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Rob Iles
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Posted: 26 June 2010 at 5:37am | IP Logged Quote Rob Iles

Hello all,

Sorry to be a pest with the recent burst of questions.... the "What do you use with Harmony: X10? BBS? Rako? C-Bus? Dupline? Other?"

In this section - please don't cross post info - - - keep it clean! is still ongoing - so thanks to those who've responded to that one - - it doesn't let you off replying to this one though ;-)   (seriously - more info, better product!)

So, How, precisely, do you use Harmony? I'll offer some suggestions, but will gladly read more!!

do you:

1) "Set and Forget" - use Harmony as an intelligent timer, that just "does stuff" - - and you rarely interact with it"?

2) Are you usually in front of a pc / laptop - and thus click a button in Harmony UI to "do stuff"

3) Touch Screen (speaks for itself)

4) web-site (online or Harmony - please specify)

5) Remote control via VNC / RDP etc

6) Voice Control (Doesn't speak for itself - you do :-D )


8) Win Mobile / PDA UI

9) Other.....

.....I *think* that covers the majority groups, but would love to hear from you (please reply to this topic, or email me directly if it's not suitable for the list :O)

PLEASE feel free to elaborate as much as possible - - details of your devices, reasons for choosing them, reasons for using certain ui's, reasons for *not* using specific UI's / Harmony etc

Similarly, if you've dabbled with Harmony, then changed your mind, can you tell me why?

All info greatly received!! Whilst there's no immediate prize for "best setup" - - your comments **WILL** greatly influence the next email preferred if there's are massive holes - - but this forum is all for pubplic disclousure - so fire away, if you feel the need!
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Rob Iles
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Posted: 26 June 2010 at 5:38am | IP Logged Quote Rob Iles

Ladies & Gentlemen...........Start you replies! :-)
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Posted: 26 June 2010 at 11:02am | IP Logged Quote turbotimbo

Hi Rob,

for me home automation means set and forget. I want
devices to go on/off at appropriate times with minimum
input from myself.

At the moment the main use is to turn off equipment at
night and turn on lights at sunset/sunrise. I also need
to interact with the lights manually, so lights turned on
at sunset are usually turned off with a switch, but will
go off automatically if we are away.

The ability to connect to Harmony remotely is one of it's
most important features, particularly with life becoming
more web orientated these days. Using standard tools I
can connect across the internet, view CCTV and manually
turn devices on/off. Although I have the Harmony CCTV
server, it doesn't with my hardware, so I connect to the
CCTV separately and use the Harmony web interface to
control both X10 and BBSB devices.

At home I usually connect to Harmony with the Windows
client GUI. This is mostly for maintenance, rather than
switching. I had intended to connect with a MCE UI, but
never got round to it. An Android UI would be useful
going forward.
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Rob Iles
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Posted: 27 June 2010 at 1:24am | IP Logged Quote Rob Iles

Thanks - I find that very interesting.

Any particular reason you've not setup the MCE UI?

Android UI - I'm on it :-) Having recently purchased a
HTC Desire, I'm currently carrying to "phones" with me.
The Desire for most things, and a HTC TYTN2 (no sim
card!) purely for wifi access to Harmony & CCTV.   Not
the ideal solution, but it plugs the gap for now!

Again - thanks for commenting.

Who's next? :-)

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Posted: 27 June 2010 at 8:34am | IP Logged Quote 

Hi Rob,

For me it's:

1. Harmony running in the background 24/7 doing timed switching of lights and the central heating. It also controls the seperate Harmony CCTV PC by turning it on at night and off in the morning, as well as sending it the PIR commands.

6. Voice control will be used in my lounge with the projector and media pc. To be installed. Will be most excellent when the Harmony IR component is available.

7. The lounge media pc runs Win7 64 bit and MCE (Plus Harmony GUI and RDP's to the Harmony pc's).

8. Harmony PDA is used on my WM6.1 phone to check the CCTV when I'm away.

9. Other: I also use a lot of rf remotes around the house for X10 and BBSB.
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Posted: 22 July 2010 at 9:00pm | IP Logged Quote lenny

set and forget for blinds. this will also apply to cctv
when its setup. Comfort alarm system will also run in
tandem with several additional x-10 triggers on arming
disarming of alarm (currently working on both cctv and
alarm installation.

I also micromanage several additional things (mostly
lights using individual device icons or multifunction
commands using preconfigured events - eg, "I want to get
changed" - (lights/ blinds close in sleeping gallery),
"late sleep" - lights will illuminate from downstairs to
bedroom turning off sequentially as I go to bed to sleep.

I also use an array microphone to voice control harmony

As the array microphone is currently installed on the
lower floor I'm looking to install a localized microphone
near the bed for "Harmony pillow talk" for commands
used early morning or late night.

Presently toying with the media centre option for harmony
and incorporating pc free sat, 3d dvd player and quad
hdmi output video card for the lcd's in my home. These
along with a a media centre remote control (and harmony's
upcoming ir component add on will eliminate the need for
costly third party hardware when wanting to run "whole
house party mode". It will also make available music and
video stored on the pc available to all 4 LCD points in
my home albeit on a single shared usage via pc output
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Posted: 31 July 2010 at 11:21am | IP Logged Quote RossN

Sorry for the slightly late reply to this.

At the moment I'm not using Harmony - because I've just
moved house and the pcs have been the last thing to get
set back up

However, I'm now in the process of getting things going
again, and Harmony is going to get revived in the next
few days.

I'll be using it as time switch mainly, but also to allow
me to have 'mood lighting' ie one button turns on / off
several different lights at the same time, even though
all of them are on separate codes.

Sequence lighting (ie turn off the lights downstairs and
turn them on upstairs as I head up to bed) is also part
of the plan.

Remote access (through a VPN to the web interface) is
also going to be used - an IPhone app would be useful but
not essential.

I've also got a Tellstick and am going to be
experimenting with some sort of coding to try and link it
with the online controller (a Harmony module would be
nicer though ).

That's all the plans for now but I've no doubt as I get
things up then I might add to or change the above

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Posted: 20 August 2010 at 7:42pm | IP Logged Quote palmano

Rob Iles wrote:
Any update on the Android?
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Rob Iles
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Posted: 20 August 2010 at 9:07pm | IP Logged Quote Rob Iles

Yup - it's not working yet! (hey, it's an update!!)

I'm getting the hang of Android - "hello world" etc.....
Now have to write an interface into Harmony that can be read/write by Android/iPhone/pretty much anything that isn't currently supported as it can't take advantage of the HarmonyAPI.

Before too long we can finally hit the "GO" button on "1-Wire Temperature Sensor Beta" (Sorry for the delay on this everyone - - seems everything that could possibly delay it has done so - - you'd think I'd made it up if I listed all issues - none of them Technical!!!)

When the 1WTS Beta is up and running, I'm considering starting the IR Beta a couple of weeks later. Staggered start, but not wait for the 1st to complete before starting the second.

After that, I'm "free" to work on the Android/iPhone/other interface (Unless anyone else pops up with a "must have" that lots of people agree with).

I will now slap myself for posting in the wrong thread!

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Posted: 08 December 2010 at 1:25pm | IP Logged Quote cliffwright

For me it's primarily 'Set and forget' stuff using Harmony as an intelligent controller of events based on time and triggered events.

Having said this, the key thing reason that I initially opted for Harmony over a-n-other software was the MCE UI. I have this running on the Cinema PC to allow me to trigger events manually for scene setting and few other things - some of which I'd like to automate further (like Homers 'Press pause and the lights come on to a set level etc).

Thirdly I do like the Web interface for remote stuff but the accuracy of the X10 device status reporting makes using it a bit of guesswork given you aren't there to know that something has indeed responded.

Definitely excited about the 1 wire stuff - maybe even more so about the IR stuff (I can think of endless IR related sequences to automate) - likewise very interested in the iPhone app too.

You should employ me as a permy tester and train me to develop for you too to get these updates out faster ;0)


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Posted: 02 September 2012 at 10:11am | IP Logged Quote tony_park

Hi Rob,

I thought I'd give you some feedback on my plans - currently I have 3 BBS plugin adaptors, controlling 3 different items throughout our house, on a programmed schedule.

I'm looking to extend this, to include a remote control receiver and remote control, to tell the application when we're either away for a short while - for example an evening out, or when we're away for an extended period, and have different values setting for each.

For example, if we're out for a short while, we want some lights to come on and off to simulate someone being at home, but to leave the heating and other items working as per scheduled.

If we're away from home, I'm looking to the application to be able to reduce the heating to a lower level, turn off the electric blanket, etc, as well as simulating us being at home.

I'm looking at z-wave thermostatic controllers for the radiators, but they're quite expensive to replace all at once, so we're doing a couple at a time.

We're also planning to install the MCE gui on the 3 media pcs, and then possibly install everything on our WHS, but I've not got round to this yet...

Thats the current plan.... but things change


Edited by tony_park on 02 September 2012 at 10:12am
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