Author Topic: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it  (Read 9161 times)

Offline AgileHumor

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Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« on: February 27, 2014, 12:19:11 am »
I wanted to discuss the high level process I used to purchase automated blinds that would work with Vera.  I choose the Somfy brand due to the existing plugin, reliable reviews on home automation integration. Home Depot, Lowes, and Budget blinds all have the option to add motors to most existing shades.

Important - Step #1 - Wire shades with 12VDC to each window.  While there are a few solar options that have mixed reviews, I chose the hard wired route.   Wire to the RIGHT part of the top of the window frame.   Ideally do this before you move in.  I ran 16 gauge wire to the windows, then used these Somfy Power leads (http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=1020) leads to 'step down" to the smaller wire.   I used 16 gauge is so I can run AC or DC power of any future window treatment.

If you can't run AC/DC power to your windows, you will have LIMITED OPTIONS OR FUNCTIONALITY.  You may need to stick with solar blind tilting http://www.somfysystems.com/en-us/home/our-products/product-solutions/blinds.html

Step #2 - Order Shades WITH Somfy motors built in.  I used Budget Blinds here in San Diego.  Motors add $259 to whatever the price of the shades you would get with a cord.  Home Depot and Lowes can get Somfy Motors in most of the shades.  Note - You can't lift BLINDS with SLATS to my knowledge, you will need continues fabric.  I used a honeycomb downstairs and pleated shades upstairs.  http://www.somfysystems.com/en-us/home/our-products/product-solutions/shades.html

Step #3 - Order a Somfy URTSI RTS (Wireless) to Serial Interface (Vera),  Power Supply, and Serial Adapters
* Somfy URTSI II 16 Channel Universal RTS Interface - Somfy Part - 1810872
* DB9 to RJ45 RS232 Adapter - Somfy Part 9015028
* Din Rail 12VDC - 10 Amp Power Supply
* Optional - Din Terminal Blocks http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=categories.view&category_id=828
* Any Vera Compatible USB to Serial Adapter.  Also, You may need a small USB hub so you can have other devices attached to your Vera
* Somfy DecoFlex wall (or table) remotes for local control.  THese are battery powered and can be cut in the wall anywhere convenient. They also have a table holder mount so that you can use it in your hand vs have it in wall.
* Except for the Serial to USB converter cable, I bought all my stuff at AVOutlet.com as it wasn't available on Amazon.

Step # 4 - Install Somfy Plugin to Vera and configure Serial interface to URTSI.  You will later add the blind ID (01,02,03...16) of the URTSI to the advanced tab in the Vera Somfy Plugin to create each blind child device.

Step # 5 -  Blinds get installed by blind installers.  However, your typically responsible for programming them if you buy your remotes separately as I did.  This required me to hold the programming button of the shade and then holding buttons on the remote to pair it.    Once you get the local Decoflex remotes working, you can let the techs leave and pair it to the URTSI later.  If I did it again, I'd just buy the remotes from Budget Blinds so it comes programmed from the factory for each set of blinds and I could skip the learning curve to program the shades. There techs called the phone support for installers and they walked us through it.

Step # 6 - Add the URTSI to the local DecoFlex remote channel.   For this you need to set the DecoFlex in programming mode, then add the URTSI as a secondary controller. Was pretty simple.

Step # 7 - Automate
* Sunset + 30 Minutes - Close all blinds
* If Home Motion Detected from 'WakeUp Alarm Time' to 'Sunset + 30 Minutes', raise blinds.  This will essentially raise the blinds the first time we go to the main floor in the morning.  They won't raise if no one is home that day.

Step # 8 - Control
* Local Somfy Decoflex in wall in the rooms where automated blinds exist.
* I use Grasshopper for Windows Phone + Windows 8 Tablets/PC for physical control.  grasshopper support the Windows Covering Vera device
* I use VoxCommando for voice control of "Raise/Lower/Stop X Window" (i.e. 'Raise' 'Dining Room' Window). Sample commands here for  http://voxcommando.com/forum/index.php?topic=1415.0

I'd be happy to answer any questions.  I just wanted to share a solution that worked for me.

PS - URTSI has 16 channels.  Read the PDF of the URTSI for the exact HEX to Decimal conversion.  A shade can belong to more than one channel too.  I have a all the upstairs shades bound to one channel for simultaneous operation...and each shade also has it's individual channel control.  This is nice if you want them all to go up at the same level/speed as Vera will cause them to delay one second between commands if operated separately.

PSS - There is a Z-Wave Somfy kit.  I had mixed reviews and decided to go serial.  Did it work for you?  Let us know.
http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=categories.view&category_id=629
« Last Edit: March 14, 2014, 03:04:57 pm by AgileHumor »
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Offline AgileHumor

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 01:53:09 am »
Sample video of shades with voice control: http://1drv.ms/1mEhoET

Amulet Remote/Mic -> VOXCommando Voice Automation -> Vera Home Automation -> Somfy URTSI
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Offline boojew

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #2 on: March 03, 2014, 06:16:28 pm »
I wanted to discuss the high level process I used to purchase automated blinds that would work with Vera.  I choose the Somfy brand due to the existing plugin, reliable reviews on home automation integration. Home Depot, Lowes, and Budget blinds all have the option to add motors to most existing shades.

Important - Step #1 - Wire shades with 12VDC to each window.  While there are a few solar options that have mixed reviews, I chose the hard wired route.   Wire to the RIGHT part of the top of the window frame.   Ideally do this before you move in.  I ran 16 gauge wire to the windows, then used these Somfy Power leads (http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=1020) leads to 'step down" to the smaller wire.   This is so I can run AC or DC power of any future window treatment.

If you can't run power to your windows, you will have LIMITED OPTIONS OR FUNCTIONALITY.  You may need to stick with solar blind tilting http://www.somfysystems.com/en-us/home/our-products/product-solutions/blinds.html

Step #2 - Order Shades WITH Somfy motors built in.  I used Budget Blinds here in San Diego.  Motors add $259 to whatever the price of the shades you would get with a cord.  Home Depot and Lowes can get Somfy Motors in most of the shades.  Note - You can't lift BLINDS with SLATS to my knowledge, you will need continues fabric.  I used a honeycomb downstairs and pleated shades upstairs.  http://www.somfysystems.com/en-us/home/our-products/product-solutions/shades.html

Step #3 - Order a Somfy URTSI RTS (Wireless) to Serial Interface (Vera),  Power Supply, and Serial Adapters
* Somfy URTSI II 16 Channel Universal RTS Interface - Somfy Part - 1810872
* DB9 to RJ45 RS232 Adapter - Somfy Part 9015028
* Din Rail 12VDC - 10 Amp Power Supply
* Optional - Din Terminal Blocks http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=categories.view&category_id=828
* Any Vera Compatible USB to Serial Adapter.  Also, You may need a small USB hub so you can have other devices attached to your Vera
* Somfy DecoFlex wall (or table) remotes for local control.  THese are battery powered and can be cut in the wall anywhere convenient. They also have a table holder mount so that you can use it in your hand vs have it in wall.
* Except for the Serial to USB converter cable, I bought all my stuff at AVOutlet.com as it wasn't available on Amazon.

Step # 4 - Install Somfy Plugin to Vera and configure Serial interface to URTSI.  You will later add the blind ID (01,02,03...16) of the URTSI to the advanced tab in the Vera Somfy Plugin to create each blind child device.

Step # 5 -  Blinds get installed by blind installers.  However, your typically responsible for programming them if you buy your remotes separately as I did.  This required me to hold the programming button of the shade and then holding buttons on the remote to pair it.    Once you get the local Decoflex remotes working, you can let the techs leave and pair it to the URTSI later.  If I did it again, I'd just buy the remotes from Budget Blinds so it comes programmed from the factory for each set of blinds and I could skip the learning curve to program the shades. There techs called the phone support for installers and they walked us through it.

Step # 6 - Add the URTSI to the local DecoFlex remote channel.   For this you need to set the DecoFlex in programming mode, then add the URTSI as a secondary controller. Was pretty simple.

Step # 7 - Automate
* Sunset + 30 Minutes - Close all blinds
* If Home Motion Detected from 'WakeUp Alarm Time' to 'Sunset + 30 Minutes', raise blinds.  This will essentially raise the blinds the first time we go to the main floor in the morning.  They won't raise if no one is home that day.

Step # 8 - Control
* Local Somfy Decoflex in wall in the rooms where automated blinds exist.
* I use Grasshopper for Windows Phone + Windows 8 Tablets/PC for physical control.  grasshopper support the Windows Covering Vera device
* I use VoxCommando for voice control of "Raise/Lower/Stop X Window" (i.e. 'Raise' 'Dining Room' Window). Sample commands here for  http://voxcommando.com/forum/index.php?topic=1415.0

I'd be happy to answer any questions.  I just wanted to share a solution that worked for me.

PS - URTSI has 16 channels.  Read the PDF of the URTSI for the exact HEX to Decimal conversion.  A shade can belong to more than one channel too.  I have a all the upstairs shades bound to one channel for simultaneous operation...and each shade also has it's individual channel control.  This is nice if you want them all to go up at the same level/speed as Vera will cause them to delay one second between commands if operated separately.

PSS - There is a Z-Wave Somfy kit.  I had mixed reviews and decided to go serial.  Did it work for you?  Let us know.
http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=categories.view&category_id=629

Awesome. How much did the gear in step 4 cost? Also, watching the video, the motor seems to be a bit loud. Is that just the recording?
« Last Edit: March 03, 2014, 06:18:31 pm by boojew »

Offline AgileHumor

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #3 on: March 03, 2014, 11:31:39 pm »
Except for the URTSI ($389), everything else was under $20.
http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=4710

It is a little loud to be honest...but not enough not to use them.   Also, when all three fire at the same time it is obviously a little louder than solo.

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Offline zwavemotors

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #4 on: March 04, 2014, 11:19:35 am »
how much for each motorized blind? or how much additional to have them motorized?

Offline guessed

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #5 on: March 04, 2014, 11:23:13 am »
Thanks for the writeup and video AgileHumor!

Great to see this sort of post, where it's clear you've thought out what you want to do, and documented it to a level that others can readily repeat it.

Offline AgileHumor

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #6 on: March 04, 2014, 01:56:04 pm »
@guessed - Glad I could help get someone.  I know I was lost to assemble something that would work end to end..


@ZWaveMotors - As I mentioned in step #2, I added the Somfy Motor/Internal components to a NEW blind for $259.   The actual blinds were more than the motor...about ~$200-$600 depending on size of window.  So I had to add $259 to each blind (fixed price) to add the Somfy RTS motor bringing the cost up more.  I used Budget Blinds to get motor + blinds all in one price.  The blinds at Home Depot and Lowes also had an option to add Somfy motors when ordering...but I did not get a full quote from that after we got a good deal from Budget Blinds..

The motor came installed from the factory and came with a 3 yr warranty.  If anything goes wrong, they (Budget Blinds) will come out to replace them. 

You still need a RTS gateway (like the URTSI or the ZRTSI) to go from the Vera to the Motors.  That adds to the total cost too.

While I would need to have an HA intrigued buyer for this to matter much...I felt standardizing on Somfy products would be the most appealing option at resale.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 02:59:57 pm by AgileHumor »
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Offline shady

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #7 on: March 14, 2014, 02:44:44 pm »
Great work, it is good to see someone returning to tell everyone how they did it.  There are too many options for covering your windows and controlling them with Z-Wave, so it is good to have real world examples.

I just wanted to a add a few things: 

All Somfy motors and controls come with a 5yr warranty that covers the part replacement, FYI.
Some of the universal items can be purchased elsewhere (without a Somfy part number), like power supplies, DB9 converters, etc.
While the LT-30 motor can be a little noisy, the fact that you aren't running them on batteries helps them to run smoother.
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Offline PJJP

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2014, 06:30:18 pm »
I ordered my blinds from Home Depot with the motors installed. I also did the pairing to the URTSI because the installers and his boss knew nothing. I have to later set the upper, lower, and stop limits. The blinds work great though. Soon I will be adding patio shades to keep the cold wind out of my patio in the winter. These too will pair to the URTSI and be added to scenes.

Offline AgileHumor

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2014, 12:33:15 am »
Glad it worked out! :)
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Offline maja

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2014, 01:00:26 am »
AgileHumor, this is a great write up. I have a few questions that I hope you can address.

1) You said you ran 16 gauge wires so you can also use them for AC. However, doesn't AC require 14 gauge (15A)? Or do you have those wires on a separate 10A or 13A circuit?

2) Do those cables end in a junction box as is usually required for 110V?

3) Where did you run those wires to? A central location where also your vera box is or somewhere else, possibly multiple locations for different shades to reduce cable run lengths? The picture you included seems to indicate a central location but I wanted to check.

4) It looks like the only wiring you did is a 2/16 wire (no ground) from the motor to the location of the motor controller. There is no other wiring for control/data buses, etc. Is this correct?

5) You mentioned that to your knowledge blinds with slats don't work. When I read the manual for the controllers it seems venetian blinds are supported, though as they describe how to adjust the angle (KEEP the up/down buttons pressed assuming the controller was set to venetian mode). So does the motor you used not support venetian blinds or am I missing something else?

6) I plan to use wall switches as you do. I am concerned about battery life. How long does the battery last on your switches and how often are the switches being used?

7) One major concern to me is the reliability and responsiveness of the wall switches to operate the shades since they are not wired. Did you experience any such issues? I guess it might not because the switches communicate directly with the motor (I believe) so the distance should be small (typically in the same room).

Thanks in advance for your input and clarifications.


Offline AgileHumor

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Re: Somfy High Level Vera Integration Design - How I did it
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2014, 06:13:19 pm »
1) I'm using DC at the moment.

2) Electrician said not required for primary use of DC.  AC would require junction boxes, but I can install them if I ever get the very expensive Somfy curtain system ($3k plus) for the few sliding doors where I ran 16 gauge.

3) One central location for 12v power supply.  Control is RTS (RF or Radio) so it happens to be near the power supply, bud wouldn't need to be.

4) See above

5) I have no idea.  I'd suggest you talk to whomever your buying the blinds from.  I bought the blinds with the Somfy motors installed at factory (typical when ordering for any big box)    I've never seen Somfy blinds motors for traditional slatted tilt or raise blinds.

6) 1yr and their still working.  For the most part Vera closes them and Sunset + 20 minutes and reaises them when motion detected anywhere on the main floor + after bedtime mode turned off (anytime after 7am weekdays and 7:30am weekends).

7) No, but they need to be in the same room.  Only the Vera controlled UTRTSI or ZRTSI have the power to go through walls.  Even then, I needed a RTS repeater so all blinds would close as most blinds where 2-3 rooms away from the Vera RTS unit.  Either the decoflex OR the Vera controlled RTS unit can control blinds...so blinds work if vera was down with decoflex (helps with resale value IMO)
« Last Edit: December 06, 2014, 06:16:04 pm by AgileHumor »
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