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General => Remote Control => Topic started by: bond on November 26, 2012, 04:37:45 am

Title: Question about VERA3, IR (SQ Blaster/ZEXT300) and handheld remote (URC 550?)
Post by: bond on November 26, 2012, 04:37:45 am
I just ordered a VERA3 and some intermatic switches. I plan to expand it with AV control and security system once I play with the basics.

I read through many forum posts and got some idea of what works and how (including scene bugs in vera).

The first thing I need to figure out is AV control. I have a bunch of AV equipment in a closet including a windows media center. I have a logitech harmony 1100 controlling them using RF. The closet is almost at the far end of logitechs reach so I have to hold up the remote sometimes to make the buttons work :)

I understand two main options are adding wifi-to-IR (SQ blaster or Global Cache itach IP2IR/WF2IR) or a zwave-IR (Remotec ZEXT 300). I slightly prefer the IP option to future prrof with whatever system changes I do.

However, I/Family would prefer a handheld remote with some physical buttons rather than using the iphone or android. The Remotec URC 550US seems like a inexpensive option.

One thing that was not clear to me was if VERA is the master controller with one of the IR controllers and URC 550 is the secondary zwave controller, if the equipment in the closet can be controlled using the remote buttons (volume, channel, not just scenes). My reading seems to indicate that scenes can be triggered using scene buttons (except for bugs). The ZEXT 300 manual has notes on how URC 550 can control ZEXT300. It does not have any instructions on what would happen if URC 550 is a secondary controller. The docs refer to "please refer to your gateway instructions".

Option 1: Can I use a WIFI/IP to IR bridge like SQ blaster or itach and still use the urc 550 to relay the AV commands via zwave to the IR blaster?

Option 2: If there is no way to make Option 1 work (or too expensive) is there anyway ZEXT300+URC550 work talking using the zwave network as a secondary, while VERA3 will be the master controller of the zwave network?

Title: Re: Question about VERA3, IR (SQ Blaster/ZEXT300) and handheld remote (URC 550?)
Post by: luissalvador on November 28, 2012, 09:11:27 am
This is my main quest right now too... I got all my Z-wave control needs covered with AutHomation (Great App!!), but I dont have a satisfactory IR solution yet.

I am also trying out the ZRC-550 and it works just fine for IR purposes, but i can't control any Z-Wave devices when the 550 is added as a secondary remote to Vera (but works fine when set as primary). I believe that has something to do with Vera blocking secondary remotes from adding devices.

My ZXT-300 is in its box as i couldn't figure out how to setup the learning function without a 550 but i will try again now that i have one.

Is the equipment you want to control in the closet behind closed doors? If so you would not be able to control them with the URC-550 as this part of the controler works just like any regular URC (IR needs almost direct line of sight). You could however lead some wires from your ZXT300 (all included) inside the closet and attach some emitters directly to the devices you want to control.

As for option 1: The AV controls from the 550 are IR only. Also when you comunicate with the IR Blaster, there is no Z-Wave comunication involved (with the exception of the ZXT-300 which is pure ZW->IR).

Option 2: This is exactly what I have been trying to setup, but to no avail. See above for possible causes...
Title: Re: Question about VERA3, IR (SQ Blaster/ZEXT300) and handheld remote (URC 550?)
Post by: bond on December 01, 2012, 01:36:04 am
many of my devices are in a closet together with the VERA3 in a closet out of sight of the family room where I have the TV. I need to control the TV using IR but want to control media center, monoprice HDMI matrix etc. using the ZWave to IR so the switch repeaters will get a reliable signal.

Theoretically, I can use the iPhone or an android device with an IR blaster attached to VERA3 but waking phone, unlock with PIN, click app, wait to connect and find device and click buttons will not work for regular TV viewing. Something has to support a remote with physical buttons.

Whatever IR blaster I connect to VERA, I need a remote with some physical buttons like logitech harmany that I have to use as the AV remote control.