Options for controlling CBUS network from an LCD touch screen (windows based PC)?

Discussion in 'C-Touch/HomeGate/SchedulePlus/PICED Software' started by Lliam, Sep 17, 2019.

  1. Lliam


    Nov 15, 2015
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    HI All

    I need some guidence on what my options are and if the idea I have will work?

    I have a retail commercial project using CBUS as the control of 99% of the internal and external lighting and signage. This is the second project I have done for this client and it is almost exactly the same as the first project we did. So pretty much a copy in paste in terms of layout and programming.

    Consists of 2 cbus networks connected with a network bridge, controlled from a ctouch mk2 b&w running all scenes and schedules. In the first project the spec was install the ctouch in the managers office next to the BMS/HVAC control screen.

    Now they are asking for the lighting control to be on the same LCD touch panel PC (which is Windows based) as the BMS/HVAC control. So I am wondering what my options are here?

    So far I am thinking of installing a 5500CN2 Network Interface connected to the same local network as the LCD panel. Then install Schedule Plus on the LCD Touch Panel PC. Create a PICED GUI for manual control and setup schedule plus to open automatically in control mode.

    I will still use the ctouch mk2 b&w (probably installed in the comms/MSB room) to run the schedules and scenes and provide a point of control for maintenance. I don't want to run the schedules from Schedule Plus on the LCD panel as i can't garuntee it will be always on and runnning, to many variables. It will purely be a point of manual lighting control for the manager.

    I am aware that using using a 5500NAC Network Automation Controller is an option as it does have web based control. I have done the one day introduction course for this product. But at this stage i dont' have the time to dedicate to going down this path as I have not used one yet in a real world project so programming and testiing would take me significantly longer. Plus i would need to go down the road of client approval as it is not what has been specified/approved.

    Please let me know if you think my idea is feasible or if there are better options?

    Thanks in advance

    Lliam, Sep 17, 2019
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  2. Lliam


    Aug 3, 2004
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    Hi Lliam
    There are differences between a B/W c-touch and SP.
    Schedule plus is capable of mapping and monitoring all networks connected, where as the C-touch only sees messages intended for that network (it can send to other networks) and provided the bridge is open any message generated on a remote network by a key input would appear on network 254 and the C-touch would update.
    If SP send message to network 253 it would not be seen on network 254 irrespective of bridge configuration
    So if SP sends a command to network 253 and the C-Touch is on network 254 then any control that the C-touch has of that network would not be updated hence button out of sync.

    Typically in a commercial environment a B/W c-touch would look after one network if SP is involved.
    Having your scenes and schedules on the C-Touch would be fine.

    I have seen using track group feature in logic to attempt overcoming this issue but requires a bit of effort and careful use of GAs. If you do follow this path check how much extra network traffic would be generated.

    Wonkey, Sep 17, 2019
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  3. Lliam


    Aug 3, 2004
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    A number of options.
    Citect I think has a C-Bus driver - just need to see if the HVAC is also covered.

    OPC Server for C-Bus and then almost any SCADA/HMI system that is used for BMS could be used. YOu say a BMS is already in place - look at leveraging that as the C-Bus interface.

    Lower down in the line, would be a HA automation package. Control 4 is popular but I do not know of its abilities with C-bus. My preference is CQC as a driver for C-Bus exists and you can write your own drivers for any device you want (if it does not have one already).

    My experience is with CQC more than Control 4 and Citect, but in any event my recommendation is that everything should be in one "interface" and not in different programs (all these apps on phones shits me to no end - just give me an open API to integrate it into one system).
    znelbok, Sep 18, 2019
  4. Lliam


    Dec 25, 2007
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    Not sure if this is relevant but I've been using HomeGate on a two network system for over 10 years. Network 253 has 67 units and network 254 has 81 units. HomeGate runs on two 27" touchscreen Dell all in one PCs. One PC acts as the master and controls all scenes and logic (across both networks). The 'touchscreens' also allow control of all lights, irrigation, on/off control of AC and underfloor heating etc. I do have a B&W touch in the network but it doesn't control anything (now).
    abg, Sep 18, 2019
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