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468 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1147683 5-Oct-2014 17:19
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i am at this moment building a new single story house.

things to keep in mind....

you dont need ducting everywhere for future use. i simply drilled my nogs and installed that blue packing tape as a draw wire , stapled to the bottom plate and the trusses for future needs.
you only need ducting if its in a tricky spot such as the outside corner of a room or where the roof trusses make crawling through difficult. Inside walls are easy to run in the future...outside walls are a *&$#.

make your media cupboard no more than 12 cable meters from your main TV, that way you can run things like HDMI and IR repeaters direct without needing baluns.
My TV in the lounge has:
4Xcat5, 3xRG6, 2XHDMI, 1X toslink, and 2X screened 4 core cables for IR repeater or something going to it. i also ran 25mm conduit with large radius bends to the L/R speaker locations and center speaker area so the speakers can be wired normally or Bi wired in future. then another 25mm conduit just for whatever.

Family and bedroom have loads or draw tapes in the walls to account for different setups/tv locations.
kids rooms only have 1X cat5 to them at the moment but can be easily upgraded due to having 25mm holes in the nogs and draw tapes. Media cupboard/switch/modem is in the garage corner.

run lots of 20mm conduit under the slab before it poured to all corners of the house..that way you can easily add garden lighting circuits etc without ugly conduit going down the outside of your wall. Also be sure to print out the UFB install guide and give it to your sparky. make sure he KNOWS you want the conduits installed for UFB. also the lead in trench will need TWO ducts...one green duct and one white one just in case the UFB guys arent allowed to run fiber in the green duct.

i have specced a KABA EF 680 front door lock which is pin/prox and remote opening. i will hack the remote to operate off the alarm system remote so you can arm/disarm the alarm and unlock the front door and open the garage door from one remote.


if theres one thing you take away from this it is...OUTSIDE walls are a pain to get to in the future...install what you think you might need in the outside walls first or run ducts and draw tapes in there if accessable. The blue tape is dirt cheap and will make life soooooo much easier if you need to re-locate stuff. Use 25mm holes in nogs NOT 20mm.

Oh and get the builders to spec the roof trusses above your garage as attic trusses. that way you can store all your stuff up there...its the cheapest storage area you can get.

468 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1148572 6-Oct-2014 20:10
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oh and as for lighting you could just go with 12V leds and maybe an arduino controlled Relay panel and DC Dimmers. I looked at all sorts of home automation and TBH most of the stuff is gimmicky or would hardly be used anyway. I.E do you really need motorised curtains??? media and security sharing is where its good.  maybe loo at U.P.S backup or similar for power cuts??

 
 
 
 


534 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1148603 6-Oct-2014 20:36
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floydie: oh and as for lighting you could just go with 12V leds and maybe an arduino controlled Relay panel and DC Dimmers. I looked at all sorts of home automation and TBH most of the stuff is gimmicky or would hardly be used anyway. I.E do you really need motorised curtains??? media and security sharing is where its good.  maybe loo at U.P.S backup or similar for power cuts??


That is an awesome idea, but tbh get a raspberry pi over an arduino. All you need is a couple mosfet and with some programming job done




Home ADSL:                                                             School: 
 


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  #1148648 6-Oct-2014 21:22
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What advantage is there to running Cat6 over cat5e as I see some are choosing cat6?  I haven't run my cable yet but I have specified to the electrician I was happy with 5e.


468 posts

Ultimate Geek


  #1148754 6-Oct-2014 23:26
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cat 6 is theortically better but for a house where most runs are sub 30 meters i doubt theres much in it.
Cat 6 is a bitch to terminate in a house compared to cat 5e and wont curl up inside the flush boxes like 5e will. the gib fixers will Keeel you if theres wires hanging out of flush boxes all over the place.

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  #1149586 7-Oct-2014 23:23
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floydie: cat 6 is theortically better but for a house where most runs are sub 30 meters i doubt theres much in it.
Cat 6 is a bitch to terminate in a house compared to cat 5e and wont curl up inside the flush boxes like 5e will. the gib fixers will Keeel you if theres wires hanging out of flush boxes all over the place.


In our house I did not bother with making up cables, just bought pre-made Cat6 leads and Keystone sockets with sockets on the back.  Pull the cable through with a bit spare left in the ceiling, leaving only the connector in the flush box and tape it up with masking tape for protection from plaster and paint.  Later just pull the cable enough to plug into the Keystone socket.  One of my flush boxes have 6x Cat6 network cables and 2x (push-down) Cat5e phone cables in an external wall, had no issues fitting the face plate after plaster and paint.




You can never have enough Volvos!


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  #1149655 8-Oct-2014 08:26
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If I was starting from scratch I think I would definitely look at that idea of running 12VDC lighting. Makes life so much easier for automatic switching using off the shelf relays and has the added benefit of being easily switched over to battery powered lighting in the event of a power cut. Definitely worth considering, although I can imagine your average electrician would baulk at the idea!

 
 
 
 


176 posts

Master Geek


  #1156465 17-Oct-2014 01:23
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my home is an automation work in progress. its a PLC type system, centralised, protocol-free control

OP if you are serious about automating a home (not just moving the light switches from the wall to your phone) then its important to decide early on what system you will commit to, as the HV wiring can be non-standard depending on which route you take. heres a post i made on another forum about some of the available options and the respective infrastructure



pdh

118 posts

Master Geek


  #1160378 23-Oct-2014 03:33
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I'm also at the early (Consent) stage of a new build - with lots of options and unanswered questions...

As a pretty rusty control-systems engineer and long-time geek, I'm just going to have to get a PLC, Arduino or Pi in there somehow. Not everyone will want to do that – but within 10 years I reckon there will be some nice & cheap systems with user-friendly programmability for the less geeky. If you can program your DVR today…

The future-proof issue is rightly a worry. I built my last house in '94 and chuckled as I wired all the rooms on a nice big coax-ring, back to the utility cupboard in the garage. Had the fancy click-in wall plates and reckoned I was bullet-proof. Whoops - ethernet came roaring round the corner with a whole new topology.

So, I’ll be doing some ducting into the high-traffic areas – figuring that this house will see 10G and maybe 100G traffic before I’m done with it (I hope). Wireless gets better and better – but it always lags behind in the bang for buck vs wired. I doubt many Geekzone users would be happy today, gaming over an AP which was also serving a couple of HD streams. We’ll dream up new consumptions to stretch future wired & wireless protocols. I’ll run WiFi for the phones & tablets, but hard-wire the AV, server/NAS & fibre/copper infeed points – through ducts.

Audio/visual, file-serving, security & access-control, and heating/ventilation-control are all contenders for better integration and automation. There are impressive looking proprietary systems already out there -  with impressive price tags. The field is moving fast as lots of players start to flex their muscles and their technology into what is a fast-growing market. I think we’re still in the wild-west expansion phase that comes before standards. Remember how long it took to get different Ethernet chips to settle down and talk to each other reliably ?

For me, the biggest question right now is lighting. LED is such a game-changer. Why string 240 V round the house’s lighting circuits in a new build ? Should I do it simply because it’s what we’ve always done – and what the industry expects to keep doing forever ? I’d like to do it all in 12 or 24V DC – maybe using marine or RV fittings.

New builds are still the ‘tail’ being wagged by the ‘dog’ of the retrofit LED lamp market. Today, it’s much cheaper to buy an old-style downlight and put a top-line LED bulb into it – half the price of an all-in-one LED downlight of the same output. That shouldn’t still be the case in 5 years.

I’m looking at maybe 50 lights on 20 circuits. Even 50 x 18 W LED’s (at the limit of today’s residential ‘bulb’) is only 900 W all up – and the individual room circuits will be more akin to the power going to one car headlamp bulb. So current loss at 12 or 24V shouldn’t be too big a worry and I can get one very efficient central DC supply.

If I could find some nice low-voltage wall-plate switches, I could centralise the relays & the logic to switch & dim circuits in a very flexible fashion – and open up other possibilities – eg: better scope for running some or all from a solar-panel fed UPS.

One day, we’ll have smart switches as used in car wiring looms – able to send an ID and an action. I can find a few 100$ ones with touch screens – but I want a 10$ one with only a few more smarts than a 5$ door-bell push. Or maybe a more expensive IP unit with PoE instead of a proprietary protocol. A bell-push & bell-wire back to a PLC is so last century – but it’d work and be cheap.

Sorry for the ramble – just some current thoughts

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  #1160385 23-Oct-2014 06:46
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The weakness in LED lights is the power supply, so if you buy fittings with an external driver (like from Quality LED Lighting in Wellington) then you can run low voltage DC and place a low voltage driver at each light (or group of lights).  My only concern would be the mains rated switches might not do well with DC, but you might just have to give it a go and see what happens.  Don't think it would be an issue, but there is much more to a switch than just touching 2 pieces of metal together so just look out for that.  Plating is sometimes specific for AC or DC or high current or low current applications.




You can never have enough Volvos!


pdh

118 posts

Master Geek


  #1160781 23-Oct-2014 15:50
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Agree on switches being designed for the job - but I don't really want to use 240 AC switches. Looking for something that will switch a 12 or 24 VDC PLC input signal - so mA of current at most. Shouldn't trouble any switch designed for that job; but, of course, this is a very primative way to transmit a few 10's of 'actions' a day.

I'd rather have a smart switch sending ID and action, which I think is how many of the proprietary systems do it. It's also how the modern car systems do it..

222 posts

Master Geek


  #1160802 23-Oct-2014 16:27
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We have been lucky enough to be the first to sign up with LumenCache for LED lighting controls over Cat# cables, 12-24 volt systems and are at present waiting for the new Epoch line to come into production.  The only downside to this particular and all systems like this, is the downlight insulation ratings for new home builds here in NZ.  When the LED fixture is tested, it is tested with a factory supplied driver (240volt) and the rating is then given to the fixture (CA or IC).  Our issue has been, because we use our own driver seperated from the fixture (positioned remotely in a cupboard of some sort), we would have to pay to have every downlight re-tested using our drivers to gain a downlight rating to use with our system, this can be horrifically expensive.  We are working with a testing lab and fixture supplier at present to have our drivers tested at the same time as theirs to keep costs down and give us a range of downlights suitable for the houses of today.

The odd part of this law/regulations and this product, is once the house has been given code of compliance, we can change all the 240 wiring out and replace with our 12 volt system and it is all "legal beagle".  We can install "corn cob" fixtures in the place of where the downlights would go, this would give us our 12 volt circuit, once COC has been given, we can swap the externals to downlights and again all "legal beagle".  We have a local electrical company who imports LED downlights for replacement to existing homes, and they have even stated that they can install an IC or CA rated downlight into a home, get COC and then replace them with their imported downlights without any rating.  Hopefully a revised standard will be set specifically for Cat# designed lighting control/distribution systems.

The way of the future is 12/24 volt lighting and with LED's being made with 300+ lumens per watt, it certainly is going to bright.  We have our house controlled by the LumenCache Legacy product , both by wall switches (24volt press momentary), sensors and smart devices, downlights and LED strip lighting, it is a flawless system with massive potential in the future. 




"Setting the Standard in Quality and Commitment"

222 posts

Master Geek


  #1160806 23-Oct-2014 16:31
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pdh: Agree on switches being designed for the job - but I don't really want to use 240 AC switches. Looking for something that will switch a 12 or 24 VDC PLC input signal - so mA of current at most. Shouldn't trouble any switch designed for that job; but, of course, this is a very primative way to transmit a few 10's of 'actions' a day.

I'd rather have a smart switch sending ID and action, which I think is how many of the proprietary systems do it. It's also how the modern car systems do it..


We have been using the following for a couple of years without any issues.....

http://www.pdl.co.nz/product-details.aspx?rcat=products&catid=0&id=828




"Setting the Standard in Quality and Commitment"

1850 posts

Uber Geek


  #1160931 23-Oct-2014 20:31
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That LumenCache system looks interesting. I'll need to look into it more but if all the lighting is running off Cat cables is there allowance to also send data/smart info off the same cable?

Also, if retrofitting the system by adding another light, can it be daisy chained into the system or will it require running another line?

pdh

118 posts

Master Geek


  #1161106 24-Oct-2014 03:08
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LumenCache does look like a smart idea - but seem to be losing momentum a bit ?

 

The Epoch line seems to be hanging fire - presumably waiting on some investor funding.

Are there any display sites in NZ ? Would be interested in having a look.

overkill: when you say 'sign up', are you a customer or a dealer ?

 

 

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