Clearing the fog of technology


#1

Hey there from the States! I have been binge watching all of the superhouse videos. Being as they were created over a number of years time, I know that tech as well as hardware options have changed. I am in the beginning stages of automating my property that we are developing. My wiring plans involve running Cat6 to everything while I have trenches open… out to front gate, well house, storage sheds, shop, and of course the house. I will automate lighting and gate control out front and anything else I can come up with in other areas.

I know you have talked about lots of stuff in the videos but I also know your control methods have changed. Am I on the right track in installing a Pi as a controller with MQTT and Node-RED and then using Ether10’s for local automation at each location like gate, shed, etc.? I am new to the Arduino thing and am heavily researching MQTT and Node-RED. Lots of learning to do.

ALSO, you were doing PoE. I plan to do PoE injection from a master panel in the core of my star topology. Sound like I am on track?

Anything you would do different if you could start over? I have a clean slate.


#2

Sounds good to me. I am still learning and followed SuperHouse. I like what he has done but like you said his videos are pretty old. I am unsure how to proceed. I like what he has done with the momentary light buttons. I am unsure of the Node-RED. I was hoping since he started his store he would be more active that he has in the past. I am kind of stuck on proceeding and looking for alternatives. Again, I like what he has done, but like you don’t know if would better to look for more up to date way of doing things or if this would be the way to go. I do agree with not using wifi for controlling things for security reasons. I am sorry I am no help to you.


#3

I believe that the majority of his design is still valid and will remain so for a very long time. The topology has not changed but the hardware that utilizes it has. For instance, it used to require ether tens at the end points with shields for networking. Now, for the most part, as it appears to me though I may have missed something, is that all the CAT cabling is essentially switching control and the brain is still E10 but only requires 1 in each breaker panel. The Pi is the newer update as a controller and with that comes the beauty of the automation… nearly unlimited monitoring expansion.

The open source community is really getting all over the IoT stuff and Node-RED is next iteration of communication interlinking for dummies like me. What he has bitten off with not only doing the automation experimentation but in developing custom shields and hardware to accomplish it… Not to mention all the video and editing that goes with it… oh yesh, and did I mention the store he added? Well that is just a he’ll of a lot to do! Lol. The software will outrun us all but his layout and setup is great. I just gotta figure out how to program Arduino so I understand how that interfaces with the Pi.


#4

If all the walls and trenches are still open run as much cat6 as possible everywhere; and obviously with a “home run” back to a central cabinet. They are just copper wires so you can decide on the endpoints later.

I believe Jon used Ether10 modules as endpoints and a Ether10 as the master relay controller. Raspberry Pi as the server. Later the smarts moved from the wall switches to the central EtherMega rack mounted. You dont have to worry about all that quite yet if you are still wiring. I would even run Ethernet to the lighting in the ceiling if possible. Then you are future proof and can decide later.

You can have a lot more smarts with a controller in each room’s light switch - motion sensor, light sensor, temp/humidity, ir repeater, and you could even get crazy and a light switch or two!


#5

While you are installing cat5e to all of the out buildings be sure to run at least one extra cable. It wouldn’t hurt to add one extra for good measure (3) to the points that would be hard to get to in the future. Cat 5e cable is cheap by the 1000ft roll in ebay. Be sure to buy different colors to help identify the different wires. You can also run cameras over cat 5e and if you need to add POE you might need extra wires. Also, if you need an extra arduino to run a dedicated item, don’t forget the tiny. It’s a bit harder to program but their only about $3 US each. Don’t forget to run extra cat5e cable for ceiling mounted occupancy sensors. You can buy cheap low voltage sensors everywhere. You need them mounted at all entrances to a room. I installed one over my kitchen sink to turn on the sink light and hot water loop. I also installed a cat5e line under the sink for an I2c temperature sensor for my loop controller. I am also running extra cat5e to all of my light switches for AV volume controls and future upgrades. I also used that plastic flex tube for electrical wiring from my light boxes to my attic for future upgrades. I plan on mounting cheap android tablets on the wallin at strategically placed points to control my house web page and to use as an intercom and front door/security monitor. I am also wiring in microphones in each room for future voice control. Might as well put in lots of wire while you have the walls open. If you leave wire in a wall or ceiling and want to find it later, buy some cheap neodymium magnets with a hole in them (Banggood.com) and tie them to the end of the wire and staple it near the sheetrock. You can locate the wire through the wall at any time with another magnet. Remember, wire is cheap, be creative. This will provide fun for years to come as your smart home matures (and you find the time to finish all the goodies).

I’m using a pine64 for my openhab install. They are cheaper and have more resources. Also there is an install for the pine64 on the openhab site. Search youtube for the install directions for openhab, mosquito and node red, it’s really great. The pine64 is guaranteed by the mfg to be produced until at least 2022. They also sell a rock64 that is made for use in audio situations, like a media server. BTW, they are Pi pin compatible. and can use all Pi shields and are well supported on the forums. They also sell a line of stripped down specialty modules that are really kool.


#6

I have bought 2 different colors of Cat cable and a roll of direct bury stuff to do a chunk of the outside stuff. The non UG cable will go in conduit to wherever it is going. I am running it all as home runs to a communication cabinet of some sort. I bought termination panels for the CAT cable and also bought a 48 volt power supply to do PoE with. I went with 48 volt due to the fact that I can always step it down and that one run is going.to be about 700 feet away from my panel… that is the gate area. I then decided to run 12/2 out there anyway to power some gate accessories that turned out to be stupid expensive in low voltage options. Everything I do will have at least 2 Cat cables run to it though and when I build out my shop structure I will be wiring absolutely everything with Cat cable as well as Romex. Never know what kinds of stuff I can add later.

I have a Pi that i have yet to do anything with which I figured to use with Openhab and Node-RED. Of course, by the time I get all my crap unpacked in the new house, tech may present a new toy to work with.


#7

I forgot to mention that the house itself is a new manufactured home. I won’t be doing any automation in the form of lighting control or the likes. I do plan to add security elements and some other stuff but I won’t be adding anything that could fail and leave midwife hanging. She hates tech and won’t embrace it so leaving her world alone.is probably best if I want to stay married… lol.


#8

Good idea to keep the Wife happy. Home harmony is much more important than home automation. Personally, I’m a bachelor so I don’t have anyone to answer to. Thank god for that since this round of “whole house remodeling” has gone on for a little over 6 years. If I was married I would either be finished, divorced (or dead). LOL!