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  • Want to run house on server.

    I wanted to run everything in my house through something like the Fusion Brain including the lights, all media, pretty much everything. And I also wanted remote access to all my files with secure weekly backups. So I'm thinking about going with a server type deal like here.
    Would I need something like this? I'd like to be able to access and stream media anywhere in the world pretty much and also be able to run remote management via my Blackberry if I don't have a computer with me. Plus with a few relays and Fusion Brains, I can run the house. Am I overdoing it? Am I going in the wrong direction?
    Ampie Case
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  • #2
    Check on the home automation forums, there are easier solutions.
    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

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    • #3
      haha, I went looking on mp3car.com for the Home Automation subforum, I'm an idiot. I get what you mean now, other forums. I'll check that out.
      Ampie Case
      2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
      256 MB DDR2 PC5400
      Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
      Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
      M2-ATX-HV

      2005 Honda Civic

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      • #4
        Of all the forums I looked at, these guys seem to be complete computer imbeciles. Can you recommend a home automation forum site where people are doing automation to their homes as extensive as what people here are doing to their cars?
        Ampie Case
        2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
        256 MB DDR2 PC5400
        Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
        Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
        M2-ATX-HV

        2005 Honda Civic

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        • #5
          The media is the easy part and fairly cheap but the home automation gets complicated and very expensive very quickly. Not least you will have to re-wire you house to the control point. There is kit specifically made for this but yes you probably could use fusion brains hooked up to relays or contactors depending on loads. The problem with doing a home made system instead of a proper system is general operating systems tend to be a bit unreliable so if your server goes down then so does your house. Custom built OS though tends to be much more reliable as is the hardware. In the past I have put in systems that were controlled either by dialling the server and entering numbers to a menu (press one for heating type of thing) or via a web interface. The web interfaces definitely weren't mobile phone friendly but it was a few years ago and they might have moved on now. These systems cost many thousands though both to buy and install. They were very reliable though and has fail-safe built it. You have to ask your self how much you want to spend to switch a light on with your phone remotely when you can do it with a switch already when you get home.
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          • #6
            True about the rewiring unless I'm having the house built or unless I can find some sort of Fusion Brain type unit which works with radio outputs instead of wired. And then use a radio receiver at the chosen appliance.
            Ampie Case
            2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
            256 MB DDR2 PC5400
            Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
            Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
            M2-ATX-HV

            2005 Honda Civic

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Maheriano View Post
              True about the rewiring unless I'm having the house built or unless I can find some sort of Fusion Brain type unit which works with radio outputs instead of wired. And then use a radio receiver at the chosen appliance.
              x10?
              Old Systems retired due to new car
              New system at design/prototype stage on BeagleBoard.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Rob Withey View Post
                Nice, though very unsecure. I wouldn't use it for entry.
                Ampie Case
                2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
                256 MB DDR2 PC5400
                Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
                Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
                M2-ATX-HV

                2005 Honda Civic

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                • #9
                  So here's the idea I have right now. I'm ignoring the X10 until I can get a little more information on it and how exactly it would fit into my idea.



                  -- I don't know much about servers but this is one HP has for about $700. I know it's not needed for the automation but you'll see further down why I want it.

                  -- The server will be connected to the internet through a router, maybe wireless N or whatever the best is now.

                  -- I want to run a Day Of Defeat server so I can administrate online games since I play every day on other people's servers currently.

                  -- The server will run a network so I will have access to my files securely from anywhere in the world as long as I have an internet connection. It'll also constantly run downloading movies and things, storing them for when I want to access them at any time.

                  -- I may or may not put a touchscreen near the front door for security codes or whatever else. Or even just to set things as I'm leaving.

                  -- It'll run VOIP as well.

                  -- For the projector I'm not sure if I should hook directly to it or simply hook it to a Media Center computer and stream the movies to it off the network. But there will be a projector.

                  -- Print server.

                  -- Fusion Brain to connect to any electrical components I want to control in the house like lighting, projector, curtains, stereo, pretty much everything restrictive of wiring. I'll also have voice control software on the server so I can control everything through voice commands.

                  -- Temperature Sensor hooked to Fusion Brain to keep a regulated temperature in the house.

                  -- I have 2 websites hosted remotely right now, I'd like to run them on my own server. I would also create a new secure website I can log onto with my Blackberry to control everything in my house via the Fusion Brain.

                  -- Streaming radio from Winamp so I can listen to the radio on my Blackberry or any internet connected computer. And it will only comprise of my songs on my server.

                  -- Bluetooth to wireless synchronize my Blackberry with the server when I'm in the house.

                  This post is more of a question than a statement, I'm asking if this is a terrible direction for what I want. Do I need everything? I also just realized I want to add a security system I can monitor via my Blackberry, complete with cameras and the server will run that as well. I'll add that later.
                  Ampie Case
                  2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
                  256 MB DDR2 PC5400
                  Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
                  Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
                  M2-ATX-HV

                  2005 Honda Civic

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Maheriano View Post
                    Nice, though very unsecure. I wouldn't use it for entry.
                    I don't know how "unsecure" it is. I run X-10 throughout the house, security cameras, PIR sensors, etc. Its really is as secure as you want to make it. And there are interfaces for almost everything imaginable including voice control.

                    I have one section of my system setup to send a text message to my phone whenever a PIR sensor is tripped, the camera begins recording for 10 minutes and if the sensor is still active after 10 minutes it sends me a pic to my phone.

                    Based on the plan you laid out, Smart Home product (not cheap by a long shot) would be where I'd tell you to start researching for lighting, security, IR/video distribution, and touchscreen controls.

                    The rest could be achieved with other program choices. The trick is getting it all to talk to one another where needed. And for that, I had to do some programming of my own (Autoit is your friend).

                    There are several others here much more experienced than I on home automation, but if you don't want to rewire your whole house, X-10 is the cheapest, easiest, and most modular method available.
                    HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

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                    • #11
                      I'm not asking for a spoon but I can't exactly figure out what X10 is still. I read it as a unit you plug into the wall and then plug any appliance into it. Or it comes in a light bulb type where you can put bulbs into it. But online I see them selling as light switches, keypads, plugs with wires on the side, what's the deal? What is it exactly?
                      Ampie Case
                      2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
                      256 MB DDR2 PC5400
                      Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
                      Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
                      M2-ATX-HV

                      2005 Honda Civic

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Maheriano View Post
                        I'm not asking for a spoon but I can't exactly figure out what X10 is still. I read it as a unit you plug into the wall and then plug any appliance into it. Or it comes in a light bulb type where you can put bulbs into it. But online I see them selling as light switches, keypads, plugs with wires on the side, what's the deal? What is it exactly?
                        I've never been known for brevity, but here goes. Basically, X-10 allows you to control household lighting and appliances through your existing home wiring. Modules consist of controllers, receivers, and transmitters. Controllers can be wired (i.e., replacing standard wall switches), wireless (where the receiver is plugged into an AC outlet), or computer controlled (where a serial or USB port is connected to a AC outlet interface). Receivers can be plug-in modules, replacement wall switches, replacement AC outlets, direct-wired into the house wiring or device, etc. Transmitters can be any of the above plus RF, IR, and other crossover methods.

                        More advanced X-10 systems incorporate security systems, IR transmitters & receivers, and extensive computer automation to tie everything together. Anything you can imagine can be monitored or controlled via various combinations of the considerable available modules, like drapes, driveway sensors, mailbox sensors, garage door closers (several of us went back and forth years ago on what was the most efficient way to check if the garage door was open and if so close it when the system did its nightly bed check.) I've had mine maintain my pool pH, notify me via text msg if my basement flooded, automate my HVAC to turn the heat down after I go to bed and back up an hour before I wake, an away mode turns lights on and off thru the house to appear occupied when I'm away, my main computers speak to me when certain sensors are tripped while the others chime one tune for the front door and another for the back, the main automation computer runs programs whenever certain conditions are met with the automation system, scenes can be created for one button control(for instance a movie night scene shuts off certain lights, dims others, closes the drapes, engages the movie screen, starts the projector, etc.), my rain sensor disables the sprinkler system, and the list goes on and on and on.

                        Smart Home is a great resource to find out what the latest and greatest modules are, but I rarely buy from them (Too expensive). X10.Com is the cheapest online retailer of x-10 modules, but there are several other brands that are compatible (Sears, Radio Shack, HomeVision, Leviton, Insteon, etc). I use ActiveHome software cause its cheap and does most of what I need currently, although I also have several other software running to do other automation stuff. Many others I know like PowerHome.

                        Much like this (Carputers) hobby, lots of research, trial and error, money, time, and effort is required to get an X-10 home automation system to do everything you want it to. The X-10.com site has simple tutorials for the beginner. JohnWPB says CocoonTech is a one stop shop for info on home automation akin to MP3Car. I've also found HomeSeer.com a good resource.

                        Enough from me, have fun.
                        HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

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                        • #13
                          That's helpful but how does it work? It sits on the outlet or switch side and receives data from a controller and controls the appliance accordingly? Would I need a separate controller hardware piece to hook to my computer? Why not just use bluetooth? Can I just buy the receiver and make custom light switches and such?
                          Ampie Case
                          2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
                          256 MB DDR2 PC5400
                          Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
                          Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
                          M2-ATX-HV

                          2005 Honda Civic

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                          • #14
                            http://www.x10minitimer.com/how.html

                            http://www.zimbio.com/Peace+of+Mind+...s+How+x10+work

                            http://www.oreillynet.com/pub/a/netw...x10_hmhck.html

                            http://www.jrf.org.uk/housingandcare/smarthomes/how.asp

                            http://www.alwaysthinking.com/products/x10intro.html

                            http://www.newtox10.com/how.html
                            HARDWARE: Fujitsu Stylistic ST5111w/WiFi and dock, internal Hitachi 500G HD, external 1TB HD, Sierra Wireless Aircard 550, DVD-RW, BoomzBox HD radio, XM Commander, Delorme GPS, Saitek X-52 Pro joystick, BluSoleil Bluetooth, TPMS, FB, Elm327

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                            • #15
                              OK, so I went through every link you posted, and I think I have it now.
                              The user has a remote and pushes a button to send a command code like A10 or C4 or whatever. This gets broadcast 100 feet in all directions and picked up by a transceiver plugged in somewhere in the home with that code assigned to it. That transceiver sends a signal with the code through all the wiring in the house and it's picked up only by a receiver with that code assigned to it and does the preprogrammed action on the appliance.

                              I like it but I have one last question. In all the links I didn't see anywhere about actually building it right into your home behind the walls. It's just gyprock, plaster and paint, cut it open and get in there. So what's the best way to do it if you don't mind doing a wall biopsy?
                              Ampie Case
                              2.5" Hard Drive 80GB Samsung 5400RPM
                              256 MB DDR2 PC5400
                              Xenarc 700TSV - VGA Monitor
                              Intel D945GCLF Motherboard
                              M2-ATX-HV

                              2005 Honda Civic

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