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Topic:
End user programmable high-end RF remote
This thread has 15 replies. Displaying all posts.
Post 1 made on Friday February 1, 2013 at 16:03
CABrouwers
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4
I am an end user and I am looking for a remote control system that I can program myself. I am looking for the following features.

1. RF based
2. Programmable controller
3. Graphic remote control
4. IR, IP and RS-232 output

and possibly

5. Zigbee or Zwave control
6. iOs app.

Product from RTI, ProControl or URC would be perfect by my understanding is that they are locked to the end user. I am really not trying to save money but I am perfectly qualified to program, I enjoy it and anyway a dealer would have a hard time integrating this remote with the rest of my home automation system.

Any suggestion or an end user friendly system ?
Post 2 made on Monday February 4, 2013 at 10:50
TRCGroup
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URC's policies leave it up to the dealer to allow you to have the software. You will have to find a dealer that will work with you on it.

Why would a dealer have a hard time programming your system? I seriously doubt that most of us in here would even break a sweet on it.
"You can't fix stupid."
Post 3 made on Monday February 4, 2013 at 13:04
cma
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On February 4, 2013 at 10:50, TRCGroup said...
Why would a dealer have a hard time programming your system? I seriously doubt that most of us in here would even break a sweet on it.

Probably because the rest of his system is a mish mash of DIY homebrew solutions that none of would touch with a stick.
Post 4 made on Monday February 4, 2013 at 17:28
Total Control Remotes
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I agree with the guys here - I don't care what your system is packing, it's probably simple for a pro. However, there are very limited options out there for the type of control your looking for if you want to do it yourself. Since you are qualified to program yourself, why not invent your own control system?
OP | Post 5 made on Tuesday February 5, 2013 at 21:45
CABrouwers
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You guys sound very defensive. No need to be dismissive or insulting to people who feel they don't need your services. I understand that manufacturers need installers and installers need to make money, hence the “locked” products and high margins. The truth however is that these devices are not complicated for someone who is a little technically minded and takes the time to read a manual (I hold an MS in Computer Engineering and used to design networking equipment). By the way, I am not even trying to save money, I would be happy to pay an installer to do the initial installation. The thing I find really annoying is to have to call someone later to make a change to the systems. Finally, you are right, my current set-up is not that complicated but it is uncommon in the US residential market. It is based on Clipsal C-Bus, which is very popular in Asia and Europe. I am sure an installer could learn it but it would not make sense for him to spend the time doing so. By the way, one of the reasons I chose that system is because it is completely user programmable so when I want to change the conditions under which the solar shades close based on external and internal temperatures, sunlight and occupancy, I don’ t need to call a technician.
Post 6 made on Tuesday February 5, 2013 at 22:28
Total Control Remotes
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It looks like you failed to think about control when you put your system together. The unfortunate news is that even though your MS in Computer Engineering might qualify you to program some of these systems, it's not going to cut it in terms of actually getting the software. As for markup in this industry it's not nearly as profitable as say..networking equipment. And I am sure that you being in that industry can help you to understand what "proprietary software" means.

You might want to try some iOS apps like iRule or some of the others that are not dealer protected.
Post 7 made on Sunday February 17, 2013 at 05:03
Azathoth
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5
You know, I came here looking for similar advice, but with an open mind towards maybe working with a dealer.

The arrogant responses to a simple question have pretty much made up my mind. None of you "pros" will be getting any of my business.

For a people that are supposed to make their money servicing customers, you might want to rethink your attitudes in how you deal with people.
Post 8 made on Wednesday February 20, 2013 at 20:37
longshot16
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You might want to look at bit wise or something like that. The systems you reference are indeed sold through a dealer network. Obviously that business model works for certain reasons.

There are dealers in both the US and Europe on this forum that would be able to help you. Most of the more capable systems can be updated remotely which make the location irrelevant.

I understand the chest beating pisses off your tech savvy end users but the opening post has a bit of "I am as smart as any integrator" in it.

I think URC has been pretty loose with their software. Look Into that.
The Unicorn Whisperer
Post 9 made on Thursday February 21, 2013 at 01:18
MattBrotzge
Long Time Member
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I agree with a lot of what longshot16 and total control said. I would also say that some of the features you are looking for are only available from dealer protected lines provided by custom a/v installers. And getting software and support will be tough.

I think if you were willing to narrow down the feature set and remove rf control and a handheld remote that iRule might end up being your best option.

And while you find it annoying to have to call someone to make adjustments to the programming we are all trying to make a living and our time is valuable, which means we deserve to get paid for it.

To put it bluntly what you are looking for doesnt exist.
Matt Brotzge
OP | Post 10 made on Wednesday May 1, 2013 at 17:02
CABrouwers
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Thanks for the comments. It hasn't been too difficult to find a dealer who sold me the hardware and gave me access to the software. Everything is working fine. Of course the zigbee capability is missing since such product does not really exist ... but that makes for an interesting project with rabbit or arduino microcontroller !
Post 11 made on Wednesday May 15, 2013 at 16:01
ScottJ
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I'm curious what remote you ended up with. The MX-880Z has ZigBee and I was considering that one myself.
Post 12 made on Wednesday May 22, 2013 at 09:30
Total Control Remotes
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On May 1, 2013 at 17:02, CABrouwers said...
Thanks for the comments. It hasn't been too difficult to find a dealer who sold me the hardware and gave me access to the software. Everything is working fine. Of course the zigbee capability is missing since such product does not really exist ... but that makes for an interesting project with rabbit or arduino microcontroller !

Zigbee is not a standardized protocol. Just because a control system uses Zigbee to communicate it does NOT mean it will be able to control all zigbee devices. It's simply not the same across the board. You may have found a dealer that sold you a control system and a professional one, but he didn't sell you the RIGHT one. What you originally asked for and what you have are totally different. An RTI system uses Zigbee for communication (as well as Wi-Fi) and has several advantages including Z-wave control of most devices.
Post 13 made on Saturday May 25, 2013 at 21:18
Lowpro
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On May 22, 2013 at 09:30, Total Control Remotes said...
You may have found a dealer that sold you a control system and a professional one, but he didn't sell you the RIGHT one. What you originally asked for and what you have are totally different. An RTI system uses Zigbee for communication (as well as Wi-Fi) and has several advantages including Z-wave control of most devices.

Just because the control system the OP was sold doesn't support Zigbee doesn't mean they were sold the wrong product. The OP's original post stated "and possibly Zigbee or Zwave control". They didn't state it was a requirement. Pehaps all the other criteria they mentioned were met with the control system they were sold. What the OP did make perfectly clear is that they were only interested in an end user programmable solution. If they were able to acquire a solution they can now program themselves and it ultimately suits their needs, then more power to them.
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Post 14 made on Saturday January 21, 2017 at 20:47
Bill Edwards
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CABrouwers, Looks like you already found a solution, but there is another way to go. I have used other solutions in the past (see below), but what I have settled on now is creating iOS programs from scratch (you can sign up on the Apple website as a developer) coupled with Global Cache's various products (e.g. IP->IR, IP->serial). That gives you a completely custom system that you have built from the ground up. Very satisfying!!

The device I used in the past (and that would have been ideal for you) was Philips Pronto Pro. I got very helpful advice on this website (particularly from members Lowpro and Lyndel McGee - always willing to help and very nice). I used the Philips for years and very much enjoyed programming it. My profile was very much like yours -- I wasn't trying to save money but I really just wanted to do it myself. Unfortunately, Philips stopped making the device (although you can still get them on eBay). As much as I enjoyed the Philips device, the iOS development environment is much better -- the Philips environment was somewhat klunky.

Good luck.
Post 15 made on Monday January 23, 2017 at 16:44
kgossen
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2,853
On January 21, 2017 at 20:47, Bill Edwards said...
CABrouwers, Looks like you already found a solution, but there is another way to go. I have used other solutions in the past (see below), but what I have settled on now is creating iOS programs from scratch (you can sign up on the Apple website as a developer) coupled with Global Cache's various products (e.g. IP->IR, IP->serial). That gives you a completely custom system that you have built from the ground up. Very satisfying!!

The device I used in the past (and that would have been ideal for you) was Philips Pronto Pro. I got very helpful advice on this website (particularly from members Lowpro and Lyndel McGee - always willing to help and very nice). I used the Philips for years and very much enjoyed programming it. My profile was very much like yours -- I wasn't trying to save money but I really just wanted to do it myself. Unfortunately, Philips stopped making the device (although you can still get them on eBay). As much as I enjoyed the Philips device, the iOS development environment is much better -- the Philips environment was somewhat klunky.

Good luck.

Only waited 4 years for this.
"Quality isn't expensive, it's Priceless!"
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