Author Topic: PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches  (Read 1659 times)

joshpond

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PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches
« on: December 31, 2010, 07:24:12 am »
Hi All,

Considering either the PLCBUS or Z-wave for Australia and I'd like to keep my current external light switches and add the in-wall modules. Makes WAF better if she can still operate the light switches.

Does anyone know with the rocker style switches or open/close switches whether either PLCBUS or Z wave will detect the position of the switch and send back the required info?
I asked www.smarthome.com.au if the light switch was open or off if the module would still operate the light and their answer was 'it should' but I'd like to be a bit more certain before buying. What about with the PLCBUS?

Any pros and cons with Australian users? The Z wave market seems fairly small here.

Thanks Josh
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bongowongo

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Re: PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches
« Reply #1 on: January 09, 2011, 12:39:02 pm »
Not sure about this.
But if you buy the special plcbus light switches, it sends back throught the modele the state to the computer.
If you have a generic light switch with a module it doesn't send it back.
But you can poll the status of a light switch in plcbus.

valent

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Re: PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches
« Reply #2 on: January 09, 2011, 08:09:42 pm »
Hi All,

Considering either the PLCBUS or Z-wave for Australia and I'd like to keep my current external light switches and add the in-wall modules. Makes WAF better if she can still operate the light switches.

Does anyone know with the rocker style switches or open/close switches whether either PLCBUS or Z wave will detect the position of the switch and send back the required info?
I asked www.smarthome.com.au if the light switch was open or off if the module would still operate the light and their answer was 'it should' but I'd like to be a bit more certain before buying. What about with the PLCBUS?

Any pros and cons with Australian users? The Z wave market seems fairly small here.

Thanks Josh


Why not try to get your question answered in writing, so that you can return any gear you buy for a refund if it doesn't work as you expected.
Just my 2c.

Cheers,
Valent.
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joshpond

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Re: PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches
« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2011, 10:33:56 pm »
Thanks guys,

smarthome.com.au said should do and the reply I have from plcbus is that it should with the control wire:
>When you install the micro module in the wall switch backbox , it have a
> control wire (from the micro module) connect to your existing Rocker Switch.
> And the Rocker Switch just toggle the On\Off status.
> That mean , if now the Lamp is ON
> When you press the Rocker Switch ( Whatever the current position is On or
> Off ) , the lamps will become OFF
> And then when you send ON command , the lamps will turn ON
> And then when you press the Rocker Switch , then lamps will turn OFF

I'll give it a try once I get the tv recording setup.
thanks Josh
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PKWilson

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Re: PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2011, 07:38:53 am »
Hi Josh

I have both PLCBUS and Z-Wave running (I'm in brisbane). If the PLCBUS devices are turned on or off from a wall switch, then they won't transmit anything to say that the light has turned on or off. I had to modify the PLCBUS GSD code to poll the devices using the GET_ON_ID command which then updated LMCE with the lights that were on and off. Having said that, some of my PLCBUS units didn't respond to it at all and all the lights pulsed every time the command was sent, so I only had it going every 5 min. If you install the PLCBUS scene controllers, then they are sending out a signal whenever the switch is turned on or off, but then you don't have local dimming by holding the switch down (with momentary switches). It means you then need the scene controllers for the switches and the lighting module for the lights. I have used a couple of momentary switches to get local dimming and a couple of scene controllers. The rest are just wired into standard on/off rocker switches.

Z-Wave on the other hand will notify LMCE when a device has turned on and off locally, so the change is reflected in a few seconds on the orbiter. Which makes it much better for setting up events in LMCE.

I am in the process of changing over to Z-Wave because I seem to have a strong ripple control signal at my place (the signal energex sends out to turn tariff relays on and off among other things) so my lights flickered (more of a strobe really) quite badly whenever the signal comes through, which was on the hour almost every hour and sometimes on the half hour. Occasionally it would even turn a light on or off...doesn't exactly help the WAF. Not sure if that would be an issue for you, but you might want to test a lighting controller out before filling your house with them. My Z-Wave lights only flicker when they are dimmed below about 70% and not nearly as badly as the PLCBUS devices.

It is a shame that Z-Wave is so sparse in Oz at the moment. As far as I know, smarthome are the only ones selling...and not cheaply either. I'm waiting for a few more modules to come out here before I go over completely. Like scene controllers and motion detectors.

PLCBUS did have some features that I liked, like being able to set the fade rate on the fly, All Lights/Units On and Off, multiple scene addresses per module, etc.

One slight difference with the way the switches work (normal switches, not momentary switches). With PLCBUS, change the state of the switch and the light will change. So if the switch is in the Off position and the light is On, turning the switch On will turn the light Off. Which is what they said in the reply, but this DOESN'T send a signal out to say that the light has gone on or off, so LMCE won't know about it. With Z-Wave, if the switch is Off and the light is On, turning the switch on will do nothing, but a signal is always sent out so LMCE will know that the switch was switched.

Cheers
Phil

hari

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Re: PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 08:41:46 pm »
Z-Wave on the other hand will notify LMCE when a device has turned on and off locally, so the change is reflected in a few seconds on the orbiter. Which makes it much better for setting up events in LMCE.
not all devices support this (thanks to a very trivial patent held by leviton)

Quote
PLCBUS did have some features that I liked, like being able to set the fade rate on the fly, All Lights/Units On and Off, multiple scene addresses per module, etc.
all available in z-wave, too
br hari
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joshpond

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Re: PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 10:26:22 pm »
Thanks Phil and Hari,

The flickering would have a low WAF so z wave may be the better option. I think I might wait for a bit longer until there are a few more z wave options in Australia too or just start with one or two switches in the theater room.

Thanks Josh
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PKWilson

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Re: PLCBUS/Z wave and rocker switches
« Reply #7 on: January 15, 2011, 08:05:59 am »
Hi Hari

I wasn't aware that those features were available, bearing in mind that in Australia we have a grand total of 7 devices available to us, Not including the 4 controllers and the documentation is fairly poor. Is it possible to change fade rates and scenes through LMCE with just the USB controller, or do I need some other sort of controller like a remote or Home Server?

I've seen the Capabilities list for the device (38,49,50,39,112,133,130,114,134) but I can't find where these classes are defined and what commands and parameters are available. Is there any way to find this info out? I thought maybe a parameter can be set to define the fade rate, but have no idea what the parameter would be.

Cheers
Phil