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Old 03-14-2017, 12:46 PM   #41
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...I can't convince myself that $250 for a nest thermostat was going to have that much payback in utility costs...
Me neither. I have had a programmable thermostat for 3 decades now. It does help. The Nest seems to be for people who do not want to program one.

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One of the advantages to a Wi-Fi thermostat is the ability to easily monitor your home's temperature when you're away...
My niece gave me one, that I have not opened for 3 months. It would work well for my 2nd home in the boondocks. Alas, no Internet there.

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People like me like the challenge of making things work
I used to spend hours to make things work when I was young. Then, people paid me big bucks to make things work. Thought I had so much fun I would do it for free. Then, the joy of that was swamped out by the BS that came with the w*rk. Now, back to doing things for myself, I have found that I am not as interested anymore. I must be getting old and tired. My wife just reminded me that I have not completely rearranged my little lab upstairs, where I have 2 HP spectrum analyzers, 2 Tektronix scopes, 3 HP signal generators, logic chip programmers, and numerous power supplies.
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:48 PM   #42
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As a couple others stated, I have thought about taking the plunge & turning my regular home into a 'smart home' but I always decide against it.

It's strange, because not that long ago, I was one of those that had to have all the latest gadgets & toys ?

So for the time being, I'll have to manually turn the thermostat up/down a couple degrees when I leave, & reach over to the passenger side visor & click my garage door opener when I leave & get back.

But maybe someday
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Old 03-14-2017, 12:56 PM   #43
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If those garage doors and other things are connected to the web through "Internet of Things", which they probably are, make sure you change the default password or the bad guys will take over their control.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:17 PM   #44
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I think my toaster is having an affair with the refrigerator.

The microwave sent me an email implying that there were dastardly deeds taking place in the kitchen.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:36 PM   #45
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As a couple others stated, I have thought about taking the plunge & turning my regular home into a 'smart home' but I always decide against it.

It's strange, because not that long ago, I was one of those that had to have all the latest gadgets & toys ?

So for the time being, I'll have to manually turn the thermostat up/down a couple degrees when I leave, & reach over to the passenger side visor & click my garage door opener when I leave & get back.

But maybe someday
You could be my clone on this. I used to be first out of the gate with tech stuff and also had a computer repair business for 5 years. But I guess I got burned out with the tech world and have reverted back to having a smart phone and a programmable thermostat. we still have desktops and I have a Chromebook. Even our fancy stereo hardly gets used these days.

Maybe I am getting lazy, but I don't care to experience the occasional frustration with new tech devices when they flop.

I'm even thinking of getting rid of my smartphone for a flip.
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Old 03-14-2017, 01:52 PM   #46
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People like me like the challenge of making things work
I agree with liking to make things work. I would much rather design a board and built it. Then program it up from scratch to make it do what I want. Buying something like Alexa, google home or similar has all the interesting stuff done already. Its like setting up a VCR use to be. Just follow the manual.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:04 PM   #47
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You could be my clone on this. I used to be first out of the gate with tech stuff and also had a computer repair business for 5 years. But I guess I got burned out with the tech world and have reverted back to having a smart phone and a programmable thermostat. we still have desktops and I have a Chromebook. Even our fancy stereo hardly gets used these days.

Maybe I am getting lazy, but I don't care to experience the occasional frustration with new tech devices when they flop.

I'm even thinking of getting rid of my smartphone for a flip.
Yup, we're definatly clones!
I have a 20" IMAC desktop that I bought in March 2008. I've upgraded the OS 4 times & upped the RAM to 6GB from 2 & it still works great. And other than using it for radar when storm chasing, I have no need/desire to use my Android for anything other than making calls.

I only listen to my stereo about once a month now, but those close to 30 year old KEF reference series speakers, & the JBL sub still make beautiful music together.

And speaking of frustration with tech devices, I just bought a new HP printer & had some trouble after set up. What I went through with tech-support was absolutely inexcusable. After being disconnected four times, I gave up.

I figured out the problem myself the following day.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:39 PM   #48
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People like me like the challenge of making things work

Once upon a time, but now I want plug and play! After 31.5 years as a techno-nerd...

I have a programmable thermostat, a couple of old-style timers running my landscape lights, and a more modern digital timer for a lamp in the living room. None are on the internet of things.

I have some old X10 stuff, mostly relegated to the closet since converting to CFLs (can't use dimmer feature).

I do have wired network ports/cable/phone ports throughout the house, plus wireless. My surround sound receiver is hardwired, but other than testing it, I haven't used that function. My smart TV is not online. I do use bluetooth regularly, to beam music from an iDevice to either the receiver, a portable speaker, or earbuds.

Haven't been able to convince myself of the cost/benefit of security cams, thermostats, etc. Plus, I'm relatively hackproof.
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Old 03-14-2017, 02:53 PM   #49
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I am into home simplification. Meaning if I don't have to plug something into an outlet or install an accessory that would draw amperage, I don't. This eliminates a lot of those automation devices.

Now, I do have a home theater that I programmed the universal remote control. And the whole system is on a master cut-off controlled by a remote, so when I'm not using it I cut the master power. With the remote programmed, and a windows startup script...along with a feature film script, and some auto-downloaded movie previews its just like you are in the theater.

Otherwise I set the thermostat in the winter down to minimal acceptable temp...and manually raise it when I get cold. Vise versa for A/C.

Oh, I have a garage opener for the garage door, that's super helpful to have automated.

Funny you ask because I am an automation engineer for my day job. I think its the ole adage of "the mechanics car is the last to get fixed".
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Old 03-14-2017, 03:35 PM   #50
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Of course one of the question is how much are you home. Being home generally 22+ hours a day means a lot of the IOT things are not needed. (I don't have a smart phone either, and my dumb cellphone sits in one place and I don't carry it, since my car has onstar if it breaks down I can call for a tow etc (included with onstar)). I still have CRT based TVs they still work. When I moved got rid of a 35 year old color tv that still worked except for the remote. The crt tvs still work so why replace?
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:08 PM   #51
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Of course one of the question is how much are you home. Being home generally 22+ hours a day means a lot of the IOT things are not needed. (I don't have a smart phone either, and my dumb cellphone sits in one place and I don't carry it, since my car has onstar if it breaks down I can call for a tow etc (included with onstar)). I still have CRT based TVs they still work. When I moved got rid of a 35 year old color tv that still worked except for the remote. The crt tvs still work so why replace?
We got rid of our CRT TVs a while back and upgraded to a 32 inch flat screen. It actually uses much less power. In that respect it was worth it.

In moving my DMIL to an aging facility we had to get rid of her CRT TVs. Most place would not take them as donations and the trash collections would not take them. We did find one place that would take them for free. One of the older sets cost $30 to give away to cover the recycling costs. It maybe worth the upgrade based on the hazardous waste costs and power savings.
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:46 PM   #52
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Started with a Sensi tstat - just added a wink hub 2 and a motion sensor and a door sensor and 1 led bulb

Taking it slow - simple robots like if you open the door the light goes on

Made a shortcut for lockdown mode when on vacation - send out alerts if any motion is noticed

Planning on a water sensor and some more lights - outside and probably a lamp
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Old 03-14-2017, 04:49 PM   #53
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:07 PM   #54
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I don't have any interest in hooking up home devices to the wifi or internet. None. But I do have some things that are technically automated - like a programmable thermostat. It turns the heater on/off based on time of day and day of week. No internet necessary.

I kind of wish this thread were more about other forms of automated homes - like these "smart" kitchens.



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Old 03-14-2017, 05:15 PM   #55
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Thirty years ago I was very interested. But was bery difficult to do. Now, I am not at all interested. Only to the extent that the fridge, furnace, sump pump keeps proper setpoints.

Totally uninterested in viewing any thing about the house on a portable gizmo.
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Old 03-14-2017, 05:46 PM   #56
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Besides the programmable thermostat, which I started using 30 years ago, the various timers to turn on lights and the one built-in to my pool pump, I can count another device: PIR (passive infrared) wall switches for the lights in my utility room and my garage.

I installed those switches because we ran in/out of these rooms all the time to get stuff from my garage, and from a 2nd refrigerator in the utility room, and my wife to get to the washer and drier. Turning on/off the manual switches is a chore and slows me down when I am in a hurry.

My wife was not happy at first, but after I tweaked the PIR switches to stay on for longer, she now sees the advantages. The extra time the lights stay on costs very little with LED lights, and the few pennies in extra electricity they cause may be the same or less than when we forgot and left the lights on for hours.

We still turn on/off other lights in the house by hand. PIR switches are pain in the rump for those, because they turn off when we do not move about.
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Old 03-14-2017, 06:32 PM   #57
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We snowbird so have a great deal of interest in monitoring anything I can from one house to the next. Have remotely opened garage doors for access a few times.
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:29 AM   #58
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Old 03-15-2017, 12:35 AM   #59
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We also liked the idea of being able to monitor our home temperature remotely via Nest. However once we realized our "bundled" cable/internet package could not be "unbundled" while we're away, but we can reduce the cost to only $10/month if it is not going to be used, we decided to save a few hundred bucks and just ask our neighbor and our housekeeping service to keep an eye on our place while we're gone.
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Old 03-15-2017, 07:19 AM   #60
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Totally uninterested in viewing any thing about the house on a portable gizmo.
+1. So far most of the mobile apps that monitor home functions seem like a novelty more than anything practical. Thermostat, I've had programmable thermostats for more than 20 years, a Nest is incrementally better at most. Lock my doors remotely, I need to make sure I lock everything before I leave, like I have for decades. See who's at the front door, why? See what's in my fridge, I can manage by looking while I'm home, like I have for decades. On and on...

And if I can connect, so can a hacker. Just not worth it to me.

I am fascinated by technology/innovation, and I'm often an early adopter. But a connected home doesn't clear the cost-benefit threshold for me - not yet at least.
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