One of the primary goals when I started Quadomated was to document the building of a “passive solar smart automated home.” Throughout this journey I showed bits and pieces of the pre-wiring, wrote posts/took pictures of the individual subsystems, and in a couple places even showed everything interfacing together. Looking back over my previous posts I realize that a lot has been left out, and if someone really wanted to replicate all the awesomeness that’s been accomplished it would really be quite challenging. In this post I’d like to start fixing this by taking a step back to provide a big picture overview of my home automation system and then create a roadmap of subsequent posts where I’ll really ramp up the technical detail and tell you everything you need to know to re-create your own Quadomated.
So an overview… What does my home automation system do?
The home automation systems seamlessly integrates many features of the home to provide increased accessibility, comfort, entertainment, and energy efficiency by anticipating the my needs and inconspicuously responding to them in a way that makes life easier.
Yeah, I know, that’s extremely vague and nondescript, but for good reason. My home automation system can more or less do anything. It is based around an expandable, nonproprietary, do-it-yourself friendly framework that can be easily extended to interface with a huge variety of different electrical subsystems and components. For now my home automation system monitors the security of my windows / doors / motion sensors, allows key fob access to the front door, actuates electronic door strikes, controls lighting / electric shades / electric windows, distributes and controls anything that interfaces with infrared, serves lossless high definition video/audio throughout the house, and probably a bunch of other stuff… But those are the big ones. All of this can be accessed and controlled using touchscreens that I can access using my computer and android cell phone, and will hopefully be interfaced to my voice recognition system in the near future. Like I said, this is all expandable / nonproprietary / do-it-yourself friendly stuff so the sky really is the limit.
And… What exactly does all this home automation magic?
The backbone of my home automation system is a combination of an awesome home automation / security panel called an HAI Omnipro II and a designed by me / built by my buddy Andrew home automation and media distribution server. All wiring is home run back to a centralized location where the automation panel and server can connect to the spiderweb of connections to interface with and control all the various different electronic sensors and subsystems. There is really a lot of different wiring and stuff going on in this centralized media room, and I’m finding it a bit challenging to provide a brief overview without overwhelming with details, but just know a bunch of different stuff comes back into one place and that I’ll dig into the details of all this stuff as I discusse the various subsystems in later posts.
Digging into the details!
Okay, so below you’ll see a roadmap of the in-depth posts I’m planning to write over the coming weeks. To begin with this will just be a list of posts, but as I write the posts it’ll turn into a clickable index with hyperlinks pointing to the specific content. I hope that when I’m done this will provide a somewhat concise directory of all the home automation stuff that has gone into Quadomated. Please look forward to the home automation posts below, and when they turn green and become underlined click to read all the techie details.
- Home Automation Controller – HAI OmniPro II
- Home Automation / Media Server – Design and Components
- Home Automation & Touchscreen Design Software – CQC
- Home Automation – Prewiring Considerations
- Home Automation – Wire Naming Conventions
- Security Sensors – Window and Door Contact Sensors
- Automated Lighting – Universal Powerline Bus (UPB) Lighting
- Motion Sensors – SensorSwitch Occupancy Sensors
- Door Access Control – HAI Access Control Device and Electronic Door Strikes
- Integrating Somfy ILT Electric Shade with HAI OmniPro
- Anderson Casement Window – 24 VDC Electric Motor Automation
- Garage Door Operator Automation – Using Relays to Operate the Wireless Remote
- Infrared Distribution – Global Cache GC-100 Hardware Installation and Wiring
- Do-It-Yourself Tempurpedic Ergo Adjustable Bed Automation
- Projector Control – Controlling Epson PowerLite Cinema 6010 with RS-232
- Home Theater – Overview/Design Considerations
- Home Theater – Audio/Video Equipment
I’m sure there will be more items to dig into as I get writing, and please comment if there’s anything you’d like to see me pay special attention. As I think of more things to write about I’ll update this list and try to keep this post as the one place to start for all this home automation awesomeness.
This just makes it sound too easy Mike 😉
Oh come on buddy… you’re the one doing all the magic! Mr. Andrew thank you for all the help with my automation stuff over what looks to be almost 2 years. Been awesome forming a tight friendship through this journey!
Look forward to you adding the articles, esp. the Global Cache with HAI Omni Pro integration.
I recommend you look into unRAID for your digital media storage and PLEX for you HTPC’s.
How is the CQC software with HAI, integrating for you?
I am in the market for software to extend my automation but it must work well and fast communication with a HAI Omni Pro II
I’ll have to take some pictures of my Global Cache and IR emitters. The GC-100 doesn’t interface with the OmniPro directly, but by using CQC I can interface to both separately and coordinate events from there.
I’ll have to check out unRAID and get my media stuff stored in a way that is a little more robust/redundant. Right now it’s just thrown on a couple of hard drives with the important stuff backed up, but definitely gives me plenty of reason to be nervous thinking about all the time/energy I’ve spent getting stuff on there. I visually like the look of Plex, but at the current moment it’s a no go with the cable card requirement… If only I could get the rest of the family to drop the cable we’d save a bunch of money and could move over to a different software interface.
CQC and the HAI are integrating together marvelously, although I really need to take a week and step away from my other projects and really focus on getting my touchscreens together so that everything would be more usable. If you’re really interested in CQC, I’d say it’s probably the best reasonably priced do-it-yourself option out there. I’m very impressed with the Owner/Developer Dean and feel like it meets all my needs.
“If only I could get the rest of the family to drop the cable we’d save a bunch of money and could move over to a different software interface.”
I know how that feels, I pay for Verizon Fios TV solely for my 4 yr old daughter. Nick JR, Sprout, etc.. 🙂
One day this will all go on demand and all this broadcasting stuff will go away. I can even stand commercials, with the little time I have in the evening or when I’m sick, I through on Plex and watch what I want, when I want, commercial free 🙂
Agreed! Love the commercial free viewing. I do it through Media Browser, but same idea, now it’s so annoying to watch regular broadcast TV where 20 minutes of every hour are worthless commercials!
Starting to get closer about cutting the cable… The $100+ per month is really starting to add up!