Okay folks… it’s now 7:46 PM. Let’s see how much I can get written before I head into the next room to watch SURVIVOR.
Automation! This was a huge day for me! There’s no way any of you could realize this, but over the last 6-8 weeks I put my automation design and order plans on hold because I was approached by a local individual who had heard about the blog, worked in the industry, and had a few friends that might be able to make something happen. Well I crossed my fingers that some help might pan out from this, but after waiting a few months and getting very nervous about the timing of everything (especially as I saw the walls go up) I decided to take matters into my own hands and made a huge automation order this morning.
This order would be called Automation System Order Phase 2. Phase 1 happened way back in May of this year when I purchased the main automation controller with an alphaOne grant. This was definitely the most researched item in the house, and after comparing the specifications and capabilities of two very comparable do it yourself home automation systems I decided on the HAI Omnipro II controller over the Elk M1 Gold. Both systems have their own very strong side of followers (the elk with possibly even a larger/more active online community) but in the end it was HAI’s integration across a large assortment of third party systems and their very clean iPhone/Android applications that sold me on their system. So far from what I continue to research it looks like I won’t be disappointed.
In the next few days with the help of my good buddy Craig I’ll be setting up this controller on my work desk to start testing out each individual subsystem in a controlled environment. This along with the hastening construction was why it was time for me to act now for my next home automation phase. I waited an awfully long time, and what a huge relief it is to stop waiting for others and take matters into my own hands.
TIME FOR SURVIVOR!
Okay… okay, 60 minutes later and I’m back, and what a lame episode!
Onto Automation System Phase 2
I spent a bunch of time on the phone with my good buddy Paul McIntire (have only talked to him on the phone, but man does he seem like one good dude) from Automated Outlet yesterday afternoon and this morning. What I decided to order was everything that the contractors needed right now to get into the bare walls, and a sample of each thing I’ll be using in the future to coordinate with the electrician and set up in the test bay. What I ordered basically falls under 5 categories.
- HAI Omni Console with Built in Speaker/Microphone: So that users can arm/disarm the security and control system. I’ve already got one of these for the front door, now I’ve got one for when people enter through the garage.
- HAI Omnipro II Expansion Enclosure: Will give me a second, remote enclosure to mount closer to all the inputs/outputs near the east side of the house. The primary controller is in the media room near the west side of the house. By using this expansion enclosure I will save significantly on the length of wire needed to hook up all the security zones, run the electric door strikes, automate garage door openers, etc..
- HAI Access Control Reader: Will allow homeowners to enter the main entrance by swiping a key card or miniature key tag. This will be extremely useful to give home health care aides and other people that I’d like to monitor and control access to the house.
- 12VDC Electric Door Strikes: Three of these were ordered to allow the front, garage, and rear swinging door locks be controllable from the HAI automation system. This will allow me the capability to unlock the door and let people in while I’m still in bed or for users like my mom/dad to simply unlock the front door by pushing a button on their keychain just like you would to unlock the doors to your vehicle.
- Three 42″ Leviton Series 420 Structured Media Cabinets: To be installed in the media room, these cabinets will contain the guts of my automation system. This is where I’ll install the Omnipro II controller, the security inputs, SOMFY ILT system to control the solar shades, relays for the window operators, network/telephone patch panels and switches, coax distribution, etc.
- Fatcat Technologies Stealth Series 44U 19″ Rack: This is where I’ll locate all my audio/video equipment. All amplifiers, set-top boxes, blu-ray players, media extenders, my computers… basically everything electronic will be housed here. This will provide centralized audio/video distribution and keep all the warm/noisy components away from where I’m working/playing.
- HAI Omnistat Thermostat: Purchased 2 more of these bringing me to a total of 3 thermostats that I can control with the automation system, my web browser, and portable device. This will allow me to have full temperature control of my area of the house, the main portion of the house, and the porch.
- Extended Range Indoor/Outdoor Temperature & Humidity Sensor: Will give me information about the outside temperature/humidity so that I can display this information on the TV, touchscreens, cell phones and use this within the automation system for predictive heat/cool energy control.
- 1 each of the Dimming, Relay, and Auxillary Switches: Wanted a sample of each type of switch for a number of reasons. First so that I could check out the build quality and make sure they’re something I like. If I do, second so that I can show these to the electrician and make sure he matches the color/style. And, third so that I can setup a few of these on my testbed to get a handle on programming them and make sure they work the way they ought to.
Looking for all your input on what you, the readers of this blog, would like to see as I delve into the more technical/automation side of this project. Today, I more or less skimmed across the top of the surface, and if that is what works best for the majority of my audience that’s how I’ll write it. If many of you are more interested in seeing me dig deeper listing specifications, manufacturers pictures, and really detailing my thinking behind each decision and why I’ve chosen and gone the route that I did, well I can do that too.
Let me know what you’d like to see!