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Target's Home Automation Progress
#1
Howdy all,

I'm a relative newcomer here, and I'm really pleased to part of the community that has built up around CQC. I hope that over time I can give back for all of the information that I have been provided with thus far.

In this thread I will begin the documentation of my progress. For starters, here are the most recent pictures of the part of the house that you all might be interested in :-) .

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When the house is done, this view will have been taken from the couch. To the right is a pass through to look into the kitchen, and straight ahead will be a wall mounted TV. The wall will be large enough for a 65' wide screen. The rack will be in a triangular closet with one wall facing the living room, one the kitchen (also with a wall mounted tele), and the third wall will have a door to access the closet.

The entire prewire is complete and includes the following

-5 video locations
-1 USB location (I plan on having my monitor in the office, but keeping the computer in the rack. may be a mistake, but I thought I'd give it a try)
-Full 24 load centralite install (already regretting this, as its way more expensive than I thought it would be)
-8 zones of audio including 1 5.1 surround
-Ethernet in every room.
-1 touch panel location. Will be an elo 1545 that I picked up used powered by a very old 700MHz computer. Do you think this comp with 512 RAM can run 2 clients at once?
-Aprilaire 8870 thermostat

In a future post I'll include other hardware that I've bought or will buy, but I thought I'd limit this one to the prewire.

Target
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#2
Reserved for future progress.
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#3
Reserved for future progress.
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#4
Do not forget the cooling that will be needed in the closet. I have seen that mistake made countless times, and have replaced amps due to it. Also, add some empty flex duct from the closet to the basement and clset to the attic. You will be very happy you did about a year later. :-)
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
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#5
The rack has some built in fans. Do you think I'll need more cooling than that? As to flex duct, there is no basement as the house is on a slab, and we are going to leave a fairly large whole in the closet up to the attic. The entire inside of the closet is going to be left unfinished. Would you still put the flex duct in?

Target
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#6
Well, if the closet is enclosed, then fans on racks will only recirculate the equipment-heated air, right? So the idea is to vent that hot closet air out somewhere, and draw in cooler surrounding air.

At one point I considered venting our closet into the attic so it could draw in cool air from the room....but then we moved, so I never got it done.
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#7
Target Wrote:The rack has some built in fans. Do you think I'll need more cooling than that?

Definitely need to consider air circulation. I would suggest a roof ventilator something like this:
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Just don't put it directly above your rack in case a bit of water finds its way in. My roof cavity cooled down immensely after installing one. As beelzerob pointed out, if you extract hot air, you'll need to replace it with cool air. A wall vent similar to what is used for ducted heating intake would probably be suitable, although that won't insulate as much sound as pink batts.

My HA installation has thus far only got some C-bus gear, a patch panel, wireless router and a single PC, and heat is already a problem before enough power for the planned 8 A/V zones.

Here's my little cupboard. Just this weekend I bought a $400 portable AC unit, which I've installed by cutting the plasterboard just to the left of the unpainted crawl-door (into the roof cavity). The ducts lead the hot air directly underneath the roof ventilator, and next weekend I'll plumb a condensation hose. I'll post some more pics after I take them Smile

The only downside of this aircon unit is that the fan is fairly loud, and when it reaches its set temperature, it turns the compressor off but leaves the fan on low (but still noisy). The good thing is that it's got an IR remote Smile

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#8
Target Wrote:The rack has some built in fans. Do you think I'll need more cooling than that? As to flex duct, there is no basement as the house is on a slab, and we are going to leave a fairly large whole in the closet up to the attic. The entire inside of the closet is going to be left unfinished. Would you still put the flex duct in?

Target

You can simply add an air feed from your system, but that only partially works. You need to exhaust the heat. I have seen some draw air from a basement, through the rack and out via an exhaust fan, but that introduces moisture, which is worse than heat.

The best solution I have found is to simply vent the door near the bottom and exhaust via an exhaust fan duct at the ceiling, via duct out of the house. I have used an inline bathroom type exhaust fan for this, mounting the fan in the attic space. (Like a nutone or similar). I typically control the fan with a temperature sensor in the closit via my HAI alarm panel. That way I can not only control the fan, but also get an alarm if somthing fails. Just one amp or two and maybe one computer and the space will get near 100 deg quickly. You want to keep the space below 90.
Thanks,
Dave Bruner
Cool
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#9
My HA guy suggested just putting a fan above the door on the wall to circulate air. I take it you guys think this might not be enough. Sound (or minimizing it) is definitely a priority for me. The rack is situated right near the living room, and the kitchen. Given the ease of accessing the attic, it shouldn't be too hard for me to install something up there if a single circulation fan (in addition to the fans built into the rack) proves inadequate.

Target
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#10
How is moisture from a basement so detrimental? I'm asking because my wiring room is in the basement, so all my equipment is going to be basically immersed in such moisture. I would tend to think that the electronic components would be tolerant of such moisture as found in a basement, since not all climates are bone-dry.
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