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New System - SEL-Pro vs Dedicated Linux box

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    New System - SEL-Pro vs Dedicated Linux box


    For a new home build we are looking to get HS on Linux. With the exception of my wife's Mac we've been a Linux-only home for many years. I even have the kids starting to learn ksh and python.

    I know there is a limit of some plugins but I am planning on using HS on Linux for our home build. My question here comes down to the HS SEL-Pro box vs building a dedicated Linux box and installing an HS Pro license.

    I know my wife would be more comfortable with the SEL-Pro purchase. It's a small, dedicated machine that already has all compatibility items worked out and is simple setup and run. I am interested in it for these same reasons. My only concern is possible port or card expansion down the road.

    As mentioned elsewhere I intend to use a DSC security system. We will also have a number of zWave devices around the house, some IP cameras, 3-4 dedicated HTPC computers running Kodi (some Pi based and some full build) and some multi-zone audio (these last two will be asked about more later).

    We will leverage some voice control as secondary control but I will ask about this more on a dedicated question. I understand we have limited voices available in Linux ( 1? ) but except for that I believe it's as functional as the Windows versions.

    I don't think anything I'm considering at this point would need the serial port which is missing on the SEL, and I don't believe I am dependent on any other external expansion. But of course I'm still trying to understand a few details so I wanted to put the question out here.


    I'm not Linux savvy, and have purchased two SEL-Pro boxes. I love them. Both have been bullet proof. That said, if you need serial port functionality, then they may not be the best option.

    However, if the serial port is needed for a DSC alarm system, I would consider getting an Envisalink interface for the DSC, which makes it controllable over your network.


      Thanks for the feedback!

      My biggest concern with the SEL-PRO so far has been possible impact from the missing seriel port, but so far I have not found anything in my plan that looks to need it. I have had others confirm the Envisalink and I don't have any legacy devices so I think I'm good so far.

      If you don't mind the follow-up, do you use the two SEL units together somehow or are they for two different homes?


        Two separate houses. And as luck (?) would have it, we totally lost Internet at one house for months on end, while we were at the other house, so I couldn't remotely log in to make sure everything was running smoothly. I was concerned, because I hard wired the irrigation system with Z-Wave relays, which meant that if the SEL-PRO went down, the grass wouldn't be watered (and this was in Arizona in the summer time).

        But when I flew down there to manage Internet going back up (the cable company's cable under the street went bad, and they had to bore an entirely new cable under the road just for us), everything was working just fine!

        For something as mission critical as home automation, I like keeping things as simple as possible. One HS3 box, and preferably one Z-Wave controller. At the house in question, this was set up in pre-Z-NET days, so I had a Z-Stick. I had one lock that was just too far away from where the Z-Stick was to be reliably controlled -- it was a gate lock outside at the far other end of the house. What I did was get a second Z-Stick, and set up an entirely separate network just for that lock. I ran "USB over CAT5" from the SEL-PRO to the garage a few feet away from the lock. So there was a separate network just for the problematic node (and locks can be tricky) -- I didn't want to "infect" the main network, which worked flawlessly.

        In reading this forum regularly over a number of years, my opinion is that a lot of the problems people are having are (1) Windows-related instead of HS3-related; and (2) making things too complicated with their Z-Wave network (running secondary controllers with the same network home ID, unnecessarily futzing with optimization and upgrades when not needed, and so on). Unless there's a particular problem I'm having or a function I want, I don't upgrade the base HS3 software or the Z-Wave plug-in, for instance.

        We moved to our current house (actually a high-rise condo) last year. The SEL-PRO has been running now for >two months without being touched. I have a half-dozen or so switches I still want to add when I have time, and I'll probably reboot the SEL at that time. I then I plan on leaving it alone . . . .


          Very useful feedback. Thanks.

          zWave if fully new to me but I'm getting a lot of understanding from the forums here and a few videos I've watched. I appreciate your experience with setting up a separate, dedicated zWave network for the remote device. I imagine there were some devices on your primary network that were also in range of the "remote" network. Are there any issues with overlap like that or does it all "just work" once you set up your devices on the expected network?

          Also, if you get a couple minutes, what did you use to set up your USB over IP?