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Thread: Behind glass ?

  1. #1
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    Default Behind glass ?

    am trying to gain SWMBO approval for installation details, so we can implement the plan (very soon) !

    best place, it seems to me, to put most of our sensors (light, temperature, humidity, PIR, IR, etc) is to put them in a line over window & door openings ... best because, ISTM, they'll then be able to get a clear view & work their best, see things in the least-confusing way, without sunlight or movements in adjoining rooms upsetting them, etc ...

    ditto smoke-sensors, alarm sensors, etc ...

    and, if we do that, we may as well put most of the rest there, too - relay & IO modules, whatever - for ease of wiring ...

    there'll be no curtains (just blinds where necessary), so they should get a good view ...

    but, problem is, how to make them look acceptable ?

    arranging them neatly will help, but would not be enough ...

    one idea, that's been suggested, is to put them behind a flap / bar / narrow-panel of MDF, stood off the wall, maybe with a few carefully-placed & just-big-enough holes drilled through ...

    another idea (that at the moment seems to be preferred) is to put them behind a flap of glass, clear or smoked or sand-blasted or ...

    or some combination of the two - eg: alternate the two, or have glass windows in an MDF flap ...

    hmm - reflections, diffractions, & shadows - ie: how big would the holes have to be, is ordinary glass transparent to PIR & IR sensors, would light-sensors see through glass (clear, smoked, 'blasted) well-enough ... ???

    Any thoughts ... ?
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 30th March 2010 at 08:08 PM.

  2. #2
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    PIR sensors won't really see through glass that well. And you will get some reflection and possibly some refraction.
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    I don't think it's a great plan, to be honest. Holes will restrict PIR sensor's field of view (and IR emitters/receivers for that matter). Glass will stop PIRs and IRs and reduce the sensitivity of the Light Level sensor. Also your temp and humidity will be monitoring the temp and humidity of your cupboard, not your room.

    2 modules in the ceiling (PLH + ITR). You soon find you don't notice them
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  4. #4
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    thanks ... and had overlooked refraction !

    Unfortunately, our ceilings are a either completely uninterrupted & up-lit, or beamed with a close spacing & not-overgenerous head-clearance !

    Quite like the style of the Idratek modules, and if it was just them we'd probably quite quickly find a way to arrange them ...

    hmm, if they can't be hidden or faded into the background, the usual approach is to do the opposite & emphasise them, so maybe we could do that - add extra features to go with them, or ...

    time for another pot of tea ...
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 31st March 2010 at 02:45 PM.

  5. #5
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    I know here in Spain you can get temp and light sensors that will fit into the faceplate of the wall switches. page 161 (PDF page 3) and page 179 (PDF page 21) will give you an idea of what I mean. Catalogue available here http://catalogo.simon.es/simon/2008/...mon2008_14.pdf
    IF YOU CAN'T FIX IT WITH A HAMMER, YOU'VE GOT AN ELECTRICAL PROBLEM.
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  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    thanks - lots of good ideas there !

    wonder if anyone does backing plates (perhaps glass) for standard everyday switches, of whatever make, that could add ring-illumination in a stylish way ?
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 31st March 2010 at 09:53 PM.

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    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Could you recess them in a central beam and then either paint over the faceplates or create a thin veneer?

    The sensory modules are quite shallow apart from the connector.
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  8. #8
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    recessing might inhibit through-flow - cooling & temp' & humidity sensors - also trying to avoid modifying the modules in any way (skill & time & effort, possibility of later replacements & substitutions) ...

    there's probably a simple answer to this, I'll try some more doodling !

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    For the purist ... Temperature sensing is best done away from the wall. The IDRATEK modules were in a sense deliberately designed to allow at least reasonable airflow past a temperature sensor - even though its still close to the air/wall layer. If you recess the sensor even further into the wall then there is a likelihood that it skews the measurements even further. Light sensors certainly could be recessed but what they 'see' should be considered when positioning them.

  10. #10
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    Default PIRs with external sensor

    Idratek produces a version of their PIRs that has an external sensor attached to the main box by a 1 m long wire. If you use these, you can easily hide the box behind a MDF panel with the sensor itself appearing through a 8mm hole.

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