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    UPB Switchover, but questions for Martin

    Martin,

    Thought I would ask these questions on this board so that others could review, as well.

    I currently have the following X10 devices:

    45 SwitchLinc 2 way dimmers
    3 SwitchLinc 2 way appliance
    3 SwitchLinc Slave switches
    3 KeyPadLincs (8 button)
    7 LampLinc 2 way dimmers
    2 RCS TX-16 t-stats
    1 ACT coupler/repeater
    1 WGL 800 RF receiver
    11 X10 motion detectors
    4 X10 door detectors
    A one wire network with humidity and temp sensors

    And the following plug-ins:

    RCSX10 and DooMotion from Jim
    WGL800 from Oman
    mcsTemp from Michael

    I want to switch over to UPB and wonder what parts/pieces I need to purchase (part numbers) and what parts/pieces I can use as is.

    Obviously all the SwitchLincs will go, as will the KeyPadLincs.

    Questions:

    1) What part number for the 45 dimmers?
    2) What part number for the 3 appliance switches?
    3) What part number for the 3 KeyPadLincs?

    I currently use the KeyPadLincs as toggles for Homeseer. As an example, if a group of lights are on in the study (via polling and HS status), then button 1 on the KeyPadLinc is turned on. If I then turn button 1 off, then all study lights are turned off. Similarly, if button 1 is turned off, and I turn it on, then all lights in the study are turned on.

    4) Can this be done with the 8 button faceplate? And what does it attach to?
    5) Can the buttons be custom labeled for a professional look? I hate the KeyPadLinc buttons with the paper inserts!

    6) Are the UPB switches the same size or less (in depth) as the SwitchLincs?
    7) Can I put 4 UPB switches in one 4-gang box (600 watt versions?)

    8) I have one circuit that will not work any more (used to). I am hoping that UPB is strong enough to get through this circuit. If not, what testing equipment would you recommend?

    Thanks for taking a look at this. Once the questions are resolved in my mind, and the UPB plug-in is available for HS2, I will contact you for purchase of the necessary items.

    I find that X10 reliability at anything less than 100% is not acceptable for my particular environment.

    Michael

    #2
    The UPB devices have the signal strength reporting built in so additional test equipment is not needed. My signal strength was 90+ percent on the same circuit. and worst case 70% in an area that X10 would not reach. I have seen a few auto-retransmit reports from the IO module that is about 700 ft from the PIM module. I do not know if this is significant or not.

    The standard rocker switch is 1 3/8 inches from the back to the point of screw mount on the front. Add about 1/2 inch for the faceplace protrusion. The slave is about 3/8 shorter than the main rocker.

    UPB rockers can be multi-rocker per standard 1 gang box. I have only the single rocker.

    The IO module is about the same size as the standard X10 appliance module. This is what you will likely want for your door detectors. Each module can handle 3 inputs and provides 2 relay outputs. It plugs into a standard receptical so I do not know if it will work for your setup or not.

    The xAP UPB software I use to control it will respond to X10 so existing control logic will work in the default mode of the UPB device. It also responds to the BSC schema so full advantages of the UPB device capability can be utilized. HS2 will also have UPB software, but I do not know to what degree it will be an X10 emulation or will use the full UPB capability.

    Comment


      #3
      Michael,

      I appreciate your response. Sometimes, however, when I read your posts, your information is so far above my head, I think you must be in the stratosphere!

      I think I understand about xAP, but will do more reading. Are you saying that using your xAP software, I won't need much re-programming of HS events, etc.? Right now, I depend heavily on 1-wire devices, and with your mcsTemperature, can have events trigger based on these external sensors.

      I just want single rocker switches, but am wondering if too much heat is generated if I put 4 switches in a 4-gang box.

      Thanks again,

      Michael

      Comment


        #4
        Homeseer provides an interface to the X10 world via a plugin. Several are available such as the TI103, CM11A, and Powerlinc. Each of plugins conform the the protocol established by HST to communicate X10 commands and events. The plugin will typically control a serial or usb port to which the CM11A or whatever hardware is connected.

        Another X10 plugin is mcsXap. It complies with the same protocol with HS as the other plugins, but rather than communicating with a piece of hardware over a serial/usb interface it communicates over the LAN via ethernet.

        All of your existing X10 logic in homeseer will not know that it is communicating to a CM11A or to mcsXap/Ethernet. mcsXap allows you to have multiple X10-compliant interfaces. They may not be physically X10 interfaces, but they behave according to the X10 protocol. This means that you can continue to use some X10 hardware and add some UPB hardware and the operation will be transparent to all your existing Homeseer software. The difference you will see is a speed improvement and a reliability improvement because UPB (or whatever technology) is faster and more reliable. In a mixed X10/UPB environment the X10 will also be a llittle better because there will be fewer devices sucking up and introducing signals.

        I do not know what HST is doing for their UPB interface. If they make it an X10 interface with a way to map UPB addresses into X10 addresses then this will also have no impact to your existing software. If they treat it as an IO interface then each UPB module and/or link will have an IO address and you will likely need to change your events and scripts to use the new address rather than the old X10 one. Use of HST's UPB will also require you to jump into HS2 while it is going through its maturization pains.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the explanation. One more question, 'though. What is the physical hardware device that Xap is using to control a UPB switch?

          In other words, can I have the CM11a and the UPB computer interface hooked up at the same time with HS?

          Michael

          Comment


            #6
            When you run mcsXap as the X10 interface you can have as many physical interfaces as you desire. The other X10 interface plugins will allow only one and this one must be connected to the same computer on which Homeseer runs.

            mcsXap is the Homeseer plugin. xapmcsUBP.exe is the application that runs on any computer on the LAN and has the the logic to communicate with the physical UPB PIM. It can run on the same computer as HS if desired.

            mcsXap will also pass through the X10 protocol to another X10 interface plugin. This would be the normal mode for those are migrating from a pure Homeseer X10. It is also possible to run xapmcsCM11A.exe, xapmcsTII03.exe, or others to perform the physical inerface to the X10 powerline.

            Comment


              #7
              I think I get it, now. Using mcsXap, I can have multiple CM11a (or UPB) interfaces on a distributed ethernet network. So, I have one HS machine, but other computers on my LAN can receive/transmit the 'X10' commands to/from the powerline. Is this correct?

              What a great way to solve some problems, as I have a computer in my shop (Internet is a great resource for solving other problems), I have one in my Den, one in my Living Room (as my television, using Sage TV), one in the Kitchen, etc...

              Wow!

              Michael

              Comment


                #8
                Yes you have the idea.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Michael,

                  1) What part number for the 45 dimmers?

                  US1130W

                  2) What part number for the 3 appliance switches?

                  US1130W - It's all in the programming

                  3) What part number for the 3 KeyPadLincs?

                  Well, there are a bunch options for the actual keypad but the base you need is the US230 (now actually the US240) and then you pick the cover you want. The newer plates 6/8 button, etc won't be available for about another month or so.

                  Also, there is no reason you can't still use the KeypadLincs as a transmitter keypad to talk to HS and have HS do the controls. A blended environment is not a bad thing.

                  4) Can this be done with the 8 button faceplate? And what does it attach to?

                  Sure. It attaches to the US230/US240 base.

                  5) Can the buttons be custom labeled for a professional look? I hate the KeyPadLinc buttons with the paper inserts!

                  Hmmm, good question. I'll check into it.

                  6) Are the UPB switches the same size or less (in depth) as the SwitchLincs?

                  Yes, I would say almost identical.

                  7) Can I put 4 UPB switches in one 4-gang box (600 watt versions?)

                  Not a problem. Actually, the UPB switches are all rated for 1000 watts.

                  8) I have one circuit that will not work any more (used to). I am hoping that UPB is strong enough to get through this circuit. If not, what testing equipment would you recommend?

                  I think someone addressed this one already.
                  Martin Custer

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Thank you, Martin.

                    I would like to order the stuff I need.

                    Do I need a coupler/repeater, or can I use the Act one that I already have?

                    Please email me with a price list. I will email you, actually, so you have my email address to respond to.

                    Thank you,

                    Michael
                    Last edited by MRTaylor; August 12, 2005, 11:05 PM. Reason: email address

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Michael, please email me if you don't have plans for your old Linc stuff.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Simply Automated recommends a UPB coupler (passive) for all installations. In reality, you may or may not need it for your house. The signal is pretty strong.

                        You can also feel free to call me in the office anytime - 817-539-1705

                        Thanks,
                        Martin Custer

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by AutomatedOutlet
                          Simply Automated recommends a UPB coupler (passive) for all installations. In reality, you may or may not need it for your house. The signal is pretty strong.

                          You can also feel free to call me in the office anytime - 817-539-1705

                          Thanks,
                          Martin, have any of your customers deployed UPB with existing Compose installations? I'm wondering if UPB will pass right through the firewall to reach isolated circuits on the outside.

                          Thanks,
                          Don

                          Comment

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