Control Systems


€‹"A project's needs & budget should dictate the control system used, not the limitations of an AV dealer's programming skills or product lines"

From the most customizable integration platform available using products by AMX......

​​Integrated systems using AMX products and the AMX programming language offer the most flexability, versatility and control power of any products in the AV industry today which is why they're used in the  White House, Situation Room, Pentagon,   goverment, education, the boardrooms of fortune 500 companies and the finest homes and estates through out the world .  There are no jobs to big or too small for an AMX integrated system.  A very scalable solution for any job!

To a user configurable cloud based system by Clare Controls......

Clare Controls makes home automation simple.  They are an innovative home automation provider built on a commitment to make the product simple to use and maintain, and to give you the most control over your own automation experience.
  • Security
  • Lighting
  • Climate
  • Video surveillance
  • Door locks &garage door control
  • Audio & video entertainment
  • More

View AMX Installations

Clare Controls sales image

Or maybe a system using 
wired and wireles devices from RTI

RTI wired interfaces
RTI T2x in dock
AMX user interfaces display
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Managing the ever increasing technology options throughout the home can become overwhelming. RTI systems can put the homeowner back in command of these technologies by bringing together control of electronics, whole house audio, lighting, security, and HVAC into one, simple interface. Whether in-wall or wireless, RTI products offer tremendous flexibility, allowing for a control interface tailored to each homeowner’s automation needs and technical aptitude.

Distributed Audio

Amps and In Wall / Ceiling Speakers

The majority of new installations consist of in wall or in ceiling
speakers with some sort of amp in a remote equipment rack to drive them and there are plenty of choices for both.  Choosing a speaker that blends seemlessly into its surrounding is key to most modern designs schemes and deciding whether to go with rectangular, round or square, in ceiling or in wall, invisible and yes there are invisible speakers depends on what other design elements will to be in place. Yes, size does matter too!  What about amps, how much power, should they include digital sound proccessing for room acoustic correction? Digital or analog, does it matter?  Should the speakers be augmented with a sub woofer?  At VAV we consider all these options and we will work closely with you, your interior designer or architect to create an audio system that is best suited for your needs, decor and budget.

What about the outdoors?

Installing speakers outside requires a bit more cosideration than
one might think.  If we're on the coast we need to consider the salt air, will their pacement be impacted by snow build up?  Should we conceal the speakers and place them where they'll be heard but not seen or just use the standard wall mount speakers screwed to the side of the house?  What about outdoor subwoofers, do they make sense?  Amplification also needs to be treated differently since the power needed to drive interior speakers is much less than that required to drive outside speakers.  Should they be set up as stereo pairs or mono with each speaker playing both channels, stereo / mono.  There are situations appropriate for every type of installation and all should be considered.

High Fidelity

If you have a critical ear there is nothing better sounding than a high quality designed & engineered floor standing audiophile grade
speaker driven by a clean & powerful amp.  Plus
some of these floor standing speakers are just drop dead gorgeous works of art.  All I can say is if you have a room where they'll work without the designer having a fit then go for it but let's first consider the room's acoustics.  Even the best sounding speakers can perform poorly in a room with terrible acoustics and there's no reason to throw good money into a bad room. Unless of course if you just have to have them regardless, we completely understand!
Lutron Homeworks QS
Save energy with unparalleled total home control. HomeWorks QS, designed for exclusive homes, integrates the control of all your light, interior and exterior, electric light and daylight. The system also integrates with other manufacturers for audio-visual and HVAC control, as well, for broader control of your home environment. And it does all of that while saving energy. So you’re not only choosing a system that will redefine your way of living, you’re also investing in a system which can pay for itself over the life of your home
Convenience
Create “scenes” with HomeWorks QS or Radio RA2 — preset light and shade levels that you can recall at the touch of a button. For example, press the “Entertain” button on the keypad in your foyer and lights and shades will adjust throughout your home to create just the right light

  Keypad styles

Lutron Radio RA 2
RadioRA 2 is a wireless total home control system. This energy-saving system gives you the ability to adjust the amount of daylight and electric light (using light controls and automated shades) as well as temperature in a single room or throughout your whole home. The system also turns off standby power to small appliances when they’re not in use.
Integration
HomeWorks QS and Radio RA2 easily integrates with 3rd party manufacturers. Control lights, shades, audio-visual equipment, and temperature controls from a single keypad. 
Security
HomeWorks QS and Radio RA2 integrates with home security systems. In the event of an alarm, interior lights turn on, illuminating a safe exit, while exterior lights flash to attract attention. Either system also makes a home safer by automatically turning landscape and security lighting on and off each night.

Light Inspires  Brochure

Lutron Shading Solutions

Shading Solutions
Brochure

Shading

Daylight has a quality that we respond to emotionally. Colors read true, finishes reveal their texture, and an uplifting quality pervades any room bathed in daylight. As we become more conscious of our footprint on this planet, we realize that making the most of daylight in our homes simply makes sense. Utilizing daylight reduces our need for electric light, and saves energy. Lutron shading systems provide precision control of daylight – all at the touch of a button. 

Save Energy

Utilize your shading system to save additional energy beyond routine use of shades. “Winter warm” opens the shades, taking advantage of sunlight warming a southern façade. “Summer cool” does the opposite by lowering shades and blocking solar heat gain, thereby reducing your cooling costs. In addition, Lutron shading fabrics are made from sustainable materials for complete environmental and energy savings. 

Elegance & Ambiance 

Lutron controls are designed to look and work beautifully. Stylish control and fabric options coupled with innovative technology elegantly transition a space to create the right amount of light for any activity. Shades align precisely within 1/16 in of each other for a balanced, beautiful look to a row of windows. 

Convenience

Managing daylight is not restricted to a single wall station in your home. Shading systems can be controlled using a myriad of keypads, IR remote controls, wireless tabletop controls, or set to an astronomic time clock for automatic adjustment of shades.

Shading Installation Examples 

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Safety & Security

Utilize a whole-home shading system for simultaneous control of all shades. By setting a pre-determined scene for “Away”, simply select this button when leaving to close all shades and restrict the view inside your home.  

Reduce Glare & Protect Furnishings

Lutron shading systems diffuse light and prevent glare from washing out a computer or television screen. Shading systems also protect furniture, fine art, rugs, and even wood surfaces, from the sun’s damaging UV rays. Stay cool in the summer and warm in the winter by using shading systems to deflect or harness solar heat.

Wired & Wireless Networks

So what's all the fuss about?

Today's home and office networks are now responsible for most of our communications, telephony, file & data transfers, content streaming devices and way to much of our social activity so how can we not make a fuss about them. They're at the core of everything we do these days. The demand we place on our networks grows daily and the need for mulitple applications, multiple multi-media streams and dozens of personal devices to access the internet simultaneously is a real challenge.  In addition to that many residences need their home office to securely connect and maintain a VPN socket to a main office.  The expectations we place on our networks continue to grow exponentionlly each year and consumer grade network gear just doesn't cut it anymore.  That's why at VAV we typically install SMB and/or enterprise class routers, switches and access points. The following devices are typical of the equipment we're presently installing in projects where the network requirements warrant and the budget permits.  Since the network is also at the core of the AV systems we install and mission critical to their performance, if the budget doesn't permit we'll usually find some fat or frills in other areas to trim and re-allocate those funds to ensure we can build all of the systems on a solid network foundation. 

"Running wires is cheap so run as many as possible, If you think you have enough, run some more because you're probably wrong" 

Network connectivity is at the heart of every home or small business, and secure access, firewall protection, and high performance are the cornerstones of every Cisco® Small Business RV Series Router.
The Cisco RV320 and RV325 Dual Gigabit WAN VPN Routers are no exception. Featuring intuitive user interfaces, they will have you up and running in mere minutes. These capable routers provide reliable, highly secure connectivity for you and your employees and work so well that you won’t even know the router is there.

Why not use the Cable Company's router?
Unfortunately it is a common practice for cable company internet service providers to turn your home or business into a public hotspot often without your knowledge or approval.  Aside from using your location to extend their public hotspot it also degrades your wi-fi system by adding another RF channel to a slot that is probably already allocated and it further congests the RF spectrum.   Read more here....

  Cisco Routers with Web Filtering

Cisco  SMB Routers Brochure

  Cisco SG350x Series 10-Gigabit Ethernet Switching

Get Powerful Features and Performance

Deploy 10-Gigabit Ethernet, stacking, and advanced capabilities for a fast and reliable network. Easy to set up and use, our 350X Series Switches provide the ideal combination of affordability and capabilities for businesses and help create a more productive, better-connected workforce

Cisco  SG350x Brochure

Features and Capabilities

Get the advanced security management capabilities and network features you need to support business-class data, voice, security, and wireless services. Our switches support long-term investments and advanced features, such as all 10-Gigabit Ethernet connectivity, quality of service, Layer 3 static routing, and IPv6.

The Cisco 350X Series offers:

Affordable 10-Gigabit Ethernet
10-Gigabit Ethernet delivers 10x performance increase to your network and enables higher productivity and business efficiency. Cisco 350X Series breaks the barrier of 10-Gigabit Ethernet adoptions with exceptional affordability.

"Use wi-fi as a connection of last resort, unless of course the device is meant to be portable"

"Reserve the wirless space for devices that need to be wireless and not for speakers that should have been wired"

"Don't let one mistake lead to another"

"Devices like TVs, Sonos, AppleTV, Roku and other streaming players that aren't on the wired network and could have been are a mis-use of the wireless spectrum"

  Pakedge Wireless Access Points                                                  

Pakedge Wi-Fi Brochure

Pakedge wireless access points provide high-range, enterprise-level wireless communication between all devices within a network. Combined with the NK-1-CG1 Wireless Network Controller, the Pakedge portfolio of wireless products allows an entire network with multiple APs to function wirelessly and without interference.
Aside from using consumer grade network equipment the biggest mistake made by most residential and small business network installers is the locations and channel assignment of the access points.  Thye'll often use one AP when multiple are needed and when they do use multiple they typically don't assign the proper RF channels or set the proper bandwidth on each and they seldom, if ever install a wireless LAN controller to manage their wireless networks.  Sometimes the number of access points and the size of the project warrant their use and if there's cordless IP telephony in the project it's a must.

Most AV installers also don't consider the effects of interference from other RF devices operating in the same spectrum as their Wi-Fi. Then they'll throw in some ZigBee or Sonos devices into the job without configuring these networks to work together.  Most aren't even aware of the issues to consider.  This can often the result in a broadcast storm that will cripple the network or just cause interference that reduces the data flow.  There are ways that everything can be installed and work harmoniously but often these devices are left to fight each other and it's almost impossibly for the customer to know that their network isn't working or performing the way it should.   

Security & Automation Systems

Compare Models

Omni Pro II

Omni IIe

Omni LTe

Omni Security Systems by Leviton

The system we use

VAV only uses HAI (Home Automation Inc) Omni Security controllers/processors by Leviton Manufacturing Co Inc because in our humble opinion it's the best security system made and because it is so, so much more.  HAI controllers have more features and capabilities than any other security system on the market and with integration and audio capabilites that rival some of the top AV integration and audio platforms which BTW can't do security.  In an integrated project HAI offers a plethora of tools and information usable by the primary integration platform whethers that's AMX, Clare Controls, RTI or HAI itself which is why HAI is the only security "automation" controller we use.  As a stand alone controller HAI can control your security and fire detection devices, control your HVAC systems with their own line of communicating wired or wireless thermostats, provide and control distributed audio, view cameras on their own 7" touchscreen, control your spinkler system, your lighting system whether it's HAI's, UPBs or Lutron, controls door locks, garage doors and ......  Basically anything a higher end system can do a HAI system can do, obviously not at the same level of sophistication as an AMX system but similar to those other low level AV only "integration" platforms. In some jobs it's just a tool for us to control with AMX but in smaller job we'll use it as a stand alone platform to provide clients an entry to intermediate level of automation and control.  

Our approach to security

Since we are system integrator first and foremost we take a different approach to security and believe more is better. We love to add sensors where most "security guys" would never dream only because we can do things that they can't. We can take a floor plan of your home or business, create an attractive graphical representation of it and show you in 2D or 3D what windows or doors are open or closed, what lights are on and at what levels, what shades or drapes are opened or closed, what rooms currently have motion in them or when motion last occured in any or all room.  We can show you what a room's temperature is and whether it's heating or cooling, if there are cameras we can display those to or what room's have music playing, at what volume and music source.  We've even gone so far as to make working paddle fans on the touch screens floor plans that would rotate at the set speed of the real fan.  So we take a geeks approach to security because in most homes and business it's just wasted information and we believe the information should be displayed and available to decision makers, especially on large estates where you just can't be everywhere and see everything, actually we think you virtually can and we think you should.  "In my Navy days, standing watch in CIC , I learned how important it is to have as much information, both past and present available at all times and readily displayed to faciltate making fully informed, rapid decisions" -- Dan Vining 

Security System components

At VAV the visual aesthetics of system components are almost as important as their functionality so when there's an choice between components of equal capability the more visually appealing and some times the less visible product will be used.  When possible we like to use flush mount keypad and mini motion detectors they blend better into their surroundings.  The mini detectors are a fraction the size of regular motion and the spy motion sit flush in the sheet rock with only the 3/4" sensor visible, hardly noticeable at all.  

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Visonic Mini PIR

Touch Screens & Keypads

Aside from using AMX touchscreens or AMX's mobile app by TPC to control the security system you also have the choice or either the HAI 7" touchscreen or the Omni Console keypad which can be surface or flush mounted.

Spy

Compare Axis Cameras

Video Surveillance Systems

While cameras from Axis Communications aren't the only cameras we use, we consider them the best.

Axis Communications

Superior image quality
Image quality is clearly one of the most important
features of any camera, if not the most important.
Superior image quality enables the user to more closely
follow details and changes in images, making way for
better and faster decisions to more effectively safeguard
people and property. It also ensures greater
accuracy for automated analysis and alarm tools. Axis
network cameras provide high-quality video images,
and megapixel and HDTV network cameras are available
to provide even more image details.
Remote accessibility
With network video, users can access real-time
video at any time from any authorized computer
anywhere. Axis network video products provide an
easy way to capture and distribute high quality video
over any kind of IP network or the Internet. The video
can be stored at remote locations for convenience and
security, and the information can be transported over
the LAN or Internet
Distributed intelligence
These days, a massive amount video is being
recorded, but never watched or reviewed due to
lack of time. As a result, events and activities are
missed, and suspicious behaviors remain unnoticed.
With network video, intelligence has been brought
into the camera itself. Network cameras can have
built-in video motion detection and alarm management
so the camera decides when to send video, at what
frame rate and resolution, and when to alert a specific
operator. Other unique features include audio detection
and active tampering alarm
Scalability and flexibility
An Axis network video system can be expanded by adding
more network cameras. You can choose exactly
what you need today, and scale the system at any time
to meet your growing needs. New technologies, additional
cameras, and extra storage capacity can all be
easily added when required, thanks to strict adherence
to industry standards.

Synology Surveillance Station & Network Video Recorders (NVR)

What is Surveillance Station?

Surveillance Station 7.1

Videos