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Old 11-03-2012, 09:15 PM   #41
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If I listed my home automation gadgets, I might get banned.



Actually, I only have the usual suspects...programmable thermostats, coffee maker, and Mr B.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:20 PM   #42
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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.
Those are the sorts of things that have kept me from buying one. I would have to see one in operation before I'd ever buy.
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Old 11-03-2012, 09:32 PM   #43
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What counts as a home automation device? If it includes the washer and dryer, yup, I use and like those. If it means microprocessor controlled devices, I use and like few because the engineer in me too easily spots the design flaws and is disappointed.

For automation, I want something that needs very little tending. IMO a fussy device with too many tedious manual steps negates the automation advantage. For example, devices with a clock should 1) know when standard and daytime saving time begin/end, and 2) gracefully handle power outages of a few minutes duration, which are common at my location. Unfortunately few devices meet just those two criteria.

I like programmable thermostats for their energy savings, and have used several models over the years, but all have had fiddly quirks. One routinely ignored manual override. Another *always* wastefully turned on the heat pump for a couple minutes before shutting it off at the start of nighttime mode. Another practically ate batteries and lost all the programming each time the battery was changed. My current one remembers programming across short outages, but upon the slightest momentary power blip forgets manual overrides.

Because of such problems, I intentionally avoid many computer-based automation devices, and instead opt for simpler ones.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:32 AM   #44
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I can't go without a remote control for my TV set
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Old 11-06-2012, 02:02 AM   #45
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Home automation was a hobby of mine in the house I sold this summer. It had interconnected security, lighting, and home theater. I worked on it over several years. It would take a couple of pages to describe it all. The things I liked the most was the Harmony remote which also controlled the lights, the under-cabinet dimmable lighting, and the key-fob that controlled the garage door and the home security system. There was a very small set of LEDs on the outside of the garage that indicated the state of the home security system for a few seconds after it changed. I could shut the garage door, arm the security system, and verify that it was armed all from the car as I was leaving. I think you can do all this stuf with a smart phone today. Half life of home automation gadgets is very short.
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Old 11-06-2012, 07:20 AM   #46
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Those are the sorts of things that have kept me from buying one. I would have to see one in operation before I'd ever buy.
We had one for a while. IMO the prep wasn't much different than the prep I would do to vacuum so that wasn't an issue for me. Eventually the battery died and we lost enthusiasm for it. It did an ok job, but you still needed to vacuum occasionally.

We had a lot of wall-to-wall carpeting in that house. The new house is all tile/hardwood floors so I'm considering another one - I think it would probably be better in hardwood floors than carpet.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:33 PM   #47
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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.
My experience exactly roomba and oriental rugs do not agree at all. Then also if you don't use it the battery gets weaker and weaker. It is the drive belt that causes the problem in that the fringe gets caught under the belt as it goes around the wheel.
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Old 11-06-2012, 12:35 PM   #48
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My water softener is now a type that monitors the water usage and only re-generates when so many gallons have gone thru. That is much better than the old clock based units. So I guess you could call that home automation as well.
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Old 11-06-2012, 01:00 PM   #49
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Like Purron - we're moving a step backwards in some ways... clothes drying on the line, cooking more from scratch, etc.

But the things I love - auto thermostat, programable irrigation, TIVO!!!!, auto coffee maker.
With Tivo, if a coworker or friend mentions a show - I can go online and add it to the record list from work.

And as a mom - we have parental control stuff on the kids main computer - I can set the curfew time on/off remotely for the kids to access the computer, using Microsoft Family Safety. That's nice because they can get homework/chores done and then have their dad call - and I can turn on the computer for them from anywhere I have web access. That's a nice automation if I'm working late.
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