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post #1 of 1433 Old 07-08-2005, 10:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello all...
There have been many discussions of te ubiquitous Lutron Grafik Eye here in the Theater Design & Construction area before and after the re-design of the categories. There are bits and pieces of good info on many of those threads along with a serious amount of redundancy in the questions.

Since there are so many other threads each with partial information about the various GRX models, I decided to consolidate all of the info to one thread.

To anyone that does not know what a Grafik Eye (GRX) is, here is a pic:


This is a four zone unit with a White "T" cover. That means that the top portion is translucent, which means you can see the status LEDs of the various zones.

The "A" cover would have the top portion "opaque" and the same color as the bottom of the cover.

DEFINITIONS AND TERMS:
Zones:
In this context, a "zone" refers to a light fixture, or group of light fixtures on the same electrical circuit. An example would be a group of sconces in a theater room or a group of louver lights in risers and walkways of a theater room.

Many times, can lights and other ceiling lights are grouped into multiple zones.

As an example, you may have the lights over the seating area be one zone, and the lights highlighting the screen/proscenuim area as a second zone, and a dedicated "wall wash" fixture over the rack as a third zone.

Scenes:
In this context, a "scene" refers to a snapshot of multiple zones each at different instensities. Once a particular scene is programmed, a single press will return all of the selected zones to the intensities programmed for that scene.

Common scenes in a home theater application might include:
'Clean Up' - all zones at 100% intensity for maximum visibility
'Access' - sconces on medium and aisle lights on high for people entering and leaving
'Watch Movie' - screen cans off, sconces at very, very low or totally off, and aisle lights just at a very low level.
'Intermission' - Aisle lights and sconces at similar levels to 'Access', plus the rack or control room lights on to allow loading DVDs or tapes, flipping Laserdiscs, etc.

Lamps:
When consumers first get into lighting, they may notice that all lighting designers call all bulbs "lamps"... It would be more accurate to say that consumers call all lamps "bulbs".

You may see or hear terms like MR-15, PAR-20 flood, and T-8 blue spectrum... be mindful or these terms, because they describe different lamps for different applications. I am shocked to see how many homeowners, and even professional electricians, choose the incorrect bulbs, especially the lamps/bulbs in can lights.

When you choose by wattage and shape alone, you may well be choosing an yellowish low color temperature outdoor flood lamps for your can lights in your theater.

Color temp in lighting means the same thing as it does on video... In the world of lighting, higher is better than lower. Halogens are usually higher in spectrum, so they have a bluer "whiter" light.

The new GE Reveal bulbs are pretty nice and are a significant improvement over traditional incandescents. Considering the price of these bulbs/lamps, and the inefficient nature of incandescent bulbs to begin with, IMO it would be a wise choice to select halogen fixtures whenever possible.

Dennis Erskine seems to be fond of the Ardee recessed fixtures, but given my proximity to the HQ of Juno lighting, we see their fixtures most often.

If you are REALLY serious, consult a lighting designer to specify your fixtures, trims, lamp types, and even the lighting intensity of each zone in for a few scenes to create the maximum effect.

And BTW...
Yes, a table lamp or floor lamp is also called a lamp by everyone in case anyone is curious...

Loads:
This document rom Lutron is a good example of the types of loads that you may face.
http://www.lutron.com/technical_info...mingBasics.pdf

In this context, "loads" refers to the type and wattage of the fixtures/lamps on a zone.

To determine the load for a zone, total up the wattage of the fixtures on each planned zone to get this number.
(ie. Four Juno recessed light fixtures with 60 watt incandescent bulbs = 240 watts on zone 1...)

GRX dimmers can dim up to 800 watts on any single zone, but the total capacity limits the GRX (all series) to the following:
2 zone - 1200 watts total
3 zone - 1500 watts total
4 zone - 2000 watts total
6 zone - 2000 watts total

If your intended fixtures exceed the zone or unit capacity, use a Power Booster on the largest load(s).

The most common loads are:
Incandescent.
This includes mostof what we would use in theaters. Edison type "bulb" shaped bulbs/lamps, reflectorized spot and flood lamps, chandelier bulbs, halogen lamps, and some rope lighting.

MLV (magnetic low voltage lighting)
Can lights and track lights with magnetic transformers that convert line voltage to low voltage. Most LV rope lights are MLV.
GRX units can dim MLV loads.

ELV (electronic low voltage lighting)
Can lights and track lights with electronic transformers that convert line voltage to low voltage. NOTE: GRX units CANNOT directly dim ELV loads, and GRX-ELVI interface is required and it will require it's own 2 gang box.

It is not recommended to mix different loads on the same zone. If you desire different types of fixtures to track together (ex. sconces and rope lighting), choose a larger GRX unit and program the zones to track together.

CHOOSING A GRAFIK EYE (GRX):
The three basic series of GRX for Home Theater use are:

GRX-2400 series
http://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/grx2000.asp?s=&t=
GRX-2402 (2 zone, 2 gang box) MSRP $ 420
GRX-2403 (3 zone, 3 gang box) MSRP $ 500
GRX-2404 (4 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ 580

Features:
This is the most basic series in the GRX family. 4 scenes only.
Basic IR control (incl. scenes 1-4, all off)
Fixed 3 second fade between scenes and a 10 second fade to off.
This unit is not compatible with Accessory Controls, but you can still accomadate multiple entry points with a single button Entrance Control (NT-GRX-1S) that toggles between from scene to off, and from off to back to scene 1.

GRX-3100 (aka MR series)
http://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/grx3100.asp?s=&t=
GRX-3102 (2 zone, 2 gang box) MSRP $ 690
GRX-3103 (3 zone, 3 gang box) MSRP $ 770
GRX-3104 (4 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ 850
GRX-3106 (6 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ 1,010

Features:
Advanced IR control (incl. scenes 1-16, raise, lower, all off)
Variable fade time on all scenes and off.
Fade time programmable from 1-59 seconds or from 2-60 minutes.
The 3100 and 3500 series step up to 16 scene control, with 1-4 on the front cover of the GRX, and 5-16 being available via IR, or through MUX from the Accessory Controls or interfaces (except RS-232)

GRX-3500 (aka IA series)
http://www.lutron.com/grafikeye/3545.asp?s=&t
GRX-3502 (2 zone, 2 gang box) MSRP $ coming soon
GRX-3503 (3 zone, 3 gang box) MSRP $ coming soon
GRX-3504 (4 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ coming soon
GRX-3506 (6 zone, 4 gang box) MSRP $ coming soon

Features:
The 3500 series is programmable with 1% resolution in dimming steps, vs. @6-7% steps on the 2400 and 3100 series.
The same advanced IR control as the 3100 series, except the raise and lower have more steps in the resolution.
The 3500 series adds the capability of using the RS-232 interface which adds real time feedback to a control system as well as direct communication dimming w/out establishing presets. (ie: directly dimming one load only to modify an existing scene)

Accessory Controls:
As for Accessory Controls, the NTGRX models have been the only choice for years,
but recently Lutron introduced the SeeTouch series and everyone LOVES the SeeTouch keypads.
http://www.lutron.com/seetouch/seetouchA.pdf
With the SeeTouch, you can have your scene names engraved into the 4 scene buttons and have them appear backlit... this is a VERY attractive option and a nice effect when entering a dark room.

Remotes:
There are remotes available directly from Lutron for the GRX series, but most HT designers use the discrete codes which are pre-programmed into the database nearly every programmable remote and readily available from places like www.remotecentral.com.

Here is the link to the IR files for several formats for diferent remotes as well as an excel spreadsheet that has the breakdown of each code.
http://www.lutron.com/technical_info...ol/default.asp

ALL GRX dimmers share the following...
Any zone can be programmed to switch instead of dim, so you can use the GRX to switch loads that cannot easily be dimmed, such as flourescent and neon.
You can also use a zone in switch mode as a programmabe relay to trigger fans, window shades, screens, lifts,etc., although there are better ways to achieve this IMO.

Other fixtures including ELV, flourescent, and higher wattage loads can be accomodated with the proper interface, power modules and/or dimming ballast.

Scenes 1-4 are always controlled on the face of the GRX and these scenes cannot be locked. As users change light levels under the top cover of the GRX, the l;ast scene selected is also changed. The GRX will return to the last state when that scene is recalled. If you have a 3100 or 3500, program your accessory controls, remotes, and touchcreens using scenes 5-16. These can only be modified in programming mode, and the programmed scenes will be consistently recalled regardless of the last status of the controls under the cover.
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post #2 of 1433 Old 07-08-2005, 11:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Here are some of the other threads that had various info regarding the Grafik Eye:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...64#post5859064

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=551838

The thread where members Bpape and Toxarch details the installation of an IR emitter, including a nice photo by Toxarch.
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ght=grafik+eye

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post #3 of 1433 Old 07-08-2005, 11:27 PM
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Some additions.

Lutron's Spacer system can perform most of the same basic functions as Grafik Eye, but there is little cost advantage and installations of even moderate complexity can become unwieldy. It is rumored that Lutron will soon replace or retire the Spacer system.

Other Grafik Eye series (4000, 5000, 6000, 7000) are designed for commercial or large-scale installations and should be considered for HT only by a professional.

I think the MSRP on the 3506 is $1150.

To add PC and RS-232 interfaces to the 3500 series one needs the GRX-PRG for about $800. It combines the RS-232 interface with a real-time clock so that the 3500 control unit can be programmed by a PC (Lutron has lighting control programs) and scheduled like a timer. One GRX-PRG can be used with up to 8 control units.

Grafik Eye can be ordered in many standard colors. Special finishes such as bright brass or satin chrome can be had for an extra charge and a wait of 4-8 weeks. Faceplates are replacable, but cost $80-150.

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post #4 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 12:32 AM - Thread Starter
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INSTALLATION OF YOUR GRX:

Here is the official Installation Guide from Lutron:

IF YOU ARE HAVING AN ELECTRICIAN INSTALL THE GRAFIK EYE, MAKE SURE HE HAS A COPY OF THIS GUIDE BEFORE HE INSTALLS THE BOXES AND PULLS THE WIRING TO THE FIXTURES.

It's a good thing to provide a copy to your builder/GC as well.

Physical Mounting of the GRX
The GRX models are a notoriously difficult product to install.
It seems like there are as many opinions regarding the best method as there are AVS members, but here goes...

As outlined below in the "High Voltage Wiring" section of this post, you need to run all hots, neutrals, and grounds from each circuit to the GRX.
This equals a LOT of connections in the box.

The GRX is a deep device to begin with, so you can see the dificulties unless special measures are taken.

Lutron recommends a 3.5" deep steel masonry box, and you can order a box directly from Lutron.
(new construction P/N # 241-400 or old work P/N # 241-691)

and here is a photo and a link & a PDF sheet to the 4 gang version of the RACO box that is the most commonly available model.


If you are using a 2 zone or 3 zone GRX, you can get a 2 or 3 gang version of this box.

High Voltage Wiring of the GRX
Since there are so many regional adaptations to the NEC, I want to say that the high voltage section is not "definitive" and that consulting or hiring a local electrician is always the best bet.

The GRX needs all of the wiring (hot, neutral, and ground) for each of the independant lighting circuits to be pulled into one box.
This is a little bit unorthodox for some electricians, so let them know ahead of time what you plan to do, and print the Installation Guide for them if there are any questions.

Getting all of these cables into a box is tough, and AudibleSolutions and others (including me) recommends using stranded wire to make this easier to manage.
You can use stranded wire (THHN, THWN) in EMT conduit or flexible conduit (aka Greenfield) or buy armored or MC cable which is like flexible conduit with wire already inside. Be sure to look for stranded, and use the proper fittings for your boxes.

If you do not have experience terminating with wire-nuts on stranded wire, practice on a few spare lengths and/or wire the fixtures first. Also, a wrap or two of a good electrical tape like 3M Super 33+ over a wire-nut termination never did any harm and is considered a good practice by a lot of electricians.

In some areas you cannot use wire-nuts for the grounds, and they require compression sleeves instead. Again, check with an electrician in your area.

Low Voltage Wiring of the GRX
Here is a link to the Application Note from Lutron regarding the LV wiring of the PELV MUX Link used to interconect multiple GRXs in applications greater than 6 zones, and more commonly to connect Accessory Controls, Entrance Controls, Control Interfaces, and Lutron's dedicated IR receiver to the GRX.

In addition to the Installation Guide, I would also advise making copies of this sheet for the electrician and the builder/GC.
Also, local inspectors not familiar with GRX installations (although harder to find these days) always like to see the manufacturer's reference to the code specifications in regard to the LV in the high voltage box.

Be sure to use a cable rated at 600V for this application.
Lutron P/N # GRX-CBL-346S
Liberty P/N # Lutron-GRN (available by the foot from Dennis Erskine or myself)
Belden P/N # 9740 or 9156

You should be able to find the Lutron or Belden P/N as special orders by the spool from local electrical suppliers, or your local A/V dealer can order you some of the Liberty wire as he may already have an account.

Multiple Entrances & 3-Way / 4-Way Circuits
3-way wiring, 4-way wiring, etc. is not done in the traditional method.
If you have multiple entrances or are using a GRX in an application where you are controlling hallway or stairway lights where code mandates that controls are required in multiple locations, you will need to run the PELV Mux line outlined above to those additional areas and install NT or SG series Accessory Controls, or use high voltage cabling to an Entrance Controls at the other entry points.

The NT-GRX-1S Entrance Control is the ONLY external controller that uses line cabling in place of PELV Mux cable. It connects to the SSA and HOT leads instead of the PELV connector. I would not specify this control unless you have a 2400 series GRX.

NOTE: In many areas, audio/video keypads and control system touchscreen keypads do not qualify as controls toward the code and you will need a dedicated hard button control like the Lutron NT or SG Accessory Controls or the NT-GRX-1S Entrance Control.

Remember that the GRX-2400 series does not have a PELV connection and is not compatible with NT or SG series Accessory Controls, and you can ONLY use the NT-GRX-1S Entrance Control for this application. The NT-GRX-1S goes to the SSA and HOT terminals instead.

Here is the Spec Sheet on the NT-GRX-1S Entrance Control:


The 2 box Method
Many people here at AVS are fans of pulling the line feed and all of loads through a junction box or another wall box and then only a single neutral and ground into the same box as the GRX. Then you would connect all of the neutrals and grounds from the all of the light fixture circuits (loads) in the first box tht the wire passes through.

The obvious issues here are aesthetic, a junction box in the joist space at the top or bottom of that wall cavity is one thing, but IMO a second wall box with a blank plate will definitely look odd.

Another consideration might be the terminations themselves, placing this many of these terminations in a second junction box may raise a flag with some inspectors in some areas.

It is my opinion that the point is moot. A second box is not necessary in most circumstances.

Using a 3.5" deep masonry box affords you plenty of real estate for all of the connections if you are smart about the length of the terminations and careful about folding them neatly into the box. Once again, a few twists of the cables in addition to a couple wraps of good tape can be your friend.

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post #5 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 12:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF View Post

Some additions. Snatch what you want and I'll delete the post.

Keep it up here... this isn't "my" thread, and you have good info here.

Quote:


Grafik Eye is an integrated lighting control system consisting of one or more control units (pictured) and any number of accessories. A control unit contains a number of dimmers each of which control one or more luminaires (lights), allowing the user to combine dimmer settings into preset lighting "scenes". Common scenes might be 'Clean Up' - everything on high, 'Access' - sconces on medium and aisle lights on high for people entering and leaving, or 'Watch Movie' - some lights off and others low.

This is good basic description of scenes... I like the examples.
I am writing a thorough definition of zones and scenes and it is forthcoming.

I probably should have included that in the first post...

EDIT:
Check the first post...

Quote:


Lutron's Spacer system can perform most of the same basic functions as Grafik Eye, but there is little cost advantage and installations of even moderate complexity can become unwieldy. It is rumored that Lutron will soon replace or retire the Spacer system.

Personally, I consider the Spacer System to be a "GRX Lite", and the real life saver application of this product is in existing rooms/spaces where the wiring for the various fixtures is located in different boxes all over the room and re-wiring would be expensive.

Your point of the diminishing cost advantage of the SPS vs GRX mirrors my feelings exactly.

I think that too many people overuse the SPS line simply because it is so similar to traditional dimmers, and once more people understand the power and application of the GRX series, it will be an even more popular choice with AVSers.

Quote:


Other Grafik Eye series (4000, 5000, 6000, 7000) are designed for commercial or large-scale installations and should be considered for HT only by a professional.

Yes, they are really only applicable to commercial spaces because they are the models that can control the remote dimming panels in addition to the zones that they control.

In residential use, even tying 2 GRX units together is impractical with the other options available today.

If you have more than 6 zones in a single space, or wish to control additional lighting throughout the home, Home Works or even Radio Ra can provide house wide control in a much more straightforward, powerful, and cost effective system and would certainly be a more appropriate system to build upon.

Quote:


I think the MSRP on the 3506 is $1150.

I will double check these numbers and get them up early next week in addition to the retail pricimng of replacement covers in regular finishes as well as the metal finishes and Satin Colors options.

Quote:


To add PC and RS-232 interfaces to the 3500 series one needs the GRX-PRG for about $800. It combines the RS-232 interface with a real-time clock so that the 3500 control unit can be programmed by a PC (Lutron has lighting control programs) and scheduled like a timer. One GRX-PRG can address up to 8 control units.

Grafik Eye can be ordered in many standard colors. Special finishes such as bright brass or satin chrome can be had for an extra charge and a wait of 4-8 weeks.

Installation topic should go in a separate post?

I was typing it up as you posted this...

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post #6 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 03:57 AM
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Quote:


Scenes 1-4 are always controlled on the face of the GRX and these scenes cannot be locked.

Actually, Scenes 1-4 can be locked. In the scene set up (programming mode) on the 3000 series, the default of Sd can be changed to Sn (save never). Behind the faceplate you can change the current scene but as soon as you select that scene from a remote or the buttons on the face of the GE, the scene will return to it's originally programmed values.


Good information in the thread!

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post #7 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 04:38 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Actually, Scenes 1-4 can be locked. In the scene set up (programming mode) on the 3000 series, the default of Sd can be changed to Sn (save never). Behind the faceplate you can change the current scene but as soon as you select that scene from a remote or the buttons on the face of the GE, the scene will return to it's originally programmed values.

Wow, this is total news to me... I was taught by Lutron in several trainings over the years to use scenes 5-16 on all programming SPECIFICALLY to avoid this issue.

You learn something new everyday!!

Quote:


Good information in the thread!

Thanks!

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post #8 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 05:56 AM
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Nice thread. You should add something about the wall stations. The lutron site is confusing. I have 2 GEs and 2 wall stations all wire in series (for the communication lines). You can choose which box listens to which wall station (or both) plus have each GE listen to the other.
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post #9 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 06:43 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweakophyte View Post

Nice thread. You should add something about the wall stations. The lutron site is confusing. I have 2 GEs and 2 wall stations all wire in series (for the communication lines). You can choose which box listens to which wall station (or both) plus have each GE listen to the other.

What models of GRX and Accessory Controls do you have??

I linked the low voltage Application Note in my "Installation" post above...
It is pretty detailed regarding the connection of the PELV/Mux cabling between multiple devices.

As for the programming...
I know it can be done, but I'll be honest here... I have NEVER linked multiple GRX units together, so I don't have a clue how to begin to decribe the capabilties of how Accessory Controls and Interfaces may be used to communicate to multiple GRX units to extend the zone control beyond the six zones of a single unit.

As I said elsewhere, we have gone from the 6 zone GRX pretty much right to Radio Ra or HomeWorks Interactive...
(actually, Radio Ra has been pretty much replaced across the board with the HWI HomeServe line)

In fact, I try to justify a 4 series HWI processor with the HWI panel or wallbox dimming modules on theater jobs if budget isn't really an issue...

This method is significantly cleaner because ALL of the dimming/switching is done at the panel or in a surface mounted box in the has a LOT more flexibility in terms of programming (it's PC based!!), status and control (because we can use existing HWI modules in AMX) and it's a significantly more powerful base to build on in the future.

As I said above, this isn't MY thread, I just started it to keep from reposting the same info time after time...
Feel free to chime in with the issues you faced in that particular application.

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post #10 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 07:59 AM
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Quote:


Be sure to use a cable rated at 600V for this application.
Lutron P/N # GRX-CBL-346S
Liberty P/N # Lutron-GRN
Belden P/N # 9470 or 9156

The "9470" number is wrong. It should be "9740". 9740 is single-pair and 9156 is two-pair. Two-pair is preferred since the pairs are color coded.

Both Belden specs are 300V, but maybe I'm not reading the specs correctly?

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post #11 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 09:40 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF View Post

The "9470" number is wrong. It should be "9740". 9740 is single-pair and 9156 is two-pair. Two-pair is preferred since the pairs are color coded.

Both Belden specs are 300V, but maybe I'm not reading the specs correctly?

The part number has been corrected...

As for the 300V rating, I don't know.
These numbers (even the WRONG number which we have identified and corrected) came straight from Lutron's App Notes...

Personally, I like the Liberty Wire.
They are trade only.

Quote:


Also, I would put the "Low Voltage" section of the Installation post above the "Multiple Entrances" section so there's no forward reference (mux line) in the latter.

Done... I agree that was a weird phrase in hindsight, and I was trying to make the posts flow as much as possible...

Good tip.

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post #12 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 10:00 AM
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...ah, I have it in stock.

I've done some research on the 600V sheath. ... what I get for not keeping up. The app notes on the Lutron site are correct (some local authorities still require 600V sheath). Largely the difficulty is the NEC doesn't clearly define "low voltage".

Under class 1, we have power limited and remote control/signalling circuits. Class 1 remote control and signalling circuits are limited to 600V and hence Class 1 requires a 600V sheath. Much of the confusion in the field with inspecting authorities is the use appears to be signalling and remote control. Question is if you want to have that argument with an inspector.

Class 2 are defined under two different tables...one for direct current and one for alternating current. Regardless, if the equipment and the transformer (if used) is marked "Class 2", then you can wire according to Class 2 requirements. (NOTE: The Crestron ST-LT interface is not labeled "Class 2").

There are additional requirements for Class 1, 2, and 3 conductors when placed in a tray, raceway, and enclosures with line voltage conductors.

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post #13 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 10:06 AM - Thread Starter
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INSTALLATION ADDENDUM::
Thanks to a good tip from AVS member AudibleSolutions, we have yet another method for getting all of those wires and the GRX into a single box.

The box in question is referred to as a "Gang box" in the Raco and T&B Steel City catalogs, although Alan says the supply houses (in NYC at least) will also know it as a rough-in box.

This particular use of the term "gang box" refers to a taller box with tabs on the sides of the opening, more like a junction box, to be used to attach a face or cover.

This is as opposed to the use of the term "gang" meaning the number of devices (receptacles, swtiches, etc.) that can be mounted directly into the holes along the top and bottom of the box, like a 4 gang switch box or a 4 gang masonry box...

Anyway, I have noticed that even though the depth is only 2.5", this type of box is 4.5" tall vs. the 3.75" height of the masonry box, this is a nice find!!
The 13/16" extension puts us within 1/4" of the masonry box in terms of depth directly behind the GRX, but gives us a LOT more room to place these terminations around it!!

The adapters for multi-gang openings will span the additional width of the "gang" boxes (or they can be used on the next size down "gang" box, but that doesn't help us) Ex. a 4 "gang" plate for a GRX fits on the 4 gang OR 3 gang "gang" box, but the 3 gang "gang" box wouldn't be advised for a GRX installation....

Here is the link to the T&B/Steel City catalog, unfortunately it is the entire 40 page catalog....

The Thomas & Betts/Steel City P/N# H4BD-3/4-1 is on page A34 of the above link, and you adapt it with a 13/16" extension ring, P/N# 4-GC on page A35 of the above link. This device is a 4 gang opening that is extended 13/16" inch from the coverplate that covers the entire face of the H4BD-3/4-1.

Since the "gang" boxes are actually taller than even the masonry boxes, plus there is additional width on either side of the 4 gang opening (man, this nomenclature is just batty!!) then you have significantly more room even though the box is not as deep.

AVS member DMF has located equivelants in RACO part numbers and posted them in one of the straggling GRX threads, and I am attaching links and thumbnail photos:

The Box


The Adapter


Thanks to Alan (AudibleSolutions) for this tip and to DMF for the assistance on detailing this method of installation.

--Rick.

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post #14 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

I've done some research on the 600V sheath. ... what I get for not keeping up. The app notes on the Lutron site are correct (some local authorities still require 600V sheath). Largely the difficulty is the NEC doesn't clearly define "low voltage".

Under class 1, we have power limited and remote control/signalling circuits. Class 1 remote control and signalling circuits are limited to 600V and hence Class 1 requires a 600V sheath. Much of the confusion in the field with inspecting authorities is the use appears to be signalling and remote control. Question is if you want to have that argument with an inspector.

Class 2 are defined under two different tables...one for direct current and one for alternating current. Regardless, if the equipment and the transformer (if used) is marked "Class 2", then you can wire according to Class 2 requirements. (NOTE: The Crestron ST-LT interface is not labeled "Class 2").

Liberty's LUT-GRN meets/exceeds of these specs, right??
(excepting plenum or riser, but that's another story)
Quote:


...ah, I have it in stock.

There you go... This is the most important part of this techno-babble discussion for the average AVSer.
Dennis sells correct Lutron cable from Liberty Wire loose so I don't have to!!

Support the AVSers like Dennis that support us.

EDIT:
I am assuming that Dennis means Liberty LUT-GRN, as this is the GRX MUX cable...
Is that correct Dennis??

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post #15 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 04:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Monday I will be hitting at least one supply house...
I will grab a standard plastic box, a masonry box, and the contraption listed above and try to take photos of each method side by side for scale.

I have a wall in the old basement that is unfinished on one side, so I could even dry fit each of them side by side by side in consecutive stud bays for some in cavity shots.
That may require a lot of basement cleaning on my part, so we'll just have to see about that one...

I do not have a 4 or 6 zone GRX here... so unfortunately I cannot test the ease of stuffing it into each of the 3 options for comparison!!

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post #16 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 04:21 PM
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Quote:


do not have a 4 or 6 zone GRX

...ah, in stock as well..

Quote:


Liberty's LUT-GRN meets/exceeds of these specs, right

Yup...600V sheath.

Note: The Lutron Dimmer and Switch cable is 600V, the Lutron Keypad cable is not which is why you'll sometime see Lutron White being used for HWI keypads because most local authorities will not allow anything less than 600V into a panel with RPMs in the same panel.

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post #17 of 1433 Old 07-09-2005, 05:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

...ah, in stock as well..

Which is why you are the man...
We have a metric ton of HWI that just came in for a job that is in process... but no GRX.

Quote:


(re: Liberty Lutron-GRN) Yup...600V sheath.

I really like Liberty's Lutron wire... we just pulled a couple miles of Lutron-YEL.

Quote:


Note: The Lutron Dimmer and Switch cable is 600V, the Lutron Keypad cable is not which is why you'll sometime see Lutron White being used for HWI keypads because most local authorities will not allow anything less than 600V into a panel with RPMs in the same panel.

That's insane... some of our back woods inspectors out on our rural jobs didn't have ANY idea how to react to HWI the first time they saw it, but now they are very cool about it.

Just in case, I have gotten into the habit of keeping a stack of App Notes in a binder that I keep in a D4 drawer in the bottom of one of the distributed audio racks which usually happen to be in the mechanical room near the HWI panels.

Looks like we made sticky!!
Nice.

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Interfaces:

There are several interfaces which are available for the Grafik Eye:

PB - Power Booster. The power booster allows a zone to handle 2000 watts. With a six zone Grafik Eye and six PB's, you could run 12,000 watts of lighting from a single GE. Don't know why you'd want to; but you can. EDIT: You are limited to two PB per zone, for a total of 24000 watts.

ELVI - Electronic Low Voltage Interface - This will allow the use of fixtures using Electronic Low Voltage (ELV) transformers. The ELV's, however, must be rated for dimming applications.

FDBI - Fluorescent Dimming Ballast Interface - Lutron offers a wide variety of dimming ballasts for florescent and compact florescent lamps. For example, if you wanted to put high CSI, 6500K fluorescent strip fixtures in your coves or soffits, you could dim these lamps with a Grafik Eye.

Please review the Lutron Application and Installation notes for each of these interfaces before using or purchasing.

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post #19 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 12:29 PM
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Update: Member COS has posted some nifty pics of him replacing his everyday Carlon plastic switch box with a full-size Grafik Eye. There's nothing like seeing it done right before you try it yourself...

DMF sez, "Check it out".

Now back to my original post (yeah, you'll need to read it too):
-----------------------------------------
Here's a condensed version of items gleaned from the Tips and Tricks thread, which rapidly turned into an Installation thread:
  • Don't try to make sense of the Grafik Eye line (and all the options and accessories) just by looking at the Lutron web site. The site is confusing and doesn't present the full line well (e.g. you'd never know that there is a SeeTouch series of wallstations just by looking at the site). Get your hands on a Lutron catalog and browse it. Lutron does a very good job of showing what is possible. You may need to go to a Lutron dealer to see one.

  • Buy more zones than you think you'll need. You will find that you need them and the extra cost of more zones in the first controller is a lot less than that of adding a second controller.

  • Use metal boxes for GE installation, not plastic. There are three reasons:
    1. Grafik Eye runs hot; metal dissipates heat better.
    2. Triac-based dimmers can pump out a lot of EMI (electro-magnetic interference); a metal box blocks EMI.
    3. Non-metallic box cable clamps are internal and most are unused; metallic boxes have no internal clamps to waste volume (especially important in a one-box installation).

  • The recommended box for the 4- and 6-circuit Grafik Eyes is the Raco 698, a four-gang, 3.5" deep masonry box. Most any electrical supply store will have one in stock. Expect to pay between $10 and $20. If you're using NM (Romex) cable be sure to use cable clamps where they enter the box. Multiple cables can enter through the same knockout/clamp.

  • Lutron used to, but no longer sells a GE that can be supplied by two different circuits. If the wiring load on the GE exceeds the 1800W (approx) limit of a 15A supply, then a 20A supply must be used. If the load exceeds a single 20A supply, then external power boosters (NGRX-PB) can be used to offload zones. (The power booster is rated at 2000W, so 12,000W can be dimmed by a single 3x06!) Each power booster may have its own supply.

  • Here is how to calculate box fill (box size needed to contain X number of wires and devices). [Edit: Fill is an issue for a second box and may be an issue for the GE box. See later posts in this thread, especially about the box volume occupied by the Grafik Eye itself.]

  • It is possible but difficult to wire the Grafik Eye with the 14 or 12 AWG solid wire (e.g. Romex). With 7-9 of them bolted to the unit it is darn difficult to seat. (Never force it!) Using 14 or 12 AWG stranded THHN pigtails from the solid wires makes it much easier to seat but uses extra volume.

  • If you run THHN outside a box e.g. to a second box, it must be run inside conduit. If the box is metal, the conduit must also be metal.

  • The low voltage jacketed PELV cable does not need to run in conduit, but if you do run it in conduit, it must not run in the same conduit as the power wires.

  • Conduit fill:
    • 1/2" EMT (thinwall metal conduit) can carry a maximum of nine (9) 12 AWG THHN.
    • 3/4" EMT can carry a maximum of sixteen (16) 12 AWG THHN.
    • In general it is recommended to use about half the maximum.
    • Romex is counted differently than THHN in conduit, and at any rate need not inhabit conduit.
    • Calculation and chart.

  • According to code, you must to carry the minimum wire gauge of the supply leg through to each secondary leg (i.e. each zone). Thus if you have a 20A breaker on the GE supply (minimum 12 AWG), then *each* zone controlled by the GE must use 12 AWG, even if there's only a single 50W lamp in the zone.
    (This is a safety rule. An 18A short or draw would exceed the capacity of 14 AWG without causing the breaker to trip. Bad bad bad.)

  • Shoddy wiring can cost treasure and lives. If you (non-professional) are not capable of doing the work with the same care and integrity as a professional, or are unwilling to investigate the best methods and practices that professionals use, then you should not be doing the work.

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post #20 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 12:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Great post Dennis!!

The interfaces are an important part of what makes the Lutron line the best choice. They open up a lot of options and solve a lot of problems.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

Interfaces:

There are several interfaces which are available for the Grafik Eye:

PB - Power Booster. The power booster allows a zone to handle 2000 watts. With a six zone Grafik Eye and six PB's, you could run 12,000 watts of lighting from a single GE. Don't know why you'd want to; but you can.

The Power Booster (NGRX-PB) is $230 MSRP
Here is it's Spec sheet and Installation guide


A single zone of a GRX can dim loads up to 800 watts, but the unit capacity of the entire GRX may limit you in certain applications (although this is VERY rare in HT applications).

** I edited the DEFINITIONS section of the first post to be more clear regarding load capacity.

The most common application for power boosters would be large chandeliers or multiple chandeliers in a grand foyer that have a LOT of little incandescent bulbs, they add up to some astronomical figures sometimes.

Another application would be a space with LOTS of recessed lights on a single zone like a large room or hall.

Outdoor lighting applications where you may have dozens of fixtures that you want to control together would be another application where you could easily exceed 800 watts.

Again, none of these applications is likely for a unit specified for home theater lighting control, but many people that are not yet ready for a complete whole home lighting control system may still decide to install GRX units in kitchens, dining rooms, foyers, etc. where there are a large number of fixtures that can be zoned and controlled for dramatic effect.

Basically, the Power Booster is powered by it's own circuit from the panel, and it is connected to the zone output of the GRX. It tracks the level from the GRX, and mirrors that intensity in it's own big internal dimmer that controls the load...

For SERIOUS loads, Lutron makes dimming panels that install near the electrical panel that can dim loads up to 10,000 watts, so a single GRX MR-6 or IA-6 could dim 60,000 watts of lighting!! Again this isn't a practical application, but it's possible!!

They work the same way in that they receive a zone output from another dimmer and mirror the level set by the Grafik Eye, Radio Ra dimmer, etc.

Quote:


ELVI - Electronic Low Voltage Interface - This will allow the use of fixtures using Electronic Low Voltage (ELV) transformers. The ELV's, however, must be rated for dimming applications.

FDBI - Fluorescent Dimming Ballast Interface - Lutron offers a wide variety of dimming ballasts for fluorescent and compact fluorescent lamps. For example, if you wanted to put high CSI, 6500K fluorescent strip fixtures in your coves or soffits, you could dim these lamps with a Grafik Eye.

The ELVI (ELVI-1000) is $210 MSRP
Here is it's Spec sheet and Installation guide

The FDBI (GRX-FDBI) is $210 MSRP
Here is it's Spec sheet and Installation guide

All three of the interfaces mentioned here physically look like a thick 2 gang blank white cover plate when installed. And each of them installs into a deep 2 gang box (similarly to a 2 zone GRX)

Since this does not really need to be in the room, it is usually hidden in a mechanical space, or most appropriately, back near the electrical panel.

FDBIs and dimmable ballasts are seen a lot in hotel conference rooms, schools, Government buildings, and other corporate buildings where they want the efficiency of fluorescent and still want to dim.

Before you decide that a fluorescent fixture is right for you, price out the control.
Dimming ballasts can be EXPENSIVE... especially considering you need a $210 box to talk to them, and if you want to split fluorescents into multiple zones, you will need an FDBI and a dimming ballast for each circuit.

To the best of my knowledge, the small dimming ballasts start at $210 MSRP and go up from there.

If you wish to invesigate the proper dimming ballasts for your fixtures, information can be found here

Government agencies & corporations amortize the expense of using these exotic ballasts and fixtures over years of savings from the efficiency of the fixtures.
Some companies must maintain certain efficient lighting to qualify for things like tax credits, grants, etc... IMO, politics plays more of a part in this than anything...

Since the average HT gets used less than a hundred hours per month, it will take a LOOONG time to break even vs. just choosing another fixture that will also perform better and dim more smoothly.
Dimming many types of fluorescents through dimming ballasts can have "jerky" or uneven ramping up or down during a fade, and have an undesireable "pulsing" effect sometimes at low levels...

If you choose to dim fluorescents, manually set your lowest point before this occurs so the fixture dims to that point and then just goes to off.
Quote:


Please review the Lutron Application and Installation notes for each of these interfaces before using or purchasing.

Sage advice here from Dennis.

Also, if you think your project will be a candidate for any of these interfaces, it would probably be in your best intererest to consult a real lighting pro to help you sort things out.

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post #21 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 01:21 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF View Post

Here's a condensed version of items gleaned from the Tips and Tricks thread, which rapidly turned into an Installation thread:
  • Don't try to make sense of the Grafik Eye line (and all the options and accessories) just by looking at the Lutron web site. The site is confusing and doesn't present the full line well (e.g. you'd never know that there is a SeeTouch series of wallstations just by looking at the site). Get your hands on a Lutron catalog and browse it. Lutron does a very good job of showing what is possible. You may need to go to a Lutron dealer to see one.

You can request literature by mail directly from Lutron on the web.

Use the link on this page: (it's also on every page of the Lutron site)
http://www.lutron.com/lutron/contact.asp#

Depending on your browser, you may have to temporarily enable pop-ups to use the "request literature" link.

Otherwise call Lutron customer service:
888-LUTRON-1

Quote:


  • It is possible but not recommended to wire the Grafik Eye with the 14 or 12 AWG solid wire (e.g. in Romex). With 7-9 of them bolted to the unit it will be darn difficult to seat.

IMO, this is the benchmark of a good wiring job...
Taking care in routing wires and leaving nice bends so the unit isn't just mashed into place...

Whether or not you choose to pigtail, take some time and care to make sure the wires will go where you want them to go and lay neatly as you are sliding the GRX into place.

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post #22 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 01:41 PM
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Also, understand the NEC calculations for box loading is *roughly* designed to provide adequate "air space" for all the elements in the box (clamps, conductors, etc.); however, NEC has not *yet* tackled the issue of electronic switches (ala, Grafik Eye, X-10, Vareo, etc.) which take up far more space in a box than a standard switch or duplex outlet.

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post #23 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 02:01 PM
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Good point. While the volume of the GE is roughly the same as that occupied by four deep devices (which may not themselves be adequately reflected in the device allowances), those devices allow air to circulate between them; the GE does not. I guess one would calc the loading based on the leftover actual volume.

The Lutron dimensioned plan gives the dimmer body depth as 1 15/16". I asked Tedd to measure his 3104 for the other dimensions: 7 5/16" W and 2 3/4" H.

So the 4- and 6-zone GE takes about 36 in³ in the box.


I am uncertain as to whether the screw terminals on the GE should be counted as "clamps" in the calculations. (Should wire nuts?)

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post #24 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DMF View Post

Ummm. Good point. 4- and 6-zone GE takes 87 in³ in the box. I guess one would calc the loading based on the leftover volume.

This is correct...

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post #25 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 08:04 PM - Thread Starter
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MORE ABOUT ACCESSORY CONTROLS:

I have already gotten quite a few PMs in the very first day this has been up, and more than one mentioned elaborating on the Accessory Controls, so here goes

To 1S, or not to 1S...
I am going to include a quote from a PM I received from Tedd.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tedd View Post

you don't recommend the 1S controller for anything other then the 2400 series? (Outside of no LV for the 2400 series.)

Is it because of the simple zone 1/off, or two scene nature of the controller?
The limited nature of the 1S was a plus to me, as my theater needs/wants are fairly straightforward with my 3104.

Or did I overlook something (possibly important)?

A little expansion on your thought process to ruling out the 1S might be a good idea for the thread.

Sometimes, simpler can be better....

Well it is definitely the right choice for the 2400 series, because the NT-GRX-1S ($100 MSRP) is the ONLY choice for the 2400 series!!
As far as using the 1S with the 3100 and 3500 series, I understand your desire to keep the control at the entry very simple and it is certainly a good value, but personally feel that is not a good choice.

While it is simple, there are other controls that are also simple that operate on the MUX link vs. the line wiring that the 1S requires.

Since the 1S is the ONLY control that operates on line wiring, once you make the decision to wire for the 1S, the other options are out and you are pretty much limited to using the 1S.

If you wire the MUX cabling to your entrances, you have every option EXCEPT the 1S. If Lutron ever adds any more Accessory Control options for the GRX family (like they recently added the SeeTouch controls line) you can be sure that they will be MUX based.

If you change your mind and decide to go for a 5 button control that mimics the buttons on the unit, change to a SeeTouch control, or add a control with an IR receiver, you can make that change very simply by just plugging in the new unit.

If you were to make the change from a 1S to any other unit, replacing the wire may or not be easy depending on how your room is wired,

A dedicated conduit run from one box to the other would be simple to pull out the line cabling and fish in the LV cable.

If you have a conduit run that meets other line voltage runs in junction boxes would be more difficult. You cannot run LV cabling along with line voltage cabling, so if this were the case, you would need to install a dedicated conduit run to the area of the junction, maneuver the two runs and couple the new run to the existing run beside the junction and then cap the now unused knockout in the junction box.

If your cabling is ROMEX and stapled to the studs, you would have to possibly perform some wall surgery to remove it and pull the new MUX. (ROMEX would need to be removed; code states that you cannot leave un-terminated high voltage cabling in a wall).

ACCESSORY CONTROL OPTIONS:
I took the time to place specification sheet links on the various model numbers.

Another option for a simple Accessory Control would be the
NT-GRX-2B-SL $ 230 MSRP
This control has 2 large buttons with tiny LED indicators and is the most similar to the appearance of the 1S.

The benefit to this control vs. the 1S is that it can be programmed through dipswitch settings to be used as Zone 1, and All Off, or it can be used to trigger a pair of scenes which can be programmed to mimic other scenes, or set as dedicated scenes only to be accessed by that control. Whether or not this appeals to you now, the point is that you have these other options open.

Common Architectural Accessory Controls that feature the slim line buttons like what are on the face of the GRX include:

NTGRX-4S $200 MSRP
This control has been the popular choice (before the SeeTouch arrived) because it has 4 scene buttons and an all off, just like the face of the GRX, plus a handy raise/lower button that allows you to fine tune an existing scene.

NTGRX-4S-IR $300 MSRP
This control is the same as the 4S, excpet you lose raise/lower and gain an IR receiver.

SeeTouch:
The number one comment has been to elaborate on the SeeTouch control keypad

Here is the home page of SeeTouch at the Lutron website.
You will find many links including worksheets on how to order custom engraving

Here is a SeeTouch Accessory Control keypad:


This particular keypad is a SG-4SN-SN-EGN, which means it is a 4 button control w/ master raise/lower controls and a non insert coverplate in the Satin Nickel metal finish with black backlit buttons.

The SeeTouch comes in a variety of options, here are the most popular:

The SG-2BN (or SG-2BI "insert" version) $ coming soon
Which is a very simple and elegant 2 button control

The SG-4NRLN (or SG-4NRLI "insert" version) $ coming soon
Which has 4 scene control, plus all off

The SG-4SIRN (or SG-4SIRI "insert" version) $ coming soon
Which has 4 scene control, raise/lower, all off, and an IR receiver.

Above I mentioned a "non-insert" coverplate, and I included alternate "insert" part #s for the SeeTouch controls.
I want to elaborate on why you would choose an "insert" control. An insert coverplate is similar (although not compatible) to a Decora coverplate on a traditional switch or receptacle, and allows multiple insert controls to be ganged together with other Lutron controls and neatly finished with a Lutron Insert coverplate.

Speaking of ganging them together, Another benefit to the SeeTouch controls is that they are the exact match to the controls for the Sivoia QED motorized shades and draperies. Because they are also wired with low voltage cabling, you can place Sivoia controls and SeeTouch lighting controls in the same wall box and gang them together using the insert style controls.

Here is a Sivoia 4 button control with master raise/lower and an IR receiver.


Many multi-purpose media room style spaces have windows and more and more people are deciding to include blackout shades and/or drapery controls. Why not use the quietest shades on the market which are also easy to integrate into your theater's remote AND have control keypads that match your theater lighting control keypad??

On that note, here is a GREAT demo on motorized shades:

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post #26 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 08:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cinemascope View Post

This is correct...

How the heck do you make the little 3 to designate cubed??

Programs->Accessories->System Tools->Character Map
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post #27 of 1433 Old 07-10-2005, 09:06 PM - Thread Starter
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GRX COVERS:
I only briefly mentioned the coverplate options and available colors, so here is a more thourough description...

Once again, I will show the thumbnail pic of the GRX-MR4-T-WH (aka GRX-3104-T-WH)


This is a four zone unit with a White "T" cover. That means that the top portion is translucent, which means you can see the status LEDs of the various zones.

STYLES:
There are two styles of covers, "A" style and "T" style.

The "A" cover would have the top portion "opaque" and the same color as the bottom of the cover.

COLORS

OK, now here is a link to the online color samples. Some of these are not available for Grafik Eye.

Here are the available colors and styles that are available for the Grafik Eye coverplate:

Architectural Matte Finishes:
Available on A and T style covers
White (WH)
Ivory (IV)
Almond (AL)
Beige (BE)
Brown (BR)
Grey (GR)
Black (BL)

Designer Gloss Finishes:
Available on A style covers only
Gloss White (GWH)
Gloss Light Almond (GLA)
Gloss Almond (GAL)
Gloss Ivory (GIV)

Satin Colors Matte Finishes:
Available on A and T style covers
Hot (HT)
Ochre (OC)
Terracotta (TC)
Desert Stone (DS)
Stone (ST)
Limestone (LS)
Blue Mist (BT)
Midnight (MN)
Taupe (TP)
Biscuit (BI)
Eggshell (ES)
Snow (SW)

METAL FINISHES

Architectural Metal Finishes:
Available on "T" style covers only
Bright Brass (BB)
Bright Chrome (BC)
Satin Brass (SB)
Satin Chrome (SC)
Satin Nickel (SN)
Antique Brass (QB)
Antique Bronze (QZ)
Bright Nickel (BN)

Anodized Aluminum Finishes:
Available on "T" style covers only
Clear (CLA)
Black (BLA)
Brass (BRA)
Bronze (BZA)

ENGRAVING & CUSTOM COLORS:

Either of these options requires that you work with a lighting showroom (ie: not a home center) or an experienced high end home theater dealer that is experienced in handling these special orders.

Either option also requires an additional 4-6 weeks of additional lead time.

Engraving:
You can also have any of the metal finish plates engraved on custom order.

Custom Colors:
Lutron can custom color match a GRX cover to just about any solid color that you can provide.

They will also apply custom color to third party plates for a fee.
My company has had Lutron color match white keypads from audio companies to match the Lutron keypads. This is not cheap.

For those of you who own a Grafik Eye, you can replace your plate at any time with another color or finish, or order custom color or engraved plates and replace them yourselves.

It is unlikely that the places that sell Grafik Eyes on the internet will accomodate such special orders.

Your best bet is to contact a full service lighting design showroom that sells Lutron, or an experienced Lutron home theater dealer such as Dennis or myself or one near you, check the AVS Custom Installer Database.

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post #28 of 1433 Old 07-11-2005, 05:41 AM
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Hi-

You asked which wall units I have. I have two of these at the bottom of my stairs.


One is for the HT and one is for the main parts of the basement (cans in romper, fireplace, pool rooms, and sconces in the last two). This is the more versatile model because you can set up your scenes on the GE, lock them in, then use the wall unit for temporary raise/lower tweaks (or in my case, my 2-yr old's tweaks). The "all off" is great, too. They make a model that is one step up and has an IR port, if I remember correctly.

I was told the SeeTouch line is really what you should be using for GEs these days.
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post #29 of 1433 Old 07-11-2005, 07:02 AM
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There is one additional item to keep in mind with a Grafik Eye when considering whether to use a NT-GRX-1S or an accessory control. With the exception of 3500 series Grafik Eyes with a Homeworks system or serial interface, an off command on any Grafik Eye will turn off all lights wired to that main unit. A GRX-1S selects scene 1 and only scene 1 and off. It is to the best of my knowledge the only toggle logic available on a Grafik Eye. If your installation is a retro fit you may have to employ a GRX-1S. But you give up a lot of flexibility in so doing. If all the lights you are controlling are in one room this may not be a big deal. But if one of those lights is also in the hall leading to that room it can be a big deal. Moreover, it is much easier to deal with a low voltage wire than a 2 wire Romex cable.

There a few more issues with respect to the MUX link that need to be addressed. One is how to wire the MUX link. Remember if interconnecting multiple main units not to connect pin 2 ( power ) on the MUX link of those main units. The chip set in a Grafik Eye is relatively old. It is a quasi RS-485 network. The relevant fact is that the MUX link MUST be wired from point to point from device to device. It should never be a home run or a T-tap. While I have seen these methods work on very short runs it is a gamble and it does not follow manufacturer's specification.

I am also waiting for the first smart individual to ask what the power limitiations on a MUX link are? In other words how many accessory devices can you add before needing to add an extra power supply? Not a big deal if all you are installing one in a theater. But if you have 2 accessory keypads, a serial interface and contact closure interface ( for shades and projector screens ) how many controls can you add to a GE MUX link without adding an additional power supply?

Answer is 3 Accessory Controls/Main Unit without adding an additional power supply. The specifications on that power supply are a regulated 12v dc supply rated for a minimum of .6A or 600mA. This will power up to 16 Accessory Controls.
Alan
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post #30 of 1433 Old 07-11-2005, 07:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tweakophyte View Post

They make a model that is one step up and has an IR port, if I remember correctly.

I made a change on the Accessory Controls thread a few posts up to clearly identify differences between the models, and specifically identified the IR model.
Quote:


I was told the SeeTouch line is really what you should be using for GEs these days.

I would say this is absolutely true.

Even if you arent planning on engraving, the fit and finish is much nicer.

Personally, I have never really liked the slim buttons on the Architectural models.

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