My name is James. I'm a programmer/software developer from Poland. I'm not very experienced in electronics, but I learn quickly and have a good basic knowledge of the subject. Just not too much practise. I must also say that I very much prefer to play with the software part.
I'm very happy to have found this place
- information about PLC and specifically PLCBUS is abundant but very general which makes it quite hard to understand it.
I'm currently in the middle of market research with the goal of building my own home control system. After reading a lot of articles and going through many pages I have decided that utilizing the power line will be the best solution. A not so quick review of existing technologies left me with only two options: X10 and PLCBUS. I've chosen the latter for reasons everybody here know
. I must say that Insteon looked very nice, but it's only available in the US so that's not an option.
There are a few things about PLC(BUS) I haven't been able to find out. Maybe you can help me with some answers? 1
. I don't know how a home power line is build, but I do know all power lines meet in the "fuse box" (no idea what the correct term is). Does PLC data go through that box? There are actually three questions here:
1.1 How can I secure my data from going outside and prevent signals from the outside?
1.2 What if my neighbour wants a PLCBUS system too - interference?
1.3 Will data be able to pass through that box inside the house? For example from the kitchen to the bedroom via the box? Like so:
Kitchen ------------------ [BOX] --------------- Bedroom2
. I'd like to "play" with PLCBUS. What do I need to start, possibly cheap? My guess is:
-PLCBUS lamp module (ON/OFF to start simple)
-PC to control it (this I have)
Now I know I can buy the PLCBUS-1141 PC interface which comes in 2 flavours: RS232/USB. From what I've learned the USB one simply creates a virtual RS232 COM port on the PC, so it's simpler to buy the RS232 version. Yes I have a PC with RS232. Anything I should know here? Maybe it's better to buy the USB one after all?
My guess is I get that, install drivers from somewhere, get software to control PLCBUS (like HomePlanner), plug it all in and it should work.
The above solution is simple, but also expensive. The PC interface is about 70€, the simplest lamp module is about 40€ so that's 110€+shipping which totals at some 130€
So I'm thinking about going "lower". I have soldering experience so putting the elements together won't be a problem. I just don't really know which ones I need to buy to make a controller and a simple on/off thing (a LED will do for learning - 230V lamps later). I have a nifty small computer (Alix: http://www.pcengines.ch/alix1d.htm
) which has an I2C header (and COM ports) and can be temporally used as the controller back-end (later to be replaced by something AVR-like).
Will this solution be cheaper (and how much)?
Could you help me make a list of required elements?
For the controller I think the PLCBUS-201078 is the best choice. Right?
No idea about the ON/OFF chip.
My basic vision is something like this:
. I don't think I can buy any PLCBUS hardware in Poland so I'll have to ship it from somewhere. Possible places I've found are UK, The Netherlands and...China. Do you know any other places? Maybe something in Germany?
I know I wrote a lot, and I am sorry
I hope someone will have the time and patience to read this... There are just so many things I'd like to know about PLCBUS but haven't been able to learn from the Internet
Thanks a lot!