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Offline sotoda

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Starting guide
« on: August 04, 2013, 11:39:31 pm »
Hello guys,

I plan to start to gather information regarding the home automation possibilities that will bring the Almond+ to my house.
Will I need a master controller or Almond+ can be used for it?
 
I'm new so I am not sure where to start - I am actually thinking to buy a single wall receptacle like this one http://goo.gl/EmKsGa
If you have any hints or nice online store to buy the parts, I'm interested to hear from you.


Offline pete

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2013, 12:20:02 am »
A single Z-Wave wall receptacle is a good way to start.

Even easier to play with would be utilizing a lamp module(s) or appliance module(s).

Google will be your friend with your searching for best prices or deals on Z-Wave switches.

I looked at your link and it goes to an Intermatic HA01C.  I have a few Intermatic Z-Wave switches here.

Note that Intermatic quit making the switches a while ago. 

That said I did a quickie google and found a deal of a 6 pack for $99 dated in May of 2013.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2013, 12:23:25 am by pete »
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Pete
Lockport, IL  USA

Offline Mike at BlackCat

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2013, 07:36:34 pm »
A Zwave device by itself will be of no use without either a Vera or Almond+

You will have a box of electronics encased in plastic and no method of communicating with it without either.




Offline pete

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2013, 08:17:38 pm »
Yup; if you want to play a bit with Z-Wave you will need a controller.

Just to play/experiment with the wireless Z-Wave control you can purchase a GE GE45600 Z-Wave wireless remote for as little as $10.00 USD today.

Thinking about this a bit more you can also probably purchase the discontinued Intermatic controller for probably less than $10 just to play with (utilizing the discontinued Intermatic switches that you find on sale these days).

Knowing that you will end up using the Almond + for your Z-Wave controller there is no need to spend monies on a higher end controller.  I have a few here and mostly just utilize 3-4 different ones today and a box o Z-Wave controllers in the "discard" box (they are still functional; but didn't suit my immediate needs).
« Last Edit: August 06, 2013, 09:06:44 pm by pete »
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Pete
Lockport, IL  USA

Offline sotoda

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2013, 09:33:25 pm »
awesome, thanks for your replies guys.

Basically, I wanted to know where to start.
Didnt want to expensive stuff that will go away in few months so I'll probably get a cheap controller and a light switch to start playing with it while waiting for the Almond+.


Offline Mike at BlackCat

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2013, 09:58:03 pm »
If it's any help, I started with a ZTS Temperature Controller as an upgrade to my aging mercury temp switch that controlled my Ducted Heating.
It's self contained and operational by itself.
The rest of my HA evolved from that with Vera being the next device brought, then the Frostdales, AEON Modules and of course multiple sensors...It's like an octopus and Never Ending Story all rolled together. :)

Of course Almond+ popped up at the same time and here I am and the rest is history.

If you have a need to upgrade a heating controller, then it's a good way to start HA.

Offline sotoda

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2013, 05:44:44 pm »
I've decided to start with the GE GE45600 Z-Wave wireless remote and a Leviton VPS15-1LZ switch. I expect to receive everything in the next 2 weeks and I'll see how it goes.

Offline sotoda

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #7 on: August 14, 2013, 07:33:36 pm »
I've decided to start with the GE GE45600 Z-Wave wireless remote and a Leviton VPS15-1LZ switch. I expect to receive everything in the next 2 weeks and I'll see how it goes.

Looks like I made a noob mistake when buying the VPS15-1LZ. This one isnt ZWave. The correct number would have been VRS15-1LZ. What a difference 1 letter can make :(

Offline sotoda

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #8 on: August 19, 2013, 10:58:53 pm »
update on the situation - I finally receive the correct model and was able to make it work ! ;D

just an additionnal note for people like me trying to start the setup - verify your electric setup. I spent numerous hours trying to replace a swtich where I was missing the neutral cable (house build inthe 70s) and didnt have the proper setup.

have fun

LGNilsson

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #9 on: August 19, 2013, 11:35:23 pm »
Reading about all these issues people are having, I'm getting worried once I start tinkering with these things in my own place. That said, it's a newer home, but I have no idea about the wiring, except that it's not up to my standards...

Glad you got most of it working in the end though, let's just hope it all will work well with the Almond+ too.

Offline sotoda

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #10 on: August 27, 2013, 12:16:43 am »
Quote
Reading about all these issues people are having, I'm getting worried once I start tinkering with these things in my own place

This was exactly my feeling a month ago, when I started to read about home automation but I decided to give it a try. If it didn't work out well, can always sell back the device on ebay.
I have to say after 2 weeks that I really enjoy it.

Electric stuff isnt easy (I'm a former programmer), but it isn't much complicated either.
The first thing you need to identify is your setup. Is your switch currently have 2 or 3 wires. (+ ground)
If you have only 2, make sure you pick a switch from this list that doesn't require neutral wire
http://store.homeseer.com/store/HomeSeer-Z-Wave-OnOff-Wall-Switch-Comparison-W7.aspx

Once the switch is replaced - this is cake. Association of the device with the remote took me litterally 5 seconds.

Offline pete

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Re: Starting guide
« Reply #11 on: August 27, 2013, 09:28:01 am »
Great news Sotoda!

Yes; the DIY installation of automated in wall switches involve electrical connectivity typically follows standard guidelines.  (national / domestic electrical codes).

That said if you do not feel comfortable doing electric you can hire an electrician to install a wall switch or wall outlet. 

Note here though you will have to program the switch as most electricians that I know will not have the knowledge base for said programming of an automated in wall switch.

The above noted you can also just start with lighting / appliance modules which are plug n play and involve no hard electrical wiring.

One of the "neat" things about automated switches is that you can create "virtual" 3-4-5 way switches with no traveler wiring.

In the summer of 2012 I upgraded many of my automation switches to multitoggle / multifunction / dual load in wall switches.  I went very slow doing one room at a time.  (dining room here has some 6 wall switches). 
« Last Edit: August 27, 2013, 09:36:59 am by pete »
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Pete
Lockport, IL  USA

 

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