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I have been looking for a whole house audio solution for my home since moving in two and a half months ago and I finally pulled the trigger today. I ended up buying a new Nuvo Grand Concerto along with a separate NV-D2120 Digital Power Amplifier. The Grand Concerto features 8 zones and 6 sources along with 6 OLED displays for in-wall control (see picture to right). Each of the displays can show up to 8 lines of text so that you can see the current song playing along with the artist and album. Source number 6 can optionally be used as a paging zone that I plan to use with my text-to-speech from the main controller. You can preset paging volumes in each zone so that the current volume level for music is not used for the TTS output. This is very handy when I have the music up loud and the house needs to say something without blowing my eardrums up in the process. There is also a feature where you can send text to be displayed on the keypads in specific rooms. I plan on using this to show the last TTS message for 30 seconds in each room that the main controller speaks in. I will also be writing an iTunes interface that will interface the keyspads directly and show the current song playing in iTunes along with full play/stop/next/previous control if that source is selected. Nuvo offers a similar device called the MusicPort that offers the same exact functionality with interfacing Nuvo Grand to iTunes, but in my opinion it is way overpriced. Once I get everything installed I will get a writeup of my configuration and how I'm using all of it's features. Hopefully it will meet all my expectations as I am certainly excited about adding it to my setup!
I finished the writeup about my bed occupancy sensor that detects when someone is on the master bedroom bed. I have also deployed a test node that will control all the infrared devices in my family room (TV, Apple TV, dvd player, Mac Mini, etc) using zoned IR and also act as a IR receiver. It even detects the power status of my TV and reports it back to the main controller. As soon as I get the design completely tested I'll post the writeup describing it's full features. So far it is working great and I can't believe how long I've gone without IR control!
I finally got around to playing with my new PIC16 microcontrollers and for my first project I made something that I have been wanting for a VERY long time. I have been thinking of ways to detect when someone is laying on the master bedroom bed so that I can have the main controller do different things. I finally figured out a way to use a flex sensor and the microcontroller to not only detect when someone is in the bed, but how many people are in the bed as well! So far it is working out great and has completely revamped my lighting system in the house. I plan on doing a full write up as soon as I can get the thing off my bread board and soldered to a PCB board. I also need to do a write up on my new lighting system since it has changed so dramatically (for the better!!). Anyway, I'll update as soon as I can.
UPDATE: Read about the bed occupancy sensor here.
I just added a page on the new wiring closet I have been installing over the past two months. It doesn't have much in it yet, but you can get a basic idea of what I will be doing with it. I didn't take any pictures of my two post rack since that is also very much a work-in-progress.
I'm also in the process of revamping my audio system. I've decided to install 24 (12 pairs) of in-wall or in-ceiling speakers throughout the house. It will take some time but I will try and update as I go along.
On a new note I have ordered some PIC16 microcontrollers that I'm going to use to try and create some custom devices that communicate over an RS-485 network. It's something that I've wanted to do for a long time, but I was always very hesitant to try since I have absolutely no knowledge on digital circuits. I figure it will be a fun project to learn when I get some free time.
I've been in the new house for almost two months and I'm just now getting around to updating the website. I've already completed a bunch of projects that I will be outlineing over the next few weeks. Also, I've gotten a LOT of emails regarding my MisterHouse iPhone interface asking me to release my code. I definetly plan on posting it, but everything is such as mess right now with the transition. I'll get to it as soon as I can though, so check back.
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