Author Topic: Pre Wiring a new home for automated blinds/draperies  (Read 2095 times)

Offline adamant

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Pre Wiring a new home for automated blinds/draperies
« on: April 24, 2013, 10:04:57 pm »
Hi,
I am new to this forum and home automation. We are about to build a new home and I would like to pre-wire the home for automated blinds and drapery. The blinds that we are planning on using are faux wood blinds with 2 to 2 1/2 inch slats. We will have a two story family room that we will want to automate the curtains on. I am looking into automating as many things are possible (thermostat, home theater etc) using vera 3. I am not clear as to what a complete z wave enabled automated blinds/drapey solution looks like. Specifically, I would like to know:
1. Should I go for AC or DC motors? I presume the drapery will be too heavy for a DC solution.
2. What sort of pre-wiring should I get done?
3. Are there motors that provide independent tilt and lift controls for blinds or will I need two motors per blind?
4. Is there an example  (with names of components used) for a complete z wave automated blinds control system?
If this topic has already been discussed elsewhere, can anyone point me to it? Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Offline greenhighlighter

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Re: Pre Wiring a new home for automated blinds/draperies
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 09:29:42 pm »
I just came here to post pretty much the same question...  Any help?

Offline Jams

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Re: Pre Wiring a new home for automated blinds/draperies
« Reply #2 on: May 09, 2013, 08:26:37 am »
I am just completing my new build and have to make the final decision regarding blind automation in the next week or two.   I'll share my experience for what it is worth.

At first fix stage the guy from the blind company we wanted to use told us to fit a twin core cable as a "home run"  from each blind back to a space beside the main fuse board.  He was talking about the Somfy system and said that wiring each back was preferable to "daisy chaining"  wiring from one to the other.   The system would be low voltage and the transformers would be located near the fuse board.  Actually the electrician fitted a light 3 core mains cable to each point.

I hadn't finalised in my head whether I wanted to go with Somfy or not,  but reckoned that at least this wiring would cover me for later.   Somfy seemed to be a system with a high WAF (Wife Acceptance Factor) i. e. it would continue to work even if some of my "clever" Vera automation glitched for any reason.  But,  I had in my mind a preference for the Fibaro blind control units,  but I hadn't tested one yet.   I like their dimmer units and will be using them for the lights.

So over the last couple of months I have considered the following options :

1. Standard Somfy system with Vera plugin.
Positives: high WAF, works perfectly with the wiring we fitted (actually only needs 2 core as controls blind by reversing polarity of DC supply).
Negatives: Vera can't tell blind position,  More expensive.

2. Fibaro units. 
Discovered that Fibaro are designed for mains operated blinds and use three wire connection,  1 neutral and 1 live for up and 1 wire for down.   Luckily we have the 3 cores,  as I mentioned.  Two issues came up:

a) My wife had picked a mix of Duette and Silhouette blinds (from Hunter Douglas).   I forget which but one of these is too narrow to take a Somfy mains operated motor so I was stuck with DC.

b) I would be using Aeon Laps minimotes as remotes,  but I wanted to have some form of local control as a backup. I should have asked the builders to fit a chase a pattress box near each blind.   I could have used that to locate the Fibaro module and fit a manual control switch on top.  My option now is to have all the Fibaro units near the main fuse board and locate the manual controls these too.  It  not ideal,  but impossible either.  I would still need to solve point a) by finding a small enough AC motor (ideally with a mechanical limit switch).

After all that, my summary is that if I were doing this again I would fit a 4 core (to allow for the unforseen)  wire from fuse board to a pattress box near each blind (in a suitable position for manual control if necessary) and then continue the wire from that box to the blind position.

That's my 2 cents worth.  If anyone has an good suggestion for small diameter mains operated motors with mechanical limit switches,  please let me know.




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