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Composer4hire

My Setup (1 bed,1bath,LR,Den,Kitchen)

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My background

Lead Tech with a custom co out of NY 

Certified C4, Lutron HomeWorks QS, Savant

Rack building is my specialty and the racks I turn out are completely custom down to trimming power lines, all category cables, rca's, xlr, If the cable can be made I make it 

 

After I returned from Utah for certification my company provided an EA-1/SR-260 combo free of charge for practice/research/home use. I quickly maxed that out and picked up a HC-800 off Ebay for 200$. Came with power supply was told it was pulled from working system. I get it plug it in and it does nothing. No status lights, no fan noise, completely dead. So I did what some in my position might do and proceeded to open up the chassis to find an incredibly clean dust free component with the power supply disconnected from the main board. Why? I couldnt tell you but plug it in and I have a perfectly working HC800. Wipe the previous project, factory default, update from 2.xx up to 2.91 (2.10 hadnt release yet as this was just previous to cedia). Used some contacts with C4 to get a site license put on the controllers mac address so it could be registered under my account and began my controller migration. So at this point I had the free EA-1 running as a subordinate controller and essentially working as an io controller/on screen nav with the HC-800 doing all the processing. Week later came across a HC-250 for 100 bucks picked that up off Ebay for a bedroom controller and my setup is as follows

 

Network:

Purchased 16 downstream Modem to avoid renting from ISP

Router is a TP Link VPN Wired Router with DHCP Reservation (199$)

Pakedge W6 Wap Centralized for 1050 sqft Apartment Broadcasting one public guest SSID and 2 Hidden SSIDs 

Den/Main EQ area/Man Room/Command Center:

Work Bench:

Integra 30.7 (used just for streaming services as headphone amplifier at the bench. Freebie)

Hifiman HE350 Headphones (100$ Used)

Echo Dot for voice scene integration (40$)

Main Rack:

Panamax MR4300

Monster HTS1600 (Manufacturer sponsored training prize from before my time in custom install industry. Freebie)

HC-800 (200$ Ebay)

EA-1 (Company Sponsored Freebie)

Monoprice 4x4 HDMI Matrix (140$ amazon)

Onkyo TSXR-705 (Had it forever dont remember the price)

Mac Mini (Freebie)

Apple TV (99$)

PS4 (retail)

Provider Cablebox

Sonos Connect (Salvaged from a damaged system)

Cambridge Audio DacMagic 100

Technics SL-1200 Turntable (Freebie from former DJ, 100$ for Grado Black cartridge)

Den Display and Speakers:

Samsung 42" Plasma (Last Series made 250$ I know a guy)

Yamaha NS-333 Bookshelf speakers on 30" stands (100$ same guy as the tv)

Living Room:

55"JVC led (450$ on sale)

Elite screens 92" pull down (comes down in front of tv for UFC and Movie nights)

Epson Home Cinema 2045 Projector (600$ on sale)

Polk Audio Monitor 50B towers (100$ floor samples)

JBL Sub10 (50$ floor sample)

Echo Dot (40$ Voice scene integration for the wife)

Ecobee 3 (running with Blackwire Designs Ecobee driver)

Kitchen: 

Sonos Play3 (I got a guy. Connected for digital media streams from native control4 audio streaming)

Bedroom:

LG 46" led (Was the wifes so whatever she bought it for)

HC-250 (100$ ebay)

Samsung Soundbar and wireless sub (200$)

All in all I did this for not a lot of money with a combination of being lucky, knowing some people, being patient and obviously being able to wire, install and program everything myself saved me tons of money. I scrapped the lighting because we dont own the place and really the first week I was here was spent cutting holes, pulling wire, hanging tvs, mount projector, patching holes, painting, realizing I needed more wire so cutting open those same holes again..... I read a lot of end user complaints on here and I guess having the prospective of both a integrator and an end user (with a wife that has reluctantly accepted my undying need to be in a constant state of beta/upgrading/tweaking) I get how frustrating it can be when things dont work the way you want but as most integrators will tell you its almost never an issue of hardware but a combination of poor qualification on the sales end, properly establishing client expectations of the system to be installed and lets face it, sometimes just user error. There are some yahoos out there that just cant program properly but most reputable integrators arent/shouldnt be throwing greenhorns at high dollar projects either.

My future upgrade plans include a motorized tab tension screen, a dedicated 2 channel system for my vinyl with one day some McIntosh gear, Pakedge RK-1, Pakedge PE09 for network controlled power, Revel M106 for the command center, ClearAudio or VPI Turntable, some type of NAS server for Music and movies.

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Its a wonderful thing. But ive had done very well with taking apart "damaged" gear and fixing it myself too. a lot of folks dont seem to realize whats the harm in trying? its already not working to begin with so who cares if you break it more and on top of that most of the time its something stupid that can easily be fixed. 

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I’m happy to see a “Frankenstein” system can work. This isn’t mean to be insulting in any way, I’m in the same boat but I don’t have the knowledge or authority to program things my self. 

Can I ask you how the HDMI switch is working for you. I have the Blackbird switch which is very similar form what I understand. 

We need some photos!

 

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It’s definitely a Frankenstein system for sure. No offense taken at all. The hdmi matrix is controlled serial and I’d say it’s probably 95% accurate responding to commands. I think this is more of a problem with all the custom programming I have dumped on the hc800. When things don’t respond the way they should I have a button for a primary controller reboot. 

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I’m debating between serial and IR. I was told the cost of going serial may be prohibitive and IR can be equally as reliable.

glad it’s working well for you.

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43 minutes ago, Composer4hire said:

It’s definitely a Frankenstein system for sure. No offense taken at all. The hdmi matrix is controlled serial and I’d say it’s probably 95% accurate responding to commands. I think this is more of a problem with all the custom programming I have dumped on the hc800. When things don’t respond the way they should I have a button for a primary controller reboot. 

Reboot driver

http://www.houselogix.com/shop/reboot-control4-driver

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Yea that’s what I’m using the reboot driver.

 

idk why anyone would say serial is cost prohibitive, depending on the controller you have an rs232 cable can be had for a few bucks on the internet and then I mean unless it’s really expensive for your dealer to change the driver.... I mean you could even make the cable for I’d say 12$ if you acquired the right parts from amazon and already had the crimping tool. 

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What I found with serial tho is that it is way more responsive overall vs ir. As a general rule I’ve found when you can go serial it works best assuming the driver is proper. A real set it and forget it kinda thing. 

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In my case the driver would need to be created. That’s the expensive part. I have a paper schematic that tells you what to do, but it’s beyond my abilities and authority to make for C4.

Below is the link to the driver information. Vstar sent this to me. It’s not the same brand as mine but appears to be identical.

1459947591Command_codes_for_LINDY_38152.

1459947591Command_codes_for_LINDY_38152.

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On 3/11/2018 at 5:09 PM, Composer4hire said:

After I returned from Utah for certification my company provided an EA-1/SR-260 combo free of charge for practice/research/home use. I quickly maxed that out and picked up a HC-800 off Ebay for 200$.

Sorry to bring up an old thread but I am curious about how you maxed the EA-1 and not the HC-800. Looking at the specs, it appears the EA-1 should have better performance than the HC-800. Did you max out the I/O or audio and that is why you moved controllers?

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1 hour ago, lippavisual said:

My guess would be IO or not enough audio streams. 

That is what I was thinking.

I may be wrong but if you dont need lots of built in IO and don't need any built in audio, then the EA-1 would work for lots of setups. At that price point, the EA-1 is the best deal in home automation. I will find out soon as I have one on order to replace my HC-250.

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