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would this work as a simple 100' z-troller extender?

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    would this work as a simple 100' z-troller extender?

    Would a dead-simple PS/2 to RJ45 connector (like that pictured at http://www.aliexpress.com/item/2pcs-...829599449.html) work for extending a z-troller using 100 feet of Ethernet cable? The idea would be to use it on both ends of the Ethernet cable. One of the posts on the HomeSeer forum (Ericryheard in http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=128161) said you could make your own, but they're cheap enough I'd rather buy something off the shelf--provided it does the job, that is.

    I've also toyed with the idea of just using a 75 foot PS/2 extension cable, but I already have an Ethernet cable where I would want it to go.

    Please advise. I think I may do one of the multi-ztroller setups.

    #2
    There is not a good definitive answer to this. The answer is "it might work for you, but probably not." The Z-Troller runs at 115200 baud, which generally precludes long cable lengths. I was unsuccessful at extending mine 50 feet via Cat5e cable. Back when I used to run serial cables to dumb terminals we ran at 9600 baud and could easily have trouble at 100 feet.

    You're welcome to try it, but I wouldn't expect it to work. If you try, keep the cable well away from any EMI sources such as AC lines, other equipment, light fixtures, etc. Using shielded and grounded cable *might* give you a slight advantage.

    For the price of running properly terminated shielded twisted pair that probably won't work anyway at that distance, I'd recommend searching eBay for a serial to IP converter. You can pick up Digi PortServers or others (even single port devices) pretty cheap now.
    Last edited by reidfo; June 23, 2013, 05:56 PM. Reason: Corrected Digi product name
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      #3
      Here I am extending the Z-Troller using IP via a Quatech server on the second floor of my home. Works fine.

      That said though I am now using all four ports on the device for other stuff.
      - Pete

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        #4
        I was able to run my ztroller 100' using rs232 cable. But that is thicker wire than cat5. Give it a try. When you wire up the rj45 you might double up pins 2,3 and 5 of the rs232 which are the only wires used by the ztroller. That should improve the signal.

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          #5
          Thanks, guys. Since I'm already using an RS232-to-USB converter to hook the z-troller into my computer, I think I'll try this:
          http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

          It runs at USB 1.0 speeds (12mbps), but I should think that would be fast enough to support the 115200 baud that you mentioned without straining.

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            #6
            I recently added extra Z-trollers to my network.

            For one, I placed it fairly close to the main HomeSeer box and so I figured I could use a serial cable.

            I tried a 50 ft cable and made sure it was as far away as possible from power lines. Coverage was spotty.

            I then moved it a bit closer and used a 35 ft cable and coverage has been flawless.

            The other unit is hundreds of feet away and I used a serial/cat5 converter.

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              #7
              Upon reflection, doing the USB over Ethernet would probably work, but it's kludgy. If I wind up with 3 or 4 z-troller's in my system--and the near future odds of that are good--then I would have a rats nest of cables and wall warts near the PC to patch it all together....

              So, to get something cleaner and more scalable, I'm going to scrap the the above notions of using usb-over-Ethernet and buy a global cache IP2SL to connect each z-troller using Ethernet to my Wi-Fi router. That way, there will be zero proliferation of cables and wall warts near the PC, even if I wind up with 6 z-trollers down the road. Because z-wave doesn't seem to scale very well, having 4 to 6 z-trollers in a home network is starting to look almost inevitable....in my particular case, probably a lot sooner than later.

              I know there's an IP2SL-P, so that the IP2SL can be powered over Ethernet. That would eliminate one of the two wall-warts per z-troller on each receiving end. Now, if I could just use power-over-Ethernet--or something like it--to remotely power each z-troller, I could eliminate the z-troller wall warts too. That sure would be a lot cleaner, and it would make installing some of the remote z-trollers also easier--I wouldn't need to locate them near AC power or run AC power to them. Is there an easy way to do this?

              I welcome everybody's advice and/or ideas on how to do this.
              Last edited by NeverDie; June 24, 2013, 08:20 AM.

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                #8
                You will need some type of POE splitter on the end to power the ZTroller as it takes 6v max.
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                  #9
                  Do you suppose the z-troller would run just as well on 5 volts as on 6? After all, it does seem to function (I'm not sure if range is compromised) on just 2 AA batteries (3 volts). I don't see any PoE splitters that offer 6 volts per se. For instance, here's a PoE splitter that can do 12, 9, 7.5, or 5 volts:

                  http://www.amazon.com/TRENDnet-Gigab...splitter+squid

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                    #10
                    My first ZTroller came with a 4.5V power supply. My second and third ZTrollers came with a 6v. You should be fine at 5v.
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                      #11
                      Notionally, I guess I could use this (which is certainly cheap and small) and just plug the z-troller's 6volt power supply into it on the send side:

                      http://www.amazon.com/Super-Power-Su...splitter+squid

                      but I'm not sure if the wires for power in the Ethernet that its using would conflict with the power needed to operate the PoE global cache IP2SL-P.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by rmasonjr View Post
                        My first ZTroller came with a 4.5V power supply. My second and third ZTrollers came with a 6v. You should be fine at 5v.

                        Cool! I better hurry up and cancel the order I made last night for an IP2SL and buy an IP2SL-P instead.

                        Thanks!

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                          #13
                          Here I have been using the newer TP-Link POE injectors that are around $20 these days. That said you can find the old ones for $10 and these work just as well.

                          I am currently using these for 5VDC Touchscreens and 12VDC non POE IP cameras feeding them from a variety of POE switches (playing with) and one Tycon 24 port mid stream injector.

                          I did try a variety of different POE injectors and my issue related to how hot they got. Early on I did have a few that "melted" (a few years back).

                          Being blunt here...you are still introducing another point of failure adding more wireless to wireless transport for your Z-Troller.

                          http://www.tp-link.com/en/products/?categoryid=234

                          Since you are already using POE and a catXX cable here is a single port Digi RS-232 (Digi Connect DC-SP-01-CF) to ethernet box for ~$18 USD...

                          http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digi-Connect...-/110935451607
                          Last edited by Pete; June 24, 2013, 09:19 AM.
                          - Pete

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by Pete View Post

                            Since you are already using POE and a catXX cable here is a single port Digi RS-232 (Digi Connect DC-SP-01-CF) to ethernet box for ~$18 USD...

                            http://www.ebay.com/itm/Digi-Connect...-/110935451607
                            If I'm reading that ebay listing right, it doesn't appear to be PoE per se. Would I use a separate splitter in series to power the Digi RS-232, or does there exist some kind of "squid" PoE splitter than would have one power cable to power the Digi RS-232 (at 9-30VDC @ 370 mA) and another power cable to power the z-troller at 5 volts?
                            Last edited by NeverDie; June 24, 2013, 09:45 AM.

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                              #15
                              For that matter, I'm not sure if putting a PoE splitter (to power the z-troller) in series with the IP2SL-P (which gets its power directly from the Ethernet cable without using a splitter) would create a conflict and/or contention for power? Maybe the splitter's Ethernet output doesn't even have any of the injected power on it? Or would the splitter pass-through to its output port whatever power it isn't splitting off (at the same voltage as what's on it's input Ethernet port)? I'm brand new to this.

                              A PoE splitter that could output different, independent voltages (selected by the end user) on two different power cables--one for the z-troller and one for the IP2SL (or Digi RS-232)--sure would be nice.... Does such a thing exist?
                              Last edited by NeverDie; June 24, 2013, 10:05 AM.

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