The future is.....?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Phoneman, Apr 20, 2019.

  1. Phoneman

    Phoneman

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    So here is a tough question to be asking on a CBUS Forum but do you guys think the end is nigh for CBus?

    Activity on the forum has certainly died off since I lurked in the shadows several years ago and it just feels like Schneider are not interested in progressing the product much further. Sure they release the odd unit but it is seeming more like a last gasp than an invigoration of the range.

    Silly things like still not easily being able to update the unit firmware and the Toolbox Interface is so 80's (reliable as that may be).

    I am in the early stages of planning my next home and can't help but wonder if the old go to of CBus has had its day.

    I can well appreciate that many here live and breath at 9600 bauds but what about the rest of the industry, Control4 and Crestron have their own modules and KNX seems to be a Schneider staple around the world.

    Thoughts?
     
    Phoneman, Apr 20, 2019
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  2. Phoneman

    Conformist

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    Interesting post. If you'd asked this question 6 month ago, I would have said not sure. Now, i think the future is a bit brighter. There's a lot of internal politics within Schneider Electric (SE). Without disclosing too much, several years ago, a lot of the engineering and product development was changed to report back to Europe and was driven from there. This was bloody frustrating with lots of discussions about developments such as C-Bus. In recent months, the landscape changed (again). Engineering and product development for Australia is back in Australia. This means a lot of the decisions about local products are back where proper, informed people are calling the shots. Whilst I no longer work for SE, I'm pretty sure this will help to get some great products happening again.
    C-Bus turns 25 years old this year in August. Whilst SE in Europe love their KNX at least the destiny of the local (and IMHO better) system is back in the hands of people who know what they are doing.
     
    Conformist, Apr 21, 2019
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  3. Phoneman

    MarkB

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    I find it very disappointing that C-Bus has been neglected so much, and this is coming from an end user who until a few months ago didn't have any idea what it was.
    I started researching home automation while planning a new house build and came to the conclusion that ALL of the wireless systems are hit and miss. I want a system that I don't have to make excuses for. Don't want to have to explain to the family and visitors how to use it and why it might be slow to respond or sometimes not even work...

    So, I investigated every wired automation system I could find (including KNX, Control4, Savant, etc.) and still settled on a 25 year old Australian developed and thoroughly neglected product. Just goes to show much potential C-Bus has (or had?)... :(
     
    MarkB, Apr 21, 2019
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  4. Phoneman

    Phoneman

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    You are absolutely right Mark, CBus is like a couple of Aussie Tennis players we know of, so much potential if only they could believe in themselves and didn't fall for the BS.

    More years ago than I care to remember I was urging Clipsal to offer some ridiculous (loss leading) entry level packages to every builder (like a 12 Channel Relay and 12 pre programmed (ch1 on ch1 off) single switches for $500 or even better with say a movement detector for just $150) just to ensure the CBus topography became ubiquitous. The builders could have offered it as a "smart home automation package" in their deal and any builder not offering it would have been viewed as behind the game!

    The most basic home wired this way could have presented and would have continued to present so many upsell opportunities for Electricians and Integrators and over time demand for other units would have continued to grow as the nappy valley became middle Australia!

    Alas, Clipsal wanted CBus to be high end and special, elite even, a decision that has led us to this point!

    For now those like myself that have invested in what really is a solid and reliable product are left trying to hold it together waiting for the inevitable.

    Is there any hope? I am not sure, but I know one thing for sure, before I build our next home, I have a lot of thinking to do!
     
    Phoneman, Apr 21, 2019
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  5. Phoneman

    gte242

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    All

    Hope so as I am also fairly new and cgose the product on the fact:
    1. Love the EDT switches.
    2. Saturn range.
    3. No wireless.
    4. I saw investment in 2017.
    5. Solid bus system.

    Curently installing in my house in Poland. The problem with SE is it is too big and they not hitting right market.

    Gareth
     
    gte242, Apr 22, 2019
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  6. Phoneman

    greig

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    This thread hasn't seen any action for a while, so I thought I'd kick the tin along with my own personal dilemma.

    We've recently sold our home and left a MOUNTAIN of C-Bus behind. Some of the original gear I installed in the *previous* home back in 1999 (and relocated) was still going strong...

    Now in our new home, we're missing the functionality we've enjoyed for decades, but I'm questioning whether C-Bus is the right solution for us in 2022.

    As others have said, Schneiders seems to have neglected C-Bus for ages, and the only growth is porting the switches to the new plate styles.

    I recollect seeing someone suggesting that Schneiders had pulled C-Bus from the North American market, which - assuming it's true - I took to be a bad sign.

    I know and love C-Bus, but has it had its day? My local integrators here in Newcastle are pushing KNX as the open-standard equivalent of today, or Control-4 if you REALLY want to push the boat out.

    What does everyone think? Is there life in the old girl yet, and if so, how long d'y reckon she's got?


    - Greig.
     
    greig, Feb 6, 2022
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  7. Phoneman

    Phoneman

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    I think it will be a generation of CBus integrators that will be facing the same challenge in the very near future.

    We all love C bus, the shame is Clipsal never did, and Schneider even less so, so one would suggest the writing is on the wall for this incredibly reliable system.

    I have already installed a Control4 system for my AV In this home and think it is the way I will go for our new homes Lighting and power.

    I simply don’t have the confidence in the longevity of the CBus Project any more.
     
    Phoneman, Feb 7, 2022
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  8. Phoneman

    Pie Boy

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    IMHO,
    Cbus is still a great lighting control system an as far as input devices, in the AU/NZ market, you can’t beat the Edlt for price point and functionality.
    that said there is a tipping point in my opinion, when you look to integrate heating, air con, av, weather station and shading, controlling blind/ sun angle, etc the cbus way is a few input devices with custom code or a third party bridge, gateway or software.
    knx on the other hand have native devices for such integration no code or expensive hardware required, just wire the thing up and configure it.

    that’s my 10cents…
     
    Pie Boy, Feb 8, 2022
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  9. Phoneman

    Damaxx

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    Totally agree with Pie boy; Cbus still has the best input devices - look at KNX light switches that are available in Australia. Most are either crap, poor value for money or they are from 'flight by night' unknown companies.

    KNX does have the massive benefit of not being tied into a single manufacturer but IMO that also means a lot of manufacturers 'dabble' in these systems rather than commit to sustainable product lines.

    If you look at CBus as a smart lighting control system rather than a full home automation system, it is still the best around. The SHAC / NAC was an awesome upgrade from Wiser and tied a lot of loose ends up with the power of LUA scripts. Only wish the firmware updates were a little more frequent.

    The biggest factor I think that's looked over is reliability. CBus when installed and configured correctly works without skipping a beat. Most issues I have come across are power supply failures - most often in places where surge devices are not installed, or poorly installed systems.

    Who knows where Schneider is taking CBus. It appears that they are trying to get into the home/building automation at 14 different angles with Push, Wiser, Smartlink, Spacelogic (Would love to read the transcripts on the marketing team meeting that come up with that name.... sounds like a bloody kids toy!) and CBus - all doing similar things without any of them working seamlessly working together to create a full solution.
     
    Damaxx, Feb 8, 2022
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  10. Phoneman

    lcrowhurst

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    Schneider Marketing are incredibly forward thinking they are using "SpaceLogic" for banding now so they are ready for when we move into Space and have Space Stations and colonise other planets.
     
    lcrowhurst, Feb 8, 2022
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  11. Phoneman

    Damaxx

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    Dream big. Like getting Cbus installed on the international space station big. Nice.
     
    Damaxx, Feb 9, 2022
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  12. Phoneman

    Conformist

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    So, an Zen eDLT is... a Clipsal C-Bus SpaceLogic Zen eDLT by Schneider Electric.... Hmmmm

    How about focusing on supply instead of another name. 9 weeks for a Dali gateway (assuming it arrives on the scheduled date)
     
    Conformist, Feb 9, 2022
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  13. Phoneman

    gte242

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    I think how long is the key question. When the SHAC/NAC were in developement there was a phased developement plan of implementing various features. Not sure I've seen all these features.


    Cbus input devices are great and I love the eDLT. Would love to see the next generation.My light switches went from:

    [​IMG]

    to this

    upload_2022-2-18_21-43-48.jpeg
    I know which one I prefer :)

    The SHAC was a big change for Cbus and it gave that ability to link into other systems and customise. Agreed not the most easiest thing to implement compared to other systems but it was a good start. More integrations examples to other products (not just Schneider) would of been good as it can be done. Direct Alexa and Google assistant integrations wouold be good instead of going through homebridge :)

    If any one from Clipsal or Schnider are listening then please give some clear indication where you are going with this product as your sitting a gold mine ready to be exploited.

    Perhaps one day....
     

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    gte242, Feb 18, 2022
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  14. Phoneman

    NickD Moderator

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    It's been a while since I checked in here.. I was actually prompted to today by one of the software guys who's looking at an issue in PICED that was reported here... and I got a little sidetracked.

    I read these discussions and usually have to bite my tongue, but what the hell..

    In terms of the future of C-Bus... I'm sitting here in my home office... in front of me I have the first prototypes of new key units.. the hardware looks good and is waiting for firmware.. which I'll get to once I get the interface specification for the new dimmers (I also have the second prototype of one of those in the rack next to me with my debugger connected) done to give to the software guys.. On the shelf next to the rack I have some DT8 Tuneable White and RGBW drivers that I need to test with the updated DALI stack which was delivered by the developers last week, and which I need to integrate into the firmware for the new DALI gateway we released a few months ago.

    You may have also not noticed there was a new version of Toolkit (1.16.0) a little while back (It's a bit hard to find on the SE website these days)... it included new firmware (1.6.0) for the eDLT, which fixes a few bugs but also should speed up the transfers from Toolkit a fair bit. There's also v3 eDLT hardware coming (a running change in production), which brings in the new C-Bus MAC to replace the PCI, which speeds it up even further.

    I can't promise you dates for any of these things, but I can promise you they're real. I appreciate the passion you guys have (or in some cases, had) for it, and honestly it's one of the reasons I've stuck with it... it still has so much potential, and I for one am doing everything I can to keep trying to see it realised.

    C-Bus is not dead :)
     
    NickD, Feb 23, 2022
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  15. Phoneman

    Damaxx

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    Great to hear from you NickD and appreciate the update on what is in the pipeline.
    Very happy that there is still money and time being invested into R&D and that C-Bus genuinely has a future.
     
    Damaxx, Feb 23, 2022
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