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Author Topic: Confused as hell  (Read 19340 times)

dchurch

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Confused as hell
« on: May 09, 2008, 07:03:12 AM »

Hi all,

I've been interested in home automation for quite a while (I even made my own automatic motion detecting cat-flap a while ago).

Since then I've upgraded to Ubuntu (from Windows) and have just moved house - I thought now would be the time to implement HA stuff.

I've been reading around and finally found this place. However, I am confused as hell.

I have read that I need two way communication if I want to be able to view the status of a device (say a lamp being on) and therefore must not have the 'firecracker'.

I am in the UK, but couldn't seem to find anywhere to buy X10 equipment from in the UK with UK plugs.

Basically I want to be able to control lights (and possibly doors at a later stage) from my Ubuntu box (maybe even make the lights dim when a film comes on in MythTV) and want to be able to monitor cameras in and around the property.

I don't want to have to install Windows on a machine to use X10 software, as I've finally managed to banish M$ from my house and as such my stress levels have dropped quite a bit! No more shouting at inanimate objects!

So, I was wondering if anyone out there could advise me on where/what to buy to enable this set up.

I've read about MisterHouse and that seems like a good place to start, but I am still confused as to which package to buy that will work with this, and indeed, where to buy it.

All help for a noob is appreciated ;-)
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steven r

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Re: Confused as hell
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2008, 10:27:58 AM »

Welcome to the forum, dchurch!

The latest thing from X10 is the CM15A with the AHP software. Unfortunately for you AHP only runs on Windows. I don't know if there is any 3rd party software for the CM15A yet. I believe there is 3rd party software that doesn't require windows for the CM11A and it's 220V equivalent which I think is the CM11E. I'm sure someone will correct me if I have the model wrong as well as give you some links for 220V hardware.

BTW.. Cool idea on the cat flap. Want to post how you did it? I'm sure that there is a least one other person that might want one.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2008, 07:12:30 PM by steven r »
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: Confused as hell
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2008, 06:56:01 PM »

Hi all,

I've been interested in home automation for quite a while (I even made my own automatic motion detecting cat-flap a while ago).

Since then I've upgraded to Ubuntu (from Windows) and have just moved house - I thought now would be the time to implement HA stuff.

I've been reading around and finally found this place. However, I am confused as hell.

I have read that I need two way communication if I want to be able to view the status of a device (say a lamp being on) and therefore must not have the 'firecracker'.

I am in the UK, but couldn't seem to find anywhere to buy X10 equipment from in the UK with UK plugs.

X10 products for 240V 50Hz are marketed by Marmitek (http://www/marmitek.com).  Check their product list under the "Home Control" tab.

True, they offer only a few 2-way modules which can be interrogated for their status.  I'm not sure what you mean by "must not have the firecracker".

Here's one retail source in the UK:
http://www.simplyautomate.co.uk/acatalog/homecontrol.html

A simple setup would involve a CM11 plus whatever modules you need for lamps and appliances.
(Note: before ordering a CM11, verify that it's shipped with a regular serial cable in addition to the USB cable - many people have had problems with the USB cable under Linux.)

Quote
Basically I want to be able to control lights (and possibly doors at a later stage) from my Ubuntu box (maybe even make the lights dim when a film comes on in MythTV) and want to be able to monitor cameras in and around the property.

Heyu software (http://www.heyu.org) will let you control your lights and doors with a CM11, and is a 10-minute installation.  You'll probably need a TV input card for video - I don't know what works with Linux besides that, especially in Europe.

Quote
I don't want to have to install Windows on a machine to use X10 software, as I've finally managed to banish M$ from my house and as such my stress levels have dropped quite a bit! No more shouting at inanimate objects!

So, I was wondering if anyone out there could advise me on where/what to buy to enable this set up.

I've read about MisterHouse and that seems like a good place to start, but I am still confused as to which package to buy that will work with this, and indeed, where to buy it.

All help for a noob is appreciated ;-)

Misterhouse has a lot of different capabilities but setup may be a little daunting for a newbie.

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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X     http://www.heyu.org

dchurch

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Re: Confused as hell
« Reply #3 on: May 13, 2008, 04:14:50 AM »

Hi all, thanks for the replies - looks like a lot of reading (...but I like reading ;-) )

I have two capture cards that I have working in Linux already (I'm not a Linux noob, just a home automation noob ;-) ) - and I have webcam motion detection setup using 'motion', so I would know when there is someone at the door - just not able to open it without walking down stairs (and after living in bungalows for the last 30 years, my legs "ain't what they used to be" ;-) )

Thanks for the links to software etc... they look exactly what I am after.

...as to the automated cat-flap - I wrote that in vb.net, when I still used Windows - I used a serial cable out to a controller and then on to the servo, which would be triggered once motion was detected. Quite simple really. I did try to get it to recognise only my cat, but this was impossible.  I had it recognising members of my family, but cat faces are just toooooo similar to differentiate.

The motion detection I based on some code I found at codeproject.com (I have searched for it, but I can no longer seem to find what I based it on, sorry!)

Thanks again guys - you've really pointed me in the right direction.
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EdMar

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Re: Confused as hell
« Reply #4 on: December 03, 2008, 03:08:13 AM »

Hey Confused !  I was rumaging around earlier this morning and stumbled on a site that was selling x-10 equipment for Hong Kong Higher voltage at 50HZ.  I didn't read very far but you might want to google for the H/W ... regards _ed_
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joako

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Re: Confused as hell
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2009, 08:30:41 PM »

There is also "X10 Europe" -- http://www.x10europe.com/

The European modules seem more advanced... way more 2 way stuff...
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Brian H

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Re: Confused as hell
« Reply #6 on: December 01, 2009, 06:02:12 AM »

The European RF devices also use a different frequency to match the countries standards.
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