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Old 11-02-2012, 02:27 PM   #21
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I think the only automated devices I have in our place are the programmable thermostat, and the DVR.

I used to have a timed sprinkler system when we owned a house.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:16 PM   #22
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Couple weeks ago I started looking into Russound and NuVo whole home audio systsems and couldn't believe how much these systems cost. Then I started to factor in the in ceiling speakers and had to have a stiff drink.
They can be integrated with home audio systems but they were even more expensive.

I can't only wish at this point, unless the pricing drops by at least 50%.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:37 PM   #23
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I can't only wish at this point, unless the pricing drops by at least 50%.
The history of Elecronics Pricing would suggest that would be about a year after release or when an upgrade (or competitive) version is available... whichever comes first.
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Old 11-02-2012, 03:55 PM   #24
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I installed a Filltrete wi-fi enabled thermostat about one year ago. I can control my HVAC system from my smartphone as I travel. It has several advantages:
1. I can set the HVAC temps up or down to save energy while we are gone. If we are gone for an extended time, I can reset the temps to normal so the house is comfrotable when we return home.
2. We spend a good part of the winter in Florida. I set my home here in Ohio at 55 degrees. If the temperature reaches a preset temperature like 53 degrees, it sends me a text message immediately letting me know there is a problem with my furnace before I have burst pipes. So it provides peace of mind while we are gone.
3. We set the temps to energy saving mode while we are gone, so we save energy.
The cost of the thermostat was $99, and took about 8 hours to install and setup.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:38 PM   #25
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The history of Elecronics Pricing would suggest that would be about a year after release or when an upgrade (or competitive) version is available... whichever comes first.
The NuVo Grand Concerto came out I believe around 2009 and I think the pricing is either the same or has gone up slightly. Who knows, maybe next year.
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Old 11-02-2012, 06:47 PM   #26
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I've never really looked at these WiFi home devices. Any security features (ie. WEP, WPA, other encryption or MAC retrictions)? Wouldn't want my neighbour turning things on and off.
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:43 PM   #27
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The subject is interesting, as everything from refrigerators to garage door openers either are, or can be remotely controlled.

Taking it a bit further, here's something to think about... It comes from my attempt to catalog the "things" that are plugged in, in my house... and may or may not use electricity. The ones below marked (*) use electricity 24/7, either in the "wait " mode as in remote controls, or electronically regulated thermostats or other sensor activated circuits and sleep controls.


*air conditioner
*furnace
*furnace thermostat
*refrigerator
*freezer
*heat tape
*room fan
*electric stove
*coffeemaker
*laptop
*computer
*monitor
*USB hub
*modem
*router
*printer
*television
*TV receiver(s)
*CD/DVD player
*multi media player
*telephones
*door bell
*garage door opener
*electric clocks
*indoor outdoor thermometer
*clock radio
*motion lights
*electric toothbrush
*electric heater
*x10 remote
*home medic alert
*cell phone charger
*any low voltage transformer/charger that is plugged in
-even if the cell phone or tablet or battery is not attached

Most if not all of the above are using electricity, even if they are not "in use", so even when we leave the house that meter is spinning. In fact, there are very few items that are really on/off.

lights
washer/dryer
dishwasher
disposal
mixers/blenders/toasters etc
vacuum
electric cooking appliances
power tools
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Old 11-02-2012, 07:54 PM   #28
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Most if not all of the above are using electricity, even if they are not "in use", so even when we leave the house that meter is spinning. In fact, there are very few items that are really on/off.
To see the affect of that spinning on the Pocket Book, in real time, get a Amazon.com: Black & Decker EM100B Energy Saver Series Power Monitor: Home Improvement.
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Old 11-02-2012, 09:01 PM   #29
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By these standards, about the only home automation we have is the TiVo wireless adaptor to get programming updates from the router/Internet...

When I program my irrigation controller (the ol' fashioned way) it brings back fond memories of restarting an AN/UYK-7 fire control computer after it locks up. But I'd sure like to have a time-domain reflectometer to figure out where the wire to one irrigation zone is broken.
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Old 11-03-2012, 12:02 AM   #30
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I guess I have zero automated gadgets in my apartment.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:02 AM   #31
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I guess I have zero automated gadgets in my apartment.
I just have DH but he is easy to program so I never needed an upgrade or new version to handle things like coffee, security,
maintenance....
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:21 AM   #32
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I guess I don't have any automated gadgets. My coffeemake would make coffee at a particular time, but I prefer starting it manually. By the time I get dressed it is done. My thermostat is a fancy pre-programmed one, but I just use the default settings and adjust it manually when needed for comfort. Again, I like doing it manually. If I am not home, I let it default to the uncomfortable and energy saving default temperatures.

I do plan to get a keypad entry deadbolt for my side door, although don't know if that qualifies as an automated device.

We don't water plants or lawns in New Orleans, with 60+" of rain each year. So, no need for timed sprinkler systems. I don't even own a hose or sprinkler any more. I have no use for a motion detecting light at the door, since I don't go outside after dark.

Back in my 20's, the idea of a computer operated home was so intriguing! I could hardly wait for the home of the future. But now that I am in my 60's and it is possible, I really don't see much use for any of it unless one travels more than I do.
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Old 11-03-2012, 02:54 PM   #33
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We have a 90 gallon salt water fish tank. We have a reverse osmosis system that we use to make the water that is needed to top it up daily as well as about 20 gallons or so that we "change out" every few weeks or so that is treated with salt. Loses about a quart or two per day from evaporation.

The daily top up is automated using a set of float valves that turn on the flow from the RO system in to the sump after it drops a preset amount. It then fills until a second float valve activates to shut the water off. This is a real time saver for us and keeps the water level from dropping to a damaging level.

We have a few lights that are motion activated as well along with some fancy tv remotes made by Harmony.
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Old 11-03-2012, 03:22 PM   #34
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The first thing that comes to my mind is a can opener. Guess I'm going to have to buy an electric one as I can't find a manual one that works. In looking closer, I find that the cans are being designed differently. Guess there is no standard for this. Anyway, I cannot find a manual can opener that works.

Also, speaking of irrigation systems and controllers, I wonder if those "rain sensors" actually work. I've never had one that does. I talking about the device that automatically turns off your watering day if it is raining.
I LOVE my manual can opener. IT's OXO's Smooth Edge Can Opener. It's very easy to use and it works differently than traditional can openers in that there is no sharp edge.

I think it's likely that you'll be, for example, opening up soup cans during power outages, so I don't know if electric can openers are such a good idea.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:10 PM   #35
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I don't have jack. Closest I've come to modern convenience is that I just replaced 4 keyed entry locks so that they all have the same key. Previously, they were all different and I only knew where one key was. After 30 years, it was time to splurge and go all new-fangled modern.
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Old 11-03-2012, 04:18 PM   #36
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I LOVE my manual can opener. IT's OXO's Smooth Edge Can Opener. It's very easy to use and it works differently than traditional can openers in that there is no sharp edge.
I concur. This particular can opener is a "must-have" -- OXO's normal ergonomic structure. Once you figure out how to use this type of can opener (there is, in addition to other brands, a battery powered version), you will wonder why anyone would want to use the older can opener models.
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Old 11-03-2012, 06:14 PM   #37
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Right now I have zero automation devices but have been researching the Neato robotic vacuum device. Haven't decided to buy one yet but I just might.
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Old 11-03-2012, 07:40 PM   #38
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We're regressing. We use a clothesline instead the dryer when weather cooperates. Resisting smart phones, cloud computing and other stuff. "Get off our lawn!" ;-)
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:31 PM   #39
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I just have DH but he is easy to program so I never needed an upgrade or new version to handle things like coffee, security,
maintenance....
I have one of those also but mine needs occasional reprogramming.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:11 PM   #40
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Right now I have zero automation devices but have been researching the Neato robotic vacuum device. Haven't decided to buy one yet but I just might.
assume it's similar to a Roomba. had one few yrs ago. gave it away cuz 1. it doesn't like rugs w/fringes like the faux persians I got 2. there was a lot of work to prepare to use it. had to move/pull out chairs from under dining rm table; got stuck with all the legs. and had to pick up all shoes from any rms cuz, like fringe, it didn't like laces.
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