Originally Posted by robertmee
I'm not sure of the complexity here. You can poll all RadioRa device states with one single command and receive them in one string. It would be one line of code in the RadioRA driver to evaluate that string and determine if all zones are On or Off and that would be a permanent field to the end user and completely transparent.
It seems to me to be an issue of scalability. Of course you could write this code, and if you had 10 devices to read it'd be no big deal. But 50?100?150?256? A function will handle the math but that's a large parsing routeen, theoretically, when all you would need do were you to use the lighting processor is evaluate a single led true/false state. Call me lazy but that seems a much better way of determining if all off ( or any other scene ) is true.
I'll admit that the Lutron GUI software is a mega-kludge. It's designed for idiots ( electricians and A/V contractors ) and they have some very funny ways of doing certain things that will make those of you used to actual programming pull your hair out. Essentially, a conditional in Lutron is always iniitialized by a button press. It is can be predicated upon a Boolean ( state variable or True/False statement ) or a lighting state but there are limitations and in many ways your control system can be a better palce to evaluate the conditions. But at least the facility exists. So if you only want you exterior lights to go on a dusk( astronomical sunset ) you could write that conditional. Or if you wanted a fountain to turn on only in the months of May-September, from 9am-12 and 3pm-6pm you could write this too.
It also has a vacation mode where the lighting system records what loads were turned on and when and when initialized, the system will playback that recording randomly. You could also write all of this logic in CQC but why would one bother if it's already done? To whom are you proving your code writing abilities?
You could hook up the system to your alarm panel via a simple contact closure and if the Alarm condition resolved to true then you could turn on what ever lights you defined and lock out any and all keypads. You might wish to flash the outside lights and on and on.
You could add different styles of lighting with Homeworks. You could use a centralized panel for your exterior lighting, perhpas shades and drapes, while using wireless for existing high voltage. It frequancy hops on over 100 channels of FM while Radio Ra exists on a siggle AM channel. Radio Ra is very slow and verbose.
Why is it dealer only software? Why does the sun raise in the East? Partly to protect dealers, partly because Lutron feels that the only creature less capable than an A/V dealer is an electrician and they wish to make certain that their critical sub-system is installed and programmed correctly--as they define it. Partly because it is. There are preferred installation practices and certain design limitations to the amount of keypads, and devices; what devices can be used with what processor, distance limitations on a RS-485 link, difference distance limitations on an inter-processor link, termination requirments, power limitations, and on and on. Does that mean that a DIY cannot program or install a Lutron system? Please. Is there a copy write? Yes, but unlike Crestron's I haven't read it carefully. I don't think they care as much if a contractor provides the tools. Some of the sales force has warned me that their opinion is that it is a bad business practice but they have not said to me that it violates the dealer agreement. There really is no copywrite issues with respect to code or GUI as there would be in an AMX/Crestron source code debate. ( I have modules written by others, given to me either by liscence or because I am a beloved figure in the integration world ) that I am expressly forbidden to share. Not so with Lutron. Perhaps someone is a bit more clever in a particular conditional, but nothing so difficult only a few could manage it.
Once you add a Chronos to a Radio Ra system the price difference between wireless Homeworks and Radio Ra becomes very small. The limitations on programming, system size, the type of loads and how the system is setup are huge. Is Homeworks more expensive? Yes. If the added cost for infinate expandability ( you can add up to 16 processors to the Homeworks system where the Chronos bridge has you maxed out and there are limitations about what can be done acroos the two bridges. ) For me it's a no brainer. I put in the first official Radio Ra sale in these Unitied States with Rodgers Hill as my Lutron Rep. It works. But it's not Homeworks and with a Chronos it's no longer inexpensive.
In terms of published MSRP pricing it's 210/switch/dimmer for Radio Ra vs 275 for Homeworks. 1400 for the Chronos vs 1600 for the H4P5 proceessor. For more money you could use a H8P5 processor and do wireless, centralized and wired smart devices.