Installing a Wirefree Home Automation System


First, we listen.
The systems are modular, ranging from the very simple ("I just want to have my porch light on a timer that's smart enough to turn on when it gets dark and off at 11:00 PM when I go to bed.") to the very complex ("I want lights to turn on ahead of me as I walk through the house, turning off behind me, with the videotaped movie I'm watching moving from set to set in each room, all under voice control."). Because they are modular, you can add or replace pieces later. We help you decide what's right for your budget and lifestyle.
Not everyone in the household has the same idea of what they want. Some people are "gadget freaks", some are definitely not. If your VCR is still flashing 12:00 because you can't figure out how to set the clock, or you're more comfortable with the button on the microwave oven that's labeled POPCORN than you are with it's ability to run a 4-step program that first thaws the roast, cooks it on high for 5 minutes to seal in flavor, then drops back to a 40% power level for 15 minutes to slow cook it, YOU are not a techie.
The funny thing is, the less fascinated you are with technology, the more comfortable you are likely to be with home automation intelligence. A good wirefree home automation system has a computer "brain" that constantly monitors conditions in your home. As things change, the "brain" orchestrates changes in one or many home systems to "react". Once programmed, it's automatic, and invisible, often without any displays to look at or buttons to push. Look at our description of "scenes" on the FAQ pages: The people in that family taught the system how to run lights, entertainment systems, and appliances, and how to "know" when they would want them changed without being told every time. Like a mother that comes to the table ready to wipe a child's face when she serves a sloppy meal, the system anticipates your desires and attempts to act before you have to explicitly tell it to. It cuts away whole layers of complexity, and that appeals to those of us who aren't button-pushers.
For the people in your house that ARE into the technology, there are plenty of opportunities to exercise that interest as well. Voice recognition can be added to the control of the home, universal remote controls that run televisions, VCR's, cable boxes AND your lights and appliances are available, and we can put everything from door locks to curtain-openers under electronic control. There are multiple-camera wirefree security monitoring options, wirefree intercoms, alarm systems, computer networks, and internet-enabled appliances.
Cost is an issue as well. A starter system might run under $500, a laid-out system with computer networking, security and zoned heating / cooling might cost $10,000. The beauty of it is, our wirefree systems are modular: You can start with any size system, and later add new functions and features without major cost penalties or having to replace hardware already purchased.
The point is, we listen to you to learn what your system should do, and how. Then we recommend. And, that's all
free .
Next, we test.
The system is based on the widely-available but much-misunderstood X-107 Powerline Control System (PCS). It's affordable, the controllers and control modules are widely available, and it's proven technology. It has a few weaknesses which often confound the do-it-yourselfer: First, not all your home's outlets will "talk" to one another without some knowledgeable help. "Noisy" electrical appliances can block the powerline signals. Filters installed in computer power supplies can trap and weaken the signals, too. In large homes, there are often too many circuits and the signal gets divided too many times , weakening it so much it is ineffectual. We have hardware and software "fixes" for all these problems, and the know-how to apply them.
Finally, we install.
We replace some mechanical wall switches and standard electrical outlets in your home with electronic versions (they still work mechanically, just like they did before, but now they do more). We plug lamps and appliances you want controlled into small control modules, which then plug into the wall just like before. We place radio and infrared controls where there are no 110 volt outlets, or to send audio, video or data from room to room. Then, we program the integral computer control to bring all the pieces together.
And, if you want, we'll maintain the system.
We keep a stock of replacements on hand 24/7, in case modules ever fail. We have a battery-replacement program for the battery-operated modules. We can upgrade and reprogram the entire system any time you want, as your needs and lifestyle change. Because the systems are modular, adding to or upgrading parts of your wirefree system need not be costly or mean anything already installed gets replaced.