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Incremental step commands via ZFM-80 to Arduino


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Hello again everyone.

Moderator, if this is not the correct location for this, feel free to move as necessary.

I have a question....

I have been planning to deploy a mini blind control for some time now and I have most of it worked out, but one thing I have not tested yet I was hoping someone could point me in the right direction before I wasted too much time.

I'm fortunate that I have 120v receptacles at each window location I plan on using this control.

I'm using two separate power supplies- both wall wart types that I have modified to fit in a regular deep new work switch box. One supplies 5volts for the Arduino, and the other provides a bit beefier power to the servo. The ZFM-80 will fit in this same box, just barely. I've drilled holes in this plastic box to alleviate whatever heat there may be, but I've bench tested this box setup and it works and stays quite cool. The ZFM-80 controls the low voltage switch wire to the Arduino.

This box can mount cleanly in the wall next to the set of windows to control or to any location deemed appropriate for your situation, as long as you don't exceed the voltage drop limit or WAF. (Foot through the ceiling Sheetrock puts WAF in negative digits.)

I have used Arduino Nanos to control a servo motor mounted in the top rail and I can get everything to work via isy/ Mobilinc (just like a switch), but here is my question about more granular control. I am considering if there is a way to program for a percent open via zwave. I'm planning on testing a luminosity reading to act as a guide for percent open /close the blinds first and then I will test a temperature reading to auto adjust the percent of open /close. I know I can do that automatically via programming. But let's say I wanted to adjust the blinds via a potentiometer or remotely to, say, 30% open.

Can this be accomplished via zwave and ZFM-80? I do not see how since this is simply a dry contact switch. I was thinking a Fortrezz multi channel zwave dry contact with separate wires for each percentage feeding the pins on the Arduino, say 30%, 50, 75%, and 100%, but that device costs $60usd. I'm pretty sure it would work, but I'm trying to come up with a formulaic package of parts that I can get to accomplish each group of windows.

By the way, more than one window, and in my case, up to a group of four windows do not need additional Arduinos. You only need a 2-4(or more) relay shield. Just make sure that as you add servos to the load, your servo power supply will need more balls.

 

Thanks for any input.

 

 

GT

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So after quite a bit more research, the only thing I found that comes close is a Fortrezz It is the only Z-Wave device that can handle digital and analog signal via Z-Wave parameters. The trigger point is flexible and has hysteresis-like range adjustments.

Can use it with isy with CdS photo cell to monitor LED brightness on various devices to change brightness and receive readings

 

Unfortunately they do not make it easy to program the parameter values. It shows the analog value in 4-digit decimal, yet it has to be converted to 2-byte hex and drop the low byte and use the high byte as the only byte. Not very user friendly. So now I'm thinking to try Arduino with wifi shield to program and control blinds using smart phone and auto adjust with onboard uv and temp sensors and clos blind according to heat with an override to open blinds for more light.

What do you think?

 

 

GT

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Hello Michel.

 

I always find it amazing and I am grateful that the owner and inventor would take the time to interact with us.

 

My plan is to utilize an Arduino nano to control the servo motor with several parameters set and initiated by a temperature sensor and a wall mounted potentiometer. The temperature sensor would be mounted in the window blind head rail along with the Arduino, wifi receiver, and the servo (possibly utilize a luminosity or other light sensor-Aeotec v.6?) the power supply will mount in a deep cut in box below each set of windows and take power from a nearby receptacle.

When I speak of power supply, I have found a small PS board that will supply both the 5v for the Arduino and 3.3v for the wifi module. This is very small which will allow me room for the single other PS for the servo(s), and all of these parts fit comfortably in a deep switch box.

A multi-conductor cable will be run up to the header inside the window frame. My paint color is white and there are several types of control cable with various number of conductors that come in white and will blend in and not be noticeable. The possibility exists that I may run this cable in the wall and repair Sheetrock depending on WAF results of first window bank install. : ) For banks of multiple window blinds I will use relay modules to control the servos, which will allow me to use only one Arduino at each bank of blinds. In those cases, the relay modules will mount in the window blind header as well- just run a wire from the relay to each servo. My window blinds are of a more expensive variety and are made of metal and the head channel has quite ample room for these items with a width of 3 inches and depth of almost the same. Fortunately, these blinds are the perfect size for this installation.

I will mount a deep cut in box at one location per room and use a potentiometer to manually override and control the blinds in that room. I'm debating wether to have a single pot control all the blinds( in some rooms that would be four) or use a push/pull type potentiometer which would allow two individual window blinds to be controlled independently from a single pot. This would result in a regular blank switch cover modified with two pot control knobs that would afford local control of four window blinds.

In this same deep cut in wall box will be the control Arduino, the wifi transmitter and power supply. I may place this almost right next to the light switch in the room. We haven't decided yet.

 

The beauty of isy being a part of this will ultimately be the amount of control I could have over them. Schedules, synchronizing, etc. I hope this is what you mean when you speak of Arduino becoming a node to isy!

 

Many thanks for your interest in my idea.

 

GT

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Hi GT,

 

Thanks so very much for the details. This is quite exciting!

 

From what I understand, this will be a perfect project for 5.0 and Node Server. You can pretty much do what you have outlined above plus include the conditions of you servo motors in ISY programs. Furthermore, you can have multiple arduinos per ISY. Of course, this will require minor network programming on arduino!

 

With kind regards,

Michel

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That is wonderful news and I know it makes you happy to be able to debut 5.0 in the near future. Can you say how intense will be the update process? I am hoping for a simple install and reboot and then I can get started on all my projects! Thank you for functionality over flash Michel!

 

 

GT

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Hi GT,

 

Upgrade to 5.0 is pretty much the same as any other upgrade with the exception that you need to use the 5.0 UI to upgrade your ISY. Furthermore, if you upgrade to 5.0 and decide to downgrade, you may have to factory reset ISY and restore it from your backup.

 

There were a few bugs in 5.0 (REST interface issues) which have been resolved and we do hope to have a code drop very soon. Once that has been tested by our beloved 5.0 alpha testers, then I would be confident that you are not going to have any issues.

 

Also, you can sign up for Alpha right now:

http://forum.universal-devices.com/forum/108-50/ 

 

With kind regards,

Michel

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Hi again Michel.

What is 5.0 UI and where can I find it? I

I'm on deployment right now so I will have to wait for the official

5.0 release. Right now I'm just getting all my schematics and programs worked out and getting the parts and pieces bought and shipped to my house so it will all be there when I get home.

I will need information about the how of using isy with Arduino. Is there a wiki or guide? I would like to begin reading up on it now.

 

Many, many thanks for all you do for us.

 

 

 

GT

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