Author Topic: Lightning/climate/security  (Read 3666 times)

totallymaxed

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2010, 03:52:16 pm »
I think this KNX is actually what i need. But i found only lights switches. I need also a heating automation - with thermostat units, and devices controlling the flow through the pipes and home security system - motion detectors, maybe a smoke detector, door/window detectors. Can this be done with KNX or i need another system for this?

And for the lightning: If i understood it correct, all what i need is a controller which is connected to the core, and some switches for the lights. Then the whole system can be controlled with the orbiters. Is that correct? Thank you

Any idea or help is useful, i plan also a short documentary movie which can help other users settle their automatic house

KNX has probably the widest range of devices of any any of the multi-vendor standards and is particulalrly strong in HVAC. There are many suppliers for KNX (Germany has possibly the widest range of these) but here in the UK I would estimate the biggest to be http://www.knxshop.co.uk/catalog/Catalog.aspx?NavID=000-100-1150.

This article might be of interest (it does not use LinuxMCE) as it shows the possibilities of KNX; http://www.automatedhome.co.uk/Reviews/Self-Build-EIB-KNX-Control-Case-Study-Review.html.

...forgot to mention to interface to KNX you will either need an KNX to IP gateway on the LAN side of your Core or you can use a SIM-KNX module which uses either RS232 or USB to connect to your Core. The IP Gateway is probably ultimately the better option but the SIM-KNX route is somewhat simpler. The SIM-KNX module contains either 128 or 256 'registers' with each of these reflecting a KNX buss address state...by reading these states from a register or writing values to a register you can interact with a buss address...this might be a sensor or the state of a light switch for example. So using SIM-KNX abstracts the bus and does not require any low level interaction with the bus...and consequently of course removes some level of control because of this.

As another post mentioned in this thread its probably worth getting some formal training on KNX or getting some help from a friendly KNX installer for at least some of the KNX specific installation.

All the best


Andrew

« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 05:55:20 pm by totallymaxed »
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trentend

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2010, 04:57:29 pm »
I'd just like to add a few things about KNX here.  I have installed it in my new house (though not yet integrated it with LinuxMCE - I haven''t installed LinuxMCE yet....).  Knx is very nice indeed, and quite industrial in its approach and construction.

Many manufacturers, and many vendors for it. I recommend knxshop in the UK (who also offer training, which I went on and it gave me the confidence to install). You'll find you get a substantial discount on list prices if you open an account - but prices are cheaper in Germany if that is equally convenient.

I wired each electrical socket and light fitting (or group of light fittings in the case of spotlights) individually back to the electrical cabinet.  I wired these to terminal block, supplied neutral and earth from consumer unit (in appropriately grouped sets) via power distribution terminal blocks, with live supplied from power distribution blocks via load relays (16A output).  These were either wired individually or in groups of sockets - allowing me to switch them individually or in defined groups (for example all the kitchen ones were individually wired so that appliances could be switched on or off remotely, whereas in  the lounge most sockets were grouped together, with two separate for lamps - so that lighting scenes can be controlled). With all the relays grouped together in the electrical cabinet I only had to run individual power cables.  Then I ran bus cable (no mains power) to each switch location in the rooms (this cable can be run in a tree and branch topology so it's easy to wire from one socket to the next).

The switches that I used also have thermostats, timers, and a set of inputs (allowing things like PIR's to be read locally).  I also ran bus cable to each radiator valve, to allow the KNX system to turn on and off the room heating (you can do the same with whatever heating or cooling you use, as long as you purchase carefully).

For each light, or group, I used these budget 4 output, 6 input units (I used the inputs for things like PIR's, door contacts, and simple push to make buttons for door bells etc....).

In addition to the inputs, outputs, and switches, you need a power supply and a bus interface (I have a USB and also an IP one, but I've only used the USB so far for programming purposes - the intention is to use the IP one for LinuxMCE).

I chose to use KNX cable, but you could equally use cat5 or cat 6 (and have between two and three pairs free, possibly for wiring inputs).

You also need the software to program the devices (which is circa £1000 UKPounds). Don't go for the KNX lite offering, go for the full blown KNX.  It's not cheap, but it really is very good.
« Last Edit: January 19, 2010, 05:00:36 pm by trentend »

bongowongo

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2010, 11:38:26 pm »
Wow KNX is expensive stuff :)

totallymaxed

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #18 on: January 20, 2010, 09:56:51 am »
Wow KNX is expensive stuff :)

Yes it is more costly than other control systems and is really only suited to new builds or major re-builds because of the need to run the bus cable to all locations where control is needed. But its very well made (all manufacturers are of a very high standard) and reliable and its built for the pro installation market. The ETS configuration Software (Windoze only I'm afraid :-( ) can be avoided though.

All the best

Andrew
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trentend

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #19 on: January 20, 2010, 11:42:59 am »
...The ETS configuration Software (Windoze only I'm afraid :-( ) can be avoided though....

I'm curious. How?

bongowongo

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #20 on: January 20, 2010, 01:21:31 pm »

[/quote]

Yes it is more costly than other control systems and is really only suited to new builds or major re-builds because of the need to run the bus cable to all locations where control is needed. But its very well made (all manufacturers are of a very high standard) and reliable and its built for the pro installation market. The ETS configuration Software (Windoze only I'm afraid :-( ) can be avoided though.

All the best

Andrew
[/quote]

Well to me it seems overkill for homeuse.
Why buy a porsche if you need a bicycle

trentend

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #21 on: January 20, 2010, 05:48:52 pm »
Well to me it seems overkill for homeuse.
Why buy a porsche if you need a bicycle

I don't know, why isn't everybody getting about by bicycle?

Seriously, I think the sensible answer is that with the higher cost also comes higher reliability.  The KNX system is very resilient, recovers well from power failure, and the devices are well made and are long lasting (for this reason if you can pick some devices up that have been removed from an installation, as did I, you might have a reasonable expectation of many years working life left in them).

In high end installations cost may not be the most sensitive issue. You know, the kind of installations where people are prepared to pay for integrated home automation and distributed media systems.

Here in the UK I looked at every system available.  For me KNX was the most compelling.  I'd prefer it was a quarter of the price, but I wouldn't want to give up the advantages - not least a massive range of devices and styles to perform every conceivable function in a massive range of design styles. 

PLCbus appears to work on a similar bus type system to KNX.  In comparison I can find little information about it, and almost no devices.  I think traction for KNX is greater and it's likely to receive the greater support for a longer time.  Just a personal opinion.

airboy

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #22 on: January 20, 2010, 10:18:42 pm »
KNX looks good, but it is very expensive.

i am actually thinking about X-10 or plcbus.

On euroX10 they have really nice prices, USB controller for 75 Eur's, and light switches, single or dual for 45euros. For 700 Eur's i can have a complete system for light control.

PLCbuc is little more expensive, but it has two-way communication, so i can also control the status of the devices. For about 800 Eur's i can have good looking crystal switches for the whole house, witch USB controller maybe about 1000 Euros. I think this is better choice than the X-10.

with Z-wave there is a potential risk of bad signal through the thick walls. The price is comparable to PLCbus and X-10, but i have no idea why choose Z-wave.


KNX is too expensive, i need additional wiring, i cannot see any advantages.


//edit: How can be the heating controlled with PLcbus? i can find only light switches


« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 10:43:40 pm by airboy »

los93sol

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #23 on: January 20, 2010, 10:36:38 pm »
Another solution I've begun writing support for is HAI's Omni series of panels.  The code has not yet been included in the beta builds of 0810, but currently I have the panel working fully plug and play and security functions and thermostat functions are fully implemented.

bongowongo

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #24 on: January 21, 2010, 02:08:31 am »
KNX looks good, but it is very expensive.


//edit: How can be the heating controlled with PLcbus? i can find only light switches




PlcBUS can also speak x10 and s10 , there are conversters for it. (have no experience with it)
http://www.elekhomica.nl/product_info.php?cPath=137&products_id=736

This is something for an alarm panel (have no experience with it)
http://www.elekhomica.nl/product_info.php?cPath=137&products_id=860

There are also appliance switches (but them behind a socket)

Also have no experience with heating systems, maybe you can use the appliance switches ?


Lol93sol, which language do the HAI's Omni speak?

totallymaxed

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #25 on: January 21, 2010, 11:28:40 am »
KNX looks good, but it is very expensive.

i am actually thinking about X-10 or plcbus.

On euroX10 they have really nice prices, USB controller for 75 Eur's, and light switches, single or dual for 45euros. For 700 Eur's i can have a complete system for light control.

PLCbuc is little more expensive, but it has two-way communication, so i can also control the status of the devices. For about 800 Eur's i can have good looking crystal switches for the whole house, witch USB controller maybe about 1000 Euros. I think this is better choice than the X-10.

with Z-wave there is a potential risk of bad signal through the thick walls. The price is comparable to PLCbus and X-10, but i have no idea why choose Z-wave.


KNX is too expensive, i need additional wiring, i cannot see any advantages.


//edit: How can be the heating controlled with PLcbus? i can find only light switches




I would strongly advise against X10 unless your only looking to do some experiments for 'fun'.

Andrew
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trentend

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #26 on: January 21, 2010, 12:45:29 pm »
.....KNX is too expensive, i need additional wiring, i cannot see any advantages......

One thing that occurs to me is that because KNX is a low voltage dedicated bus (rather than a powerline bus - although KNX does also support powerline and wireless bus signalling) you can put switches in wet areas - bathrooms etc.  I supply the KNX power supply via a ups, which will keep the bus system and switches working even if mains power drops (KNX recovers eklegantly from power loss anyway).

Although the switches I use are expensive (relative to other systems) they are very functional.  Touch panels with 6 programmable functions per screen and multiple screens (including scenes).  It also has a built in thermometer and timers, along with inputs.  All this functionality means that one switch can replace many, and integrate heating, lighting, dimming, switching, and shuttering control through one interface.

Of course it's always best to go what works best for you and cost will be a factor in that decision.

totallymaxed

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #27 on: January 21, 2010, 03:10:36 pm »
.....KNX is too expensive, i need additional wiring, i cannot see any advantages......

One thing that occurs to me is that because KNX is a low voltage dedicated bus (rather than a powerline bus - although KNX does also support powerline and wireless bus signalling) you can put switches in wet areas - bathrooms etc.  I supply the KNX power supply via a ups, which will keep the bus system and switches working even if mains power drops (KNX recovers eklegantly from power loss anyway).

Although the switches I use are expensive (relative to other systems) they are very functional.  Touch panels with 6 programmable functions per screen and multiple screens (including scenes).  It also has a built in thermometer and timers, along with inputs.  All this functionality means that one switch can replace many, and integrate heating, lighting, dimming, switching, and shuttering control through one interface.

Of course it's always best to go what works best for you and cost will be a factor in that decision.

Yes i agree if you factor in the multi-function capability of some of the switches then it changes the economics completely in comparison to other systems.

Andrew
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airboy

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #28 on: January 22, 2010, 12:44:36 pm »
.....KNX is too expensive, i need additional wiring, i cannot see any advantages......

One thing that occurs to me is that because KNX is a low voltage dedicated bus (rather than a powerline bus - although KNX does also support powerline and wireless bus signalling) you can put switches in wet areas - bathrooms etc.  I supply the KNX power supply via a ups, which will keep the bus system and switches working even if mains power drops (KNX recovers eklegantly from power loss anyway).

Although the switches I use are expensive (relative to other systems) they are very functional.  Touch panels with 6 programmable functions per screen and multiple screens (including scenes).  It also has a built in thermometer and timers, along with inputs.  All this functionality means that one switch can replace many, and integrate heating, lighting, dimming, switching, and shuttering control through one interface.

Of course it's always best to go what works best for you and cost will be a factor in that decision.

Yes, the touch pannels are very functional, but for me they are useless. I plan to manage the whole house with orbiters. With KNX i need an expensive multifunctional touch screen pannel (yes, there are cheaper switches but this is the main advantage of the knx) and a switch/dimmer on every light, and a thermostat unit on radiator. with plcbus i need only a single switchfor every device, whitch is also a receiver and transmitter.

//now i see that PLCbus don't have a feedback from local control. If i understood it correct, if i turn the light on with a local switch, the whole automated system will be not informed about that. Therefore the Z-wave is still in the game. Price is comparable to PLCbus, and if there is a real two-way communication, with feedback to the system if I turn the lights on locally, it is a better choice for an automated home. Also for Z-wave i found thermostats and motion detectors. For PLCbus nothing. I prefer the wired solution, but it looks that i can build a complete home system based on Z-wave, while PLCbus i need additionalsystems for heating and security.

trentend

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Re: Lightning/climate/security
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2010, 01:24:34 pm »
.....With KNX i need an expensive multifunctional touch screen pannel (yes, there are cheaper switches but this is the main advantage of the knx)........

I don't agree with your summary at all.  KNX offers pretty much every advantage of any wired system.  I believe it to be the most complete and varied automation control system.  It's just at its best it is a dedicated low voltage bus wired system, the main disincentive is that it's not cheap (KNX also can be used with powerline, wireless RF, and KNX-IP - the vast bulk of devices, however, are for the bus system as it is massively more popular). It is good though.

I don't think many people on here would disagree with you that z-wave is also very good.  It clearly is, and has the sort of widespread cross manufacturer support that can only be good in the longer term.

In my head I like KNX for wired, z-wave for wireless, and I have no problems mixing the two where appropriate.  My preference is still for the wired though.  I'm not a fan of powerline technologies (and KNX also supports that).

I don't have the experience with PLCBus to say how well it performs, but the transmission method does not appeal to me, and the choice of available devices appears to be slim.