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Ultimate Home Automation Hardware Kit

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  • Ultimate Home Automation Hardware Kit

    I finally got a desoldering tool and put it in an old tackle box that contains my tools for working with home automation stuff. It got me thinking of what else I might be missing. I could always wait until the need arises and then go get the item but Radio Shack isn't open 24/7

    What stuff do you think is important? I'll list some of my stuff and then edit the list with the ideas of others.

    <LI>small standard screwdriver
    <LI>small Phillips screwdriver
    <LI>soldering iron
    <LI>desoldering tool
    <LI>phone line crimping tool plus RJ-11 (?) jacks
    <LI>CAT 5 crimping tool plus RJ-45 jacks
    <LI>cable (F-connector) crimping tool plus F-connectors
    <LI>small lengths of several gauges of various colored wires
    <LI>assorted collection of microswitches
    <LI>assorted collection of resistors
    <LI>assorted collection of potentiometers
    <LI>assorted collection of LEDs including some IR
    <LI>simple 2-line phone line tester
    <LI>simple ground tester
    <LI>0-20V voltage tester
    <LI>110-120 voltage tester
    <LI>lineman's pliers
    <LI>small and medium-sized needle nose pliers
    <LI>utility knife
    <LI>Infrared Sensor (~$5 - detects IR emitted)[/list]

    Note the obvious omission of an ELK X10 signal strength tester. A little pricey for me and so far my 2600 square foot home + 1200 square foot basement has 100% coverage with CM11A, no repeaters, no couplers, and no filters.

    Now if I could only get my VCR to quit flashing 12:00 .
    Jim Doolittle

    My Twitter
    My Hardware & Software

  • #2
    LED headlamp

    AT004 X10 Test Meter (a really great but expensive meter). Couldn't find it in Rich's store.

    Telephone Testing Butt Set


    • #3
      1) pencil and paper for notes, so you don't have to steal the set that's supposed to be next to the telephone.

      2) Simple current detector like this. You can check for live wires using the voltage tester, but the current detector is quicker and doesn't require you to stick metal objects into places that might be live.

      3) A good tone generator and probe set for tracing wires. Probably not needed in a smaller house like yours, but an absolute must when you get to larger houses.

      4) Spare batteries for all tools.

      5) Motrin/Tylenol/asperin
      My system is described in my profile.


      • #4
        Fiberfish wiring poles

        6 foot long drill bits (Home Depot)

        When's Christmas coming?


        • #5
          Fishtape for running cable through walls
          Some extra RCA interconnects
          Drill, just in case you need it
          Safety goggles
          Bandages (if you're like me anyways)
          If you can afford it, a laptop for storing information and internet access
          Mini screw drivers
          Duct tape (what don't you need this for?)
          Extra fuses for when you don't get the wiring quite right on your first few tries
          Coax splitters
          Extra switches/lamp modules
          Cell phone (to call 911 after you fry yourself and can't walk to fix the phone you've already cut)


          • #6
            Cable Tester

            Lots of zip ties in various sizes

            1" ratch straps for whatever 12' long

            If you're scared of rickety ladders, a very good and versatile ladder


            • #7
              Ah...a very important tool - beer bottle opener.


              • #8
                Duct Tape


                • #9
                  <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by Kevin S.:
                  Ah...a very important tool - beer bottle opener. <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

                  But not as important as the beer itself!


                  • #10
                    Rotozip tool so you can cut a hole in anything in any shape. Man I love this thing.

                    With my AT004 X10 tester, I have assembled a test kit in its own toolbox with various modules and X10 mini transmitters.

                    With that laptop and a spare PCS05 you could inject X10 signals on any circuit and then test back at the circuit box.


                    • #11
                      I am kicking myself for not thinking of duct tape. I could use that to cover up the blinking 12:00 on the VCR. Voila! .
                      Jim Doolittle

                      My Twitter
                      My Hardware & Software


                      • #12
                        Here's my favorite:
                        An Xcelite suitcase loaded with nice quality hand tools.

                        Quick story:
                        My wife loves garage sales, I am indifferent.
                        She "dragged" me to one in the country and I saw a barn in the back, which I B-lined to. In the barn were lots of fantastic tools which I gobbled up.

                        Bought this tool case (something like $900 list price - I don't think it was ever opened), a 20 ton hydraulic ram body shop frame puller kit (never opened), a 1/2" Bosch concrete hammer drill, an air sheet metal nibbler, a 3/8 inch air ratchet, and a few more morsels
                        Price: $75 total!
                        Apparantly the owner was a retired tool and die guy.
                        Well, it's easier for my wife to convince me to go to garage sales now...


                        • #13
                          Set of two or more FRS radios with headsets - great for testing, listening, two-person jobs where you can't holler to each other, etc.
                          | - Gordon

                          "I'm a Man, but I can change, if I have to, I guess." - Man's Prayer, Possum Lodge, The Red Green Show
                 - -


                          • #14
                            Duct Tape should be moved to the top of that list.


                            • #15
                              Dont forget WD40. Its usually Duct tape and WD40.