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About MrMagic

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  1. MrMagic

    SIPS Garden Office for 3k?

    Something like that..!
  2. MrMagic

    SIPS Garden Office for 3k?

    Our good friends at Wagner have also been along and worked their magic on the roof...
  3. MrMagic

    SIPS Garden Office for 3k?

    @Patrick - apologies I don't check in here too often! Rough costs - probably around £2000 all in Structural timber - £20 - I found a local bungalow that was being 'scalped' for a loft conversion and just took all the timber from it. Great, slow grown, straight old timber. Doubled up a few for floor structure strength OSB -~£200 - 18mm OSB to roof, 11mm OSB on all external faces, 9mm OSB internal wall lining, 18mm OSB floor Windows / doors - £500 - New, found on eBay Roof - £200 - EPDM - kit brought online included upvc trims Insulation - £200 - Celotex to roof and floor, 100mm rockwool in walls and then 'spacetherm' blanket Heat pump/air con - £500 - eBay Footings - £200 - Hand dug, approx 1.5ft deep x 1ft wide 'ring' beam, 1 course of concrete blocks laid on side, 1 course of bricks that you see above the grass Cladding - £200 - Rough sawn 'gravel boards' from local timber yard, breather membrane and battens behind The ethos was to keep it good but cheap, use off the shelf items from builders yards etc. I didn't take many pictures whilst we were building it, heres the few I can was built as 4 wall frames which I bolted together then added a roof and a floor to. The floor joists rest on the concrete blocks with some DPM and treated with creasote (the proper stuff, not the replacement rubbish) Obligatory hole in ground... Foundations... Blurry people doing things with power tools... Nearly there...
  4. @Onoff top marks! Thanks for taking the time to write up that super detailed reply.
  5. Howdy folks - Looking for some advice on how to finish the front edge of a shower recess. Done a load of googling but no one seems to tell you exactly what trim shape to use to make these things or they are US results where they just use stone. Basically I've got some usual, white tiles with unfinished edges on them so some form of trim needs to go round the front edge so they aren't exposed. I'm sure this is one of those things that once someone explains it'll make perfect sense. Any help (and ideally a diagram) would be much appreciated!!
  6. MrMagic

    Composite Decking Materials

    Heres my finished set of gates with decking infill... really happy with the result
  7. MrMagic

    POE lighting

    This website seems to show the system a little better (or an earlier version) - From what I can see each downlight would have it's own network cable back to a PoE enabled network switch, your total power would then be limited by the capabilities of the PoE switch. With corporate gear you can push the full 25 watts per port (i.e. per downlight) - home equipment tends to have the total PoE capacity shared between a few ports so you may only be able to put a few downlights on each network switch. It's certainly an interesting concept, I've seen it done in datacenters before, saves having to run in any lighting circuits and you've got oodles of catX cabling handy. I expect it's pricey tho - a quick google shows list price of £200 approx per downlight!!
  8. MrMagic

    Remote internet control of TV and such.

    The Harmony works alright with voice but you do have to phrase things perfectly for it to work... "Hey Google, Turn on the kitchen TV" "Hey Google, watch BBC ONE on the kitchen TV" (provided you have it set up as a favourite in Harmony) "Hey Google, change the channel to one-zero-one on the kitchen TV" My wife always says 'television' instead of TV, it seems to find that harder to process. Thankfully its a bit more tightly integrated, previously you had to say "Hey google, ask harmony to..." (same phrases for Alexa). Agreed - there is a market for simple tech for the older folk.
  9. @vfrdave Yep thats correct @pocster I was using Indigo previously - super simple to use, I only gave up as I got fed up paying for the major upgrades (cheap skate me). Much easier to set up complex automations tho via the Gui rather than writing scripts in Home Assistant (although its getting better all the time)
  10. @lizzie Looks neat, thanks for sharing the pics. Will be different to mine as two different systems (Dynalite vs ZWave/Fibaro) plus mine normally has a lid on it - not much fun just looking at a grey box 😁. Similar 'star' wired setup, all control elements in a central location for easier swap out of failed components / switching systems if needed. @PeteTheSwede For CCTV I use Hikvision, cameras + NVR, it 'just works'. For the AV side of things I agree with your thought process - I went through a similar plan to centralise all AV kit in a shiney rack but in the end it seemed to cost more and was more hassle than having a stack under each TV. For me each TV gets the same Freesat box + Roku combo. Add on a soundbar if it's in the lounge.
  11. Heres an example of a wiring point (this one covers upstairs). It's not pretty so you may want to avert your eyes if you are of a nervous disposition... Essentially you've got power in, a 3C+E from each switch point and then T&E out to each lighting set. This one also does the bathroom fan. I expect @jack can post some pictures of a properly wired Loxone system to show how it should be done. N.B - This looks horrible, please please don't copy. If in doubt get a qualified spark in etc etc.
  12. @jack Loxone was next on my list of things to try (had I not gone with zwave). A really good looking system and they seem more 'open' @Adam2 Home center can go wherever in the house. I ended up with 3 wiring points - 1 does upstairs, 1 does downstairs (front) and another downstairs (back). Standard T&E cable to the lights, ran in 3core+E to the light switch positions to give me options. Perfectly acceptable to use a PIR, If I was doing it again I'd probably go for either PIR or dusk sensing low level lights in the bathrooms. Decent hotels are a good place to see some of this in action / get inspiration. Also be realistic about how much automation you want/need - it's all very snazzy but for me I probably use about 10% of the functionality. Things I like - - shouting at Google to turn lights on if hands are full - Scheduling outside lights on/off based on sunset/sunrise times rather than fixed times - Randomly turning lights on/off when on holiday - Automatically turning on 'mood' lighting (table lamps etc) before dusk - Turning off everything from bed (lazy) In addition to ZWave for lighting I've also gone with Honeywell Evohome for heating, Google Home ("smart" assistant) for shouting at & casual music listening, ROKU sticks attached to dumb TVs for all on-demand & catch up services, Logitech Harmony remotes - all of this aligned with the mantra of making the smart elements modular and easy to swap out. This is the combination that works for us... but try them out, order one product, try it, remember you've got to live with it (and the wife/significant other) and that its a £££ investment so you don't have to get off your backside to switch a light on/off 😁
  13. Just to add - I've also gone the same route as @AliG - I chose to 'star'/radial wire everything back to a central point and then install all the dimmers in a central box. My reasoning was that if I ever wanted to switch away from Fibaro I could either just join the wires together to make it act like a regular dumb light and switch or put in different dimmers from another manufacturer. I've got - Fibaro Dimmers - Lounge, Kitchen x 2, Playroom, Bed 1, Bed 2 Fibaro Relays - Worktop Lights, Outside Lights, Landing Lights, Bed 3, Bathroom Fan Plug in dimmers - TKBHome x 2 Plug in relays - TKBHome x 1 The Fibaro dimmers are quite nice in that they have a "B" switch input... so in the lounge and bedroom I've put a 2 gang switch in, 1st one does the ceiling lights and the 2nd one does the "B" input which tells the dimmer to send a command to some extra plug in dimmers I have for table lamps, bedside lamps etc. You get all the benefits of those 5 amp lighting socket but without having all the extra wiring and fixed positions. (hopefully this makes sense, harder to explain in writing). All of this works without the 'brain' as such but I'm also using Home Assistant ( to integrate with other services and Alexa/Google assistant. The Fibaro Home Center is better if you want less tinkering. Same as AliG - switches work every time, app works 95% of the time. Switches also get 100% wife approval factor. - I think I went for a slightly different switch to AliG - I'm using the MK 4885WHI which is a single push switch, not a two position one. @AliG - re: Having to move homecenter to add new modules - this is correct. When you put the modules in inclusion mode they only transmit at low power, this is to reduce the risk of you or someone else including them in their network by mistake. I'm using the Aeotec ZStick which is quite nice as it has a battery backup so I can pull the stick out and put it right next to the new module when including then plug it back in to my raspberryPi. All the above sounds quite complex but I found it a really easy system to work with (DIY & IT confident). Good online community as well. The drawback with some of the more proprietary systems (Rako, Lutron etc) was that you had to be a paid up installer to get access to the manuals and secrets. Purchased from Vesternet -
  14. MrMagic

    Plot for sale, near Bideford, Devon

    Seems we're all looking in the same place! 😉 Plot was formed from the back garden of "Cloverbank" - this is the property at the 'bottom' of the garden as such, the garage block is shown in the picture at the top of this page. Has a stream running through it and a pond and whilst the description isn't 100% clear, I believe some services are actually connected and can be seen in temporary wooden housings attached to the wall in one of the images. When I was looking at it earlier I thought.. "ooh I could pop up the road to @joe90 and 'borrow' all his building contacts !" Not a huge south facing vista unfortunately (in the current outline plans at least) so limited potential for solar + tree at top of plot presents shadowing. Confusingly, even though 'cloverbank' sold the land, they are now objecting to development on it on the basis that the stream may be polluted / additional run off. I do wonder what goes through peoples minds sometimes when they split and sell off land... although nothing that a case of Tribute and a few pasties probably can't resolve. Wife is in Westward Ho! at the moment so may send her over there to do a drive by.. End of ramblings.
  15. MrMagic

    Remote switching

    As @Nickfromwales mentioned, you *should* be able to do this with Zwave using 'direct association'. I do something similar to this in a few rooms where I have a Fibrao dimmer unit switch on some table lamps as well. I'm not sure if you would be able to set this up without a controller (even temporarily just to do the initial config)....the manuals have all been updated and I can't find the procedure for how I did this a few years back.. sorry! Edit - bit more info here under 'Associations' -