Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 18

Thread: Kitchen wiring

  1. #1
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    267

    Default Kitchen wiring

    OK, I'm about to get an electrician in to quote for re-wiring my kitchen and I'm still struggling to work out the best practice approach. I like the idea of star wiring to a consumer unit to have a structured approach but I need a little more info on the actual workings. Initially I thought I would just replace the standard light switches with Idratek button/relay modules to switch the lights remotely but I want to explore the centralised approach in more detail before I commit.

    Presumably if I were to star wire the sockets then the standard switches would all have to be on at the outlet in order for the relay switching from a din rail to work. If this is the case how would I 'override' the Idratek implementation if I wanted to operate the socket manually?

    Maybe an idea as to how people would wire their kitchento utilise the Idratek system if they were doing it today could help me get a better idea.
    Last edited by Andrew Millne; 20th December 2007 at 09:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Eastbourne, UK
    Posts
    603

    Default

    I have just done something similar with my ensuite. I have used GET Retractice swithes (also called momentary switches as they always return to the off position after acting against a spring). The actual light switch is conected to an Idratek DRH digital input to control switching.

    Cortex has many features for light objects which allow fully automated activation but can also be controlled by a "normal" switch to toggle or over-ride the current automated setting. Even so it didn't do quite what I wanted, so I used a couple of Macros to do exactly what I wanted. It shows how flexible the system is so I doubt you'll have any problems which ever route you take.

    Paul

  3. #3
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    North Lancashire
    Posts
    1,674

    Default Kitchen wiring

    I know some are very keen on it, but for me, in this situation, the centralised approach makes no sense ... one of the plusses of the disributed Idratek approach is its ease of integration of manual over-ride with automated arrangements ...

    another is the ease of wiring (less of it, that is) ...

    NB: using Cat-5e with mains-rated sleeving could be a good idea - eg: the pink C-Bus Cat-5e cable - keeping bus & mains cables well-apart can be difficult (though not imposible) ...

  4. #4
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    267

    Default

    Thanks Paul and Chris,

    At the moment I THINK I've decided to keep a regular radial lighting circuit and replace what would usually be a regular live switching light switch with an idratek low voltage button module (maybe an mfp) and sacrifice dimming control for the time being. If i then wanted a seperate switch in the same room to operate the same light could I simply run a cat5 cable to another DRB module without having to bother with more mains lighting cable? then if the button on one is pushed it could switch the relay in the other and both leds could be lit?

    What about for the sockets? I would like a few of these to be switched remotely but also allow for manual override. Button module mounted next to the socket switching a relay? Shame you can't get wall sockets without an inbuilt switch. Even better would be an idratek 13A socket module with button and relay built in.

  5. #5
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Eastbourne, UK
    Posts
    603

    Default

    It doesn't matter where the DRH is located and it is conceivable that the DRH maybe switchig somethig different to the digital conections feedig the same module. Cortex see's all nodes idividually, although it obviously makes sense wherever possible to link cotrol and switchig together to reduce confusion.

    You can get sockets without switches (unswitched sockets), have a look at the GET range http://www.getplc.co.uk/connect/ultimate/, and you could use a Idratek switch unit or any other switch to control them. One word of caution though is that you should consider a switched spur as a relay is not a physical switch and you need to consider physical isolation.

    HTH

    Paul

  6. #6
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    437

    Default

    Your most important decision is to decide if you need to be able to remove the automation, for example on sale of the property if the buyers don't want it.

    You can then overlay support for automation in various ways:

    a) Get Cat-5 to light switches and use single gang Idratek modules -
    downside is less flexibility, limited number of channels of switching or dimming at each position, audible clicks on relays and perhaps consequences on the possibility of using other modules. Upside is no mains rewiring.

    b) Separate each lamp circuit (the set of lamps controlled by a single switch) and take a power feed back to central/per floor junction. Get Cat-5 to switch positions. You can now switch or dim the circuit at either the wall position or the central unit depending on modules you use, and can change it later.

    For a typical modern wiring scheme where the power is fed from ceiling rose to ceiling rose and the ceiling rose has junction to connect in the light switch this means replacing the single radial power run with individual "power" spurs from junction box to the "master" ceiling rose for each circuit.

    You would need to check the circuits, sometimes live and neutral are brought down to the light switch position - typically where there are multiple light switches.

    c) Star wire each switch position and lamp to junction. In my mind I see no reason to do this - it used to be required to use X-10 DIN rail units but they are effectively obsoleted.

    d) Do b) and pull out the mains feed to each light switch, pulling in the CAT-5 behind it. Only for the committed automator, but may avoid the need to chase wires in.

    e) Possibly you could use existing T+E to the light switches to connect to digital I/O on an Idratek module to avoid replacing/running Cat-5 to light switch positions, but I'd consider the danger of accidental misconnection to mains too great.

    There's probably other possibilities I haven't thought of. I have done b) and c). Did c) before Idratek and particularly before Idratek dimmer. I would chose b).

  7. #7
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    437

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul_B View Post
    It doesn't matter where the DRH is located and it is conceivable that the DRH maybe switchig somethig different to the digital conections feedig the same module. Cortex see's all nodes idividually, although it obviously makes sense wherever possible to link cotrol and switchig together to reduce confusion.

    You can get sockets without switches (unswitched sockets), have a look at the GET range http://www.getplc.co.uk/connect/ultimate/, and you could use a Idratek switch unit or any other switch to control them. One word of caution though is that you should consider a switched spur as a relay is not a physical switch and you need to consider physical isolation.

    HTH

    Paul
    If you don't mind lots of units in the walls I believe you can spur an SRH off an existing double and control an adjacent single or double. The SRH will give you the local override and the new socket can be a normal switched to give isolation. I also recall a debate at work about whether physically unplugging something met the requirements to provide for isolation. Unfortunately I can't remember the conclusion ! So unswitched sockets might meet the regs. But unswitched spur outlets would not.

  8. #8
    Automated Home Ninja Andrew Millne's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    267

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
    Your most important decision is to decide if you need to be able to remove the automation, for example on sale of the property if the buyers don't want it.
    This is a decision that has been bugging me for days

    b) Separate each lamp circuit (the set of lamps controlled by a single switch) and take a power feed back to central/per floor junction. Get Cat-5 to switch positions. You can now switch or dim the circuit at either the wall position or the central unit depending on modules you use, and can change it later.
    so if I chose to use a drb now and wanted to use a centralised dimmer in future I would simply disconnect the relays on the drb and replace with a choc-block or other suitable connector? then it would be a simple matter to put back to a more conventional setup. Think this is the approach I would take as it seems to be the most sensible. Only problem I can forsee is that the 4channel dimmer seems to require two inputs to control dimming (one short press for "on" hold to "dim up" on one input and the reverse "off" and "dim down" functions for the second input) so it doesn't seem to be very flexible for dimming in a manual override application. Guess i will make do with on and off toggle when using the button manually with a dimmer.

    Thanks
    Last edited by Andrew Millne; 21st December 2007 at 01:45 AM.

  9. #9
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Gloucestershire
    Posts
    437

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew Millne View Post
    This is a decision that has been bugging me for days
    so if I chose to use a drb now and wanted to use a centralised dimmer in future I would simply disconnect the relays on the drb and replace with a choc-block or other suitable connector? then it would be a simple matter to put back to a more conventional setup. Think this is the approach I would take as it seems to be the most sensible.
    Yes. Also, for typical ceiling rose radial system, the ceiling rose provides a junction between power feed, (including onward feed to other circuits), switch feed and load. In such a case where you have starred the power feeds and switch/dim at junction CU you can usually change the connections at the ceiling rose and isolate the switch feed wire altogether (for safety). Essentially connecting the load directly to the (switched) power feed.

    Only problem I can forsee is that the 4channel dimmer seems to require two inputs to control dimming (one short press for "on" hold to "dim up" on one input and the reverse "off" and "dim down" functions for the second input) so it doesn't seem to be very flexible for dimming in a manual override application. Guess i will make do with on and off toggle when using the button manually with a dimmer.

    Thanks
    Don't forget that with scheme b) you can still use a DRB or QBI (or MFP or DFP) at your light switch position to provide buttons to control the the remote dimmer module in the junction CU. So with a QBI you could have two buttons for two dimmed circuits.

    This is what Paul B was explaining, the inputs physically present on the dimmer module can have momentary buttons connected, but you can also achieve the same control functions from other Idratek modules over the Idranet. This is actually fundamental to the whole idea of a networked control system. The dimmer module can be controlled via directly connected momentary action switches, but also by network packets generated from other modules.

    Because of this flexibility, sub-functions in modules can be treated independently. So, in Cortex you find that a DRB is presented as three associated but independent functions: the relays, the buttons and the digital IO. By default you might associate the buttons to operate the relays, but equally you could assign some other function to them - turn on a light in another room, change temperature setting, water the garden, open the garage door ...

    Another example of this is 3-way switching. In a non-automated system you have 3core+E run between all the switches plus the usual switch feed and you switch mains power at each switch to get the 3-way effect. In an Idratek implementation you would probably switch the mains on the relays at a single module (one with the switch feed from ceiling rose), and assign buttons in all 3 modules to control the same light (relay in the first module).

    And - as a final aside, you can use schemes to set profiles of dim level according to time of day, and also have other Cortex functions adjust the dim level, so hopefully shouldn't need manual dim level control anyway. If you have IR RX modules you could also control the dim level from a remote control, either by "stealing codes" from an existing remote (eg TV remote) or from an otherwise unused remote.

    My personal opinion/aim is to achieve automation such that the need for dim level override should be rare and I'd probably just want a full-on -> auto-dim -> all-off sequenced manual override for occasional use, which could be done with a single button.

    I hope that helps ...

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend Paul_B's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Eastbourne, UK
    Posts
    603

    Default

    d) Do b) and pull out the mains feed to each light switch, pulling in the CAT-5 behind it. Only for the committed automator, but may avoid the need to chase wires in.

    e) Possibly you could use existing T+E to the light switches to connect to digital I/O on an Idratek module to avoid replacing/running Cat-5 to light switch positions, but I'd consider the danger of accidental misconnection to mains too great.
    In my installations so far I have cut into the switching cable run and placed a DRH. I have left the existig mains wire in place but terminated and isolated the live and switching live at both ends (I could re-attach via a choc-block or juction box if I wanted to remove HA). I've left the earth in place as the faceplates are metal. Then I have run some bell wire to the light switch which is now digital and feeds the digital input of the DRH.

    I also considered option e.) but came to the same conclusion as David about safety, plus tyring to get a 1.5mm core cable into a small digital connection on the DRH would be way too frustratig for my two left hands.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •