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General => Blinds & Window Covering Control => Topic started by: Jacobly on September 15, 2009, 03:46:57 pm

Title: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: Jacobly on September 15, 2009, 03:46:57 pm
Did anyone have a chance to see this @ CEDIA last week?

http://www.cepro.com/article/somfy_launches_ilt_z_wave_interface1/

I can't find any reference to a release date yet, however, the Somfy dealer said he thought "it was supposed to be out by the end of this quarter."

Any idea if these will be new Z-Wave commands, or will this be supported by Vera out of the box?

Now, what am I going to do with the ESI ABMHZ I just bought from ASIHome a little over a month ago?  ???
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: zmistro on September 15, 2009, 04:24:12 pm
I quess return it if you don't want it.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: ASIHome on September 16, 2009, 08:44:11 am
It really depends on what motor you have. The Somfy Z-Wave will only be for their ILT motors. The ESI piece is for non-ILT motors.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: Jacobly on September 16, 2009, 09:39:10 am
ASI,

It's a new install, so I haven't bought the motor yet. I'll have to get in contact with Dawn again I guess....
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: ASIHome on September 16, 2009, 09:59:34 am
Just be aware that there is going to most likely be a large price gap. The Somfy pieces are expected sometime in Q4 and you can contact us to obtain pricing.

Thank you,
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: CMRancho on September 16, 2009, 12:40:35 pm
I want Vera to control my awning (from Sunsetter) which has a Zomfy motor. I'd like to be able to go to a selectable intermediate position, in addition to open and closed. Should I wait for these new Zomfy controls, or is the ESI ABMHZ what I need?
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: ASIHome on September 16, 2009, 01:19:12 pm
I want Vera to control my awning (from Sunsetter) which has a Zomfy motor. I'd like to be able to go to a selectable intermediate position, in addition to open and closed. Should I wait for these new Zomfy controls, or is the ESI ABMHZ what I need?

Again, it depends on the motor. If the Sunsetter uses a Somfy ILT motor then you would have to use the Somfy Z-Wave interface, if it has any other Somfy motor then you would use the ESI piece.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: CMRancho on September 17, 2009, 02:05:46 pm
Sunsetter customer service confirms that my 16 foot awning has a non-ILT Somfy motor. Looks like I'll be buying the ESI ABMHZ.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: Jacobly on September 17, 2009, 03:38:49 pm
CM,

The ESI ABMHZ is for control of AC motors. Is your motor AC or DC? If it is AC, let me know if you are interested in purchasing this....I just heard from ASIHome today since it has been greater than 30 days since my purchase, I may not be able to return it to them. (Needs manager approval)

Mine is brand new, still sealed in it's factory packaging. I'll cut ya deal....
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: CMRancho on September 17, 2009, 03:54:23 pm
Yes, it's AC. Let me know what the "manager" says. I might be interested. Thanks.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: ASIHome on September 18, 2009, 09:00:23 am
CM,

The ESI ABMHZ is for control of AC motors. Is your motor AC or DC? If it is AC, let me know if you are interested in purchasing this....I just heard from ASIHome today since it has been greater than 30 days since my purchase, I may not be able to return it to them. (Needs manager approval)

Mine is brand new, still sealed in it's factory packaging. I'll cut ya deal....

I'll look into this.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: Jacobly on September 22, 2009, 04:46:55 pm
CMRancho,

Looks like ASIHome's manager approved the return for "in-store" credit. I guess I can't cut you a deal aftr all....

Though, I would recommend using them for your purchase of this product. They really have been very helpful, in more than one instance!
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: CMRancho on September 22, 2009, 05:05:08 pm
On the upside, it's good to know they took care of you!
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: shady on September 22, 2009, 07:50:32 pm
We were the only shading fabricator showing/testing the Somfy ILT Z-Wave interface at CEDIA in the Z-Wave Alliance Booth.  It performed flawlessly using all of the different control options available in the booth.  It uses the Multilevel switch command class just as the ABMHZ, AC1-ZW, DBMZ, and DC1-ZW do.  This means that it will work with pretty much anything out there.  No one is currently developing for the Shade command class.

To clarify further, the ILT motor is an 'intelligent' RS-485 motor that comes in quiet versions and higher lift capacities too.  Somfy is working to release a ST-30 motor that works over RS-485 with the ILT.  The RS-485 allows for easy integration, distances of 1000's of feet, bi-directional communication, remote programming, etc.   Their Z-Wave interface works with either motor.  The motor wiring is easy, using daisy-chainable power and Cat5.  So you could have the best of both worlds, wired control via RS-485 and Z-Wave or just one of those.  Another bonus of ILT is that it is an encoder based motor, so there is no calibration of travel time for intermediate percentage shade positioning.

If you are not familiar with the AC1-ZW it offers the same control as the ABMHZ in a smaller box, which is nice when you are installing window coverings retrofit.  ESI is working on releasing Z-Wave embedded motors so no external controller is needed, a great option if you are willing to wait. 

My goal is to inform and educate.  If you have any questions regarding window coverings and automation, I'd be happy to help.  Somfy has proclaimed us the ILT and Z-Wave WC experts and we try to fill that role.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: Jacobly on September 23, 2009, 12:31:16 am
Hello Shady,

Good to hear your experience with the new Somfy Z-Wave interface @ CEDIA! I must ask the obvious question....what is the outlook for a release date? I am very interested in automating my shades, but would like to do it correctly with an all Somfy solution. I did speak with a salesman from an online automated shade reseller who was @ CEDIA, who thought the new ILT motors with Z-Wave would be released Q4 of 2009. I don't think he knew much about Z-Wave though because he asked me what my experience with Z-Wave was......

What can you tell us about the potential to integrate the Z-wave ILT motor and the other Somfy peripherals? (IE, the Temp, Sunlight, and wind sensors) Will there be support for these offerings too, or will it simply be a Z-waze control device.

Lastly, you kept on saying "us" in your last post. What company are you affiliated with?
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: CMRancho on September 23, 2009, 10:22:16 am
It's probably a good thing I didn't buy the ABMHZ. I now realize that just attaching my AC power cord to it wouldn't get me anywhere--it's the UP, STOP, and DOWN control that I need and that isn't delivered through the power cord. Silly me.

Since my Sunsetter awning with its Somfy non-ILT motor is remote controlled, I simply need a Z-wave module that can send a signal to the receiver in my awning's motor housing in place of the Somfy handheld remote. Does such a device exist?
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: shady on September 23, 2009, 04:05:29 pm
@Jacobly...there is something we refer to in the industry as "Somfy time" (just kidding Somfy)...I'd say that end of 2009 or beginning of 2010 would be an accurate figure.  They are still awaiting Z-Wave certification.

Somfy has said that they are looking to have an RTS (Radio Technology Somfy) bridge to Z-Wave which may make their peripherals work with Z-Wave, but I think it is primarily to control an RTS motor with a Z-Wave remote.  The best way to handle mixing Z-Wave and RTS seems to be using a PC/Gateway/Vera type intermediary to trigger RTS via one of Somfy's RTS interfaces from some Z-Wave source.

@CMRancho...your awning is most definitely using a Somfy RTS motor, so you'd be a perfect candidate for the RTS Bridge mentioned above.  Unfortunately it may be sometime in 2010 before it is released.  Stopping the awning at different percentages might not be a feature of their product or it might be, but all RTS motor have one intermediate stop that can be programmed by running the shade or awning to the stop, then holding the stop or 'My' button for 5-6 seconds until the motor jogs back and forth, then whenever the motor is stopped elsewhere and the stop button is depressed it will go to the intermediate position.  The motor could be replaced and the RTS one sold on Ebay or something, but that may require a professional to install.

It would really help to give Somfy a call or email them (I'll see if I can get you the correct contact) to let them know of the interest in the product(s).  They are of course going to be more excited about integrators and electricians using the Z-Wave products in volume, but they do have an entire division dedicated to the home user and DIY'r.  The more Buzz about Z-Wave the better, but I guess that goes for all Z-Wave enabled products.

I wasn't sure about forum rules on posting a company name, but I am with Skyco Shading Systems, Inc. in CA.  My support on this forum is strictly on my own time though.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: CMRancho on September 23, 2009, 04:26:32 pm
shady, thanks for the suggestions. All help is welcome as we explore what's possible with Z-Wave. Or should I say "as we explore what's nearly impossible"?

It sounds like your solution will work for me. In the big picture, I intend to control my existing awning and Velux skylights, and some still TBD blinds. Ultimately, I'll replace the 24 feet of manual roll-down shades we have outside to block the morning sun in the summer. The joys of a mostly-glass house  :-\

As a hard core DIYer, I can install almost anything so replacing motors and such sounds like child's play. Now if I could just program...
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: Obelisk on September 25, 2009, 10:45:11 am
Shady and others,

I've been speaking preliminarily with Barry@ASIHome and am hoping to test the Somfy 1810872 Universal RTS interface (input IR or RS232, outputs proprietary Somfy RF) with a Somy battery-powered shade solution I plan to install shortly.  Barry tells me (if I understood correctly) that this unit would convert serial to RF for the shades, so I'd then need a USB-to-serial connector to plug this into my Vera, but that the final missing link would be a Luup driver. 

1) That sound right?
2) Anyone working on said Luup driver?!
[3) Less important: anyone tried using USB-over-ethernet adaptors with any USB-to-serial adaptors?  My Vera is currently about 200 feet from where the shades will be going, so ideally I'd like to keep it where it is and use USB-over-ethernet adaptors to run the Vera-to-Somfy signal over an existing Cat5 run that I could hook the Somfy 1810872 to]

Thanks for any insight,


Charlie
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: shady on September 25, 2009, 12:58:19 pm
That sounds about right and I just offered to MCV to develop a plug-in for the RTS unit.  The words RTS and Battery are two that I don't get excited about, but I realize this is what is available now and not everyone can pull power to every window.  You should be happy with the battery shade as long as your window is under 64 sq ft.  If your batteries don't last long and you can find a way to get 12V there via a wall wart transformer then the motor will run a bit faster.

Another option would be if someone had a Z-Wave to contact closure device that you could wire to a RTS remote (right to its button pads on the circuit board).  Using your Cat5 as the contact closure wires, you could trigger RTS commands on the other side of the house using the Vera Z-Wave.  That way you're spending much less on a remote vs. the interface and no need for the USB to ethernet adapters (Somfy's single channel RTS to Dry Contact Interface is just a Telis remote circuit board in a box).  But this would limit you to a single RTS channel, or two channels if you used two remotes, because the 8 wires of the Cat5 could be split into two groups of 4 (4 for each RTS remote...up, stop, down, common).

Could be a more reliable, easier to set up solution, but who has the Z-Wave to contact closure interface (Fortrezz could probably get one out fairly quickly??)?
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: Obelisk on September 25, 2009, 01:07:57 pm
Thanks for the reply, Shady.  Agreed re: the words RTS and Battery, but "freshly painted" and "pulling wire" aren't words my wife gets excited about ;)

So where do things stand re: your offer to MCV to dev a plug-in for the RTS unit?  I would obviously love it, but clearly it would be a boon to a great number of other users as well...
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: shady on September 25, 2009, 04:44:37 pm
Happy Wife = Happy Life, at least that is what she keep telling me, lol.

I didn't mean to be negative toward your shade choice, it is a great option and the only one available to keep the wife happy.  Somfy sells refillable battery wands now which can save you $27 each refill time over the sealed wands.  Also someone is showing solar options as well, but I need to dig further for info on that. 

Anyway, I just threw the idea to MCV the other night so it might be while before they get back to me on the plug-in.

Are you going to need the multi-channel interface from Somfy or are you just running the one shade?
Let me know if you have any installation issues.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: Obelisk on September 29, 2009, 01:24:40 pm
Shady,

First, HW=HL is correct ;) and thx for the info re: the refillable battery wands.

I reached out to MCV about developing a Vera Luup plug-in for Somfy RTS motors and was told that "We already have one, and it's included in the new releases".  Have you played with it?

A friend is installing the shades and doing it in 1 set of 3 panels and a second set of 2 panels (two remote controls).  Still figuring out which interface I will need and how it will need to be configured!


Charlie

Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: shady on September 29, 2009, 03:46:54 pm
My guess is that the plug-in works through a USB to RS-232 converter cable then to the RTS Interface with RS-232, probably the 16-Channel URTSI (make sure you get the one that looks like a small router it has IR/RS-232/RS-485, the other is RS-232 and X-10 for about the same price).  Unless you want to do as I suggested for 1/6 the cost (talking about Somfy parts only) giving you only a single channel to run the shades together.

Configuring is fairly easy if you have remote controls already.  You'll just power up the motors and use the remote to add the URTSI to the motors' memory, giving you shades working on the specified channels.

I'll have to come up with another idea for a Luup Plug-in it looks like....
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: mikeindustries on November 06, 2009, 11:11:14 pm
shady and others: I'm in wiring stage on a new house right now and we were previously spec'ing RTS motors on our exterior shades because they were the only ones which tied easily into a HAI Omnipro II for automation. As far as we could tell, the ILT motors which we really wanted provided no easy automation tie-ins short of going with a really expensive Crestron setup.

It looks like this Z-Wave controller now bridges that gap, correct? All I have to do is throw one of those on each motor and it can then be controlled via the HAI, right? Anybody know what these are expected to cost?

Final goal is to have a system which can be governed by a sun/wind sensor as well as wall switches as well as home automation software that can inch the blinds up and down depending on astronomical settings.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: shady on November 09, 2009, 12:56:42 pm
I think the deciding factor is the need for a sun/wind sensor.  The RTS option is the only one with a sun/wind sensor.  ILT motors are a great choice for wired automation they're operable via IR, contact closure, RS-485, RTS and soon Z-Wave.  The good thing about ILT is that the wiring requirements aren't that much different than for the RTS Motors.  Standard 110VAC (daisy-chainable) power at the shade and a Cat5 cable linking all shades and smart switches and to automation control.

Actually this standard wiring scheme would leave you with several options once it comes time to install the motors.  We could use RQ60's or Z-Wave controllers with standard motors, or use ILT w/ RS-485 or Z-Wave (or both), or just standard RTS motors.  I'm checking to see if they have the sun/wind sensor available for ILT yet (currently only sun) and if there is a good sun/wind to Z-Wave solution yet.

I prefer a wired installation when possible.  Z-Wave helps remedy most of radio's short comings, but if you have the ability to drop the Cat5 in now,  then it is there for the future if radio does pose a problem.
Title: Re: Somfy goes Z-Wave!!
Post by: teonebello on April 21, 2011, 03:50:04 pm
When you wrote:

My guess is that the plug-in works through a USB to RS-232 converter cable then to the RTS Interface with RS-232, probably the 16-Channel URTSI (make sure you get the one that looks like a small router it has IR/RS-232/RS-485, the other is RS-232 and X-10 for about the same price).

So is it better to buy the URTSI with RS-232 and X-10, or the URTSII IR/RS-232/RS-485?

thank you
Matteo