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Thread: Help finding Monostable switches for Fibaro dimmers in the UK

  1. #11
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    KW1816, thanks for that post! I had initially thought it was possible, just to clarify though, the switch can still control light no matter what state the Fibaro is in. For example, if my HA system turns the light on and rock of the switch will turn it off? and vice versa?
    Biccies Yep, the switch controls the module regardless, it sees the state change of the switch input from 'On' to 'Off' or vice versa and toggles the light. One watch out (and to be fair it's in the instructions) is that if the connected switch is 'On' then you can't set the module to discover mode to add it to the network. Took me ages and a fair bit of head scratching to work that one out !

    What do you use for scene control? Do you only use Comfort/iPhone? For example in the living room when you want to watch TV how do you dim and then when you want full lights do then have to go back to your iPhone?
    Lab,
    Control comes from a number of sources:
    • Lightswitch I have two banks of four Clipsil momentary switches, 4 are connected to the dimmers and provide local control (including dimming) and 4 are connected to spare inputs on the Comfort alarm panel. Comfort itself has no direct connection to Z-Wave but it does talk to Homeseer. Homeseer has an event that sees one of the scene switches activated and then sends out the Z-Wave control signals. It's very quick and you'd never notice any delay.
    • iPhone Runs Homeseers interface,App HSTouch. Can control anything Homeseer can. I can also run a few Homeseer events by SMS if there's no data network.
    • Remote control I have a number of Harmony One remote controls that can send commands to Homeseer via a USBUIRT 2 way IR interface.
    • Tablet A have a number of Zoostorm SL8 Win 7 tablets running Mainlobby that give touchscreen control of the system (Mainlobby server interfaces with Homeseer).



    Typically the scene lighting gets activated by either the lightswitch or the Harmony remote controls, either as button press or as part of a macro.
    My philosophy is to keep all the 'mission critical' systems like heating, alarm, lighting, standalone but capable of talking to, and being controlled by, a central system. Lighting is a good example of this. Each Z-wave dimmer can be used on local control, with no reliance on a central system but they still report status (using a group3 association to Homeseer) and can be controlled centrally. Here's a simple block diagram showing how each device or system connects, I have a central server that runs Homeseer, Mainlobby Server and Geovision (for CCTV). Once a system or device 'talks' to either Homeseer or Mainlobby then it can be either controlled, or used as a trigger for any other device. Homeseer/Mainlobby does the logic and translation.


    home autom block.jpg

  2. #12
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Great diagram Kevin,

    I'm still quite far from getting everything strait...

    Just a few questions:

    1) Why do you use Homeseer rather than comfort for your automation. My understanding was that this is precisely the strength of Comfort.

    2) Why do you interface to zwave through Homeseer rather than through the comfort zwave UMC UCM/ZWAVE-EU
    ?

    3) What system do you use for your heating and how do you interface that to Comfort?

    4) In your diagram what is "Main lobby MLS"? How do you interface that to your CCTV?

    Lot's of silly questions from a newbie...

    Thanks, Lab
    Last edited by Lab-art; 5th January 2013 at 12:18 AM.

  3. #13
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    1) Why do you use Homeseer rather than comfort for your automation. My understanding was that this is precisely the strength of Comfort.
    It is - and was for me. I've been gradually building my HA system over 10 years and installed Comort about 6 years ago. I initially used Comfort to control the lights as I had X-10 lights installed and ran Homeseer alongside it adding in other systems. Gradually I started using Homseer more and more as it has the ability to interface with more systems and advanced event handling/scripting etc. When I started to migrate to Z-Wave lighting the only UCM available was a one way interface and I speciffically wanted status feedback so the tablet displays etc were in sync. Comfort still sits firmly in the middle of my system and although it's mainly used as a standalone alarm panel I get two way status and control of just about everything that Comfort does - including basic heating control through the now obsolete Honeywell Smartfit UCM.

    Why do you interface to zwave through Homeseer rather than through the comfort zwave UMC UCM/ZWAVE-EU
    ?
    As above - originally the only Z-wave UCM was one way.
    What system do you use for your heating and how do you interface that to Comfort?
    It's the now obsolete Honeywell Smartfit UCM. Works great for basic control of the heating (Heating and/or water On/Off, room setpoint etc) http://www.honeywelluk.com/products/...ired-SmartFit/
    In your diagram what is "Main lobby MLS"? How do you interface that to your CCTV?
    Mainlobby Server (MLS) http://www.cinemarsolutions.com/mainlobby.php is the backend server that runs the tablet displays - at least it was when I started using it because at the time, Homeseer didn't have it's own touchscreen display. Over the years the lines have blurred a bit between Homeseer and Mainlobby and they now share automation duties, depending on hardware plugins, drivers etc. Homeseer tends to do the heavy duty automation and Mainlobby is more media-centric. Each talk to each other through a plugin. Geovision is the CCTV application and there's a plugin for Mainlobby that allows embedding of live cctv feeds into a Mainlobby scene.

    The following tablet screen gives a good idea of how it all integrates - It's monitor screen we use for my twins girls room, The screen is created and displayed in Mainlobby, There's a live CCTV feed from an IR camera feeding into Geovision (via a plugin into Mainlobby), the current temperature is via a 1-wire temperature sensor connected to Homeseer and the historical temperature chart (with the option to show 12,24,72 hours or a week) is generated every hour by a sheduled event in Homeseer running a script calling Google charts.
    monitor.jpg

    Phew ! I would say that lots of my choices were determined by what was available at the time and if I was to setup a new system today I would probably do it differently. Maybe :-)

  4. #14
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    Kevin,

    Thanks for your answers. I've also looked at your web-site - Boy is that impressive!!!

    If you would start from scratch today what would you do?

    I don't think that I will be able to manage to get the full integration that you've managed. However, I would like to get as much as I can.

    Perhaps you have some insights into my system as it is coming together (or not) at the moment:
    Lighting: I'm considering the Zwave Fibaro dimmers.
    video distribution: HDBASET 4x4 matrix (perhaps HD anywhere)
    Home cinema: Pure theatre with Panasonic PT-AT5000e (the boss says that if we have a cinema in the living room it has to be hidden -- i.e.. expensive- yikes )
    Audio: I've been using Sonos for several years and love it. I already have 5 units. However, I'm wiring the house to node0 so all the units will be networked. I still need to figure out how to integrate it into the system.
    Heating control: I'm still undecided, Heatmeiser seems to be the one that everyone seems to tout... Do you have any opinion? I didn't know that the Honeywell UMC was obsolete. Is there any other way of controlling heating in Comfort?
    Security: Comfort or DSC (functionality vs expense). Would you buy Comfort again if you were to have the chance?
    Control: Either through Comfort, Vera3, or Homeseer. What computer setup do you run Homeseer on?

    Also, do you have a good supplier for racks and patch panels, temperature guages, etc. your stuff looks great.

    Thanks,

    Willem

  5. #15
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Hi Willem,

    Sorry it took me a while to respond - so much to do these days :-) I'm glad you liked the website, it's so out of date now I must get round to updating it !

    Lighting: I'm using Fibaro dimmers and can't fault them. Ideal for retrofit, if I was doing a new build ro full rip the guts out refurb I'd probably thing about C-Bus.
    Video Distribution: I'm still stuck in the analogue age I'm afraid (HD Component) - at least until I can source a resonably priced 8X8 HDMI matrix. On my list to look at soon so would love to hear what you choose/how you find it.
    Home Cinema: Looks good to me. I still have a Panny PJ I've had for 7 years!
    Audio: Always hear good things about Sonos.
    Heating: Have a look at the AH heating forum for some ideas. I'm still using Smartfit which is a bot basic but allows integration, Another one on my list for future upgrades.
    Security: Without a doubt, Comfort. No messing with US/UK compatability issues etc and fully certifiable for insurers etc if you need it.
    Control: I guess you need to decide what you want to achieve, how much you want to spend and how flexible you want it to be. For me, Homeseer gave the greatest flexibilty and the best price combination, it also has a great user community to help when you want to try something new or fix something. It is a 'hobbyist' route though so be prepared to invest some time in it. Although the core application is rock solid for me, plugins can vary in quality. My Homeseer runs on rack mounted PC I built myself from off the shelf components, at the moment it's running Win Xp but I 'may' migrate to Win 7 at some point in the future.

    For racks and patch panels ebay is always a good bet, I've also used http://www.minitran.co.uk/ for cables and sockets etc.

    Hope this helps
    Kevin

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