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Thread: Wireless lighting control

  1. #11
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    wonder if there's a simple IR approach that could work more affordably ?

    ie: Idratek includes IR capabilities, usually used with remote's & AV equipment, so maybe a simple (but secure) IR relay could be a way to do this, hopefully with a range of codes, so could have several such relays in a room ...

    but do such relays exist ?


    PS: found these :

    http://www.quasarelectronics.co.uk/I...e-receiver-kit

    http://www.quasarelectronics.co.uk/I...ransmitter-kit

    but .. are they compatible with Idratek ?
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 12th November 2013 at 09:26 PM.

  2. #12
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toscal View Post
    Did you look at the links then, as you don't need the buttons and you can have it all controlled via a Loxone miniserver and extension module. And then control it via a smartphone or any web browser.
    I think the situation here might be the requirement to integrate with an existing IDRATEK system. In comparison to the Loxone etc. it might actually work out cheaper to run a second IDRATEK setup and use Cortex bridge between the two, which would achieve the proper automation integration aspect and of course consequently also provide the whole range of IDRATEK features such as snartphone and web browser control/interrogation/data logging etc. But I think this will be overkill for one light.

    There is possibly a marginal reliability benefit to using enOceon by virtue of it using the more tightly regulated 868MHz band, but I think it is otherwise similar to the likes of HomeEasy, lightwavRF and so on in terms of using unacknowledged communication protocols relying on multiple message copies to try and counteract message loss. None of these is great for deeply automated systems like IDRATEK's which can also have high message volumes, hence our reluctance to introduce interfaces to such beyond our early foray into X10 and Rako. Zwave and Zigbee are better but still some issues for us. So for the time being a simple radio gateway to the former might be the most practical.

  3. #13
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    IR possibly has some security advantages in the sense of lower leakage out of rooms and vice versa, but of course conversely the disadvantage is that you generally need a transmitter in the same room and message loss due to obstructions more likely. Having said that of course some people do use IR to operate fans and AC units from the system. The lack of acknowledge or even bidirectional data tends to make these sort of operations a bit risky without human feedback, but its not much different for the simplistic radio protocols either. However Cortex can help to improve reliabilty by regularly re-asserting states and under some circumstances its verification logic might be useable through some serendipitous sensor.

  4. #14
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >some people do use IR to operate fans and AC ...

    would be good to know which IR devices or protocols people have had success with ...

    the Vellemann units previously linked-to are not expensive, but would they talk the right language ?

    we have some lights for which this approach might be our only way !

  5. #15
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    just to add that yesterday we noticed this :

    http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/30232980/

    difficult to make-out much detail, but seems possible it could be adapted to make something that could be commanded from Cortex ...

  6. #16
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    Whilst messing about over Christmas, I did think of another potentially simple way of achieving what I think you are after. How about xAP and running an Arduino/RPI at the remote end? Cortex can speak xAP and you can establish proper feedback too.

  7. #17
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >Arduino / RPi ...

    also maybe this ...

    http://www.phaedrusltd.com/pages/html/netiom-xap.html

    any of which still leaves the question of the link, of course ...

    how about :

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power-line_communication
    Last edited by chris_j_hunter; 29th December 2013 at 01:23 PM.

  8. #18
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    I think Home Easy is likely to be the most straightforward solution. The RPi solution is tempting .... I did think about it but require a wired (ideally) network connection (which I can provide using powerline), then relays etc, making it quite cumbersome. By the way, is there any way of converting Idratek packets to TCP/IP packets? That would be awesome (and much cheaper than a Cortex bridge). There is a USB/IP project (http://sourceforge.net/projects/usbip/) - is it possible to then use the PCU-001 on the "other side" ?

  9. #19
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    A 433.92MHz TX module (RTX-401) is due to be released shortly, will be notified in this forum. This is intended for use with HomeEasy protocol end devices. It would not be our first choice of radio connectivity but might help some people with non mission critical switching requirements in the short term.

    TCP/IP: We have had an 'on the drawing board' Ethernet/IDRANet solution for a number of years now (as you might note if you look at Setup | RS232 comms options - PCE). This as it stood was a bit like the PCU in the sense that it provided a virtual com port at the PC end, except the hardware (PCE-001) physically connected between the ethernet LAN and IDRANet rather than a direct connection to the PC - so a bit more complicated networking wise. In fact we created a PCE prototype before the PCU but ended up only releasing the PCU. We have been mulling over the PCE agian recently so may yet come out.

  10. #20
    Automated Home Legend chris_j_hunter's Avatar
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    >PCE ...

    not sure I understand its functionality - eg: would it be good for IP devices (such as cameras) and EoP & PoE extensions ??

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