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    New User - Best Board to Post Question

    I'm building a new house and will be using home automation, mainly for controlling some lights and ceiling fans at first, but I want to wire my house while planning for the future as well. Most of what I want to use will be Z Wave, but it looks like I'll need some Insteon components, too, and have decided the HomeSeer HomeTroller would be my best option for a hub.

    I have a number of questions and have to make decisions fairly soon. I asked a few questions on Z Wave World and someone there suggested I come here and ask them.

    So if I'm asking for help learning about what I can do with a HomeTroller (and some Z Wave and Insteon devices), what board here would be best for me to post my questions on?

    #2
    Originally posted by Tango View Post
    So if I'm asking for help learning about what I can do with a HomeTroller (and some Z Wave and Insteon devices), what board here would be best for me to post my questions on?
    I am running a Hometroller and love it. If you are building a new house the biggest thing to look at now is wiring. Z-Wave switches need line and neutral at the switch. All of the wiring in my house had the line power at the fixture so I had to rewire every room to support the new switches. Rooms with multiple switches are also wired differently depending on the switches you use. On the Homeseer support page there is a section on lighting that has wiring diagrams.

    If you plan to install cameras I would run all of the cabling for that also. I have added POE cameras and have everything run to a central location. Much easier to do while you are building.

    Good luck, Mark

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      #3

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        #4
        This board is good for general questions like these so ask away. Consider the HS-Wx100+ switches which operate the load like a normal decora switch (top on, bottom off) but also report single, double, triple and press-hold of both top and bottom, so you can program different things for different presses. You can look at the Event Clinic board for some ideas on programming.

        https://forums.homeseer.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1250

        John

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          #5
          I tried Googling "HS-Wx100+ switch" and just "HS-Wx100+" and couldn't find anything - do you have a link for that or is there something I'm doing wrong in searching for this item?

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            #6
            Originally posted by Tango View Post
            I tried Googling "HS-Wx100+ switch" and just "HS-Wx100+" and couldn't find anything - do you have a link for that or is there something I'm doing wrong in searching for this item?
            They are Homeseer branded switches and they are great. You can find them in the Homeseer store, there are some tech documents under support also.

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              #7
              Originally posted by Tango View Post
              I tried Googling "HS-Wx100+ switch" and just "HS-Wx100+" and couldn't find anything - do you have a link for that or is there something I'm doing wrong in searching for this item?
              The"x" the other poster put in the model name could be a D (dimmer), S (switch), or A (accessory). For instance the HS-WD100+ Is the homeseer dimmer.

              Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

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                #8
                Okay, I found the switch you're talking about.

                I like that style switch, but it won't work for a few reasons. One big one is the style of the house. Basically picture a home Albus Dumbledore or some other eccentric Harry Potter character might live in. We're going for a fairy tale or fantasy feel to the house. Since we can't light it with candles or gas light (not that we would), we're going for as antique or as old a style for the electrical components as we can.

                This is the style of light switch we're using:


                Using this style, we can get just simple on/off switches, where the top button is on and the bottom is off, but we can also get ones where the top button is on/off and the bottom one is a dimmer knob. They come in 3 and 4 way versions, too. (They supposedly work with LED bulbs, too, but we're using light bulbs like the one below. Besides, I have yet to find dimmers that really do play well with LEDs.)


                So if we weren't doing any automation, those switches would be just perfect. (And, to be honest, for reasons of marital bliss, I can't overrule the decision to use that type of switch.)

                I'm hoping to use a "parallel" system, so we can turn lights on and off with wall switches, but so they can still be controlled remotely, through HomeSeer or Z Wave. The issue with this is, as I understand it, that most add on devices for light switches need a common and power wire at the switch. On the other hand, most systems that can work "in parallel" with wall switches would need different wiring that is not compatible.

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                  #9
                  You can use micro switches and dimmers behind them in the boxes. Just make sure they put in deep boxes so you can fit them in there with the wires. Those switches look deep too, so you'll need the room. Get the biggest boxes you can.

                  Many companies make micro switches and dimmers. Even insteon.

                  Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by sirmeili View Post
                    You can use micro switches and dimmers behind them in the boxes.
                    The Aeotec micro-switch might be perfect for what you want to do. http://aeotec.com/z-wave-in-wall-swi...ce-switch.html The important thing for your case is that when you install one of these, the wall switch no longer directly controls the load, it just signals the microswitch to turn on or off. There's a new version of this called the nano-switch, but who knows when it will finally become available. As of today, Amazon and some of the other online stores show the nano-switch, but everyone shows it as out of stock.
                    Fred

                    HomeSeer Pro 3.0.0.548, HS3Touch, Zwave 3.0.1.252, Envisalink DSC 3.0.0.40, WeatherXML, Z-stick, HS phone, Way2Call

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Oh! <facepalm>

                      That's what I looked at earlier. With all the notes on this and on plumbing, and all the work I'm doing building a road back to a barn on our land (and trying to get a building permit to renovate that barn), I have to admit sometimes I lose track of everything and my notes aren't always as organized as they need to be.

                      I remember talking to them about the Nano and finding out it's not out yet. He was sure it'd be out "real soon now."

                      I don't think the issue of direct control would be a big deal, as long as I can easily program it to turn it on and off through the other devices.

                      Now that I can remember those terms (Aeotec, microswitch, and nanoswitch), I can find my email conversations.

                      I don't remember if those handled LEDs well and I think the microswitch won't control fans directly, but, from what I understand, if I use the Insteon fan controller, a HomeTroller hub can be programmed to activate that if a switch is turned on or off as well. Am I right about that?

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                        #12
                        You will have local control. For the dimmer, you'll probably only get on/off (not dim).

                        You can control a fan, but you won't have "speed". You can turn it on/off. While at it though, make sure you have them wire 3-wire from the box to the fan (two hots, 1 neutral, 1 ground). While right now you're talking about using Insteon FanLincs, you never know what the future will hold and having the ability to control both the light and fan from the wall could become useful.

                        About Fanlincs. Yes, you will be able to control them via the microswitchs in a round about way with the aeotec microswitches. You will have to have homeseer pick up the microswitch change and then relay it to the light/fan. Note that once again you can't control the dimming/fan speed from the wall location in a very intuitive way. There are insteon microswitches though (http://www.smarthome.com/insteon-244...ff-module.html and http://www.smarthome.com/insteon-244...er-module.html) and while I still don't think you'll get dimming control with the switches you have, if Homeseer stops running, you'll still have control from the wall. This is why I use KeyPadLincs for all my ceiling fans and ceiling fan lights. It maintains local control for the WAF factor if Homeseer goes down for any reason. I think you'll want to consider this heavily.

                        Note that I'm not saying you can't mix z-wave and insteon. I have. But I limit mixing them for basic control (I don't use a z-wave controller to turn an insteon light on/off).

                        I hope I haven't muddied the water too much.

                        As a completely sidetracked idea..... What I think would be cool in your situation is to also install some kind of touchscreen pads in locations. You could easily make "frames" for them to make them look older and you could probably have them default to a "picture" so they don't look like tech devices. Another and perhaps more sneaky idea (and the one I would do) is hide them behind hinged pictures. So while a bit inconvenient for turning lights on/off as you enter a room (That's what your switches above are for), you can easily get to one to adjust more advanced functionality such as video streams, scene control, etc.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Tango View Post
                          I don't remember if those handled LEDs well and I think the microswitch won't control fans directly, but, from what I understand, if I use the Insteon fan controller, a HomeTroller hub can be programmed to activate that if a switch is turned on or off as well. Am I right about that?
                          You may already know this, but I'd rather mention it unnecessarily than have you get an unpleasant surprise later! The HomeTroller, by itself, doesn't control anything! In addition to the HomeTroller, you need an interface for the technology you choose. So if you want both z-wave and insteon, you'll either need a dual-mode interface that supports both [I don't know of one, but they might exist], or an interface for each of the two technologies.

                          The micro-switches should be OK with LEDs, but the micro-dimmers could be a problem. Maybe someone that actually has both of these installed could comment?
                          Fred

                          HomeSeer Pro 3.0.0.548, HS3Touch, Zwave 3.0.1.252, Envisalink DSC 3.0.0.40, WeatherXML, Z-stick, HS phone, Way2Call

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Just a note that I'm not disappearing. I have a ballroom dance comp coming up this weekend (which takes a lot of extra practice time!) and we've had plumbing and HVAC rough-ins to deal with, along with shingles and windows arriving and I had to take a full day to dig a trench and make a drain for erosion control issues.

                            On first glance, what I'm getting is that I can use the Aeotec Micro-Switches with any on/off switches I use in the house. I do have to be aware of how those are wired, though, since they will need power and common wires. The physical switch will no longer have direct control, but (unless my HomeTroller breaks), it'll still appear to have direct control.

                            And I would think I could set it up so the Aeotec switches generate a signal that would activate anything else the HomeTroller controls.

                            And, yes, I know I'd need bridges for Insteon and Z Wave, but thanks for pointing that out for me, in case I had missed it!

                            I'm not worried about controlling dimming and fan speed from the wall switches. As long as those can work in parallel with the automated system, that gives me what I need. We can use remotes or cell phones to control levels (as in light and fan speed levels).

                            I'm hoping to stick with Z Wave equipment as much as possible but, amazingly, even at this point, there seem to be things that you just can't do with Z Wave - like the fan control that Insteon is capable of.

                            sirmeili, could you tell me more about the touch screen controls? For instance, can you suggest one that could have an image on it by default? That might be a good idea! And I take it I could have the images change from time to time, too?

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by Tango View Post
                              On first glance, what I'm getting is that I can use the Aeotec Micro-Switches with any on/off switches I use in the house. I do have to be aware of how those are wired, though, since they will need power and common wires. The physical switch will no longer have direct control, but (unless my HomeTroller breaks), it'll still appear to have direct control.
                              Actually, as long as you place the Micro-switch in the same box as the physical switch, you'll have local physical-switch control even if the Hometroller is not working. The micro-switch has two "signal" terminals to which you connect the physical switch. When the physical switch is "on", the micro-switch turns on the load. In this situation, the physical switch has no A/C power going to it at all. For dimming, of course, you'll want the micro-dimmer, but it has the same kind of "signal" terminals. The only difference is you can't control the dimming with the physical switch [actually, you can with a momentary-contact pushbutton switch, but that won't fit the WAF requirement], but you can still do on/off.

                              Two other thoughts I had:
                              1. You should tell your electrician that all the switches should be wired so the "hot" goes first to the switch, then out to the load. This will give you maximum flexibility later.
                              2. Since you're using extra-deep switch-boxes, tell the electrician to leave a little extra "slack" in the wiring inside the boxes. This will make it easier to work with later when you start adding micro-switches or whatever.
                              Fred

                              HomeSeer Pro 3.0.0.548, HS3Touch, Zwave 3.0.1.252, Envisalink DSC 3.0.0.40, WeatherXML, Z-stick, HS phone, Way2Call

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