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173 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 28947 16-Dec-2008 22:22
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Looking at starting out on the home automation journey, have been looking at the various 'add-on' type options since rewiring the house isn't really feasible...

There are various types of plug-in modules out there that use either the old X10 standard or one of the more recent ones like ZWave. Has anybody seen this kind of thing in the NZ/AU market? Seems to be heaps of stuff available in the US and to a lesser extent in the UK, but I've yet to come across anything in this neck of the woods. There is a bit of vendor-specific stuff out there such as Clipsal C-Bus system, but it seems to be hideously expensive compared to standardised DIY type stuff available in the US.

ZWave/X10 appeals as a system can be gradually built up - this is a low to no-budget type of project! I've seen a few companies offering home automation solutions, but they invariably seem to be asking a fairly serious amount of money for high-end solutions based on proprietary systems, and are really aimed at non-technical people with money to burn.

Any and all comments welcome!

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534 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 184692 17-Dec-2008 07:49
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A lot of home automation equipment does seem prohibitively expensive in NZ, small market I suppose but there's surely room for a bit of entrepreneurship too. I had a quote recently for a motorised shade blind at $2000.00.

X10 is available in NZ but reasonably pricey. Main reason probably is the adaptation from US power (voltage/frequency) and this is why you can't just buy most of this stuff from the States. UK prices not so bad but the freight cost can be prohibitive.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 184742 17-Dec-2008 12:10
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Dont waste your time with X10 - the old stuff is insensitive junk that will not be reliable if you have loads on the same circuit with a capacitor across the line (that is almost every switching power supply ever made) and the cheap stuff from hongkong is not approved for use here anyway.

Not had a play with zwave, but cbus is reasonably priced at and is reliable and cheap if you get the plain clipsal style plates vs the fancy glass ones.


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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 184759 17-Dec-2008 13:43
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X10 etc seems to be a bit hit and miss here in NZ. There have been a couple of forays over the last year or two, and I have picked up some well priced X10 Computer and Home Theatre kits from Trademe. However, those traders havent listed anything for sometime. 

The HA concept is not well understood, or even known about here in NZ - 9/10 times just get a blank look ...

Sad, as I'm bit of an HA fan and have modifed some USA stuff, but that's not a job for the unintiated.

You could try Australia, as they have the same specs as the NZ Market. (has some specials at the moment)

My thoughts are no longer my own and is probably representative of our media-controlled government

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 184833 17-Dec-2008 18:09
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Doesnt change that the x-10 protocol is absolutly hopeless on a current powerline in a normal house. If you have minimal electronic equipment it will be ok, still slow as anything and all the rubbish protocol shortcomings.

Zwave is the way to go if you must avoid running cables, but its pricey.


79 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 184847 17-Dec-2008 19:34
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richms is on to it.

If you are looking at trying to referb your existing electrical installation you might want to take a look at c-bus wireless. you can start with a basic kit and gradually build up. A fully intergrated c bus system is the way to go but it does cost. I would suggest not to try and do anything to cheap as you could end up with a lemon.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 184910 18-Dec-2008 09:04
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Other thing to consider is exactly what you want to achieve as well.
It's an expensive game to do correctly/reliably but often a lot of what people want to control is just gimmicky.

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