# Thread: Us HTPC'ers have much to learn from you guys

1. Originally Posted by tj!2k4
It's a tablet in a cradle...
That's the other thing I'm ripping off you guys - learning how to fabricate good looking enclosures so I can wallmount it and have it look clean :-)

2. ivb - that's a nice setup you've got there. For wall mounting the tablet I'd suggest getting some plastic cut in a square that the screen can fit inside. Have tapered lips that come off of the plastic on all sides, so the box looks kind of like this (edges of the box wouldn't actually extend past the lips):
-|__|-
Cut a hole for that in the wall and sink the box in it so it is flush with the wall. The lips will cover up the cuts and the screen will be removable if need be.

I am particularly interested in what it took to get the home automation stuff going, like what controls the sprinklers/blinds/thermostat? Is all the logic taken care of through cqc and therefore you can control it through the interface from all computers?

Is there a way to have the media server on a different computer than cqc? I'd ideally have a freeBSD box to act as a huge file server, among other things, and then have the computer with cqc access media files from it. I suppose I'd have to have another box to handle tv recording/general htpc duties, though I suppose it could be the same computer as the cqc server. I would just rather avoid any complications possible on something that has to be 100% stable and must also on windows.

3. Originally Posted by ivb
That's the other thing I'm ripping off you guys - learning how to fabricate good looking enclosures so I can wallmount it and have it look clean :-)
damn, if your gonna wallmount it, i'd get one of those kiosk machines......a tablet is ment to be carried. Unless you make it easily undockable from the wall....that'd be sweet too.

4. Originally Posted by donde
ivb - that's a nice setup you've got there. For wall mounting the tablet I'd suggest getting some plastic cut in a square that the screen can fit inside. Have tapered lips that come off of the plastic on all sides, so the box looks kind of like this (edges of the box wouldn't actually extend past the lips):
-|__|-
Cut a hole for that in the wall and sink the box in it so it is flush with the wall. The lips will cover up the cuts and the screen will be removable if need be.
Thx for the fabrication/wallmounting tips; that's what I'm here to steal :-)

I am particularly interested in what it took to get the home automation stuff going, like what controls the sprinklers/blinds/thermostat? Is all the logic taken care of through cqc and therefore you can control it through the interface from all computers?
Yes, logic can be controlled via CQC, so it can be managed via any PC [or PDA]. Full house license is part of the cost as it's designed to work over LANs.

CQC can communicate with anything that has an RS232 port. [also IR, but I dislike that due to the lack of ack].

You have 2 options for the communication:
1) Get a relatively "stupid" device like the RAIN8NET(my irrigation controller), have CQC do all the logic. The RAIN8NET can only turn on/off individual zones, all logic must be in your controlling device.
2) Get a smart device like the Aprilaire 8870 thermostat, use CQC as an alternate mechanism to program/reprogram. This can act as a standalone controller just like the thermo you have in your house now.

I'm going to do lights & blinds via the new version of the zWave due out in March, so I'll have to find more artwork for that :-)

Is there a way to have the media server on a different computer than cqc? I'd ideally have a freeBSD box to act as a huge file server, among other things, and then have the computer with cqc access media files from it. I suppose I'd have to have another box to handle tv recording/general htpc duties, though I suppose it could be the same computer as the cqc server. I would just rather avoid any complications possible on something that has to be 100% stable and must also on windows.
Yes, that's not an issue. CQC is designed to work with UNC, so you just specify \\server\path\to\whatever

You should check out the gallery on the CQC site as well as the CQC forum. There's a bunch of folks with very very different setups than mine, which could give you some alternate ideas about how to proceed. I'm finding that I've got very different goals than many, predominantly the burning desire to make this very very pretty and very very easy for the non-techie to use.

5. Originally Posted by Peoples
damn, if your gonna wallmount it, i'd get one of those kiosk machines......a tablet is ment to be carried. Unless you make it easily undockable from the wall....that'd be sweet too.
That's the goal - wallmount it, but make it easily removable from the dock. That way when a guest *****es about the music [or the heat or...], I can just pull out my cool touchscreen, hand it to them, and tell them to pick their own damn music or shut up about my selection.

If I really want to be a guy, I'd hand another guest my PDA cellphone at the same time and tell them to race :-)

All for $1300 is hw/sw, including the 3400. [well, my cellphone was another$300]

(here's the cellphone UI)

6. FYI:
I purchased www.myhometheaterpc.com a while back and put up the following content about my setup. It should hopefully provide the reader with a more holistic view about what I'm trying to achieve and how inexpensively I think I can get it done.

- Vision & Target Outcomes
- Technical Path
- Screen Shots
- System Configuration + shopping list
- What's next [aka release calendar]

7. Finally updated the site with some of my updated shots.

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