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Thread: xAP "lights" and Cortex lighting scenes

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member Simon George's Avatar
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    Default xAP "lights" and Cortex lighting scenes

    Hi,

    I'm planning on using xAP to control some additional lights. I will have a xAP Controller object for each light. Then I want to control them (plus some real Cortex lights) with a Scene object. The problem is that the "global" filter in the Lights Controlled Connections dialog is greyed out - so the only lights I can select are the real Cortex ones. Is there any way I can do what I'm after ?

    I guess I could do all this with macros, but seen as there's a lighting scene object there it makes sense to use that (plus I might want dimmer support too).

    Thanks in advance,

    Simon


    PS. Some background : It would a major pain to route a wire to all the lights I want to add, hence I want to go wireless. I'm using xAP because there is good support for it within Cortex : I'll use the PC to talk wireless 433 MHz to some Home Easy wireless plugs (the lights are freestanding ones) using a RFXCOM RFXtrx USB dongle. These plugs are on/off ones but they do dimmer ones too. I'll have to write a small bit of software to map from xAP to the dongle but it should be easy. It also opens up a whole part of the house to automation that I haven't considered before.
    Last edited by Simon George; 21st March 2012 at 09:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member Simon George's Avatar
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    Been playing around and may have found a way to do it :

    - add a "Legacy relay node" object : this seems to act as a virtual relay and allows me to create as many (virtual) lights under it as I want. I can then use these lights in a Scene.

    - in the connections for each (virtual) light, I can use the Set On and Set Off to trigger my xAP controller object to send a xAP message to the network

    Does this sound like I'm on the right path ?

    edit : maybe not - Cortex will only do stuff to my "virtual" relay (and hence virtual light) if it's network enabled, which of course it can't be as there is no physical hardware on the Idratek network...
    Last edited by Simon George; 21st March 2012 at 09:42 PM.

  3. #3
    Automated Home Guru Viv's Avatar
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    Default Control of xAP lights

    For a Dimmer use QLD.
    For on/off lights use a QRI.
    Do Not network enable these modules.

    For QRI add Lights as required. Do Not network enable these lights

    Visit Lights (not relays) Automation Networks... Menu.
    Check Enable option on xAP Schemas.

    In 'All Automation network' object Enable xAP.

    Start Cortex and confirm Cortex heartbeat messages sent to xAP hub and any required xAP application.

    Click toggle button on lights behaviour menu and confirm xAP event messages are sent to hub.

    In connections menu of scene object - 'Lights controlled' select and click add.

    The Filter will allow Specific and General. Under General you should see all the lights. It should not matter if they are network enabled or not.


    Viv

  4. #4
    Automated Home Jr Member Simon George's Avatar
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    Default

    That's great Viv thanks very much - I've got it working now (though with a legacy relay object so I can add more than 4 lights). However, now I've got another question re scenes.

    It is possible to easily ensure that only a single scene is active, and that the lights being switched are only those that need to be ?

    I have assigned menu options in my DFP for each scene : each option then triggers several object actions to disable all scenes other than the one being requested (maybe there is a better way of doing this).

    What I see is that, if I have some lights shared between scenes, the lights turn off and then back on again as I switch scenes.

    For example, say I have 2 scenes as follows :

    scene A : lights 1, 2, 3
    scene B : lights 4, 5, 3

    If I switch from scene A to scene B, lights 1, 2 and 3 turn off and then lights 4, 5 and 3 turn on : but there was no need for light 3 to turn off (and in fact it looks a bit crap when it does this as there is quite a delay between these light activations - possibly due to xAP and/or the driver that communicates with the lights).

    Thanks in advance once again,

    Simon

  5. #5
    Automated Home Guru Viv's Avatar
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    Firstly I would agree with using a menu object to select what scene you want active.
    I would use the group action as the offered menu items.
    These would then turn on/off the scenes as required.

    In the scene object is an option which says...
    'When a scene is no longer enabled revert all lights controlled back to their default values'.

    With this option checked there is no way the code can know what you plan after the scene is disabled. So it will set the override mode back to '1 = None'.
    In your case it will be turning the lights off. Then another scene is enabled and light 3 is turned back on.

    So I would suggest you UN-CHECK this option.
    This means when the scene is disabled the scene object relinquishes control and the lights are left in what ever level and mode they are in.

    Then you need to change your menu something like this

    Start
    ___Set to Scene 1 (group action)
    ______Scene 1.Enable
    ______Scene 2.Disable
    ______Light 4.Override Mode = 1
    ______Light 5.Override Mode = 1
    ___Set to Scene 3 (group action)
    ______Scene 1.Disable
    ______Scene 2.Enable
    ______Light 1.Override Mode = 1
    ______Light 2.Override Mode = 1
    ___All Scenes off (group action)
    ______Scene 1.Disable
    ______Scene 2.Disable
    ______Light 1.Override Mode = 1
    ______Light 2.Override Mode = 1
    ______Light 3.Override Mode = 1
    ______Light 4.Override Mode = 1
    ______Light 5.Override Mode = 1

    You do not say what Operating Mode you lights are in. Depending on what it is you may need to add additional actions in the group to get the lights into the way you want.

    So the above method will allow switching scenes without lights turning off Unecessarily.

    Viv
    Last edited by Viv; 27th March 2012 at 01:47 PM.

  6. #6
    Automated Home Jr Member Simon George's Avatar
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    Thanks for the informative reply once again Viv Found it easier in the end to assign all lights to all scenes and have the scenes manage the override settings for the lights it wasn't using. The tip of unchecking the "revert lights" was the key I think.

    Thanks again,

    Simon

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