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Author Topic: My rebuild.  (Read 23671 times)

preston

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My rebuild.
« on: December 16, 2009, 12:37:10 PM »

First off a little history.

After high school I spent a little time in the Army during the Vietnam war. After that I became an electrician in commercial construction. My family was all in construction so that is how I ended up doing that for 30+ years even though I was the only one who went the electrician route. After that I became a screen printer so I could work for myself and at home as I have a large shop on the back side of my property to print out of.

In September of 2008 hurricane Ike paid a visit to my house and shop with a direct hit and while the wind was not as bad as some of the other storms that have come our way, this time we got a very high storm surge. We ended up with 1 foot of surge in our house and it was 3 feet deep in my shop. We also lost some of our roofing on the house and the heavy rains the day after Ike added a lot more damage to our house. If it were not for FEMA and the Red Cross I do not know what would would have done after that. Contrary to what some may have heard about FEMA I am here to tell you they were awesome and really helped us out.

In the aftermath of Ike I have been single handily rebuilding my house. This is a 3 to 4 year projected project as I also have to print shirts so I cannot work on the house all the time. Plus I need to print to make money to buy the stuff to rebuild. No insurance but that is another story for later.

We have always had high electric bills (and I mean high) but I attributed that to me running the print shop out back and the old central air units we had. Then the month after Ike we still got a fairly high electric bill even though we had been without power for over 2 weeks and after that we basically only had some lights, a coffee pot, a microwave, a small TV and a small window unit running. This got me to thinking, something is not right here.

My first thoughts and still are is to install TED to monitor my actually electric consumption independently of the utilities meter. This will give me real time info on what is going on plus allow me to verify that the utility meter is correct and they have net been stealing money from me for years. The second thing was I decided I needed to take control of just what is going on inside my house as it pertained to electric consumption. You know, all the stuff like the daughter only knows how to turn lights on but has not mastered the off function. All the wall warts (power supplies for cell phones and such). The TVs that really never quit using power even when you turn them off. You know, that kind of stuff. So I started looking for something that would allow me to automate the house in an effort to conserver energy and that is when I came across X10. I knew they made small cameras and stuff but never really noticed the home automation stuff they made. I guess all those cheap ads with girls in bikini's tell me "cheap junk, stay away" so I never really had given them much though until now.

I then went to the the X10 site and looked around behind all the bikini ads for a few days. You see being an electrician I want specs, details, wiring diagrams and such. I guess they have those stuffed inside the bikini's because it is almost impossible to find any of the technical info on the X10 site. Luckily I ran across another site that sells X10 stuff I cannot not even find on the X10 site and to my utter joy not only did they have all the really good stuff but they had all the specs, and some with wiring diagrams. After looking around a bit on this newly found site with some real information I was happy to see that most all X10-Pro automation stuff was not "Junk".

The other aspect of all of this is that because I am rebuilding my house, what better time to implement a home automation system. After researching the good stuff on the other site I also found that I could save a ton of work in wiring. You see, not only am I rebuilding the house but we are remodeling at the same time. Again, what better time to do all of this as Ike forced the issue so I could either put it back the way it was or I could change the house around to the way we wanted it. You know, daddy wants a big kitchen, that kind of thing.

So I ordered the "X10 HybridHome: Complete ActiveHome Pro System - set your home on a convenient, energy-conserving schedule!" and even though it is far from "Complete" I did get to it via a bikini ad. The reason I say it is far from "complete" is other than the CM15A and a free module it is nothing more than all the software. I will be getting all the other goodies as needed from the other site I found with all the good X10-Pro automation stuff.

Well enough with the preamble history of how I go here. I will attempt to keep this thread updated over the next few years as I get things back together. Follow along and enjoy the ride.

Below are a few pics. I know everyone like pics. Sorry, no bikinis..

Much of our house looked like this after Ike. This is the old dinning room. It will become part of the new larger kitchen.


Dirty floor in the old kitchen. See how small the old kitchen is..


Two shots of the new kitchen area being built. It is bigger than it looks. And I drink lots of Pepsi..




My preliminary plan on all the X10 stuff and what it will do.
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davideinmd

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Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2009, 02:08:04 PM »

Well let me be the first to welcome you to X10! Ya know, the Pro stuff is good but a lot of the non-pro stuff is good too. These forums provide a WEALTH of information and you will find that posts are answered rather quickly! Also, don't discount EBay as a source for X10 products as sometimes the deals are even better there! Good luck and pleased to meet ya!
Oh, and don't forget the Home Automation Chat room!
« Last Edit: December 16, 2009, 02:22:17 PM by davideinmd »
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preston

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Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2009, 02:47:55 PM »

Good luck and pleased to meet ya!
Oh, and don't forget the Home Automation Chat room!

Thanks,

I may try and hit the chat room if I get time. I am currently rebuilding my house as stated, running a textile printing business and I run and provide very active forum for the screen printing and embroidery industry. I am very familiar with SMF as that is what is used for my forum just a later version on mine. I also have 30+ years of experience in the electrical industry specializing in controls and automation so once I get my head around the concept used by X10 I should be able to run with it. Seems simple enough though. I cannot say I will not have questions because I probably will but I also plan to share any knowledge I have or gain as I know that is what really makes a forum and this one seems to be a good one.
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Knightrider

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    • This Automated House
Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2009, 08:51:27 PM »

Hey, I know the 'Nam guys don't always get the thanks they deserve, so here it is from me.

Thanks for your service.

With that being said, welcome to the forum.  If we can help, we certainly will.

Oh, and the chat:

www.bdshost.com/ac
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Remote control is cool,

but automation rules!

HA Dave

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Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2009, 10:46:28 AM »

.... I also have 30+ years of experience in the electrical industry specializing in controls and automation so once I get my head around the concept used by X10 I should be able to run with it. Seems simple enough though.

X10 is not just simple... but almost OVERLY simple. The biggest problem with experienced people.. who are new to X10.. is over-thinking the product/concepts.
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If X10 doesn't jump on the AI band wagon soon...
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twood

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Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2009, 01:45:21 PM »

Welcome, Preston.  Take the advice of someone who has been meddling with X-10 for 20 years or so--purchase the XTB-IIR from Jeff Volp first.  http://jvde.us/xtb/XTB-IIR_description.htm  You'll avoid years of frustration and experience home automation as it was intended.
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Life is good...even better when it's automated.

preston

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Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2009, 05:39:34 PM »

Welcome, Preston.  Take the advice of someone who has been meddling with X-10 for 20 years or so--purchase the XTB-IIR from Jeff Volp first.  http://jvde.us/xtb/XTB-IIR_description.htm  You'll avoid years of frustration and experience home automation as it was intended.

Not knowing, what is the big difference between the XTB-IIR and the XPCR? Is the XTB-IIR just better?
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Brian H

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Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2009, 06:14:44 PM »

The XTB-IIR has a much greater output than the XPCR.
In my house with an ELK ESM1 X10 signal meter. My lowest reading in the home is four bars out of ten. Using a TM751 on its controller outlet of the front cover.
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preston

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Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2009, 06:57:11 PM »

The XTB-IIR has a much greater output than the XPCR.
In my house with an ELK ESM1 X10 signal meter. My lowest reading in the home is four bars out of ten. Using a TM751 on its controller outlet of the front cover.

Ok Thanks.

Not trying to take this topic away from "Home Showcase" type stuff but can I install two of the XTB-IIr's? One in my house and one in my shop about a 150 feet behind the house. The shops power is sub fed from the houses 200 amp service. Or do you think I could just get away with one located at my main panel in the house?
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dave w

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Re: My rebuild.
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2009, 08:27:02 PM »

150 feet is a long haul, but the XTBIIR is a blowtorch with a rocket motor attached. Try it with one at the house, first.
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