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Thread: Newbie to Home Automation - Equipment Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northants, UK
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    Question Newbie to Home Automation - Equipment Questions

    Hi, I'm looking at purchasing Girder and getting into home automation. Just a bit of background first, I work in I.T. and am not put off by scripting etc and will give it a go.

    We currently have a multi room audio setup in the form of squeezeboxes (hardware receivers, squeezeplay emulators and iPod/iPhone/iPad portable "zones" via ipeng) squeezecenter is installed on a HP Proliant server running WHS2011 which is built upon windows server 2008 r2 so is therefore 64bit.
    For movies/tv shows stored on the server we mainly use xbmc clients running on windows and mac.
    We also have a PS3, xbox 360 and satellite TV is received using a dreambox.

    Ideally I'd like to be able to control all of this from any web enabled device, mostly using IR and a IR2BT convertor for the ps3.

    Ontop of this I've been looking at the home easy uk range of light switches, sockets, PIR sensors and heating controller. Also I'd like temperature sensors to monitor both internal and external conditions and turn on fans if a temp reaches a certain point.

    Does all of this sound possible using girder 5? I'd prefer to use multiple LAN transmitters/ receivers for IR and RF as equipment is all over the house. This should help with any possible 64 bit driver issues for USB devices.

    I'm not set on getting the home easy devices so if anyone has anything that works well with girder 5 I'm open to other suggestions.

    So in conclusion, I'd like to control lighting, heating, various electrical appliances, xbox360, ps3, av receivers, dreambox, tvs and the basic control over xbmc and the various zones using squeezebox.

    Thanks

    John

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
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    370

    Default

    For the homeeasy stuff or anything using straightforward RF, the RFXCOM devices are unbeatable (they support almost anything with RF controls). Get yourself the LAN version, as it has an xPL firmware. Can be used in Girder with the xPL plugin.
    So far this has been pretty reliable for me, but if you have a high standard, you might be better of using zwave/zigbee or other bi-directional RF equipment (homeeasy is unidirectional) Girder doesn't have a zwave plugin, but you can get it connected using xPL, which does have a zwave app.
    Regarding sensors; don't use the homeeasy (or compatible brands), they create a long (around 5 seconds) noise signal on the RF band, in which nothing else can be transmitted. You're better of using visonic (security) sensors, reliable and a different RF frequency (check what to order for the RFXCOM though)

    Temp sensors; check out Oregon Scientific (also supported by the RFXCOM)

    Squeezecenter; don't have one, but it is supposed to have an xPL connection. Search the forums to see whether it can be controlled directly from Girder.

    Anything connected through IR shouldn't be an issue with the right hardware, Girder supports a lot in this area.

    The Girder webserver allows you to create anything you want as long as you're not shy of html/css/js/lua.

    You mentioned you don't mind scripting, but you better make sure you like scripting. I like Girder, its very powerfull, and through it I fell in love with the lua scripting language. But it does have a very steep (vertical) learning curve.
    Using: Win7 MCE, Girder, xPL, RFXcom, HomeEasy

    http://www.thijsschreijer.nl

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Northants, UK
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    Default

    Thanks for the reply, I'll check out the visonic and zwave stuff.

    Regarding the xpl plugin, I'm guessing I'll also need to install the xpl server and any other required components?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
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    xPL is a network protocol, so there is no such thing as a server. What is does require is network access (open firewall port) and a 'hub' on each system, it can be a bit of a pain to get it running. Google on 'xplcheckpackage' or check my site (see below) to have it configured quickly.

    The beauty of xPL is that its available on linux and macs as well, so its an easy way to extend Girder.
    Using: Win7 MCE, Girder, xPL, RFXcom, HomeEasy

    http://www.thijsschreijer.nl

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Netherlands
    Posts
    370

    Default

    just to be clear; the homeeasy stuff is OK, for switches and lights, just stay away from their sensors.
    Using: Win7 MCE, Girder, xPL, RFXcom, HomeEasy

    http://www.thijsschreijer.nl

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