Located outside the village of Montezuma in Costa Rica, Mickey Novak’s secluded 12,000-square foot residence sits on the edge of an elevated cliff. With six bedrooms, eight full bathrooms, and a separately housed gym and office, Novak found himself needing a simple and centralized way to control all of his home’s technology. And, while traveling around the world for business, he wanted to be able to check in on his home security footage from anywhere, at anytime.
Novak once had a home automation system that controlled the expansive property, but it was badly damaged in a thunderstorm that rendered it unusable. To repair the system and get back the functionality he required, he called upon Rolando Cordero of Costa Rican-based technology firm AudioCinema for his expertise.
“Instead of conducting a costly repair on the older system, I suggested that he replace the damaged system with a brand new ELAN Entertainment & Control System,” Cordero said. “That way, I could guarantee that he’d be able to control all of the technology on the property. After he agreed, we were able to completely revamp his stunning, 10-year-old home with top-of-the-line technology.”
With an all-new ELAN gSC2 System Controller and an ELAN S1616A Multi-Room Audio Controller, Novak can now control the lighting, security, and audio/video systems in the living room, dining room, master bedroom, terrace, pool bar and jacuzzi, plus the remote gym and office (which are located in different buildings), from anywhere in the world.
“I can access the system from the devices that I already own, which was a huge selling point for me,” Novak said. “When I’m back in the United States for business, I can very easily check in on the security camera feeds. And, when I’m in Costa Rica, I can adjust the lights and music. The new system is extremely convenient for my mobile lifestyle.”
Given the home’s remote location, Cordero had to first upgrade the Internet from a two Megabit ADSL service to a 10 Megabit Microwave service to ensure that the entire system would run smoothly. The Airport platform was selected because it could be implemented easily using the existing network wiring. “The Internet was often down because of the location of the home,” Cordero commented. “First and foremost, I had to make sure that the connection would remain steadfast for years to come. The new system I installed is now distributed using four Airport Extremes and six Airport Expresses; it’s ultra reliable.”
Cordero used a Cat5e cable to connect the ELAN system within the main house to the separate office and gym buildings on the property. “The office and gym were tricky to integrate because of how far they are from the main house,” Cordero said. “But my team was able to utilize a Cat5e cable to extend the control to include the entire property.”
Cordero also had to work with an existing lighting system, and integrate it in with the new control platform. “We also had to find a way to integrate the home’s existing Vantage Q-Series Light Control System to the new ELAN system,” Cordero explained. “We relied on a Xantech XLIP-232 Connecting Block to make sure that we were able to do so.”
Since security is a huge priority for Novak, Cordero removed the home’s existing system, which was outdated, and replaced it with eight IP Linear cameras that easily integrated with the new ELAN system. “Checking into the security system remotely is one of my favorite features of this upgrade,” Novak added. “The new system works extremely well, no matter where I am. It’s a huge relief to know that I can pull up my security feeds with the touch of a button.”
Entertaining was also a huge consideration during the home’s new A/V upgrade. Since Novak often hosts guests, he wanted them to be able to control the music they were listening to, wherever they were in the house, from one of his tablets. To do so, Cordero installed an ELAN S1616A to serve as the multi-room audio controller. “There are nine zones of audio total, and the outdoor jacuzzi and wet bar are divided into two separate zones,” Cordero said. “Regardless of where his guests are in the outdoor entertainment space, they can select the music of their choice and it will only play in that designated area.”
Overall, Novak appreciates the simple and reliable functionality of his new ELAN smart home system, and he’d recommend it to anyone who wants a central and easy-to-use app to manage their home. “I don’t have to worry about whether or not the system is going to work,” he said. “It’s a huge relief!”