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window shade automation - how to pre-wire?


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#1 jaydubb1

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 08:01 AM

I think I should wire cat5e and a 16/2 wire to every window that I want shade control in, but still not sure about that.

Can someone explain what I am pre-wiring for and what part of the window it should go to?

Also, should I homerun it to the basement only, or do I want a separate wire going to a local wall controller, if so what gauge should it be, should I homerun to the basement AND to the wall switch...

Are there z-wave window shade motors that can be hardwired? That seems like the easiest answer, but google isn't giving me the answer I want.

:wacko:

Sorry for the jumble of questions, feel free to ignore the above and simply say "Here, do XXXX because you will have YYYY options".

Thanks!


P.S. I have OP2 and z-wave.

#2 Deane Johnson

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:07 AM

If you want to future proof the installation, I would home run both 18/3 or 16/3 as well as the Cat 5.

High voltage (110v) shades use two hot wires, one for each direction of travel. So, you need a common, two hots, and a ground. In this case you wouldn't use the Cat 5, your control modules would be at home plate in a box.

Another approach is to put the controller at each window and do the control with the Cat 5, feeding AC using only the common and one hot wire plus ground.

You might instead choose to use Hunter Douglas PowerRise which are either battery or wall cube powered. For the wall cube, you'd want AC available at the top of the window. Control could be either fed up on the Cat 5 or RF with an RF adapter. I suppose you could feed the low voltage from a central location, I've never done that.

There are lots of choices in motorized shades available, and more are coming on line. That's why I recommend the 18/3 or 16/3 plus Cat 5 control so you can do anything you want in the future. Shades only draw about .5 amp, and for a very short time, so heavy wire isn't required.

Location wise, outside mount shades are probably going to be mounted 2 inches above the woodwork and will be slightly wider than the woodwork. That makes it a little testy on determining where to put the j-boxes. Preferably to the side of the future shade location. Remember, the head rail will be wider than the fabric that covers the window. That varies by the product.

I usually tell people there's a lot of ugly up there from the rollers, wiring, etc. so you will need to plan on cornices, valances, or something to hide everything.

There are multiple approaches to control, and your approach and desires will probably change over the years. I'd probably run Cat 5 from a wall switch location to the central location and do the control at the central location.

Lots depends on the brand of product and it's specific requirements. We usually use BTX and have them put the shade control modules in an electrical box which we mount in the basement or other central location. This way all you have is the motor wire going into a j-box at the top of the window. Everything else is at the central location.

Edited by Deane Johnson, 22 December 2011 - 09:14 AM.


#3 jaydubb1

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 09:37 AM

Dangit, I just bought 2000 feet of 16/2 :D

Thanks for the detailed response!

#4 JFab Design

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 12:10 PM

Have you seen the new Lutron Wireless shades? They are sick!

http://www.lutron.co...s/Overview.aspx

#5 Deane Johnson

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:34 PM

Have you seen the new Lutron Wireless shades? They are sick!

http://www.lutron.co...s/Overview.aspx

I think they are talking about communication with the shade, not power for the shades.

Most all manufacturers offer multiple forms of communication including both IR and RF as well as momentary contact. One of the big issues with RF becomes apparent when you try to interface it with either a central system or simply a learning remote. That's where you find yourself dead in the water.

#6 rockinarmadillo

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 01:46 PM

I found this on wiring shades. Does it meet electrical code to put the transformer in a wall box?

http://www.automated...transformer.pdf

#7 Deane Johnson

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 02:18 PM

I found this on wiring shades. Does it meet electrical code to put the transformer in a wall box?

http://www.automated...transformer.pdf

I note they are talking about controlling a Somfy RTS shade motor, but show a Hunter Douglas proprietary PowerRise IR/RF remote.

Edited by Deane Johnson, 22 December 2011 - 02:22 PM.


#8 jaydubb1

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 10:11 PM

Have you seen the new Lutron Wireless shades? They are sick!

http://www.lutron.co...s/Overview.aspx


I don't see wiring instructions for them, but I love the Venetians! Do they work with Z Wave or HAI OP2?

I found this on wiring shades. Does it meet electrical code to put the transformer in a wall box?

http://www.automated...transformer.pdf


good to see a wiriing diagram, but same question - do they work with Z-Wave or HAI? I'm trying to get rid of extra remotes, and "automate" the things. Picking up a 'remote" is good for "remote control" or "hands free", but I don't see how that counts as automated. And if it DOES work with Z-Wave or other automation technology, why doesn't it say so in a way that a normal person like me can understand?!?! :blink:

#9 Mr Spock

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Posted 22 December 2011 - 10:39 PM

I'm going down this road too.

I'm leaning toward the Somfy system (ST30 IWT RS485) since it uses RS485 and can interface (supposedly) directly to the HAI panel. I have a strong preference for wired control, not RF or IR in this case.

Can the Somfy motors and blinds still allow "local" control with the strings or other manual/hand control? If so I will forgo any local up/down switches and just use the HAI system for electrical control and manual/hand control when standing near them.

Thanks

#10 Steve

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 12:10 AM

I put my first automated shades in with bedroom remodel. We chose to go with Hunter Douglas Pirouette shades. It would be really helpful to know what shaes you will be using so you can run the correct wires. It can be difficult to have lots of extra wire accessible above the window so I would prefer to have just what I need (and as small a wire as possible).

Mine is a simple 2 opening system. Hunter Douglas has several automation/motor options. Mine is PowerRise 2.0 with Platinum Technology. Hunter only sells through local dealers and most of them want to install at least the shades so its very difficult to find all the info and parts online. I have a 16/2 to each window for power. The combine at the panel and attach to a Hunter Douglas power supply (can't even find link to it now) that it just enough to handle startup current for both simultaneously. Then I have a 22/4 run from panel (HAI) to each window. The Pirouette shades with PowerRise works by simple contact closures so at the panel each window is connected to 2 outputs/relays and at the window the wire connects to a Hunter Douglas Connection Interface. My automation is pretty simple. At a fixed time in the am the shades 'peek' open which lets the light in. At night the 'unpeek' or close. I have buttons defined and available in Haiku to fully open, close or peek the shades if needed but 99% of the time they just peek/unpeek to control light.

#11 Mr Spock

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Posted 23 December 2011 - 01:20 AM

I took a look at the Hunter Douglas Connection Interface. Instead of a RS485 interface it uses SPDT momentary contact relays to raise/lower them. One each for each blind or 2 HAI panel outputs per blind. The relay contact time determines the amount of time the motor rises and lowers the blind, up to 2 seconds. Contact closure of 2 to 4 seconds will make it go fully closed or open.

This is nice and simple, but will eat up a lot of HAI panel outputs when the number of blinds increases beyond a couple. I envision 8 blinds, so it would take 16 outputs.

Still curious if the Somfy system allows manual/hand control.

Edited by Mr Spock, 23 December 2011 - 01:25 AM.


#12 DELInstallations

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:03 AM

I took a look at the Hunter Douglas Connection Interface. Instead of a RS485 interface it uses SPDT momentary contact relays to raise/lower them. One each for each blind or 2 HAI panel outputs per blind. The relay contact time determines the amount of time the motor rises and lowers the blind, up to 2 seconds. Contact closure of 2 to 4 seconds will make it go fully closed or open.

This is nice and simple, but will eat up a lot of HAI panel outputs when the number of blinds increases beyond a couple. I envision 8 blinds, so it would take 16 outputs.

Still curious if the Somfy system allows manual/hand control.


Not necessarily true, if you wire "banks" of blinds in parallel, assuming you have windows next to each other in the room, that would dramatically cut down the number of outputs needed.

#13 jaydubb1

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 10:53 AM

Not necessarily true, if you wire "banks" of blinds in parallel, assuming you have windows next to each other in the room, that would dramatically cut down the number of outputs needed.


This is what I'm trying to accomplish. From my conversation with a local blind installer yesterday, I understand that if I run 16/2 and cat5e to the top right of every window, I should be covered.

What I would like to do is run (1) cat5e and (1) 16/2 to each "bank".

Two questions come to mind.

1. I have two spots where there are 4-6 windows per "bank". Will one 16/2 power all 6 motors?

2. In those same spots, there are windows on the south, west, and north. It's conceivable that I would want to manually open the north window. If I do that, will that screw up anything?

If anyone has the answers, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Merry Christmas, everyone. :)

#14 chedemefedeme

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 11:17 AM

I use Somfy RTS shades. Wireless, battery powered. They're pretty nice. Integrate seamlessly with my ELK automation system and open/close based upon whether or not i'm home, which direction the sun is hitting the house, sunrise/sunset, or even manually from my ELK keypads.

I've had some of them in here for over a year and have yet to have to replace any batteries. Their runtime on on set of batteries is crazy.

#15 picta

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Posted 24 December 2011 - 01:45 PM


Two questions come to mind.

1. I have two spots where there are 4-6 windows per "bank". Will one 16/2 power all 6 motors?

2. In those same spots, there are windows on the south, west, and north. It's conceivable that I would want to manually open the north window. If I do that, will that screw up anything?

If anyone has the answers, I'd greatly appreciate it!

Merry Christmas, everyone. :)


The answer to your questions will depend on which shades you'll be installing. If you want to be covered for all possible types of low voltage shades, then you should run 16/2+cat5 to every window. Somfy for example does not recommend "banking" the power wire, but you could use single control wire if you choose dry contact motors and only will control them as a group. As for manual control, it will again depend on the brand you choose. In most cases automated shades will not be easy to control manually. But most automated drapes have the manual option.
I also would recommend choosing the motor side for each window such that it is positioned opposite to the sun, as the shade will have a wider gap from the casing on the motor side.




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