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The Project

Where we’re at – at the moment.

When I was planning the Home Automation project, I have to admit to I was a little Gung-ho wanting to automate everything in one hit, the reality though is that you can’t just do that, you can build a base infra-structure which has to be right, then you can add the functionality when the time is right. When is the right time? Well in my case, there were two hurdles to overcome, the first being that the products I want / […]

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Monitoring

How much data do we give away?

Before we installed the Loxone kit in the house our power monitoring was done by the Scottish Power Unifi, it wasn’t a product without its faults, and had me swearing many times at it when first installed. It consisted of 3 devices, a battery powered clamp/transmitter, a network bridge and desktop display all connecting over its proprietary wireless system. The devices would constantly lose connection to each other, the whole kit was sent backward and forward to Scottish Power several times, then […]

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Networking

How fast does a home internet connection need to be?

I’ve not checked up on the speed my virgin broadband runs at for a while, it certainly doesn’t seem all that fast at the moment, but heres the speedtest.com result from this morning.   I do blindly accept the upgrades that Virgin Media release, but am currently wondering how many other people have the same service purely because the its the fastest they can get, and fast is great isn’t it? I feel relatively happy i’m making use of the […]

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Multimedia

A couple of months with the Amazon Fire TV

Back in October we got our first Amazon Fire TV, when it first arrived i was a bit meh?? Three months on, and its pretty much replaced the Apple TV we were using in the lounge, being an Amazon Prime subscriber we get the amazon video service (Previously LoveFilm) and Netflix, its nice having one box that can finally use either service. The other nice thing is the number of apps for the box, there doesn’t appear to be as […]

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Multimedia

Look whats here!!

Well after much research we settled on the Humax HDR 1000s, essentially the same box as the 1010s with the exception of built in wifi, and of course £30 cheaper. Unboxing and installation has been done, and i have to say its a very slick process, unplug Sky box, switch cables, turn on, you get asked for your postcode, it goes off does its thing, and then presents you with your basic channel listing. I’ve installed the Ipad / iPhone […]

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Multimedia

Goodbye Sky!!!!!

Well, after a year with Sky TV with the pretty much their full package of movies and sports for £24.00 a month, our discount period has finally come to an end. After speaking to retentions and cheekily asking for the 75% discount to be extended the best they could do was offer 33% which is imho overpriced. So i’ve been looking at the alternatives out there, basically theres either Freeview or Freesat, both seem to have roughly the same channels, […]

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Programming

Learnt something new today!

Found a new function, which i also had a use for, the “multi-function switch”, after setting up a timer over-ride / boost switch for a customer on his towel rail circuit, then trying to work out how to set it on a timer, i eventually gave up and spoke to Omid at Loxone HQ, within seconds he had the right programming block in mind.   Giving this as a result. The first button is a timed switch, which once on, […]

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Networking

Unifi Wifi

Well the new wifi points have been installed for about a week now, and i have to say they are providing much better coverage than the single Netgear unit they replaced. One of the main benefits of the system is they come with a natty little software controller that gives you all sorts of stats, including breakdowns of which clients are attached to which access points as per: As for reliability i’ve had them in with a customer for the […]

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Multimedia

Amazon Fire TV is here!!!

Several months ago, i received an email from Amazon asking if i’d like to purchase their new Fire TV box, i figured I couldn’t go wrong for £50, and ordered straight away, Well it arrived today, and so far i am impressed. It certainly feels like a well made and solid box, my initial impressions are that the software is very intuitive. We have been using Apple TV’s for our set top boxes, but the selection of services they provide […]

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Wi-fi

Poor wi-fi coverage

Living in a densely populated area, it seems like every time i look for a my wifi, a few more points have gone online. My trust old Netgear WND-AP350 really doesn’t seem to be able keep up at the moment.   I’ve been installing unifi points for my customers of late, they are reasonably priced, and look a bit nicer than most. They come with their own power over ethernet injector so you can mount them pretty much anywhere and […]