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  • RS485 shade/blind control

    I'm posting here since I don't see a dedicated 'window treatments' area

    I'm currently pre-wired at all window locations in new construction with 16/4, so I have wired power and the option of sending/receiving control signals to Somfy Sonesse ST30 shades (at least that's what I'm tempted to get) via RS485 (as opposed to RTS). Anyone else using HS with Somfy motors that are hardwired for power and control? I was made aware that no plug-in is currently available. I don't want to spring for thousands for dollars worth of wired motors and then find out that I won't be able to control them through HS.

    Any insight on wired control shade control (even it it's not Somfy) is appreciated. If you mention rollertrol, then can you also point me what interface from HS/Hometroller is used to control them using a wired connection and if rollertrol supports intermediary presets?

    thanks!

  • #2
    Bumpity bump. Nobody using RS485 on Somfy blinds/shades? Is everyone with automated blinds an RFXtrx433E whore? If that's what I have to fall back on, has anyone had problems with the RFXtrx433E not having sufficient range to hit all Somfy motors (e.g. Sonesse) within a house 3500-4000 sq ft? Do people change out antennas on the RFXtrx433E and remove the unneeded protocols? The manual doesn't say much about real-life situations in American homes (e.g., putting the RFXtrx433E in the basement and it having to transmit through two subfloors to reach the second bedroom windows) except for % range reduction through wood vs. concrete.
    thanks

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    • #3
      is the rs485 direct controlled protocol different than the rs485 protocol that interfaces with the RTS wireless transmitter? I had been operating under the impression that they were the same, the RTS transmitter just enabled wireless motors, but that the control protocol was all the same whether you stayed on the wire to the devices or not. I could be completely wrong on that assumption.

      I was going to go RS485 into an RTS transmitter, but then indeed became an RFXtrx433E whore when I realized I could add temp monitoring from oregon scientific devices and save about 100 bucks on the deal.

      I certainly wouldn't suggest changing to anything wireless if you are pre-wired, oh how i wish i was.... My TRX433E is pretty reliable in about 2000 sqf and one detached outbuilding. My blinds miss a command maybe twice a year, and that is with open/close functions daily. On the 433E i did indeed install a better(ish) antenna, just a 3db gain NMO on a mag mount stuck to the top of my rack. I have a crazy ugly noise floor though in this house and a bunch of other 400mhz interference in the neighborhood. I changed out the antenna to get more reliable RX from the oregon scientific temp transmitter in the freezer in the outbuilding. before the external antenna it would miss updating a couple times a day, after new antenna, no issues. I attribute half of that problem to 1) being an oregon scientific device, 2) having the temp transmitter inside a freezer and 3) being in an outbuilding.

      As for disabling other protocols, you have to enable the ones you want, so by default you only enable what you're using, the rest stay off.

      I'm kind of surprised at the lack of window treatment automation info on this forum as well. I ranked blinds right up next to lighting on my priorities for automation, but finding info on Venetians and to go through the maze of Somfy and Rfxcom and what works, etc, was a long research project. Not sure if the majority of people aren't automating blinds, or what the deal is.

      Comment


      • #4
        Somfy with Z-Wave ZDMI

        I have 5 shades with ZDMI Z-Wave controllers. The three that work are fine, no problems but I have had a problem with the ZDMIs joining the network.

        I returned two of them and am currently waiting on Somfy's testing to identify the problem.

        I'll update when I get their feedback.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by sickpuppy View Post
          Any insight on wired control shade control (even it it's not Somfy) is appreciated.
          thanks!
          I suggest you look at the products from Hunter Douglas for a new construction job as you can totally avoid wireless links for the system. You need to run 2 wires to each blind. Select your blinds first so you can run the wires from the top or side of the window opening as required. The wires supply a positive/negative DC voltage to drive the motor up/down. The wires need to run to a dedicated controller box within about 50 feet for the gauge of wire that I used. The controller box contains one small circuit board for driving each blind. The boards then interface to an RS-232 / RS-422 port. I use scripts to send the commands from HS. It's rock solid.

          Originally Hunter Douglas designed their own electronics to control their blinds. Then about 5-7 years ago, they purchased Electronic Solutions Inc (ESI). ESI makes all sorts of motor controllers including Z-Wave products and is very good stuff.

          The wired Hunter Douglas products are not cheap, but they never miss a command, provide status, and do not require replacing batteries. All of the detailed interface information is on ESI's website.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by ORNVM View Post
            is the rs485 direct controlled protocol different than the rs485 protocol that interfaces with the RTS wireless transmitter? I had been operating under the impression that they were the same, the RTS transmitter just enabled wireless motors, but that the control protocol was all the same whether you stayed on the wire to the devices or not. I could be completely wrong on that assumption.
            The Somfy RTS transmitter has RS485 out ports on it. Do you think that means that if I send Somfy RTS commands to the transmitter that it will send wired RS485 out in parallel with wireless RTS? This would be my only hope unless I write my own RS485 script to send RS485 from HS straight to the power/control panel.

            Originally posted by ORNVM
            I certainly wouldn't suggest changing to anything wireless if you are pre-wired, oh how i wish i was.... My TRX433E is pretty reliable in about 2000 sqf and one detached outbuilding.
            Worst case if I go wireless, I could place the TRX433E in a heat vent that is more central relative to the window locations.

            Originally posted by ORNVM
            I'm kind of surprised at the lack of window treatment automation info on this forum as well.
            Yes, very surprising - but we have countless threads dedicated to driveway and freezer monitoring...

            Originally posted by Mountainman View Post
            I suggest you look at the products from Hunter Douglas for a new construction job as you can totally avoid wireless links for the system. You need to run 2 wires to each blind.
            I couldn't see any low voltage tubular roller shade motors on ESI's site. Right now I'm prewired with 16/4 to each window on the upper left side (but can extend the cable if need be to the right). I may stop by a dealer to see what options they have or if I have been misinformed in the past about HD's offerings. I may have to kindly hit you up on those scripts if I go this route since there's so little info out there about hardwired window treatments and HS. thanks
            Last edited by sickpuppy; July 19th, 2015, 05:39 PM.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by sickpuppy View Post
              I couldn't see any low voltage tubular roller shade motors on ESI's site. Right now I'm prewired with 16/4 to each window on the upper left side (but can extend the cable if need be to the right). I may stop by a dealer to see what options they have or if I have been misinformed in the past about HD's offerings.
              It's worth spending some time talking to a HD rep. They offer a large variety of window covering types and a wide selection of fabric types/colors to cover the headrail. You can also install a dedicated hardwired control for each room which requires a cat 5 cable running to the control box. I put this adjacent to the light switch gang box as you walk into a room. The control can provide a dedicated pair of buttons for each blind and dedicated pair(s) of buttons to operate set(s) of blinds - whatever you want. This provides control whether HS is up and running or not. Of course, you don't need this if you plan to provide all of your control via HS.

              Comment


              • #8
                Well, scratch off Hunter Douglas from all your motorization needs. Just came back from a HD dealer. HD is getting rid of their old motorization (which was ridiculously overengineered using line power to each shade on top of a 6 conductor control system). The new system that they rolled out last month is called PowerView and uses 18v AC adaptors or battery powered roller shades in connection with their proprietary RF system via handheld remotes and wall controls with wi-fi app access. Nothing to see here, just move along.. or at least nothing that Somfy can't provide for 1/2 the price.

                Still waiting for someone from Rollertrol (do those guys ever get back to you?) to let me know if they have a hardwired control system instead of RF.

                Comment


                • #9
                  The Powerview stuff is, interesting. We have some of it. Their app worries me, it literally has NO security. No login, no non-editing mode. As in, anyone that has the app and a connection to your network can immediately make any/all changes to it. WTF?

                  Using WiFi for devices is a mistake. WiFi is far too unreliable, that and devices typically don't handle losing their network very gracefully. Routers go offline and then you can't talk to any of the devices. That and the the devices don't reconnect themselves when their network returns.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by sickpuppy View Post
                    Well, scratch off Hunter Douglas from all your motorization needs. Just came back from a HD dealer. HD is getting rid of their old motorization (which was ridiculously overengineered using line power to each shade on top of a 6 conductor control system). The new system that they rolled out last month is called PowerView and uses 18v AC adaptors or battery powered roller shades in connection with their proprietary RF system via handheld remotes and wall controls with wi-fi app access. Nothing to see here, just move along.. or at least nothing that Somfy can't provide for 1/2 the price.

                    Still waiting for someone from Rollertrol (do those guys ever get back to you?) to let me know if they have a hardwired control system instead of RF.
                    Adrian from RollerTrol is very quick with emails on business hours in my experie ce, and they do have hardwired systems.
                    HW: HS3 w/ Win8.1 on ASRock C2550d4i. Digi AnywhereUSB, Hubport, Edgeport, UZB, Z-trollers, PLCBUS, SONOS, GC-100, iTach IP2SL, WF2IR, IP2IR, RFXtrx433, Harmony Hubs, Hue, Ademco Vista 128BP, NetAtmo, NetAtmo Welcome

                    Google Search for HomeSeer Forum

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                    • #11
                      Adrian from RollerTrol got back to me within a few hours. I asked him to give me a call instead of trying to go back and forth over email.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by sickpuppy View Post
                        I'm posting here since I don't see a dedicated 'window treatments' area

                        Any insight on wired control shade control (even it it's not Somfy) is appreciated. If you mention rollertrol, then can you also point me what interface from HS/Hometroller is used to control them using a wired connection and if rollertrol supports intermediary presets?

                        thanks!
                        Did you eventually choose which company and protocol for an install?
                        Jim
                        ----
                        Plugins:Z Wave 3.0.1.55, HS3 Pro 3.0.0.208, HS3Touch, HS3Touch IOS, Z-Net, SceneMaster, XBMC, Sonos, Media Controller, Envisalink (52 Virtual nodes), JowiHue, EasyTrigger, Liftmaster MyQ, BLBackup, BLLAN, BLRadar, Pushover

                        Devices:Cooper RF9540, Cooper Scene, Yale Locks, Sonos, Phillips Hue and Lux, DSC, Somfy Blinds

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by 519zwave View Post
                          Did you eventually choose which company and protocol for an install?
                          I went with Somfy RTS motors and am using the TRX433E transceiver with an upgraded antenna. I haven't had a single missed command in the past 4 months, so I'm happy with the off-the-shelf solution (Somfy + 433E + HS 433E PI) as opposed to trying to get a custom RS485 script to work.

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