House With existing Cbus need ideas?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by tonyd, Mar 23, 2023.

  1. tonyd

    tonyd

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2023
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    have a customer with existing clipsal cbus in there home over 3 voltage free relays, 4 dimmer relays, pc interface etc... usual stuff and a Clipsal touch screen.
    they are looking to do renovations and extensions to the home so i need to know either scrap the whole system and do more updated smart home or keep the existing system update with WISER or what ever is out there on the market to communication with it and scrap the old panel and replace with android tablet on the wall.

    need some ideas for products out on the market that talk to the unit without ripping the whole thing out.
     
    tonyd, Mar 23, 2023
    #1
  2. tonyd

    Conformist

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Definitely, definitely do not rip out! You have the bones of a very reliable system that can be expanded upon. We love going into homes that have C-Bus and showing what we can add to make it rock! I would look at Homebridge/Homekit (if they have Apple phones etc) to give them control. One of the many great things about C-Bus is the longevity and reliability. A system installed in the late nineties will happily speak with items installed today... fully backwards compatible. And, there are still plenty of systems happily ticking along from back then that are ripe for some add-on. How many products (particularly Consumer Electronic) have a working life of 25+ years? You will find people on some forums telling you to rip it out. These people generally have little or no experience or rely on 2nd hand chinese whispers about systems. Take it from someone who has been around this from day dot and has highly recommended it over the many systems that have promised to be the next best thing and have fallen by the way-side... Definitely, definitely do not rip out!
     
    Conformist, Mar 23, 2023
    #2
  3. tonyd

    tonyd

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2023
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    yep all good i didnt want to go down that path anyway. there's gonna be over 15 group of lights switched separately in the extension should i just continue running cbus2 switches and relays etc.. or have smart home relays (zigbee/wifi) behind normal switches? what would be best in your opinion?
    as well as a new tablet on the wall or touchscreen does homekit do that or have anything for that?
     
    tonyd, Mar 23, 2023
    #3
  4. tonyd

    Conformist

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    I'd stick with the same as existing. Extend the C-Bus network for lighting control. If you want control blinds or fans, look at the Bond bridge. This uses RF control that can be mapped to Homebridge. I'm strongly of the opinion that you should always put wires in for lighting control if you can. ZigBee/WiFi for retrofit but definitely wired in a new build/extension. Do a bit or research on Homebridge. If your customer isn't an Apple person, you can still use a Google Home plugin for Homebridge. There are quite a number of guys on here who've done work with these tools. I'm happy to answer questions if you get stuck too :)
     
    Conformist, Mar 23, 2023
    #4
  5. tonyd

    tonyd

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2023
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    Awesome. Yep sounds good that being said how do I connect the homebrodge to the network, the customer doesn’t have app control at home just wall touchpanel, do I need to add on the Cbus network interface to communicate to tcpip then once the (boobs or homebrodge is on the raspberry pi plug that in the network etc….

    can I save $$ and use the pc interface Cbus module and do usb over erthernet cable?
     
    tonyd, Mar 23, 2023
    #5
  6. tonyd

    Conformist

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    You will need a device like a raspberry pi to host Homebridge. You can use a PCI (USB or RS232 type) into the Pi. An RS232 type PCI will need an RS232-USB adapter. We've had the most success with Ser2Net to take USB to an ethernet port on the Pi. There other serial to TCP interface programs but that one seems to be the most reliable and works best with very little configuration required. Apple Homekit will work with Homebridge. If your customer want remote access, factor in an Apple Home hub or Apple TV (if they don't already have one of these). You can't just VPN or port forward with Homekit. Having either of these on the network just enables remote access using Apple's very secure ecosystem... Play around a bit with Homebridge to familiarise yourself with it. You can install on a Windows PC to do some testing. The C-Bus module for Homebridge is excellent BTW.
     
    Conformist, Mar 23, 2023
    #6
  7. tonyd

    tonyd

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2023
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    “You can use a PCI (USB or RS232 type) into the Pi. An RS232 type PCI will need an RS232-USB adapter. We've had the most success with Ser2Net to take USB to an ethernet port on the Pi”

    mare you referring to the Clipsal cbus pc interface module with the usb terminal on it?
    So purchase a usb to Ethernet cable and plug that in customers router and then plug the pi in the router as well but then use program to communicate the 2?
     
    tonyd, Mar 24, 2023
    #7
  8. tonyd

    Conformist

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Sorry, I wasn't clear.
    You can use either a -
    USB type of PC interface (connect straight to the Pi physically) or
    RS232 type PC interface... where the RS232 to USB adapter is then needed.

    Regardless of the PC interface type used, Ser2Net will take the connection and map it to a TCP/IP port for use with C-Gate internally in the Pi
     
    Conformist, Mar 24, 2023
    #8
  9. tonyd

    tonyd

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2023
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    hi again is this what your talking about?
    just understanding it.
     

    Attached Files:

    tonyd, Mar 24, 2023
    #9
  10. tonyd

    tonyd

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2023
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    So your saying the pc acts as a sever comms from the C-bus network and translates into tcp/up which then more programs or apps can then communicate with it as long as the pc is up and going and ports and data is configured?
     
    tonyd, Mar 24, 2023
    #10
  11. tonyd

    Conformist

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    The PCI is an interface from the Pi to C-Bus. The Pi has the CGate server (always) running on it. You can connect to that CGate server from your PC running toolkit, from Homebridge, HomeAssistant, even command line using something like PuTTy... and all at the same time! Unlike a PC interface by itself which will only allow one connection to C-Bus through it, the CGate server can accept multiple connections at the same time.
    One minor known issue though... You cannot program/configure an eDLT (using Toolkit) through CGate running on a Pi (Linux). There is a known issue that causes a crash of Toolkit.
     
    Conformist, Mar 26, 2023
    #11
  12. tonyd

    tonyd

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2023
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    NSW
    Yer ok so I don’t have to buy the cbus cni network interface over tcp? Just use the 5500 ?
    Getting mixed info on the web that’s all
     
    tonyd, Mar 27, 2023
    #12
  13. tonyd

    Conformist

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2004
    Messages:
    756
    Likes Received:
    66
    Location:
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Correct. A 5500PC (RS232 Interface) or a 5500PCU (USB interface) can be mapped to a TCP/IP port through a raspberry Pi
     
    Conformist, Mar 28, 2023
    #13
  14. tonyd

    moodler

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2023
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Sorry to jump on your thread but I recently bought a house with CBus 2 (I believe) and 101 lights and 64 "units". On the advice of the ageing electrician who originally installed it 20 years ago I put in a C-Bus Network Interface, and I'm now able to at least connect directly to all the lights and control them via the C-Bus Toolkit on a Windows machine (user friendly it is not).

    I want full Homekit integration.

    I've looked into Homebridge but the only plugin there talks about Wiser ... and the web site is confusing about this. Do I have it or not? or do I need yet another device to help bridge to the CNI?

    I tried OpenHab but that seems to only work through the Toolkit on Windows, and I really don't want to have to run Windows in this setup ever.

    Help?
     
    moodler, Mar 28, 2023
    #14
  15. tonyd

    DarylMc

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Cleveland, QLD, Australia
    Definitely try Homebridge CBus.
    It works great with Apple HomeKit.
    There is some excellent instructions to set it up here.
    https://github.com/greiginsydney/Homebridge-cbus-installer/blob/master/SETUP.md
     
    DarylMc, Mar 29, 2023
    #15
    moodler likes this.
  16. tonyd

    DarylMc

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Cleveland, QLD, Australia
    DarylMc, Apr 2, 2023
    #16
  17. tonyd

    moodler

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2023
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Just coming back on this, but this is working well for me now. I learned a few things along the way, hope this might help someone else:
    - restarting the CNI adapter can sometimes cause it to change the port it uses. It's MUCH easier to reset the port of the adapter than to try to change ports in Homebridge
    - sometimes Homebridge takes a while to "get going" (when you have a lot of devices, I assume), making you think it's not working when it really is. Be patient and don't keep fiddling too much like I did breaking a perfectly-working setup.
    - once it all works it is a beautiful thing. I especially love how the CBUS wall switches and the voice control work together so seamlessly and intuitively even for guests.
     
    moodler, Apr 19, 2023
    #17
  18. tonyd

    DarylMc

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Cleveland, QLD, Australia
    Do one of these to get a fixed IP address
    • Set the CNI configuration to use a static IP address
    • Leave the CNI configuration set to DHCP and set your router to assign the CNI an IP address based on its MAC address.
     
    DarylMc, Apr 19, 2023
    #18
  19. tonyd

    moodler

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2023
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    Perth, Australia
    Thanks Daryl. The IP address was not the issue though, it was the port. It seems to randomly switch between 20023 and 10001.
     
    moodler, Apr 20, 2023
    #19
  20. tonyd

    DarylMc

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2006
    Messages:
    1,308
    Likes Received:
    49
    Location:
    Cleveland, QLD, Australia
    That's strange.
    Assuming you are running Greig's setup instructions it may be worth checking these
    Check project xml
    nano /usr/local/bin/cgate/tag/<yourprojectname>.xml
    check CNI ip address and port is correct eg 10001.

    Check homebridge config (easy in the browser)
    It should show
    "client_ip_address": "127.0.0.1",
    "client_controlport": 20023,

    Image 20-4-2023 at 2.09 pm (1).jpeg



     
    DarylMc, Apr 20, 2023
    #20
Ask a Question

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.