New Face of Home Automation

It's exciting to see so many appliance, computer and entertainment suppliers join the home automation fray. It's also a bit scary because forces this powerful can have a profound effect on any market. Over on the demand side, meanwhile, consumers already leery of living in electronic mazes are looking for somebody to make it all work and make it all safe, simple and secure.

Phonex NeverWire 14

The NeverWire 14 devices are very simple to setup with just a 10base-t network connection, a switch for the network hub and a switch for security. Just plug in the first unit and push the security button. Then go and plug in the other units and push their security buttons. This will set up the 56 bit security encryption so no one on the same wiring can tap into your network. The security will stay set on the units even if you unplug them.

Siemens Gigaset 8825 System

After testing the Siemens Gigaset 8825 system with Gigaset 8800 cordless handsets, we've found peace, a clear connection, and a couple of extra features that make the system a delight to use. This system connects up to two telephone lines and support up to eight cordless handsets. Only the base station needs to connect to the phone lines, then it sends the calls to the cordless handsets.

Simple Interfaces - Part II

Close coordination between contractors is a must, and you must be able to 'work well with others'. There is a lot of planning involved, both before the project starts and during the installation. Again, a well-designed system is one in which the only time the homeowner calls, is to invite you to dinner.

So ... Who Designed Your System?

If the system designer is not an expert with regards to every aspect of the system, he or she should look for outside design resources, including other system designers, programmers, consultants or even the manufacturers. Making the system work will win you friends and future business. Making a poor system design will cause your phone to ring endlessly . . . and mine too.

Wireless Internet Connections

Last week, I took the laptop outside and did some work from a park bench/table across the street and as long as I stayed within a thousand feet or so from the apartment, I was connected. If you're tripping over wires, settling for a slow speed modem connection when you're away from your main desktop or using your laptop in another room, there are solutions and they're not only convenient, but they're affordable as well.

Wireless networking goes to 22Mbps!

If you haven't yet taken the wireless networking plunge, now is the time. If you can be satisfied with 11Mbps performance, the prices have been plummeting over the past few months, and better deals are coming through every day. 22Mbps prices are very aggressive as well, so it will be a hard choice where to spend your money. The reality is you can setup a wireless home network for as little as $150 for an access point and two PC Card adapters.


Consumers have a right to a "level playing field", armed with authentic specifications. Unfortunately, today the basic power ratings of 100-watts is totally inadequate and in some instances too misleading to serve any usefulness for the consumer to discern real value choices. We believe full disclosure power rating specifications should be an industry standard and to that end, hope other manufacturers accept this premise when publishing amplifier specifications.

""Get a Lift in the Kitchen""

Although lift installations in kitchens are not commonplace, affluent clients with large kitchens offer the best opportunity for such an add-on.

?Jeannie? The House That Listens

I am in the never ending process of automating my third home and did most of the wiring before the walls went up. That is the easy way and gives you more options. This additional wiring was to provide for features not supported by X10 such as phones, computer connections, audio and video distribution. House #1 had a few motion detectors, lamp modules, and wall switches. Not much as far as automation is concerned but then again, very low cost for what I was able to accomplish. House #2 of course had more of the same plus some additional functions that were more in the automation and "Fun Things" area.


You don?t have to be a ?techie? to use a large screen display, in fact, many are as easy to use as a regular TV. With color-coded inputs and cabling, quick start-up menus and intuitive, automatic features and accessories, projectors and plasma displays can now be operated by almost anyone.

A Few Tips on Choosing Home Theater Speakers

After listening to your favorite music CD to determine whether you like the speaker under consideration?s bass response and treble smoothness, ask the salesman to play a movie soundtrack wherein voices and music are at equal levels.

A Guide to Digital Video

HDMI, as of today, is much less complicated than DVI, although this new technology is backwards compatible.

A Review of AC Surge Protection and Power Conditioning

SurgeX protection meets the most stringent requirements of the Federal CID, was designed to withstand an unlimited number of category C1 surges as defined by IEEE 62.41-1991, filters out transients, and does not require close proximity to the building-ground to operate with total effectiveness.

A Technical Introduction to Audio Cables

The fact of the matter is that cables do alter the sound going through them, and that it is audible. You do not need to be an expert, or an audiophile, to hear the difference.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

ELK Products -M1 GOLD with Two-Way Wireless

ELK Products -M1 GOLD with Two-Way Wireless

The M1 Gold Security & Automation Control combines security, fire, energy management, lighting, and access control to provide total control of the home. Easily integrating with products of industry partner manufacturers, M1 controls offer a truly customized solution. With remote access capabilities and simple, user-friendly interfaces, M1 keeps homeowners informed and in control, anytime, anywhere! ELK's Two-Way Wireless family of products for the M1 offers a truly secure and reliable wireless solution with cutting edge techniques such as frequency hopping and UL approved jamming detection to defend against interference, hacking, and jamming. Advanced features ensure reliability, extend battery life, and provide innovative security enhancements including wirelessly interconnected smoke detectors, motion detectors with built-in security/convenience lights, and key fobs with a system status inquiry button, allowing users to see if an alarm has been activated before entering the home.