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 Quadriplegic man with questions! 
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Joined: Sep 03, 2011
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Post Quadriplegic man with questions!
Hi there, I'm hoping that this forum can help answer some questions so that I can get a home automation system set up as soon as is humanly possible.

I've decided to use the Indigo software to control my environment, I already have a system provided by the hospital but it's based on infrared technology, it isn't AppleScript friendly and is ugly as all hell; time for a change me thinks!

So, I'm starting off with the Indigo software running either on my laptop or the Mac Mini in the back bedroom as the server, and just having the client running on my machine; whichever way round I do it, every function needs to be controllable from my laptop.

So if I have the Indigo software running on my laptop, a INSTEON RF USB Adapter plugged into one of the USB ports, and something plugged into the plug socket that the lamp or fan uses; is that all I need?

Because of my quadriplegia the system needs to be fairly robust, able to control consumer appliances such as lights and fans, be able to open the front door with an intercom entry system, and above all I need to be able to control everything myself without asking for able-bodied help.

But for now I want a simple system that can be controlled from my MacBook Pro, and can control one or two lights or fans and hopefully give me a starting point to build a bigger system as time (and funds) progresses.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated, I need freeing from the frankly crap advice that I've been getting from the Assistive Technology department!


Sun Sep 04, 2011 4:35 am
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
What range of motion do you have in terms of being able to manipulate devices? An Indigo server can be accessed throgh WIFI by a graphical client loaded on an Ipod Touch or IPad to operate anything that Insteon can handle, which includes door strikes, drapes, lights, appliances, and a host of other devices.


Sun Sep 04, 2011 12:00 pm
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
Indigo can do what you need and more.

You might want to get in contact with GoBecky (another quadriplegic Indigo user) and see what her experience with Indigo and home automation has been. She posted this thread some time ago: http://www.perceptiveautomation.com/userforum/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=6527&p=39186&hilit=quadriplegic#p39186

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 6:10 am
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
johnpolasek wrote:What range of motion do you have in terms of being able to manipulate devices? An Indigo server can be accessed throgh WIFI by a graphical client loaded on an Ipod Touch or IPad to operate anything that Insteon can handle, which includes door strikes, drapes, lights, appliances, and a host of other devices.


I have control of my head and slight control of one finger, so I'm limited to switches really. Using an iPod Touch or an iPod would be too far outside my physical ability for me to be able to use uncomfortably, which is why I'm sticking to my laptop; which is something I can use easily.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:24 am
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
Thanks Matt, I'll go and check out that thread now.


Tue Sep 06, 2011 9:26 am
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
So do I have this right, if I have INSTEON RF USB Adapter connected to the USB port on my computer, then I have my light (which is in the same room as me) plugged into this plug-in module; I'd be able to turn the light on and off using the Indigo software? Or am I missing something really obvious?!

Also, if I want to start controlling the intercom at the front door or the light in the living room what else would I need to build upon this system?

Unfortunately Insteon doesn't seem to be readily available in the UK, but as far as I understand it the Insteon controllers and hardware should be able to interact with the X10 hardware, Which is readily available in the UK.

Thanks again for all your help!


Tue Sep 06, 2011 10:30 am
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
panrubius wrote:So do I have this right, if I have INSTEON RF USB Adapter connected to the USB port on my computer, then I have my light (which is in the same room as me) plugged into this plug-in module; I'd be able to turn the light on and off using the Indigo software? Or am I missing something really obvious?!


The INSTEON RF adaptor is North American only (given that INSTEON is North America only) and it doesn't do X10 at all. There is no INSTEON device support outside of North America (yet).

As far as I know, there isn't an X10 RF-only dongle interface - you'll need a Mac that's connected permanently (via a USB cable) to one of the X10 interfaces that plugs into the wall, so unfortunately I think you're going to have to have another Mac that acts as your server. Then you'd use your MacBook as the client for actual control.

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 12:03 pm
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
jay wrote:As far as I know, there isn't an X10 RF-only dongle interface - you'll need a Mac that's connected permanently (via a USB cable) to one of the X10 interfaces that plugs into the wall, so unfortunately I think you're going to have to have another Mac that acts as your server. Then you'd use your MacBook as the client for actual control.


Jay what about the firecracker?

http://www.x10.com/products/firecracker ... _br1ab.htm

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:53 pm
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
Didn't know about that one. We don't support it. Would be pretty ungainly since you'd need to hang a serial to USB converter between it and your Mac.

This interface can control up to 16 sets of lights and appliances and can control all 16 X10 House Codes.


Sounds pretty limited in any event (unless their description is very poorly worded, which is possible). Also not sure if that's available in Europe (the RF frequency in Europe is different).

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Tue Sep 06, 2011 4:54 pm
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
Okay, having something plugged into my computer in the other room acting as a server is no big deal, would I have full control of the Indigo software if I'm using it from a client?

So if I have this CM15 Computer Interface plugged into my Mac Mini in the back bedroom via a USB, and then have something plugged into the lamp socket in this room, I'd be able to control everything from my MacBook Pro? Obviously the Mac mini will be running the Indigo software, and as the CM 15 plug-in to the wall socket as well as the Mac?

I've been thinking about getting this Starter Pack, would this one pack contain everything I need to get up and running?

Thanks again for all your help!


Wed Sep 07, 2011 4:39 am
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
panrubius wrote:Okay, having something plugged into my computer in the other room acting as a server is no big deal, would I have full control of the Indigo software if I'm using it from a client?

Yes, the Indigo client gives you full control even from a remote Mac.

panrubius wrote:So if I have this CM15 Computer Interface plugged into my Mac Mini in the back bedroom via a USB, and then have something plugged into the lamp socket in this room, I'd be able to control everything from my MacBook Pro? Obviously the Mac mini will be running the Indigo software, and as the CM 15 plug-in to the wall socket as well as the Mac?

Yes, the Indigo Server Mac has the CM15 connected, then via the Indigo Client you access the server and can configure logic/schedules, and control devices.

panrubius wrote:I've been thinking about getting this Starter Pack, would this one pack contain everything I need to get up and running?

Ultimately, I think you will probably want the pro version of Indigo, so you can use scripting for more complex logic. The Lite version is also limited to 20 devices. Note that IntelliHome is selling Indigo v4 registration codes and not v5. But if you purchase from them just email us once you have your code and we'll give you a complimentary upgrade to v5. Or you can purchase from FastSpring.com (via the International Buy Now buttons) to get a v5 code directly.

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:44 pm
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
Jay also just reminded me that another limitation of Lite is that it doesn't allow remote client/server connectivity. So you'll definitely want the Pro version.

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Sat Sep 10, 2011 6:49 pm
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Post Re: Quadriplegic man with questions!
Hello Guys,

Don't you just love it when real-life, medication changes in large amounts of opiates interfere with your online life?!

First off, thank you Matt, that is an incredibly nice gesture and I will almost certainly be taking up on it in the next little while or so.

I think I understand what needs doing now, it looks like I'm going to be able to replace my hospital provided environmental controls, for about half the price and the kind of functionality that means I should be able to control pretty much everything in my house.

*is totally drunk on power!!!*

Once again thanks for all your help guys, I'm sure I will be back with more questions as my automation sensation rolls along :-)


Tue Sep 27, 2011 8:00 am
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