Nah nah nah nah ATTICMAN!!!

So yesterday and today I have some ATTIC People over fitting out a pull down ladder and some space in my roof. At this stage I have only opted for 10m2 of space, but there is heaps more room to expand later.  Here are some photos from yesterday when they were halfway through the job;

and here are some photos after they completed it.

Not too shabby and it has added a bit of storage up top, so hopefully now I can get both cars into the Garage. *Yay*

More Z-wave Kit

Ok, I have blogged about Z-wave a wee bit, but I haven’t actually posted any pics. I recently received some more Z-wave gear (in exchange for a Z-wave universal remote I sent back as it wouldn’t bloody pair with the USB Stick), the gear I received was 2 x In-Wall Appliances and 1 x Minimote.  It took a while to get the minimote to pair with the USB stick, but once I figured it out I can now use the minimote as an inclusion device.  This means that I can walk around to newly installed Z-Wave gear push the pair button on the device and the inclusion button on the remote and it will send all pairing information to the USB Stick, which LinuxMCE will then pick up and start off the wizard… It’s just that easy…

So no I have my minimote configured to add devices and to control certain lighting scenes in my house, at this stage it only handles the Kitchen light on one scene and the dining and lounge on another.  I am thinking that a few more minimotes might be worth while for different parts of the house and for different scenes, but we shall see…

The 2 x In-Wall appliance modules are to replace my Dimming modules as they seem to not work to well with the LED downlights have.  I believe this is due to the lead/trailing edge dimming. Search wikipedia if you want to know more about how dimming works. 😛

Here are some poor iphone quality photos!

Honey Spiced Ale

Well, it isn’t very Honey Spiced.. Infact I can not taste any spices in it!
Last time I made this brew, I put way too many cloves in it and the smell reminded me of fruit mince pies…..
I believe I may have used a little too much honey 1.5L for a 22L batch and not enough ginger etc. I chose to use fresh ginger in this particular brew, but it doesn’t seem to be as strong as powdered ginger….

I will let this age a little more and try it again in about 2 weeks.

Lemon Lime Pilsner

So the other day I tried my lemon lime pilsner, unfortunately it is so citrusy that I get epic head…. So it took a while to pour. As I sit here sipping back a pint of it, I thought I would tell the internet all about it. Well internet here it is, it is rather citrusy… That is all! 😛

You can really taste the lemon and lime, probably a little too much that it actually removes the beer like taste! I put way to much in, but the problem I have is that I can’t really gauge how juicy/flavoursome my lemon and limes are… As I take another sip, I am also having trouble detecting any of the SAAZ hops I used for flavour and aroma. Ohh well it is still a very refreshing drop especially if you have been working in the garden on a 40 degree day… Much like today!!!

Please excuse the lame iPhone pic 😛

Today Tonight Interview

So the other night the interview I did with Today Tonight aired. I thought I would just put it up here to share with everyone else.

A little corny but was still good fun!

Z-wave partial install

Ok, so just a quick update with my Z-Wave installation.  I currently have 2 x In-wall appliances and 2 x In-wall dimmers installed. I also have 1 x Dimmer and 1 x Appliance (external devices).  The in-walls have been installed in the Home Theatre (Dimmer), Kitchen (Dimmer), Lounge (on/off) and Dining (on/off).  The on/off appliance modules work flawlessly however the dimmers do not.  They randomly flicker and seem to turn off after a short period of time if they are dimmed.  If you are lucky and they don’t flicker when turning them on, if you get them to full power they stay on.  I am using the Crompton KLED12A XL-LED. The reason that these are not functioning properly could be to do with the way the transformers for the downlights handle the dimming (yes they are dimmable trannies). From what I have read (and I could be wrong. NO I am probably wrong here :P) the  KLED12A requires trailing edge dimming (where the trailing part of the wave form is cut rather than the leading) but I believe the aeon-labs ( in-wall dimmers dim on the trailing edge.

I have logged a ticket with to see if they experience this problem with dimmable LEDs but have yet to get a response. If anyone out there knows why I would love to hear from you.

I have also returned my Z-wave remote (weeks ago), But I nor have I had a response about this or a replacement sent out….

Well that’s my rant for tonight, when the downlights go all crazy I will be sure to take a vid of it.

I has Kegz!

Last weekend I went over to some dudes house who just recently built a neat looking homebrew rig, details can be found here;

He has enspired me to get off my butt and start building mine.  I managed to source 3 kegs of similar size from a scrap metal yard. Here is a pic of them jammed into my car 😛

As soon as I got them I headed straight to a mates work, where he proceeded to violate them with a big big mill.

Next step is to measure where the holes for all my connectors need to go, drill then weld and test for leaks.  Given this is a costly exercise I have decided to do one vessel at a time. So far I have purchased a few SS 316 bits from various places, I have also got myself a die grinder and a heap of scotchbrite pads so that I can clean the kegs up (inside and out).  I will post some more pics when I start drilling into the suckers.

Cheap IP Camera where art thou?

Why is it so hard to find a cheap IP Camera that has all the features you want….
It isn’t a problem to find one that has good resolution and is vandal proof, but 99.9% of all cheap cameras require ActiveX…. WHY DAMMIT WHY!?!?!?!

That said I have found a camera (that is cheap and nasty) it does require ActiveX however has an extra URL for “mobile devices” this thankfully has let me integrate it with Linuxmce, there is no PTZ functionality with this particular Camera, but it is enough to let me have a play with it.

Next I will look at purchasing a better quality camera to have a play with, either an Axis or a Mobotix (if I can find one that is good value) 😛

Home Theatre… in progress…

So about a month back i got some of my holidays paid out. I was going to use this to do the paving around my house but unfortunately I went and visited a friend of mine who works at West Coast Hifi and ended up walking out with an Epson EH-TW3500…. WHOOPS! Oh well no matter the very first room of my house was reserved for a Home Theatre so it was time to now set this puppy up! In went the projector but I need some better front speakers (my surround speakers are still very good so I kept them). I went back and saw my mate again and purchased a set of ATS-5s . These are sensational speakers and compliment the rest of my set up nicely… The next on my list was the purchase of a new Receiver however the one I want wasn’t released in AUS until just last week. (Pioneer VSX-LX53)

After setting all this up another friend graciously lent me his old Onkyo, it suffered from heat issues causing the HDMI to cut out intermittently but it helped me in setting up the layout of my speakers and to test drive it with a couple of blu-ray movies. *yay*  Then a couple of days ago I get a call from my mate saying that the LX53’s are now available so naturally I bought one. I was apparently the first person in Perth to get one.  That is it was the first unit sold by Pioneer Australia.

After spending all weekend setting this up I ran into a few problems with HDMI out over Cat6 Baluns.  Firstly I am using Baluns that do not require power, they worked fine connected directly to say my PS3 or laptop and they worked fine connected to the Onkyo until it started suffering from heat exhaustion.  I just couldn’t understand why….
So I took another trip to West Coast Hifi, grabbed a set of powered Baluns (the really annoying thing about these is that they require power on the projector side). Anyway I plugged it in and still no joy.  I am assuming the problem is related to some handshaking between the projector and the Receiver.  Given that this didn’t work I had another friend pop over with a HDMI 2-way splitter. This also requires power but on the receiver (oputput) side.  So we replaced the powered Baluns with my original ones, plugged in the splitter and voila we have HDMI outputting correctly!! With this in mind we headed down to Jaycar and picked up a HDMI repeater/extender to see if this would work.  But unfortunately it did not.  So currently I am borrowing the 2-way splitter and it has been working fine.  Doing a bit of research and there are powered Cat6 Baluns that take power on the output side so I am interested in trying some of these. (Jaycar sell em) but at $110 a pop I don’t really want to be throwing money at a solution that may not work.  Sure I could keep the 2-way splitter in but I would prefer to have something smaller/more concealable.

Anyways the Home Theatre is progressing nicely, all that is left is to get a HTPC, connect the projector and Receiver up via serial and write some GSD for Linuxmce to control them.  Once this is done I will install some motorised draps and some Z-wave lighting and the Home Theatre room will be fully automated. 😛

Here are some pics taken of the setup thus far.  Please excuse the quality as they were taking rather quickly and with the iPhone….

Z-wave in Australia!

Z-wave is finally in Australia! A couple of weeks ago, my pre-order of some Z-Wave kit finally arrived. After a quick test of the external appliance modules I can safely say the response is 1000x faster than that of X10! Whats more when I paired the devices up with the Z-Wave USB stick and whacked it into my LinuxMCE core up popped the pnp wizard I answered a few questions as to where the devices lived in my house and then it just worked! Mad props to the guys who wrote the Z-wave implementation with LinuxMCE. Out of all the stuff I have played with this is by far the best integrated (IMO) with LinuxMCE.

Once I have a bit more cash I will be purchasing some more but at just under $100 a module it can get a little pricey!

I will post some pics soon of the Modules and a vid of its operation in LinuxMCE.

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