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post #1 of 22 Old 06-16-2012, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello, I'm going to automate the new house. I'm waiting on price from spec meeting, and start /completion date. I'd like to wire for everything. I plan to have a conduit to attic, and garage etc.

I'll be going HAI, however while I'm in there, it wouldn't be expensive to put a cat5 to each switch should I decide down the road, or next owner, to change to creston etc. so my question is, how does the 232 in home automation work? I only deal with radio rs-232 in my job, which is a simple 3 wire (Rx, Tx, Com). Generally we have multiple radios and maybe one meter, so we use a mux to merge signals to radio. (I don't comm guy does). So in home automation, can all the switches be addressed differently, and daisy chained? Or do they require a star config (each its own homerun, and branch from a single port) or do they each get their own run and port (doesn't seem right to me, but I don't know.)

I'd like to pull wire for all possibilities, so why not for 232 control to switches etc. can anyone help me out here?
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post #2 of 22 Old 06-16-2012, 03:25 PM
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If you have a lot of lighting you may want to look at a lighting control system like Vantage, for example. Lighting keypads are typically addressable and connected to the controller, which, has an RS232 port for communication to third party control systems. The protocol allows for dim, bright, on, off as well as direct value settings for various lighting scenes. You can also use the third party control system to operate the HAI.

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post #3 of 22 Old 06-16-2012, 04:36 PM - Thread Starter
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I will have.

4 bedrooms
2 living rooms
A dinning room
1 pantry
Laundry room
2.5 bath
An office
3 car garage
Outside front lights
Outside back garage light
Xmas lights
Rear deck
Below rear deck (walkout basement)

In future when I finish basement I'll have:
Theater
Bar
Another nook/tile area for table
Rec room
Another bath.

I'll also be pre wire for a few cameras, driveway sensor, driveway lights, security, audio (I'll need a sep card for this I'm thinking 22 speakers throughout with pa/intercom, up to 4 zone irigation (haven't considered landscape on sides yet), I'd like to hardwire blinds but if wireless are what I have to use, then that's fine. Trying to stay away from wireless. Wireless door lock, and garage door open from pad.

Will hai not accommodate this? In looking at the specs the omnipro II seemed to have the I/O, with expansion card.

I'm doing everything in house. Or atleast wiring for it. I'd prob try a nuvo system (builder really likes them) for house audio, not theater. Not sure though.
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post #4 of 22 Old 06-16-2012, 08:35 PM
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You should pick a lighting control platform now. Find out what others use with HAI.

You're wasting effort running cables to switches if you won't need them.

There is an HAI subforum at cocoontech.com.

Edit - ditto for shades.

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post #5 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 12:04 AM
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If you use a lighting control system like Vantage, its not necessary to run RS232 cables to each keypad. You just need to run a single RS232 cable from your third party control system to the lighting controller. Sorry if I didn't make that clear in my previous post. Cameras are a slightly different story. You can control PTZ functions directly or through a camera controller. In either case you'll need to run RS232 to each camera. I don't think its realistic to expect to control everything using HAI, especially, once you've integrated your home theater. Think of the HAI as a sub system much like the lighting. It will be much easier to consolidate everything into a graphical user interface touch panel(s) through a third party control system.

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post #6 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 11:29 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah wasnt sure what hai could really do. With expansions, it could in theory do it all, but then again is 1500 lines enough? Can it really use every I/O efficiently etc.

I'll start looking at a lighting controller, as that's the first to go in. I'd just like to pull wire for everything, and pick at it as I go. I like to tinker.

Was just curious if I decided down the road etc that upb wasn't for me, then I'd have option for 232 switch control. Just wondered how to wire for that.
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post #7 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 01:18 PM
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In General there are 2 ways the lighting is done and the basic house electrical is fundamentally different in each one.

If the home is wired as normal then it is tough to put a real true lighting control system in later so that is the first important thing to decide.

If going to Lutron Homeworks,Vantage or Lite Touch then the Loads need to be wired back to the control point they are assigned to.
This is not how standard wiring is done where the circuits are just distributed to the loads as they layout in the house but with no real strategy for independent control in mind.

The normal way is of course a lot cheaper to wire in the first place and a lot more limiting later if you decide you want a true system at some point.

Most of the systems like HAI,Zigbee,Insteon and all powerline carrier type things are really made to be retrofitted into existing standard wiring.

As far as the 232 question goes a System will have the dimmers/switches wired on a Bus/Buses back to the central or distributed controllers and then the master control will connect to other systems if needed.

In the add-on systems the switches will all talk amongst themselves however each system requires but again there would be a master control or interface to the system to provide 232 interface if needed.

There are also systems that are sort of a Hybrid of the 2 ,Lutron RadioRa being the most popular probably.

You are also limited by local codes to just how you can mix LV wiring with electrical wiring so you need to get a feel for what you can do where you are too.

It sounds to me like you need to do a lot more homework to get more informed before you can come to some more basic solutions for you and your budget.

Talk to installers in your area and compare thier ideas and ask about both types of system to get a feel for the price differences both now and down the road,the more bids the better informed you should be.

Ed
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post #8 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 02:30 PM
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Lutron HomeWorks QS is the most flexible, most advanced, and most expensive lighting control system.

You'll need to partner with a dealer, or become a dealer (training required) to get programming software.

Options for QS include centralized control of home-run loads (to replace multiple gangs of dimmer with a single keypad), dimmers and keypads on an RS485 bus, RF dimmers/keypads, occupancy/vacancy sensors, and an impressive variety of keypad configurations and designs.

If you don't have the time to figure it all out now, then you can hire a dealer for the design work.

The lighting controller doesn't communicate with the dimmers and keypads via RS232. Controllers can communicate with one another via IP, 232, and contact closures. Dimmers and KPs communicate with the controller via RF or on the RS485 bus (I think it's a 2 pair specialty cable, 1 pair for power and the other twisted pair for 485 control, not sure of the shielding).

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post #9 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 02:46 PM - Thread Starter
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That's the issue. There isn't any locally. Though there are some 4.5hrs away in the next biggest city.

Well there is one locally, but they are primarily a tv seller, and car audio. They sell control4. However my builder, (high end custom) has kicked their guys out of a house once for being scabby. His electrician has also kicked them out another time, ripped out their wiring and repulled their wire. This was on audio installs. They don't really do full auto. But if they can't keep quality up on basic stuff, I wouldnt consider talking to them.

CEC 16-114(2) says class 1 (less then 30v, less then
1000VA) can be in the same enclosure, cable, or raceway, only if they connect to the same equipment, and all conductors are insulated to the maximum voltage of any conductor in the same enclosure, cable, or raceway. So it's all good there. I'm an electrician, though I don't do residential. In my line we use 232, and 485 regularly. But I was just looking for guidance in how these systems work in com regard. In my line of work we bring each comm device back to the PLC or RTU, and daisy/star them there. Though some have done the connections in the field junction boxes.

I'd just like to wire in incase I decide to upgrade, and have extra wire there. I'll try calling the city.
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post #10 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neurorad View Post

Lutron HomeWorks QS is the most flexible, most advanced, and most expensive lighting control system.
You'll need to partner with a dealer, or become a dealer (training required) to get programming software.
Options for QS include centralized control of home-run loads (to replace multiple gangs of dimmer with a single keypad), dimmers and keypads on an RS485 bus, RF dimmers/keypads, occupancy/vacancy sensors, and an impressive variety of keypad configurations and designs.
If you don't have the time to figure it all out now, then you can hire a dealer for the design work.
The lighting controller doesn't communicate with the dimmers and keypads via RS232. Controllers can communicate with one another via IP, 232, and contact closures. Dimmers and KPs communicate with the controller via RF or on the RS485 bus (I think it's a 2 pair specialty cable, 1 pair for power and the other twisted pair for 485 control, not sure of the shielding).

Thank you. 485 is fine. I did not want any RF unless absolutely necessary. So my original question has been answered. From what I see, I can daisy from switch to switch with con cable if I choose. I do not require a home run for each. Also I can wire the same as a standard house. With 5 wires minimum from switch to fixture (hot, neutral, switch leg, and a pair for 1-10v dimming of ballast type LED fixtures) TGIF come could be in a seperate cable. I could pull a floor to a central location and terminate the comms there, as I have mever been a fan of splicing comms or analog outside of a terminal block. So a structured wiring jb, in a closet, utility room works fine. As long as I have the clearances to make the CEC.
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post #11 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 08:16 PM
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Unless you have the money to afford QS, you should skip the wiring for QS.

I don't know what LiteTouch and Vantage use for hardwired keypads/dimmers.

But a quick search shows LiteTouch uses category cable to the keypads.

Crestron lighting may also be a consideration.

I had forgotten that LiteTouch was bought by Savant. Not sure how that will affect distribution.

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post #12 of 22 Old 06-17-2012, 08:20 PM
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HW QS, Vantage, LiteTouch, and Crestron, I believe, all offer options for controlling centralized, home-run loads.

Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense. -Buddha

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post #13 of 22 Old 07-04-2012, 06:31 AM
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How will Savant affect LiteTouch? Well, many at LiteTouch bailed when the purchase happened. Some of their sharpest people said bye bye. And likely for good reason from what we are seeing so far. First thing Savant did was yank the limited lifetime warranty LiteTouch offered which made them a stand out product. Now all dealers that had sold jobs or had jobs on the books must face the wrath of clients. What does Savant say about this to dealers? Essentially..."too bad boiezz". Savant then goes on to have stories printed in magazines like CEPro that they are rolling out all new keypads when in reality, all they are doing is putting their name on keypads from LiteTouch and calling them new. Hmmmmm ok, if that's how you do it Savant. Shady bunch to say the least we say. LiteTouch was/still is a great product however, Savant is a stain now on it. To bad, to, to bad...
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post #14 of 22 Old 07-04-2012, 09:40 AM
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In my opinion, it's really a good design, with hardwired control via category cables.

I don't know anything about the quality of the LiteTouch hardware, though.

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post #15 of 22 Old 07-04-2012, 09:41 AM
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You may have to use 600v rated category cables, if they enter the junction box. Check the manual.

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post #16 of 22 Old 07-15-2012, 01:10 PM - Thread Starter
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There should be no reason to require 600v cable. At least not in the Canadian Electrical Code.
Though, it would be good to pull beldon to each switch (1pr16, 300v), instead of cat5/6, which is 24/22 if I recall correctly.
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post #17 of 22 Old 07-15-2012, 09:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N49ATV View Post

CEC 16-114(2) says class 1 (less then 30v, less then
1000VA) can be in the same enclosure, cable, or raceway, only if they connect to the same equipment, and all conductors are insulated to the maximum voltage of any conductor in the same enclosure, cable, or raceway.

If the category cable enters the jbox, then it will need to be rated to 600V.

LiteTouch can give you more info on how it's usually done.

I read of a workaround using another product, ALC Lighting, that entails running the category cable to the top of the jbox, but not into the box.

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post #18 of 22 Old 07-16-2012, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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It only need be rated to the maximum of any conductor. Which 300v covers. Since no one conductor in a home is over 120v (aside from accepted service voltages, IE 121.6v)

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post #19 of 22 Old 07-16-2012, 09:25 AM
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Gotcha. Thought 600V rating was standard for resi j-boxes.

There are probably ways around this requirement. I'd talk to the local Lutron rep. He/she can tell you exactly which cables to pull.

Belden is an excellent cable manufacturer. I'm sure they offer every rating of cable. Speak with your local distributor or Belden directly.

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post #20 of 22 Old 07-16-2012, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Yeah, I can get beldon through work. Not an issue. I don't have a local lutron. Nearest is a 5 hour drive (3 of them). Lutron won't approve me as a resi installer, as I'm not interested in doing more then 3-4 homes a year. 2 of the reps won't go DIY, one will. Waiting to hear back on pricing.

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post #21 of 22 Old 07-17-2012, 07:49 AM
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The Lutron rep is a regional position. He/she can work with you remotely, to help specify cables, and everything else, as needed. Make this person your friend.

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post #22 of 22 Old 07-17-2012, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Yeah the rep is good, but he is pushing me to one of his 3 resi installers. But they are 4.5-5hrs away.
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