Automating My Home Part 3: Wiring, Wireless & Cameras

So we are now living in the new house.  It has been pretty intense, my wife is a great project manager, and has gotten us moved in, done a majority of the unpacking during the day while I work which has been huge.  She is heading back to work after summer break, so it was awesome to have the house mostly put together.

Temporary Wiring
 
        Previously I was hoping to come in and start pulling cable immediately.  Unfortunately my good intentions didn’t work out, between work, conferences, and life in general, I ended up with a temporary run of Cat 6.  I was able to pull a cable through my office on the 2nd floor and the attic, down the outside of the house, under the house, and up through an existing hole in the floor the previous owner had used to run coax cable.  That has solved some of my issues, but is temporary.
        When I return from VMworld, I plan to start cleaning up the coax run under the house, I will be doing a home run through the garage up to the office and terminating there for the cable modem.  I have found a number of exterior coax and Cat 3 runs which I am working to clean up, basically removing all of them, everything is going through the walls.
 
Wireless fun
 
        The wiring challenges have stemmed from trying to cover the house with wireless.  My biggest priority is to ensure a solid home media experience for my family which means having as many wired connections for my Apple TV’s as possible.  I have found I can get pretty good 2.4 Ghz wireless signal through the whole house with my Linksys WRT1900AC router, but I am finding the 5Ghz is a little weak.  I tried out a TP-Link wireless extender, but that introduced 3x latency on the network which was not acceptable for media streaming on the kids iPods and the Apple TV’s that I haven’t wired in yet.
        I am back to looking at the Ubiquiti, the closest wireless system I can find to an enterprise wireless system without going broke.  I do like the separation of the router from the access point that they provide.  It also gives me options for multiple DHCP and DNS zones.  I am still trying to document what devices I could split off to a new VLAN, but I am working on the justification to upgrade.
 
Cameras
 
        Our new neighbors had us over last night for dinner, and of course, they showed us their house.  It was fun, they have done some cool remodeling, and through the process contracted with alarm.com for security and cameras.  The system works great, but I am not really wanting to pay someone else to monitor my home just yet.  A little research revealed some great options for HD IP based security cameras.  Lorex, http://www.costco.com/Lorex-8-Channel-IP-NVR-with-2TB-HDD%2c-8-1080p-Cameras-with-130′-Night-Vision.product.100217003.html, makes a great system with 8 cameras and a 2 TB DVR with remote access.  For about $1,000 and a little cabling I should be able to have solid monitoring on the house.
        This is ironically a justification for my multiple VLAN home setup since the cameras will likely consume significant bandwidth.  I can isolate that traffic to prevent contention with my media servers.  Since the cameras are POE, and the DVR contains a POE switch, I should be able to put network drops at camera locations, and I won’t have to worry about power outlets at the camera location, or power injectors.
No major changes yet, but being in the house has helped me to do more planning, and move one step closer to implementing some of this.
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Automating My Home Part 3: Wiring, Wireless & Cameras

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