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Thread: Afordable Home Automation

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    Afordable Home Automation

    As electricians did any of you worked on home automation systems?
    What was your experience with these systems?
    What was your likes / dislikes of these systems?

    I had been working in the home automation industry for some time now, But I found all the systems available are overly priced and not providing me what I would like if I install it in my own house.I have been working on a system and I think I close to a workable solution.

    I am planing to use conventional electrical wiring and a decentralized system. 1 controller controlling 1 or 2 rooms(arias) which include relay switching /
    AC dimming / led dimming / sensor readings / light and temp reading/ IR control for av equipment and all controllable from keypads or PC Tablet and most smartphones.(The system is optically isolated from relays ext.)Also planing voice recognition and rf tag reader addons.

    I want a simple wiring system that electricians understand to make installations quicker and easier.I found most of the other centralized automation system
    confuses a lot of electricians especially when installing for the first time.I prefer hardwiring to wireless solutions but might implement limited solutions later.

    I want to control relays wired in place or with a conventional switch to control the load.This will be just a 12V DC source triggering the relay or contractor.
    Using the same controller I can also run dimmers ac or LED(12 led bulbs or strips).

    Do any of you know if I can run cable for 12v dc with the ac cabling in the same condute ?
    What can I do to make the product trustworthy = ie SABS certification (are there other organizations doing similar test?)

    I would appreciate any thoughts and suggestions or Information

    Thanks
    Last edited by Dave A; 04-Dec-12 at 07:07 AM.

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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    It certainly sounds interesting, however, I believe wireless would be more popular due to the obvious aesthetics and reduced installation time. As for low-voltage DC current in the same conduit as AC, most definately not. Considering that you did not know that, I suggest you do some research on the regulations before experimenting. The DC section is often ignored because it is hardly used but there are some serious considerations you need to know about. Good luck with your venture.

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    Why don't you set up a PLC in a centralized place and put all your relays n stuff in a control panel. You could even use multiple PLC's and HMI's talking to one another over MODBUS / RS232 / RS485 or RS422. Doing so would mean that you are using perfectly understandable and legal industrial control systems which already have everything that you can dream of including GPRS communication, PC - MODBUS / Rs422 interfacing etc. Forget about reinventing the wheel, its a waste of time. There is a reason why factories are controlled using PLC's, they are robust, don't give $h1t and are easy to program.

    Take a look at the Delta stuff available from Electromechanica, you can even control your cat flap via your cellphone if you like. The Delta range is absolutely brilliant and is truly expandable. The best ones to look at are the modular units that clip together. If you feel like expanding your system you simply clip another module in and off you go.

    Can you fit a PLC into your house legally, I don't know, Sparks can answer that one.
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    There are no regulation prohibiting the installation of a PLC in your home.

    But here's one for you adrianh : I kicked the cats out so I don't need that, what I want to know is if I can control my girlfriend's trousers irrespective of her mood?

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    Diamond Member adrianh's Avatar
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    I think that one can control the girlfriend's trousers irrespective of her mood, the problem is that it takes a huge ......no, not anaconda,,,,got you there..... bank balance
    How easily someone is offended is directly proportional to how stupid they are.
    ~GS Elevator

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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    Have you seen the price of gold lately?

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    Diamond Member Justloadit's Avatar
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    I certainly would go the wireless route. Mind you all comms should be encrypted so preventing anyone taking over your system. If you have a good quality point to point RF system, the software can be used so that each wireless point can become a RF relay station, in other words, if a wireless system is say 30 meters, the placing 3 in a row at 30 meter intervals, would give you a range of 90 meters.

    This would also allow for a manual over ride if required at the point of source. With the current electrical wiring, it is a matter of piggy backing of the mains supply with a small SMPS to provide local power.
    This would also open up the system for currently laid out electrical systems with out requiring a rewire.
    Victor - Knowledge is a blessing or a curse, your current circumstances make you decide!
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    Smile mr

    hi.I've recently qualified as an electrician hooray...my question is what is a master electrian and are the requirements ?

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    Gold Member Sparks's Avatar
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    A lot more learning. You must crawl before you can walk and walk before you can run. Don't be in a hurry, be careful.

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    The problem I found with wireless is when you have one or two units it works fine add another 10 - 20 units and the system can become unreliable.
    Secondly to setup a proper wireless system the repeaters need to be at specific spots for optimal performance which is not always possible in most homes.
    Then there is also the building materials that can affect the performance of the system.

    I have seen a lot of high end systems running on zigbee (The radios used mostly for home automation) and other rf technology with unreliable results.

    I agree there are situations where wireless would be desired but personally I would keep it to the minimum.

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