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Our First Big Control4 Installation


hbinnovations

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The scope of the project is a 4000+ sq. ft. home with a 7000+ sq. ft. garage/office that are situated over 350 ft. apart. There is a conduit between the two buildings that houses cat6 and all security wiring. With the use of 2 AirPort Extreme's (one in each building) as well as 4 AirPort Expresses (3 in the house and 1 in the garage/office) we are able to communicate between the two structures wirelessly. In addition, the zigbee network between the structures is rock solid and that distance has not caused any issues.

In total, the project has 27 dimmers, 77 swithces, 9 2-button keypads, 3 wi-fi mini touch screens, 2 10.5" touch screens, 1 media controller, 3 home theater controllers, 1 contact/relay extender, and one wi-fi speaker point.

The media room houses the MC and has a Madrigal 9 inch CRT projector, ADA pre-amp/processor, ADA amp, Faroudja video processor, Krell dvd player, Triad speakers, as well as several other components. One 10.5" touch panel controls the system as well as 2 sets of motorized blinds in the room. The Faroudja is connected via a serial cable to the MC and all other components are connected and controlled via IR. A Yamaha receiver powers two zones of audio that are also connected to the MC and controlled with 10.5".

An upstairs loft houses a 42" Fujitsu plasma, HTC, satellite receiver, and dvd player. They are all controlled using on screen and/or a system remote connected to the HTC.

The master bedroom and kitchen both have wi-fi mini touch screens and the living room has a wi-fi speaker point powering two in-ceiling speakers. Volume to the speakers is controlled via the mini touch in the kitchen.

The garage connected to the house has a contact/relay extender and contact sensor connected to it. This allows the home owners to view the state of the garage (open or closed) on all UI's and use commands like "good night" to close the garage door when going to bed at night.

The garage/office has a 50" Marantz plasma in the office with a Marantz receiver, Marantz dvd player, satellite recevier B&W speakers, and HTC. A 10.5" touch screen sits on the desk here allowing the user to control everything not only in the office and garage, but in the house as well. We are also able to stream music off the MC 375 ft. away to the HTC and it plays perfectly. The distances concerned us initially, but zigbee and the wi-fi connection have been solid.

The garage area houses another 50" Marantz plasma, Marantz dvd player, satellite receiver, Rotel receiver, HTC, and 4 zones of audio. Because we cannot hardwire the HTC to the AirPort Express in this situation, streaming music to this system right now is shaky. When the wi-fi version of the HTC begins shipping, we will swap it out and hopefully be streaming here as well.

We are still waiting for 9 thermostats to install on this project as well as a serial/ir extender for security integration. We are also looking into irrigation integration, but haven't decided either way at this point.

There have been ups and downs with this project, but all in all, the Control4 products have worked well....and continue to get better with each Composer update. We were dealing with a lot of unknowns especially with the distance, but everything ended up working pretty well...and continues to do so.

We have gone through a lot of headaches on this install and learned a lot. If anyone has questions, please feel free to ask as there is a good possibility we may have encountered something similar while doing this install.

We will post pics here in the next several days.

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We actually ran cat5 from an Airport Express directly into the HTC, but we are at the limits of the system. In order for the music to stream, it would have to do the folllwing:

- Send request from HTC to stream music off MC.

- HTC sends request to Airport Express over cat5.

- Airport Express sends request wirelessly to Airport Extreme.

- Airport Extreme sends request over cat6 350 ft. to cat6 connected to incoming broadband service.

- Airport Express sends request through router and then to MC over cat5 50 ft.

- Repeat process in reverse in order to stream music off MC to HTC.

We believe their is too much buffering of the packets due to sending the signal over the wifi network to the Airport Express before it goes into the HTC. Hopefully the wifi version of the HTC will solve this problem. We can stream to a HTC that is hardwired in the same building without issues.

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OK, since I'm an IP idiot, promise not to laugh: I used a wireless extender that used the homes electrical wires to send the signal. I know there are wired versions also. Ethernet from router to transmitter, transmitter plugged into power, receiver plugged into power near HTC, Ethernet from receiver to HTC.

The wireless extender worked fantastic.

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OK, since I'm an IP idiot, promise not to laugh: I used a wireless extender that used the homes electrical wires to send the signal. I know there are wired versions also. Ethernet from router to transmitter, transmitter plugged into power, receiver plugged into power near HTC, Ethernet from receiver to HTC.

The wireless extender worked fantastic.

How does eletric-line networking work out for you? I used it years ago and I didn't have luck with it. What brand are you using?

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