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PostPosted: Mon 24. Jan 2011, 13:00 
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Joined: Mon 24. Jan 2011, 09:22
Posts: 5
Location: Italia
Hi there,
a while ago I wrote a program that I use to control my PLCBUS equipment over a network (including over the internet if appropriate security measures are in place) using the command line. While it seems to work perfectly, there are some 'quirks' with the 1141 commands regarding the Light Dimming modules that I find annoying (I use the 2263D dimmer modules):

ON turns the module on but does not accept any arguments. As such it uses the last brightness and fade time defined with the PRESET-DIM command. The same characteristics are exhibited by the physical switch. If only using the 1141 this isn't a problem, but it is very annoying when using a physical switch (particularly if the last PRESET-DIM set the lights down low over a long period of time).
OFF turns the module off, using the last fade time set in PRESET-DIM. Once again, this is fine when only using the 1141 but very annoying when using a physical switch.
BRIGHT sets the light to 100% over a user defined fade time, however the fade time is not persistent (ON and OFF don't use the time defined here).
DIM sets the light to 1% over a user defined fade time. I'm not sure what use this is since 1% is too low to be useful, the last defined PRESET-DIM doesn't seem to affect this.
PRESET-DIM sets the specified dim level over a specified fade time. As stated earlier, the dim level is that used by the ON command and the physical switch when turning on, and the fade time is used by ON, OFF, and the physical switch.

The problem I have is that the DIM command is not useful so I must use the PRESET-DIM command to dim the lights. If the last command I send using the 1141 is to dim the lights then my physical light switch is stuck with the dim level and fade time (which is almost always too low and too long). This forces me to constantly adjust the PRESET-DIM to an appropriate level (100% over 1 second) before I turn the lights off. Is this the expected behavior or is something not quite right?

As an aside, the following commands all seem to work correctly:
ALL-UNITS-OFF
ALL-LIGHTS-ON
ALL-LIGHTS-OFF
STATUS-REQUEST
GET-NOISE-STRENGTH
GET-SIGNAL-STRENGTH
FADE-STOP
The following commands all receive the correct response from the modules, but I can not see any effect or action that results:
BLINK
STATUS-ON
STATUS-OFF
I haven't tested the other commands since I have no use for them (I did test them originally but can't remember the results).

Thanks for any guidance or advice,
Wayne


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PostPosted: Tue 25. Jan 2011, 09:44 
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Joined: Tue 11. Aug 2009, 13:18
Posts: 175
Hi waynet,

PLC-BUS works exactly as you wrote!!

BLINK do nothing.
STATUS-ON and STATUS-OFF are feedback commands.

PLCBUSguru

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PostPosted: Tue 25. Jan 2011, 10:09 
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Joined: Mon 24. Jan 2011, 09:22
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Location: Italia
Hi PLCBUSguru,
I guess that is good news, but that leaves me with a behaviour that I don't quite like:

If the last command from the 1141 was to dim the light slowly (i.e. to 50% over 10 seconds), is there any workaround that would force the physical switch to follow my preferred ON/OFF behaviour (0% and 100% over 1 second)?
Like I said, if I only use the 1141 everything works gracefully (since I can just send the required command); I just don't like the switch behaviour.

Thanks again,
Wayne


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PostPosted: Sun 30. Jan 2011, 09:26 
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Joined: Mon 24. Jan 2011, 09:22
Posts: 5
Location: Italia
In case anyone is wondering, I have worked out a very graceful solution to my issue. In fact, it is so graceful I think this is how it was designed to work; I just hadn't worked it out.

The physical switch will use the last set Dim Level and Fade Time of the Main address of the module. If you want to use custom Dim Levels and Fade times from the 1141 that do not affect the physical switch, simply set up a scene address for the module with the behavior you want.

For instance:

I have a Dimmable Lamp Module with address A1 that is connected to a physical switch. My preferred behavior for the physical switch is always to be 100% (or off) over 1 second. I also use my 1141 to turn it off when I switch off my TV, but when this occurs I want it to take 100 seconds.
To set this up, I send a "preset-dim" command to A1 with a Dim Level of 100% and a Fade Time of 100 seconds (this sets the preferred scene behavior) and ensure all other modules are switched off. When this is done I send a "scene-addr-setup" command which is set to on and create the address P1. Then I send a "preset-dim" command to A1 again, but this time with a Dim Level of 100% and a Fade Time of only 1 second (this sets my preferred physical switch behavior again). Now, when ever I use the physical switch it will always use a 1 second fade time. If I want to have a slow fade I use address P1 instead.
The same concept works for the Dim Level; I set up an address P2 that is set to 30% over 10 seconds. When I set P2 On, it goes to this level regardless of current condition (i.e. whether it is 100% or off it goes to 30%) and my physical switch still works exactly how I want it to.

Hope this helps someone else out there.
Cheers
Wayne


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PostPosted: Mon 31. Jan 2011, 08:00 
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Joined: Sat 20. Nov 2010, 23:51
Posts: 25
Hi Wayne,

Thanks for your input.

Did you investigate the following solution?

1. Send A1 preset DIM 100% 100 sec
2. wait for 100 sec
3. send A1 preset DIM 100% 1 sec

Same with dim 30%. You're maybe sending 2 commands on the PLCBUS, but the second should reset the switch to work as you want it to.

PLCBuster


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PostPosted: Mon 31. Jan 2011, 09:01 
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Hi Wayne,

Great work!
The scenes addresses are the most misunderstood feature of PLC-BUS, but a powerful feature.

PLCBUSguru.

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PostPosted: Mon 31. Jan 2011, 09:49 
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@plcbuster,
That doesn't actually work for dimming for the following reason:
- preset-dim 30% 10 seconds --> Does what I want
- wait 10 seconds
- preset-dim 100% 1 second --> The light is now full bright; not what I wanted.

@PLCBUSguru,
agreed, it was unclear in the documentation that the physical switch characteristics are only affected by the Main address and not the Scene address. I had also failed to consider that Scene addresses can (and should) be used for single modules for control. I had only considered them for controlling a handful of lights/appliances together.
For my lounge room light I now have the following:
- a main address with my preferred ON/OFF characteristics (100% over 1 second).
- a scene that controls only this light with 100% dim and a 100 second fade time.
- a scene that controls only this light with 30% dim and a 10 second fade time.
With these addresses my physical switch always behaves how I want. To switch the light on or off VERY slowly I simply turn the first scene on or off. To dim the light (regardless of the current light state) I simply turn the second scene on. Nice.


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PostPosted: Mon 31. Jan 2011, 22:32 
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Joined: Sat 20. Nov 2010, 23:51
Posts: 25
Interesting.

Thanks for the input.
I'm still waiting for my plcbus order to arrive so I can start fiddling with it :)
I can hardly wait... :)


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PostPosted: Sun 17. Apr 2011, 15:22 
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Joined: Sat 16. Oct 2010, 22:30
Posts: 22
Location: Poland
Hi,

I'm quite new to PLCBUS but I have been experimenting a bit and I think there's a better way. I have a one-lamp dimmer plug-in module. I have not (ever!) sent the PRESET DIM to it and it still works on it's default value of 100%/3s. And indeed when I send ON/OFF to it it reacts 'slowly' - by dimming. However sending DIM(0,0) [DIM with DATA1=DATA2=0] or BRIGHT(0,0) makes it react instantly - it works kinda like an 'ON/OFF' module with these commands. Nevertheless when I later send ON or press the button it clearly uses the preset values and turns on/off slowly - the DIM/BRIGHT commands don't seem to change the settings in the module!

Am I correct or did I misunderstand the problem here? :P

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Best regards,
QmQ


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PostPosted: Sun 17. Apr 2011, 19:19 
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Joined: Mon 24. Jan 2011, 09:22
Posts: 5
Location: Italia
@QmQ
you've misunderstood the problem slightly. Essentially I wanted several differing fade rates and levels, none of which would effect the standard physical switch characteristics. As stated below, I worked out the perfect solution using the programmable scenes (which is exactly what they were designed to do.
Also, I think you will find that the DIM command can not and does not turn the light off. It is actually sets the light to 1% brightness therefore is actually on burning up a little bit of power.
Thanks for trying to help.


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