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The Hardware Arrives

Reader's Voice: An Introduction To Home Automation

At long last, the box of parts arrives.

Here is everything, unpacked and out on display:

Clockwise from the bottom right, we have a dimmer switch, a plug-in lamp controller, a motion detector, the table-top controller, the Smartlinc controller, the EZIO input/output controller, and an access point.

The starter light kit I ordered came with two dimmer switches, two access points, and the table-top controller. That kit is enough to get your feet wet with HA, but I wanted to experiment a bit more with the I/O controller and the motion detector, plus I wanted to be able to control the system from my iPhone. I also wanted to have a movable plug-in controller. The access points are used to tie the system together by bridging the wireless and wired signals, and bridging the electrical phases in your home. Another good use for them is to “jump” over electrical sinks like GFI circuits that have a tendency to absorb the transmitted signals.

The easiest kit to get started with comes with a wireless remote control, two access points, and two plug-in lamp controllers. With this, you won't have to do any of the difficult wiring. Of course, I was never one to go the easy route. So lets get to the fun part!

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