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Thread: Are you running any smart home devices?

  1. #16
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Wake Forest, NC
    Posts
    490
    I have an iSmartAlarm system that is connected to my home network. It uses proprietary contact closures and such, but it is fully controllable from my phone/tablet, etc. Tge sirens on it are pretty whimpy, so I have added some additional high output sirens. It also has 110V smart plugs. I have several of these wired into single phase and three phase contactors to turn my phase convertor and air compressor on and off.

    I have the Sonos speaker system to play music, and although expensive, it is an awesome set up.

    I have high definition security cameras (Gigabit POE) that are configured to communicate and store back to my Synology network server. The Synology is a multi function device allowing me to remotely access my pictures, surveillance, files, etc. It is a pretty cool device for automatically backing up photos from my phone, computers, etc.

    I also have my garage door set up on its own proprietary app/set up. I can remotely open and close the garage door and tell if it is opened or closed. Although I like the capability, I think it is the pits that is a totally separate application/functionality that has no integration with any of my other stuff......


    I have two google chromecasts to broadcast to my non smart TV's.

    I also have a PLEX TV/Movie server. I have a large collection of movies, and I have them available for viewing on this server and it also allows me to download them to my phone or tablet in a compressed form when I want to watch them remotely when traveling.

    For all of this stuff, the integration between apps/programs/etc is the pits. There is no common standard that I can tell as of yet. Everything you add or do has some kind of integration issues or compatibility..... I wish there was a commonly adopted standard so integration and an application front end could be common....

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Virginia and Kentucky
    Posts
    3,300
    We have the Nest thermostat and a Smart Chamberlain Garage Door Opener. I like being able to look at the thermostat on the phone. When we were in Europe, we could lower the thermostat and monitor usage. I left the garage door open one day and was able to close it via the phone.

  3. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Location
    North-central Minnesota
    Posts
    318
    I started installing X-10, and X-10 Pro stuff many many years ago, and over the past five to ten years, gradually transitioning to Insteon devices. All my outdoor lighting, and several indoor lights are controlled by one or the other. I also have Insteon cameras around the place. It is all meshed together with the Insteon Hub. I also have Honeywell WiFi thermostats in both my house and my shop. My water heater is also online. About three months ago, I installed a SimpliSafe security system throughout.

  4. #19
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    4,323
    Quote Originally Posted by George Bokros View Post
    You aren't concerned that someone could hack your home WiFi and get in and rob you? This along with house door locks that are controllable remotely I would never have.
    The tablet is proprietary (I won't say which system publicly). So to hack in, someone would have to hack my app's password (fairly strong), but that would only work after they knew it even existed, as there is no indication our home has a security system. I don't put the signs/stickers up, just in case there gets to be a known vulnerability in a particular brand of system. Not to mention, there are additional layers of, um, "security", if you get my drift.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  5. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    4,323
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post

    Jason, your mention of the thermostats is interesting to me. Not for our house, but for my shop. Trudging out there on a cold morning to raise up the heat setting with only one eye open is getting old... And now that I have the network extended out there...it's doable!
    The three we have at our church are these:

    https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-Pro...ifi+thermostat

    I have a similar one to this at home:

    https://www.amazon.com/Honeywell-RTH...ifi+thermostat

    The second one does have the nice additional feature of another option for the furnace fan: circulate. It basically runs it something like 20 minutes out of every hour (not all at once) to circulate the air in your house. With a good filter system, I think it helps keep the house cleaner and aids in allergy relief.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  6. #21
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
    Posts
    50,678
    Jason, I was actually just looking at that first (simpler) one yesterday on Amazon when the topic raised my thoughts. It's a reasonable price and should be plug and play, outside of the required additional power supply (C-wire), with the basic Honeywell I have wired into my Farenheat warm-air-maker via a control interface. I suspect it would work with a future upgrade to a mini-split, too. I really don't need this capability in our actual house...the two thermostats stay at the same temperature full time since there's rarely a time when nobody is home and reducing temps isn't good for our birds.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  7. #22
    Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm



    Nest.jpgWe installed this unit throughout the house recently. Pricey, but a big improvement over the old technology.


  8. #23
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Longview WA
    Posts
    20,308
    Blog Entries
    1
    Maybe my fears are unfounded, but it seems many of today's smart home devices have minimal security. What is even more concerning is the folks who use these will likely be the same folks who used to have a VCR that always flashed 12:00 or an answering machine with the default settings.

    Many of these "smart devices" are likely easy to hack and can be used to track their users. Some can be used for other nefarious purposes on the internet of everything.

    Maybe if one of those smart devices could fire up the wood stove or load the dishwasher my view would change on the matter.

    Having one of those devices that responds to my voice on the living room coffee table isn't going to happen. Who is to say it can't hear everything else that is said within range?

    On a lighter note, here is another view on "smart devices:"

    http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2018/02/01

    The movie Kingsman also has a jab at what the nefarious can do with total control of our devices.

    jtk
    "A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty."
    - Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965)

  9. #24
    Join Date
    Aug 2015
    Location
    N. Texas
    Posts
    1,394
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    ... it seems many of today's smart home devices have minimal security.
    ...
    I work for a company that is perhaps in the top 10 of worldwide hacking targets. Our IT Security folks have a VERY healthy disdain for the security features in many of these devices (including non-encrypted admin/recovery credentials). The hack-able 'surface area' of the average home is exploding.

    ...And just why do you need a Chinese-built clothes iron with a CPU, big RAM, and Bluetooth? Auto OFF has been available for ages w/o internet. ...err, Oh! Wait!! Now I can turn it ON before I get home - it'll be toasty warm on arrival.

    Be vewy, vewy carewful out therew!
    Molann an obair an saor.

  10. #25
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Highland MI
    Posts
    3,760
    Blog Entries
    11
    I have an Xfinity security system with one outdoor camera, a thermostat and door/motion sensors. The thermostat is the most useful. I just added a Sensi WiFi thermostat at church. Very good, recommended by my son and HVAC guy, $100 at ACE hardware. Don't blow your money on a Nest.
    NOW you tell me...

  11. #26
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    Monroe, MI
    Posts
    11,896
    I have about 15 Insteon devices. Started as a way to control lights that are on 3 different circuits in our living room but added outdoor lighting and some indoor lighting, leak detection, and working on some generator monitoring. The Insteon hubs have been junk but I just got an ISY controller that seems to be a lot more powerful.

  12. #27
    Maybe I'm too Old School...but...I have a totally smart controlled home....I turn the lights on and off.. I set the temperature.... I lock the doors...I turn on the radio or tv if I want to...and the list goes on.... by the way...I can't stand the commercial that has the somewhat limited intelligence lady looking out the window at the snowstorm and says "Alexa...what's the weather" and gets the reply "it's snowing"... wow .. that's handy to have!!!

  13. #28
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Posts
    5,652
    Good timing for this thread.....

    I just got this- in my email.

    I can see where it could have some use.
    My granddad always said, :As one door closes, another opens".
    Wonderful man, terrible cabinet maker...

  14. #29
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Posts
    4,323
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Jason, I was actually just looking at that first (simpler) one yesterday on Amazon when the topic raised my thoughts. It's a reasonable price and should be plug and play, outside of the required additional power supply (C-wire), with the basic Honeywell I have wired into my Farenheat warm-air-maker via a control interface. I suspect it would work with a future upgrade to a mini-split, too. I really don't need this capability in our actual house...the two thermostats stay at the same temperature full time since there's rarely a time when nobody is home and reducing temps isn't good for our birds.
    Depending on how yours is wired, the additional C wire may be easy. I think that on all 4 that I did, the wire was already in the wall, just cut back a bit. On the furnace end, the C wire doesn't actually go to power, it actually needs to go to ground on a 24V system. Since there were already some wires grounded, all I had to do was add the C (blue) wire into a bundle that had a wire nut on it already.
    Jason

    "Don't get stuck on stupid." --Lt. Gen. Russel Honore


  15. #30
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    5,511
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Koepke View Post
    Maybe my fears are unfounded, but it seems many of today's smart home devices have minimal security. What is even more concerning is the folks who use these will likely be the same folks who used to have a VCR that always flashed 12:00 or an answering machine with the default settings.

    Many of these "smart devices" are likely easy to hack and can be used to track their users. Some can be used for other nefarious purposes on the internet of everything.

    Maybe if one of those smart devices could fire up the wood stove or load the dishwasher my view would change on the matter.

    Having one of those devices that responds to my voice on the living room coffee table isn't going to happen. Who is to say it can't hear everything else that is said within range?

    On a lighter note, here is another view on "smart devices:"

    http://www.gocomics.com/nonsequitur/2018/02/01

    The movie Kingsman also has a jab at what the nefarious can do with total control of our devices.

    jtk
    I had to laugh at my BIL who had a similar concern / fear and proceeded to give away his Alexa based on a couple of you tube video's. The thought that the government or some crook was trying to listen to what he was saying/listening to/watching in his own home had me perplexed. Yes Alexa hears all.

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