The Home Automation Blog

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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.


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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.

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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.

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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.



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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!
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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!

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Are you new to home automation? Do you already have your house automated and are looking for new and cool ideas for what to do next? Well, hopefully you'll find some new ideas here! Follow along as we take a years long journey into home domotics.