Intermatic dropping out of the Z-Wave game?

Keep InTouch?

Just read an article on CEPro that Intermatic was pulling out of the Z-Wave market. Intermatic has been one of the leading producers and manufacturers of Z-Wave enabled Home Automation Products.  I have several Intermatic products installed in my home from both the HomeSeer and InTouch product lines and have become a fan of them for two reasons.

  1. Cost – The price was right compared to other similar products. HomeSettings products were a lower cost line with decent quality that I found suitable for some of  the “out of the way” areas of my home where aesthetics was not important. While the InTouch product line, which cost a little more, were solid and suitable for areas of my home where aesthetics was important. In comparison to other competitive products, the Intermatic products were priced a bit lower-sometimes significantly lower-than the “high-end” products, and to be honest, they look and work just as good.
  2. Quality – The Intermatic lines were also built well. The InTouch line was solid and good looking, while the HomeSettings line was a step down in terms of quality and aesthetics, it was still a good low cost alternative for secondary or out-of-sight installation.

So now what?

Intermatic is not the only producer of  Z-Wave products and as the article states, others will step in to fill the gap. In fact, Wayne-Dalton is showing signs of picking up the Intermatic lines and continuing development of the products. A search on Amazon shows some of the Intermatic products co-branded with Wayne Dalton while the Wayne Dalton Online Store shows items once offered by Intermatic now packaged and printed with the Wayne-Dalton logo.

The truth is that Wayne Dalton shared product lines with Intermatic and they developed a number of the Intermatic products.

“We shared our product lines until the middle of last year,” …  “We developed their USB sticks, keyfobs, conversion modules and wireless gateway. We shared development on two other products. We purchased their entire inventory of three-way switches to serve as an interim until we get our own out of UL.”
Yan Rodriguez, director of home controls for Wayne Dalton

Wayne Dalton to the rescue?

Given Yan Rodriguez’s statement, it appears that the stage has been set for Wayne  Dalton to pick up the Intermatic line and continue to produce and develop the products going forward. It sounds to me like they will continue to offer the remaining stock of Intermatic products until they get UL approval for their own products. Considering they have been developing the Intermatic USB stick, modules, keyfobs, etc, and sharing in development of “two other products”, it makes sence to me that they should pick up where Intermatic leaves off.

That’s my 2 cents. What do you think.

Plutohome, Asterisk and a X100P FXO Card

So I have been working on setting up a fully integrated home automation system available from If you are not aware, PlutoHome is home automation system available to the open source community with features to satisfy everyone from simple home controls, to advanced voip and media integration.

My latest venture into setting up a complete automation system is to integrate my voice network with the built-in Asterisk server installed with PlutoHome. The first step was to set up and configure two GrandStream Budget Tone 200 sip phones. Pluto’s plug and play detection picked up the phones as soon as I connected them to the network and installed the necessary software needed to work within the system. Some quick additional settings within each phone and I was able to make calls over my internal network from one phone to another.

The next step was to set up in and outbound calling from the PSTN.
I installed a X100P FXO card from and this is where the trouble started.

After installing the card into an available PCI slot, my PlutoHome system did not seem to detect it even after rebooting. I tried some of the common commands from a terminal window, but had no success.

The solution it turns out was to compile and install the Zaptel drivers available from Digium. For what ever reason, PlutoHome does not include (at least as far as I could see) full zaptel support.

After installing and configuring zaptel, I was able set up inbound and outbound calling over the PSTN from my PlutoHome system.

In a later post, I will describe the process I used to install the zaptel drivers.

LG will use ZigBee Wireless for LG HomNet system

LG has announced that they will adopt ZigBee technology to power their HomNet System. LG, one of the leading providers of home appliances and entertainment equipment/devices is lending some much needed support to the ZigBee technology at a time when it’s reliability is being questioned.
I will not hide the fact that I am a fan of Zwave for no other reasons than I really like the protocol and it just works coupled with the recent disclosure of an “independant” study stating that other wireless networks sharing the 2.4-GHz band (wireless home networks /WLAN, microwaves, cordless phones, garage door openers), cause ZigBee signals to decay, and in some cases, fail completely.

As far as the studies go, I cannot say if there was any bias involved or support from other competitors (read: z-wave alliance <wink> ), but if there is any truth to the statements, then I for one will be seeking real data to contradict the statements.

The whitepaper created from the study mentioned above.

Installing LinuxMCE 1.1 Beta 2 – The Good, The Bad, and The (mostly) Ugly!

I have been using PlutoHome as a home automation solution to control lighting, media (A/V), and my home phone network. LinuxMCE is a direct branch of PlutoHome originally ported to run on top of an Ubuntu Desktop. With the latest Beta of LinuxMCE, the desktop of choice is now Kubunu, the KDE version of Ubuntu. This change was made in order to overcome a limitation of Gnome’s X11 implementation that is not apparent in KDE.

To start things off, I downloaded 3 ISO files.

  1. Kubuntu install disk
  2. LinuxMCE Packages disk
  3. LinuxMCE Cache Disk

The LinuxMCE Packages and Cache disk are available as a single torrent file.

After downloading the ISO files, they were burned to CD using Nero.

Installing Kubuntu:
The first step to the actual install is make sure the target system is able to boot from a CD. This can be set by accessing the system BIOS, and setting the CDRom as the first boot device in the boot sequence. Refer to you Motherboard’s BIOS information for instructions on setting this up. Continue reading “Installing LinuxMCE 1.1 Beta 2 – The Good, The Bad, and The (mostly) Ugly!”