Premise RadioRA RS-232 issue

Motorola Premise


Senior Member
Hey all,

I've used the RadioRA interface with Premise in a few previous installations, but I'm currently tinkering with my own home. I grabbed a used RS-232 interface off ebay to save on the cost (which may or may not have been a mistake). The device is working, and I have control of the lights, but it doesn't seem to be functioning completely as expected.

When I turn a light on at the actual switch, Premise only receives an ON/OFF notification (verified via the Port Spy). So, if I turn a light on to 30% manually, Premise receives ON, and a full on state is shown instead of the 30%. So the only way Premise will definitely reflect the current lighting status is it the dimmers are never physically used, so that's an issue.

I'm wondering if this RS-232 interface is an older version and the firmware doesn't support sending the current dimmer level when lights are turned on? It's got this firmware version showing in Builder: M3.02,S2.00
I submitted a support request through the Lutron site, but haven't received any response, so was wondering if anyone knows of a firmware update for the RS-232 Interface, or if I'm just out of luck with this older version.

Will G.
Yep, older RadioRA units did not send the dim level. You can verify by using port spy to look at the actual data communication with the RadioRA unit.

I found this in the help file at the bottom of the RadioRA page:

"Note: RadioRA does not report the actual brightness of a light if it is changed at the switch or by a keypad. Premise Server is only notified when the PowerState is toggled on or off. When Premise Server is notified that it is on, it records the brightness as 91%; when it is off, it records 0% brightness."
Can anyone confirm for certain that a newer version of the RS-232 interface will send me a brightness level when the light is turned on at the dimmer itself?
I need to know if I should buy a newer RS-232 interface, because I want accurate brightness levels. Anyone know if the older firmware can be updated?
I thought the newer units did support this, but the protocol info at Lutron doesn't mention it.

BTW - I am a RadioRA owner myself and I wrote the code for the RadioRA driver in SYS, but it has been a while since I looked at this.
I have a (relatively) newer RS232 interface that runs my basement and it does not report brightness. It's just a bit over a year old I think.
Hey guys,

Thanks for all the replies. I emailed Lutron a second time and finally got the following response:

"The RA-RS232 cannot be firmware upgraded, currently the RadioRA system is not capable of reporting levels."

I guess I had assumed incorrectly that the RadioRa setup was capable of reporting levels. Oh, well...I'll have to work without that capability I guess. I wanted to turn a light on to 80% when a door was opened, but only if the light was currently lower than 80% (my away scene sets the foyer lights at 20%), but I'll have to just set it to 80% regardless when the door switch is triggered. Too bad I can't make it smarter, guess I'd need a HomeWorks or other lighting system to accomplish this.

Will G.

Any switch that does not broadcast its current state presents a problem for an HA controller. For example, I have several 1-way Switchlinc switches (X10). If I turn on the switch manually, there is no message sent by the switch to indicate it is now on. Your situation is somewhat better because you know when the switch is on/off but not its brightness level.

My workaround is to use a wireless keypad (the humble HR12A "Palmpad") to control the wall switches. My wife and I refrain from operating the wall switches and use the keypad. Things go out of sync only if a guest, unaware of our "house rules", operates the switch directly.

I have a PalmPad in each room and each one is set to a unique House Code to indicate its location ("J"=Family Room, "K"=Kitchen, etc). The first button on each PalmPad is set to operate the room's primary light. I have code that receives the incoming transmission (K1 ON) and translates it into an appropriate action (turn on the ceiling light, C5, in the kitchen).