Old Home Manager / Crestron system

I have a Crestron touch screen from the early 2000s that seems to have replaced an old X10 Home Manager system from the 80s. It controls 3 HVAC pairs with dampers, an irrigation system with 15ish zones, lighting, security, etc.

While it still works and is quite cool, it is very dated and lacks a lot of modern functionality.

Are there any references for how to replace the system with HA, particularly wrt to HVAC and irrigation (everything else is not really needed)?

Unfortunately there is no simple answer to this, because it depends on the configuration of your HVAC and irrigation. e.g. is HVAC based on BACNET, are there temp sensors, what, if any, irrigation controller is used, etc.

I have done several of these type of projects and the best way is to rip Crestron completely and start with HA; you can deploy slowly over time one service at a time. If this is not an option for you, consider just using manufacturer apps, like for e.g. ecobee or an irrigation solution from somewhere; it might be faster and easier depending on your hardware.

Alternatively choose your replacement hardware and use HA to integrate HVAC and irrigation.

However consider this: ideally you require a single UI to manage everything instead of using Crestron for some and HA for some other. Unless you only use HA to automate things without a UI.

Oh I’m definitely replacing Crestron and going for something user serviceable. I have a software engineering background but little knowledge of hardware interfaces.

There are temp sensors throughout the home. I’m not sure how to determine whether it is BACNET or what. Ecobee or Rachio more likely (based on what I know) seems like a good choice for irrigation.

I’m stumped on how to upgrade the HVAC control tho, and how to connect it with the old signal wires. I would hire someone to do that part if I knew what to look for. But most will want to charge a fortune for a full integration I think.

I will try to assist. The simple recipe for these kind of projects is not trying to understand how the present system works, but what interfaces and protocols the devices you wan to control have.

Once you understand how to interface to the devices you want to control the rest is easy.

Find how the following are connected to everything else:

  • Thermostats
  • HVAC - focus on the electronics controlling the electromechanical gear - e.g. boilers, furnaces, FCUs, etc.
  • Do not worry about the temp sensors as if you go with ecobee sensors are part of the solution
  • Lights are easy so I assume you do not need help with that

Focus on this: if say you had an ecobee thermostat how would you connect it to your present HVAC system? Find out what brand is in use at your home and what technology is using. Then it is relatively easy to decide how to tackle this issue.

One idea is to bring an HVAC guy in and ask him can he connect an ecobee to your HVAC. If he says yes agree a fixed fee which you pay only once he/she demonstrated ecobee control of your HVAC.

If you know where the Crestron controller is take a few pics and share them with me if OK with you. If there is BACNET you should see another controller connected to Crestron or your network.

Thank you!

I don’t see anything related to BACNET. I’m posting photos of the system. It only lets me post one media item per post so will make 4.

I was told that modern smart thermostats can’t control dampers, however it seems like maybe Ecobee can.

This is an old Crestron processor, based on Cresnet which basically is a serial protocol. I also checked Unity Systems (they went out of business in 1999 - Unity Systems - Wikipedia). It seems you have a hybrid system Unity + Crestron. I would suggest you forget what has been installed in the past. Once you have what you want working with HA you completely retire all Unity/Crestron

Focus on how you will control your HVAC. This is always the most difficult task in any aspiring smart home.

I will assist you on the journey as it can be painful.

Try to find out what HVAC system you have and if you are willing share some pics.

Also create a list of things your present automation system controls. Then if you are willing to share I can provide some ideas/suggestions.

Regardless of what a lot of people might say. try to base your new system on WiFi6/6E/7. Matter/Thread is not ready yet for prime time, hopefully end of the year after v2.0 has been released this month. Zigbee/Zwave will be sunsetting due to Matter/Thread, even BLE is in danger IMHO.

Thank you so much for your generous offer of support. I’ve attached pics of my three systems tho I’m not sure how much that helps.

I’m still very preliminary here, I haven’t even set up HA yet. I’m trying to understand the scope of what this will take and how to interface with the HVAC.

Two of them are Product: 395CAVC36055AAJA, Model: 395CAV036055.
The other I couldn’t find a model but Moore should know.