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Home automation

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Seanie_230
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Seanie_230 Posted: Mon, Apr 9 2012 10:57 PM

Hello all

 I have been reading about home automation over the last few days and wondered how much B&o will implement home automation.

I see that control 4 offer some good stuff, control panels etc and can integrate via the ml gateway.

All this started after the future home program on the tv, I think I will buy the biolock tomorrow and install it over the week.

I have also been looking at x10.

Any ideas thoughts from you all.

Love the idea of controlling everything from a control panel and being able to control other rooms.

Would the ml gateway and the iPad app support this?

What about lighting and everything else at home

 

Any thoughts

BLGW - Rekindling the love of ML

benjnz
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benjnz replied on Tue, Apr 10 2012 5:12 AM

I know B&O here use this with MLG , which is rather nice...

http://www.busch-jaeger.de/en/gebaeudesystemtechnik/busch-prion.htm

Stoobietoo
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Much of this Home Automation (HA) stuff depends on how automated you want/need to be, how “integrated” with your B&O you want it and your budget.

I've been experimenting with Home Automation (HA) for the last 15 years. I started with a set of Swish electric curtain tracks bought at B&Q with an IR eye and timer control which cost me about £140 for a front bay window. (Now only available at specialist dealers and costing 8 to 10 times what B&Q used to sell the exact same stuff for!). I now have all my downstairs curtains using that system.

Although I had B&O back then, the best they were offering (that I could afford), was the ability to control ALL my TV & HIFI from anywhere in the house via BeoLink and one remote. (all my friends loved that I just needed my Beolink 1000 in the living room) and the link TVs and Link Speakers were well ahead of their time for the average person. My 2 Beloab 3500’s are still  my favourite.  

As time went on I began to experiment with more HA and partially went down the X10 route – very inexpensive, a bit chunky/old fashioned looking and often not very responsive. But as it was cheap I was willing to forgive that it did not always turn on when it should or off when it should.

In the meantime I had acquired a Marantz version of the Philips Pronto programmable universal remote [See here]. It had built in RF capabilities to use with the optional IR extender and by chance that worked on the same frequency as most UK (& European) RF HA stuff (but not X10). So I was able to control lights and plug sockets etc remotely. I went down the route of Byron/HomeEasy which was available in B&Q [see here]. All was controlled by my programmable remote which had built in timers to turn things off and on and open close my curtains and blinds. It could run macros to turn on the TV, close the curtains and set the light to a pre-determined level.

I then decided I needed a Beo5 (believing it could be as versatile as my Marantz but finding it sadly lacking). I had seen a gadget that was Beo4/Beo5 compatible and would help it interact with my HomeEasy RF stuff [see here] so I went ahead and got a Beo5 and the gadget and I now have full control again. The Beo5 is not nearly as versatile as my Marantz but as I program it better, it is becoming easier to use.

So now, using my Beo5 in the living room and my Marantz upstairs, I can control TV’s, HIFI, Media Servers, Freeview Boxes, DVD Recorders, Apple TV & Beomedia1  etc (all on a wired network) with N.Music and N.Radio and I can control my ceiling lights, side lights, outdoor lights and security lights along with anything in a socket that I like to be able to turn off/on when needed. I can control my curtains and blinds too. The only thing I have not looked into is the home heating as I had a fairly complicated system installed when I had my house extended recently.

Because I’m into all this, I know that I have been able to do this on a fraction of what the professionals would have to charge for their time and skills so I am lucky.

You can spend hundreds and get a home automated as I have (if you are a bit techie) or you can spend thousands and get a slightly better more integrated professionally installed system or tens of thousands and get touch screen control in every room.

There is so much stuff out there. Some compatible with B&O directly, some compatible with other HA providers and some completely proprietary that once you chose them you are stuck with it.

Anyway, after all that, I was really just replying to say don’t go down the X10 route as it is old, and has been taken over by far more robust systems.

Stoobie

stefan
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stefan replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 1:08 PM

I just started setting up a home automation system using the Masterlink Gateway, a KNX/EIB system and the Xhome server.

MLGW supports KNX standard, which is a wordwide standard supported by a lot of companies like Busch-Jaeger, Gira, Merten, Zennio, MDT, Controltronic, ABB, Berker, Jung, Siemens....

KNX devices are for example dimactors for light, jalousieactors for curtains / blinds, there are temperature- and motion sensors, smoke detectors, security systems, keyless entry units....

To control the system you can use switches, like the Zennio glas panel

http://www.zennio.com/productos/controlador-estancias

or the new MDT -"Glastaster 4-fach/8-fach- (not yet available)

http://www.mdt.de/download/MDT_Bildpreisliste.pdf

or via MLGW with Beo4, Beo6

You can also control the whole system with ipad, iphone via Beolink app or Xhome server

http://xsolution.de/en/xhome-server

which is a really nice solution - it`s two way, which means, every device (iphone, PC/Mac client or ipad) wil display the actual state of your system.

When you dim your light to 50%, it will display 50%. And it`s easy to create scenes. You have itunes/sonos compatibility (that I don`t use) and it also 

works with Dreambox. You can even add IP cameras, which can be shown on the ipad, iphone via Xhome or Beolink app.

I have just started with a little test installation using MLGW, an IP interface for KNX, a power supply, a Gira Dimactor with two switches, an Xhome Demo server and the ETS4 (Engineering Tool Software) Demo-Version. It was also possible to integrate the Lintronic relay board 108 via RS232 - thanks to Michael and Rolf for your help....

I decided to go the KNX route, because there are so many companies and thousends of products using this standard, it`s not so expensive - a dimactor is the same as an LC2 - you can start with a small system, you don`t need a large server to control the system and it`s two way.

You can see from all over the house on your ipad/iphone which lights are on, which doors/windows are open, which temperatures are in the house....

The system can also be controled by Cinema outputs of the BV7 /BS3.

Years ago I also had a test installation with X10 modules, it worked - sometimes - sometimes it didn`t. X10 is very sensible to what is happening on the powerline, so sometimes  X10 signals will be disturbed. I wouldn`t recommend it..

The MLGW is a great product, easy to program, works great with KNX (maybe also with other systems like Lutron, LK IHC, Conson...) and you can control every product in every room from everywhere in the house with your ipad, iphone.

I`m using the ipad a lot. It`s for the (new) Beolink ipad app.

And as a Xhome client with two way communication for the light.

http://xsolution.de/en/xhome-server

And as a link-TV for my Dreamboxes connected to a BV7-40 and a BV10-32.

http://www.dmliveapp.de/blog/about/

And for the program guide of my Dreamboxes.

http://itunes.apple.com/de/app/dreamote-pro/id420494500?mt=8

I think the new update of MLGW sw 1.90e is a great improvement, especially with the new Beolink ipad app, but next step could be a two way communication via MLGW to display channel, track, volume data, on-off status...and ofcourse a search/browse function in N.MUSIC and N.RADIO mode for the BS5 :).....

Stefan

StUrrock
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StUrrock replied on Wed, Apr 11 2012 2:11 PM

Hi ,

Cannot diagree with anyone here, we all think the MLGW is great because of the choices it gives. The important thing IMHO, is if you are building your home automation in a modular fashion is to keep a clear idea of your end goal

We have done many different projects, but more and more use the Control4 system and the MLGW with this driver;

http://www.recluseav.com.au/driver-news-bang--olufsen-masterlink-gateway.aspx

Not just because its Control4, but because of C4s integration possibilities with hundreds of products, for example;

http://www.extravegetables.com/

Whatever you choose let us all know how you get on, and above all don't try and go to geeky or have complicated GUIs, remember KIS (Keep It Simple) all the best Home automation systems are easy to use!

Good Luck and enjoy your system.

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