Looking for advice for new installation

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scoobalimalima, Jun 26, 2018.

  1. Scoobalimalima

    Scoobalimalima

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    G'day all.

    I'm a sparky from Perth Australia, I have been in the industry for around 25 years but I have not had a lot to do with cbus other than one huge install for a Clipsal rep back when I was an apprentice. I am looking to build my new home soon and I want to incorporate cbus into it. I understand electrically how all the bits and pieces are wired together (both 240 and the CAT6 daisy chain/star configuration) and the installation of dimmer/relay modules and switches/sensors etc, but I do have a few questions.

    - I assume I can just order all the parts from my local electrical wholesaler? (I have my own business and an account already).
    - Is there anywhere else cheaper to get parts, do people sell bits second hand?
    - I see that the modules can come with or without a power supply, how do I know how many power supplies I'll need for my build?
    - How do I program it once installed and what software is required?
    - Do I have to pay for the software?
    - Preferably I would like to program it myself BUT can I program it myself, is it hard to do? (I am very familiar with PLC's and ladder logic etc plus I'm a quick learner).
    - How do I go about possibly at a later date integrating it so I can control it via my mobile phone? (None of this was around 20 odd years ago when I last dabbled with cbus).
    -Do i need to have a central touch pad or is this just a 'nice to have' item?

    The installation is for a large 4x2 home and at this stage I am looking at approximately
    5x 8ch dimmer modules (is this the biggest one there is?) for LED lighting
    1x 12ch relay module - Exhaust fans, external lighting, reticulation control etc
    4x shutter relay modules
    Saturn Zen switches
    Several movement/occupancy sensors for both some indoor and outdoor lighting

    Any information on the above and an other info/hints/tips in relation to a new installation would be very much appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Steve.
     
    Scoobalimalima, Jun 26, 2018
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  2. Scoobalimalima

    Ashley

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    Yes

    There is always plenty on ebay.

    The Toolkit installation software is a free download from the Clipsal CIS web site. It is use to program and commission cbus systems except for the Touchscreens and Wiser controllers that use PICED software. The most recent controller (the SHAC) uses a web based programming system.

    Toolkit and PICED are free downloads.

    Download and install Toolkit then enter all the equipment you are planning on using. Toolkit will them give you current requirement and you can determine how many units with power supplies you need. You can also get standalone power supplies. It's good to have at least on 200mA spare so if one unit fails the system will continue to operate. The max current per network is 2000mA. You will only need a single network.

    It is quite a steep learning curve if you are starting from scratch but certainly possible. All the notes from the training courses are available on-line. I would recommend you at least attend the basic cbus course. It's well worth it and will save you a lot of heartache.

    Lots of options. Clipsal have Wiser and SHAC. There are many 3rd party options. There is an extensive post on apple homekit integration.

    It's not required and they are no longer manufactured anyway. They have been replaced (supposedly) by the SHAC controller which uses a Phone/Table web interface. Nowhere near as good as a dedicated touch screen in my opinion but that's all there is now unless to obtain a second hand touchscreen.

    The 8 channel dimmers are leading edge only and don't play nice with many led fittings. It can be done but you need to select the led light carefully. The 4 channel universal dimmers are a better option for led lighting. If it's a new home install lots of cbus cabling everywhere. Use the dedicated clipsal pink stuff. Wire lots of circuits back to the dimmer/relay modules even if you connect them to the same channel initially. Leave room for spare modules in the enclosures.

    Start by doing lots of reading. Get some basic gear like a dimmer with a power supply, a cbus interface (PCI or CNI) and a switch or two and hook it up on the bench and start playing.

    I'm sure other people will chirp in with any thing important I have missed. :)
     
    Ashley, Jun 26, 2018
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  3. Scoobalimalima

    Scoobalimalima

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    Thanks Ashley for the very quick and extremely informative reply. I fell a lot more confident already moving forward with my installation. That's a good point re the leading edge dimmer modules, I'll have a look at the 4ch ones, what is the price difference per channel? I was trying to get the largest module I could to hopefully save $$. I have already designed my installation to pretty much have a circuit per light so as to allow many configurations come programming time.

    One more question,

    - What is the difference between a PCI and a CNI interface, is it just a different type of lead? Which is better?

    Thanks again.

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2018
    Scoobalimalima, Jun 26, 2018
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  4. Scoobalimalima

    Ashley

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    The PCI comes in a serial (RS232) and USB version whereas the CNI connects over your local network. Functionally they are all identical. The advantage of the CNI is that you can connect to it from any device on your network whereas the PCI is really dedicated to a single system. Note that all can only have a single connection to a given device at a time, but you can have multiple devices on a network. Devices like the Wiser 1 and 2, and the new SHAC have inbuilt CNI's and are a great choice. While I am not particularly impressed with the new SHAC in its current early implementation it does have the advantage of dual CNI's. One is used by the device itself, and the second is a general CNI which can be used via toolkit etc.

    4 Channels dimmers will cost you nearly double 8 channel dimmers, but they are rated at twice the current. They come in both leading edge and universal so make sure you get the correct ones. 8 channel dimmers can work on leds but but they have to be designed for le dimmers or you can destroy the dimmer channel.
     
    Ashley, Jun 27, 2018
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  5. Scoobalimalima

    Scoobalimalima

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    Cheers again for all the info. I have downloaded the calculator app and I’m now starting to get my head around what I’ll require power supply wise.

    Yet another question.

    - Is it possible to use a dimmer channel as a relay instead, do people do this and if so would you utilize a leading or trailing edge module? Can you reduce the ramp rate to practically zero to allow the switching of loads like exhaust fans and the like.

    Steve.
     
    Scoobalimalima, Jun 27, 2018
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  6. Scoobalimalima

    Ashley

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    The calculator app hasn't been updated for sometime so may not have some of the newer gear in it. Power supply calculations are now done within toolkit. Just remember that units without a power supply have a P prefix. Make sure you get that correct when you enter them.

    Leading edge dimmers can control exhaust fans just fine. You can even control the speed (I do this with a rangehood). The only problem is you sometimes get a buzzing noise which can be an issue with ceiling fans but not generally a problem with exhaust fans as they are quite noisy anyway and you're not trying to sleep while they are operating. Leading edge dimmer can control resistive and inductive loads withing their rated capacity.
     
    Ashley, Jun 27, 2018
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  7. Scoobalimalima

    allanf

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    Ashley - Great replies. The forum has been of great value for me too.

    Scoo - I recently did CBUS in my new house and I am not electrician (I am into Software so understood programming etc.). I had a very flexible builder who allowed me to draw my own electrical plans and explain to the electrician who did the 240v cabling back to a central sub panel. I did all of the pink wiring, data, AV, etc. wiring myself. I have a setup with (4 x 8Channel Dimmers + 4 x 12Channel Relays + 10 Fan) with 8 EDLT + approx 15 x 6/2 Gang cbus Saturn switches.

    Programming is not that difficult, definitely doable for someone wanting to learn. Attending a course if definitely a good start. (I did not, just watches lot of videos and did a lot of reading.)


    Happy to discuss with you if you want to on a call ... just leave me a message.
     
    allanf, Jun 28, 2018
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  8. Scoobalimalima

    Scoobalimalima

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    Thanks again Ashley and thanks for your input too allanf.

    Allan, I see you used the 8ch dimmers, so they must be the leading edge type correct? What type of lighting did you install that was suitable with LE dimmers? In my current house I have downlights everywhere and they have LE/TE suitable drivers, the only thing is that these LED's have the separate driver and then lead to the downlight, I was hoping to get the 'newer' type downlights for my next build that have the driver 'built in' to the LED as not only is this cleaner but most of them seem to have the 'IC Abutted and Covered' rating which means I have no issues in regards to ceiling insulation, it can all be just laid directly over the fittings. The issue I have now is that it seems all of these LED's have electronic drivers and require TE dimmers. Are there any of these LED's out there that would run on LE dimmers? I would prefer the 8ch LE dimmer modules where I can as opposed to the 4ch universal type.

    Cheers,

    Steve.
     
    Scoobalimalima, Jun 28, 2018
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  9. Scoobalimalima

    allanf

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    I used the Clipsal L960CF/12BC downlights which has the 8channel dimmer L5508D1A compatibility specified. upload_2018-6-28_18-27-37.png

    upload_2018-6-28_18-27-59.png
     

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    allanf, Jun 28, 2018
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  10. Scoobalimalima

    allanf

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    I agree, 8ch will be much more preferred as DIN realestate is scarce.
     
    allanf, Jun 28, 2018
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  11. Scoobalimalima

    allanf

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    Some additional tips that I picked up from people/blogs and found useful:

    Pink wiring
    1.Start and end a complete loop at the switch board. Only need to connect one end, but allows easier debugging in case of problem.
    2. Used a 9-way DIN mountable Buss Board
    3. Used Ferrules to crimp wires at each switch and sensor. Made life easy.

    240v Wiring
    1. Terminated all wiring using WAGO connecters (as seen in pic). This was done by Builders electrician
    2. C-BUS Electrician then did the WAGO terminal to Dimmer/Relay connections. Looks nice and neat. Required lot of proper labelling.

    Sub Pannel
    1. Never enough space.
    2. Plan space for Solar, AC, etc. accommodation.



    Pic of my sub board.
    upload_2018-6-28_18-47-4.png
     
    allanf, Jun 28, 2018
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  12. Scoobalimalima

    NickD Moderator

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    It is certainly possible to find LED luminaires that will work with the old 8ch LE dimmers, but there are a number of things to be aware of.

    1) The dimmers may buzz. The amount of buzzing depends on the LED and on the loading on the dimmer (more LEDs = more buzz).
    2) The LEDs themselves may buzz. This depends on the LED... some are silent, some not so.
    3) LED designs change frequently.. even the same model number might come out with a different internal design as manufacturers drive cost down. If you buy a replacement (even of the same make and model) in the future the performance may be different.
    4) You have to de-rate the dimmer.... the 1A rating on the 8ch dimmer is for an incandescent load. You cannot put 1A (240W) worth of LEDs on a channel, because the peak current is much higher and the dimmer was designed for. There used to be a rule of thumb that you stick to the same equivalent wattage, but I'm not sure if this still applies.

    The summary of all this is that you need to try out different LEDs to see if they work for you. If you find it difficult to find one, then it's probably worth buying a few spares (I paid for what I expected were a premium quality brand and they only lasted about 5 years...

    The other thing I would suggest is to make sure your sparky puts in a surface socket for each fitting (and puts it close to the hole so you can reach in)... then it doesn't matter if you have an integral driver or an external one, you can just unplug them and replace them yourself.

    Nick
     
    NickD, Jun 29, 2018
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  13. Scoobalimalima

    Scoobalimalima

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    This is a good tip that I will definitely implement on my installation allanf, cheers.

    I'm thinking that although I will need a lot more DIN space and it will not be as cost effective $$/channel wise, I will go with all 4ch universal dimmer modules and maybe one 12ch relay module for any discrete outputs I may have. The universal modules will just give me more options come choosing my LED lighting down the track.

    I'm doing the electrical install myself NickD and yes I will definitely be putting plug bases in. The Clipsal quick connect ones are a massive time saver on installation!

    Yet another question...

    - I assume i need a 5500PCU or similar for programming the system with my PC?

    Thanks again for all the informative replies, I'm already feel a lot more confident moving forward with my new installation.

    Steve.
     
    Last edited: Jun 29, 2018
    Scoobalimalima, Jun 29, 2018
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  14. Scoobalimalima

    allanf

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    I suggest you use : 5500CN2 Network Interface
     
    allanf, Jun 29, 2018
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  15. Scoobalimalima

    Scoobalimalima

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    Can I not use the 5500PCU? Seems to me the only difference is Ethernet as opposed to USB connection? Is there a speed difference between the two and if so does it matter that much for programming?

    Steve.
     
    Scoobalimalima, Jun 29, 2018
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  16. Scoobalimalima

    allanf

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    I use 5500CN2 and dont have to worry with connecting directly to the unit. Just access over the net.
    Have not used 5500PCU so cannot speak to speed.
     
    allanf, Jun 29, 2018
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  17. Scoobalimalima

    Scoobalimalima

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    Ahhh rightio, I never thought of being able to program over the net via Ethernet, definitely makes for a more user friendly experience. Again I don't think that was around more than 20 years ago when I last played with C-bus, I just remember my 'boss' standing in the garage of the house with his lap top perched up on a ladder :eek:)
     
    Scoobalimalima, Jun 29, 2018
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  18. Scoobalimalima

    allanf

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    Standing in the garage is exactly what I wanted to avoid
     
    allanf, Jun 29, 2018
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  19. Scoobalimalima

    Ashley

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    Just go and buy an SHAC. It gives you the the CNI plus scheduling and logic and lots of other options for not much more outlay. It's still version 0.1 with lots of bugs, but the CNI part works fine and I'm sure they will fix it up eventually.
     
    Ashley, Jun 29, 2018
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  20. Scoobalimalima

    Scoobalimalima

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    OK, so I have yet another question.

    - Can the output modules (standard relay module etc) be programmed to turn on/off at certain times of the day and also only certain days of the week? I'm wanting to use a few outputs to operate solenoids for irrigation control.

    Steve.
     
    Scoobalimalima, Jun 30, 2018
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