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    What to buy???

    I have been reading a lot about home automation and am trying to put together a simple (i think) scheme to get things going. This is all sort of a learning curve before I get too complicated. Here is a list of the things that I would like to do to get started:

    1.) When garage door opener is activated, turn on a light on my deck and brighten (or just turn on) lights in my great room.

    2.) When stereo reciever and television are both activated, dim same great room lights. (and perhaps other lights in the house depending on what I need.)

    3.) Turn great room lights off (if they are already on) during the daytime.

    So........what do I need to get started? Would the homeseer kit and a few wall switches or plug in modules do the trick? Thanks in advance for your help.

    #2
    Welcome to the HomeSeer forum. Let's do these one at a time.

    1.) When garage door opener is activated, turn on a light on my deck and brighten (or just turn on) lights in my great room.

    You will need a way to know the opener was either pushed or the door is open or closed. The way I do this is I used this magnet. http://www.smarthome.com/7455.html and a powerflash unit. http://www.smarthome.com/4060.html This way when you door is opened it will send a signal to HS and when it's closed it will send another message. Then you can simply create a trigger based on this open or closed codes.


    2.) When stereo reciever and television are both activated, dim same great room lights. (and perhaps other lights in the house depending on what I need.)
    The way I accomplished this was I bought this magnet. http://www.crmagnetics.com/pdf/3110.pdf I then hooked this up to yet another powerflash module. When the TV/Stereo is on it sends a signal to HS. With an event that checks for both being on you can do anything your desire.


    3.) Turn great room lights off (if they are already on) during the daytime.
    With an reoccurring event you can check to see if it's day time and the lights are on. If so turn them off.
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      #3
      o.k. So i need these magnets (or some sort of relay/switch) to signal the powerflash modules to relay information to whatever unit code the lights etc; are set too? If i want to dim the lights when the home theatre is activated, i'm going to need an x10 dimmer switch at the appropriate lights. I will also need to have an x10 wall switch for the deck light and either wall switches or plugin modules for any of the lights that I want to turn off during the day. Is this right?
      What should I buy to get started? I would like to have the ability to inteface all of this with my win xp box as well as have remote control capability for the lights. Should I buy a starter kit and then purchase the additional modules/swiches as needed? If so what system would you recommend? Thanks again for your patience as all of this is somewhat new to me.

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        #4
        ****
        Originally posted by jonkjon1959
        o.k. So i need these magnets (or some sort of relay/switch) to signal the powerflash modules to relay information to whatever unit code the lights etc; are set too? If i want to dim the lights when the home theatre is activated, i'm going to need an x10 dimmer switch at the appropriate lights. I will also need to have an x10 wall switch for the deck light and either wall switches or plugin modules for any of the lights that I want to turn off during the day. Is this right? Yes. I forgot to mention the X10 switches. I guess I thought these were in place.
        What should I buy to get started? I would like to have the ability to inteface all of this with my win xp box as well as have remote control capability for the lights. Should I buy a starter kit and then purchase the additional modules/swiches as needed? If so what system would you recommend? Thanks again for your patience as all of this is somewhat new to me. Wow this is a hard question and getting harder everyday. There's X10, Z-Wave, UPB, and insteon. The good thing is HS can work with X10, and Z-Wave currently together but it does take both computer interfaces. I guess I would start with X10. You can buy switches from $10 to $80 so it's a more affordiable way to get started.
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          #5
          How does this starter kit look?

          http://www.smarthome.com/1123c.html

          I see that the homeseer se version will not work with x10. You have to buy the upgrade.... The homeseer se version is what comes bundled with the homeseer zwave starter kit.

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            #6
            If that is the complete version of HS then that's appears to be a good deal. Just a warning that HS 2.0 is on the verge of being released and if you choose to upgrade it will cost I believe either $39 or $49 more. It really doesn't matter cost wise because all of us are going to pay them same for the upgrade. For add on modules and switches and such Martin at http://www.automatedoutlet.com has really competitive prices and is a good guy to work with.
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              #7
              Thanks. One last question and i will stop pestering you. In lieu of the split core current transformer, could i use one of the appliance linc modules to send a signal to homeseer that the dvd player is on and accomplish something similar? I know that this changes the scenario from detecting if both tv/receiver is on but for now, it would be a cheaper alternative. If i did the split core current transformer route, wouldn't i need to have two of them as well as two powerflash modules for the receiver/tv scenario?
              Thanks again for all of your tremendous advice. Meeting pleasant folks like you make all of this even more enjoyable......

              P.S. the box in the picture shows that this is homeseer se for x10. looks like i would eventually want to upgrade anyway......

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                #8
                An appliance module with just turn on / turn off power to the DVD player. When powered on by the appliance module - your DVD player will still be in "standby" mode (like you just plugged the power cord into the wall).

                HS can't tell if you've actually turned the DVD player on with only using an appliance module.

                The split core things tell the powerflash if there is actual current being drawn through the powerline, so it can sense if the device is actually on.

                And yes, you'd need two of those and two powerflash units.

                As an alternative, you can use of these: http://www.usbuirt.com/

                This would let you control turning the device on and off via X10.

                Its a little different from your original scenario. You would initiate a command somehow (wall keypad, wireless X10 remote) that would send an infrared signal to turn your DVD player, etc, on, and then also dim the lights.

                You could use HS to create a list of actions to take place:
                Turn DVD on
                Turn TV on
                Set TV Input to DVD Player
                Turn Amplifier On
                Dim Overhead lights
                etc, etc.

                You would of course need to replace the light switches with X10 compatible units. If you used a smarthome keypadlinc http://www.smarthome.com/12073w.html then you could program one of the buttons to initiate this whole process (plus it also acts as the X10 dimmer for the lights).

                Then you could use other 'regular' x10 dimmers on the rest of the lights (still controlled by HS and initiated by the single keypadlinc)

                If you wanted to go completely remote you could get one of these: http://www.automatedoutlet.com/produ...5&cat=0&page=1

                The you could use a wireless remote to initiate the process instead of having a keypadlinc on the wall.

                Good luck,

                Steve C.

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