Grabbing Control

Remember that the control system interface occupies valuable and prominent real estate in a home. They are placed in important positions: by the front door, on the coffee table, in the main hallway, etc. There is limited wall space and the device should be an invited part of the home and not a distraction. If careful attention is paid to the physical and digital interfaces, the system will be used more often, and hopefully shown to visitors who will want the same system installed in their home.

HomePlug Reality

Analysts believe that HomePlug has an advantage over other home networking mediums, such as phone lines, because of the higher ratio and availability of power outlets over phone jacks, the increased reliability of powerline home networking over wireless standards, the cost effectiveness of deploying powerline technology, and the ease with which it may be installed.

Leviton DHC Switches

These units are designed to control incandescent and low-voltage lighting loads in any DHC-equipped home in single-pole (one location) or 3-way (multi-location) applications when used with the Multi-Remote Unit. They offer manual and remote ON/OFF switching and full range dimming for larger incandescent and magnetic low-voltage lighting loads. They feature Leviton's new Intellisense(tm) advanced circuitry for increased reliability, even where electrical "noise" exists on the power line.

Lighting Controls Need Not Be Ugly

Technology can be scary at times. And I'm not just talking about the technical stuff! Luckily, a home's technology doesn't need to be intimidating or ugly. The fact is that there are enough options out there to get just about anything you want. So, no matter what kind of home controls you end up going with, make sure they give you the kind of functionality, ease of use and aesthetics you're looking for.

Low Volt Keypads

The Programmable Logic Controller is the 'brains' of the electrical control system but it still requires inputs from other sources, like low voltage keypads, to solve the complex switching requirements of today.

New Era in the User Interface

This article describes advancement in the ergonomics and aesthetics of a home automation controller that is attractive, intuitive and affordable. A brief overview of the traditional interfaces is presented and the problems with its user interface and limitations are identified. The ergonomics and aesthetics of a novel home automation controller that provides higher performance and greater flexibility are described in detail.

Online Washing Machines?

Networking hardware manufacturers would benefit from digging deeper into the residential homeowners' psyche before developing confusing, expensive products and services to a disinterested population.

PowerHome

With my criteria of looking for a low-cost application to give me low-level and complex control of all my home automation devices, PowerHome was the clear winner. This one application, although one of the cheapest components of my home automation system, has opened "Pandora's Box" to the possibilities of what I can do.

SB Pro100 Firewall & Internet Sharing Box

The Nexland Pro100 firewall has some very advanced features that will meet the needs of the most advanced users such as a need to run a VPN (virtual private network) through the firewall to your office network. Keeping your corporate network secure means not just the local network secure, but the small branch offices or telecommuters working from home that connect up to your system.

Simple Interfaces

It should be every installer's objective to install their systems so that the home owners entire family including their children, and the occasional houseguest can operate the lights with no questions, let alone manuals. This includes putting lights on and off in their bedrooms, dining room and living room, exterior lights, scenes, path lights, etc. One shouldn't have to press a button, and wait to see what happens, and where.

The OCELOT

The OCELOT appears a well thought out answer to Home Automation. Capable of interfacing essentially 4 different types of Protocol's (RS232, RS485, X-10, and IR), and with expansion capabilities, it seems capable of the manufacturers claims. In addition to being easy to hook-up and program, most user definable parameters (such as programs and learned IR commands) can be stored for backup purposes.

Touch Panel Design: Warming Up Technology

Whether you design your touch panel pages internally or outsource to a professional design team, the key to touch panel design success is planning and communication with your customers. Knowing in the beginning what functionality can be achieved will make designing pages an easier task. Dedicating the right amount of time will enable you to produce eye-pleasing page designs and help you introduce a little "technology warmth" in the home.

Understanding Home Networks

This book may help you unravel some of the mysteries of networking and will for certain give you a great overview of the topic.

Another Wireless Standard?

Don't blink now or there'll be another wireless networking technology to keep track of. Sorry, you blinked!

Automation Programming

Both the homeowner and the integrator should keep in mind that there are always the unknown and unexpected delays in designing the "perfect" home automation system. Both should have patience and practice meditation during delays and unexplained "glitches" in the system. The homeowner should be allowed to become familiar with the system over a 2-4 week period, keeping notes of bugs and issues that need to be resolved.

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Automation & Control - Featured Product

GreenPeak’s GP565 – ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

GreenPeak's GP565 - ZigBee for smart Remote Controls

The GP565 Smart Home RF chip for remote controls supports voice control, motion sensing and the new ZRC 2.0 protocol. The GP565 is optimized for advanced & low cost ZigBee RF4CE remote controls. • 120k or 248k Flash (8k or 16k RAM) memory • 40-pin footprint to support a keyboard scanner interface or other IO interfaces required for remote controls. • Reduced current consumption and improved receiver sensitivity and output power • Patented Antenna Diversity technology enables superior range and WiFi/Bluetooth interference rejection