|Gary Yate's home automation system, with lots of good technical information|
|Ingo Dean's web page, with a description of his home automation system, plus related home automation links|
|Kerry Parker's home automation system|
|Bob Puckett's home automation system and related information (link is broken)|
|Mark McCall's system in the UK (PAL video, 220V-50Hz AC)|
|Ron Boston's home automation system|
|Shawn Boyle's system|
|Dan Hoehnen's PC/HomeVision based system|
|Kevin Keast's system (link is broken)|
|Larry Farquhar's system (link is broken)|
|Mark Sekelsky's system using ECS (link is broken)|
|"Krazy Keith's" home automation page (link is broken)|
|Ian Bird's system (link is broken)|
These HomeVision owners have been kind enough to provide descriptions their home automation systems and/or their HomeVision schedules.
We'd like to add more descriptions of how people are using HomeVision. We'd also like to provide sample schedules to give others ideas. If you'd like to contribute, please e-mail us a short description (or as long a one as you'd like) of your system. We'll format it and add it to the web page. If you're willing to share your actual schedule as well, attach it to the message.
RCS 485 HVAC control (1 active unit and 1 “phantom” unit)
1 HV Serial expansion (for RCS)
1 Multifunction board, using 7 IR Zones
4 Sylva I/O boards
11 EWC Motorized wall HVAC dampers
1 Motorized “pressure by-pass / humidifier” HVAC damper
12 Digital Temp sensors
7 Analog Temp Sensors
22 Motion Sensors
3 Light Sensors
55 X-10 Switches
35 X-10 Light Dimmers
1 X-10 Power Sounder
3 X-10 Chime modules
19 X-10 Palm Pads
11 Slim Line X-10 Wall Switches
HACS AB8SS speaker switcher
HACS AVX-8x8 8 in by 8 out A/V switcher (programmed, but waiting for delivery)
4 RF Modulators
1 Water Hound
3 security cameras
1 RCA 6x1 Analog audio, Video and Digital audio switcher
Interface to Oregon WMR-968 weather station
Interface for power control of 2 computers
Interface to HVAC blower speed control
Interface to humidifier
Interface to 3 room air cleaners
Interface to 8 room floor fans
Interface to 4 zone lawn sprinkler system
Interface to garage door opener
Interface to auto driveway gate opener
Interface to DSL Hub
Interface to FM transmitter
HomeVision schedule usage:
28 Input ports
34 Output ports
254 IR Signals
28 Scheduled events
26 Periodic events
IR control of Stereo, DVD, 2 VCR’s, 1 PVR (ATI), 2 Dish receivers, 1 HDTV, Speaker and AVS switchers. Using a excellent freeware program called AutoIt for extensive control of 2 computers. AutoIt creates powerful macros of just about any mouse or keyboard action possible. It them compiles the macro to a .exe file which HV runs. This saves a lot of HomeVision memory. Here's John's schedule file:
Dan Cohen is president of The Automation Store, a home automation retail store to debut soon. Here's a description of his automated home, which is the most automated HomeVision home we've heard of. You can download his HomeVision schedule file (dan_127.haf) as well. For more information, contact The Automation Store at 800-242-7672.
Dan's hardware includes:
|1 HomeVision controller|
|2 HomeVision multifunction expansion boards|
|4 Sylva Control Systems I/O boards|
|1 StarGate controller (for phone interface)|
|1 computer running HomeVision and Home Voice software|
|1 ITU Technologies caller ID device|
|22 Leviton 6400 wall mounted controllers|
|25 X-10 devices|
|7 PCS Smart Switches|
|7 analog temperature sensors (converting soon to digital sensors)|
|2 ultrasonic motion detectors|
|17 infrared motion detectors|
|15 Sure Action pulsors (floor sensors)|
|26 magnetic reed switches|
|1 Cartell vehicle detector|
|2 TV sniffer probes|
|3 water detectors|
|4 smoke detectors|
|1 Macurco Inc. gas detector|
|1 Pama Electronics carbon monoxide detector|
|3 water solenoid valves|
|1 Alarm Lock digital lock|
|1 variable-speed ceiling fan|
|1 remote-controlled fireplace|
|1 ACT coupler/repeater|
|1 Caddx 32 zone security system with digital outputs|
|1 RCS TX10-B bidirectional X-10 thermostat|
|8 RCS motorized HVAC dampers|
|3 Channel Plus 2100A infrared wall interfaces|
|1 Channel Plus infrared cable panel|
|4 infrared receivers|
|8 infrared mini-emitters|
|4 outdoor video cameras|
|3 3-channel digital A/V modulators|
|6 wall-mounted speakers for voice output|
|2 Crown PZM microphones for voice input|
|1 Panasonic electronic modular switching phone system|
|1 Davis weather station / weather talker|
|1 rain bucket rain gauge|
|Various A/V equipment|
This system currently uses:
|65 digital inputs|
|7 analog inputs|
|15 relay outputs|
|125 infrared signals|
|20 scheduled events|
|16 periodic events|
The setup provides complete home control from any of the following:
|Voice (Home Voice software)|
|Infrared remote (with or without viewing a TV)|
|Phone (touchtone inputs with voice response via StarGate)|
|Any X-10 controller|
|PC screen (HomeVision software)|
|Automatically by time or event|
Here's a sample of what the HomeVision schedule does (note that a few of the above devices are not yet incorporated in the schedule):
|Voice recognition and voice response throughout the house. Voice recognition performed by Home Voice software. Voice response performed by both Home Voice and by sending serial commands from HomeVision to StarGate (using StarGate's voice output).|
|Occupancy sensors automatically turn lights and A/V equipment on and off based on room occupancy.|
|Outdoor motion sensors trigger video cameras to be recorded on the VCR and are also noted in the event log. Video cameras are prioritized in order of importance in case several are triggered simultaneously. VCR tape can be automatically rewound and viewed on any TV.|
|Vehicle detector announces arrivals by voice and turns on the TV in any occupied room to view the camera. If the TV is already on, picture-in-picture is used. The homeowner can then say "Open garage door" or "Unlock back door" to have these functions performed automatically.|
|Garage door automatically closed if no motion is detected for prescribed time.|
|Mailbox sensor detects mail delivery and turns on indicator light in kitchen and logs it to event log.|
|Kids can page Mom or Dad by dialing *mom or *dad from any phone.|
|When the master bathroom shower light is turned on, the exhaust fan starts automatically. The fan automatically turns off several minutes after the bathroom is no longer occupied.|
|The TV and stereo automatically mute when phone rings. If the master bathroom shower is in use, the exhaust fan is temporarily turned off so the ring can be heard.|
|Callers' name and phone number are displayed on all TVs and entered in event log.|
|Alarm clocks set from any TV. Parents can verify their children set their alarms.|
|"Alarm clock" in child's bedroom works by ringing phone. If he doesn't get out of bed in three minutes (detected by motion sensor), phone rings again. If he doesn't get up after three tries, the home security alarm "chirps" to alert parents.|
|HVAC system controlled automatically using RCS TX10-B thermostat. HomeVision periodically reads the thermostat's status via X-10.|
|HVAC schedule can be viewed and changed from any TV.|
|Numerous voice commands to perform macros, control A/V equipment, turn fireplace on, etc.|
|Variable speed ceiling fan automatically controlled based on temperature set points. Temperature set points can be changed from any TV.|
|"Sleep mode" turns off interior lights and A/V equipment, arms security system, adjusts HVAC system for occupied rooms. If someone gets out of bed while in the sleep mode, the appropriate lights go on at 20%.|
|If you approach an exterior door while the security system is armed, you get a voice message reminding you the system is armed.|
|"Away mode" automatically turns off interior lights and A/V equipment, arms security system, adjusts HVAC system, and puts lights on automatic schedule.|
|When homeowner returns home, TV event log is automatically displayed showing what happened while away.|
|If the water heater or any pipe breaks, HomeVision detects it with water sensors, shuts off the water supply, announces it over the speakers, then pages the homeowner.|
|Rain gauge measures rainfall and tracks daily, weekly, monthly, and annual amounts and displays data on TV (feature in final development).|
|Temperature sensor detects if refrigerator or freezer gets too warm and provides a warning. If no one's home, the homeowner is paged. It's also logged to the event log.|
|Every 15 minutes, certain outdoor lights are turned off unless they should be on (based on whether certain timers are running or not).|
|Numerous actions are triggered by sending X-10 sequences from an X-10 controller.|
|In-wall speakers can be individually selected using relay outputs.|
My name is Steven G. Liberatore, I've been using my HomeVision system for about 9 months now and love it! Here's a description:
|It controls two RCS HVAC Thermostats TX10bs (two HVAC zones) that are running in
bidirectional mode, working great especially here in the North East where it's very cold
|I'm using a CR230 amp/repeater, and a Channel Plus for whole house video
|My security system and HomeVision are integrated using X10 commands so that I can
activate lights, setback the heat when we arm our system and crank the heat up when we
disarm upon coming home.|
|HomeVision also monitors and controls my garage doors and is connected to motion detection flood lamps that send X10 commands to activate a CCD camera and popup a PIP window on my XBR, GOD I love this thing, when motion is detected outside!|
I've also started to test the multi-function expansion board which is capable of up to 8 IR zones, has 8 analog inputs for sensors and digital I/O support too. I'll let everyone know how things go as I begin to multi-zone my IR in the house and hook up my analog sensors.
My home automation system is in its beginning stages. I started with X10 modules and use them only for lighting so far. I am waiting for the expansion board to come out to expand to I/O functions which I will explain later. This Home Automation System is integrated with a Home Theater System to control lighting schemes now, but when I add the expansion board I will control curtains in the Theater room, arm security and close 3 garage doors. The following is a short description of both systems.
|1 Powerline TW-523 interface|
|1 ACT CP000 passive coupling device (not adequate for a 2,850 sq. ft house)|
|Leviton 5100 whole house surge protector|
|14 Leviton 6381 dimmer modules|
|1 Leviton 6400 wall transmitter (4 sw/on off)|
|4 ACT RD-100 3 way dimmer modules (these work better than Leviton)|
|10 Radio Shack plug in dimmer modules|
|5 Radio Shack plug in appliance modules|
|1 Xantech IR connecting block|
|2 Xantech mini emitters|
|1 Xantech 291 IR receiver|
|1 Moose alarm panel (soon to be retired)|
|Sony XBR-5345 53" rear projection TV.|
|2 Definitive BP-2000 500 watt (with 15" built in woofer and 300 watt bass amp each) / front speakers.|
|2 Definitive BP-30 500 watt / rear speakers.|
|1 Definitive C/L/R 2000 400 watt / center speaker.|
|1 Sunfire Cinema Grand 5 channel amp 200 watts per ch @ 8 ohms / 400 watts per ch @ 4 ohms.|
|5 MIT T-2 BI amp/bi wire reference speaker cables.|
|5 MIT 330T reference signal cables.|
|1 Kenwood KC-Z1 AV controller using fiber optic 24 bit audio input for CD,DSS,DVD.|
|1 Sony 5 disk CD fiber optic audio out.|
|1 Sony SAS-AD2 DSS fiber optic audio out.|
|1 Pioneer Elite DVD/LD fiber optic AC-3 audio out (yes DVD finally).|
|1 RCA hi definition VCR.|
NOTE: This audio system cracks my drywall !!!!
The HomeVision controller lives in my Home Theater equipment closet for the best interface with all the other IR components. The Xantech IR connector block, mini emitters and IR receiver serve to transmit and receive all 2 way IR signals from outside to inside, or vice versa, the equipment closet. The HomeVision and the Kenwood KC-Z1 are directly wired into the Xantech IR connector block via 3.5 mm jacks on each unit. Plans include expanding my Home Vision to direct security inputs, analog temp, analog photo cell and control outputs for a full Home Automation system.
My name is Charles Waggoner, my address is 4711 Willow Circle, Edmond, OK 73013, phone # is home 405.478.1016, work 405.752.7325, fax 405.752.7384. I was among the very first, if not the first to buy a HomeVision from Craig and Kathryn. I purchased it at the CES show in Orlando. I initially thought I would use it as a video front-end for a JDS TimeCommander-Plus. Boy, was I ever under-estimating the power of the HomeVision. Craig and Kathryn are two super sharp people and have designed and engineered a great little box. I'm really expecting great things from them in the future.
To tell you a little about my house -- I built it over the last two years and moved in May 96. It is a 2875 square feet, single story, brick veneer house that has 3 bedroom, an office, a 800 square feet woodworking shop and a three car garage. It is constructed of concrete sidewalls using Lite-form foam forming that stays in place to offer an R-22+ insulation. The interior and roof framing is light-gauge steel. The interior walls and ceiling are insulated with Icynene foam. My company is Comfort Masters and is a licensed dealer of "The Icynene Insulation System". Check it out at www.icynene.on.ca if you aren't familiar with it. Anyway, I insulated all interior walls for sound proofing.
The HVAC is a Geothermal heat pump with a closed loop system consisting of five 200' wells. It has a two zone duct system (one for the shop and the other for the house) individually thermostat controlled by an Enerstat zone control system. I installed a meter on the heat pump circuit so I could track the energy cost. Thus far, my energy bills for heating and cooling has averaged less than $30.00 a month since May.
The house has a lot of wire in it, in fact well over two miles. On the AC side, the wiring is CEBus compliant. There is a neutral and ground to every termination point in the system. I have separate panels for the shop (100 amp) and the living area (200). All feeds that could have "nasty or noisy" devices on them are individually breakered. All the lights are on PCS SS series switches (22 of them) with several using 3-way and 4-way systems. The outside lights consist of 17 soffit canned lights and porch light controlled by a PCS LM1 lighting module. Marshall Lester, Richard Pascual and the PCS team has finally made the X-10 system competitive with all the high end proprietary systems that are unbelievably expensive. Their switches allow me to do anything those other systems can do. I hope they make millions and put the hurts on Leviton and a few others out there.
The majority of the receptacles are ACT brand. I installed Duralight (a dimmable, 110vac, 1/2" dia. plastic tube that has 1/2 watt bulbs on 1" center) in the toe kicks of all cabinets throughout the house and under the toilet headknockers in all the baths. The Duralights are controlled by X-10 light fixture modules plugged into non controlled receptacles located inside the cabinets. Duralight and its installation accessories are available from Outwater Plastics Industries, Inc. (800.631.8375). They are great people to do business with! The Duralights are dimmed at various levels in the kitchen and baths during the night for use as Night lights. The levels are also controlled by PIR detectors. I also use one under the entertainment center in conjunction with the home theater. To my knowledge, I have never lost an X-10 transmission. I think that can be contributed to a very clean wiring scheme, good initial planning and a lot of luck.
Video support is via USTec dual coax wiring to each room from a head-in in the mechanical room. To try and future proof the system, I ran additional coax runs to the entertainment area, master bedroom and office. There are coax runs to several outside boxes around the house as well as at the front door. All total, there are 17 terminations at the head-in. I'm still working on the distribution/amplification system. The system is fed by an RCA DBS system and an antenna for local TV reception.
Whole house audio is provided by individual 2 pair 14 gauge cabling from the entertainment center (everything is terminated in a wall box behind the entertainment center which is inside a coat closet) to an impedance matching volume control near the entrance of each room then to ceiling speakers. The master bedroom is wired for its own surround sound system or to use the central system. The wiring is configured so I can series or parallel any and all speaker circuits. There is a Cat. 5 4-pr cable run to each control box for IR control from the rooms back to the entertainment center and the mechanical room where the HomeVision controller will ultimately go.
I installed a Panasonic KX-TD 8-16 digital hybrid telephone system. I ran several independent Cat. 5 cables runs to the office and to "phone only" locations; i.e., bathrooms, in addition to the cat. 5 cables in the USTec coax runs. Again everything is home ran to the mechanical room where the KSU is located. I'm in the process of upgrading (gads--a never ending task!!!!) the KSU to support enhanced caller-ID control. The original caller-ID was rather limited, but the upgrade is really nice. I'm hoping the caller-ID info is fed to the serial port that is used for SMDR printing so I can possibly use it with the HomeVision.
Security and fire/smoke control is via an Ademco Vista 50 control and alpha control pads. Its X-10 interface and relay control is pretty strong. I have all the control points setup for contact ID and am using a variety of input devices of which some are shared with the HomeVision. It is a very powerful system, is priced right and easily programmed.
As for the use of the HomeVision, I'm primarily controlling lights with it. With finishing the house and managing a new business, I'm just now finding time to devote to implementing all the new toys. I'm looking forward to seeing how some of the other HomeVisioners are doing things. I'm very pleased that the Chadwick's are making updates and new ideas available to us. I have a number of ideas that I'm looking forward to trying, some old and some so unique that I don't have the slightest idea how to do them. Ultimately, I want the HomeVision to allow me to run everything from any TV screen and a remote, hopefully with only one or two buttons on it. Boy, wouldn't that be great.
My name is Bryan Schumacher - I've had the Home Vision for about 8 months and absolutely love it. I've got many things automated - most of the lights in the house, fireplace, surround sound, lots of infra-red equip, HVAC, garage door, etc. I also use many of the macro abilities. I have macros to:
|Turn off all lights at night.|
|Dim outside lights until motion is detected, then brighten all door access points to warn us that someone is outside.|
|Setup movie mode (lights, surround sound, etc), romantic dinner mode (dim lights, turn on cd player, etc) ...|
Things I am working on:
|Automatic doorbell that knows when you are coming to the door as opposed to
leaving the house.|
|More functions via the video menu like VCR recording of favorite shows.|
I don't know how much easier life is, but it sure is a lot more fun! =-)
The following useful information was provided by Bill Neukranz in an e-mail message to the HomeVision users group.
For those of you contemplating using network capable thermostats with HomeVision, here's some comments to stimulate your creative thoughts:
Tonight I cut over to using HV to monitor and control HVAC for my house. I have a 5 zone system using Enerzone's StatNet thermostats.
I have the SNs networked into an RS-232 serial input into my PC second serial port, with HV running on the PC and communicating to the second port. Communication with the thermostats is in an "interrupt" mode (i.e., temperature information comes in to HV real time).
I wrote 9 custom TV screens, all with I/R control to move back and forth, and to change values:
|a Menu screen;|
|a summary screen showing for all 5 zones the heat and cool set points, the temperatures, the HVAC states (furnace or A/C running for the zone), the zone modes (Auto, Cool, Heat, Off), the fan modes (Auto, On), and the User Holds (the thermostat's day/night button), all in real time (manual changes at each thermostat are also monitored);|
|five individual screens to update all of the above parameters using an I/R remote, including heat and cool set point temperatures;|
|a screen to define defaults, like max and min heat and cool set points, max time that someone can put a thermostat on hold, and max time after a thermostat is manually changed before it reverts back to the schedule (this screen not implemented yet - values are hard coded right now;|
|and a screen showing usage for each zone, for the furnace, for the A/C, and for the filter, by day, by month and between filter changes (right now displaying LSB of 16 bit values).|
I have not yet implement data logging of zone temperatures and other information, but that should be straight forward.
I used the information in the HV "How To" documentation to initially set up my structure. I modeled the initial HV code on the example using X10 TX10B thermostats, substituting SN code for X10 commands. Then, having a 5 zone system, instead of duplicating all of the macros 5 times for everything, I converted them to be indexed, using HV's table lookup and storage commands.
With communication to the SNs at 9600 baud, so far data transfer is working fine. I am using some WAIT commands in places where numerous outgoing serial transmit commands are required.
With HV's limit of 255 variables, I was not able to implement the nice temperature setback table that is part of HV's X10 2 zone internal implementation. Right now I have the setback temperature set points written in the Schedule Events section. I'm still thinking what to do here.
Overall, with HV, it's relative straight forward to implement the serial communications to the thermostats, just somewhat tedious to set it up for 5 zones. CSI's HV and Enerzone's SN products are pretty impressive to be able to integrate them so tightly.
Next few steps include integrating the room PIR sensors back into the HVAC, setting temperatures as needed, and integrating the thermostats into whatever other home automation processes I already have. This I can now do without running any wire.