What do I need and where do I put it?

After I made the decision to use Idratek, the next stage has been to work out what needs to go into each room and where to centralise equipment I wanted hidden from view.

To help track room occupancy (and to provide burglar alarm features) each room has a door sensor and some rooms have PIRs (passive infrared movement sensors) where the ones built into Idranet devices are not ideally suited.  I have actually planned  more than strictly needed of these extra detectors because we have a cat and I suspect it could be a problem tracking people and not animals without specialist pet-immune PIRs.

For data and audio visual sources I have decided to feed Cat5 cable and 75 ohm co-axial cable to each room, both of which will be routed back to Node0 where an 8 way TV amplifier plus a network patch panel, switch and ADSL router are planned.

 Due to cost I am not in the market for a traditional multi-room AV system but I have worked out that most use either wireless or Cat5 so in planning I have treated this as another data service to support but didn’t plan in too much detail what to hang on the ends.  The top candidate for me is probably a squeezebox based system, as the display can be integrated into Cortex, but I am increasingly attracted to UPnP or DLNA devices as there is a greater variety of units available.  I have planned for speakers in the kitchen and bathroom, but have not yet sorted out how to control volume or source selection in these areas.

 The family room is a large and general purpose space so this has the highest number of cables including:

  • Multiple lighting channels (a light channel may consist of several lamps but can be controlled separately from other light channels)
  • speaker cable for 7.1 surround sound  all routed back to an audio visual node (NodeAV)
  • provision for a projector
  • automated projector screen & curtains
  • automated Velux window
  • PIR
  • Multiple door sensors
  • Idratek Multi-function or Display Panel
  • Multiple data sockets
  • Multiple relay controlled mains sockets (e.g. for TV, floor lamps etc)

I always planned to have my audio visual equipment in a cupboard near the family room but such is the forecast density of cables from the family room I have re-planned to give it its own node where most of the cables are run back to, this not only shorted the runs but reduced congestion in Node0 which is a corner in a utility cupboard. 

 On the 2nd floor another node is planned (Node-I) again to minimise the number of cables run back to Node 0.  This mixture of radial and daisy chain Idranet connections is an advantage of the flexible Idranet topology.  Interesting threads on UKHA_D on door bells here and here prompted me to rethink what I needed at the front door and in the porch, so a mini-node is planned there and another in the cupboard where the under floor heating pipes terminate as (eventually) this will be automated requiring many relays. 

 So in all I have 3 major nodes planned plus a couple of mini-nodes and multiple sensors, wall-plates and Idratek devices in rooms, which seems a lot, but may plan is to get the infrastructure built and then deploy devices as and when time and budget allows.

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