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Thread: Reflex prescence and Dimmer Control

  1. #1
    Automated Home Jr Member
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    Default Reflex prescence and Dimmer Control

    Hi Guys,

    I have had Idratek up and running for a few weeks now (Mostly controlling lights, extractor fans and towel radiators) and all seems to be going well. I have had a few glitches with power cuts (they happen quite often around here) and Cortex laptop crashes but a combination of Defibralator, Watchdog functionality and manual reset to Reflex via DRB have been handling this.
    With the repeated fallbacks to Reflex lately I have started working through my Reflex backup functionality to bring it closer inline with the Cortex behaviour. I find that I am struggling with a few areas though. For example:
    • I have setup reflex to turn on a set of lights when A PLH detects motion, however I cant work out how to turn the lights off again after a period of time.
    • Also, I am currently limited to turning any lights connected to QLDs either 100% on or Off. I cant figure out how to select 50% for example.

    Whereas the Reflex Insight tool is very helpfull I feel there is so much more to the relex command structure that I am missing. Is there any detailed documentation (other than the Help file) on Reflex programing. I have created a few basic reflex packets but these really are quite basic

    Regards

    Mark

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    As general commentry: Reflex is really just meant to be a fallback capability because Cortex is so much more than some kind of IFTTT type of logic. Hence we have mainly shown or auto create Reflex programs which provide basic functions in the event of a Cortex breakdown, e.g to allow the user to manually switch lights, implement basic thermostat type of climate control, and that sort of thing, until Cortex can be restored.

    Don't get me wrong, the level of functionality with Reflex programming is probably much higher than you might get with other market products but even so, the chasm of difference between what can be achieved with Reflex or IFTTT type of logic relative to using Cortex is so great that we have never felt it was worth trying to go further than providing the very basics.

    So my first advice would be to resolve the cause of the crashes. You should not be expecting the platform to be crashing with any kind of regularity.

    To answer your questions:
    - To get the light to turn off after a period of time with dimmer modules is a bit more complicated because they don't have intrinsic timed functions such as those that exist in relay modules. This means setting up timers by some other means. On a PLH module there are some basic 7 bit timers associated with each analogue sensory function. These can count in seconds or minutes. So in principle you should be able to load up such a timer when the PIR triggers and then when the timer runs out its trigger then used to send a command to the dimmer module to turn the light off.
    - Not sure which commands are being listed for the dimmer control - I'll have to check it out myself. I'm guessing that it is just as you describe since the objective is not to clutter beyond basic functions. But yes it is possible to use various other commands (or parameters) such as toggle between 0% and defined dim level at defined ramp rate, or go to a particular dim level either immediately or at a defined ramp rate. There are also more obscure functions .. for example you can set up dynamic profiles in non volatile memory and ask the dim level to follow these, which means you also have command variations that allow you to pause/continue/jump out of such a profile or even a basic ramp.

    Unfortunately there is no publicly available documentation to provide all these details. Its not secret but would be a lot of work for us to extricate into a suitable form from internal documents and to support generally, when it isn't the main philosophy of the system.

    So I propose to work with you privately to implement the details of the above requirements (once I've revised it myself ). Then if anyone else is interested in the specific detail they can request or it can be later posted.
    Last edited by Karam; 21st November 2014 at 10:36 AM.

  3. #3
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    Thanks Karam,

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    I agree that Reflex should just be a fallback for when Cortex is not available, I would just like to ensure that when Cortex is unavailable for whatever reason the reflex house functionality is as complete as possible(I have a very basic setup at the moment, mostly lighting control).

    Regarding the stability of the system. I have noticed that when we get a short power outage here (only a minute or two) the network resets successfully to Reflex with no problem, but as Cortex is running on a laptop it is unaffected by power cuts of this duration and continues to run as normal (It doesnt seem to notice that the network is running in Reflex mode). My question is this. What triggers Cortex to take control of the network again. I have seen instances where this has taken 2 to 3 minutes and other times when it doesnt at all and I manually restart the network within Cortex after about an hour. This process appears to be accelerated if I manually simulate a switch input from within Cortex.


    Regards

    Mark

  4. #4
    Automated Home Ninja Viv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by westernm View Post
    What triggers Cortex to take control of the network again.
    If Cortex receives a power up message for a module whilst the network is running, Cortex will reconfigure the module out of reflex operation to normal network operation (i.e. the module reports to the PC).

    If the Network is powered from a IPS (IPD) the PCA is powered all the time via batteries and the Spurs power up in sequence. In this case Cortex re-configures all the modules on the network.

    How are your modules powered?

    Viv

  5. #5
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    Hi Viv,

    The modules are powered via an MPD.

    Mark

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend Karam's Avatar
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    I wonder if maybe you are getting multiple supply reset events in the middle of Cortex trying to re-initialise? perhaps its worth getting a UPS for the IDRANet side to smooth out the power glitches, or even a basic 12V battery backup could be created using a 12V lead acid battery with a few passive components (couple of diodes and resistor) in a trickle charge set up. Another problem with power resets is that this will also drop the USB connection (assuming PCU) so when this comes back up again there will be a little time before Cortex re-establishes communications - possibly this might wait until the next outgoing packet but will have to check this.
    Last edited by Karam; 27th November 2014 at 09:18 AM.

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