a week ago
Unifi As Backbone for 100% Automated Smarthome
Used Products
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Location
Denver, CO, USA
Description

During the design process of having my custom built house constructed in Denver, CO, I made the decision to make it a 100% automated smarthome. 20180523_163745.jpg

 

 

While meeting with the contractors, I arranged to have each bedroom and the study wired with two CAT6 cables a piece while the great room recieved 4 CAT6 cables. In acdition to running CAT6 cables, I have CAT5 cables ran to each room to allow for communication between the control system in the basement and the whole house audio control in each room (seen below). The house was also wired with CAT5 for security cameras at 3 external points.

 

With the speakers and room controller installed, I proceeded with installing Insteon based lighting and outlet products throughout the house. This gives me the ability to set scenes and adjust lighting through an automated process. The house is also full of motion sensors so based on the time of day, the house reacts to detected motion (or no detected motion). This system also detects water leaks throughout the house, once sensing a leak, the house will shutoff it's main water supply to stop and leak in the house until it can be inspected. The house also controls irrigation based on weather patterns as well as other security features I won't mention here. All smarthome/automation components are contained in the smarthome enclosure seen below:

 

20180808_082512.jpg

 

20180808_082643.jpg

 

 

 

Next it was time to setup the rack to house the amplifiers, controllers, switches, router, patch panels and 16TB Synology RS815+ NAS. I selected the basement as the home run for all cabling since it remains a cool throughout the year, ensuring that the components will never overheat and I don't have to pay to cool them down. The rack is a 42U rack with space for future growth:

20180808_082557.jpg

 

20180808_082610.jpg

 

20180808_082617.jpg

 

20180808_082623.jpg

 

 

Two APs sit around the house, a nanoHD and a AC-Pro. The APs are placed on seperate floors on oppisite sides of the house providing excellent coverage as users walk between rooms and floors. The APs are discretely hidden behind TVs so that without looking, you can't see them.

20180808_082030.jpg

 

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 Last, but certainly not least, was to design an interface to control, monitor and watch all of the different ecosystems of devices. I chose OpenHAB 2.0 as the control method, and after 4 months of developing an interface, I arrived at 3 seperate dashboard. Each dashboard runs on a seperate iPad, with iPads placed in the downstairs area, master bedroom and guest bedroom. The iPad's dashboard reflects controls based on which room it is placed in, as an example, screenshots from the downstairs iPad are below:

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44..PNG

 

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Without Unifi serving up network communication and acting as the backbone between the system, I would be unable to keep everything running. I may upgrade from the US-8-150W to the US-16-150W as I continue to add ULEDs and UDIMs to my workroom area (not pictured in any of these). 

 

Thanks Unifi for having amazing products at reasonable prices and thanks to everyone for reading my story.

 

Unifi As Backbone for 100% Automated Smarthome

by a week ago

During the design process of having my custom built house constructed in Denver, CO, I made the decision to make it a 100% automated smarthome. 20180523_163745.jpg

 

 

While meeting with the contractors, I arranged to have each bedroom and the study wired with two CAT6 cables a piece while the great room recieved 4 CAT6 cables. In acdition to running CAT6 cables, I have CAT5 cables ran to each room to allow for communication between the control system in the basement and the whole house audio control in each room (seen below). The house was also wired with CAT5 for security cameras at 3 external points.

 

With the speakers and room controller installed, I proceeded with installing Insteon based lighting and outlet products throughout the house. This gives me the ability to set scenes and adjust lighting through an automated process. The house is also full of motion sensors so based on the time of day, the house reacts to detected motion (or no detected motion). This system also detects water leaks throughout the house, once sensing a leak, the house will shutoff it's main water supply to stop and leak in the house until it can be inspected. The house also controls irrigation based on weather patterns as well as other security features I won't mention here. All smarthome/automation components are contained in the smarthome enclosure seen below:

 

20180808_082512.jpg

 

20180808_082643.jpg

 

 

 

Next it was time to setup the rack to house the amplifiers, controllers, switches, router, patch panels and 16TB Synology RS815+ NAS. I selected the basement as the home run for all cabling since it remains a cool throughout the year, ensuring that the components will never overheat and I don't have to pay to cool them down. The rack is a 42U rack with space for future growth:

20180808_082557.jpg

 

20180808_082610.jpg

 

20180808_082617.jpg

 

20180808_082623.jpg

 

 

Two APs sit around the house, a nanoHD and a AC-Pro. The APs are placed on seperate floors on oppisite sides of the house providing excellent coverage as users walk between rooms and floors. The APs are discretely hidden behind TVs so that without looking, you can't see them.

20180808_082030.jpg

 

1.PNG

 

2.PNG

 

Capture.PNG

 

 

 Last, but certainly not least, was to design an interface to control, monitor and watch all of the different ecosystems of devices. I chose OpenHAB 2.0 as the control method, and after 4 months of developing an interface, I arrived at 3 seperate dashboard. Each dashboard runs on a seperate iPad, with iPads placed in the downstairs area, master bedroom and guest bedroom. The iPad's dashboard reflects controls based on which room it is placed in, as an example, screenshots from the downstairs iPad are below:

11.PNG

 

22.PNG

 

33.PNG

 

44..PNG

 

55.PNG

 

66.PNG

 

77.PNG

 

 

Without Unifi serving up network communication and acting as the backbone between the system, I would be unable to keep everything running. I may upgrade from the US-8-150W to the US-16-150W as I continue to add ULEDs and UDIMs to my workroom area (not pictured in any of these). 

 

Thanks Unifi for having amazing products at reasonable prices and thanks to everyone for reading my story.

 

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Comments
by
a week ago

Awesome write up!!!! Super clean install as well!!!

by
a week ago

Incredible! I'm not kidding, this is my dream every night to do! I can't image how much fun this would have been to automate a home like this. Congrats on being able to do so. Also, nice looking home!

by
a week ago - last edited a week ago

 Thanks @verisarioc, it took a lot of planning but it was so much fun. Walking around the house and having the house perform all of the normal functions for me just doesn't get old.

 

Have you thought about setting up automation is your house?

by
a week ago

@esloyer- Yea and the ones I want, would be $8k to buy. I was trying to centeralize all my cable boxes, chromecasts, PS4's and 3's and all that into my networking closet but I can't find reliable over IP, HDMI converters. I wired my 1970's home with networking and coax. (I have a couple stories about it, if you are ever bored and want to look)

 

But I never found a way to setup a tablet or something like yours to control all lights and items in the home. I have the Echo dot and the google home mini that run my Nest thermostate and can open my wireless garage door. I am slowly making it a smarter place. I have 9 wifi outlets that are pretty nice and I could set up some FTTT scripts to make them do things like turn a coffee maker on but nothing special.

 

Pretty much a nub on a lot of this stuff but so willing to learn, its crazy! If you have thoughts or suggestions, please PM me and I would love to keep talking.

by
Thursday

What is the box running the UniFi controller? Looks like a great setup.

by
Thursday

@dot11 In this picture, I have a RaspberryPi3 running the Unifi controller. I have since moved it over to run on a virtual machine on my Synology NAS. The RaspberryPi now acts as a reverse tunnel SSH gateway for the house.

by
Thursday

@esloyerOk the Synology NAS is running a few virtual machines (UniFi Controller, UniFi Video and openhab?). How has the performance been going? Just bought a new house and am interested in home automation after seeing your post.

by
Friday

@dot11 I had to upgrade the memory from 2GB to 6GB to allow for the virtual machines to run. The NAS now runs Unifi, OpenHAB, the Synology Surveillance station (the NVR), the UBNT EoT controller and serves up files on the network just like a normal NAS. 

 

Surprisingly, the NAS handles the workload even thought it's not truely designed to be an application server. None of the applications draw much CPU power while sitting idle, thought upgrading or startup does put a heavy load on the system. I'm using the Synology NAS so heavily because I already had it available to me as NAS and until I find the need for a dedicated application server, I'll stick to it. Check out the pictures below showing the NAS's resource load and the VM's consumption values:

 

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My suggestion would be to add applications/components slowly, test them and then proceed. As soon as you overload, nothing will work and you'll hate the system you've installed. Just for fun, here's a look at all of the devices on the smarthome lighting system. @verisarioc you might enjoy seeing these as well:

 

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by
Friday

@esloyer- I appreicate the pics above. I have two Synologys. A DS1815+ w/ 25TB Synology RAID and a DS1817+ with 28TB's Synology RAID. Both house my Plex server media. (22TBs worth)  

I use to have the UBNT mFi devices around the house but they all crapped out on me so i got rid of them. I thought about doing a docker or VM on the synology that is my backup but I like buying the BETA items such as the CK Gen2 that I just recieved last night. Its an incredible little device now. 

 

My production Synology runs a test website for my parents little business they want to start, it does my nightly backups, runs 3 Amcrest 4k security cameras and a couple other things. I just need the funds to go and buy more mFi devices but so much $ for devices UBNT doesn't even care about anymore. If I had somewhere to put up the EoT lights they make, I would have them already as well. A large issue with me is I can't program something to save my life. Such as using code to make something work. I can setup the UniFi controller with no issues, but through GUI only. 

 

I like the organization tree you have going for each sensor. Its laid out well, it looks like and it seems like you can pretty much do nothing around the house and it does it all for you. Love it! 

 

Are all the lights coming with built in sensors to connect to the EoT controller? 

by
Saturday

@esloyer > This system also detects water leaks throughout the house, once sensing a leak, the house will shutoff it's main water supply to stop and leak in the house until it can be inspected

 

Please enlighten us with what specific remote valves / sensors / products were used for this. I've looked around before for a system that closes off the water supply at the main entrance, and is wireless (Zigbee or similar) to a sensor under each sink, washing machine, hot water heater, even toilet. Had an expensive insurance claim once from a 17 year old GE washer that decided to end it's life with the cold water solenoid stuck open, and took our downstairs carpet with it. Got a $100 device from SmartHome after that but it broke after a couple years, and I'd love something whole-house.  Sorry to hijack thread.

The interface you show looks like Insteon HouseLinc maybe?