Tiny Deathstars of Foulness

I’m a geek, I can’t help it. The Houseport USB Z-Wave Adapter can control 230 devices, set the level of lights that have dimmers, time lighting controls and garage door openers and maintain the actual Z-Wave mesh network. So how could I not be interested?!?! The Wayne Dalton Houseport software and Z-Wave adapter were announced some time ago. Betas went out and got our appetites wet. I have been sitting by my phone waiting for them to call and tell me I can buy it for months! Now, you can finally buy the Houseport software and adapter at and you can download the manual at The PC version is the Wayne-Dalton WDUSB-10R HomeSettings Controls USB Adapter for PC.
Houseport in Action

Houseport in Action

For those unfamiliar with Z-Wave, it’s home automation gear and corresponding software. You can control the HVAC in your home, Wayne-Dalton WDTC-20 HomeSettings Controls Thermostat, the Intermatic HA04C Home Settings Wireless Heavy-Duty Outdoor Lighting Module for outdoor lighting (ie – those darn Christmas lights you forget to unplug in the mornings), GE 45605 Z-Wave Technology Duplex Receptacle the inwall power outlets, Screw in Module for screwing into those sockets you can’t otherwise Z-Wave enable and of course, there’s the HomeSettings In-Wall Switch/Dimmer (300W) and other dimmers for controlling indoor lighting (make sure you know how your place is wired, this has been a sore point with me with 3-way vs. 4-way, etc). You can also control the Garage Door with Wayne-Dalton 3018Z Classic Drive Opener with Z-Wave and even small appliances Wayne-Dalton 3018Z Classic Drive Opener with Z-Wave and even lamps with Wayne-Dalton HA-03WD HomeSettings Lamp Module. The latest addition to the Z-Wave offerings is the Schlage LiNK line, which includes Schlage LiNK Wireless Keypad Deadbolt Starter Kit System that can be used to Z-wave enable the locks on the doors in your home. Control doesn’t have to just be automated. You can also have control over things respond to events. For example, using the Hawking Technologies Z-Wave Sensors Homeremote Wireless Motion Detector you can have preset lighting or turn on the stereo when someone walks into a room. You can use Z-Wave as a bit of a personal monitoring system using cameras such as Hawking HomeRemote Pro HRPC2 Wireless Video Camera with Night Vision and there are even products that allow for voice activation of systems. Not that control needs to all flow through the computer. You can also get a GE 45608 Home Theater Remote with Z-Wave Lighting Control, which allows you to control a number of Z-Wave enabled devices and the home stereo. Finally, my favorite part of Z-Wave has been that it’s a wireless mesh network. You install devices and they mesh with the existing network of devices in the home. My least favorite part of Z-Wave is that it’s a zero config wireless mesh network. If devices are not compatible with the controller it can throw the whole network into a tailspin. What I’ve done in those cases is sell the gear I bought on Craigslist and buy something else…  It’s annoying, but there’s not a great compatibility system out there (theoretically it should all be compatible but hey, it’s technology, that’s a friggin’ pipe dream as most of you likely already know). Most Z-Wave controllers that run on computers have been a little difficult to configure; however, Houseport for the Mac couldn’t be easier. Enjoy!!! For more on Z-Wave overall, check out their wikipedia page.

September 25th, 2009

Posted In: Business, Home Automation, Mac OS X

Tags: , , ,

  • pixelrogue

    All – I purchased this product asap w/the published promises of smartphone (iPhone) options that never materialized. Wayne-Dalton essentially mismanaged the entire product, developers etc. and lost control forcing the product to be shelved.

    Shame, because the product itself was a nice start. Setting up the Z-Wave devices is nice.. where you can draw floor plans and places the device controls directly on the plan.

    Bad part was that was/is terribly inconvenient to use on-demand. If you want to turn off a light, it is faster and easier to get up and turn off the light than dig through the setup software. No dashboard widgets, no smartphone scripts.. nada.

    So, here I am w/hefty investment in z-wave controllers, and an outdated z-wave Houseport USB controller. Anyone familiar w/another type of USB controller stick (that won’t get outdated) that works natively on the Macintosh platform and has iOS options to operate?

    • I agree. Being early to market doesn’t excuse the lack of further development. I’ve since switched to using the Vera system. It’s an embedded Linux box but I can manage it from a Mac or control lights from my iPad & iPhone. It’s open source and very easy to use in my opinion. I’ve done a few articles on it, if you just search for Vera on the site. Good luck and let me know how yours goes!