Whats the coolest thing you've seen or done with cbus?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by zx9, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. zx9

    zx9

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    Interested to hear from others what tricks or tweaks they have programmed to make life easier. Here's some of mine, pretty minor tweaks but they still make my life easier;

    -using a $2 temp sensor I brought off ebay duct taped in the wall to my shower outlet I've automated my shower fan so it only comes on when it detects hot water running - sounds like a hack but it's been running flawlessly for years
    -after missing a delivery because I was in the shower I've now configured my room lights to flash twice if the front gate opens(reed switch) in any room that's currently occupied(those that have PIRs at least)
    -use my bedroom blinds as my daily alarm (with a bit of logic for different times for weekends, public holidays etc...) , oh and with a option snooze so it opens 30% then 10mins later 100% unless I've hit snooze.
    -all my blinds open/close schedules are also take into account sunset/sun rise and the forecast weather temp
    -configure the fans in the toilets in my house to only come on for number two's - ie. when the PIR detects movement for longer than 2mins (I'm sure this is a common one)
    -my central heating will turn off if a external door has been left open to long
    -any external lights left on will turn off at sunrise
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 9, 2016
    zx9, Feb 9, 2016
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  2. zx9

    Robbo_VIC

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    I love your creativity. I could spend endless amounts of time adding fun features to clients houses but not sure they'd be up for paying for it. If it was my house on the other hand....
    I'll have to have a think about the most complex things I've done...
     
    Robbo_VIC, Feb 9, 2016
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  3. zx9

    znelbok

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    My system is past of a greater HA system with everything INTEGRATED

    When I turn the AC on in a room (each room is a zone), if there is a ceiling fan then that is turned on as well.

    I use C-bus switches to do everything manually.
    - In the theater there is a start/stop button. That turns on amp, TV, sub, media center and sets the volume levels, input to TV and amp.
    - Every room has a button to turn on the AC (a preset for that room)
    - Bedrooms use the bottom right button to turn the whole room off, TV, Fan, Lights, audio and anything else integrated (Kids leave everything on all the time).
    - Open and close the garage and shed door
    - Shutdown the house at night - everything turns off or goes to a preset state (if on) such as fans in bedrooms all turn to low and then turn off at 2am. Garage door is checked and closed if open, TV is turned to ch 7 for in the morning, the volume set to a lower level and then turned off.

    Lots of integration between the alarm panel and C-Bus. Every internal door is monitored and some are used to turn lights on and off (e.g. Laundry).

    If the bathroom window is open and the bathroom door is opened in the morning (shower time) then the fan starts for 20 mins.

    If it is night time and the bathroom door is opened and its after bedtime the light comes on at a very low level, otherwise it comes on at a higher level (before bedtime) and then not at all during day time.

    Outdoor PIR is used to prevent bedroom lights from being used during the day and when the light level drops the lights are again enabled (again kids). Can be over-ridden from touchscreen.

    C-Bus is not the center of my automation system, but the switches make it an important part by being an easy interface to initiating tasks that are automated but need a manual trigger.

    There's lots more that's not C-Bus related and then there is stuff I don't have yet (pool, irrigation etc) that will eventually be integrated. I do have a farm with the electric fence monitored, all power meters are monitored, water tank levels, pump running status, water pressure, septic tank (envirocycle) status....

    I was thinking about doing the same thing with the temp sensor, but instead of putting it in the shower area, taping it to the hot water pipe so when the hot water is flowing and the pipe heat up that is the indication of a shower. That way there is no visible evidence of the sensor.

    My plans - when I get blind controllers, open the bedroom blinds in winter to let the sun in and then close once the sun moved more to the west (about 3pm). We can get up to 30?+ in the bedrooms in winter when the suns out (Yes, every room has a temp sensor because of the A/C system and all are integrated). I can use logic to open and close based on room temp and sustain a desired temp based on time of year (kept closed in summer, open in winter etc).

    Bugger - I got started again and couldn't stop. I can keep going with current projects etc but you will all get bored as I drone on - yes, I love my automation (except in a car, I ONLY drive manuals)
     
    znelbok, Feb 9, 2016
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  4. zx9

    Conformist

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    Swimming pool control..
    I have a temperature sensor in the skimmer box that measures the water temperature. As the sensor sits in about the top 300mm of water, there are added benefits in just knowing the pool temp (the kids look at this temperature all the time).
    Instead of running to pool pump continuously when I have the solar blanket on (during the day which is advised to do), I have logic that monitors the temperature and when it gets above 33 degrees in this top layer, the pool pump operates for 15 minutes to stir the water.
    I have a salt water chlorinated pool. That means, that chlorine is generated by a cell that transforms the salt into chlorine. The amount of chlorine that is actually needed depends upon the water temperature. I have a formula that calculates how long to run the pool pump (chlorinator) based on temperature. This is how long it will run on a particular day. This also takes into consideration if the stirring action mentioned previously has activated or not. It also takes into consideration free power (from solar panels... I'll come to that shortly).
    I also have a simple top-up on the pool where an irrigation solenoid delivers 30 minutes of water to the skimmer box, driven by a timer on C-Bus.
    I also know I need to clean the filter every 50 hours of operation. I have a message that pops up on my touchscreen when this needs to be done.

    Solar Panels
    I have solar panels and I monitor the power I use (by circuit) as well as total power consumed and power generated by the panels. I don't get a great feed in tariff, so I'm best to use excess power generated. Given I know when I have enough free power to run the pool pump, this will operate when it can. It will also take into consideration how long it needs to operate. If it gets to a threshold where there won't be enough power to completely cover the pump, it will run anyway (this happens on a day when clouds drift by). There's a great service called pvoutput.org that I upload my use to. I've written some logic code in the CTC3 to handle this. This is my system...
    http://pvoutput.org/intraday.jsp?id=27522&sid=25204

    HVAC
    I look at the outside temperature (you can see this on my PV output log in the above link too). My system determines how much 'charge' needs to go into my bathroom floors based on the outside temperature and whether off-peak power is available. I also do an afternoon boost on cold sunny days, taking advantage of the small amount of free power from solar (it's bugger all in winter).
    I also take the outside temperature and determine what time I need to switch on my air conditioner in winter for heating (I also look at this inside temperature in each zone too). Typically, on really cold mornings, the a/c will come on at about 5.45am (for a 6.30am wake-up) whereas on milder days, it can be as late as 6.10am. Doesn't sound like much, but given the plant uses about 5kW, that becomes a big difference over time. This changes on weekends and public holidays. I (now) need to re-visit this for coming winter as my wife has just started shift work and 6.30am wake-up will be too late.

    I also scrape weather information and push this to eDLT's and Spectrum touchscreens. The kids can see what the est max and precis is for the day ahead.

    This is a small subset of what I've done... heaps of other interesting things that I'll post when I get a sec...
     
    Conformist, Feb 10, 2016
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  5. zx9

    hexagram

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    My missus is a serial door offender, I love this.

    I have a shed/warehouse in the backyard where I keep all my electrical and automation supplies as well as power tools, computer components etc... that I always manage to forgot to close and lock. If all the lights in the house go out (I've gone to bed) and the shed isn't alarmed and the door closed, the bedroom lights flash and a tone plays on the touchscreen.
     
    hexagram, Feb 10, 2016
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  6. zx9

    hexagram

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    One thing that would be cool is some sort of hardware module that sits on your network and waits for your Phone MAC address to connect to your wifi (you've pulled into the driveway) and then close a channel on a bus coupler to turn on lights, unlock the front door etc...

    Has anyone done anything similar?
     
    hexagram, Feb 10, 2016
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  7. zx9

    znelbok

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    Yes, exactly this with CQC. It has a network monitor driver and it can detect when the phone arrives on the network and then I can trigger anything I want. NO hardware required other than an access point, which everyone has one now.

    I recorded something I say to the dog when I get home "Bozzley, I'm Home", and when my phone was detected, CQC would play the wave file and the dog would bark and run to the door to greet me. Family loved the reaction from the dog every time. Lights would also come on as well, but the decision to not open doors or disarm the alarm system was made because of security concerns.

    I found that the phone would drop off the network constantly when it was sleeping so a bit of logic had to be written around that issue. Changed phone and I never updated the script for the new mac address.

    Mick
     
    znelbok, Feb 10, 2016
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  8. zx9

    hexagram

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    That's really cool! How did you get it to trigger lighting?
     
    hexagram, Feb 10, 2016
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  9. zx9

    Roosta

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    I have this working via a roundabout way.. I have a wemo, driving a relay, switching onto a bus coupler, then i use IFTTT to turn the wemo on when i get home and off when i leave via 'geo fence' that is about 500m radius around my house..

    Cheers.
     
    Roosta, Feb 11, 2016
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  10. zx9

    znelbok

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    The C-bus system is integrated with the CQC server as well, so anything that is connected to CQC can be used as a trigger to turn any light(s) on or off.
     
    znelbok, Feb 11, 2016
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  11. zx9

    Ingo

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    Conformist, I am interested in your pool temperature sensor. Have been thinking about it for a while now but never got around to actually do something about it.

    What are you using for the probe and do you separate the outside network from the inside network using a bridge? Lightning is a big concern for me.

    Cheers,
    Ingo
     
    Ingo, Feb 12, 2016
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  12. zx9

    rhamer

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    Off topic, but I doubt a bridge will provide any meaningful protection against lightening.

    The 2 sides are isolated by a pair of opto couplers that would easily break down under the sort of voltages produced by lightening.

    The reason for the bridges existence is to allow the creation of large networks containing more than 255 devices, and allow the separation of C-Bus power supplies to prevent over current capability from melting the pink cable.

    Happy to be corrected, but I'm pretty sure that is the case.

    The real way to do it would be to have a fibre segment between 2 bridge halves in each building, but of course no such thing exists. Perhaps it is on the Roadmap.

    Cheers

    Rohan
     
    rhamer, Feb 12, 2016
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  13. zx9

    Ingo

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    I agree that a direct strike would be hard to protect against. In my case I've been lucky so far and only induced voltages from nearby strikes has affected me.
     
    Ingo, Feb 12, 2016
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  14. zx9

    zx9

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    very cool - I had thought of something like this using a script to ping my wifi phone IP and call some logic when it's detected but your implementation sounds much nicer and more robust.

    I'd would like it if I could have the heater/ac turn on when it detects I'm heading home from work.
     
    zx9, Feb 16, 2016
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  15. zx9

    71monaro

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    Yes IFTTT integration would allow easy integration of a whole lot of tasks.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 18, 2016
    71monaro, Feb 18, 2016
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  16. zx9

    dianadonovan85

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    such creativity around here.. awesome work!
     
    dianadonovan85, Mar 11, 2016
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  17. zx9

    Mr Mark

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    Geo-fencing

    I had a brief PM chat with Roosta about geo-fencing recently and am now using an iOS app called Locative to fire off custom URL's when entering and leaving the pre-defined "home zone". Coupled with some conditional logic in a PAC, lights come on at different levels, depending on the time of day and the fans, depending upon the temperature when I come home. Leaving home obviously turns lights and fans off.
    This has been working well over the last week of testing and the next step will be adding "work" and "on my way home" points to trigger the AC a bit sooner as well as adding in multiple users so the kids aren't left in the dark :rolleyes:
     
    Mr Mark, Mar 12, 2016
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  18. zx9

    fleetz

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    Why does that not surprise me Mark.

    You have WAY too much time on your hands! :)

    Kind Regards,

    Ian
     
    fleetz, Mar 24, 2016
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  19. zx9

    jboer

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    Hey, just reread this and am intrigued what you are using to get the URL results into the PAC?

    I can see how you would do this with a network enabled device (Wiser, CTC, SP+ ect) but not on a PAC, do you have something else reading the URLs and then talking to the PAC via serial?
     
    jboer, Mar 28, 2016
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  20. zx9

    Mr Mark

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    Hello jboer.
    I'm using ievolve's web server and the custom url's trigger C-Bus groups and the PAC sorts the logic side. Not sure if his code is still available from GitHub - I did modify it quite a bit to suit my purposes, so it's not an easy one to copy and paste unfortunately. Roosta's option of using Wemo sounds great and I'm going to look into these as a replacement for the wireless plug adaptors at home.

    Note: just found the link here
     
    Mr Mark, Mar 30, 2016
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