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Hi everyone,

 

I need your advice. I am building my home, which is a duplex. My parents will live on one of the duplex and my wife and two kids will live in the other one. It's still under construction. I haven't bought the ISY system yet but I would like to get the house and wiring ready. At this stage I haven't put in the insulation and drywall yet.

 

I planned to use the Insteon light switches and also the ELK module for connecting to the DSC alarm panel.

 

I know that ISY supports Insteon and Z-Wave and others, can I have a mix of devices?

 

I have the following questions:

 

1. Will the current ISY system supports two homes?

 

2. I also want to put indoor cameras on my side to monitor the kids. The Insteon camera is nice because it has a two way communication with a speaker and microphone, but that one is using AC power. Does anyone know any ISY compatible cameras that are PoE that can also do 2-way communication? Because our side of the duplex is 3 levels, it's also good to use the cameras kind of like a PA system.

 

3. How about outdoor cameras? Will most cameras compatible with ISY?

 

Thanks,

Jason

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Because the duplex will likely have one power feed and most Insteon device are both RF and power line, you should have no difficulty controlling each unit using one ISY. Depending on how large an Insteon network you will install, you may reach a limit. I suggest that you start with the Pro version. You may also want to create a folder for each unit and sub-folders within each folder for both devices and programs.

 

You can mix Insteon and Z-Wave device with the optional Z-Wave module.

 

Cameras are not the forte of the ISY. Nearly any IP camera, indoor or outdoor, can be viewed one-at-a-time from the ISY. IMO, you'd be better served with IP camera software, or better yet, a dedicated DVR.

 

BTW, the speakers on most cameras is too low a volume to function as an effective PA system.

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I know that ISY supports Insteon and Z-Wave and others, can I have a mix of devices?

 

I have the following questions:

 

1. Will the current ISY system supports two homes?

Yes, you can mix Z-Wave and Insteon with a ISY-994iZ

You should be able able to use a single ISY in a duplex, however you may need extra dual-band devices to ensure bridging between units.

 

Cameras are not the forte of the ISY. Nearly any IP camera, indoor or outdoor, can be viewed one-at-a-time from the ISY. IMO, you'd be better served with IP camera software, or better yet, a dedicated DVR.

BTW, the speakers on most cameras is too low a volume to function as an effective PA system.

I agree, the camera viewing feature of the ISY web interface is really just a novelty.

 

Many cameras have a "Web alert URL" setting and can make a REST call out when they see motion, this can be used to run an ISY program based on the camera detecting motion.

 

Some cameras publish a REST interface, this could be used with ISY "Network Resources" to allow a program to adjust camera settings, e.g. to disable motion detection when you are home.   For example, some, but not all, Foscam models have a documented REST API.

 

I also want to put indoor cameras on my side to monitor the kids. The Insteon camera is nice because it has a two way communication with a speaker and microphone, but that one is using AC power. Does anyone know any ISY compatible cameras that are PoE that can also do 2-way communication? Because our side of the duplex is 3 levels, it's also good to use the cameras kind of like a PA system.

How about outdoor cameras? Will most cameras compatible with ISY?

I don't know of any cameras which are truly "ISY compatible", ; IME, no camera is great for use with ISY;  even the "Insteon Camera" doesn't really support interaction with ISY or Insteon devices.   Also I don't know of any camera brand that would work great as a PA system, I'd recommend putting in extra Cat6 wiring and plan on a real intercom or PA.

 

Some of the more expensive outdoor PoE cameras have a well-documented API and the ability to generate a HTTP call to the iSY when they detect motion.

 

Alternately, you can buy or build a DVR/NVR to monitor cameras and take actions based on motion detection.

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O! Each of the duplex unit will have its own electrical panel. Does that consider as two separate power feed?

 

The number of electric panels doesn't matter. Will there be one electric meter or two?

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The depends on whether there will be (or is) one drop for both meters or a separate drop for each. A 'drop' is the wires that extend from the pole to the meter. If the meters are adjacent, then it's highly likely that there's one drop. If so, then your OK.

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ELK module won't connect to a DSC panel. It connect to the Elk panel thru the Elk M1XEP.

 

If you want good ISY integration, you cannot go wrong with the Elk module, but you'll need to get an Elk panel and M1XEP to go with it.

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The NEC now requires a neutral wire in every electric box.

Tell that to the electrician that wired my house. Built in 2014 I've since found 3 boxes without a neutral. Mostly switches that are part of multi way switch circuits.

 

Oh, mud rings with rounded corners as well. Cannot fit two modules in a double switch location without getting out the dremel.... That sucks big time.

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Multi-way switches are an exception, but box that includes the load should have a neutral. IMO, mud rings with rounded corners should never be used with dry wall (or at all).

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Multi-way switches are an exception, but box that includes the load should have a neutral. IMO, mud rings with rounded corners should never be used with dry wall (or at all).

Well, the exception sucks... And I fully agree on the mud rings. It's a PITA! Not something I thought I needed for check with my builder.
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Since the home is still under development I would encourage you to have a dedicated power outlet(s) for the 2413S PLM. I would also suggest you have conduit with two pull strings attached in strategic locations to ensure future proofing. Run multiple pairs of all the common wires from CAT6, 22-4, 18-4, coaxial, etc in all of the key areas.

 

To ensure the highest flexibility for safety run fire rated 4 wire for LV smoke detectors. Better to have and not need - than to need and not have.

 

Doing so will compliment any 120 VAC hardwired smoke / co detectors that may be code in your State.

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Nucleus looks interesting. I may get two to try it out first.

 

Stusviews, I will check it today. I believe there's only one drop from the pole since the two meters for the two units are next to each other. 

 

And thanks Mwareman, Teken and everyone's input!!! I really can feel the support from this community.

 

Any other suggestions before I put on insulation and drywall?

 

How about the stereo for the living room? Should I get a SLY compatible receiver?

 

With the intercom from the door entrance, should I use Nucleus too?

 

Thanks a lot everyone!!!

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Some of this may sound a little out there for many but if this is a long term investment and you plan on living in this home for a very long time. I would encourage you to insulate all of the interior walls with Roxul fire proof insulating bats. Doing so will reduce noise and help maintain stable temperatures through out the home.

 

Which translates to lower heating / cooling costs and energy consumption. It will also (God Forbid) contain and isolate a room / area from spreading a fire condition should it exist. You may also consider upgrading the drywall to X-rated drywall as this will ensure a longer fire rating and *Burn Time*.

 

I did all of the above in my home and the energy, noise, and comfort has been stellar!

 

If money is no object and you can afford to add in the incremental costs I would also ask you to review any of the *Passive Hause* techniques that will also translates to lower energy consumption and offer better comfort to the entire family. One key thing I am doing because (Back in the day) I didn't know about this is to integrate PCM technology.

 

PCM is and has been ground breaking for those using it and the savings are dramatic in extreme temperature zones. Lastly, spend the extra money on getting a three layer roofing system in place. Again, none of this information was known to me at the time because I honestly thought it was basic fair, its not.

 

Meaning have the roofer / builder install the ice shield, membrane, and 4 tab tiles.

 

All of this will ensure a long serving roof that will protect that beautiful home / investment. 

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  • 5 weeks later...

Teken,

 

Good advice on the Roxul insulation on interior walls.  In addition to the fire protection and sound insulation it is also rodent proof.  I would also advise putting the Roxul in ceilings to provide sound insulation between floors.  Just make sure you don't cover pot lights since they should not be insulated.

 

JC

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