The Home Automation Blog

Welcome to your Home Automation resource. Here you can follow along in our adventures in home automation. If you're interested in getting home automation assistance in the St. Louis area drop us a line on our Contact Us page. You can also check out our home automation blog below.


Latest Posts

Chris Hammond
Sunday, November 27, 2016 9:08 PM

A few weeks ago we picked up a Google Home device from Best Buy. I must admit, I was always jealous of those of you who had Amazon’s Echo, but we held off on buying a device, waiting for Google to come out with something.

I must say, I am glad I waited! If you don’t have a device yet, definitely consider Google Home over Echo, I think it is even cheaper right now too with the holiday prices somewhere around $99.

Here are a couple of great things you can ask your Google Home for the holidays. Everything assumes you are starting out with “Okay Google” as that is what you need to say to get it going.

Views: 1372 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Tuesday, November 22, 2016 1:44 AM

I recently got around to installing my Foscam fi9803ep (HD/POE) camera, and after getting everything setup, realized I was unable to access the SD card via the “SD Card Management” option in the settings for the Camera.

If you logged into the camera via the web interface (using Internet Explorer, no Chrome support from what I can find) you can configure the camera to take a Snapshot every X seconds, as well as have it take snapshots or record based on an “Alarm” setting. I was able to get all of that configured, but when I tried to access any of those files, I was unable to do so remotely. Clicking on the SD Card Management link in Internet Explorer would simply open up an FTP connection to the camera, in Windows 10, but no matter what I typed in, I wasn’t able to successfully log in.

Update: I have experienced the same problem with a Foscam fi9900ep camera as well. 

Views: 2564 Comments: 1
Chris Hammond
Monday, February 16, 2015 1:49 AM

This is a follow up post to our post earlier this week

Earlier this week we posted about not being able to get the INSTEON Wireless Security IP Camera with Pan, Tilt and Night Vision working with our Insteon Hub using the Android Application. I reached out to Insteon support to see what they had to offer, they suggested that if I had an iOS device I could use the “Add existing” option when adding the Camera to the Hub app, but that feature isn’t available on the Android version.

We are an Android household, though I do have a Macbook Pro, I don’t have an iOS devices. I commandeered the office’s IPod Touch for the weekend to see if I could get the cameras working, and what do you know, they sure do!

Views: 3374 Comments: 1
Chris Hammond
Wednesday, February 11, 2015 1:25 AM
Has anyone been able to successfully configure the Insteon Wireless IP Cameras to work with the Insteon Hub, though the Android application?
Views: 7522 Comments: 0
Sunday, November 30, 2014 11:48 PM
For a few years now I’ve been wanting to tie our Christmas lights into my Insteon Home Automation, but I haven’t had any of the Insteon hardware/software hooked up due to various houses we were in. This year is different, this year my Christmas lights are hooked up to my home automation system!
Views: 588 Comments: 0
Monday, November 24, 2014 12:45 AM

It has been 3+ years since I’ve worked with the Insteon hardware that I acquired years ago (some of which was documented here), since the last time I gave Insteon a go, we have moved to from San Carlos, CA, to Half Moon Bay, Ca, to Ballwin, MO, and now we’ve purchased a home in Wildwood, Missouri.

Views: 550 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Thursday, May 12, 2011 7:22 PM

Is Android@Home vaporware? That is the question I have been asking myself since Google announced Android@Home at Google IO earlier this week.

There isn’t a whole lot of information out there as of right now, as to what Android@Home actually is, will be, or wants to be. The details are very sparse. The only information with any sort of a timeline that I’ve been able to find is an article from TechRadar that says the first “product” will be due at the end of this year (2011).

I’m hoping that things will flush out from Google over the next few months. In the mean time I think it is time that I dive into some Android development. I’ve been meaning to do so for quite some time, but with everything else going on I haven’t had the opportunity.

If you recall my last blog post you’ll see that I’ve dumb’d down the house, so this announcement from Google about Android@Home might have come at just the right time for me. Is it time to ditch Insteon and move to something else? Only time will tell.

Views: 586 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Monday, May 09, 2011 1:03 AM

So here we are, getting ready to move again, so what do I need to do? Well, remove all the Insteon hardware from the house of course! This post is actually a year and a half too late, as we have actually moved once already, we left our house in Colorado to move to California. Making that house “dumb” was easy, as I had only put in two Insteon switches in that house.

Here in California I had wired up 7 various INSTEON SwitchLinc devices throughout the house, with a combination of relays and sending units. I never really took it 100% like I wanted to, but I also knew we wouldn’t be living here for more than a year. So I removed all of the switches this weekend. Installing the SwitchLinc devices is easy, removing them is just as easy. Though I did run into one stumbling block. The hall lighting in this house was wired with a 4 way switch. I had no clue what that meant, except that it had 3 switches that could control the lights.

When I had wired up the Insteon switches I ended up making only one of the switches work, the other two were plated off. Well that wouldn’t be acceptable for the land lord so I had to figure out how to get it working. Fortunately I came across this website that showed me how to figure out the wiring of a 4-way switch.

Hopefully with the new place I’ll have the opportunity to wire things up again and this time I can go all out. I’ve got plenty of devices to use.

Views: 662 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Monday, December 21, 2009 2:47 AM

So it’s been a year since I really did anything with my home automation projects. In that time we’ve moved, from Missouri to Colorado, and purchased our first home.

It is time to begin again! I recently ordered a Smarthome kit, INSTEON Lamp Scene Lighting Starter Kit. I ended up finding it on a special deal a day website that Best Buy has for its Rewardzone members. The kit was priced at $60, a pretty good deal considering Smarthome sells it for $99. I expected it to show up in a few days and I would hook it up and get a few things running. To my surprise however I didn’t receive the kit in the mail, I got a decent sized box from the deal website, labeled as a smarthome box. I though there must be a lot of packing material in the box, only to open it and find a plethora of Insteon hardware, nothing like the kit I ordered, but WAY better.


Views: 720 Comments: 2
admin account
Monday, December 29, 2008 1:12 AM

So today I spent some time working around the house with my family, my parents visited us for the holidays. After cleaning up the xmas decorations my wife headed off to ride her horses and my dad and I worked on a few things.

I received a few Insteon icondevices for xmas this year so we worked on getting those wired up in the house. We now have two Smartlinc Insteon Dimmer Switchs iconhooked up, one in the living room, and one in our bedroom.

My trial license of mControl expired, so I am going to have to figure out what to do about software to control the switches, I still think I would like to write my own, but we’ll see how that goes. I have enough other projects to keep me busy without trying to start up my own open source home automation application.

Views: 590 Comments: 1
admin account
Monday, December 01, 2008 1:09 AM

So I was going to go to bed tonight without blogging here on my home automation blog, but I came across a few products from Smarthome that forced me to blog!

The first thing I came across was this, an indoor yard iconfor your pet to defecate on… really?

Then I came across this pooper scooper icon! Seriously?

When they come up with an automated roomba icontype bot that actually picks up the yard I’ll buy it.

Views: 596 Comments: 0
admin account
Sunday, November 30, 2008 2:06 AM

The Signalinc is now installed in the breaker box downstairs, and now X-10 signals in my house work from my testing no matter what outlet the devices are plugged into.

Views: 1978 Comments: 0
admin account
Saturday, November 29, 2008 12:41 PM

So the first project to get started on our home automation project is to get a new circuit breaker installed in the basement so that I can hookup the SignaLinc Phase Coupler icon.

Views: 520 Comments: 0
admin account
Friday, November 28, 2008 3:37 AM

Well it’s now officially the day after Thanksgiving, that means Christmas Lights need to go up over the next few days. With that in mind, and following my blog post from earlier, I decide it was time to get the Insteon and X-10 equipment I do own working together. I ran across the mControl Software on Smarthomeand then decided I would look into it more. I found a trial copy and have that up and running on my Windows Home Server. I must say, it is pretty sweet that I can control the lights from nearly any computer in the world now. Over the next few days I’ll go through and hookup all the hardware I have boxed up currently. It is mostly X-10 icon controls, but I do have a few Insteon iconcontrols as well.

Here’s a screenshot of my test setup running in the Windows Home Server console.



Views: 506 Comments: 1
admin account
Friday, November 28, 2008 12:46 AM
So it has been a while since we've done anything with our Domotics (Home Automation) blog, and it's getting to be winter time, time for projects inside the house. Last year we started down the path of Smarthome products, but we didn't proceed all that far into the system. We still have the hardware, and will most likely use that hardware/technology going forward, but first the question is. Read more!
Views: 550 Comments: 3
admin account
Sunday, September 28, 2008 12:13 AM

One of the projects that we will be following here  at will be the move of Christopher and Natalie Hammond over at They will be moving to Colorado in the summer of 2009 and part of their moving process will be to configure a house with a home automation setup. Stay tuned as that process unfolds!

Views: 390 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Friday, February 15, 2008 2:06 AM is a home automation company based in St. Louis Missouri. We'll be adding more home automation information so you can track our growth. If you're looking for home automation information in St. Louis you've found the right place!
Views: 362 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Sunday, February 03, 2008 1:55 AM
This blog hasn't seen much activity lately. We've been too busy finishing up a few other projects to start playing with all of our new Insteon toys. We should have those plugged in and playtime commencing sometime this week!
Views: 366 Comments: 1
Chris Hammond
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 2:15 PM
I haven't received an email yet but it looks like by tracking my order on the Insteon SDK shipped today!
Views: 368 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Tuesday, January 15, 2008 12:41 AM
Great news! Part of the SMARTHOME order came in today. The two modules arrived though still no word on the SDK. I'm actually thinking I might not need the SDK and the 2600S as I may have another solution in the works! More on that if I find out more information tomorrow!
Views: 314 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Thursday, January 10, 2008 12:35 AM
In the last post I made mention of the fact that I hadn't heard anything from SMARTHOME regarding my order which included in the USB version of the Insteon SDK. Well I called SMARTHOME yesterday and they told me that they would be unable to fulfill that order because the USB version was not longer producted, so I cancelled the order. Today I called them again and learned that their Serial SDK was still available, though it was listed on the site as backorder.
Views: 344 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Tuesday, January 08, 2008 12:33 AM
Well last week we posted about ordering an SDK for Insteon from Since that order we haven't heard a single word from Smarthome... No update on the order beyond my initial email that I received for confirmation. Their website says the order is "open".
Views: 1118 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Wednesday, January 02, 2008 12:36 AM
Well, we took the time this evening to order a few things from SMARTHOME this evening. We ended up ordering the Hardwired SignaLinc Phase Coupler (Signal Bridge) as well as a INSTEON SwitchLinc Dimmer, White. We hope to use the Phase Coupler to make sure that the power lines here in our test house don't have any problems at the breaker box.
Views: 336 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Friday, December 28, 2007 11:14 PM
Here at the Home Automation blog we've been looking into options for how we can remotely control a thermostat in a home. We honestly haven't found a whole lot of information for solutions that we deem acceptable yet.
Views: 356 Comments: 0
Monday, December 10, 2007 11:24 PM
Checkout yet ANOTHER domain name! Yes, I do own too many domain names. is the future home of the most prominent Home Automation blog on the web! Check it out as the site begins to come...
Views: 334 Comments: 0
Chris Hammond
Monday, December 10, 2007 11:10 PM will provide you with all of the information necessary to get your home up and running with the latest wave in Home Automation Technology.
Views: 564 Comments: 1