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  • HS users in OZ ?

    Hi ALL

    Are there any HS users besides PSAMPSON and myself playing with HS in OZ ? I'd like to understand how people have adapted more US centric gear to their Australian installations.

    Phil has developed a module to communicate with an ethernet based 24 port I/O card that we are both using however I'm seriously considering Key FOBs, hawkeyes etc that are on US based FREQs as the Australian prices are simply ridiculous..... MS13A Hawkeyes from the US are $10AUS, the EU or W type units sell for $70AUS.....go figure, that HAS to be cripling the deployment of Automation in Australia !!!

    Any thoughts ?

    Pete
    HS 2.2.0.11

  • #2
    Hi Pete

    I'm in OZ also.....maybe if there are enough of us we could save on some postage costs by a bulk order...just an idea

    Cheers

    Andy

    Comment


    • #3
      You haven't seen my avatar around the board? (Which another aussie has started using as well, but that's ok... Makes us aussies stand out!)

      Australian prices are majorly expensive, but it's really simple why the prices are so high. The market size. Australia and Europe is the same as far as home automation equipment goes. We're both 240Volts/50Hertz and use 433Mhz for Wireless equipment. Almost everything EON3 (Smarthome now) gets is from Europe (Marmitek) or Eaton/Holec (for the micromodules).
      So it's simply not as big a market as the US. If EON3 don't make a bit of money per sale, they are just not going to stay in business, as they can't afford the small margins that X10 have. As it is, EON3 have had a rough time. Started a few years ago, purchased by Skynet Global (that's where the W Home name came from), now Skynet global have sold them off and it's back to Frans who started EON3 to begin with. The main tech from EON3 (Darren) is now a distributor (http://www.envioustechnology.com.au/). Darren's a good guy, but he is restricted somewhat by the prices Smarthome charge.

      Wireless devices are the most common issue as the price difference is just huge especially considering EON3/Smarthome and just put their prices up.
      There is one advantage of the Europe/Australia/433Mhz wireless devices and that is longer range due to higher output. The US devices are low power, so you don't get the distance. I ordered a few SS13 (wireless wall switches) from the US. The range on them is TERRIBLE. They are almost useless. The EON3 version (at about 5 times the price) has excellent range. On the other hand, I have a heap of DS10A from the US which actually have excellent range, so device to device it's different.

      I've set myself up for the best of both worlds. I got myself an RFXCom (http://www.rfxcom.com) with both a Eruo and US receiver in it. This means I can use both 433mhz (Europe/Oz) and 310mhz (US) devices at the same time without any problems. The RXFCom isn't cheap, but it saves you heaps by allowing you to use the US devices and the support from Bert at rfxcom is excellent.

      The bottom line is shop around outside of OZ, but be aware of the wireless frequency difference, the power difference (no us X10 modules can be used here, even the 240V US modules as they are 60 Hertz, not 50, so the timings all out) etc.

      A good example that I use when talking about this stuff is an ADI Ocelot IR Controller.
      Smarthome: $467.50 I can get an Ocelot for about $230 and that includes shipping from the US. Another example is a HAI Omni system. There is (was? i think he stopped) a distributor for HAI in Australia. I got him to quote an Omni install. The price was way way up there. I ended up getting everything from the US and about %40 of the cost he was going to change, got the top of the range Omni controller (he quoted the mid range controller) and did most of the install myself (paid a local company to install the PIRs all over the place as I hate stuffing around in the roof if I can get out of it!). The Omni can be configured for 50 or 60 Hertz so power wasn't a problem apart from the fact I had to get an Australian power supply that output the correct 24Volt AC voltage/amps (quick trip to Dick Smith).
      One other thing, the Ocelot can be connected to an X10 controller (XM10), but the ocelot needs to be an "international" version. The PIC chip in it needs to be a 50 Hertz chip not the normal 60 Hertz US chip. It'll work perfectly well as an IR controller connected to homeseer (that's what I use) but you need the 50 Hertz chip for Australia and X10. I thought I'd add this bit in just to re-enfource how careful you have to be with US stuff as sometimes it's more than just power requirements.

      Ok.. There's my little rant about Home Automation prices. I'll stop now..

      I don't think Home Automation will ever take off in Australia as the market is just so small and everything is so expensive. By the time I have micromodules behind every wall switch in the house, it probably would have been cheaper to just rewire the house for CBUS and write a plugin for Homeseer for it. If I ever move I'll probably go CBUS for lighting and use X10 for plugin in modules and that sort of stuff.

      As for bulk orders, X10 for example, don't ship outside of the US, but I have a friend in the US that kindly forwards packages on for me if I need. So I can help out with shipping bulk items from X10 if you want. Also, a lot of US stuff can be found on ebay (that's where I got my SS13's from).

      Regards,

      Ross.

      Comment


      • #4
        I have been using www.s10.cn to buy some of my x10 modules.

        A while back eon3 had some small wall switch modules and then they stopped selling them. I tracked them down to shanghai from the url at the bottom of the instructions.

        Postage is not cheap though but if you buy enough they are cheaper than eon3 (smarthome).

        All of this stuff is 240v 50hz so works here in Aust.

        Comment


        • #5
          One word of caution, don't confuse the S10 modules for the DAIX10 and SAIX10 modules that eon3 sell now, they are totally different. For starters the S10 modules don't have local dim control (the DAIX10 modules do). The build quality is a lot different too. The DAIX10/SAIX10 modules are made by Xanura (actually it's Holec/Eaton) but they are the exact same modules that used to be made by ACT (ACT RD234 = DAIX10, ACT RB224 = SAIX10). I know for a fact EON3 stopped selling the S10 modules as they had too many faulty returns. But Kevin seems to be giving good support for them on this board (obivously if you buy them from him) and they are a lot cheaper.

          Comment


          • #6
            Hi Guys, thanks for posting. I'm glad there are a few HS'ers in Australia. I was solely going down the path of the ELM-M1 when I attended the last security convention at Darling Harbour as my old Sollution 16 panel just needed an update. Being in to Amateur Radio, I just wanted to play with technology and after seeing the ELK, I had to have one.

            I came across PSAMPSON who strangely enough works for the same company I do and after checking out his own home installation, i thought there is more to Automation/Security than I first thought. I did some research and Phil convinced me to pay for HS and give it a go. On the flip side, I wanted to integrate a heap of Digital I/O to the system that the ELK could do at a cheaper cost than I could find ANYTHING for HS....So after a bot of research, I convinced Phil to write a module for this little device . Its a 24 bit ethernet device that you can plug in relay and inpout boards and they are around $150AUS + shipping. That in my view is CHEAP..

            So I have 4 of these units around the house, controlling the fountain in the yard, driving 95% of the lights, the outdoor lighting out the back and the whole pool/spa system. I still need to get some X10 stuff because the house is 2 story, I just cant get to some wiring. If your interested in these units and getting them to go under HS, let me know and I'll pass it onto Phil. He will soon be releasing a BETA plugin and at the pricepoint of the boards, I think it will work out great .

            So anyway, I've got the ELK-M1 gold on the family room floor talking to HS and now my Asterisk VOIP system. I picked up a cheap amp from Jaycar and will be mounting the speakers into the ceiling shortly to kickoff the house announcements, most important "kids take out the rubbish" :-)

            Only yesterday I purchased 6 hawkeye units from a guy on E-Bay including shipping for $70AUS. I'm going to get a US W800AF from Automated outlet shortly. Sorry I would love to support the AUS dealers but when you buy 1 Hawkeye from EON3 for $70AUS, I can get 6 300mhz units for $70AUS at my door. Ultimately will the ACMA care ? The ACMA's mantra is "No interference". being a Hamraido Operator, I've worked with the ACMA to locate cordless phones operating on our repeater frequency and know what its like to get this interference. The Hawkeye Units are such low power it wont get past the perimiter of my land.

            I've got some good friends in the US and can got a lot shipped either via them or make free VOIP calls and have shipped direct. People like Automated outlet are great as they use the US Postal Service and not UPS/FEDEX ! WHen I bought the HS PCI modem card, I got slugged $80US shipping..that hurt !

            Anyway, I'm looking forward to sharing more info and ideas. I'm only 6 months into this and have already layed 1k of power/cat5 cable around the house and there is MORE to come :-)

            Cheers..Pete
            HS 2.2.0.11

            Comment


            • #7
              Where in OZ do you live Pete?

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by rirvine
                Where in OZ do you live Pete?
                I live out near Penrith, NSW.....Now that wouldn't be "Rod" would it, in Canberra ?
                HS 2.2.0.11

                Comment


                • #9
                  No... Ross ..Melbourne..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rirvine
                    No... Ross ..Melbourne..
                    Ross, no problems....

                    Read your post above in more detail and it sounds like you've been doing this for a while. I decided to go down the path of the ELK as the distributors in AUS are good friends of mine so it "helped" with the pricing. The Ether i/o board is a really cool device and Phil has put a fair bit of effort into the plugin. There are a few more things that need to get done however it is pretty reliable. We had 48c here some time ago and the thing barfed (its in an IP65 case in the front yard) so a power reset fixed it. Otherwise the units are fantastic....

                    The last thing I need to do is work out with the ELK is the disabling of zones for stay mode and the back to base dialer functions and then I can put it on the wall.

                    Themax74 has sorted out 99.9% of the issues with the SMS plugin and its now working quite reliably. I've been looking at some of the AVT CCTV DVR units from Jaycar to integrate in the future....

                    And of course, I need to stick more PIR's around the place for security and then install the Hawkeyes that should turn up in a few weeks....

                    Gotta say, I'm hooked on the automation :-)

                    Cheers..Pete
                    HS 2.2.0.11

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Pete,

                      I saw you have been working with themax74 on the SMS plugin. It looks good, I've just ordered myself the z-text sms modem and I'm hoping to use his plugin (accept I have to see if he can make it work with immediate SMS notification, not having to poll for messages).

                      Be afriad of being hooked on home automation. It gets very expense, very quickly..

                      I started with HomeSeer a TI-203 (HS used to sell the Australian TI-103) and a handful of EON3 appliance/lamp modules (that cost quite a bit just for that stuff).. Ha! Now it includes a Way2Call, DS10A's wireless receivers, HAI Omni Pro II (connected to my HAVC to control heating/cooling), micromodules, Ocelot for IR distribution, some whole house audio for annoucing people at the front door, incoming calls etc.

                      I'm at the stage now where I have a good base of equipment which doesn't do a lot at the moment, however everything can talk to everything else either directly, via X10 and via Homeseer.Just waiting for HS 2 to become more stable, then I'll move from 1.7 to 2 and then the fun will really start! I think installing everything is the easy part, configuring scripts/events etc to do all sorts of things will be the hard part!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by rirvine
                        Pete,

                        I saw you have been working with themax74 on the SMS plugin. It looks good, I've just ordered myself the z-text sms modem and I'm hoping to use his plugin (accept I have to see if he can make it work with immediate SMS notification, not having to poll for messages).

                        Be afriad of being hooked on home automation. It gets very expense, very quickly..

                        I started with HomeSeer a TI-203 (HS used to sell the Australian TI-103) and a handful of EON3 appliance/lamp modules (that cost quite a bit just for that stuff).. Ha! Now it includes a Way2Call, DS10A's wireless receivers, HAI Omni Pro II (connected to my HAVC to control heating/cooling), micromodules, Ocelot for IR distribution, some whole house audio for annoucing people at the front door, incoming calls etc.

                        I'm at the stage now where I have a good base of equipment which doesn't do a lot at the moment, however everything can talk to everything else either directly, via X10 and via Homeseer.Just waiting for HS 2 to become more stable, then I'll move from 1.7 to 2 and then the fun will really start! I think installing everything is the easy part, configuring scripts/events etc to do all sorts of things will be the hard part!
                        Ross I first started on HS2 and after about I week, I was scratching my head wondering why I spent the money ! The thing used to crash and reboot, I'd be lucky to get 48 hours out of it. I spent a little time tweaking the box and I'm easily getting 10 days without the memory growing out of control. I think it would get a longer uptime if I didnt make any changes.

                        Once I'm comfortable with the stability of HS, I'll look to replace my current thermostat to the Omni Pro, might have to give you a call to discuss. I've got a carrier 3 phase ducted unit with a good thermostat upstairs, not sure if I trust HS yet not to barf and leave the unit stuck on cooling. Will the thermostat work if HS dies ?

                        I put so much money into Amateur Radio, I've sold a lot of it to pay for the automation. I've got to also beef up the UPS in the garage, think its a 4KVA unit that needs new batteries :-)

                        Ok on the zwave SMS unit, be interesting to see how the instant notification works. I've got a WAVECOM unit that i bought from Mulgrave years ago and it seems rock solid , EXCEPT you need to poll it. I used ot run it using SMSD on the linux box and i just rocked.

                        I think I'm putting in the speakers in the ceilings this weekend so I can get some notificaitons happening. I need ot run a cat5 cable out to the pool pump area and stick in the next i.o board. Have all the contactors out there, just need ot rewire it.

                        Your right, its all very addictive and I'm having a fun time. The ONLY think that upsetting the WAF is damm iinet having problems with SIP registration and we keep loosing the ability to make local calls...I must use someone else, its a joke....

                        Cheers..Pete
                        HS 2.2.0.11

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Sydney User

                          Hi Folks,

                          Just introducing myself (tho petez69 has done a good job for me already)

                          I have been playing with x10 etc for about 15 years. Started out with TW523, and a raft of those older Tandy x10 modules. They had a run out once about 12 years ago, so I phoned their central office and they ran a report of all stores with stock and I ordered from the stores by phone and got lots modules for $6!
                          In those days I was running xtend on 386BSD/FreeBSD, in fact I was the test site for the 50Hz version of the driver. Limited to cron events tho..

                          Once I found homeseer a number of years ago things exploded (not literally, well ok, I did have a couple of older X10 modules go pop).

                          So Today I have a number of different infrastructures mostly centred on, or at least integrated to, HS2. including:

                          HS2 2041, HS2phone (PCI), X-10 (CM12U) lights and power with 3 Phase bridge and active 3 phase repeater, MR26A and 12 hawkeyes/switches 433.920, Elexol 24 bit Ethernet I/O modules (www.elexol.com) which I have written a HS plugin for and will release BETA soon, 4 Panasonic netcams and mod xbox (on 80211.a), wavecom SMS, Mainlobby, doomotion, router traffic monitor, WM918+WeatherDisplay, APRS positioning, EBay monitoring and notification, activebackup, Asterisk VOIP exchange with SPA2000 and SPA841 phones on Ethernet over power, silex sx1000U Ethernet to USB adapters, 2.4ghz Video network with multiple tx/rx, and a host of other bits and bobs created over time. I just can't help myself :-)

                          I'm currently working on tidying up the Elexol Plugin for release, Passive RFID using ID12 modules and fobs (jaycar/DSE), 433Mhz bidirectional serial links (Oatley), Mainlobby control of Home theatre yamaha amp, panasonic HD projector, Foxtel IQ and Humax HDTV stb. I have over 1TB recording DVB-T shows on PCI cards in a home brew PVR system which uses XBMC on Xbox as the display head in the theatre.

                          I'm interested to exchange ideas between like minded individuals in OZ and NZ for mutual benefit and expense :-)

                          BTW, if you are after a quality 8 port plug-n-play PCI serial card for your HS box drop me a private message. I have several at less than half retail price available. Brand new, full modem db9 octopus cable, drivers and docs. I got sick of many USB/232 converters for cost and configuration reasons.

                          cheers

                          Phil

                          PS Ross changed my avatar so we can be easily discerned!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            elexol plugin

                            Phil, Any word on the plugin is it released yet.thanks Nick

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Hi Nick,

                              Sorry for the delay in replying. I'm having a very hard time at the moment due to a family member passing away. If you send me a PM I'll send you my current beta which petez69 is using in "production" with multiple modules.

                              I have not written any docs yet, but installing the hspi_EIO24.ocx will create the default .ini file for 4 modules and create 96 HS devices for 4 modules. Ether i/o 24 Autoscan is fully supported and each of the 96 bits can be individually set from the .ini file for all of the elexol per-bit attributes. (input,output,level,schmidt etc). All Elexol IO cards (relay, opto-in, relay-opto combo, switch etc) are supported.

                              Next version will be .NET2 (even faster), internal improvements, bit/byte wide I/O option via vb scripting API for HS scripts for total flexibility, module health and connectivity check. I have some other ideas which may also steak in.

                              If you have modules already, petez69 and myself can answer any questions, its very stable, but be aware some of the buttons on the user interface have no code behind them yet!

                              These modules are great value in oz$. I have no business connection with Elexol, but they have been very helpful in providing some test units for my current max supported config of 4 modules. Elexol also have retail and distributors WW including Europe and USA.

                              I'll be restarting the release version development over the next few months.

                              cheers,

                              Phil

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