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240v relay/dimmer options for automation in australia

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  • 240v relay/dimmer options for automation in australia

    I'm going to be moving from Seattle (rain) to Australia (lots of sun) some time soon.

    We are building a house down there and I want to get my wiring right.

    Do we have anyone on the forums from Australia?

    I'd like to know what my wiring options are for the 240v lighting circuits and window circuits.

    If I were building my house new over here, I would just homerun cat5 wire to my switches and lights (also blinds/awnings), and probably use iLine relays and dimmers, or other switches that can take a cat5 input.

    Unfortunately, much of the nice gear that's available here in the states doesn't seem to be available in Australia.

    I've read up on c-bus but that seems to requires home running all my lighting and window power to the wiring closet, and I think the relays/dimmers are quite expensive - but mainly I'd prefer to keep my wiring closet all low voltage.

    I think UPB just got released down there - so that looks like a reasonable option, but I would prefer hardwired cat5

    Another challenge is motorizing my blinds/awnings. Not sure if there's a good in wall 240v solution. Should just run 240v wire to all the windows + cat5, or if I should just plan on using low voltage dc motors (12v/24v) and open up my options on what to use as control relays.

  • #2
    Hi diroky,

    Sorry for the delay, been away with work for a while. There are a few of us from Australia here.

    As much as I hate to admit it, CBUS is your best choice. As for CBUS being expense, yes it is, but everything "home automation" is expensive here. A $5 X10 Appliance Module in the US is $60 here. So regardless of the path you take (X10/UPB/etc) it's going to be a LOT more than if you were doing the same thing in the US.

    If I had the chance to do everything again, I would just install CBUS and be done with it (saving up to do that now). CBUS is far from perfect, and is a little strange to use, but it's reliable.

    I purchased a few CBUS bits to have a play with it to see what it's like and I like it. There are a few things you need to keep in mind such as using 4 channel modules, not 8 channel modules due to the 8's only having 4 'global addresses'.. This will make sense if you started looking at CBUS.

    Personal opinion from someone who's been doing home automation in Australia for a while now: If you are building a new house, the solution is simple, use CBUS. The Clipsal security systems are crap, so use a HAI OmniProII or Elk M1 as the alarm system and interface it with CBUS for lighting (the Elk - resold here under the Ness brand, has a native CBUS interface).
    I have an HAI OmniPro II and it's great, it connects to my thermostat so it controls heating etc as well.

    If I was starting from scratch I'd do: CBUS for Lighting, HAI OmniPro II for security (or ELK/Ness M1), Way2Call for the phone and Homeseer to tie it all together.

    There isn't a native CBUS HomeSeer plugin but I think I might write one as I'm hoping to move to CBUS in the near future.

    There are professional quality blind controllers (again, $$$) which work quite well. I would really sit down with a CBUS certified installer (preferably one that does light commercial installs, as they would know about blinds etc from fitting out boardrooms and alike) and brain storm on what you want, and let them do the research and come back to you. Also part of your agreement needs to include YOU getting a copy of the final CBUS Toolkit Project.

    If you have other questions, feel free to ask and I'll try my best to help.

    Regards,

    Ross.

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