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Author Topic: just purchased x-10 home...help??  (Read 14615 times)

Brian H

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2010, 09:31:13 AM »

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dave w

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2010, 11:02:30 AM »

O-o-o-o-h-h
This is beginning to make sense. The home is automated and I bet the automating contractor maintains control of the home over phone line or internet. That way he gets to charge a fee everytime the owner wants something changed.  i.e. Owner: "Can the pool lights come on earlier next Friday for our pool party?" Contractor: "Sure 'thatallbe' 50 bucks".

Camalot, you need to find out who the home automation/security contractor is. Any business cards thumb tacked on the wall in this "control room"?
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camelot

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2010, 02:08:19 PM »

Nope, no business cards around. This home had been uninhabited for quite some time, no utilities on, etc. Again, I believe the original homeowner was somewhat disgruntled when he 'left' several years ago.

Dave, from what neighbors tell me, the house had some kind of voice recognition system. The interface does blink when I use the remote. The leds on the HBP are always blinking and lighting up, even when i'm not using the remote. No Cd's anywhere. The HBP does has all sorts of wires going into it, including CAT 5, thermostat wire and speaker wire.

You guys have been a great help so far, as I'm sure you can tell, i'm not very hi-tech savy. Let me ask you this: If you were in my situation, what would you do? Is this something that could be fixed? And at what cost? Can you come over? LOL! Just trying to figure out where to start...
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dave w

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2010, 05:01:03 PM »


You guys have been a great help so far, as I'm sure you can tell, I'm not very hi-tech savy. Let me ask you this: If you were in my situation, what would you do? Is this something that could be fixed? And at what cost? Can you come over? LOL! Just trying to figure out where to start...
1. Being an old guy who is still techno geekish, I would try and salvage, only because it sounds like Home Base Pro is so heavily entwined in the house it might be as much problem and expense to divorce the two as to try and salvage the system.

2. Probably, but how much time and money you have to throw at it is the answer.

3. See #2

4. Doubt it, mom won't let me cross road by myself. Where are you at? We might be neighbors and not know it although I live in the middle of an Indiana corn field (sorta).

Camelot,  this may be easy and cheap if you get very lucky, here is what I would do if in your situation.
1. Try and find the original contractor though the original owner or the neighbor who continually saw the "Bob's Home Automation and Bait Shop" van parked outside the house.
2. Depending on the location of this estate,  check yellow pages for home automation and security companies within 20 miles and call each one asking if they ever customized the home.
3. Scour the home for anything, any paperwork indicating automation contractor.
4. Contact selling realtor who may know more details.
5. It sounds like the house was built for Home Base system so do you know the original construction contractor? (realtor may know).   


If I hit brick walls at every turn I would take a weeks vacation and, I being technical, would try a trace every wire on Home Base to get a picture of how entertwined it is. I might even spend 300 bucks and buy HAL taking a big chance that I would be able to connect to Home Base and get it to talk to me. Truthfully, I would be having fun.

Unfortunately you would probably not consider it fun so you might consider calling in a HVAC contractor to at least get the furnace and floors working. Try and find a honest contractor because right now you will look like fresh meat to a shark. Most X10 wall switches have local control so I would continue using them unless there was lights I could not control and that would require an electrician so again try and use someone you know.

You could also put classified add in local newspaper advertising for someone who knows Home Base Pro equipment. Do the same in the various internet user groups dedicated to home automation. Brian H can probably supply more user groups names than I. I just frequent the X10 forum, and Cocoon tech.com.

Brian H do you know if Robert Bass is still with us? I think he used to sell Home Base.

Again good luck.
 
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Brian H

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2010, 06:06:23 PM »

Sorry I don't know if Robert Bass is here any more.

camelot;
Have you tried Cocoontechs forums. They are a much more generic Automation Site and some of the long time users may have added data on the controller and some of the modules you have found. They also have much information on video audio and HVAC controls there. Not that we don't enjoy helping you here.
http://www.cocoontech.com/forums/
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HA Dave

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2010, 06:37:32 PM »

.. If you were in my situation, what would you do?

If it was MY problem.. or if I were YOU. I would rip it all out. There is no way to tell what the previous guy did.. or what he was thinking... or how close to code the setup is.. or isn't.

If it were ME: I would do all the work myself and save all the old parts. Later I would redesign my own automation setup.. maybe using some of the old parts.

If I were YOU:  I'd get an electrician or electrical contractor to remove all the automation and replace switches and such with regular items. Making sure the house is safely up to code.
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dave w

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2010, 08:59:12 PM »

$0.02
I would bet it is to code. I don't think its an owner hack job, but I suspect the automation contractor is out of business, otherwise he would have probably tried to leave a business card in the door etc  knowing that the next owner would need his services.
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JeffVolp

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2010, 09:15:02 PM »

It might be worth looking in the yellow pages for home automation equipment installers in your area, and calling those places to see if any of them did the installation.  PCS was top of the line.  Since this was a high-end installation, I certainly wouldn't rip it all out and start over.

If you can't recover the program from an installer, you could either have it reprogrammed to your requirements, or opt for a newer controller that can interface with the existing HVAC equipment.

JDS and Elk probably have controllers that will do the job.

Jeff
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X-10 automation since the BSR days

camelot

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2010, 09:38:04 PM »

The original owner WAS the architect, designer, builder, installer etc. The home was the first automated of it's kind(or at least in this part of the country...northeast PA). Very unique design, looks like it should be on a cliff in Malibu or on a beach in Miami Vice. Earthquake proof, hurricane proof etc. I just can't regulate the heat, LOL. I've got some work to do... B:(
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dave w

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #24 on: February 17, 2010, 07:56:06 AM »

The original owner WAS the architect, designer, builder, installer etc. The home was the first automated of it's kind(or at least in this part of the country...northeast PA). Very unique design, looks like it should be on a cliff in Malibu or on a beach in Miami Vice. Earthquake proof, hurricane proof etc. I just can't regulate the heat, LOL. I've got some work to do... B:(
I'd try and make friends with that guy. He probably still has system drawings, software, etc. Perhaps an out and out bribe of food, candy, and perhaps adult beverage.  ;D
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Brian H

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #25 on: February 17, 2010, 06:40:59 PM »

I was checking my archived X10 files today and was greeted by a surprise. I found a folder called PCS and in it was some old manuals. One on the PCS Scene Master Lighting System version 2.0 programming.  ;D
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Brandt

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2010, 07:59:47 PM »

I have some PCS switches...they have an 'air gap' by pushing down hard on the off side of it, then you turn the switch back on and then hold down both on and off until it starts blinking then you're in programming mode 1
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Brian H

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #27 on: February 18, 2010, 06:02:53 AM »

Though discontinued. One of the on line vendors never purged them from their web site and the manuals are still there.  :)
http://www.smarthomeusa.com/ShopByManufacturer/PCS/
http://www.smarthomeusa.com/ShopByManufacturer/PCS/Item/MM2LS-800/moreInfo/
« Last Edit: February 18, 2010, 07:02:28 AM by Brian H »
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camelot

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2010, 03:07:36 AM »

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camelot

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Re: just purchased x-10 home...help??
« Reply #29 on: February 22, 2010, 03:15:03 AM »

A couple random thoughts:
Where can I learn more about operating my homebase pro?
And in my control room, there are a few (relay?) switches...they look like outlets but they have little lights that are plugged into them...they click on and off randomly. What might their function be?
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