I'm considering a Home Automation / Security system and have been researching what's out there and boy oh boy is there a lot to choose from.
I think I've settled on Z-Wave compatible devices but my question is really about Control and monitoring.
A little background info;
I know NOTHING about any of the available systems (other than what I've been able to glean from the net, mostly ambiguous)
I am an Industrial Controls Engineer. I have been providing Factory Automation Solutions for over 25 years so I'm no stranger to Hardware (Input sensory and output devices), networking, programming etc. I'm familiar with Linux and I'm a decent programmer. If I were doing this with Industrial components (PLC) I could do this in my sleep. However to use a PLC for what I have in mind would be prohibitively expensive. Thus I'm looking into Home Automation solutions.
-I prefer wireless devices, or devices that can be located at or near household receptacles for power but communicate wirelessly.
-I would like to be able to expand the system later to include camera's and other devices, but initially only a few entry switches and possibly a motion detector or glass break sensor. I should never need more than 100 or so inputs and outputs total though.
-Cost is not a factor (Although I'm not spending 10k on PLC and HMI) I would be willing to invest up to 1500 or so for the right system and components
-I'd prefer to use a Raspberry PI or Minnowboard for control and be able to access a user designed operator interface from iPhone, Laptop or possibly my TV (http server interface). I have a number of older PC's that I could devote to the project but I'd prefer something with clean packaging like the SoC boards mentioned. I know that there is a Z-Wave Daughterboard for the R PI and that is the direction I'm leaning.
Some of my concerns are that the system must work during a power / internet outage. Obviously I will provide UPS backup power to the controller, but if the internet goes down the system MUST continue to work. Clearly it can't send out alerts and I wouldn't be able to access the system remotely if the internet is out, but if it relies on the Internet Connection for operation it's a weakness that I cannot abide.
With active internet connection I would like to be able to send out programmed SMS or Email. I'd also like to have the ability to incorporate a GSM connection for alerts as a backup to the household WiFi, But in any case if both GSM and WiFi Connected Internet fail the system should still continue to operate as programmed. Also with an active internet connection I'd like to have the ability to remotely access the controller and modify the programming as needed or control devices individually.
Compiled programming would be a plus, but isn't absolutely essential.
I'd prefer not to have to buy Hubs, Controllers, Bridges etc, only input devices/Relay modules etc. and have complete control through the R PI/Z-Wave controller.
Any suggestions, comments would be appreciated. I'm not looking for code examples or technical specs as much as general info on platforms and devices that might fit the bill.
I've recently launched an app that has been featured on several blogs already.
We're now looking for valuable users that could test the app and provide us feedback on the usability and maybe suggestions on what to integrate next.
Any chance you can help?
Here's the link to the iOS app ----> https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/gideon-smart-home/id1118677573?mt=8
Here's the link to the Android app -----> https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=mobile.alfred.com.alfredmobile&hl=en_GB
The app already works with 20+ brands and a few hundred devices. Wink compatible and soon we'll start a beta test for Smart Things.
Just thought I would kick off with a brief description of my system.
I have elected to go with a wireless 433 MHz system.
Hardware: Raspberry Pi Mod B.
Transceiver: RFXCom RFXTRX433 (USB connected to the Pi, placed in the attic) www.rfx.com
Software:- Domoticz. Great piece of Open Source that runs on Windows and Linux (including Synology etc) www.domoticz.com
Field Equipment:- Lightwaverf light switches, dimmers, relays and PIRs, Oregon Scientific temperature and humidity sensors, Homeeasy power sockets.
Also with the aid of a plug-in, my XBMC (media centre) controls the lighting in my TV Room. (Dim to % on Play, etc.)
The Domoticz Devs have also done a ton of work with Open Zwave, although I don't use that, ... Yet.
Anyway that's a bit about my system, it really works well, and it's pretty resilient too.