Hunter Douglas PowerView shades & blinds - Page 2 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 184 Old 05-18-2016, 04:19 PM
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I started with 6 and now have 8 PowerView Solar Shades, all in one room, the furthest is approx 22 feet from the hub. Hunter Douglas saw my posts here and on their FaceBook page, and a customer service rep contacted me through FaceBook within a day of my post.

I have to compliment Hunter Douglas, as they have been in contact with the vendor who did the installation and me often since my posts, in an attempt to troubleshoot and resolve the issues. On Monday of this week the vendor was here to replace 2 shades and install 2 additional shades. He was able to speak with HD techs and customer service during the install and take video and pics for them to help troubleshoot the issues. They are going to replace one more shade and the pebble remote. The vendor asked me to use both the remote and the hub/PowerView app as much as possible to see if the issues continue. The installer called me about 3 hours after he left to check how they were operating and told me to call if I had any issues. I will post again once they've replaced the items and provide an update on if they were able to resolve my issues. But I will say that I am impressed with how Hunter Douglas has responded to this situation.
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post #32 of 184 Old 05-19-2016, 01:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a whole house situation. 7+ areas with the shades, over three floors, built using modern construction (as in, no lead paint or other older RF-blocking materials). I have either the hub or a repeater within 20' of any of them. I've tried all manner of rearranging the hub and repeaters before finding my current layout. Which works, most of the time, except for three shades. All of which are within the same range as others right there in the same room with them.

I dearly wish there was a way to see a debug log of shade RF signals. I'd imagine that would go a LONG way toward isolating RF problems. As yet, nothing from HD. No diag tools at all.

I know RF interference can be problematic. But without any kind of strength-measuring tools there's no reliable way to troubleshoot this.

None of my Pebble remotes has had any trouble communicating with the shades assigned to them. From what I can tell the remotes are assigned to the shades separately from the hub/network. The hub software shows nothing regarding the remotes, leading me to believe they're not integrated with each other at all. Which is kind of unfortunate as it would be handy to be able to use the pebble buttons to perhaps trigger other activities (like coordinated lighting or home automation). No options for that at all.

As I've said, I needed top-down shades and HD is the only supplier for that style. If all you need are regular bottom-up shades, consider going with Lutron instead.
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post #33 of 184 Old 05-21-2016, 07:40 AM
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I was just looking in to these today and am glad I found this thread.

For those of you having issues, although you have said the distance between shades doesn't matter, are the ones you are working with all in the same room? Just wondering if I might get off easier as I'm only planning on doing the power modules in the master BR.

Interesting to hear that HD (via your local vendor I'm assuming) is still helping with the debug. Lots of times its set it up and "you're on your own sucker!"
In my experience, the number of shades, the number of rooms, the distance, doesn't matter for the "missing RF signal issue". Because of the way these shades are designed, they will miss the RF signal from time to time. Of course, the more shades you have, the more likely you are to see the problem. Its statistical. So, you add shades, you increase the chance of seeing it. you add repeaters or click the remote five times for every one time and you reduce the chance. In my opinion, the issue is most annoying and completely unsat when you use the grouping feature or All button. Suppose you group four shades into one group, something I do because my windows are design this way. Lets say you want to close the group of four shades and stop it at 3/4 of the way. You push Group 2/Close, then Stop, at your desired position. If the signal is lost by any one of the four shades on the Close or Stop, you CANNOT align the shades and must attempt it with the manual button or recycling the shades and start all over. To get around this, you could program every shade within their own unique group, you would still have the issue with the All function, but you could then adjust the shade individually. This solution doesn't work for me because I have used all 6 groups and would have to add more remotes per room.

If your design is simple, one shade per window with no grouping and you use at least one repeater, I suspect you would be happy with the shades. If you plan on using grouping, I would proceed carefully, take the shades through a week of use before completing your transaction with the HD installer to be sure you are satisfied, something you should probably do anyway given some of the other issues seen.

Hope this is helpful.

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post #34 of 184 Old 05-21-2016, 08:52 AM
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In my experience, ... they will miss the RF signal from time to time. ... Suppose you group four shades into one group, something I do because my windows are design this way. Lets say you want to close the group of four shades and stop it at 3/4 of the way. You push Group 2/Close, then Stop, at your desired position. If the signal is lost by any one of the four shades on the Close or Stop, you CANNOT align the shades and must attempt it with the manual button...
I have 3 of the original PowerRise Duettes and this has been an annoyance from the start. All usually = 2 & 3 followed by a select 1 and try again.

Not to mention many problems because of the hair thin wiring and connectors when using their transformer. A strictly steerage class product. Only semi-redeeming feature is bottom-up which is my strong preference.
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post #35 of 184 Old 05-21-2016, 10:02 AM
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An update from my previous posts.

First let me correct something I stated early, "firmware cannot be updated in the field". This is not true I was given some misinformation on this, the motors can easily be swapped out for motors with upgraded firmware or the motor itself can be re-flashed in the field by the HD technician.

A technical detail update, I was told by the HD technician, to conserve battery pack power, the shade will turn on and listen 3 times per second. I am not exactly sure how much is turned off, most likely a hibernate mode (mostly off but not completely) with the RF receiver off. Of course, this periodic listening is not synchronized between shades. So, its possible, the RF misses are due to the shade not listening at the time the RF signal is present. This would be random and unpredictable, distance would not matter or the number of shades, or the power of the RF signal, or RF interference, all would not be responsible for the issue. This issue would be reduced by adding repeaters or multiple button presses, a proven solution. If I was HD, I would increase this frequency and see if it resolves the issue. I suppose, an HD engineer might argue, 3 times per second is adequate to be sure of 99.9 % reliability, but I'd like to see that math. Its also possible that the embedded timers within the motor are not accurate depending on the internal priority implementation. Its my opinion that this matches the symptoms and the solutions presented by HD the best as opposed to RF interference folk lore.

An HD technician came to my house to address my issues. He replaced 3 motors and installed 3 repeaters, one repeater in a bedroom, two repeaters in a family room. The addition of the repeaters significantly reduced the RF misses, but not completely. The replacement of one of the motors corrected what was a very unreliable shade, it possibly had a bad antenna. The other two motors were replaced to address a shade lock up problem. The motors are being send back to HD for analysis. I am happy with HD support and attention being paid to my issues. They, unfortunately, fall back quickly to RF interference as an explanation for their issues. At one point I was told that I had too high an expectation and that RF is not reliable and never will be, comparing the shades to my garage door opener or my tv remote. If this is true, they should post it to their website and inform all their installers. I refuse to except this as these shades are very expensive around $1000 per shade. For this price, they should work reliably every time I press the button. I truly believe HD needs to continue to work these issues with Engineering. This is a good product, they just need to get the reliability up.

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post #36 of 184 Old 05-21-2016, 10:09 AM - Thread Starter
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I find it's best to use the app to handle aligning sets of shades. Then use the remote to tie them together with the Favorite (heart) button. Fiddling with the remotes never seems to get exactly what I want. The favorite button is great!

At some point I'm going to totally re-program everything and start over again. Right now it seems I have two shades that just do not want to work reliably, and they're going to be re-made.

Once they're in, and the strings have had a chance to get settled then I'll re-do everything. The strings do seem to take some time to get 'settled' on their spools inside the hardware. There's a bit of readjusting necessary as that happens. It seems to take about two months of regularly scheduled open/close cycles. You can tell this by noticing there's some slack in the strings when the shades are fully open. These being top-down shades. With bottom-up it may not be as much of an issue, or as apparent. I wouldn't consider this a defect, just a reality of how string on spools is going to 'play out'. Pun intended!

I do wish there was an in-between option for storing the remotes. The Pebble holder is really nice. The wall mount is kind of ugly. I wish they'd have made something like the magnetic mount used in the Amazon voice remotes. That's an incredibly nice option. The handheld remote feels nice to use, and the magnets in the cradle allow for keeping it securely mounted, while still looking stylish. My only other option would be to do something unappealing like stick some velcro on the back of the Pebble, ugh. Hmm, wonder if anyone's tried making a 3D-printed cradle for the Pebble...
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post #37 of 184 Old 05-21-2016, 10:22 AM
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...The strings do seem to take some time to get 'settled' on their spools inside the hardware. There's a bit of readjusting necessary as that happens. It seems to take about two months of regularly scheduled open/close cycles. You can tell this by noticing there's some slack in the strings when the shades are fully open. ..
Interesting that you brought this up. I have the Designer roller shades, but they also went out of adjustment over time. As part of the service the other day, all the shades needed to be re-adjusted because they were puddling on the sills. The HD installer and technician said they had not seen this before. I'm not sure if this is a break-in thing, or some other issue, it wasn't clear. And yes, adjusting this with the remote, is a bit difficult requiring multiple attempts to get it right.
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post #38 of 184 Old 05-21-2016, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Interesting that you brought this up. I have the Designer roller shades, but they also went out of adjustment over time. As part of the service the other day, all the shades needed to be re-adjusted because they were puddling on the sills. The HD installer and technician said they had not seen this before. I'm not sure if this is a break-in thing, or some other issue, it wasn't clear. And yes, adjusting this with the remote, is a bit difficult requiring multiple attempts to get it right.
Flicking the grab-handle for the shade in the app is a LOT less tedious than trying to bump it with the remote. That and you can then snapshot the current positions into the scene. VERY handy for setting them up. Likewise for setting a Favorite button on the remote. Trouble is, iirc, you have to press the button on the shade to lock-in the remote settings. That's a bit tricky for several of mine as I've got 10' ceilings and there's furniture in the way. I'd love to be able to coordinate the hub and the remote programming without needing that button press...

As for 'not seen before' I'm always skeptical when I hear that from a vendor/installer. I always think they've just not done enough installs (what fun, being the test guinea pig) or they're lying trying to hide what's shaping up to be a product defect. Hard to tell which... yet.

I do love having automated shades, but as with any home automation that uses wireless if you want "perfection" be prepared for periods of disappointment.
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post #39 of 184 Old 05-21-2016, 11:34 AM
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...I do love having automated shades, but as with any home automation that uses wireless if you want "perfection" be prepared for periods of disappointment.
Thing is, given a proper implementation, I know this wireless connection can be made reliable and improvement made on software diagnostics, avoiding all these disappointments. They should also be more forthcoming with information, so there are not surprises. Pre-sales needs improvement. They could implement diagnostics with the hub, they could keep statistics within the motors, they could have a retrievable log in the shade, they could allow shade firmware upgrades via the hub, they could allow firmware revision queries to the shades, etc. etc... They just have to WANT to address their issues and the product would be greatly improved.
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post #40 of 184 Old 05-21-2016, 03:34 PM
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. I have the Designer roller shades, but they also went out of adjustment over time. As part of the service the other day, all the shades needed to be re-adjusted because they were puddling on the sills. The HD installer and technician said they had not seen this before.
I've seen this happen on the HD roller/solar shades.

On the issue of a shade missing the RF command, I'm suspicious in my own usage of being guilty of tapping the button too quickly and not sending a long enough RF signal for the shade that might have missed it on the first listen to catch it on the 2nd or 3rd listen. Those subsequent listen takes up to a second to happen. This is purely conjecture on my part, but if so, might explain why a shade occasionally misses a command. Of course, it's possible the RF burst from the Pebble is timed to last the required amount of time. I don't know.

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post #41 of 184 Old 05-24-2016, 08:57 AM
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I've seen this happen on the HD roller/solar shades.

On the issue of a shade missing the RF command, I'm suspicious in my own usage of being guilty of tapping the button too quickly and not sending a long enough RF signal for the shade that might have missed it on the first listen to catch it on the 2nd or 3rd listen. Those subsequent listen takes up to a second to happen. This is purely conjecture on my part, but if so, might explain why a shade occasionally misses a command. Of course, it's possible the RF burst from the Pebble is timed to last the required amount of time. I don't know.
My guess would be the RF signal from the remote is not related to the period of time you press the button. I believe the RF signal is sent once with every click. As for the delay post a failed click for over a second, I have seen this also. It's possible, the firmware in the shade has a recovery process it goes threw when it catches a partial/failed RF signal, causing the listening period to decrease. Kind of a settling time... but this also is speculation on my part.

Its actually amazing how we adapt and create our own solutions to a failing shade. When the installer was here, he stressed repeatedly to me, not to click the remote button "too quickly", also he said to allow the shades to complete their "full cycle", in response to shades not responding correctly. On the other hand, the HD technician came here, he grabbed the remote to test the shades for RF misses, and what does he do? Every time he clicks the remote, he clicks it 5 times as fast as he can. I asked him, what are you doing there? He said, "I find they work best if you click the remote 5 times fast." Then he proceeded to blame the issues on the science of RF interference.
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post #42 of 184 Old 05-24-2016, 11:18 AM - Thread Starter
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My guess...
  • When the installer was here, he stressed repeatedly to me, not to click the remote button "too quickly"
  • He said, "I find they work best if you click the remote 5 times fast."
See, this kind of cargo cult nonsense is what we get when the vendors don't provide useful documentation and troubleshooting tools. SMH, it's infuriating hearing the ridiculous nonsense the field techs spout in front of customers...
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post #43 of 184 Old 05-24-2016, 01:27 PM
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[/LIST]See, this kind of cargo cult nonsense is what we get when the vendors don't provide useful documentation and troubleshooting tools. SMH, it's infuriating hearing the ridiculous nonsense the field techs spout in front of customers...
+1, Couldn't agree more. The techs are as much at a loss, as we are. There is no way to debug this system, only part swaps.
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post #44 of 184 Old 05-25-2016, 07:52 PM
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I'm an HD dealer and I'm coming here to seek answers. I have 3 clients with power view. All 3 have the exact same issue as you describe. Some shades work great. Others are hit or miss. HD support has run us through resetting the shade and even swapping the hub. It's all BS! They know they have RF issues and anything shy of app/firmware updates ain't gonna fix it. I've got a guy who spent $20k on shades and he's not understanding about this. Why should I continue to sell power view moving forward? I won't be until this is resolved.
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post #45 of 184 Old 05-26-2016, 08:56 AM
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I'm an HD dealer and I'm coming here to seek answers. I have 3 clients with power view. All 3 have the exact same issue as you describe. Some shades work great. Others are hit or miss. HD support has run us through resetting the shade and even swapping the hub. It's all BS! They know they have RF issues and anything shy of app/firmware updates ain't gonna fix it. I've got a guy who spent $20k on shades and he's not understanding about this. Why should I continue to sell power view moving forward? I won't be until this is resolved.
Thanks for joining the discussion. I called HD yesterday to complain about lack of support/solutions and no answers/updates to this very expensive product. According to HD customer service, my dealer is working with HD engineers. I've also began to post publicly on the HD Facebook page to let future customers know about these issues before committing to the product.

My dealer has been fantastic in terms of service but it's really out of his hands.
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post #46 of 184 Old 05-26-2016, 04:39 PM
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Why should I continue to sell power view moving forward? I won't be until this is resolved.
I hear there are drop-in Somfy motors available for HD shades - anyone tried those? Would they be better than PowerView?
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post #47 of 184 Old 05-27-2016, 10:18 AM
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This might be of some use to someone.

https://ifttt.com/powerview?utm_sour...=powerviewtext
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post #48 of 184 Old 05-28-2016, 11:40 AM
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Had some time and looked into the IFTTT app last night. Set up some recipes to work with Amazon Echo and PowerView and the voice activation of scenes surprisingly work there is about a 10 to 15 second delay between the command and the action, but it works. Not sure if it will help with the RF and other issues but it ease of add to the ease of use if those other issues can be minimized.

The IFTTT app does a lot more so its worth at least looking at.
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post #49 of 184 Old 05-28-2016, 11:46 AM
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Had some time and looked into the IFTTT app last night. Set up some recipes to work with Amazon Echo and PowerView and the voice activation of scenes surprisingly work there is about a 10 to 15 second delay between the command and the action, but it works. Not sure if it will help with the RF and other issues but it ease of add to the ease of use if those other issues can be minimized.

The IFTTT app does a lot more so its worth at least looking at.
Sorry for the typos. That should have said "Not sure if it will help with the RF and other issues but if those other issues can be minimized, it helps with the ease of use of the shades."
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post #50 of 184 Old 05-28-2016, 03:46 PM - Thread Starter
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One of my problematic shades may be having an electrical connection issue. It's on the west side of the house; second floor. It gets full daylight. When it's failed to operate I've taken to attempting to adjust the power cord to see if that made any difference. A few times now and I'm leaning toward the possibility that the shade is losing power "for some reason". It may be related to the temperature changes due to sunlight. I'm leaning toward either the cord itself or the joint it makes inside the shade assembly as the possible culprit. I say this because I've got 4 decades experience dealing with finicky electrical stuff and I know how to debug things. I've taken to using some small bits of foam pressed tightly against the connector into the battery pack and the window. This to effectively guarantee there's a physical connection being maintained. That did not improve the situation. So it's not the battery pack or the connection into it. I've kept those tight, and in place, and then repositioned the cord leading into the shade. I moved the cord and pressed a button on the remote. About half the time that leads to the shade suddenly returning to operation.

The other problematic shade is on the east side; ground floor, and also gets direct sunlight. It's mounted at a much greater height and there's furniture in front of it. So it's not as convenient to test in this fashion.

Now, if I had better tools, like something that could ping the shade via RF, then I'd have more confidence regarding this line of troubleshooting. But since this is VERY hard to replicate, but DOES re-occur, I can't be certain.

It seems the only recourse here is to have the shade 'remade', which is essentially them sending out a new one and swapping it. Seems like a ridiculous waste of time & money, not to mention inconvenience (for both the customer AND the installer).
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post #51 of 184 Old 05-29-2016, 04:42 AM
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wkearney99, what brand of batteries are you using? Hunter has done extensive testing and they claim Energizers are the most trouble free and long lasting.

A couple of things of note. I ran into one shade that the owner had just put new batteries in, I don't remember the brand, and the shade was erratic in it's performance. Sometimes worked, sometimes didn't. I took his out and put in Energizers and it's worked ever since. Questionable, but that's what happened.

The other day I noticed that some new Duracell batteries had the positive terminal submerged a bit into the case (by design). I'm wondering if these could possibly cause connection problems.

Something else I learned the hard way. When changing batteries, don't drop them into the case. When they hit together towards the bottom, the jolt can break the case seal and you get instant corrosion starting. I did it.
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post #52 of 184 Old 05-30-2016, 08:29 AM
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I've got 15 of the new PowerView shades, in four rooms. It's a newly built house (no old materials or RF-blocking lead paint). It's 3 stories, including basement, with a mostly open floorplan.

The mesh RF setup is uneven, at best. But then I'm only a few days into owning them. I expected a bit of rearranging was going to be necessary. The hub (their RF-to-ethernet bridge) had to be moved up to the Master Bedroom (along with a Tivo, wired Chromecast, Amazon FireTV and other gear). I've got their repeaters in the other rooms. The repeaters are positioned such that they're in-between the shades for that room and the hub. As in, upstairs shades -> hub -> repeater -> 1st floor shades.

The initial experience is, to be kind, uneven. If I use the PowerView remote (the pebble) to manually join the shades to it that seemed to work. But in the master bedroom one of them has decided not to answer to the remote. Likewise, two of the five in the living room don't seem to want to respond consistently.

The app on iOS is not great. For one, it has NO SECURITY AT ALL. Nor does it have a non-editing mode. Right, so anyone with access to my WiFi network has the ability to do ANYTHING to the setup of the hub! Who the Hell thought this was a good idea? Ok, so that's BAD. But to make things worse, there's no read-only mode. So I can't put the app on anything accessible to anyone else in the house. At least not without risking someone accidentally making unintended changes to the configuration.

There's also no technical information accessible for troubleshooting. No way to tell the strength a given device has to the RF network. So placement of the hubs and repeaters is pretty much blind hit-and-miss guesswork.
If the shades, etc are lowering and raising at different rates it could also be the Motor(s).
Are some of the shade larger than others? Ask your rep if the Motor is strong enough.

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post #53 of 184 Old 05-30-2016, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
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If the shades, etc are lowering and raising at different rates it could also be the Motor(s).
Are some of the shade larger than others? Ask your rep if the Motor is strong enough.
No, when they move they're at the same rate. These are 26" wide windows, so there shouldn't be any issues with strength. That and these are factory HD shades, not something built by the installer using different materials and motors. Now, whether HD is using effectively engineered solutions is certainly an open question...

Last night I ran up against the same dead shade, and wiggling the power cord, once again, revived it. That is, pressing the remote button did nothing, nor did using the app. Moving the cord and retrying worked. So hopefully my installer will be getting remade replacements sometime soon...
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post #54 of 184 Old 05-30-2016, 08:52 AM - Thread Starter
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wkearney99, what brand of batteries are you using? Hunter has done extensive testing and they claim Energizers are the most trouble free and long lasting.

A couple of things of note. I ran into one shade that the owner had just put new batteries in, I don't remember the brand, and the shade was erratic in it's performance. Sometimes worked, sometimes didn't. I took his out and put in Energizers and it's worked ever since. Questionable, but that's what happened.

The other day I noticed that some new Duracell batteries had the positive terminal submerged a bit into the case (by design). I'm wondering if these could possibly cause connection problems.

Something else I learned the hard way. When changing batteries, don't drop them into the case. When they hit together towards the bottom, the jolt can break the case seal and you get instant corrosion starting. I did it.
Lutron has likewise done a lot of battery testing for their shades. I have a load tester and have always made sure they've all got the same amount of charge. You absolutely want to avoid mismatched batteries, as the low ones will degrade the level of the rest. That was the first thing I checked when this problem started. All of the batteries had about the same 75% charge level, which seemed good given they'd been in use for about a year. I got a whole new set, checked each one and installed those. The problem did not go away.

That and I've already swapped one pack for another and the problem does not follow the battery pack. It stays with the shade assembly.

The quality of plastics of the battery cases is questionable. It's awfully thin where the end caps connect. Thin enough that I'm wary of any mishandling that might lead to breakage. Thus far mine are OK, but I'm sure they're going to have a lot of replacement problems over time...
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post #55 of 184 Old 05-30-2016, 12:01 PM
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I recently had another bizarre thing happen with batteries in a HD Silhouette.

Customer called with a completely dead Silhouette, one of three. We had just put batteries in it about a month earlier. We put a spare freshly loaded battery wand on the shade and it worked normally.

Being curious about dead batteries after one month, I took them out and checked them with my load applying battery tester. First battery slammed the meter in the wrong direction. Turned the battery around to the wrong polarity and it showed some charge, but still down in the red. Further checking showed 5 of the 12 batteries had reversed polarity, all 12 were depleted down into the red.

Looking around the internet for a clue on why and how batteries would change polarity, the only thing I could come up with is that if one of the batteries becomes completely depleted, probably due to being defective, and the others remain fully charged, that puts a reverse polarity on a dead battery and the others begin to recharge it in reverse which continues until they get low. I'm not sure how it ended up reversing 5 of them, but that's the closest I can come to figuring out what happened.
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post #56 of 184 Old 05-30-2016, 02:56 PM - Thread Starter
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I recently had another bizarre thing happen with batteries in a HD Silhouette.
That IS bizarre. I think the unusual element here is these trays use a lot of batteries in series. Not many things ever have to do this. I mean, I get why, pushing all that fabric around takes some energy. This makes me think the very thin gauge wire HD is using for these shades might be part of the problem on my intermittent units. The wire's so thin that it's entirely possible it got damaged or otherwise manhandled during the installation process. Not that I'm looking to blame the installers, rather questioning if there's going to be this many batteries whether wire this thin is such a great idea?
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post #57 of 184 Old 06-01-2016, 10:06 AM
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I was just looking in to these today and am glad I found this thread.

For those of you having issues, although you have said the distance between shades doesn't matter, are the ones you are working with all in the same room? Just wondering if I might get off easier as I'm only planning on doing the power modules in the master BR.

Interesting to hear that HD (via your local vendor I'm assuming) is still helping with the debug. Lots of times its set it up and "you're on your own sucker!"
My wife and I just invested quite a bit of money in these shades with the PowerView option. They were installed yesterday.
Installed yesterday.
12 Windows some of which are very large.
Our home is a brand new construction.
We have a fiber optic network and a Netgear, Nighthawk X4S R7800 although the Wifi Router shouldn't make a huge difference.
Some of the windows are grouped together and some windows are not.
Our seller stated that the reviews online weren't very accurate if the end user knew what they were doing. I am an engineer. So far the experience is very hit or miss. We have repeaters which don't seem to make much of a difference. Some shades seem to miss more often than others even with a repeater placed in several locations nearby. In fact, the one shade that misses the most is one of the closest to the originating signal. We placed the repeater right under it as well as between it and the hub. That shade misses with the remote sometimes as well even if you are close to it and try a variety of different "button press times." We also had one shade that went completely off the reservation and needed to be reset before it could be found again. We are beginning to wonder what our return options are. We will give it a bit more time but quite frankly, if you buy something, it should work regardless of how much you paid. Most states have consumer protection acts that address issues if you're really steamed about it. If HD is offering a product that isn't functioning as described, they really have no choice but to accept a return. Additionally, if we do return them, there will have to be some variety of discussion about the damage to the windows upon installation. As I mentioned, the home is brand new and the windows are all wrapped. Lots of new holes if those shades are removed...

One interesting note, I was told by the seller that the installation technician would not setup the hub. It doesn't require much to set it up but I'm wondering how much that has to do with the hub not working 100% right. If you think about it, you could end up having an installer stuck in your house all day if you setup the hub and then started testing it. If the scenes and schedule are failing about 25% of the time (a guess, haven't measured yet) then the installation tech would be stuck there.

One thing I noticed that may or may not have been addressed already. The App I have to control the system lets you lock the hub so other users cannot mess with your schedules and scenes. At least that is a positive. It's not a great setup but it's a step in the right direction which makes me hope HD is improving the system.

We will give it a few more days / couple weeks and some more time with HD. If we are unsuccessful, we will begin what I am sure will be a painful and time consuming return process.
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post #58 of 184 Old 06-01-2016, 10:55 AM
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One last thing I wanted to mention. It would be a good idea to start collecting data on how much time you spend with HD support troubleshooting the PowerView System. Keep a log from the very first call/visit with start and stop times. If you wanted to pursue the Consumer Protection Act in your state, one of the normal requirements is that you have given the vendor a reasonable amount of opportunity to fix the solution. You could also make a spreadsheet of the windows/shades and check off how many times a scene or schedule works vs. doesn't work. The data helps. I don't know how helpful HD is or isn't yet so these are just suggestions. I'm hoping they are very helpful. However, I have seen too many instances where the consumer gets railroaded by the seller. This is bullying behavior and collecting data and reading up on the CPA in your state is a good way to protect yourself. Good advice for any large purchase.
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post #59 of 184 Old 06-01-2016, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post

Now, if I had better tools, like something that could ping the shade via RF, then I'd have more confidence regarding this line of troubleshooting.
There is some indication when reading the HD FCC certification report ( https://fccid.io/pdf.php?id=2644694) that the HD Hub/repeater use a Bluetooth LE chip. If that is correct, then one might use one of widely available (as opposed to say Zwave) Bluetooth LE development kit sniffers (either TI's CC2540 or Nordic's come to one's mind) to capture BLE packets and measure RSSI at critical point at your house. At $30 this can be had:

https://learn.adafruit.com/introduci...r/introduction

What strikes one as bizarre is the fact that the equipment emits pretty low power as compared to the usual BLE levels, only -5 dbm.
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Update: Some of the shades missed their commands yesterday. I had an idea. We bought the shades and hub primarily to run on a schedule. We also wondered why the hub doesn't issue scheduled commands in the following format
1) Ping Shades
2) Refresh if "x" pings are not confirmed (where "x" is the number of shades that should respond)
3) Re-Ping Shades (repeat 2 if necessary)
4) Execute Command
5) Wait 1 minute
6) Execute Command Again
If the same command is given to a shade that has already executed the command, nothing happens. It doesn't open again or get extra open for example. Also, when a shade goes AWOL, one of the first things you can do to troubleshoot is refresh the shade. So why not run this every time?

Here is where my idea came in. We took the schedule and then copied every scheduled event adding 1 minute to the schedule time. So basically everything runs twice. So far it has been working. Theoretically, it should lower the number of times that a command is simply "missed." Also, it shouldn't affect battery life too much. The primary draw on the battery is the motorization of the blinds so any additional communication would be worth the small battery drain.
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