Customer building a house - best automation wiring before drywall

I totally agree with you. I setup most of their automation on HomeKit (via the Lutron hub). I have a service contract that goes with my installations so that will solve any issues they may have.

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I always put a neutral in every box.

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I am debating that or DSC motions from the alarm system.

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I just found out that DSC Powerseries (non NEO) is being discontinued. Does this through a wrench in to my plans. Should I be considering an ELK security system or should I buy up the security system now with spares?

Envisalink is going to have a real problem when inventory runs out?? Will it survive??

Any word on the future of the Honeywell Vista panels which also integrate with Envisalink? I have no idea what the market distribution is between the Honeywell Vista and DSC panels is, but losing a portion of the potential Envisalink market by losing the DSC Power Series panels cannot be a good thing for Envisalink. I hope they survive. Other than potential problems with hardware failures, I believe that the Envisalink/HE comms is telenet so for those of us with existing integrations hopefully even if DSC support for the Power Series evaporates, the integration with Hubitat will still work on the LAN as it is local? Perhaps someone with more knowledge on the integration can chime in with their thoughts on this.

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I know that it has already been mentioned, but I would really consider Konnected. I installed DSC when I built my house. It was not smart in the sense that everything was controlled by wired controllers (not pads) in the house. I added Envisalink to gain smart features. It seemed cumbersome with their UI. Then I removed the Envisalink and went with Konnected and Hubitat Dashboard Android on all of the Fire HD pads and android phones in my house. Sadly, no iPhone option for the dashboard app. But I have been extremely happy with this setup.

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Came back to share a few more comments… re speakers. Sonos / Alexa integration works just like an echo - also has google too if you choose. I think they are great for portable or open areas where hard wired just isn’t practical but in my theater area I went with In wall Klipsh - the mesh grills are real nice, magnetic and paintable. Sound is superb. Even in my family room I ran some prewired panels to the front and back of the room early on and never regretted it. I’m just using floor speakers there but I’ve upgraded several times over the years and always nice to have the wiring in place.

Also regarding POE and security - didn’t see cameras mentioned run POE to interior and exterior high-mounted locations would be a good idea.

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I would recommend looking into Ubiquiti for your local area networking needs. UDM Pro SE + You can use POE on the switches and Wifi6 APS etc.

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I agree with everyone - running Ethernet everywhere is the way to go.. at least 2 to where the TV's will be located. Also fun side note - you CAN run long HDMI runs ( > 30ft) just make sure you use optical cables. In fact I have a client for whom we ran a 200 ft HDMI cable from his cable box in his basement to his LG OLED TV in his den. Worked out great. Ethernet to HDMI adapters limit resolutions especially at longer distances and add additional power requirements.

I guess I am in the Cat 6a camp or maybe even consider Cat 8 if price is right for future proofing.. your network installers might hate you tho..

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Yes, a number of options out there for “smarting up” non-smart security systems.

In contrast to @Pantheon , I had both Envisalink and Konnected but went with Envisalink for the following reasons (this was 2 years ago in all fairness and things may have evolved with Konnected since then):

IIRC, Konnected needed to have a separate expansion module for each additional 6 zones other than the 6 or 12 zones included in the base module (and I am using 64 zones in my DSC panel) if you wanted to run your existing panel in parallel with the Konnected one. Konnected also had an option to completely replace your panel with their board which would negate the use of any existing hardwired physical keypads with a phone only interface. Also, each zone had to be wired into Konnected individually (that’s a lot of extra wiring to add into a already crowded panel, again, if you wanted to keep your existing system and just run Konnected in parallel with it), whereas with Envisalink, one module could handle all 64 zones and interfaced into the DSC panel with only 4 wires total (it wires in as just another expansion module in the 4-wire DSC buss kind of like any other DSC keypad or other DSC accessory/expansion module).

Admittedly, the UI on the Envisalink App looks like something from the 1980’s, but other than perhaps remote arming/disarming or to check zone status when using my iPhone away from home (which is very rare). I usually interface with my system using a Hubitat Dashboard, or arm (not dis-arm) with Alexa. Alexa also gives me the ability to query if a zone is open or not simply by asking (in addition to the HE Envisalink integration, Alexa also has an Envisalink Skill). IOW, the “ancient” look of the Envisaink UI on their native app is not much of an issue in my use case.

Also, at one point I was wondering whether Konnected would survive as they started to contact individuals who had purchased their system (I was of course one of them) to seek investors to raise capital for their company. I don’t know how this went but it did raise some flags in my mind. Of course, as history has shown us, any tech company can go belly up (I am somewhat concerned for Envisalink if they lose the DSC Power Series panel as a platform) so this is risk all of us take in committing to a system (thank goodness I missed the Wink and Smart Things fiascos, LOL).

Of course, everyone’s use case may vary, so YMMV and to each his/her own. I am definitely not trying to throw any shade on Konnected. Again, this info is based on my experience from 2 years ago when I was trying to smart up my pre-existing 18 year old DSC panel and things may have changed. As a matter of fact, Konnected now features a picture of the Hubitat hub on their website as a local, secured Konnected interface option in addition to their Cloud based phone app interface option.

Its just nice to have options (but to be aware of all the pros and cons of each of these options can get somewhat confusing, at least with my brain, LOL.

P.S. I have no affiliation with either Envisalink, DSC nor Konnected, other than having purchased each in the past.

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Glad to see this mentioned...I didn't think about this w/a recent remodel, and wish I had. Even w/the newer trimmer smart switches it still always feels too snug when installing them. There are deeper boxes, and also boxes w/a little "cubby" on one side that provides additional room for wires.

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They are doing monitoring and other things so Envisolink might survive. I will use their monitoring for future customers assuming I can get a reseller agreement.

The problem is that most people require an UL authorized alarm system for their insurance. I do love Konnected for retrofits when the alarm is not a factor. They should consider building a proper alarm system with the full approvals.

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If I do speakers I want the integration to be easily changeable so that they will work for technology 20 - 30 years from now.

I will definitely consider it. We need a mesh and a 10G ethernet network as well as a 1G POE network.

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I totally agree. Ethernet everywhere!!!!

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That was a great summary. I would agree with you on a DSC system with Envisalink seems to be the best option today. I will buy a ton of spare parts so that I can continue to use this platform for the next few years.

I totally agree with that. I have pushed some huge switches in small boxes....not fun.

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Agree - that’s why I was adding another vote for the traditional/wired speakers- they are about as technology agnostic as it gets

I was just saying there’s a place for sonos, I use the portable ones but I wouldn’t build an integration around it

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I really think Sonos is the way to go at least in my experience - certainly have in-ceiling / in-wall speakers so you can pick your poison there but use Sonos Amps on the backend. You can have 4 speakers per amp (2 per channel).. depending upon the ohm rating. The soundbars are great as well and of course can double as speakers.

On the downside the system definitely costs more for arguably marginal improvements in sound vs other stuff but the ease of use and ability for dynamic zones really make up for it. It's fun to be able to demonstrate piping TV sound around the house. Of course if your clients are audiophiles then it will probably be a no-go.

These speakers have an excellent price to quality ratio and have used them in several client installs:

Have also gone higher end and used Sonos's "architectural" speakers which are great but pricey - they use Sonance's stuff (also great/pricey).

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Download the Hubitat app