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    Pricing Info

    Well, I've been lurking for a while now, and it's time to post and ask some questions.
    I have always been interested in HA, but didn't know where to start or what I would automate. After doing some reading, here and in some mags, HomeSeer seems to be my best bet. Currently I have nothing in place, and for that matter, have no idea where to begin. So my first question... How much $ are we talking about here? With all the additional modules and cameras, and speakers, and mikes, plus the software and touch screen tablets, and servers... the list could go on and on, as well as the bill. Is it possible to get into HA without having to "breaking the bank". What is the average price to get started?

    Thanks in advance for any info, this MB seems to have great support!

    #2
    Loaded question

    Up front you need the software. Either just Homeseer or if you want phone services, Homeseer Phone.

    HS then needs a power line interface. CM11 is one of the options.

    Other than that, you need the switches for the areas that you want to control. Personally, I would NOT use the X10 Brand devices. There are a number of options. Leviton, Smarthome, ACT, and a few others. Prices vary depending on vendor and manufacturer. I have used Worthington Distributors myself. Been very satisfied with prices and service. www.worthdist.com. I am sure that others have their own preferences.
    The devices can be either X10, A10, ZWave, or other protocols supported by Homeseer.

    Homeseer Phone requires one of their special PCI modems made to their specifications to support all of the features. Other modems may work but with some HS features not supported.

    The end cost can go as high as the features that you want to control. The advantage is that you can start with just a couple switches and grow as you get familiar with the software and what you want to accomplish.

    You are welcome to visit my site and see what I have done. Might give you some ideas you might not have thought about. Some of the others here also have some really nice sites. Give them a visit. Homeseer.com also has a user profile area that shows some of what can be accomplished with home automation.

    Welcome to the home automation FUN!!!!!!!

    Comment


      #3
      Welcome Iwanabuy,
      The beauty of HA is you can start small and grow. You initial cost would involve buying the software (HS ~$200), a computer interface (~$30 for CM11A or USB PowerLinc) and a couple of modules (~$7 ea).

      You can decide if you want to go with X10 or Z-Wave with HS. Z-Wave also has modules and a computer interface. It's a bit more expensive though. The beauty is HS can work with both at the same time or either on separately.
      💁‍♂️ Support & Customer Service 🙋‍♂️ Sales Questions 🛒 Shop HomeSeer Products

      Comment


        #4
        Thanks for the info. I have downloaded the trial software, and will check it out. Where do you buy the modules from? I have looked at a few places online, but I have yet to see one for ~$7, and what is the computer interface? Please excuse my ignorance, I am totally new to this stuff... Is there some type of step by step manual or a "dummies" tutorial?

        Comment


          #5
          Use the manual that comes with Homeseer. It has a getting started part that outlines the different interfaces that Homeseer supports and walks you through what the software can do. I personally use Zwave and I've had good luck with the Powerlinc USB device (X10). You can buy them from several sources, Smarthome, iAutomate, HomeControls, to name a few. Just go to a search engine and type in "powerlinc" or "home automation". I am more of a hardware person in many respects, so I started my own home automation business, registered it with the city, and got a sales tax permit. Then I went to a local alarm company supplier and signed up to purchase "switches", "access entry" and stuff like that. Only alarm installation is regulated here and not access installs. I found that I can get some things cheaper there, but have to turn to internet suppliers for other things. Welcome to your new addiction. . .
          A computer's attention span is as long
          as it's powercord.

          Comment


            #6
            X10.com

            Originally posted by Iwanabuy
            Where do you buy the modules from? I have looked at a few places online, but I have yet to see one for ~$7,
            X10.com ususally has a sale every few days on some part you can use now. Get a few lamp modules and an appliance module or two and play. I think they have a starter kit. If they don't, Smarthome.com or Homecontrols.com (homecontrol.com?) has them. Get an RF starter kit so you can turn on/off the lights in your bedroom without getting out of bed!

            and what is the computer interface?
            That's the part that connects your computer to the powerline in your house. X10 sends its signals though the electrical wiring (powerline).

            Please note that, well at least for me, learning HA is like learning to play golf. It is frustrating at the beginning, but occasionally you do everything just right and something GREAT happens! It is also like golf as it can absorb a LOT of your time because its fun. It is FURTHER like golf in that, if you are with a significant other and if you try to do something new and too complicated, you can lose your balls.... High WAF is key.

            Best of luck!

            Rob
            .

            Comment


              #7
              You get what you pay for

              Unfortunatly the X10 brand is made for price. Other brands, while many are actually made by X10, have higher standards for parts, dependability, better resistance to line noise. I have found that Smarthome is expensive but they do offer price matching most of the time for EXACT parts from other firms. Sometimes it is hard to make that decision though since SH has their own numbering system that usually doesn't make any reference to the mfgr ident.

              They do have alot of items that are only available from them. Many are very useful.

              I bought my VR items from iAutomate since they had a package deal with the PZM11 mikes and the Shure mixer with the mods required for Homeseer already made. Everything else came from Worthington. They have a pretty complete printed catalog available upon request.

              Just part of the fun of HA.

              Comment


                #8
                The more I read the more confused I get

                Well, Thanks for all the info, I probably spent about 5 hours online last night just sorting through all the different interfaces and modules and cameras, and on and on... It does look like X10 is less expensive, but z-Wave looks like it is the up and coming. BUT can I have a combination of both, X10 mods and z-wave mods? And if the answer is YES, do I need to get both interfaces? I've found resonable priced X10 cameras, and good prices on some z-wave mods, so if HS supports both, can it control both with just one interface?

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Iwanabuy
                  Well, Thanks for all the info, I probably spent about 5 hours online last night just sorting through all the different interfaces and modules and cameras, and on and on... It does look like X10 is less expensive, but z-Wave looks like it is the up and coming. BUT can I have a combination of both, X10 mods and z-wave mods? And if the answer is YES, do I need to get both interfaces? I've found resonable priced X10 cameras, and good prices on some z-wave mods, so if HS supports both, can it control both with just one interface?
                  You need both interfaces but HS can do both at once.
                  💁‍♂️ Support & Customer Service 🙋‍♂️ Sales Questions 🛒 Shop HomeSeer Products

                  Comment


                    #10
                    When I was a youngster I bought a grab bag of electronic components and then tried to find circuits I could build with these parts. It was not very fruitfull.

                    There is an enormous world of things that can be controlled and observed with a computer. You should start your quest starting with what automation you want to achieve.

                    Start with a single objective and then some others in the back of your mind. The primary objective will identify the parts you will need and the other considerations will arbitrate on use of specific interface/hardware/software.

                    If you are not on some sort of quest you will not venture very far from where you are now.

                    Comment


                      #11
                      I'd recommend you stay away from cheap switches, like X10.com if you want them to work well, and you don't want to be frustrated. Worthington, Smarthome, and AutomatedOutlet are all good bets. Worthington years ago used to have the cheapest prices, but there was only a 50/50 change the order would ever arrive. They have completely turned that around, are still very cheap, and now very reliable. Smarthome is not the cheapest, but the company is a leader at developing new technology, and they have many items not available anywhere, including a line of switches that are very good. Expect to pay $50 - $90 for a good switch.

                      The reality is that HA varies greatly in what you do, and so does the cost. You can get started for a few $100 for some switches and controllers, but the price can easily exceed $30K - $50K by the time you outfit your house with much of this technology. Expect to pay at least $5k - $8K for the house to get you well on your way.

                      The hard part about looking at the price in advance is that you can never imagine how much home automation can change your life until you actually do it, and until you do, you will never imagine that you will spend that much money on the technology. I think in some ways, that is why home automation has always stayed a relatively small industry. People don't fully see the value in it until its complete.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        You're gonna scare the guy away!

                        Originally posted by anogee
                        I'd recommend you stay away from cheap switches, like X10.com if you want them to work well, and you don't want to be frustrated.
                        I'm not so sure I agree with that. I don't mean to be contrary, but MOST of my components running my house are CHEAP. I have two original RadioShack light switches currently in use that I bought in 1986. They are used daily and are just the plane jane wall switches. (They actually were installed in two different apartments and are now in my garage...) They have turned orange from heat and light, but they work. I have 10 Decora switches that I bought from x10 about 2 years ago when I updated from the old push button wall switches. All of them get used daily and I have only had to replace one. (It died when a bulb blew out/up in the lamp fixture.) I have appliance modules from the late 80's that are ORANGE from age but still function perfectly. I have a couple of expensive switches I thought would solve some mysterious X10 problems and have had just as much good luck with them as I have had with the cheapy switches. I will probalby never buy another RCA, Stanley, or generic X10 device, but I'll always consider a cheapy device if the price/need is right.

                        Originally posted by anogee
                        Expect to pay at least $5k - $8K for the house to get you well on your way.
                        VERY well on your way!!! Even with all the BetaBrites, cameras, software, hardware, wiring, switches and modules, I have not made it to the $5K mark yet after 19 years of X10 control. Now if you account for time, I have far exceeded the $1M mark!

                        I guess my point is that you can have a VERY cool and reliable HA system that does a lot of cool and convenient things CHEAPLY. ...even if you only spend what you can afford at the time. If HA is not a hobby and you have more money than time, you can spend $10K and rarely have to think about HA again. (For $30-50K you could have....I can't even imagine what you could do with that much HA stuff....but I bet it would be REALLY NICE!! If it IS a hobby and you are not in a rush to get it all done immediately, you can carefully chose the parts you need, wait for sales (and there are ALWAYS sales) and slowly and methodically automate your house piece by piece. I have a >2000sq' home with nearly every switch/lamp/outlet/appliance automated, the A/C and yard sprinklers automated, HS and HSP, house audio, video security, door and window security, motion detectors everywhere(!), and VR microphones around the house. I just tried to calculate all the parts that are currently being used (and not in the box of extras and X10 freebies) and I figure that in 19 years I have spent under $4K (not counting the PC.) I don't yet have IR automated control or RFID, but that still would not get me much over $5-6K and then it would to EVERYTHING.... (I also don't have A/C duct dampers on every duct or all the curtains/blinds automated. ...yet!)

                        Everyone has their own ideas about what they want/like and what they consider is "automation" or the level of automation. My opinion is that HA does not have to be expensive to be reliable and/or convenient. A $200 starter kit with 10 cheap modules, an RF receiver, and a remote can be all you need and can be VERY convenient and reliable... IMHO.

                        Rob

                        PS. This was not a flame or anything. I just have had very few problems with X10.com products. ....and had time to kill while on a very long and boring conference call..... I tend to be a bit....verbose....
                        .

                        Comment


                          #13
                          It looks like the spectrum of HA can go to the very high end ($30 - $50k) (if I may say, a bit over my income bracket) to the lower/moderate end ($4 - $5K), or less even. I can see how it could get REALLY expensive, with all the extras, and don't forget the cost of the color touch screens in every room. But, I don't live in a 500,000 sq ft home, and right now, I am just getting started, so I just want to get me feet wet, give it a try, and see what happens. With all the stuff I have read over the past few days, I think that I can get a feel for this thing for around $600. Essentially, this is what I want to do...

                          - table lamps to come on at specific time
                          - cameras and security lights on the outside
                          - cameras in the kids bedrooms
                          - motion activated lights in bedrooms and bathrooms
                          - VR through out house
                          - some way to have music "follow" me as I move through the house

                          I already have a wireless network with pc's scattered around the house, and my current thermostat and sprinkler system are also automated. It's just the none of the stuff is integrated, which to me, is the sweet spot of HA, to be able to control all this stuff from one place.

                          Of course, all of this does not have to happen all at once.

                          BUT, I will take all of the suggestions and advice that I have received from this GREAT resource (THANKS everyone for all the input!), buy the software, and get a "starter pack" and we'll see what happens. Either it will go well, and I'll get "addicted", or it will crash and burn, and my HA will consist of a couple of lamps that turn on, and an automated coffee pot.

                          Originally Posted by outbackrob
                          A $200 starter kit with 10 cheap modules, an RF receiver, and a remote can be all you need and can be VERY convenient and reliable... IMHO.
                          Where can I get one of those?

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Pat,

                            We'd be happy to help you get started. We have home automation products in all price ranges. Please feel free to email us or call us at 817/539-1705.

                            Thanks,

                            Martin
                            Martin Custer

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Try here:

                              Originally posted by Iwanabuy
                              Where can I get one of those?
                              Go to one of these sites and do a search on "Starter" or "Kits."

                              X10.com - (CHEAP. Good place to start. Some sales are FANTASTIC.)
                              smarthomes.com - (NOT cheap, but they have some unique products)
                              homecontrols.com - (NOT cheap, but occasional sales are good)
                              worthdist.com - (They could sell more if they had a better website...)
                              automatedoutlet.com - (owned by one of "our" folks on this forum. By far the best customer service of the lot.)

                              You can go to ebay.com and search for X10 starter kits as well, but all the standard ebay caveats apply.....

                              If they don't have the $200 Kit anymore, you can easily put together a few kits that will give you the remote, the receiver, and enough modules to have some fun.

                              I don't LIVE by HA. Its more of a convenience really. I know a few people that love it, need it, and live by it, and thus they require the bulletproof parts. If you fall in love with HA and feel you need the most reliable stuff, rest assured that the cheap stuff you buy today will integrate (Because of Homeseer!) with the bulletproof stuff. The old stuff can get moved to the garage and closets!

                              19 years ago when I bought my first HA system (GE Homeminder) I had no idea that all the things I dreamed up in my head back then would become a reality with Homeseer. ...and if you can't yet dream this stuff up, spend a few hours looking though this forum and you'll be primed in no time. There are a LOT of very SMART and CREATIVE people on here, and it is AMAZING what they come up with and can make happen. I find I read this forum as much for entertainment and amazement as I do for answers....

                              Best of luck.

                              Rob
                              .

                              Comment

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