Homevision Home Control System


My previous home control system was an HCSII which was originally designed by the folks at Circuit Cellar and is now an open source project.  Although this worked well, when we moved in 1998 and built a new house, I decided I wanted to go in a different direction.  After quite a bit of research, I decided to go with a Homevision Controller manufactured by Custom Solutions, Inc.  The system had an amazing range of features, a strong and very active community of users, and a designer who offered outstanding service and support.  I have never been disappointed with my choice and still am amazed at the expansion capabilities offered.

I started off by researching what I might want to do and then began running wires.  Between myself and my two sons, we ran almost 7000' of wire in the new house.  We ran a minimum of 2 - CAT5 cables, 2 - RG6 coax, 4 conductor speaker wire, and twisted pair to every room in the house.  Some rooms, like the den, family room, master bedroom, and sewing room, we ran even more cables - wire is cheap (or was then) and it's easier to run in bare walls than after wall board is hung.  All of the wires were run to a central point in the basement where I hung 6' X 8' of 1/2" plywood and began installing equipment.  Read on for a detailed description of the current components as well as some of the things the system does and future plans.

Main Control Center

Below is a picture of the main control center.  As you mouse over an area, you can see a short description of the main components and clicking on a component will bring up a more detailed picture of that area.  Below the image is more detailed list of the components identified by the letters on the image.

UPS and Video DistributionTelephone and Ethernet PunchdownCamera Video SwitcherPower Supplies, W800RF32A, Winamp RelayRS485 to RS232 ConverterEthernet Switches4 Port Usb to RS232Power Supply & DistributionTerminal StripsSpeaker Switch and ReceiverSecurity SystemHomevision & Multi Function Expansion BoardActiontec Router, POTS Splitter, Punchdown BlockHomevision Relay Boards

Identifier Item Notes
A Homevision Controller This is the main controller
B Wiznet  WIZ110SR Ethernet to serial converter to connect Homevision controller to PC
C Homevision Multifunction Expansion Board Adds 8 A to D ports,  24 additional inputs, zoned IR,  and a digital temperature sensor interface
D HVRelay Board This is a home built board with 8 relay outputs
E Terminal strips Various types
F Assorted Elk Relays I use 2 types - ELK-912 and ELK-924 depending on the application
G Radio Shack 22-504 power supply and distribution 13.8 VDC - 3 AMP regulated supply and Winford TTA3510 distribution blocks
H Telephone and Ethernet distribution blocks MilesTek components no longer available
I Actiontec MI424WR Verizon FIOS Router Ethernet distribution
J Hexin RS232 to RS485 Conveter
Used to control Ninja Pan and Tilt Bases
K 12 Port Ethernet Patch Panel Generic
L Linksys EZXS88W, EZXS55W, & Dynex DX-ESW5 Switches Ethernet distribution
M UPS for routers and switches The routers and switches tend to latch up when I experience momentary power glitches
N Channel Plus Model 3425 Video distribution and amplifier
O Junction Box
Camera power and video connections
P National Control Devices ASELPRO Video Switch 16 Input X 2 Output video switch
Q Assorted power supplies Video switch and 2 Epods interfaces
R WGL & Associates W800RF32A All house code X-10 RF receiver
S Audio relay Switches PC sound card output between local speakers and input to whole house sound system
T Home Automation Control System AB8SS 2 Input X 8 Output speaker switch can be controlled by serial, X-10, or IR
U Sony STR-AV1070 Receiver
Provides whole house audio
V Woods Industries Model 7020 stereo volume control Also used for control of local speakers
W DSC Power 832 Security System Fire and burglar security
X 2.4 GHZ Pentium Computer Windows XP PRO (SP3) operating system
Y USBGEAR USB-4COM 4 port serial adapter Communications to various peripherals
Z Buffalo LinkSation Pro LS-320GL NAS 320 GB Network attached server

Additional Hardware

Besides the equipment located at the control center, there are many more items located throughout the house.  Here are many of them in no particular order.


Well all that hardware is great but, without software, it would be nothing more than a pile of electronics.  Software is a key piece and fortunately there's some great software available.

Future Additions

Systems like this are never truly complete.  There's always something more to add so here's a short list of some of the things I'd still like to do:
Well, that's it for now.  Thanks for looking and feel free to contact me if you have any questions, ideas, or comments.

Main Controller and ExpansionTelephone and Ethernet Distribution BlocksPower Supply and Distribution, Relays, TBsRouter and POTS SplitterSecurity SystemSpeaker SwitchVideo Distribution and ModulatorEthernet Switches and Patch PanelUPS for Router and SwitchesVideo Switcher and Epods PowerW800RF32AHome Control Computer