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  #11  
Old 03-19-2015, 03:39 PM
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George Frankly George Frankly is offline
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Yes, it has batteries. One of the things I read about the Sensi is that it works with more HVAC systems than anything else on the market.

I'm not an expert. But I know a Sensi expert, I'll PM you.
Ah, you have PMs disabled. PM me if you like, I can perhaps help you get a Sensi to work with your systems.
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  #12  
Old 03-19-2015, 03:46 PM
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Does the Sensi uses battery to power things?
My furnace is 20 years old, and does not have the "c" wired. Nest does not work well without c wire. I also tried the Honeywell Lyric. It has issues to connect to my wifi network.
Per my friend, the Sensi expert: as long as you have both a heating system and a cooling system hooked up to the same thermostat, it should work. If you can look at the wires, this website will tell you if it's compatible:

https://sensicomfort.com/tools/#compatibility
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  #13  
Old 03-19-2015, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by Dr T Non-Fan View Post
I think a man workin' outdoors feels more like a man if he can have a bottle of suds.

Oh, not doing any automation. My legs and arms still work, tyvm.
They won't work so well after that guard throws you off the roof for mouthing off.
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  #14  
Old 03-19-2015, 04:46 PM
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In any case, I want to get something so when my worry wart wife says, "Did you lock the door?!?" I can show her my phone and say, "Yes. See."
This is the main thing I wouldn't want. If I lock my door by hand, it stays locked. If I can lock/unlock it with my phone it could (accidentally or on purpose) get unlocked.



I just want smart outlets or power strips, but they are $45+ for a stupid outlet that has wifi in it. I can't see why they are so expensive, and I keep hoping the price drops.
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  #15  
Old 03-19-2015, 04:54 PM
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They won't work so well after that guard throws you off the roof for mouthing off.
he doesn't need you to tell him where a bear shit in the buckwheat
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  #16  
Old 03-20-2015, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Ron Weasley View Post
Has anyone played around with, or seriously implemented, any home automation? If so, do you have any insight, experiences, comments or bragging you wish to offer?
This might be a long post, but hopefully good info. This space is really in its infancy, so if you plan to get in now, be prepared for growing pains. The established HA systems X10, Insteon and Control4 are generally pricier than the newcomers particularly because they require specific equipment and/or professional install; but they tend to be more reliable. Most of the newcomers you mentioned (I'll add Wink although general impression is it's terrible) operate in the cloud; so without internet access, no functionality. The approach by each system is a bit different too. Logitech is trying to enter the space with their Harmony line including a hub with Zwave and Zigbee radios due out sometime this year.

NEST(Google) is pretty much all cloud-to-cloud based, so the devices must have a way of connecting to the internet, usually through a hub for that particular device. So far, they've have taken a very slimmed down approach as you mentioned.

Apple (Homekit) isn't really automation at all, but a way for your automated devices to connect to the Apple ecosystem. Similar to Google, devices will need to have internet access to integrate. It is speculated that the next gen Apple TV update might bring other protocols (Zigbee, Zwave, etc...) directly into the fray. So far, no devices actively work with Homekit. WWDC this summer will be the real launch, so stay tuned.

Samsung (SmartThings) is what I currently have, so I know the most about it. It's a hub with Zigbee and Zwave radios that connects to a cloud backend system as the brain. It's very flexible for connecting any device you can think of, but all commands/actions are processed in the cloud, which means small added latency and reliance on internet connectivity to function. The new hub expected in April will add Bluetooth and some local processing as the major features enhancements. ST has a terrible app UI with a confusing mix of devices, apps, modes, and actions; but an open API and great community of developers doing really cool stuff to make it better.

Wink (GE/Quirky) is a similar hub to SmartThings with Zigbee and Zwave inside. It is not as open, and reviews have not been kind. The hub is really cheap and Home Depot occasionally gives them away for free if you buy Wink devices.

The main HA protocols are Zwave and Zigbee. If you want to have flexibility to switch "brains", stick to these type of devices. Bluetooth is currently limited by range and Wifi is too power hungry for battery powered devices. Zwave has great range and uses mostly empty spectrum space, but it's proprietary so devices tend to cost more and the mesh needs repairing. Zigbee is a consensus standard so cheaper and better documented, but it's a little fragmented and uses the same spectrum as Wifi.

My experience: I went with SmartThings because it was the most flexible and robust hub available at the time (beat out Wink, Staples hub, NEST, Wemo). I have 30+ devices, most are light switches and smart bulbs, but it is a mix of zwave, zigbee and wifi/cloud connections. I have it integrated with my Logitech Harmony Home Control to trigger lighting when I start the Movie activity. My thermostats are Honeywell Wifi and users were able to create an ST device that connects to the Honeywell website for controlling them. The best part of ST is the community forum and the ability to tinker with code and apps. I've done some VBA coding at work, but am not a devloper; and I was able to write my own device types for various things and help other people out. Some of the developers on there are doing really cool stuff like web-based dashboards, complex alarm system controls, tapping into the Jawbone UP24 API to trigger "Good Morning" actions based on the UP exiting sleep mode and you can usually find someone to help you do anything you can think of. It's a little less plug-n-play in some regards, but it's pretty easy to get a hang of. It'd still be my pick if you buy-in today, but be prepared for it to require some adapting and attention to maintain.
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  #17  
Old 03-20-2015, 04:39 PM
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They won't work so well after that guard throws you off the roof for mouthing off.
Hey, I fixed his tax problem.

I shouldn't have said that thing about his wife. That was stupid of me.
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  #18  
Old 03-20-2015, 04:48 PM
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Hey, I fixed his tax problem.

I shouldn't have said that thing about his wife. That was stupid of me.
The guy was being obtuse, you had to say it.
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  #19  
Old 03-21-2015, 09:27 AM
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being in its infancy and the cost are probably the main reasons i haven't bothered too much with it. that's a bit contrary to my MO, but it just doesn't do enough stuff easily at this point to make me buy
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  #20  
Old 03-21-2015, 12:06 PM
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Thanks Sticks! That confirms some of my initial thoughts and gives me more solid information and impressions to boot.

I'm disappointed in the comments about the UI awkwardness. I bought a Foscam a year or so ago, along with some third party software to make it easier. My wife became frustrated with it and, when someone told her about how easy dropcam was to use, she got one of those and has been using it every since. Lesson:I really need an easy UI more than anything else.

Is it easy to use the UI if only a few devices are attached and I've configured them appropriately? Are there systems better than ST for UI when integrating only motion sensors and open/closed sensors?
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