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Considering cqc, what is it's best complement of systems?
#3
I started , like you, buying CQC about a year before my house was built, although that was 12 years ago.  A lot of technology has changed over that time.

Lighting - Agree with Dean that RadioRA2 is probably one of the best - I went with Insteon, (ISY 994i controller and their light switches) and it is okay - not great, but definitely better now than it was when I started.  I would say 98% of the time, it works - sometimes it misses commands and the command has to be resent, but little maintenance.

Audio - I went with B&K which more or less went out of business - company name is still there, but they don't support the old products.  Anyway, at the time I was building I wanted whole house audio throughout the house and chose B&K - Russound and Nuvo provided competitive products, and I happened to pick one that didn't make it.  Anyway, I still love having the setup I have with speakers in every room and keypad controllers, but if I did it again I would of scaled back from 12 zones of Audio to 6 (i.e. 1 unit .vs. 2).  I have Sonos as an input to the B&K, and the control with CQC is great and used everyday.  I used to have a Logitech Squeezebox that was controllable, but alas that company also quit supporting that product so I ended up switching.  Some people aren't keen on having keypad controllers in every room, but I like being able to walk into a room, turn on the sound, control volume, source, etc. without having to pull out my phone or going to a touchscreen, but that is my preference, maybe not the CQC community as a whole.

Security - Elk M1 - Not the most elegant (especially the interface) but rock solid and well supported by CQC.  I control security, garage doors - it has announcements that can be programmed on doors being opened, etc - will call, email, or text you of alarm events or status, and for the most part, it is the most dependable of the systems I have installed.  The integration with this and CQC allows you to turn on say TV's to view security cameras if motion is detected, etc.

Cameras - I have an old outdated system from Legrand but works fine for my needs.  No control, but I can view cameras within CQC and TV's.

Irrigation - I am using Rain8Net, and that along with a user built driver that reads weather data (Irrigation Controller) allows great control of it.  I switched from Rain8net to Irrigation Caddy briefly- the device quit working within weeks, and there is ZERO customer support, so don't consider that.  Hopefully they went out of business because they sold crap and wouldn't support it.  Rain8Net is just a box - it has to be controlled by something else - PC program or CQC, so that is the drawback, but as long as lightning is not bad in your area, it works great.  I have had 3 lightning strikes in the area in 12 years, so have had to send box back for repair.

Home theater - I wired a room for it, but never did anything with it.  I guess I like watching TV in my family room more than going to a separate room - I wired the family room with 5.1 sound and a big screen TV, so my interest in a home theater never went to the next step.

Thermostat - I went with the RCS thermostats, but as Dean mentioned, if you can combine one of the other suppliers and include this, I would do that.  RCS has been rock solid for 11 years however - I think Insteon does as well, but not sure if the CQC driver supports it.

Video - I went with B&K's video distribution product, the HD-6, which was component based and was obsolete about the time I installed it.  It was controllable but in the end I rarely used it.  I just put it out of service and went with a J-Tech digital video distribution system - not controllable, but I use it just to feed DirecTV (which is controllable) to 4 other TV's.  I posted about it here: https://www.charmedquark.com/vb_forum/sh...?tid=10776

Key learning - Make sure you run plenty of wires, unless you are sold on wireless technology (I'm not).  I know a lot of people are going wireless, but with a choice like you have pre-build, would rather have it controlled by a Cat5e/6 wire than wireless any day. 12 years ago, it cost me $60 per wire to run - I told them not to terminate them and I did it myself.  I ended up making about 120 runs - And my unused/unterminated bundle is now down to about 15, so I am glad I did it.

Other things to consider - Controllable TV's.  I have 1, but it's one way control, the other ones I have aren't controllable - I use a Global Cache device that sends IR via ethernet to the device and then the GC makes the change.  It's hard to find controllable TV's at the price point I want.  Someone mentioned on here that the Energy Star rating caused manufacturers to turn off ports when  powered off which prevented them from turning on.  Maybe this has changed some from the last time I looked, but that is something that would be nice to have.

Echo / Dots - I use this with CQC for voice control, not music, but don't think your idea to use them with an amplifier would be bad.  I mainly use these to control my TV and whole house audio sound, but it has so many other uses since CQC Supports them.

Hopefully this helps - and by the way Dean provides the best support of any software guy I have ever seen.  Here is a post I made a few months back on someone that was interested in CQC and comparing other options:  
Quote:My $.02 cents worth, and I know nothing about HS - support for CQC is as good as you will ever find with a computer software product. I worked as a Computer Support Analyst for 6 years, and CQC is the best I have ever seen, and that includes the company I worked for. I have been using it for 12 years, and would never consider another product, as over that time, my system has been upgraded, changed, and enhanced, and the cost remained the same. If I have a problem, you will get a reply. Most times it is an answer, and if not, it is a workaround or a new version that fixes it on a very short time frame. You won't see that in most software companies these days. If they do fix it, it may be 12 mos. down the road.

Have fun,
Blake
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RE: Considering cqc, what is it's best complement of systems? - by kblagron - 02-04-2019, 11:51 PM

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