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Thread: Retrofitting Idratek in soon to be our house

  1. #41
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    As someone above hinted, if there is sufficient interest we might consider introducing an interface to something like the Byron (Homeeasy) RF sockets. Though I notice that these seem to have been discontinued from B&Q of late?

    The difficulty is not the electronics but more the issue of introducing a non readable device to the existing structure. However so long as people understand the limitations it may be a useful option for non critical operations.

  2. #42
    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
    Originally Posted by cliffwright
    I just can't believe this is the only realistic (Idranet) retro-fit solution without the need for extensive additionl re-wiring. IMO having 4 patress boxes, especially with one of them being a fused connection unit with a red light glowing away, in any kind of visible room location is plain UGLY. It would definitely NOT pass my SWMBO litmus test - even in lower visibilty locations such as behind furniture, just seems too intrusive.
    I sometimes think we forget how lucky we are

    There have been at least 4 different ways to automate a power outlet discussed, offering various compromises between amount of rewire and visible impact. If you look at the alternative automation solutions you would find out the either automating power is not supported, or the only method is complete rewire with spurs back to a distribution centre, all at significantly higher prices.

    It's also possible to get fused outlets without indicators.

    When if comes to providing outlets specifically for lighting, then there is another option, you can take a feed off your existing lighting circuit and switch in a DRB/SRH/DRH/XRM and then provide a 3A round pin outlet. No FCU's required.

    Yes, it would be very nice to have a 13A double with the IDRATEK boards built in, or included in the back. But the tooling and approval testing for such a thing would run into many many thousands, so the resulting units would not be very affordable. If Idratek were to produce a board that fitted behind a double socket there would be howls when it was found to be not compatible with some person's favourite socket manufacture/model, or didn't fit in their existing 12mm back box.
    Oh I agree . . . Re-reading what I said quoted like that, I'm not sure that my last post came across quite how I intended it to read . . . when I said;

    Quote Originally Posted by cliffwright
    I just can't believe this is the only realistic (Idranet) retro-fit solution without the need for extensive additionl re-wiring
    I meant that, with Idratek being as good and extensive as it is, I can't believe there isn't an easier way to use what's available in another way to achieve the result . . . there's so much choice and functionality in the hardware modules and software that you'd think there must be a way . . . by no means meant as a criticism . . . and definitely better than most other solutions that I've seen of 'other' systems.

    In my head, I think for the lamp scenario (and purely for the short-mid term pre-decoration period) I'm favouring a 'home made' Idratek version of an X10 plugin module by running an Idranet cable to an RJ45 wall socket and then having a switching module (as you suggest - one of; DRB/SRH/DRH/XRM) attached to a plug - I somehow see it as a cube of sorts with the idranet module on 1 side and a socket for the lamp (be it round or 3 pin) on the other with 2 'fly leads' - 1 idranet, 1 mains 3 pin. This may also be ugly, but on a lead could be hidden behind furniture easily & no FCU light winking away

    Been a bit busy with 'other' stuff for a few weeks but if I get around to making up a prototype I'll post up details

  3. #43
    Automated Home Sr Member eddr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karam View Post
    As someone above hinted, if there is sufficient interest we might consider introducing an interface to something like the Byron (Homeeasy) RF sockets. Though I notice that these seem to have been discontinued from B&Q of late?

    The difficulty is not the electronics but more the issue of introducing a non readable device to the existing structure. However so long as people understand the limitations it may be a useful option for non critical operations.
    Karam,

    I'm sure there would be - when you say non readable, you mean non readable status/feedback (is it on/off did it turn on/off) ? If so, howcome this isn't possible ? I've always wondered why every other RF device apart from z-wave doesnt offer this functionality.

  4. #44
    Moderator Gumby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffwright View Post
    I somehow see it as a cube of sorts with the idranet module on 1 side and a socket for the lamp (be it round or 3 pin) on the other with 2 'fly leads' - 1 idranet, 1 mains 3 pin. This may also be ugly, but on a lead could be hidden behind furniture easily & no FCU light winking away
    Lovely piece of lateral thinking. I had been considering using a twin type box potentially screwed to a plank of wood, but two single pattresses glued back to back would be much neater.
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  5. #45
    Automated Home Sr Member cliffwright's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
    Lovely piece of lateral thinking. I had been considering using a twin type box potentially screwed to a plank of wood, but two single pattresses glued back to back would be much neater.
    Yeah that's the ticket - I was thinking of 2 back to back single patress boxes with a spacer of some sort in the middle (Maybe another patress with the back mostly removed) so that the cables can exit the patresses from the rear faces and the flying leads from the side of the 'middle spacer' bit . . .

    Maybe even neater still if, in the middle 'spacer' section, I could work in an RJ45 socket to allow connection to the Idranet without having a fixed flying lead . . .

    Will need some tinkering time in the workshop me thinks

  6. #46
    Automated Home Guru Geps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    Karam,

    I'm sure there would be - when you say non readable, you mean non readable status/feedback (is it on/off did it turn on/off) ? If so, howcome this isn't possible ? I've always wondered why every other RF device apart from z-wave doesnt offer this functionality.
    I read it as him referring to the Homeeasy sockets (not sure if these have report back functionality)....

  7. #47
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    I'm sure there would be - when you say non readable, you mean non readable status/feedback (is it on/off did it turn on/off) ? If so, howcome this isn't possible ? I've always wondered why every other RF device apart from z-wave doesnt offer this functionality.
    Yes refering to the sockets. Unlike z-wave or ZigBee for example, these just have radio receivers so they can't acknowledge the reception of a command nor send back information on the present socket on/off state. To increase reliability a command frame has multiple copies of the command packet so increasing chances of one being seen.

  8. #48
    Automated Home Sr Member eddr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karam View Post
    Yes refering to the sockets. Unlike z-wave or ZigBee for example, these just have radio receivers so they can't acknowledge the reception of a command nor send back information on the present socket on/off state. To increase reliability a command frame has multiple copies of the command packet so increasing chances of one being seen.
    Interesting - How hard would it be to implement a transmitter then to provide feedback? Surely, you would have to do this anyway for the receiver to receive. Is it cost or just very complicated?

  9. #49
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eddr View Post
    Interesting - How hard would it be to implement a transmitter then to provide feedback? Surely, you would have to do this anyway for the receiver to receive. Is it cost or just very complicated?
    Not sure what you mean by having to implement a transmitter anyway - do you mean that since you are designing the electronics for this anyway for the command transmitter it should therefore be easy to replicate this design at the socket too? (and of course have a receiver at the command transmitter point in order to receive the feedback) ?

    Anyhow the answer is that, partly, yes it costs a little bit more for a transceiver (combined Rx/Tx device) but these are commonly available as single chip solutions and creating a hardware design with them is pretty easy. However the main issue is complexity above the hardware stage. If you are going to the trouble of using a transceiver scheme then you have to take much more care with the communication protocol and also what you do with the data. So the manufcaturer would have to have a good reason and some applications which make compelling use of this capability as well as perhaps somewhat more knowledgeable staff.

  10. #50
    Automated Home Sr Member eddr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karam View Post
    Not sure what you mean by having to implement a transmitter anyway - do you mean that since you are designing the electronics for this anyway for the command transmitter it should therefore be easy to replicate this design at the socket too? (and of course have a receiver at the command transmitter point in order to receive the feedback) ?

    Anyhow the answer is that, partly, yes it costs a little bit more for a transceiver (combined Rx/Tx device) but these are commonly available as single chip solutions and creating a hardware design with them is pretty easy. However the main issue is complexity above the hardware stage. If you are going to the trouble of using a transceiver scheme then you have to take much more care with the communication protocol and also what you do with the data. So the manufcaturer would have to have a good reason and some applications which make compelling use of this capability as well as perhaps somewhat more knowledgeable staff.
    That's exactly what I meant! Sorry - I'm not the best at explaining what I mean, but I know what I mean in my head - If that makes sense!

    Ok well I'd give the thumbs up anyway if you were going to start making these devices.

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