Somfy Sonesse 30 ST30 IWT RS485 + HAI OmniPro II



The drywall in my new home is finally about to go up in a few days. I've been doing research for what seems like an eternity trying to find answers on how to get Somfy and the OmniPro II playing nice together. The information is so unbelievably sparse, it's not even funny.

I plan on outfitting 16 windows in my new home with Somfy Sonnesse 30 ST30 IWT motors, which will communicate with an OmniPro II with (hopefully) as minimal setup as possible. Supposedly, the "Intelligent Wired Technology" will finally get rid of extra equipment like ILT taps, and allow more direct communication to the OmniPro II...

... but how? Even simple answers like getting the prewire right seem impossible. Right now I have 14/2 low voltage wire and a cat5 cable going to every location.

Can I use Cat5 for RS485 communication to the ST30?

If so, will I be able to plug the Cat5 directly into the OmniPro II? I keep seeing in the diagrams that all wiring from the shade motor will go into the Motor Power/Control Distribution Panel, and then there's RJ45 in/out to communicate via RS-485 with the OmniPro II. But I don't know if this is the old way, or if this is indeed how their "Intelligent Wired Technology" works.

Either way, what extra equipment will I need to get this basic setup working?

If I can ever manage to physically hook everything up correctly, then where can I find good information on actually programming the OP2?

I swear, DIY home automation is not hard because it is rocket science; it's hard because these companies have such crappy documentation and a lack of organization. I *should* be able to piece this all together!
Yes you can use cat5 for rs485. In fact if you look at the data book, it recommends 16/2 and cat5e for prewire. The reason that all the wiring goes into the panel is because there is a terminal for each wire so you don't have to try and squeeze a bunch of wires into one terminal. Other than that and adding some fuses and leds I don't think the panel does anything. So if you want to combine the wiring yourself and skip the panel it should be fine.
I am also planning to install ST30 shades and doing similar research. My current understanding is that each motor gets pre-wired with 16/2+cat5 wire. There is a Somfy part 1870193 that distributes power and signal to 5 motors and there is supposedly a similar part for 10 motors. You wire the motor power and control wire to these panels, those can be connected together with the end part connected to serial port on HAI panel. HAI serial port can be set to Somfy ILT (and supposedly will get all information from the motors) The unknown is if the ILT protocol is the same as the one used for ST30, I cannot find any info on that. But if it is the same, the integration should be quite easy.
So with the 14/2, you don't need to wire a plug near the shade? The 14/2 gets routed to the distribution panel? Wonder if there are simpler solutions for running only 1-2 shades.

You need power for each shade. If the aesthetics of a shade plugged to the outlet does not bother you, you don't need to pre-wire. Otherwise, run the power and control wire to your automation closet, and you can always plug one shade with a dedicated transformer there. You can also connect cat5 control wire directly to HAI serial port for one shade. If there are more than one shade, you'll need a distribution panel of some kind, and I would go with Somfy's.
Found this over at AVS:

The ILT 504 Sonesse AC Motor (aka ILT2) has the advantage of not requiring homeruns of wire, you can tap off existing 110VAC circuits and then daisychain a Cat5 between motor locations (in residential you may end up daisychaining in sections and bringing several Cat5's back to automation). It lifts 4Nm (twice that of the Sonesse 30 RS485) and will roll the treatment up faster being on a larger tube (2.5" / 60mm). Larger tube means a wider bracket to bracket width is possible.You have to find a place to house the Taps (aka RS485 Interfaces) within 30-40ft of the motors.
The Sonesse 30 RS485 DC Motor (aka ILT ST-30) has the advantage of using low voltage wiring (16-4 homeruns) but requires homeruns of wire and a transformer/power panel as a result. It lifts 2Nm (so half as much as above) typically on 1.5" / 40mm tube and has the nice feature of a soft start/stop not available in the AC motor. Smaller tube means a less wide bracket to bracket width is possible. It has its RS485 built in so there are no Taps required.The RS485 Bus (SDN) needs a 12-24VDC 1A Power Supply to supply bus power for up to 40 or so Taps and/or Switches.
You can see that the motors offer different features and could be used for different aplications or used together in the same installtion. You might consider the AC motors for large/wide shades, over sliding doors. Then the DC motors for inside mounting in smaller windows with 3" deep sills, for instance. It depends on what sizes you windows are and where your are willing or able to get AC or DC power.
I've been thinking about this subject lately and that AVS quote explaining the difference in AC/DC systems summed things up nicely.
This has been very helpful information; thanks to all the contributors. I ended up going with cat5 + 14/2 to all windows for Sonesse DC, and high-wall outlet + cat5 at all sliding glass doors for their Glydea automated drapery product.

Now it's actually time to purchase the Sonnesse / Glydea motors, and the related products. Does anyone know of a reliable source to buy online? From what I understand, I have to pick a fabric that will be preinstalled to the motor before delivery. Is this true? If so, I do have an idea of both the color and the light percentage (5%), so at least the blinds will be pretty straightforward. The drapes may take more time to pick fabric, but does the Glydea even need the fabric preinstalled like the Sonnesse?

Now for the HAI integration part. From what I'm understanding here, the Somfy panel (part# 1870193) is not necessary if you can provide a source of power. But then where do I connect the 19 cat 5 cables? Has anyone been through this before, and has foregone the panel for a more direct installation with the OmniPro II?
The Somfy 10 motor Power/Control Distribution Panel (1870194) may not be absolutely necessary, but how else will you connect everything up? Buy it, connect your motors DC power and RS485 to it, 12V and 24V power sources to it, and the RS485 to the HAI panel. The 1870194 only costs about $130. The Mean Well 24VDC 10Amp power supply can be found for cheap with a simple goggle search.

This retailer has good documentation. Go to the Somfy Catalogs, Somfy Brochures, and especially the Technical Guides tabs at the top of the web site.
Sure it's not that expensive but you can still save money and achieve a clean installation with some bus bars, terminal blocks, punch down blocks, patch panels, or whatever else you want to use to connect wires together.
I finally purchased my shades, and they arrived yesterday. Here is a list of components:
  • Somfy Sonesse ST30 IWT RS485 motors, integrated into custom rolldown shades with Hunter Douglas Sillouette fabric.
  • Somfy Power/Control Distribution Panel (10 Motor)
  • Altech 240W 24v DC Power Supply
The most difficult part so far is getting HAI to properly communicate with the shade. There's no documentation anywhere that I can find that shows an OmniPro II communicating with an IWT motor. With HAI PC Access, the only option is Somfy ILT so that is what I've been trying to configure. These are the steps I've made so far, but be forewarned - there's a bunch of configuration options not available consumer version of PC Access.
  • Setup the serial port - under the node Expansion > Serial you need to configure the serial port that you'll use to connect to the distribution panel. This is only available with Pro.
  • Setup each shade under Units. The first step is to configure a unit block as Somfy ILT. And then setup units within that block for each shade. The most important part to setting up a unit is assign the motor address for the shade. The motor address is a 6 character (3 byte) hex code that is assigned to the motor at the factory, and labled on the shaft of the motor. While you can set the name for the unit in consumer PC Access, only the Pro version has a column to assign the motor address!
  • Hook up the omnipro to the distribution panel. This is tricky too, with such little documentation. First off, the jack out of the omnipro (regular phone) is a different size than the one on the distribution panel (RJ45), so you need to construct a custom cable. Secondly, it's tough to figure out precisely which connections you need for RS485. Do you need just the two transmit and receive wires out from the omnipro going into RS485 A and B lines? Do you need to hook up any ground or bus power wires? Keep in mind the omnipro show 12V+ for it's bus power, and the distribution panel shows +24V. Will the mismatch risk destroying components?
  • Hook up the shade to the distribution panel. The power is pretty simple, but there is another mismatch on the data side. The ST30 motor has a 3 wire jack (RS485 A, B, and Ground), but the distribution panel diagrams only ever show the two rs485 wires going in. Where do you plug in the ground? Why not account for the ground wire in the diagrams?
Needless to say, we have tried so many different configurations, and never got the shade to respond to commands issued from the omnipro. Hopefully the shade manufacturer can shed some light on this monday, otherwise I'll be trying to get ahold of HAI and/or Somfy.
It should work with just A & B but a common ground may be helpful between the OP and the distribution panel. Don't connect the DC power wires together.

The motors should already be connected to DC ground via the power cable so the ground on the communications cable is unnecessary but connect it to DC ground if you want.

Download the ILT2 software from the Somfy website. Use it to convert your ST30 motor addresses to ILT addresses.

You may have to program the limits using the limit setting tool/DC contacts before the shade will move via network commands.

Hopefully that will work for you.
This is really helpful information, az1324! I'm having trouble understanding the second point:

Download the ILT2 software from the Somfy website. Use it to convert your ST30 motor addresses to ILT addresses.

What I am taking away is that the OmniPro only knows how to send commands to ILT based address. Since I assigned the ST30 address, it is sending commands to the wrong location. Do I have to somehow convert the address to an ILT address? I downloaded just about every tool from, and I'm not sure which one you were referring to. There are two that comes close: The ILT Command Calculator will output all the command strings based on whatever address you input. Does this mean I have to reprogram every single command in the OmniPro? I wouldn't really know where to begin, if that was the case. The other tool is the ILT2-ST30, which has a section called addressing, and might be relevant. The problem is, I need a usb to rs485 adapter in order to enable any of the features in this software, and I don't have one. All I have is a Usb to serial adapter.

Any clarification would be super helpful. Thanks!
Yes the Addressing section. You don't need any adapters, just a serial port or virtual serial port so that you can click the connect button. It doesn't matter what you are connecting to. Then you will be able to use the address calc function. Click the ? to get the instructions.
That worked! I can now control the shades through the OmniPro II.

You just *made* my weekend, az1324! Thanks so much.