Author Topic: How do you setup PLC-BUS?  (Read 5908 times)

Captain_Glen

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How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« on: July 21, 2009, 05:37:49 am »
I want to get Linux MCE and setup some home automation stuff.

I want to control my lights, blinds, alarm, thermostat, security cameras and sprinklers with Linux MCE.

Can I do all of that with PLC-BUS?

How do I set it up?  I guess I have to connect something to my computer.  And what type of wiring do I need in the walls to connect the lights and blinds?  How does the computer talk to all the home automation stuff?  I don't want to plug in lamps into X10 power points I want control my lights and blinds and sprinklers directly.

How do you connect the alarm and security cameras?

What about the thermostat?

Any help would be appreciated.  Are there any good how to guides for total beginners?

darrenmason

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2009, 09:05:00 am »
Captain_Glen,

PLC-BUS is basically a newer version of X-10. It still works on the same principles of sending small packets of data over the power lines which is basically in the form of ADDRESS : COMMAND. So the commands are sent to every device with the addressing determining what gets controlled. Commands are limited but certainly adequate for simple device control like lights, blinds, sprinklers etc.

This means that you need two things to get automation. You need devices that are PLC-BUS aware and you need something to send commands.
Devices come in the form of powerpoint adapters, light switches and more generically small modules. Anything that could be controlled with a switch could have a module wired to it.
There are also devices that are actually physical switch (like a light switch) that send commands to particular addresses. They are not of much concern to us as there is also a Computer adapter (serial or USB) that enables devices like computers to send commands. The driver for linuxMCE communicates with this device to effectively 'send' commands to any PLC-BUS device that exists.

The wiring is just your standard home electrical wiring. Some of the modules or light switches will require a Neutral wire which might be tricky for replacing existing light switches.
You do not need to have powerpoint adapters but they are available and are probably the best fit for things that actually plug in like lamps, a/c, heaters etc.

There is PLC-BUS adapters to allow X-10 devices to be controlled by the PLC-BUS network and there is meter box adapters that can be fitted to couple your phases together if you have multiple phases.

Alarm system would typically not be controlled by PLC-BUS. You would preferably have an Alarm that has serial/USB control and that would communicate directly with linuxMCE to send trigger events and to enable arming/disarming.

Security cameras can just be IP based cameras or even USB webcams. They will provide similar security triggers or in some cases can just be viewed on command.

There are 'automatable' thermostats available I believe.

When thinking about home automation and linuxMCE keep in mind that it is designed so that anything (and everything) electonic can be represented as a device - the device can be controlled by other devices and each device will have an interface that can be seen as a series of COMMANDS and EVENTS. There is not much that cannot be integrated if you really want it to be.

HTH
Darren

bongowongo

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2009, 11:39:30 am »
Hi Captain_Glen,

I have dived into PLC-BUS to control the lighting and some appliances in my house.
http://www.elekhomica.nl/index.php?cPath=137&osCsid=ug650kf90l1tbtc83u1fclseu0
I did not set it up in LinuxMCE proper yet, because I used probably the Alpha 0810 version, and have no experience
with linux or linuxMCE and PLCbus. To be short, I didn't know what I was doing.

So I changed to windows environnement, which I am much more comfortable with and I was able to
test the PLCbus hardware and give address to my in built micro module.
Now I know this works I am putting all micromodules behind the switches and sockets.
It was hard to find a manual how to do it, also hard to find freeware software how to progam the modules.
I can guide you how to do it, also supply you the software.

The responsiveness was astounding quick and no errors, but bear in mind, I have a new board in the electricity room, new wires
and only one micro module. So have to test that with more, but see no troubles for it in the future.
Also not all lamps are dimmable. Old lamps are, Halogeen is, Energysaving lamps are (if stated so on the box), but could not find LED-lamps who
are dimmable.

The material looks very well put together. When you send a code (lights off), the controller makes a buzz and the socket makes a click. It is noticable.
My controller will be put away so will never hear that, but the clicks will be hearable, but I do not care, because turning a lightswitch also makes a click.
Maybe other modules are more silent, but more expensive.

I used the USB-type of controller, and could not put it to work in linuxmce. There is a page dedicated to it in the LinuxMCE wiki, I tried to follow all steps,
but got puzzled during the way. If I have figured everything out, I will update the wiki for 0810 Alpha version. Now I know it works, so now I can poke around
with LinuxMCE.
Also could ask "Hari", I thought he was the expert on PLCbus, but I am too scared and stubborn, want first o try for myself.
I am located in the Netherlands

P.S.
Thermostat is not a number 1 priority in my house yet, try to do it in the long term
Could not find a PLCbus controlled thermostat, there are X10's though, so there is hope.
P.P.S.
Also I agree with Darrenmasin about the alarm and security camera's
« Last Edit: July 21, 2009, 11:43:15 am by bongowongo »

hari

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2009, 01:46:56 pm »
Also could ask "Hari", I thought he was the expert on PLCbus, but I am too scared and stubborn, want first o try for myself.
you just need to add a GSD device template like instructed in the PLCBUS wiki pages on 0710. It will work fine with the USB interface (shows up as prolific pl2303 rs232/usb converter). I don't have any PLCBUS parts, gave mine to Zaerc. I'm focused on KNX, EnOcean and Z-Wave for now.

best regards,
Hari
rock your home - http://www.agocontrol.com home automation

Captain_Glen

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2009, 09:17:24 am »
I am still confused.  I don't want to have lamps that plug into special powerpoints.  How do I use regular lights?

bongowongo

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2009, 09:39:48 am »
You can built in a device behind the lightswitch.

Captain_Glen

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #6 on: July 30, 2009, 06:01:34 am »
What is the device I put behind the light switch called?  Where can I buy them from?

Thanks.

darrenmason

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #7 on: July 30, 2009, 08:36:32 am »
If you are wiring directly to lights/appliances etc then you will want to use a micro-module.

eg: http://x10-hk.com/store/product_info.php?cPath=22_25&products_id=34

There are links on the wiki page;
http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/PLCBUS


Captain_Glen

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #8 on: August 09, 2009, 09:59:34 am »
How do I install that device?  How does it connect to the lights?  And how does it connect to the computer?

bongowongo

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2009, 08:50:47 am »
I really do not understand your question?

The micro module you insert behind your lightswitch or socket, in the wall.
It connects to your computer through a computer interface device, which on one end you plug into a wallsocket
and the other end in your computer through USB or Serial.

If you have done that properly you should give addresses to all your modules (which control the lights and / or appliances).
To give it an address you should press a small button, and in the software you send a signal that the micro module socket should be
A1 or B2 or C1 or whatever.
I used windows software for this, because I am still more at home in Windows environnement.
I have the freeware software for you, which was hard to find for me, but it is for windows, it is easier in my opinion to set up your PLC-bus
through a known environnement, than straight from Linux, because there is to much that could not be set right.

Captain_Glen

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2009, 06:57:33 am »
So I attach a micro-module to each light switch.  And I plug a computer interface device into my computer and power point and it sends the signal via the power points?

Does the micro-module come with instructions on how to wire it behind a light switch?  Do you have a link for the computer interface device?

Thanks.


bongowongo

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2009, 09:01:58 am »
So I attach a micro-module to each light switch.  And I plug a computer interface device into my computer and power point and it sends the signal via the power points?

Does the micro-module come with instructions on how to wire it behind a light switch?  Do you have a link for the computer interface device?

Thanks.

Mine came with instructions, but do not expect 1000 pages of information.
Just one small page how to wire it behind your plug. Some electronical experience is advised.

pezho

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Re: How do you setup PLC-BUS?
« Reply #13 on: October 31, 2010, 12:33:24 am »
Hi guys!

I'm novice 'nix / PLC-Bus and can't request any help from Russia.
Could you please help me with setting up my PLC-Bus II devices (http://plcbus.com.cn/Index.html) in mce 8.10?
I following up according to instruction from http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Setting_Up_PLC-BUS_Template#Adding_a_Code_Group, but childs are not operable.
In my opinion that instruction is not complete, because all devices can operate from 1141 via Tranceiver #4022/4023 only.
Can anybody shown the step by step instruction on setting up?
My devices:  PLCBUS 1141E USB, PLCBUS-R 2220E, PLCBUS-R 2221E, PLCBUS-R 2263D, PLCBUS-R 2264D, PLCBUS-R 2267HE, PLCBUS-P 2026G, PLCBUS-P 2027G, PLC-RF 4073E, PLCBUS-T 4023G