Crestron has introduced ZigBee based wireless lighting controls.
18 years ago
Crestron has introduced ZigBee based wireless lighting controls.
Also likely they'd add whatever repeater devices might be needed, damned the cost. Compared to what they gouge for a touchscreen, repeaters would be trivial.
I wonder how well that stuff holds up in practice. Many houses have in-wall insulation using fibers on an aluminum foil backer and this can include some inside walls. When I walk into our garage with anything RF such as a cordless phone or LAN it often quits.
That type of insulation is usually only in exterior walls. Interior walls, when insulated, tend to use batts with either no backing kraft paper backing. I heven't been on a new construction site in many, many years but I suspect most exterior flashing which once was foil based is now Tyvek based.
That said, I have seen more reports of RF problems from Canada than from the US and have wondered whether their insulation practices might be a factor.
Crestron is very high-end so I doubt they would introduce something that isn't reliable or that requires excessive service calls. Their customers, dealers and installers would not be happy.
Most of the RF mesh networks require devices to be rather closely spaced (20-25'). The devices act as repeaters so overall range is not a major factor. It does mean that the number of devices tends to grow geometrically with the volume needing coverage (which is a plus for the manufacturer). If the protocol is a routed one, it also means that it may take several hops to traverse the network which may mean delays and even missed signals if the max hops is too low to traverse the network.
Right, they do it differently on many houses today. The latest I have seen is what looks like "Concrete-Styrofoam mix" blocks. I hope they have investigated the toxicity in a fire before releasing that stuff to market.
However, lots of the existing houses, especially upscale ones with people in there who'd have the dough for home automation, have aluminum backed fiber. It seems they kept huge rolls at the site and simply used it everywhere insulation was needed. Garage walls are one area because the garage is vented and very cold in winter, hot in summer. I have even seen foil-backed fiber in ceilings.
Then there is the stucco craze to create that mediterranean feel. Decorating interior walls typically requires a metal mesh be tacked down first so the mortar has something to grab onto, just like outside stucco. When we move an FM radio to the north side of a lava rock wall some stations fade away. It can be the same behind tile walls that were done in the classical mud bed technique. In our case it's actually all floor areas because they floated a 2" mud bed onto mesh throughout.
They probably use more aluminum because it reflects heat. In Germany pretty much any insulation was aluminum backed. When I did an attic there it was the only thing they had. No Kraft paper, too flammable.
Hopefully. Testing for RF blinding requires lots of miles through all kinds of different types of houses, analyzer in hand.
This "mote approach" can work nicely. But it does get old if there is a spot where you have to place a mote just for repeater purposes and then there is no power in that area.
I don't think it's really much of a practical problem. Even with the limited range of most X-10 receivers there are not that many who complain.
I have brick exterior walls and plaster interior walls with wire lathe (your wire mesh) in the ceilings and around windows, doors and archways. I make fairly heavy use of RF as my mobility is severely restricted.
Lutron's RadioRA system also requires 25-30' spacing and I've never seen complaints about its reliability (only about its high cost).
As long as people understand that ZigBee is low power and requires fairly close spacing, I don't think there will be many problems. Many ZigBee devices will be battery powered so the lack of an outlet may not be a problem. Most houses here have ample outlets anyway.
It may be more of a problem in Europe where stone and cement structures are more common. They tend to be unfriendly to RF.
I th>Hello Dave,
Well, I have talked to people who tried X-10 and then chucked it all at the next garage sale. It wasn't reliable enough for them. Since it wasn't so expensive they just chalked it up to "nice try". But most people simply don't know that X-10 exists.
That is encouraging. If your wireless phone (not the high powered cell phone) works then most other stuff should. In our case we do have dead spots behind lava rock walls and in the garage area. It depends a bit on how they did the lathe. When I tore out our bathroom vanity tiles I found they had run it in large rolls all the way up the walls, even twisting one roll's threads to the next. That wasn't just bad for RF, it also meant I had to rip out the whole backsplash mud.
Batteries are not too practical. If they last 5 years, then maybe. But in our area most batteries die from heat exhaustion (leaks) before they are used up. Except the expensive lithium ones.
Stone is ok. The tough challenges come with concrete that contains spot welded criss-cross rebar. They put rebar into almost anything. From a stability point of view they buildings are far superior, I really miss our house we had there. But I never figured out why they even put rebar into the slab.
I sure hope so. Code isn't always a guarantee though. Several people died when the airport in Duesseldorf, Germany, caught fire. They all died from toxic fumes despite the fact that this was a public building which is much more regulated than residential.
Then one must wonder who bought the 100+ million units they've sold.
I th>Well, I have talked to people who tried X-10 and then chucked it all at
The gentleman is right. 100+ Million units sold over more than four decades does not amount to "most people". Most *automators* know about X10. Most posts about it in this newsgroup seem to begin with, "My [insert X10 model] doesn't work."
X10 still exists mainly because it's cheap and simple. Most of the better designs have failed to gain X10-'s market share because they are either expensive, complicated to install/use or both.
X10 technology hasn't changed much since its inception. It's still plagued with failures and it's still sensitive to interference from other common household devices.
The real challenge to X10 lies in developing technology such as Zwave, UPB and Zigbee. IMO we'll still be dealing with X10 problems for another few decades, if only because it's cheap and widely available. I doubt it will hold the lion's share of the DIY market much longer. As to the professionally installed HA market, X10 is unlikely to be able to hold onto even a small slice much longer. Which dealer really wants to deal with constant service calls every time the homeowner plugs in a new UPS, PC, dishwasher or whatever?
On Wed, 31 Aug 2005 22:01:24 GMT, Joerg wrote (with possible editing):
Rebar is placed in slabs to prevent cracking which can occur due to uneven settling. Slabs should be poured at a minimum with 8 gauge wire mesh, but many contractors believe a 12" x 12" mesh of 1/2" rebar is stronger.
Or they failed because some entity tried to squish exorbitant license fees or royalties.
Mainly because it's a simple carrier on/off AM protocol. When I started with X-10 (because there was nothing else) I was quite disappointed when I studied the transmission protocol. As an RF guy I foresaw lots of problems and sure enough they all came to haunt me.
Printers and laptops with their cheap switch mode power supplies seem to be a real problem. I could always fix that with some ferrites and capacitors but that can't be expected from the regular consumer or even installers. Or bluntly speaking, by someone not living there. "Wait a minute, what could have been running where when the lights failed to come on?".
I was looking at Europe, mostly Germany. There we had roughly 6" mesh of1/2" in ceilings. Then they often threw a "rebar mat" on top of that after the first cement truck pour. These mats are 1" squares.
When I saw them handling those rusty mats with their bare hands I began to understand the importance of tetanus vaccinations ;-)
Apparently *you* still do...
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