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post #1231 of 1260 Old 12-15-2014, 12:06 PM
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Originally Posted by intake View Post
You can create a multi device scene that is executed from a keypad, virtual keypad or time clock. You cannot trigger a scene by using a local switch, at least not using the standard RadioRA2 configuration and controller. If you have an external controller (Crestron, Roomie Remote, etc) that can read and script based on watching the on state of devices, then you can trigger a scene when the device state changes.

Does that make sense?
Yes, and that is what my perception of the system was. Unfortunate that it takes a $350 keypad to do that.
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post #1232 of 1260 Old 12-15-2014, 12:26 PM
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Yes, and that is what my perception of the system was. Unfortunate that it takes a $350 keypad to do that.
Or a $30 pico....
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post #1233 of 1260 Old 12-15-2014, 12:28 PM
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Agreed on the cost of the Keypad, but make it a Hybrid Keypad at least and control a local load as well. It's this cost that has kept me from doing more keypads locally. This is the price for having a 'cheap' system. I will however say that my system has always been rock steady and has full wife acceptance.

I'd love to find a simple and CHEAP HA program that can script a single button press. Roomie remote is an option as I am already using it. I'm just not in love with their current subscription model. But a single button press of my 'Movie' scene on my keypad could now turn my AV system on, set my HUE lights to dim red and slowly dim my scene lights. What's not to love?
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post #1234 of 1260 Old 12-15-2014, 02:29 PM
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Yeah, the $30 pico will work... but it still seems like a crutch for a simple problem. A good example is the game room upstairs in my house has a short hallway leading to it, with it's own light and switch. The only time I ever use it is on my way to the game room. With Insteon I just linked the two. I hit the light on the way in and the game room lights too. So, yeah, I could carry a pico for that, or put one in the wall in a two-gang setup and it'll work fine, but it's not really the 'best' solution.

Going through this exercise has sort of impressed me more with Insteon. I mean, I'm still having some mild communications issues and reliability issues that we've all heard of (which is why I'm exploring RadioRA2 in the first place), but it's super flexible. I use a great piece of software (Indigo) to help manage the network and it provides a very high level of flexibility.

Another great thing is the ability to have a 'double tap' on a switch call a second action. (i.e. tap 'on' to just turn the light on, but if I double-tap it, Indigo will then dim the light, and turn on a couple of lamps too).
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post #1235 of 1260 Old 12-15-2014, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Swancoat View Post
Another great thing is the ability to have a 'double tap' on a switch call a second action. (i.e. tap 'on' to just turn the light on, but if I double-tap it, Indigo will then dim the light, and turn on a couple of lamps too).
I agree with you here. Lutron locks this sort of functionality into HomeWorks, which is not a DIY option at all. You can configure regular button press, double tap, long tap, etc.... very flexible from what I've seen, but never something I'll get to play with.

Layering a 3rd party solution on top of RR2 can handle a lot of these scenarios, but likely won't be as bulletproof, and adds a layer of complexity....
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post #1236 of 1260 Old 12-15-2014, 05:34 PM
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Originally Posted by rapamatic View Post
I agree with you here. Lutron locks this sort of functionality into HomeWorks, which is not a DIY option at all. You can configure regular button press, double tap, long tap, etc.... very flexible from what I've seen, but never something I'll get to play with.

Layering a 3rd party solution on top of RR2 can handle a lot of these scenarios, but likely won't be as bulletproof, and adds a layer of complexity....
And this is where I hate Lutron having Caseta too. I see this as too much fracturing of focus and resources. Chevy, GMC, Pontiac, Cadillac...yeah, too many options.
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post #1237 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 06:45 AM
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Right, individual switches or dimmers aren't able to 'send' commands to other devices. Their actions, however, are being detected on the main repeater. If you have a 3rd party controller involved then all of those actions can be monitored and acted upon. So there's ways to get there, just not as part of the individual devices themselves.

I also dislike the fact that the RD devices lack the LEDs. It is annoying. I'm sure that given the overall price of the RA2 devices there's not many customers out there that would balk at paying something more for an RD with the status LEDs. I'd be willing to rip-and-replace a few of them to get the feature.
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post #1238 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 06:52 AM
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Originally Posted by Swancoat View Post
Another great thing is the ability to have a 'double tap' on a switch call a second action. (i.e. tap 'on' to just turn the light on, but if I double-tap it, Indigo will then dim the light, and turn on a couple of lamps too).
The only problem with this is you're overloading the functionality of what most people are going to assume is a simple on/off device. It makes for a nightmare for guests or cleaning staff to operate. That and you're forcing yourself to "remember" some set of dances to go through just to turn on lights. This gets old, fast. Yeah, it's clever and for the truly geek-minded it's probably not too big of a deal. But for guests, spouses and children? Bad plan.

I'm not saying this because my gizmos won't do it, so don't get me wrong. I'm saying this from a usability perspective. It's just bad UI.
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post #1239 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 06:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Swancoat View Post
Yeah, the $30 pico will work... but it still seems like a crutch for a simple problem. A good example is the game room upstairs in my house has a short hallway leading to it, with it's own light and switch. The only time I ever use it is on my way to the game room. With Insteon I just linked the two. I hit the light on the way in and the game room lights too. So, yeah, I could carry a pico for that, or put one in the wall in a two-gang setup and it'll work fine, but it's not really the 'best' solution.
What about putting a wireless motion sensor in the hallway? I've got a couple of them and they work great. Use some 3M CommandStrips to ease figuring out the proper placement. I've got them in the master closet, laundry room, the front porch, attic and a few other closets. They're working great. They're smart enough to detect there's enough daylight not to operate.

I'm thinking of adding one to the powder room, but only operating it in 'vacancy detected' mode. As in, it won't turn on the lights but will turn them off when it senses the room is empty. This will work to eliminate the hassle of my wife & child constantly leaving the light lit. Without running into the problem of it accidentally triggering all the time when foot traffic passes in the adjacent hallway. The sensors can do both, occupancy and vacancy. Most of the time you'd use both, but it's handy to have the choice.
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post #1240 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 07:29 AM
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The only problem with this is you're overloading the functionality of what most people are going to assume is a simple on/off device. It makes for a nightmare for guests or cleaning staff to operate. That and you're forcing yourself to "remember" some set of dances to go through just to turn on lights. This gets old, fast. Yeah, it's clever and for the truly geek-minded it's probably not too big of a deal. But for guests, spouses and children? Bad plan.

I'm not saying this because my gizmos won't do it, so don't get me wrong. I'm saying this from a usability perspective. It's just bad UI.
That's a fair point. For the most part I use the double taps for my own geek purposes (scenes that I like, while the rest of the users just get on with regular use). I use a few of them for something like 'single tap shuts off the light, double tap shuts off everything in the room', which is intuitive enough.

Going through software to 'link' the switches sounds ok. I'm a bit curious about the responsiveness etc...
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post #1241 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 07:30 AM
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What about putting a wireless motion sensor in the hallway? I've got a couple of them and they work great. Use some 3M CommandStrips to ease figuring out the proper placement. I've got them in the master closet, laundry room, the front porch, attic and a few other closets. They're working great. They're smart enough to detect there's enough daylight not to operate.

I'm thinking of adding one to the powder room, but only operating it in 'vacancy detected' mode. As in, it won't turn on the lights but will turn them off when it senses the room is empty. This will work to eliminate the hassle of my wife & child constantly leaving the light lit. Without running into the problem of it accidentally triggering all the time when foot traffic passes in the adjacent hallway. The sensors can do both, occupancy and vacancy. Most of the time you'd use both, but it's handy to have the choice.
Now this is interesting. How responsive can these things get if you jack the sensitivity up as high as it goes? Can it go inside a closet and effectively replace an open/close sensor (I know that's asking a lot for a motion sensor).
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post #1242 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 07:33 AM
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It's unfortunate the interface (well, and all the rest of the parts) are so expensive for RA2. I'd really like to get a few switches and just test drive the latency/response, etc...

All in, I'm really interested in moving to what would be a much more fully 'robust' lighting setup, especially as I have quite a few loads now, and can probably justify the cost but I'm not too interested in trading down functionality to get it.
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post #1243 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 08:25 AM
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That's a fair point. For the most part I use the double taps for my own geek purposes (scenes that I like, while the rest of the users just get on with regular use). I use a few of them for something like 'single tap shuts off the light, double tap shuts off everything in the room', which is intuitive enough.

Going through software to 'link' the switches sounds ok. I'm a bit curious about the responsiveness etc...
With the RA2 switches it's tap to bring the lighting up to the pre (or last) set level. Double-tap brings it up to 100%. Single tap turns it off if it's on. Everyone (including my +80yo in-laws) grasped this immediately. If I had overloaded features like double tapping for combinations I'd lose them right way. I designed the setup to have a paddle dimmer as the first device in the wall box. This brings up the 'most frequently used' lighting for the space. The light over a bath vanity (as opposed to the ceiling cans in the room) or the wall sconces in the the theater. But in the front entrance they bring up the ceiling cans along the main 'path' of lights on the first floor (which are wired as one circuit). The next position is usually a keypad for other lighting or scenes. The bottom button of all my keypads is configure for a location-suitable "All Off". For the ones by the entry doors this is a whole house shared scene. But for other rooms it's an "Area All Off". As in, turn off all the lighting in the basement rec room area (including a delayed off on the stairs leading up). Same thing with the master suite, the bottom button turns off the bedroom, the bath and the closet.

Anytime you use an 3rd party interface you'd need to plan accordingly. RA2 does a couple of things with scenes to aid response time. As in, commands are sent as a group to avoid congestion. So an 'All Off' scene gets sent as a single command to the Shared Scene instead of what could be up to 200 individual commands. Likewise you can configure the main repeater to only monitor certain devices to avoid getting a lot of messages you don't need.
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post #1244 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 09:08 AM
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It's unfortunate the interface (well, and all the rest of the parts) are so expensive for RA2. I'd really like to get a few switches and just test drive the latency/response, etc...

All in, I'm really interested in moving to what would be a much more fully 'robust' lighting setup, especially as I have quite a few loads now, and can probably justify the cost but I'm not too interested in trading down functionality to get it.
The RA2 stuff costs more but I've found it worth the price paid. It's reliable and wife-friendly. My friends have commented how much they like the up-sweep dimmer on the front porch light, that and how the holiday and front facade lighting automatically adjust themselves for sunrise/sunset.

Over the decades I've had or tried just about everyone lighting solution out there, the Lutron stuff keeps coming back as the most reliable and least likely to torment my wife/guests/children. That's really made it a winner for me. The set-and-forget nature of how the switches and repeater behave is fantastic. Enough that I've delayed embarking on the 3rd party integration for a bit. Yeah, the tinkerer in me would like a few more features but the wise husband in me knows not to torment the wife...

Yes, it's a big bite to take but it's been worth it for me. Honestly, if they had more flexibility on HWQS supply I'd have seriously considered it instead. That's a whole other conversation, but adding conditional programming with Lutron reliability... that's definitely worth some consideration.
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post #1245 of 1260 Old 12-16-2014, 03:50 PM
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.....I have one lingering question: All along, it seems like there is no way to basically 'link' or bind two devices. Is this right? I know some systems (Insteon) use a method like this for 3 and 4 way switches, but in some places I just have loads that are almost always used coincidentally, so they're linked. It seems like this kind of functionality is not available in RR2......
I think the question was answered. But yes, you need a Keypad or Pico (or 3rd party) to create a scene with 2 "linked" devices we'll call a "scene" usually. I was a little thrown off but the wording because you can link the main device and RD in the software, but no you can only associate two(or more) unique zones to a keypad button or event. What you're really asking (I think) is for a conditional statement that basically says "if this device is on at this level, than this other device should be on at this level" that kind of functionality can be achieved through some 3rd party integration but directly in RR2 only with a Keypad. We all wish RR2 did this but it's not available in it's current form.

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post #1246 of 1260 Old 12-20-2014, 11:58 AM
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Ok, another question: In my media room, I have 6 loads. They are set up in 2 separate 3-gang boxes. Is there any real advantage to going with a Grafik Eye, or just as simple (and maybe cheaper) to use 5 dimmers and a hybrid keypad? Currently set up that way with Insteon.

(Fun twist, for whatever reason, each of the 3-gang boxes is a different circuit, so can you even USE a Grafik Eye in this situation, or would you basically be using a Grafik Eye and WPM to handle it all).
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post #1247 of 1260 Old 12-20-2014, 10:06 PM
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Ok, another question: In my media room, I have 6 loads. They are set up in 2 separate 3-gang boxes. Is there any real advantage to going with a Grafik Eye, or just as simple (and maybe cheaper) to use 5 dimmers and a hybrid keypad? Currently set up that way with Insteon.
If the load wiring is not already all co-located, there's no advantage to the GE. Certainly simpler to use the dimmers and hybrid keypad, and while the GE would be cheaper if all 6 were in one 4-gang box, using the individual dimmers also allows you to mix dimmer types (for small wattage LED support, for example). Cost of course doesn't include the RA2 system infrastructure - which I assume if you're in this thread you're already bought into...

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post #1248 of 1260 Old 12-21-2014, 06:32 PM
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Not to beat a dead horse here, but I want to be pretty clear on how this should work...

I have somewhere around 50 loads all in (including lamps, etc...). If I give an 'all off' command, it's set as a group command right? I.e, I press and all off button... and all the lights basically shut off at once with no lag - is that right?
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post #1249 of 1260 Old 12-21-2014, 06:53 PM
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If the load wiring is not already all co-located, there's no advantage to the GE. Certainly simpler to use the dimmers and hybrid keypad, and while the GE would be cheaper if all 6 were in one 4-gang box, using the individual dimmers also allows you to mix dimmer types (for small wattage LED support, for example). Cost of course doesn't include the RA2 system infrastructure - which I assume if you're in this thread you're already bought into...
Ok, thanks. So pretty clear I don't need the GE for anything. Well, not quite... Is there an easy answer for IR with a Hybrid Keypad? I know a regular keypad can be had with an IR window on the front (which would be PERFECT for my setup), but I have to control a load with that keypad.
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post #1250 of 1260 Old 12-21-2014, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Swancoat View Post
Not to beat a dead horse here, but I want to be pretty clear on how this should work...

I have somewhere around 50 loads all in (including lamps, etc...). If I give an 'all off' command, it's set as a group command right? I.e, I press and all off button... and all the lights basically shut off at once with no lag - is that right?
Essentially, yes. It's all a matter of how you program the scene. And note that each device within a scene can have both it's activation time and the transition time configured independently. That is, the amount of delay that will be paused before the command is executed, and then how long it takes to complete the action.

I utilize this for the "All Off" scene for the lower (basement) level lighting. Most of the lighting is configured with no delay and no duration for the dimming. This allows for someone pressing the button to see immediate effect with lights going dark. However, the lights on the stairway are configured with a 10 second delay before activating and then a 15 second dimming duration. This allows for ample time to make your way up the steps without being plunged into darkness. The same is done for the "All Off" scene for the entry doors. Almost all lights are configured for immediately off with no duration, but a few have a delay/duration to avoid accidentally leaving someone in the dark. The porch light near them is likewise set for a 30 second delay and a 10 second dimming period. The effect is a gradual reduction of light, and several folks have commented how much they like it. Go figure, sometimes it's simple stuff that gets all the attention...
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post #1251 of 1260 Old 12-22-2014, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by Swancoat View Post
Ok, thanks. So pretty clear I don't need the GE for anything. Well, not quite... Is there an easy answer for IR with a Hybrid Keypad? I know a regular keypad can be had with an IR window on the front (which would be PERFECT for my setup), but I have to control a load with that keypad.
Sorry, to the best of my knowledge the Hybrid keypads are not IR capable. Possible if you have a IR distribution system you could transmit to another location that may have an regular keypad. Or, If you need to transmit IR to the system you could also use a 3rd party product like "iruleathome.com". Just to add/remind, any of the regular keypads you can place an IR "bugeye" on the back side so you don't really need the ugly IR on the keypad face unless thats your only place to put it (if you don't have other IR receiver). I guess this would be one benefit to use a GE QS instead of Dimmers...

Just to revisit the GE question, short answer: Unless you need something pretty on the wall then RR2 switches/dimmers would be cheaper in most cases. Also, using individual devices are likely more load capable with for LED lighting without having to use an interface the GE may require. Lastly, to the best of my knowledge the latest GE QS is not available in anything less than 4 Zone (requires 4G box).

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post #1252 of 1260 Old 12-22-2014, 08:16 AM
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Ok, thanks. So pretty clear I don't need the GE for anything. Well, not quite... Is there an easy answer for IR with a Hybrid Keypad? I know a regular keypad can be had with an IR window on the front (which would be PERFECT for my setup), but I have to control a load with that keypad.
You could add a 1-gang box for a regular keypad, or use a pick remote...

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post #1253 of 1260 Old 12-22-2014, 09:27 AM
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You could add a 1-gang box for a regular keypad, or use a pick remote...
I assume you mean pico remote... regardless, I want to use it with the Media Room's universal IR remote, so a pico isn't the top solution. I currently have an Insteon IR sensor in there and I can probably just use it to capture the IR, and have software give me the right scene.
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post #1254 of 1260 Old 12-22-2014, 12:54 PM
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I assume you mean pico remote... regardless, I want to use it with the Media Room's universal IR remote, so a pico isn't the top solution. I currently have an Insteon IR sensor in there and I can probably just use it to capture the IR, and have software give me the right scene.
Yeah, Pico (autocorrect...)

Using the Insteon IR receiver isn't going to help. You're not going to get an easy bridge back to the RA2 system from there...

My other suggestion was to either expand the current box or place a new remodel 1-gang box next to it, and pigtail power to it to add a spot for a keypad (non-hybrid) with IR.

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post #1255 of 1260 Old 12-22-2014, 01:08 PM
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Yeah, Pico (autocorrect...)

Using the Insteon IR receiver isn't going to help. You're not going to get an easy bridge back to the RA2 system from there...

My other suggestion was to either expand the current box or place a new remodel 1-gang box next to it, and pigtail power to it to add a spot for a keypad (non-hybrid) with IR.

Jeff
I'm currently managing my Insteon setup with Indigo software, and somebody's written a RadioRA2 plugin for it, so I should be able to link them through software. Not crazy about that bit of lag, but it is what it is I guess.

I'm kind of tossing around the idea of the 6 regular dimmers and adding a spot for the hybrid keypad like you say, but given the arrangements of studs and the current boxes, It's going to seem awkward at best.

Currently there's two separate 3 gang boxes, placed side by side a few inches apart, with studs on the outsides. So it's basically add the keypad above or below. Not sure how I'll like either of those options. I figure I'll try the Insteon/Indigo method first and see how the lag goes.
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post #1256 of 1260 Old Today, 01:28 PM
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Unfortunate that it takes a $350 keypad to do that.
This does not sound right. I think even msrp is lower than this, and street price is just over $200.
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post #1257 of 1260 Old Today, 01:55 PM
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This does not sound right. I think even msrp is lower than this, and street price is just over $200.
For a regular RA2 keypad, yes, but for the Hybrid keypad (dimmer+keypad), I believe MSRP is $350... (or at least in that ballpark)

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Hybrid keypad (dimmer+keypad), I believe MSRP is $350... (or at least in that ballpark)
Yep, you are right, those are expensive. Hybrid runs around $300...
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post #1259 of 1260 Old Today, 06:21 PM
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Yep, you are right, those are expensive. Hybrid runs around $300...
I have several and it makes a nice replacement for a regular dimmer. Yeah, it's more than a keypad though. I'm guessing there's some quantity of scale issues as they're probably not sold in large numbers (certainly nowhere near the dimmer numbers).
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post #1260 of 1260 Old Today, 07:49 PM
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Well, I'm going to go ahead and try, starting in the Media Room. The plan is to go with the 5 dimmers plus a hybrid dimmer to replace the current Insteon Setup. IR scene activation will be through the Insteon IR receiver to Indigo and then use the RadioRA2 plugin to activate the scene in RA2. If that proves unsatisfactory, but RA2 is otherwise looking good, then I'll replace the hybrid keypad with a regular dimmer (hybrid keypad will easily find another home in the house) and add another single gang box for a regular keypad with IR window.
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