[ ” >> Somebody broke in and cleaned out your crib. Boy, whatcha gon’ do? Act a fool. << ” -Luda ]
Here I’ll go into setting up an always connected “Smarthome” w/ IP cameras that will allow you to keep tabs on things from anywhere, all on budget-friendly terms and no monthly fees.
While at it, learn how to get 100% free home phone.
I was robbed a few years back when out of town.
They took a few valuables, but nothing hit harder than missing hard drives with every file I’ve obtained since Napster.
Choose a spot centrally located on the home grid.
I removed all shelves and resurfaced this closet with some sort of shitty 360° carnival piano ridden theme.
The bottom left houses an old desktop that needed to be repurposed.
This computer can be used for fully customizable Z-Wave automation, and as a dedicated IP camera server.
You’ll also need a battery backup system if you want real 24/7 security from wherever you are.
Now you need a USB device called a Z-STICK to plug directly into your newly closeted computer that will convert your computer into its very own “Smarthub”.
Your other option is a branded smart hub or core, in which case I would recommend the SmartThings product line due to a strong open-source community.
SmartThings appears to have the most functionality even with Z-Wave devices from competing brands.
I ending up selecting the Lowe’s IRIS home automation system for a dedicated alarm + keypad that I can turn on & off manually or remotely.
It was on sale because I’m pretty sure they lost the home automation battle. But baby it don’t matter no. Hack it or crack it.
Only later did I find out IRIS offers two levels of service (free & premium), where free doesn’t allow you to create custom scenes or schedules for your devices.
For my sake, I am able to setup those devices on the very friendly Z-Stick as an alternative.
Again, get the SmartThings, also recently acquired by Samsung.
This is also when I was able to free some space by repurposing my old Apple G5 Tower as a home/business phone enclosure, powered by ObiHai (OBI202).
Why ObiHai? I didn’t want the cheapest pennies to the day monthly subscription. You buy it, and that’s it [SET IT & FORGET IT].
Using RingTo as my free VoIP service with the OBI202, I created a dedicated email account for each line, and all phone call alerts plus voicemails go to the inbox.
I don’t even know if home phone / landlines are a thing anymore, but at the very least, the ObiHai can provide great numbers to give out for your membership sign-ups.
Here on the left we have the Admin Access Area to pull up security footage in the event of a
Regardless of alarm state, anytime this door is opened or power + internet cuts out, I am alerted on my phone instantly.
InControl Home Automation runs on both the home desktop and my mobile phone.
Despite some kind of Visual Basic GUI, InControl offers a nice array of options inside the Z-Wave wireless IoT standard.
IP camera support is built in, simply requiring you to forward the correct addresses and ports.
The mobile app is more impressive on design and complements the software perfectly.
I am currently running a Z-Wave thermostat, sprinkler system, deadbolt, and several electrical outlets throughout, all accessible remotely.
A RGB television simulator + Home Alone inspired radio are also just one tap away from deterring some theft.
Wireless video surveillance has come a long way.
Just be wary of this guy trying to jack your signal…
If you’re simply looking to keep an eye on your front door or maybe a kid’s room, wireless will do the job and there are fantastic, easy to use cameras with their own respective apps.
A wired system will always be more beneficial in terms of security and faster data transmission, in which case Power over Ethernet (or PoE) can save you many cable runs & some $$$.
PoE is exactly what is sounds like, and allows power and data to run through one cable by introducing power into the ethernet line (to your IP cameras or other PoE devices).
If at all possible, use Cat6 cable if you want your install to have some bandwidth headroom for the future, especially if want to run a Gigabit LAN.
This is a great time to begin recording the serial numbers of your most precious items. It makes filing the police report cake!
Finally, if you plan on storing HD security footage locally, don’t keep it in the same area as the host software. You’ll need to get creative here unless you want your precious footage to be gone with the thief!
Just be sure to set enough recording days according to your schedule before the footage is rewritten and loops. Cheers.