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Author Topic: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?  (Read 12028 times)

aba

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X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« on: December 02, 2009, 10:57:03 AM »

Guys,

I have an X10 alarm system and basic light control.  I'm now looking to take it to another level.  My focus to start, will be additional home security but was interested in how you've progressed or more importantly the order you would do it, if you were to do it all again?

Mine list is currently

1. Alarm System - Done
2. Internal Lighting - Will Expand
3. Computer Control - To Do
4. External Security Lighting - To Do
5. Additional Security Appliance - To Do (Poss FakeTV/RoboDog/Radio/etc)
6. CCTV - To Do (Not sure weather to go fake just for deterence or X10 to DVR)
7. Home Theatre Control - To Do
8. Voice Activation - To Do (Just for fun)

What order did you do yours, would you do it differently next time?

 >!

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aba

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2009, 03:10:20 PM »

Apologies if it was in the wrong section but I didn't expect this thread to be just focused on Security? ? ?

I was hoping to understand what order people have set up there home automation / security and what would they change. 
« Last Edit: December 02, 2009, 03:11:54 PM by stace »
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HA Dave

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2009, 07:52:18 PM »

What order did you do yours, would you do it differently next time?

I've told my automation story many times.

I bought my first X10 when I built the Home Theater. I thought it would be cool to be able to dim lights from my reclinder... and it was. Then I realized how much more I could do. I then went looking for more ways to use X10.

More lighting
2. Cameras (I couldn't see my drive way from any window... a camera was a perfect solution)
3. Security Alarm.
4. This is when I found the forum... I was looking for MORE ways to use X10.. and I discovered BVC (back then BXCV). I will never go back to button pushing.
5. Then I realized I could automate more... if the house was a little smarter.. and started working towards Occupancy Sensing. Now I am working on S.A.R.A. (Smart Articulate Responsive Automation). I am getting to the point where sensors and macros and my XP computer do most of the controlling. But the voice announcements inform me as to what is going on.
« Last Edit: December 03, 2009, 08:54:55 AM by Dave_x10_L »
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Puck

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #3 on: December 03, 2009, 09:53:41 AM »

Moved you back to the General Section. I agree, your topic is not security specific.

I started out with just thinking about basic security; doors & windows.
Once that was done I thought it would be nice to have security cameras monitoring my home 24/7.
After the security was set up and the infrastructure was in place, I now wanted to make some lights automated.

Like most, when the automation bug bites I couldn't stop until every light in the house was automated. That's when the whole set up had to be software controlled (AHP).

The final major stage of my system was now to have full control of my home and access to cameras from my laptop when not at home.

The last stage for me is the bells & whistles, tweaks, updates, etc. This stage, of course, has no end in sight.

If I were to start all over again, or even make a recommendation to someone starting out, I would take a more top down approach as opposed to the bottom up as I did. You could still do the small parts in the order of your personal priorities, but start by thinking what you would like to be the finished system. Then break that system down to the smaller sections and determine the best way to implement and integrate it. I know I have done many makeovers and have lots parts that I no longer use, just from changing what I had done to make it work the way I wanted in the end.
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aba

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2009, 02:17:55 AM »

You both mention getting camera's early on in your builds.

Was this for specific reasons or more of a comfort factor?  I keep toying with just purchasing good quality dummy's, just as a deterent.  The area I live in, is pretty affluent so not sure whether the cost of a full blown 4 camera DVR system could be better spent on other parts of the system....

What do you think?
« Last Edit: December 04, 2009, 02:19:31 AM by stace »
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Mellowmark

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2009, 08:59:48 AM »

All I have is some lighting controls. They have me hooked and I probably am in the same boat as you, not sure what is the best approach.  I do have a little bit for ponder.  Today I started in with some extended code program features and some of my switches work with it and some do not. I happen to think  it is the way to go and want all of my switches to have that feature.   I have been reading some of Boiler's threads on it and it looked confusing at first. It will be a little hard for me to set up. But from what I can tell the effect is well worth the effort.

So in one sentence, get all you can with the new extended code feature: repeater coupler modules switches etc. 
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Puck

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2009, 11:17:22 AM »

You both mention getting camera's early on in your builds.

Was this for specific reasons or more of a comfort factor?  I keep toying with just purchasing good quality dummy's, just as a deterrent.  The area I live in, is pretty affluent so not sure whether the cost of a full blown 4 camera DVR system could be better spent on other parts of the system....

What do you think?

I added cameras initially for the deterrent factor. I too initially looked at dummy's but the cost difference was not significant enough to want to spend money on a nonfunctional piece of equipment. Plus the ability to turn the TV channel and see who was in my driveway was a major factor in my real camera decision. I started with just the one camera and expanded one camera at a time until my home's exterior was covered and a few indoor ones in the unlikely event that someone did break in.

I too live in a good neighbourhood, but home invasions seem to be increasing in frequency on the news (around here anyways), and I have yet to hear of it happening to a run down house in a bad part of town. I hate to see it happen to anyone, but my family comes first; so my goal is to make the potential threat not want to risk doing it to my home and move on to somewhere else. Cameras (wheather real or not) along with automatic outdoor lighting is probably the best deterrent.

If just using a dummy camera for a deterrent is all you plan to use it for, then go for it. If you think you will eventually want to do more with a camera, then the additional cost upfront will most likely be much less than the cost of replacing everything later.
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aba

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2009, 03:02:37 PM »

I'm keen on dummy's because I'm interested in the deterent aspect but don't care for running additional cables and worrying about a dvr.

I was looking at these http://www.ultrasecuredirect.com/acatalog/Internal_External_Decoy2_CCTV_Camera_System.html  but am now not sure because I have seen them sold on several websites.  Could just be the fact that I'm looking for camera's but the fact I've seen them around the web alot makes me wonder whether they would be obvious fakes.

For the price, I could always spray them a dark graphite so they look different??
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Puck

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2009, 04:51:21 PM »

...makes me wonder whether they would be obvious fakes.

I don't know how obvious it would look, but just from the ones I have seen, fake cameras have a flashing LED and real ones don't. Also that one looks like it has IR LEDs around the lens to simulate being a night vision camera... it would be obvious fake (or not on) to a professional thief if those LEDs did not glow at night.

You keep mentioning about not wanting to get a DVR... you can also use an old VCR or an inexpensive TV/video capture card for a PC. (Just an FYI in case you were not aware).

As for wiring, there would be no way around that. Even wireless cameras still need power wired to it.
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aba

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2009, 02:31:36 AM »

Good point about the IR Led's glowing, I didn't think of that.

I need a re-think, I really don't want the hassle of getting power to them and storing a DVR/PC/Video somewhere but maybe thats what I need to do  B:( .

I don't have any real experience in dropping cables down the cavity and out through the brickwork, I imagine it to be a pig of a job !!

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HA Dave

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2009, 03:27:24 AM »

My first camera... was just so I could keep an eye on the driveway... particularly from my (basement) home office. I was afraid I would miss the plumber or cable guy (or whatever) I was waiting for. I live in a safe area... and the idea of security came later.

I never considered a fake camera. The price difference is so small (between fake and real) and the effort to install so minor... I'd just install a real camera.

But if you don't feel you have a need (or desire) for cameras. You might be able to match some of the deterrent with outside mounted strobes and sirens. Or even just identifying any weak areas and fixing them.
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Puck

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #11 on: December 05, 2009, 11:10:52 AM »

You could always install a real camera for the look and deterrent factor, but not actually hook it up. If would still be a virtual fake but will look real. And maybe someday you may just want to use it and just have to run the cable.
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Tuicemen

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2009, 11:27:18 AM »

I have to agree with Puck
Quote
You could always install a real camera for the look and deterrent factor, but not actually hook it up. If would still be a virtual fake but will look real. And maybe someday you may just want to use it and just have to run the cable.

The difference in price is so small between real and fake!
And with so many fake cams out there most thieves can spot the difference!
Best deterrent is a sign stating video surveillance. A obvious cam just means the thief isn't going to show their face to the cam.
If they can't see a cam they won't know which way to look to avoid recognition.
 >!
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aba

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Re: X10: Securing/Automating Your Home - Orders Of Preference ?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2009, 02:00:44 PM »

OK Cool,  So I'll likely buy some real ones and decide about powering up.  I guess from the earlier statement that even if I buy real, I'm probably best to stay away from IR because of the LED's and lack of glow.
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