these projects in this blogpost. There is a configuration UI prototype already available, called Paper UI.

openHAB 2 is currently under development and so far there is only an alpha release available. Additionally, snapshot builds are available at CloudBees. openHAB 2.0 includes a 1.x compatibility layer, which allows using 1.x add-ons with the new runtime.

And also a blog post here:

Kai Kreuzer: openHAB 2.0 and Eclipse SmartHome


Quoting 
openHAB 2 has a different focus: User comfort. While in openHAB 1.x you need to configure everything in text files and figure out the right syntax and possibilities of a certain binding in the wiki, openHAB 2 allows bindings and other add-ons to self-describe their configuration, so that it is possible to offer user interfaces for system setup and configuration. Additionally, auto-discovery (e.g. through UPnP, AllJoyn, etc.) is offered, so that new devices can be added by a simple click of a button. Chris Jackson has already built a lot of convenient UIs for openHAB 1.x, which are available as HABmin - this even includes a graphical rule editor based on blockly. We are striving for refactoring and integrating these things as a core part of openHAB 2.x and thus not requiring the users to use configuration files at all (but of course leaving it as an option).

A second major design goal of openHAB 2.x is the optimization for embedded platforms. Although openHAB 1.x works on a Raspberry Pi, it sometimes feels a bit sluggish at startup or with huge installations - this is due to the fact that openHAB had never been specifically optimized for embedded systems and thus uses libraries such as Xtext, which are not meant to be used in constrained environments. In consequence, we will try to provide a minimal openHAB runtime that will work with alternatives or strategies such as pre-compilation etc.

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Great thread. Thanks!

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I really like all the smart led bulbs that are out. I have a couple of ilumi first gen bulbs and will get some more when their second gen. ones are released. ilumi The World's Smartest LED Smartbulb with Bluetooth LE there is nice app for your smart phone also.

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tech1043 View Post
I really like all the smart led bulbs that are out. I have a couple of ilumi first gen bulbs and will get some more when their second gen. ones are released. ilumi The World's Smartest LED Smartbulb with Bluetooth LE there is nice app for your smart phone also.

Yeah the smart bulbs are the easiest way to implement automation. Other methods require modifying the switch in the wall, or outlets/receptacles in the wall.

I'm still a ways off with the new construction in my home, so I am hoping the extra time will see continued improvement in the receptacles.

Some of them already offer load monitoring for wall outlets, so you can see the load per socket. I'd also like to have some of them with USB type C connectors built-in for easy charging without a brick/adapter. These are available today, but only with older USB connectors. Type-C is the future.

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We installed a Control4 system for about 5 years now and are very happy with it. We have all our entertainment equipment (8 TVs, 2 DVRs, Blue Ray, 2 Apple TVs, XBox, Wii, Amps & Digital Music Player), Speakers in every room, most of our lights inside and outside, our security system, two door bells, some external camera's, in home ethernet network and internet connections, and our wifi all connected in. You can also have automated door locks, garage doors, shutters and much more but we didn't do that. It can be controlled by their remotes, their tablets/touchscreens, but also any computer, laptop and phone with their app on it. I gotta say its really nice to be sitting on the couch watching TV and to grab you iphone and switch on/off anything in the house in seconds.

It's quiet clever how it works. For example unlike a conventional light switch, the light switches are actually two separate components. The first is the button/switch that you press and the second is the electrical connection that makes and breaks the circuit. While they are contained in the same fixture they work separately. So when you press the switch, it actually sends a message to the control box saying 'somebody just pressed this switch'. The control box then processes that information and responds. So in this example the control box knows when 'somebody presses this switch' we need to switch the light on, so it sends a message back to the light switch, telling it to complete the electrical circuit so that the light comes on. All pretty obvious but the beauty is that you can program anything you want. Some of our light switches when 'double tapped' switch on different sets of lights than when single tapped. In every room with a TV there is a light/dimmer switch that when held up (or down) increases the volume on the TV, and if tapped three times switchs the TV on (or off). We have keypad's in certain rooms where a single touch to a button can perform multiple functions. For example one of the buttons on the keypad in my bedroom is our 'good night button'. When you press that button, it switches off all the TVs and speakers, switches of all the lights and activates the alarm. You probably laughed when read above that our door bells are on the system. That's actually a very nice feature because you can program which rooms hear the door bell/get the audible alert. You can also have it so that TVs automatically pause and switch to a camera view of the door but we didn't do that.

Control4 is a dealer installed system rather than a DIY system. The good thing about that is that it's more reliable, the downside is that it's more expensive. The other downside, and the one thing I don't like, is that your dealer and not you has control of the system. I can not change anything, I have to get my dealer to log on and make the changes for me. Thankfully if its nothing major my dealer considers it maintenance and doesn't charge me, but adding a new component, buying a new TV etc, does involve some programming.

Cost is not surprisingly dependent upon what and how much you want to automate. The most expensive component in my system was not the automation devices themselves but an 8x8 HDMI Matrix Switch (8 inputs, 8 Ethernet outputs, with 8 Ethernet/HDMI converters for the TV end, allowing you to watch any input on any devicem and most importantly all at the same time) to do all the video switching. Unfortunately that component has had issues now on two separate occasions. Not only do I need the dealer to come out to trouble shoot it, but while there's a problem none of the TV's work in the entire house and there's no jury rigging the system.

Some pictures...

(one of those Cisco box's is a Cisco RV016 Multi-WAN VPN Router which allows me to have multiple internet connections and not lose my trading systems if one of the connections goes down. The others are just Ethernet switches. There's also a Cisco wireless router in another room that is hard wired back to here.)




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Awesome!

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@SMCJB thanks for sharing.

Do you use any proximity type devices, like GPS or wi-fi location, to do something like automatically turn on the lights as you get home?

Can you go into a little more detail on the security system? I'm having difficulty trying to plan a proper security system. I need lots of motion detectors, but also need them to not be set off by my dogs which is a problem. I don't plan on them inside the house, but outside and with clear line of sight of possible entry areas.

The problem with cameras, for me, is that the area is so large I don't think it's likely I can cover all of it. And second, I would need so many cameras to have useful resolution, it would be ridiculous. So the plan is some cameras along the main entry road and front gate, but motion sensors inside the property walls to detect anyone trying to come over the wall.

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Smartthings hub overview



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SmartThings in house real world demo



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https://community.smartthings.com/t/laser-trip-sensor/6742/4

This sounds reassuring for my situation


JOHN O
I have these lasers around my yard for the past 8 years, made by optex. Acts as an invisible fence. They used to be hooked to my alarm panel. They are fantastic! I never get false alarms due to fog, high winds, falling leaves or heavy rain. My yard is 150 foot by 220 foot. I recently connected them to Remotec Z-Wave ZFM-80 - 15 Amp Dry Contact Module. During the day Sonos tells me which zone goes off and I get a text. Really nice driveway alert. At night when I don't expect deliveries or meter readers I have Sonos dog bark and the appropriate light turn on outside.

I think laser triggered sensors are better than motion alarms for certain key areas in my situation.

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Sticking this here for safekeeping

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001LFPB0M/ref=cm_sw_su_dp

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Kodi integration with Alexa

https://www.makermusings.com/2015/08/22/home-automation-with-amazon-echo-apps-part-2/

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Finally received my container with the goodies on it, just in time for Christmas.

First thing I did was setup Amazon Echo (Alexa) as that was painless, took 5 minutes tops. They did a great job on this device.

I plan to setup the Phillips Hue lights next, since that is painless as well.

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@Blash any ideas how I can create an IFTTT rule so that when I wake up on the 1st, Alexa reminds me to xyz? I was hoping IFTTT could detect when I'm up by looking at my cell phone activity (or screen on after xx am)

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@Blash I'm trying to figure out how to save some podcasts or stations from tunein to a favorites or a playlist, for example CNBC fast money and Bloomberg radio.

Right now I have to either memorize the exact name or use the app to browse to it

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The Phillips lights were a breeze to setup. And now, Alexa turn off the bedroom lights. Alexa, turn the bedroom lights to 50%...

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  #42 (permalink)
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Big Mike View Post
The Phillips lights were a breeze to setup. And now, Alexa turn off the bedroom lights. Alexa, turn the bedroom lights to 50%...

Sent from my phone

I hate having an Australian accent, all the cool stuff you American's can use cannot make out what I'm saying, ever.

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@Blash any ideas how I can create an IFTTT rule so that when I wake up on the 1st, Alexa reminds me to xyz? I was hoping IFTTT could detect when I'm up by looking at my cell phone activity (or screen on after xx am)

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I use the iPhone Calendar app to remind me of things similar which is linked to my Google Calendar and Alexa reads from my Google Calendar. So my iPhone alerts me of my events/appt and we ask "Alexa what's on the Calendar?"
Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
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PeakGrowth View Post
I hate having an Australian accent, all the cool stuff you American's can use cannot make out what I'm saying, ever.


An Australian accent Rocks bro! Australia Rocks! We have friends that about 4.5 years ago just up and moved their family to just outside Sydney chat with them on Viber all the time. There is voice training and that can be done with Amazon Echo for example so don't hesitate if you are interested.
Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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@Blash I'm trying to figure out how to save some podcasts or stations from tunein to a favorites or a playlist, for example CNBC fast money and Bloomberg radio.

Right now I have to either memorize the exact name or use the app to browse to it

Sent from my phone


I use the Amazon Music app on this iPhone so Alexa can play from what is in my Amazon Music after asking no problem. Not exactly sure regarding station just yet.
Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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This may come in handy for building Alexa Skills, something I plan to do.

Alexa Skills Kit Tutorial by anythings.co

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Very awesome for Alexa controlling infrared remotes

https://www.reddit.com/r/amazonecho/comments/3yockn/controlling_my_roomba_and_tv_and_any_other/

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New from "Alexa" for 2016.......



Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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This just in......



Amazon Echo just keeps getting better and better IMHO.....now if I can just call it J.A.R.V.I.S!!!

Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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  #50 (permalink)
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This just in......



Amazon Echo just keeps getting better and better IMHO.....now if I can just call it J.A.R.V.I.S!!!

Ron


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makes me laugh... in dutch you could call " een pintje astublieft ... "
wich means a beer please

makes me laugh, i'm thinking about this .. 'walking fridge... publicity of heineken' of many years ago...






the original was more impressive...



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Home automation from your new Ford with Amazom Echo....


Ron

...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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  #52 (permalink)
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Alexa...pls get my bagels with Dark coffee...from the bagel shop is that coming soon


ummm...pls make that light cream cheese pls

Ron dont get mad. Not messin with yr thread. Just letting some steam out....left some few good pts on the table today.

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The NYTimes for one are not Alexa fans...

Siri, Alexa and Other Virtual Assistants Put to the Test

In the end, none of the voice assistants earned a report card that would make a strict parent proud. Here’s how they stacked up in terms of grade-point averages out of 4.0.

• Google’s Google — 3.1

• Apple’s Siri — 2.9

• Microsoft’s Cortana — 2.3

• Amazon’s Alexa — 1.7


More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/technology/personaltech/siri-alexa-and-other-virtual-assistants-put-to-the-test.html

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SMCJB View Post
The NYTimes for one are not Alexa fans...

Siri, Alexa and Other Virtual Assistants Put to the Test

In the end, none of the voice assistants earned a report card that would make a strict parent proud. Here’s how they stacked up in terms of grade-point averages out of 4.0.

• Google’s Google — 3.1

• Apple’s Siri — 2.9

• Microsoft’s Cortana — 2.3

• Amazon’s Alexa — 1.7


More...

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/28/technology/personaltech/siri-alexa-and-other-virtual-assistants-put-to-the-test.html

Dumber wins....It's an inverse relationship....lol



Ron

...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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SMCJB View Post



• Google’s Google — 3.1



• Apple’s Siri — 2.9



• Microsoft’s Cortana — 2.3



• Amazon’s Alexa — 1.7


Seriously I use all 4 of the above. All 4 of us in our family use Siri on our Apple devices. We use Amazon Echo (we have 2) most just because it's right in the kitchen which can be used from anywhere on the first floor save the office and pantry and in the master bath. One of its greatest strengths is the massive library of music availability by simply asking, spelling for the 8 and 9 yr old and us, wiki articles, the weather and turning on the lights. I use Google and Cortana in the office at my desk have the least experience with Cortana but so far it's turning out to be the hardest to use for me.

Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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Newish Alexa skill.....


Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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Some this evenings Alexa interactions.....




Getting a real nice variety....lol.... psychedelic rock, the greatest crooner, death metal, classical and making meso soup

Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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This just in regarding Amazon Echo....and... who..... why Mr Alec Bladwin, of course........

NEW THIS WEEK: Super Bowl Party Prep .....Alec Baldwin is planning an epic Super Bowl party,



Ron

...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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New skills for Amazon Echo.......



Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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New from Amazon.......



Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/04/technology/personaltech/amazon-to-add-two-alexa-voice-controlled-devices.html

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he Echo From Amazon Brims With Groundbreaking Promise

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/10/technology/the-echo-from-amazon-brims-with-groundbreaking-promise.html

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New for Amazon Echo.....


Ron


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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I need/want to do something with z-wave and my doorbell. Anyone have ideas thoughts something they are doing like this or similar please?

Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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Legendary Market Wizard
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Blash View Post
I need/want to do something with z-wave and my doorbell. Anyone have ideas thoughts something they are doing like this or similar please?

My doorbells are actually hard wired back to the system (which is no help sorry). But I will say we really really like having the doorbells on the system. Once on the system they have access to the audio switch and then you can program what rooms get the notification etc etc. You can also program your TVs to switch to the camera if you have them. Very helpful if you are somewhere in the house (or garden) and wouldn't hear a traditional doorbell.

On a similar but slightly different tangent saw commercials for ring.com recently for the first time.

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SMCJB View Post
My doorbells are actually hard wired back to the system (which is no help sorry). But I will say we really really like having the doorbells on the system. Once on the system they have access to the audio switch and then you can program what rooms get the notification etc etc. You can also program your TVs to switch to the camera if you have them. Very helpful if you are somewhere in the house (or garden) and wouldn't hear a traditional doorbell.



On a similar but slightly different tangent saw commercials for ring.com recently for the first time.


Thanks so much for the info sounds cool!

I checked out SkyBell, Aeon Labs and Ring the night before I posted wondering what others are doing. So far to me they all seems cheapo. I do not want just something double sided taped or screwed to my house z-wave or not.

Here is what my current doorbell is like:


I have yet to pull off the front plate, but will soon, and see how much room there is behind it. My current thought is to stick a motion sensing z-wave camera with two way audio in there if I can and just front get the whole doorbell idea all together. Maybe something like this [URL][D-Link POE Business Outdoor HD Day/Night Network Surveillance Camera with mydlink-Enabled (DCS-2310L) https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0092KZA0E/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awd_N2W6wbHK1GHK6/URL]
For example UPS never even knocks much less rings the bell but this way any motion will set it off. Ideas????

Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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Alexa wants you to workout.....and let you know how you are doing.....



Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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Alexa's new ability.....


I need to understand this more. I have read of some hard to figure out problems with these thermostats so have held off for the time being.

I recently read 87% of home buyers find home automation very desirable so it's a good edge when placing your home for sale.

Ron


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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New Alexa ability.....



Ron


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...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
The steed of this Valley is pain; and if there be no pain this journey will never end.
Buy Low And Sell High (read left to right or right to left....lol)
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I finally had a few minutes...

I bought Samsung SmartThings v2 hub on Amazon a few months ago and brought it from the States, along with five or six GE smart in-wall switches, some motion sensors, a front entry lock, and other stuff.

This week I had a few minutes and installed the switches in the wall.

First impressions, I really like SmartThings. Setup was painless using my phone. Discovered the first few switches easily, everything worked.

Second impressions -- range can be an issue inside a two-floor house with rebar/concrete (as is popular here, but rarely popular in the States).

I knew range would be an issue before I bought the stuff. Z-wave uses a 900mhz protocol which is generally better at range than 2.4ghz, but slower. Which is fine for this type of device. Z-wave is a mesh network, so that each device has the capability to relay commands to its neighbors in a mesh configuration.

This means that the hub itself doesn't need direct communication to ever device on the network, so long as there is a path to follow it can communicate by relay.

The first position I placed the hub worked fine for upstairs devices, but couldn't reliably communicate with the downstairs switches. I installed switches at the top of the staircase and the bottom, so it literally is as close as I could make two of the relay devices in the stairwell, but they don't seem to be able to communicate with each other even though they are about 5 meters apart diagonally (through concrete and rebar).

One obvious solution would be to have a hub upstairs, and one downstairs. And yes, that would allow devices to connect to a 'local' hub. But the issue is with issuing smart commands, for example a downstairs motion sensor couldn't trigger any upstairs lights if they are on different hubs.

I am still going to try and move the hub around and see if I can make it work. Unfortunately, not much time right now so may be a while... and second, this rent house (and all houses here for the most part) have the bare minimum electrical wall outlets. So options are extremely limited on where I can position the hub. Many rooms don't have power on three out of four walls for example, so it's amazingly annoying.

Will update later... but I definitely give a thumbs up so far if you are in a situation where there is no rebar involved.

Mike

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Went all out and decided to spend a few more minutes on this...

Moved the hub downstairs away from other wifi and phones etc, now everything works perfectly.

Love this thing for its simplicity yet capability.

I get an alert on my phone now whenever someone comes or goes in the front door too, no more late housekeeper...

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Big Mike View Post
Went all out and decided to spend a few more minutes on this...

Moved the hub downstairs away from other wifi and phones etc, now everything works perfectly.

Love this thing for its simplicity yet capability.

I get an alert on my phone now whenever someone comes or goes in the front door too, no more late housekeeper...

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Yeah I like my SmartThings hub as well for lights and soon front door bell/camera and garage doors.
@Big Mike, Do you use it with Alexa too?

Ron


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Yeah I like my SmartThings hub as well for lights and soon front door bell/camera and garage doors.
@Big Mike, Do you use it with Alexa too?

Ron


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Yes I am using Alexa. But my wife doesn't like talking to her.

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This as piqued my curiosity.

How much does this type of stuff cost? I know it varies depending on an assortment of factors, but roughly, how much? Give me an estimate

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This as piqued my curiosity.



How much does this type of stuff cost? I know it varies depending on an assortment of factors, but roughly, how much? Give me an estimate



It's pretty cheap. Inexpensive.

Here are a few items.....

https://Samsung%20SmartThings%20F-HUB-US-2%20Hub%20-%20White%20www.amazon.com/dp/B010NZV0GE/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_XMycyb0HHKAKS

https://Amazon%20Echo%20-%20Black%20www.amazon.com/dp/B00X4WHP5E/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_RPycybG6TQM3Q

https://All-New%20Echo%20Dot%20%20-%20Black%20www.amazon.com/dp/B01DFKC2SO/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_BQycyb51BT5DD

https://GE%20Z-Wave%20Wireless%20Lighting%20Control%20On/Off%20Switch,%20In-Wall,%2012722%20www.amazon.com/dp/B0035YRCR2/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_yRycybEG73GZD

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This as piqued my curiosity.

How much does this type of stuff cost? I know it varies depending on an assortment of factors, but roughly, how much? Give me an estimate

$100 for the hub and $35 for each wall switch for lights, outlets, motion sensors... $200 for front door lock.

Search Z-Wave on Amazon.

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My daughter gave me an Alexa for Christmas and 2 wink relays and wemo switches. Got all installed and synced with my nest. Stuff is pretty cool.


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Installing my second wave of z-wave "stuff" tomorrow. Waiting on the SmartThings 2nd gen hub from Amazon which comes tomorrow. Already received 3 door sensors (these are super cool and the only ones I would even consider), 3 sensors for motion, light, temperature and humidity, a siren (also cool when used with a Smartapps device handler) and 2 z-wave garage openers. These openers I'm excited I found because I priced out buying the relays and wireless components separately about a year ago and what I found totaled $185/door. With these kits it was $150.00 for both.

Stay tuned......

Ron

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Amazon delivered the 2nd gen SmartThings hub a day early so today, an actual Amazon truck. So here's what I will be working on/installing tomorrow....



Ron


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Some issue with Comcast in my area has my internet in and out last night and this morning. Just what I don't want when setting up more Z-wave stuff....lol... I will want til tomorrow.

Ron

...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
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Some issue with Comcast in my area has my internet in and out last night and this morning. Just what I don't want when setting up more Z-wave stuff....lol... I will want til tomorrow.

Dual WAN routers...
Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X @ Amazon

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Dual WAN routers...
Ubiquiti EdgeRouter X @ Amazon

This is the one I'm using currently ASUS RT-AC88U Wireless-AC3100 Dual Band Gigabit Router, AiProtection with Trend Micro for Complete Network Security seems to do the job. I'm open to anything... thank you. Are you using the one you posted please?



Ron

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Dual WAN - ie multiple internet providers

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Dual WAN - ie multiple internet providers

Wish I could.......

Comcast is the only providers in my area. Satellite is not reliable we get some good weather here in Chicagoland.

I just checked again with https://www.cablemover.com/ and Comcast is still the only choice.

Ron

...My calamity is My providence, outwardly it is fire and vengeance, but inwardly it is light and mercy...
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  #85 (permalink)
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Comcast is pretty good most of the time, but I run through periods where 2-3 times a day it appears to drop the signal for about 10 seconds. Unfortunately this causes everything with a heartbeat to think it's disconnected. I've been onto comcast about it dozens of times over the years but unless you get somebody who really knows what they are talking about your wasting your time. Their customer service has severly detiorated now that you can only talk to people who only follow sciprts. Then as suddenly as the problem started, it goes all perfect again. I have Comcast & Uverse in the house, unfortunately a 10-15 second break like that, isn't enough for the dual WAN to switch over.

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I use peplink dual WAN / 4G LTE. I have comcast + Tmobile 4G Lte for backup. if you are a Tmobile mobile customer, the data line is practically free.

https://www.amazon.com/Peplink-Balance-20-Dual-WAN-Router/dp/B0042210U6

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