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    Advice needed for new project: X10 + 1wire + RFXCom + HS???

    Hi!


    I'm planning to set up my home's automation system and need some advice. Let me first explain what functionalities I want. Following systems should be controlled:
    • Lighting
    • Home theatre (all done through PC)
    • HVAC (Air conditioning + heat pump, dehumidifiers, electrical heaters, wood stove vents...)
    • Electrical network
    • Security
    I intend to use X10 devices for controlling the different appliances, 1wire and RFXCom in order to do data acquisition used by the automation system triggers and events, and HS installed in my central PC in order to control the whole stuff.


    General configuration (please comment):Specific questions:Thanks a lot

    Alex

    #2
    Alex,
    Welcome!

    I can answer a few of your questions. As far as using the HomeSeer PC for your HomeTheater PC, I have a quad core 2.4 ghz with 3gb of ram, running vista. My homeseer Setup is quite large and complex. The same computer also streams HD content to various Media Center Extenders, while recording HD content, and I have never seen it even strain under the load. I also have a Geforce 9600 or 9800 (I forget which) video card that I plan on connecting to my projector at some point.

    The difficult thing has to do with audio. Vista is so screwed up when it comes to audio, you cannot set a default audio device effectively. I have wrestled for days on end trying to make the setup work, and ultimately i gave up, choosing to use extenders instead. The problem is that if you use your homeseer computer for any Text To Speech announcements (TTS) like caller id, reminders, etc over your whole house audio, using the HS computer as a HTPC will not work well. If you don't do the whole house audio tts thing, you should be fine, given that you have a strong computer.

    I use MCSTemperature and love it. I use Dallas 1 wire temp sensors/humidity sensors with a temp08 controller. I buy the sensors either from the temp08 website (Middon is the company, i think) or from www.hobbyboards.com.

    I think you are on the right track with the rfxcom stuff, but i know that there are different frequencies and different devices available in Europe that are not available here, so I'll let one of the guys from over there chime in.

    Have fun, good luck, and let us know how it goes!

    Ian
    Plugins:
    BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

    Comment


      #3
      Hey!

      Thanks a lot for your thorough answer!


      Answering with some more questions:
      • TTS is not on my prios list. I can do without (at least for now)
      • Streaming HD content around the house is indeed an interesting thing. I have no clue about how to do it, but this will be for sure one of the first upgrades I'll do once my system works fine. What I have in mind is to connect my Video/Audio sources to the HTPC and this should be able to stream it through my network. I'll have an Ethernet connection connecting my HTPC and router to the areas where I'll want to reproduce it (i.e. my bedroom, etc...). I still need to start investigating. I'll definitely look for your advice!
      • So far, I'll start building my system around my HTPC (3.0GHz Core2Duo, 2GB RAM, EN8600GTS), and then if I'll need to add extenders or to devote a PC to my home automation, I'll do it. After your advice I feel more confident on trying to unify everything.
      So going back to the main thing, I'd like to refine my idea before I start buying things. My main concern is on how HomeSeer communicates with the devices I want to use. Especially:
      • are the 1wire sensors from hobbyboards automatically recognised and usable in HomeSeer for triggering events and doing calculations (like comparing internal and external temperature and humidity, etc...), or will I need to "calibrate" the signal received from the sensor to something HomeSeer can understand? Does HomeSeer support a limited type of sensor? Is mcsTemperature the right plugin for making HS understand what the sensors are reading?
      • are there some power meters or water meters available on 1wire technology? with which HS plugin? or for these devices I should go for RFXCom? Are they recognised by HomeSeer? With what plugin?
      • then for my HVAC, the idea is that HS will decide based on the info it receives from the sensors all around the house, what it needs to do. Now, how does it command the HVAC? I have seen some X10 HVAC controllers (Digimax), and honestly it doesn't look like a very high tech thing. I don't think these would perform as well as the original one. So I was thinking on adding a X10-infrared transceiver in order to transmit commands from HS to the original HVAC controller. Does it make sense? Or are there more choices for X10 HVAC controllers?
      Ok, I think with these questions I can do a second loop. More will come for sure, but some advice on the above would definitely help a lot.

      Cheers

      Alex

      Comment


        #4
        The 1wire sensors need to connect to a 1wire controller. there are several available - i went with the temp08. The controller is what has a serial connector, which you connect to your HS computer. The Temp08 does need to be configured to see the sensors on the 1wire network. This is not overly complicated, but i do scratch my head a bit every time i need to do it.

        as far as interfacing your 1wire controller to HS you'll need a plugin. MCSTemp is one such plugin, it's the one i use, and it works quite well for me. it does much more than just the 1wire thing - it may be overkill if all you want is to have temp info and create HS events with it.

        There are several 1wire plugins out there, read up on them, look at how well they are supported, what people have to say about them, the diversity of 1wire hardware they'll support, etc.

        regarding the hvac, I've done tons of stuff with HS and my hvac personally. mine is a home made setup, with much help from people on this board. If you don't mind sharing your specific existing hvac hardware setup and your goals, i'd be glad to offer my opinions for how best to go.

        as for the RF power meter stuff, I'm pretty sure RFXCom has some hardware that will work with the acrf plugin. do some searching in the acrf portion of this board, and you'll see all sorts of great things.

        Ian

        P.S. What part of spain are you in - my wife and I have Spain on the list of countries we'd like to visit in the next 10 years.
        Plugins:
        BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks again for the fast reply.

          Sorry I think I tried to take too many things into the loop and did not even explain the background of the project. Actually I have a white sheet of paper, meaning that we bought a flat recently and will now do major renewal works including electrical system, AC, stove, etc...

          What I am trying to figure out is whether I'll need to wire my house or not, because the right moment is now.

          So far here is what I found/plan. The centre of my system will be the living room, where my HTPC will be located (this is already up and running), together with my router, TV, satellite, etc...

          The HTPC should be running 24/7, and both the scheduled and the specific events should be managed from the PC's HS2 (i.e. turning on the heat pump before we wake up, or create a movie scene dimming the lights respectively). I'm planning to use the Harmony 1000 remote for the latter. I don't know yet how the Harmony can call and trigger events in HS, but I'll study this later. By the way, any suggestion on whether HS2 or HSPRO should be more suitable?

          One other thing I'm planning is to connect, additionally to the TV, a touchscreen to my HTPC, in order to monitor and control my home automation system, or browse the internet, while playing movies or watching series on my TV. This is also something I will study in the future.

          As per accessing my music and videos (stored on the HTPC), or HD streaming, I'll install an Ethernet between the living room and the remaining interesting places, like the bedroom. In the future, if I want to install an extender and TV/speakers there, I should be able to access all my media through this connection. So I guess this is the first additional wiring I'll require. I could do through WiFi, but I prefer to reduce the RFs as much as possible.

          Now from this HTPC all lighting and switching on/off devices should be easily manageable by X10, so no wires required. Whenever I will feel to install power meters, these can work through RFXcom, although I would prefer a wired solution, but so far I couldn't find it (if you have any clue please let me know!).


          My main concern (from a wiring point of view) comes from the following systems:
          • HVAC
          • Stove warm air distribution vents
          • Electrical heaters
          • Extraction fans
          • Presence/movement detectors
          • Temperature and humidity sensors
          And HVAC is the main question mark to me right now. We don't have extreme temperatures, but we are just in front of the sea and it's really humid, and in winter it can get quite cold. The condo is quite old (bad isolation) and we only have electricity, so no gas.


          We are planning to install a AC/heat pump, electrical heaters, extractor fans and stove with distribution of warm air to the different rooms. An optimised usage of the 4 things should result in cheaper operation costs, and I need some info in order to fine tune the behaviour of these systems. That's why I want to properly instrument the house with temperature and humidity sensors, and I need to monitor the electrical consumption.

          The idea is that the AC/heat pump is used in order to regularly dehumidify the air and quickly rise the living room temperature before we reach home and light a fire in the stove. The warm air from the stove, distributed to the main rooms by means of ducts and vents, should then heat the whole house. The electrical heaters would maintain the temperature at a higher level when we are at home, and at a lower one when we are at work, in order to avoid strong gradients (always expensive).

          Additional usage of the AC/heat pump is replacing the stove when we don't feel like taking care of the fire, or in summer to cool down the temperature a bit. And most importantly, to dehumidify when it gets humid (after we open all windows and the humid air comes in, or after having a shower and using the drying machine).

          Finally, the extraction fans are only meant to take the conditioned air to the critical place and remote corners, and remove the moist where it is generated (bathroom and washing room).

          So ideally the HVAC should be controlled taking into account many variables, like temperature and humidity all around the house and outside, time of the day, what scenario we set (sunday afternoon on the coach or out for dinner), etc... and should be able to take optimised decisions in order to avoid hot points and to allow high confort, all this using as less power as possible.


          In order to reach this, I think the requirements are:
          • it should all go through a programmable PC (like my HTPC with HS)
          • all needed info should be available (not just the usual thermostat)
          • the system should be able to control the mode to be used in the heat pump and the fan speed, to switch on/off the electrical heaters, same for the vents, to focus on some specific areas (by opening/closing dampers of the ducted Conditioning system) and to activate the fans for the stove in order to direct air to one room or another
          • first point is clear
          • second point, I am keen on 1wire solution, so here I have the first wiring requirement I was looking for. I was thinking on modifying the skirting board running all around the house in order to pass the wires and host the sensors. I don't know whether PLC-Bus would also do the job, or other solutions are better. Please let me know
          • in order to control my heat pump and fan speed, I don't really know (see next chapter). Switching on/off things is no big issue with X10. And again, for dampers control I have no clue.
          So the main issue remains how to control my heat pump. I thought about 3 systems.


          One would be to replace the original thermostat by a X10 one, and by X10 send him the mode and set temperature from HS, based on the readings all around the house, and "fooling" the thermostat. But it doesn't look too clean to me.

          Second would be to keep the original thermostat and use a IR transmitter controlled by HS in order to give the thermostat the required commands. Here I have major questions. If the original remote for the AC can display the set temperature, mode and fan speed, this means that there is a bilateral communication between the remote and the thermostat.

          So I guess that I could reproduce this communication with something like USB-UIRT, but I would need to teach the system all the commands, and there is a risk of manually increasing the temperature, for example, with the thermostat buttons, and the system might not realise that the set temperature has been increased, and further rise it. Unless the IR interface can read from the thermostat what is his status, and HS can recognise it. Otherwise all should be customised and programmed, so a big head ache.

          Third option would be to understand what signals are sent from the thermostat to the AC unit in order to perform all the available actions, and reproduce them with low-voltage controllers using x10. This would be taking the whole control of the system, and not leaving any decision to the thermostat, which sounds great. Now, is it feasible? I guess you appreciate that I have very very little idea about electronics, so I guess I would have some pain in setting up this system.

          Finally, all the dampers: is it worth to wire their location with 24V and feed them all instead of going one by one and plugging them to 220V with a transformer?

          Anyway, I've tried to deal with too many things at the same time again, and the result is an incredibly long and confusing post. I hope somebody can still bring some light!

          By the way, Ian, I live on the sea side some 30km south of Barcelona, and it's really nice around here. Don't get scared about my apocalyptic considerations on the weather here, there is sun most of the year. I really suggest you fill your list of countries to be visited!

          Thanks a lot

          Alex

          Comment


            #6
            Don't sell TTS and WAV output Short

            Alex
            Wow wish I had planned mine out better before I started, Interested to see how you progress as I am planning RF and 1wire additions to my system.

            On the TTS/WAV it is simple to connect at least one speaker client even if it is just a set of PC speakers in your main room. There are many good scripts and just speak/Wav output events are usefull for backround feedback on house events.

            Things like; anouancing outside temperature changes, CNN breaking events, Movment like driveway motion & pet door entry, any data from XML feeds like sports, word of the day and such, CallID anouance is very handy to identify who and if the phene should be answered.

            just some thoughts - good luck

            Comment


              #7
              Alex,
              I completely agree with Gerard - My home automation system really "came to life" when I started adding the TTS (Text To Speech). Like he said, don't rule it out yet. It would be a shame to have the opportunity to wire for whole house audio easily right now and miss the chance.

              My opinion regarding running cat5 for distributing your HD a/v is this: If you are running one cat5, why not run two, or three? I ran 4 cat5 from my HomeSeer location to every room (1 cat5, 1 cat5e, 1 cat6, 1 cat6 insulated).

              There are just too many possibilities for what I will want to connect from here to there, and I would rather have too many cables than not enough. You only get to do this once.

              In my upstairs living room, for example, I have a usb transmitter/reciever connected to one strand of cat5. That allows me to connect memory card readers, digitial cameras, usb video camera, or any other periphial device to my HS computer, from any location i have cat5. I also use one of the cat5 for sensors and IR transmitting. Then I use the other two for audio/video. One of them to go from the HS computer to the living room, the other to go in the opposite direction from the living room to the HS computer, so that i can use each viewing/listening area as an input zone on the distributed audio/video.

              that is just one example of why i ran that many rj45 cables to each area (I also ran 4 coax with each one of them).

              as to your hvac plans, I have done a similar thing. For what you are trying to do I would recommend letting HS do it all. It would be too complicated to try to do it with standard thermostats, remotes, etc. I don't know much about how heating/cooling is done in Spain, so please allow me to ask some questions, and share how I did mine.

              1. you mentioned remote control for your a/c. is this a central air system (as in going in the ducts, with a main unit powering it all) or do you have individual units in each location (like in walls or windows). I ask because I've never heard of having a remote for a central system, only for the ones that would go in each location.

              2. Heat pump - a heat pump heats most efficiently if it doesn't have to move the temperature very much. In other words, if you don't run the heat pump for 4 hours, and the temp drops to 60 degrees, and you want it to be 67 degrees, you would have been better off maintaining 67 degrees for the whole 4 hours, even if you weren't there. this is because there are electric heat strips in the heat pump that it uses when the temperature has to move by a lot. to move the temperature just a litte, it uses the more efficient method of the heat pump.

              i have a gas furnace, which runs the same efficiency no matter how much it needs to move the temp. efficiency is still affected if you let the temp get too far in one direction or the other, but it works differently.

              In your situation it may not be any more or less efficient to use the electric heat in place of the heat pump. I'm not sure what kind of electric heat you have (base board heat in each location, or central electric heat tied into the furnace, or ceramic wall heaters or ???)

              The wood stove would be most efficient to bring the heat back up to a point where the heat pump could maintain it, but then that would require time and for you to be there (HS can't build a fire yet!!). That would actually be backwards of what you proposed though. I guess you could use the heatpump to get the heat up just for before you make the fire. Do you have a fresh air intake for your system that is near the stove? is it the same system as the heatpump, or a seperate system entirely?

              It sounds like you have put a lot of thought into all of this, and i don't want to try to talk you out of anything. I'm just trying to understand what you're trying to do and how you want to do it so I can help as much as possible.


              My system has three intakes - downstairs, upstairs, and outside. HS knows which one is hottest or coldest, and opens the one that is best suited for the needs. each room has a damper, which HS controls based on temperature, time, and occupancy.

              a friend here on the board wrote some scripts to achieve the "brains" for HS being the thermostat. it works quite well. i can adjust the setpoint, setpoint range, lower/upper thresholds, and many other things, either with events or manually.

              HS controls the gas furnace and air conditioner directly, using a few 24vac relays. It's really easy to wire it into the air handler.

              I did wire in all my 24vac dampers to a relay controller, rather than controlling the power to the transformer. So i have a transformer which always has power, going to my relay controller, then I have the dampers connected to the controller also. I went with a wgl rain8net. each module controls 8 zones. I have a total of 14 zones, and 3 mroe "zones" which are used to control the air handler (1 for heat, 1 for cool, 1 for fan).

              On a personal note, my wife is interested in visiting Valladolid, but I think that's in the other direction from you, isn't it? Barcelona is on my list though :-). But so is most of Europe!!!!
              Plugins:
              BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

              Comment


                #8
                Thanks guys!

                You both make me seriously consider to install TTS. I might also install some extra speakers around the house, in order to listen to the music playing on the HTPC. Maybe it is possible to switch on/off the music in each room and control the volume independently... Maybe something like this multispeaker distribution box with some dimmer for each line controlled by HS... And the HTPC could have the in-built sound output from the motherboard connected to the distribution box and the X-Fi optical output connected to the living room sound system... And possibly it could play one thing on the distribution box (i.e. iTunes music, controlled by voice from any point of the house) and a different one on the living room sound system (i.e. a movie), so there is no need of all listening to the same... Wow! That sounds great but will give me some headaches for sure.

                I found that Russound makes what they call A-BUS, with a one/multiple source distribution box and a switch in each room. From the hub to each room, it connects by RJ45. And the good news is that each room switch has a IR, so it could be controlled by HS with some kind of IR interface.


                Now, I need to start making a list of the components I need
                • HTPC available, but no serial port
                • Controller for devices: How does Ocelot sound to you? I think it is nice as:
                  • it can connect to the computer through RS232 to USB converter (HS2012)
                  • it has X10 interface through XM10
                  • it has in-built memory
                  • IR input/output for which I might use SECU16IR
                  • Interface to ADNet devices
                • So by adding SECU16IR (for the above Russound switches in each room), and maybe SECU16 and SECU16i (for reading sensors and controlling relays for A/C, vents, etc...), I should have all I need.
                • I've seen that Ocelot has a IR input, which I could use in order to control everything from my Harmony 1000 if the PC is off... I guess I need to think about it.
                Does all this sound good to you? Or do you suggest another system rather than Ocelot?


                I have also found some difficulties on the European power supply (220VAC 50Hz), that from my understanding has implications on the X10 interface (that's why I am not going for the usual TW523 but for the XM10 instead ), on the Ocelot itself (I found a European version of it much more expensive) at Intellihome.be, and on any device that comes with a transformer from 110V. Do you see any additional issue?


                I guess the next points are:
                • how can I control the AC with the above system directly, so not using the thermostat?
                • I have very little idea about electronics. What sensors can easily interface with the system described above? I will have an extra serial port, plus all the inputs on SECU16i, and I could add a 1-wire to USB interface in my computer. What do you suggest for temperature, humidity, light, power meter and presence sensors?
                • how can I control the dampers (and what dampers do I require for the HVAC and stove ducts)?
                I'll keep refining with your help!

                Comment


                  #9
                  good plan on the distributed audio.

                  If you can i'd recommend running two seperate audio systems - one for music (which can be controlled by HS in the A-bus you were talking about). These speakers are the ones you'd want to install a pair of in every room, if that matters to you.

                  then you'd also want to run a 3rd speaker to every location. the 3rd speaker would be the one that allows HS to talk to you. The reason is that if someone turns the music down or the music speaker off, you don't want to miss phone calls or anything else. This is the most simple and cost effective solution.

                  regarding the ocelot/secu++++

                  I have an ocelot and secu16IR and secu16 i/0. as far as i know the input for the ir is disabled out of the box, or HS plugin can't use it, or something like that, i forget which, i'd have to check. I use the secu16 for all my ir, and it works great.

                  you can't (shouldn't) use the secu16 for hvac. 24vac is just a bit too much for it, it's on the edge of risky. works for some people, not for others. That's why i got the wgl rain8net relay controller(s). it's made for 24vac. it controlls my dampers as well as the air handler. that's how i control the hvac directly, with a bunch of events and everything.

                  I can't recommend specific 1wire hardware for you. I use and like the temp08 with temp/humidity sensors from www.hobbyboards.com.

                  i don't know if that is the best or more current, however, because i've had it for several years.

                  Keep working at it, you'll wrap your head around it eventually! You are off to a very good and ambitious head start.
                  Ian

                  i use the secu16 inputs for door/window sensors, crmagnent sensors, etc, as well as a handshake type of setup. the ocelot has 256 variables that can be programed independantly of HS. I plan to create a 5 minute counter that will activate the reset button on my computer if it reaches zero. I'll then create a HS event to reset the 5 minute counter every four minutes or something like that. So if HS or the computer ever hang, the counter will reach zero and reset the computer (because the programming would be in the ocelot, not the computer).
                  Plugins:
                  BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thanks Ian

                    For music/TTS distribution


                    Some questions:
                    • Russound has some wall switches with IR (A-K3). If I manage to control these IRs from HS, my questions are:
                      • do i actually need to wire the emitter coming from the SECU IR controller out of the wall and stick it into the receiver of the switch, or... is it possible to take the internal cable in the switch that goes to the IR receiver, and phisically wire it to the emitter coming from SECU IR (to which I would have removed the emitter itself)? That would keep everything hidden. Of course, the switch would not have any more the capability of receiving IRs from its original remote, for example, but I don't care. It might be a very silly question and absolutely not feasible, but I had to ask
                      • as I want to allow manual override, what happens if you manually increase/decrease the volume, or even switch it off... Your HS would not be aware of this change of status, as I understand the communication would be unidirectional: HS tells the switch to increase one level of volume, assuming the level is the one HS last had (incremental control). For volume, in order to avoid this, I could ask HS to decrease it by say 10 steps, in order to be sure to have 0, and then increase it according to the instruction given. But for the on/off, how can HS know if the switch was manually turned on/off? I guess there must be some IRs that are bidirectional (otherwise how could you have, in some AC systems, the set temperature and mode plotted on the AC remote...?) but I guess most are not, and this one doesn't look like
                    • Then, I think it's a great idea to have additional set of speakers for the TTS. Now, my HTPC would need to deal with 3 audio outputs: the original motherboard stereo jacks to the music speakers all around the house, the optical to the home Theatre system, and the communications for TTS... What should I do? add an additional sound card? I think you can control what soundcard you want to use for each specific application, and that's how I would tell the HTPC to play iTunes on the motherboard sound card (distributed audio), and movies on the optical (home theatre). But I'm not sure I will be able to add a third one. Any clue?
                    • An alternative could be to ask HS that whenever he needs to tell me something (incoming call, alert...), it should turn on all rooms audio switches, set the volume to an adequate one, and speak. This relates to the considerations above, how can HS know the status of each switch if you can act on it manually?
                    • So if I manage to control the switches error-free, I would be able to communise the 2 functions (listening to music and to TTS) with one only distributed system. Do you agree?
                    • There is still something I have no idea about: what about the microphones? What do I need to give instructions to HS from all around the house? How do you wire that, and how do you interface it to HS?
                    For HVAC control


                    And still the main concern I have is on how to control the HVAC from the HS without going through the thermostat. Following your indications, I've looked for some post and found one where people was using rain8net, others secu16. The thing is that there are I think 2 groups of requirements: controlling dampers, to be done by relays, as far as I understand, perfectly manageable with any of those. But then the second group of requirements is to be able to communicate HS with the control board of the AC/heat pump machine. I believe the commands that should go bidirectional are: mode (heat/cold/dry/fan), and the fan speed (Low/Medium/High), the set temperature and the actual temperature.

                    HS should be able to send a set temperature based on what is required, an actual temperature that should be calculated based on the different sensors, and the mode depending on the conditions (including humidity) measured around. The 4 parameters should be sent to the machine by HS. This communication protocol is what I have no idea about what it means.

                    I guess I could do some reverse engineering trying to understand the signals sent by the original thermostat. Maybe I could then wire in parallel to the original thermostat (that I would like to keep), the cables from my secu16 or rain8net, or whatever I need. What is the name of these signals? Are relays sufficient for all the possible things to control? I guess every AC maker has a different communications protocol and coding, isn't it? I'll probably buy a Carrier.

                    I guess it is just not feasible (and definitely not worth it) to go to a higher control level, where HS controls the compressor, resistances for the heater, fan speed, etc... Is it?

                    Finally, in an ideal world, I would like to be able to overwrite the commands coming from HS with the original thermostat, meaning that if the thermostat is off, HS takes control. If thermostat is on, then it's him to play. Is this possible? Is there any kind of parallel connection that would allow this?

                    I think I just miss some connection diagrams. For example, what connections go from a thermostat to the control board on the internal machine of a centralised ducted AC/heat pump system. So far I haven't found any.

                    Well, I hope you can bring some light to these questions

                    Thanks

                    Alex

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Sorry to go silent, I got really busy with work, family, school, and projects.

                      How is your project coming?

                      Ian
                      Plugins:
                      BLLogMonitor, BLGarbage, BLBackup, BLOutGoingCalls, BLUps, BLRfid, JvEss, DooMotion, Applied Digital Ocelot, AC RF Processor, UltraMon, PJC AVR 430, UPB, Rain8net, DSC Panel, JRiver Media center, Windows Media Player, SageMediaCenter, SnevlCID, MCSTemperature.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        For your HVAC, I would suggest controlling it with a thermostat, and have HS talk to the thermostat. This is the most reliable method and you can still control your HVAC system in the event of HS or Server problems.

                        As for choosing a controllable thermostat, I would sugggest a hardwired option like ApirlAire or HAI, again, because it is more reliable than x10.

                        If you decide to go with a controllable themostat, you would need one for each zone in the house, and for wiring they typically use 2 cables, 1 is the standard thermostat cable and the second would be a cat5 cable.

                        With this method, if you only have one zone, you can let HS take readings from your other devices and have the logic to tell the thermostat what to do.
                        HS Install Date: Feb. 16, 2007

                        HS3 Pro, Z-Wave, Insteon, BLStat, HS Touch Server, MyQ

                        WeatherXML, BLBackup, BLLAN, BLLock, Restart, CaddX, OpenSprinkler

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                          #13
                          Hey guys!

                          Thanks for the replies. I'll embed my comments on this previous post with the progresses I have done and the answers to your advices.

                          Soundsystem

                          I haven't looked much deeper on the sound system. My query on the IR is still there. Summarising: when controlling a device by IR, I guess the communication between the device and the automation system is not bidirectional. I understand you can send inputs from the automation, but I don't see how can you read the status of the device. This is especially important if I allow manual override of the systems, which is the case. How would HS/Ocelot know if I manually turner down the volume of a particular room, or if I changed the mode of my HVAC from cold to dry? If you could, I would definitely go for IR for the soundsystem and for the HVAC. If not, I would need to see if I can reset the device to a status known by the automation system before the latter sends the inputs.

                          I'm keeping this on hold. From a wiring point of view (which is the urgent matter for me now), the only thing I need to know is how you wire with mics the house.

                          HVAC


                          For HVAC, so far I made the following conclusions:
                          • for the zoning, as I'll have centralised HVAC with 5 ducts going to 5 rooms, what I plan is to install a damper at the end of each duct, at the outlet location of each room. Each damper would be controlled by a 220V servovalve, connected to a pulse switch in the corresponding room. Well, I guess by installing an on/off X10 module like the AWM2 with the pulse switch I should be able to control the servovalve both manually and through HS. As it is bidirectional, HS/Ocelot should know the status of the electrovalve in case of manual activation
                          • for the air handling unit itself, I would try to go for the original thermostat and control it via IR. Couple of queries:
                            • I have the mentioned doubts about IR controlling: how can HS/Ocelot know the status of the device if for some reason I acted on it manually? Some HVACs seem to have a bidirectional IR control with their remote, as you can plot the status in the remote itself. If this is the case, by installing an IR emitter+receiver between HS/Ocelot and the thermostat I should be able to solve the issue. What do you think?
                            • A part from the commands to be sent to the thermostat (on/off, setpoint, mode, fan speed), I would also like to replace the thermostat temperature actual value with a value calculated by HS/Ocelot based on the sensors I plan to install around the house. I don't know if I can open the thermostat and find where the temperature sensor has its output, and replace this by a low voltage signal sent by HS/Ocelot. Any suggestion?
                          Lighting

                          The best solution I found so far is X10, and for every line of lights, I would have a LWM1 micromodule (bidirectional dimmer), with the lights hanging from it, and pulse switches to control them. Any inconvenient? As far as I know, you can use LWM1 with both incandescent and halogen lights. Any restriction? The manual says something about some halogen don't being suitable, depending on the transformer. I did not understand this. Also: can you have one only LWM1 with both halogen and incandescent lights?

                          I ordered one LWM1, one AWM2, a CM15 controller and some pulse switches in order to do some tests before doing the big order... I guess I'll be able to do the tests during the weekend...

                          Cheers mates!

                          Alex

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