Author Topic: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali  (Read 12646 times)

Offline Aaron

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2017, 12:43:40 pm »
awesome info, thank you!

I wish the single channel remotes had multiple presets/buttons and you could pair each preset with different set of shades. I have a room with 2 + 4 + 3 ... all within the same viewing area but want them controllable together and each set separately.  Looks like I'll mount an old android phone/tablet to the wall for ease of use and guests.

How do you like the shades? Quiet? Smooth? Syncronize properly? etc

Offline gregreid

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2017, 01:12:36 pm »
How do you like the shades? Quiet? Smooth? Syncronize properly? etc

They're not terribly quiet, but not noisy or bothersome.  You certainly hear them when operating, but you can easily carry on a conversation at a normal level.

They're smooth operating, and have a nice feature where the motors turn off about a second before the final position they've been commanded to, allowing their kinetic energy to finish the last few rotations.  Quite slick.

From the factory, their "Up" limit is set to a nice tight (but not overly tight!) compression of the cells flat, and the "Down" limit is set to exactly the length that you specified when ordering.  I found that spot-on; the bottom of the blind just barely rests on the bottom sill, and touches it gently (no sound).   The "Home" setting is exactly 50% of their "Up" and "Down" limits by default.  Everything is programmable if not quite right for your needs.  When I command all three blinds of the Living Room bay window set to "Home", they all look nice and parallel across the three windows.

I have just one blind (of ten) that hangs a little further down on the right than on the left.  It's a small flaw, but noticeable.  I have a request in for warranty repair/replacement on that one.

When you use the single-channel remote or a Vera scene to signal all blinds in a set to do something (up/down/home), they don't necessarily all move at once.  Sometimes they do, but there's often a lag between the signals reaching the binds to start their movement.  So it's not always as pretty as you'd like to see, i.e. all moving in unison.  But no biggie.

Rarely, one blind might miss the signal altogether, so you have to wait for the other blinds to complete their movement and then re-send the command to get the final blind to move.  This doesn't happen often enough to be a real problem.

The blinds themselves are very good looking.  I ordered the double-cell "Daybreak Piazza 3410" for all ten, and love it.  They let a little filtered light through, but are completely opaque from the outside.  The hardware is top-notch.  The dimensions were spot-on to what I ordered, and so their installation was fast and simple.

One minor but "shouldn't happen" inconvenience is that the batteries in the remotes were under 50% full charge, as received from the factory.  Once I got them hooked up to Vera, you can see their battery charge indicator, and they were all in the 7% to 50% range.  Most were in the 20-40% range, so I had to spend another $20 for 20 new batteries (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MBOK79C).

I ran hard-wiring to each of my blinds, using a 20A 12VDC switching power supply in my attic (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007K2H0GI), and micro-USB cables (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NAG0YPD).  I cut off the "big end" and used the red and black power wires only.  This gave a nice and neat appearance, and I don't have to worry about replacing batteries.  But it was a major hassle during the ordering process to be "permitted" to NOT order any power supply (no wall warts; no battery pack) with the blinds.  They insist on ordering their $49 wall-warts, even if I was just going to throw them out.  It took several calls and supervisor involvement before it was "OK"d to ship without any power supplies.  As such, they all came with a "Custom order" designation, which adds some restrictions on my return/replace options.  Ridiculous, I know.

Greg

 

Offline sjmn

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #32 on: June 11, 2017, 12:02:57 am »
@gregreid
I'm interested in your last paragraph - you hard-wired your windows for low voltage power.  How did you know these Autoview motors are 12V and not 24V?

Offline waltzer11

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #33 on: September 16, 2017, 03:03:01 pm »
How do you like the shades? Quiet? Smooth? Syncronize properly? etc

They're not terribly quiet, but not noisy or bothersome.  You certainly hear them when operating, but you can easily carry on a conversation at a normal level.

They're smooth operating, and have a nice feature where the motors turn off about a second before the final position they've been commanded to, allowing their kinetic energy to finish the last few rotations.  Quite slick.

From the factory, their "Up" limit is set to a nice tight (but not overly tight!) compression of the cells flat, and the "Down" limit is set to exactly the length that you specified when ordering.  I found that spot-on; the bottom of the blind just barely rests on the bottom sill, and touches it gently (no sound).   The "Home" setting is exactly 50% of their "Up" and "Down" limits by default.  Everything is programmable if not quite right for your needs.  When I command all three blinds of the Living Room bay window set to "Home", they all look nice and parallel across the three windows.

I have just one blind (of ten) that hangs a little further down on the right than on the left.  It's a small flaw, but noticeable.  I have a request in for warranty repair/replacement on that one.

When you use the single-channel remote or a Vera scene to signal all blinds in a set to do something (up/down/home), they don't necessarily all move at once.  Sometimes they do, but there's often a lag between the signals reaching the binds to start their movement.  So it's not always as pretty as you'd like to see, i.e. all moving in unison.  But no biggie.

Rarely, one blind might miss the signal altogether, so you have to wait for the other blinds to complete their movement and then re-send the command to get the final blind to move.  This doesn't happen often enough to be a real problem.

The blinds themselves are very good looking.  I ordered the double-cell "Daybreak Piazza 3410" for all ten, and love it.  They let a little filtered light through, but are completely opaque from the outside.  The hardware is top-notch.  The dimensions were spot-on to what I ordered, and so their installation was fast and simple.

One minor but "shouldn't happen" inconvenience is that the batteries in the remotes were under 50% full charge, as received from the factory.  Once I got them hooked up to Vera, you can see their battery charge indicator, and they were all in the 7% to 50% range.  Most were in the 20-40% range, so I had to spend another $20 for 20 new batteries (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00MBOK79C).

I ran hard-wiring to each of my blinds, using a 20A 12VDC switching power supply in my attic (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007K2H0GI), and micro-USB cables (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NAG0YPD).  I cut off the "big end" and used the red and black power wires only.  This gave a nice and neat appearance, and I don't have to worry about replacing batteries.  But it was a major hassle during the ordering process to be "permitted" to NOT order any power supply (no wall warts; no battery pack) with the blinds.  They insist on ordering their $49 wall-warts, even if I was just going to throw them out.  It took several calls and supervisor involvement before it was "OK"d to ship without any power supplies.  As such, they all came with a "Custom order" designation, which adds some restrictions on my return/replace options.  Ridiculous, I know.

Greg
I am almost ready to order. Just to clarify, a lot of times you used the word "blinds", but then you said your bought "double cell daybreak piazza 3410" from blinds.com which is a cellular shade not blinds.

Offline gregreid

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #34 on: September 16, 2017, 03:14:37 pm »
Whoops, sorry.  You're right: I have cellular shades, not blinds. 

And since my post, I've ordered and installed (hard-wired with wiring through the ceiling and attic) nine more.  All used every day (automated with Vera) and all working great.

Note that Blinds.com often runs "buy one, get one at xx% off" promotions.  You'll want to wait for one of those.  They're often "buy one get one at 30% off", but I've seen them go to 40% and 50% and I think even once at 60% off for the second shade.

Finally, as I re-read my original post from months ago, I saw that I talked about one shade whose bottom hung a little lower on one side than the other.  The factory got back to me about that with instructions on how to fix it.  Pretty easy: take off one end cap from the bottom rail, which then allows you to slide out the thin metal cover over that rail, which gives you access to where the strings/cords are tied inside there -- using a neat plastic gizmo that allows you to easily un-tie, adjust length and re-tie the chords to make them hang evenly.  Took about 15 minutes to make the minor adjustment.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2017, 03:29:46 pm by gregreid »

Offline waltzer11

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #35 on: September 17, 2017, 04:08:39 pm »
Whoops, sorry.  You're right: I have cellular shades, not blinds. 

And since my post, I've ordered and installed (hard-wired with wiring through the ceiling and attic) nine more.  All used every day (automated with Vera) and all working great.

Note that Blinds.com often runs "buy one, get one at xx% off" promotions.  You'll want to wait for one of those.  They're often "buy one get one at 30% off", but I've seen them go to 40% and 50% and I think even once at 60% off for the second shade.

Finally, as I re-read my original post from months ago, I saw that I talked about one shade whose bottom hung a little lower on one side than the other.  The factory got back to me about that with instructions on how to fix it.  Pretty easy: take off one end cap from the bottom rail, which then allows you to slide out the thin metal cover over that rail, which gives you access to where the strings/cords are tied inside there -- using a neat plastic gizmo that allows you to easily un-tie, adjust length and re-tie the chords to make them hang evenly.  Took about 15 minutes to make the minor adjustment.
No need to apologize. I am just not too clear and correct me if I am wrong, the AutoView feature only apply to shades and not blinds right? When I tried to customize my purchase (didnt buy yet), the bali blinds has no option for autoview; it only has an option for motorized tilt. I want to know if this motorized tilt for blinds is also zwave plus and will it also work for vera edge? thanks.

Offline vnr111

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #36 on: October 16, 2017, 10:43:37 am »
Autoview is the way to go unless like me you got a good sale on RTS and have a huge number of windows to cover making it uneconomical. I easily saved a couple of thousands by going RTS.

For those of you using the RTS, how are you able to set the blinds to 25%, 50%, 75% without feedback?

I thought I had gotten Z-wave blinds but just found out they were all RF

Offline rafale77

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #37 on: October 16, 2017, 07:21:09 pm »
Autoview is the way to go unless like me you got a good sale on RTS and have a huge number of windows to cover making it uneconomical. I easily saved a couple of thousands by going RTS.

For those of you using the RTS, how are you able to set the blinds to 25%, 50%, 75% without feedback?

I thought I had gotten Z-wave blinds but just found out they were all RF

Only way to do this is to start and stop by time which is not super reliable. For blinds I am able to set 3 fixed positions (up, down, favorite) on the tilt but can only do time based on the shades.
Openluup (18 devices, 58 scenes, 11 apps) and iobroker controlling VeraPlus with 116 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 7 apps, 244 vera devices, 79 scenes; VeraEdge (0 node, 26 devices, 6 App, 0 scene); Bridged to Homekit and Alexa.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #38 on: October 16, 2017, 09:36:33 pm »
Back in July before I fished up this Room remodel I took a few videos to show the Bali Autoview Z-wave plus in action.

https://youtu.be/nIJhdKq4Jn4
and
https://youtu.be/5XE23aEScTs

I also have a bunch of pictures here on dropbox.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/fsj9pr7axaomk65/AACHhCs29KpNg-sz2F9mP5Cra?dl=0

Battery life has been better then I thought (or not working) still showing 100% with about 1 open and close per day since July.

Offline waltzer11

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2017, 04:00:33 pm »
Interested in your feedback on the single channel remote... They told me that is the only way to control multiple shades without a hub?

If you want to control multiple AutoView blinds with a remote control device, then yes, you can use a single-channel remote paired to multiple blind sets (as I've done), AND/OR

Once you get your blinds controllable by Vera, you could use any ZWave remote (including the standard GE one, or one of the individual blind ones that come with your AutoView blinds) to trigger a scene that would operate the blinds together, AND/OR

Use Alexa with the ha-bridge (or Vera's beta Alexa voice skill) voice control to trigger a scene to do likewise  (as I've also done).  There's really no need to pay the extra for a single-channel remote, apart from some minor convenience.

Edited to add:
I should point out that the Bali single-channel remotes have an Up, Down, and a Home button, whreeas the individual blind remotes only have Up and Down.  The Home button is pretty useful, as I typically have my blinds in "Home" mode (50% down by default, but you can program a different Home setting in the blind). 

Also note that the Bali remotes normally operate the blinds directly.  They don't contact your Vera hub to tell it do control the blinds ... unless you programmed scenes in Vera to work that way.  So the remotes will work out of range of the Vera hub, or even if the hub is down, as long as they're in range of the blinds. 

My blinds came (from blinds.com) with little square plastic "tabs" and screws and anchors to attach the tabs to a wall.  The remotes then slip onto those tabs (but are easily removable if you want).  I've mounted my individual blind controls side-by-side on a wall fairly to the blinds that they control, so they're always available for individual blind control.  I've mounted my three single-channel remotes (one controls four Florida-room blinds; one controls three Dining-room blinds, and one controls three Living-room blinds) side by side on the wall in a main room where I can see all of the blinds from that central point.  And then of course I also have the option of "Alexa, turn on dining room blinds halfway" voice control, for example.  And I have six Alexa devices around my house, so one is always within "earshot".

Pardon me if this is not the right thread; got my first bali shade autoview and paired to vera successfully. Alexa is unable to discover the shade. Vera can open/close the shade. any suggestion please.

Offline gregreid

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #40 on: October 19, 2017, 04:45:54 pm »
Alexa cannot "discover the shade" directly.  Alexa is only able to control a certain limited set of devices, and Z-wave isn't within that capability.  However...

What you can do (as I have done) is to set up the "ha bridge".   (Search in the micasaverde forums for it; it's available from GitHub.)  The ha bridge is a piece of Java software that emulates a Philips Hue Hub.  Alexa knows how to control a Philips Hue Hub (which in turn would normally control multiple Philips Hue lights linked to it.)  So by installing the ha bridge and setting up Alexa to discover it, Alexa then thinks that it's controlling the Philips Hue lights.  In turn, the ha bridge is configured to talk to your Vera controller (via http), which then performs the actual on/off/dim actions on your Z-wave devices.

You then configure the ha bridge with the appropriate http command syntax for each of your blinds (e.g. "on" is fully open while "off" is fully closed).  And then you can  say "Alexa, discover devices" (which will contact the ha bridge -- thinking it's a Philips Hue Hub -- to get the list of devices you've configured in the ha bridge web interface), and finally, you can say something like "Alexa, turn on living room blinds" to open them all. 

You have several choices of where to install the ha bridge software.  Whatever you choose needs to keep running, and be connected to your network of course.  I already had a NAS device, so I installed it there.  Works great.

It's not super-simple to set up.  Needs some technical expertise.  But it works well once done.


Offline waltzer11

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #41 on: October 19, 2017, 05:49:58 pm »
thanks for your prompt response. i am not that "techie". i hope someone will be able to create a plugin to make it simpler.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #42 on: October 19, 2017, 07:37:16 pm »
thanks for your prompt response. i am not that "techie". i hope someone will be able to create a plugin to make it simpler.

I don't think a plugin will help you. This is an alexa issue not a vera cant control the shade issue.

Also I thought alexa and Vera play nice. The shades should just show up as a dimmer. I'm not sure if anyone else has gotten it to show up.

Offline gregreid

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #43 on: October 20, 2017, 09:43:20 am »
Quote
Also I thought alexa and Vera play nice.

Oh ya, I forgot to mention that.  Several months ago, Vera came up with a "Smarter Home" plug-in for Alexa called "Vera Control".  I installed it during their beta-testing phase, and found that while it "worked", it had severe lag issues.  In a side-by-side comparison, I created two names for turning on and off my kitchen light -- and set up one of them, "vera light", to be accessed via the Vera Control plugin, while the other, "bridge light" to be accessed via the HA Bridge.  When I said "Alexa, turn on vera light", it would consistently take 5-8 seconds to respond, where as "Alexa, turn off bridge light" would happen within a half-second.  I found this unusable.  I reported it to the Vera folks running the beta program and they admitted to some delays that they were working on. 

The Vera Control plug-in is now out of beta status; it's ready for anyone.  Perhaps they've improved its responsiveness; I haven't checked.  But it can never be as fast as the HA Bridge, because Alexa controls the bridge "directly" through your home network, whereas any Smart Home plug-in has a bunch of network hops back and forth to the Amazon Web Service platform where the plugin actually runs. 

I still use the Vera Controller, but for only one specific device: my hope thermostat.  That's because the HA Bridge doesn't currently have full support for thermostats (no setting of a particular temperature), whereas the Vera Controller plug-in does.

Anyway, for a non-techie, the Vera Controller plug-in to Alexa "Smart Home" is probably the best way to go ... and just live with the response-time lag.

Offline gregreid

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Re: New AutoView Z-Wave Somfy Motors from Bali
« Reply #44 on: October 20, 2017, 09:51:14 am »
I'm interested in your last paragraph - you hard-wired your windows for low voltage power.  How did you know these Autoview motors are 12V and not 24V?

I completely missed this post/question from long ago.  Sorry.

I zoomed in on a clear picture that I found somewhere of the official Springs Window Fashions "wall wart" label, where I could clearly read 12VDC.  I also confirmed with the Blinds.com salesman (who went and asked someone). 

The odd thing is that they chose to use a micro USB form-factor for the power lead.  As you know, USB is always 5VDC.  But anyway, it makes a good and compact connector, and I simply ordered some long micro USB leads from Amazon for my hard wiring (cutting off the "big end" and using the red + and black - for power).