Was offered an entire control4 setup

Hey guys, This guy is will to sell me a TON of control 4 hardware. Should i go check it out. Anything that will work with OpenHab?

Here is the link. Let me know what you think.

PS he offered it to me for half that cost.

Here is what i made out with. Come on guys let me know what you think
Make Model Qty
Denon AVR-1708 1
Elan/Zpower a01-7420003 1
Control4 HC-500 1
Control4 C4-8AMP1-B 1
Control4 c4-16AMP3-B 2
Control4 C4-16S2-E-B 1
Control4 C4-HC200-E-B 9
? Just ADD Power 2G 18
Just ADD Power 2G Enhanced 1
AXIS 241Q 3
ELAN MOD 4000 1
LUXUL XMS-1024 1
PANAMAX M5400-PM 1
Control4 HC 250-BL 2
CISCO SG300-52 1
Control4 HC800-BL 1
Control4 AVG-RAA1-B 2
Technical Pro PS-B9 3
Control4 C4-TW7CO BL 1

I think this topic is useless. For starters it doesn’t relate to openhab. Second thing that bothers me is the “MUST SEE” part of the title. I don’t know what you are trying to achieve.

Search the forum for the technologies listed. There is a Denon binding.

Control4 is kind of down in DIY home automation but search the forum and you will find some links to third party stuff that you might be able to use.

I’ve never heard of the rest. You’ll have to research each to see what, if anything, is available to integrate with oh.

It’s a spam thread and should be deleted. Trebt registered on the 4th December and has no other posts…

Edit:maybe not. He’s one other. (puts less aggressive spam hat on :laughing:)

@Crispin, @gitMiguel, I do not think this is speak at all. He hasn’t selling this stuff, someone else sold it to him and his part is asking how/whether it will work with openHAB.

Exactly, this is not spam. I bought all that and even more. Also got a box of ardiuno parts. And was just hoping for some friendly input. The HD over IP devices are definitely cool. The enhanced HD over IP also sends a USB. Seems like it would be great for a touchscreen control.

Thanks for the Denon bonding suggestion.

Grab a cold beverage and pull up a chair. :wink:

The answer to your questions (and pretty much all questions about technology) revolve around how free / libre / open the platform / technology / devices in question are. Which I think is a tangential question to openHAB (or any F/LOSS technology) but a very relevant one, not only as regards our hobbies and tech, but increasingly, socially and politically (once you spend time thinking about further implications). But I will try to stay on topic.

To my understanding, control4 is a pretty famously locked down technology. Besides, it is very expensive, way out of my price range. Those two factors have prevented me from spending any time investigating it further. You may have circumvented the latter (cost), but possibly not the former (freedom), which will potentially dramatically curtail it’s usefulness for you.

My anecdotal is: I have a (pretty wealthy at the time, now not as much so) buddy who had his whole house full of the stuff. He said he had to call the company who installed it every time he wanted to change something. Now he is not a dumb guy, so I don’t know if this was because it was locked down or what. </anecdotal.> And I don’t know the manner in which it is locked down (if at all) because I haven’t looked into it, for reasons stated above.

Now this may end up being a sunk cost for you (we all live and learn), but it is also an opportunity to analyze the underlying reasons why this happened, so we don’t make the same mistakes next time.

So in general I will state, that at the end of the day, the freedom aspect is much more important than the price. I am much more willing to pay a premium for free as in freedom hardware than I am for locked down stuff. In fact, at this point I absolutely refuse to purchase locked down stuff, because that is one of the few ways we have to influence anything, by voting with our feet / dollars. So now I not only exclusively purchase hardware which is well supported in GNU/Linux (and/or is pretty open and hackable in general), I make a point of trying to urge others to do the same (as I am doing in this post). Again, to me the cost is much less important than how open (free as in freedom) the platform is.

Therefore, when I discover something new, the first thing I usually do is to do a quick search for a couple things, depending on what sort of device it is:

  • GNU/Linux (especially driver) support
  • open bootloader / firmware (for embedded device or microcontroller)
  • current state of F/LOSS libraries and/or reverse engineering effort (if there is enough interest, eventually it may become reality, unless the company/tech are really jerks and have decided to totally lock down the platform) which leads to
  • general reputation of mfr. as regards above, their track record, willingness to engage in walled garden business strategies, etc.

A good example of this was my recent discovery of the Stream Deck, upon which the very first thing I did was to investigate the above issues, and then, only upon receiving positive confirmation, make a post sharing my findings (because I also do not personally believe in promoting non-free options, devices, etc…).

In my heavily considered opinion, when you start looking at things through the lens of free as in freedom instead of free as in price, everything starts to become clear. IMO, that is the only way that we can Have Nice Things™. :wink:

Don’t forget to share your findings, the results of your investigations and/or hacking efforts, as we are all standing on the shoulders of giants here. That is the other key part of insuring that we can all Have Nice Things™ going forward. :wink:

I had a Control 4 system - but it is pretty much locked down and I had to (try) and get the Dealer to change it every time it needed an update. The remote handsets were pretty neat, but beyond that it was just too difficult (and expensive) to integrate with anything else. The local dealer was also pretty unresponsive which was a big issue. Eventually I gave up, ripped out the C4 units (and then found they dealer hadn’t labelled ANY of the wiring: no wonder they had difficulty with updates!) and eventually settled on OpenHab. I try not to dwell on what the C4 units cost :cry:, although I did get some cash selling them on second-hand to C4 dealers. Now I pretty much have the control and flexibility I want - and when I do have issues I can fix them… I also have access to a good online community for support.
So I’d reckon it’ll be a long struggle to integrate Control4 with openhab (I never managed it…) but if you have a friendly dealer they may be able to give you some pointers in how to decode the protocols. That said some of the non-control 4 kit might be useful… sorry not to bring better news from my experience.

yes my plan is just sell 90% of for cheap on eBay. im sure people need cheap replacement devices.

I still made out with a lot of useful gear.

Hi guys, i’m new here and looking forward to exploring this tech more and hopefully can find the answers i’m looking for. i currently own a home full of Control4 stuff (entire house is automated with it, lights, TV’s, sound zones, etc.) The system was awesome when new and for at least the first couple years, as it ages it gets worse and the only way to fix/improve performance is to spend more $$ with a control4 dealer.

i’m looking for way to at least use the control4 light switches and multi button switches since they are thru out my house and would require $$ to replace and go with a different setup. my understanding is the switches are zigbee comm’s so hoping this can be done.

my initial thought was to find a gateway to talk zigbee to profinet so i could integrate them with a Siemens PLC (i do industrial automation for living) so the PLC route is natural for me.

Sooo has anyone had any luck with controlling any control4 switches? any help/insight would be greatly appreciated.

-Brian

Welcome to the forums, Brian.

A very brief Internet search for “hacking control4” turned up an interesting Reddit thread alluding to the existence of some software hack that might be helpful to you, as well as some other discussions on various fora.

That is the path I would take, but you are going to be on your own, much more so than doing something for example in openHAB. At least with OpenHAB (and other similar Free (as in Freedom) alternatives) you have the benefit of a community to draw upon, help each other out, etc. But when companies like Control4 base their entire business model on locking down their devices, they are killing off even the potential for any sort of community to develop (outside of Stockholm syndrome type commisserating, as can be read on their forums).

And it is because of such behaviour on their part, that I (and many others involved in F/LOSS) would not even urinate on them if they were on fire. Because their obnoxious, dinosaur business model is selfish, anti-social, and anti-ethical to the sort of cozy, mutually beneficial, polite sharing community that we have managed to create here.

The only good that can come out of it, would be for you to share whatever you are able to learn, so that the next poor sap coming along might be a little less bad off than you are now.

Good luck! :smile:

Hi TRS-80,

thanks for the reply, Control4 has some cool switches (in my opinion) and since i already have them seems like the way to go. i was hoping that i could use OpenHAB and a usb zigbee controller to control them at least as a start and possibly the amplifier as well.

But from your post i gather you don’t feel that OpenHAB is the correct choice? i also figured, if i got it to work there would be several interested people, but who knows it’s always a crap shoot i guess.

thanks!

I’m not sure how you got that out of what I said.

EDIT:
I just read my post again. Any vitriol I expressed was solely toward companies like Control4 with proprietary business models, and not you personally, nor the task at hand. If anything, I empathize with you, which is why I responded in the first place. Justified anger at the guilty parties aside, from a practical perspective, I just think you are going to have a difficult time.

Also, I think our definitions of “cool” may be different. :wink: :smile:
/EDIT

Your choice of controller is by far the least important issue. OpenHAB is wonderful, well developed and supported software, largely as a result of it’s intentionally open design.

Control4 on the other hand, is the complete opposite. They are doing everything they can to prevent you from doing what you want with the hardware that you think you own. Because really, they own it. Such is the nature of all closed source, proprietary software. If you are unfamiliar with this very important difference, you may want to familiarize yourself with these concepts at the “Free Software” link I posted, above.

I would expect that you are going to have quite a difficult time even finding any useful Information on the Internet, much less actually being successful in getting your existing Control4 hardware to talk to anything else or do what you want (without having to pay your local Control4 dealer/contractor a lot of money for the privilege). So that is where I would concentrate my effort at first, if I were you. Then, if you can even talk to the Control4 stuff at all (which I am not even sure you can), only then would I start to worry about linking it together with other things.

Is that more clear?

Perhaps you are new to home automation and/or hacking things in general? I try not to presume too much, but often it can be helpful in fully understanding the issue at hand.

lol no worries i appreciate the responses. my back ground is industrial automation (factories, elevators, large machines, i even automated the worlds largest flag pole. lol) so i’m not new to automation but probably a 3 at hacking on a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being an expert).

when i built my house i had planned on doing a PLC based system but got caught up in a big project at work and was unable to do so and keep the house build on time, so Control4 was chosen based on what i had seen at a parade of homes. it shows really nice but as you’ve pointed out and as i’ve learned the hard way, it’s not cheap and its difficult to build upon.