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Author Topic: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on  (Read 49720 times)

madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2010, 05:34:26 PM »

I am using the $99 Sheevaplug which is a little bigger than a wal-wart and uses 2-7watts depending on how active it is. If you want, I could walk you through my setup.



Yes, I'm interested !

Thanks.
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pconroy

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2010, 06:26:16 PM »

There are several low power computers.
Personally that's the way I'd head.
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Brandt

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2010, 06:30:56 PM »

I am using the $99 Sheevaplug which is a little bigger than a wal-wart and uses 2-7watts depending on how active it is. If you want, I could walk you through my setup.



Yes, I'm interested !

Thanks.


My setup involves Linux command line...are you comfortable with that?
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2010, 07:56:45 PM »

I am using the $99 Sheevaplug which is a little bigger than a wal-wart and uses 2-7watts depending on how active it is. If you want, I could walk you through my setup.



Yes, I'm interested ! But I hope your remote access doesn't involve typing commands each time you want to turn a module on/off.

Thanks.


My setup involves Linux command line...are you comfortable with that?

Yes. I'm a software engineer.
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Brandt

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2010, 10:09:00 PM »

Please check out the ISY99 first!
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kevinwheeler

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #20 on: November 15, 2010, 01:09:04 PM »

I just went through this whole process myself, as I have 10's of light/appliance/outlet X10 devices, as well as the DS7000 system with many motion sensors and Door switches, and 4 X10 cameras with Ninja (robotic pan/tilt) devices. I also looked at most of the devices (Smarthome stuff, the ISY-99i) and other solutions, and had been rather disappointed with the MyHouse add-on as well as the high "cost" (power, etc.) of a PC. But after they introduced their new "Mobile" apps and moved the web server to your local PC (Active Phone, iWatchMobile Pro, OnAlert Mobile), I decided to go with a PC based solution. I found this unit at Newegg - an Atom system for $129 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119025), added a hard drive, memory, DVD and USB hub all for under $300 and have a very nice low power system (normally runs under 20W per my UPS). I have an old keyboard/mouse/monitor attached, although I almost never use it - I use VNC for remote access and have the BIOS configured to ignore mouse/keyboard errors.

If you treat this system more like a hardware box (find an old copy of XP, add the free Microsoft Security Essentials, turn off automatic updates), then you won't need to worry about your stuff being obsoleted - if it works now it will keep working until you change something.

This was the only solution for my X10 cameras - nothing else works as well. If you don't have any cameras yet you can buy IP ready pan/tilt cameras for about $80 apiece that you can control directly, but I already had the X10 stuff and it all ties in together nicely. I also have the firecracker USB (CM19A) device and so I can support any of the X10 wireless devices as well. And sophisticated macros and "standalone" timers through the CM15A, as well as e-mails or phone calls via a USB voice modem.

Anyway, just my $.02.

Kevin
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Brandt

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #21 on: November 15, 2010, 03:19:06 PM »

If your looking for basic "remote" control for turning lights off the TouchTone Controller can handle that. Although it may take a bit of looking and searching to still find one.

Thanks, but I'm looking for Internet access, not phone. I have a large house with 16.5 rooms. By the time I'm done with automation I will have lots of x10 codes. It would be very painful to enter through phone. I want web browser control.



I dunno if x10 is a good idea with that many rooms....anybody??
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2010, 03:25:26 PM »

Please check out the ISY99 first!

Thanks ! It appears that it would meet my needs. Why did you go the custom route ? Is it because of the price ? Or some missing functionality ?
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2010, 03:31:38 PM »

Hi,

I just went through this whole process myself, as I have 10's of light/appliance/outlet X10 devices, as well as the DS7000 system with many motion sensors and Door switches, and 4 X10 cameras with Ninja (robotic pan/tilt) devices. I also looked at most of the devices (Smarthome stuff, the ISY-99i) and other solutions, and had been rather disappointed with the MyHouse add-on as well as the high "cost" (power, etc.) of a PC. But after they introduced their new "Mobile" apps and moved the web server to your local PC (Active Phone, iWatchMobile Pro, OnAlert Mobile), I decided to go with a PC based solution. I found this unit at Newegg - an Atom system for $129 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119025), added a hard drive, memory, DVD and USB hub all for under $300 and have a very nice low power system (normally runs under 20W per my UPS). I have an old keyboard/mouse/monitor attached, although I almost never use it - I use VNC for remote access and have the BIOS configured to ignore mouse/keyboard errors.

If you treat this system more like a hardware box (find an old copy of XP, add the free Microsoft Security Essentials, turn off automatic updates), then you won't need to worry about your stuff being obsoleted - if it works now it will keep working until you change something.

This was the only solution for my X10 cameras - nothing else works as well. If you don't have any cameras yet you can buy IP ready pan/tilt cameras for about $80 apiece that you can control directly, but I already had the X10 stuff and it all ties in together nicely. I also have the firecracker USB (CM19A) device and so I can support any of the X10 wireless devices as well. And sophisticated macros and "standalone" timers through the CM15A, as well as e-mails or phone calls via a USB voice modem.

Anyway, just my $.02.

Kevin

Thanks. I don't have X10 cameras at this time. And not sure that I would want them. 20W is a little bit higher than I'm looking for though it might be livable. How is the noise ? Some people on newegg complain it's not that quiet. Does it have a fan ? Having a hard drive is a major downside reliability wise and noise wise.
I'm still not crazy about using windows. My preference would go to some diskless embedded device with network interface.
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2010, 03:36:22 PM »

If your looking for basic "remote" control for turning lights off the TouchTone Controller can handle that. Although it may take a bit of looking and searching to still find one.

Thanks, but I'm looking for Internet access, not phone. I have a large house with 16.5 rooms. By the time I'm done with automation I will have lots of x10 codes. It would be very painful to enter through phone. I want web browser control.



I dunno if x10 is a good idea with that many rooms....anybody??

It is a 5000 sq ft house. I'm going to check out how reliable x10 is in the place before I buy the remote server.
I just ordered a dryer type phase coupler/repeater from Smarthome so I can pass commands around. I will see if the X10 commands can get through or not between rooms, and how far. I have a few spare x10 appliance modules to test with. It's possible I will need more repeaters.
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Brandt

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2010, 04:33:23 PM »

ick...i used to have one of those dryer type couplers....it was terrible...with that size house i would recommend an XTB-IIR
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Brandt

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2010, 04:34:44 PM »

I went the custom route because I'm not all about just throwing money at things to make them work, I'm more into DIY and flexibility to do what I want.
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HA Dave

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2010, 04:39:51 PM »

................. It's possible I will need more repeaters.

More repeaters? If you have two repeaters... and one heard a signal from another... and repeated it. And then the first repeater heard that repeated signal and repeated that.... where would it all stop?

I think the best repeater on the market is made by Jeff Volp... and may very well be what you need. I would consider returning the one to Smarthome and contact Jeff. His repeater... is famous!
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HA Dave

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2010, 04:59:51 PM »

..... I also looked at most of the devices (Smarthome stuff, the ISY-99i) and other solutions, and had been rather disappointed with the MyHouse add-on as well as the high "cost" (power, etc.) of a PC. But after they introduced their new "Mobile" apps and moved the web server to your local PC (Active Phone, iWatchMobile Pro, OnAlert Mobile), I decided to go with a PC based solution. I found this unit at Newegg - an Atom system for $129 (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16856119025 Anyway, just my $.02.

Kevin Your solution is elegantly simple, you did a great job. I don't care what anybody says, IMHO: Nothing beats a computer for making a home smart. If someone doesn't think their convenience, safety, and security is worth burning a few watts... lets hope they live alone.

I use an old P3 to control and monitor my home. I rescued it from the trash and recycled it with a used (flea market find) RAM upgrade. I have a YouTube Video that shows just a small part of what I do using the Home Automation PC.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2010, 05:02:38 PM by Dave_x10_L »
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madbrain

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Re: Remote Internet access to x10 without leaving home PC on
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2010, 07:50:45 PM »

ick...i used to have one of those dryer type couplers....it was terrible...with that size house i would recommend an XTB-IIR

Just coupler or coupler-repeater ?
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