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Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Home Automation

Book Description

Get the home of tomorrow, today! Absolute Beginner's Guide to Home Automation will help you turn your ordinary home into a high-tech haven. Want to schedule your lights to turn on while you're on vacation? Stuck late at work and want to start the roast you put in the crock pot this morning? You can make it all happen with the help of existing 110V electrical wiring in your home and this step-by-step tutorial. Through simple, do-it-yourself instructions, you will walk through the process of outfitting every room in your home with a network connection that you can control with a few clicks on your computer keyboard. Complete with illustrations and photographs, Absolute Beginner's Guide to Home Automation will have you riding the wave of the future in no time.

Table of Contents

  1. Copyright
    1. Dedication
  2. About the Author
  3. Acknowledgments
  4. We Want to Hear from You!
  5. Introduction
    1. Smart Homes for Everyone
    2. How This Book Is Organized
    3. How to Use This Book
    4. Conventions Used in This Book
  6. I. Home Technology Basics
    1. 1. Understanding Home Technologies
      1. Ways to Automate Your Home
        1. Lighting Systems
        2. Appliance Control
        3. Alarm and Security Systems
        4. HVAC Systems
        5. Window Control Systems
        6. Remote Access
      2. Major Home Automation Standards
        1. X10
        2. Universal Powerline Bus
        3. Z-Wave
        4. Ethernet/Wi-Fi Home Automation Systems
        5. Proprietary Home Automation Products
      3. Methods for Controlling Your Home
        1. Interactive Home Control
        2. All Lights On/All Units Off Controllers
        3. Timer-Based Control
        4. Photocell-Based Lighting Control
        5. Sensor-Based Controls
        6. Programmable Devices and Remote Controls
        7. Remote Control by Telephone
        8. Computer Control
        9. Home Network Control
        10. Remote Control via the Internet
      4. Home Technology Glossary
    2. 2. Getting Started with X10 Home Automation
      1. What X10 Can Control
      2. Why Use X10 for Home Control?
      3. How X10 Systems Work
        1. A Technical Look at What Makes X10 Work
      4. Setting Up a Simple X10 System
        1. Equipment You’ll Need
        2. Selecting House and Unit Codes
        3. Configuring the Components
        4. Testing the System
      5. Troubleshooting Your First X10 Installation
    3. 3. Strategies for Adding Home Technology Features
      1. Determining Your Home Automation Budget
        1. Selecting Where to Start
        2. Automating on a Room-by-Room Basis
        3. Automating on a Task-by-Task Basis
        4. Evaluating Products and Price Ranges
        5. Deciding on a Control Method
        6. Choosing the Most Important Features
        7. How to Select Versatile Components
        8. Vital and Useful Accessories
        9. Selecting Your Next Goal
        10. Budgeting Your Time
      2. Skills Checklist
        1. Plug-in and Wireless Modules
        2. Electrical Outlets and Switches
        3. HVAC Controls
        4. Specialized Tasks
        5. Computer and Internet
      3. Deciding When to Call in the Pros
        1. Selecting a Contractor
      4. Just Do It!
        1. Controlling Seasonal Lighting
        2. Turning On Porch Lights at Night
        3. Creating a Lived-In Look When You’re Away
        4. Keeping an Eye on Your Home
  7. II. Using X10 for Basic Home Automation
    1. 4. Using X10 to Control Home Lighting
      1. Understanding X10 Lamp and Appliance Control Modules
      2. Selecting the Correct Module for Your Lighting Type
        1. Higher Wattage Rating
        2. Adjustable Dimming Rate
        3. Adjustable Brightness Level
        4. Support for Resuming Dim Level (Memory Dim)
        5. Pass-Through AC Connector
        6. Three-Prong Plug Support
        7. Status Light
        8. Burnt Bulb Detection
        9. Support for Preset Dimming
        10. Support for Scenes
        11. Two-Way X10 Support
      3. Programming an X10 Remote to Control Lighting
        1. Controlling Multiple Lamps with X10
      4. Black & Decker freewire Lighting Control
        1. Elements of the freewire System
        2. Controlling Groups of Lights with the Mood Button
        3. Dimming Lamps Controlled by freewire Modules
      5. Using X10 with Built-in Light Fixtures
        1. Installing and Using Screw-in X10 Lamp Modules
        2. Installing and Using X10 Light Switches
        3. Installation Preparations
        4. Selecting the Right Light Switch for Your Needs
        5. Preparing to Remove the Old Light Switch
        6. Testing for Line and Load Wires
        7. Installing an X10 Two-Wire Wall Switch
        8. Installing a Smarthome Two-Way Dimmer Switch
      6. Using X10 with Fluorescent Lighting
      7. Using X10 with Halogen Lighting
      8. Using X10 with Aquarium Lighting
      9. Choosing the Best X10 Controller for Home Lighting
      10. Troubleshooting X10 Home Lighting
        1. Can’t Turn Lights On and Off
        2. Can’t Dim Lights
        3. Can’t Bring Light to Full Brightness
        4. Lights Operate Erratically
    2. 5. Using X10 to Control Appliances
      1. X10 Appliance Module Types
      2. How X10 Appliance Modules Differ from Lamp Modules
        1. Lighting Support
        2. Support for Motor and Electrical Loads
        3. Programmability
      3. Installing X10 Appliance Control Modules
        1. Installing Plug-in X10 Appliance Modules
          1. Setting House and Unit Code Dials
          2. Setting House and Unit Codes with a Black & Decker freewire Module
          3. Setting House and Unit Codes with an X10 Remote
        2. Installing X10-Compatible Wall Switches for Use with Appliances
        3. Installing X10 Electrical Outlets
        4. Installing X10-Compatible Appliance Relay Modules
      4. Using Appliances with X10 Appliance Modules
        1. Programming Your Appliance to Work with Other Devices
      5. Troubleshooting X10 Appliance Control
        1. Incorrect House and Unit Codes
        2. Device Is Turned Off
        3. Remote Control and Transceiver Problems
        4. Tabletop Controller Problems
        5. No Power to Outlet
        6. Incorrectly Wired Outlet
        7. X10 Devices Work Erratically
    3. 6. Using Timers and Advanced Remotes for X10
      1. X10 Timers
        1. What X10 Timers Can Do
        2. Preparing to Use an X10 Timer
        3. Setting Up an X10 Mini Timer
        4. Using the Timer Interactively
        5. Using Timed Control
          1. Selecting a Timed Event to Occur Just Once
          2. Checking and Removing Timed Settings
        6. Using the Security Feature
        7. Sleep, Alarm, and Snooze Features
      2. X10 Tabletop Maxi Controller
        1. Setting Up the Maxi Controller
        2. Controlling Devices
        3. Using All On/All Off Commands
        4. Configuring Programmable Modules
          1. Configuring a Preset Dimming Level
          2. Creating a Scene
      3. X10 Universal Remote
        1. Setting Up a Universal Remote
        2. Using the Remote to Control Home Entertainment
        3. Using a Universal Remote with X10 Devices
        4. X10 IR Controllers and Universal Remote Controls
  8. III. Using X10 for Advanced Home Control
    1. 7. Using X10 to Control HVAC Systems
      1. Integrating X10 with HVAC Systems
      2. Using X10 for Temperature Monitoring
        1. TempLinc
        2. Programming TempLinc
        3. Configuring TempLinc
        4. How TempLinc Reports Temperatures
        5. Using TempLinc’s Thermostat Mode
      3. Thermostat Setback Devices
        1. Installing and Using the TH2807 Thermostat Setback Module
      4. X10-Compatible HVAC Controllers and Thermostats
        1. Installing the TXB16 Control Unit
        2. Installing the TS16 Wall Display Unit
        3. Operating the TXB16
      5. Using X10 Control for Heating and Cooling Appliances
        1. Installing X10 Control for Attic and Whole-House Fans
        2. Controlling the Whole-House Fan with X10
        3. Installing X10 Control for Space Heaters
        4. Installing X10 Controls for Fans and Air Conditioners
      6. Troubleshooting X10 HVAC Control
    2. 8. Using X10 to Control Exterior Landscaping
      1. Connecting Standard Exterior Lighting to X10
        1. Controlling Porch Lights with X10
          1. Programming and Controlling Your Porch Lights
        2. Controlling Patio, Pool, and Deck Lights with X10
          1. Light Switches for Incandescent Lights
          2. Light Switches for Nonincandescent Lights
        3. Installing Photocell Sensors for Outdoor Lighting
          1. Installing and Using a Wired-in-Place Photocell Sensor
          2. Installing and Using a Plug-in Mini Controller with Photocell
        4. Using X10 in Your Garage
          1. Controlling Garage Lights with X10
          2. Controlling Garage Electric Outlets with X10
      2. Connecting Low-Voltage Accent or Holiday Lights to X10
      3. Controlling Spas, Hot Tubs, and Pool Filters with X10
      4. Troubleshooting X10 Exterior Controls
    3. 9. Using X10 to Provide Security
      1. Methods of Securing Your Home
      2. Installing X10-Compatible Video Cameras
        1. Installation Preparations
        2. Configuring the Camera
        3. Configuring the Receiver
        4. Using the Camera
        5. Using Multiple Cameras
        6. When Wired Cameras Are Better
        7. Moving the Camera
        8. One Camera or More—Determining the Best Camera Strategy
        9. Recording for Additional Security
          1. Using X10.com’s VCR Motion Control Kit
          2. Using Smarthome’s X10 to IR Linc
      3. Using X10 Motion Detectors to Improve Security
        1. Preparations for Setup
        2. Using a Battery-Powered Motion Detector
          1. Changing the Default House/Unit Codes on the MS14A
          2. Changing the Default Time Delay on the MS14A
          3. Using the MS14A for Motion Detection and Lighting
          4. Configuring the MS14A to Work at Night
          5. Additional Features of the MS16A
        3. Using Other Types of Motion Sensors
          1. Configuring the PR511 and Leviton 6417 for Motion Detection
          2. Configuring the PR511 and Leviton 6417 to Trigger Additional Lights
      4. Installing Comprehensive X10-Compatible Security Systems
        1. Security System Consoles
        2. X10 DS7000 Security Console
        3. X10 DC8700 Monitored Security System
          1. X10 Voice Dialer Systems
          2. Radio Shack Plug ‘n Power Wireless Home Security System
        4. Configuring the Security Console to Use Security Components
          1. Installing and Configuring Door and Window Sensors
          2. Installing and Configuring Motion Detectors
          3. Setting Up Dial-Out Features
        5. How the Security Sensor Reports Problems
        6. Testing the Security System
        7. Arming and Disarming Your Security System
        8. Controlling X10 Devices Through Your Security Console
      5. Troubleshooting X10 Security Systems
  9. IV. Remote Access to Your X10 Home Control System
    1. 10. Accessing X10 Home Control via Telephone
      1. X10 and Home Telephone Systems
      2. Installing and Using a Touch Tone Controller
        1. Configuring the TR16A Touch Tone Controller
        2. Using the TR16A to Control Your X10 System Remotely
        3. Using the Touch Tone Controller as a Tabletop X10 Controller
        4. Limitations of the Touch Tone Controller
      3. Using Home Automated Living
        1. HAL’s PCI Voice Portal Modem
        2. Using HAL Setup to Configure Your System
        3. Adjusting HAL’s Telephone Settings
        4. Adjusting HAL’s Voice Recognition Settings
        5. Configuring HAL’s X10 Module Support
        6. Creating Macros, Scenes, and Modes
        7. Using HAL to Control X10 Modules Remotely
      4. Using HomeSeer Phone
        1. Using HomeSeer Phone to Control X10 Modules
      5. Keeping Your Home Safe with Sensaphone
        1. How Sensaphone Works
        2. Configuring Sensaphone for Use
        3. Adding and Configuring Sensors
          1. General Sensor Adjustment
          2. Configuring Sensor Inputs
          3. Temperature Sensor Adjustments
          4. Sound Alarm Monitoring Adjustments
          5. AC Power Monitoring
        4. Responding to a Sensaphone Alarm
        5. Receiving a Status Report Remotely
        6. Controlling Sensaphone Remotely
        7. Typical Sensaphone Sessions
        8. Sensaphone Cottage Sitter
      6. Troubleshooting Telephone Access to X10-Based Systems
    2. 11. Accessing X10 Home Control via Your Home Computer
      1. Connecting Your Computer to Your X10 System
        1. Serial Port
        2. USB
        3. Important Features
      2. Installing a Computer Interface for X10
      3. Using Smarthome Manager
        1. Creating a New Location
        2. Adding Devices to Smarthome Manager
        3. Controlling a Device Interactively with Smarthome Manager
        4. Creating a Timed Action
          1. Adding a Delay to an Action
        5. Creating an Event-Triggered Action
        6. Saving Your Smarthome Configuration
        7. Downloading Your Smarthome Configuration to the Controller
        8. Using the Smarthome Manager Tools Menu
        9. Creating and Controlling Scenes
          1. Making Other Adjustments to Smarthome Switches and Modules
          2. Triggering a Scene
      4. Using HomeSeer
        1. Starting HomeSeer with the HomeSeer Assistant Wizard
          1. Setting Up Your Hardware Interfaces
          2. Installing Program Updates
          3. Specifying X10 Device Types
          4. Configuring Sunrise/Sunset
          5. Specifying Other Options
        2. Adding and Configuring Devices with HomeSeer
        3. Adjusting Specific Device Options
          1. Controlling Devices Interactively with HomeSeer
        4. Creating an Event with HomeSeer
          1. Selecting a Trigger for an Event
          2. Device Options
          3. Specifying Other Options
        5. Viewing the Event Log
        6. Using Device Control
        7. Using the Tools Menu
      5. Using X10 ActiveHome Pro
        1. Registering ActiveHome Pro
        2. Working with My Room
        3. Modifying My Room’s Module Addresses
        4. Modifying My Room’s Name
        5. Renaming and Editing a Module
        6. Removing Modules from a Room
        7. Adding a Module to a Room
        8. Controlling Modules Interactively
        9. Creating a Timed Event
          1. Using the Timer Designer in Simple Mode
          2. Using the Timer Designer’s Advanced Mode
          3. Closing Timer Designer
        10. Adding a Room
        11. Storing Changes to Your Configuration
        12. Updating ActiveHome Professional
        13. Creating a Macro
          1. Testing, Viewing Editing, and Deleting Macros
        14. Using the Tools Menu
          1. Downloading Your Configuration
          2. Editing Preferences
          3. Viewing the Activity Monitor
        15. Using Lifestyle Mode
        16. Retrieving a Deleted Module
        17. Ordering SmartMacros and Other Plug-ins
        18. Creating Reports and Printing Labels
        19. Finding Other Computers
      6. Troubleshooting Computer Control of X10-Based Systems
    3. 12. Accessing X10 Home Control via Your Home Network and the Internet
      1. Methods for Accessing Your Home Automation System Remotely
        1. Integrated Web Server
        2. Remote Access Software and Services
      2. Selecting the Right Home Networking/Web Access Solution
      3. Configuring Your Home Automation System for Remote Access
        1. Upgrading Software
        2. Using an Integrated Web Server
          1. Enabling and Configuring the Web Server in HomeSeer
          2. Logging On to a Home Automation Web Server
          3. Handling Nonstandard TCP Port Configurations
        3. Dealing with Dynamic IP Addresses on Your Home Network
          1. Fixed IP Address Configuration
          2. Determining Available IP Addresses
          3. Configuring a Windows XP/2000 Computer to Use a Manual IP Address
          4. Dealing with Dynamic IP Addresses in Your Internet Connection
        4. Using the Web Server to Control Your Home Automation System
        5. Using Remote Access Software and Services
          1. Remote Access Services
      4. Adding Webcams to Your Home Automation System
      5. Troubleshooting Home Network and Broadband Access to Your X10 System
        1. Home Automation Software with Integrated Web Server
        2. Remote Access Software and Services
  10. V. Appendices
    1. A. Integrating X10 with Other Home Control Systems
      1. Methods for Integrating X10 with Third-Party Home Control Systems
      2. Integrating HAI with X10
      3. Integrating Xanboo with X10
      4. Integrating Leviton DHC with X10
      5. Integrating Z-Wave with X10
      6. Integrating Home Automated Living with X10
      7. Integrating JDS Stargate with X10
      8. Integrating Lightolier Controls Compose with X10
      9. Integrating Applied Digital, Inc. Controllers with X10
      10. Integrating HomeLink with X10
      11. Brand Names for X10-Compatible Equipment
    2. B. Troubleshooting X10
      1. Typical Causes for Problems with X10
      2. Diagnosing and Solving Problems with X10 PLC Signals
        1. Solving Wiring Phase Problems with X10
        2. Using Signal Boosters
        3. Using Noise Filters
        4. Blocking X10 Power Line Signals from Entering Your Home
        5. Testing X10 Signal Quality
      3. Solving Problems with X10 Wireless Transceivers and Remotes
        1. Adding Wireless Signal Repeaters for Greater Range
        2. Upgrading to All-House-Code Transceivers
          1. V572 Whole House Transceiver
        3. Leviton HCPRF
        4. X10 CM15A