Lightwave signal range in UK

Posted on
Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:27 am
howartp offline
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Lightwave signal range in UK

Hi,

Just wondering what sort of range I might expect in a fairly standard 4x4 UK house with Lightwave.

We're refitting our kitchen this Easter and I'll need both a regular and momentary switch in the same 2gang faceplate, which don't readily exist. (Could use MK Gridswitch, but their momentary switches are strong springs!)

I'm tempted to try a couple of LWRF switches, and these would only be one room from the Mac, but my bedroom is the furthest diagonal you can get, and I'd like to try some LWRF in their first - for my equivalent of 'WAF', except it's 'PAF' here!

I've seen reference to Conrad antenna? Is this a good idea?

Posted on
Sun Jan 11, 2015 7:38 am
durosity offline
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Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

It does work, but I find randomly it'll just stop receiving.. I assume there's some form of interference stopping it but I haven't had a chance to investigate. Also remember that it's only one way so no status checking!


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sun Jan 11, 2015 8:37 am
howartp offline
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

I was about to say:
I'm only looking at switches to send commands to Indigo, so no-status is fine. It will be quite obvious when I press the kitchen light switch if the kitchen light doesn't come on :)

I think I'll get some and see.

but then I read the userguides for each type of switch from Vesternet - and realised most of them are actual (dimmable) light-switches in-line with the lights they are controlling, not just Lightwave controllers. The mood switches are just a controller, but they are battery-powered only. I'd prefer mains-powered controllers. I can't have a dimmer device on the fluorescent light.

Once I've looked around, I might have to come back to the mood switch in scene mode. The two big buttons can be on/off scenes for the big light, and the four little ones can be off/33/66/99% dim moods for the downlights.

I'm not aware of any other UK wall-controllers (only) that are mains-powered; I had thought these units were until I read the manuals today.

Posted on
Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:20 pm
howartp offline
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

Well, got me a LWRF Mood switch and RFXTrx433e from Vesternet today...

After half an hour wondering if I was being daft, I eventually got RFXcom to see activity (for future reference, if you're not seeing activity, press the 'test' button in RFXcom's config box - that seemed to kick mine into life; it wasn't interested in receiving any data until I pressed that - as soon as I had, it started receiving button presses from my switch)

Set up two triggers for Mood 4 and Mood 5 (aka On and Off buttons) to trigger my study fan, then wandered around the house with indigo touch showing me the state of the fan as I pressed the buttons on LWRF switch.

I'm VERY impressed with the range.

My study (Mac, ZStick, X10 CM15 and RfxTrx) is in an extension beyond the original walls of the house, so it doesn't usually get strong signals for anything - even the wifi has to have a repeater both sides of the huge steel RSJ holding the al up. X10 and Zwave RF signals don't get to it at all well without help (I only use X10 powerline and Zwave with powered neighbours)

The Lightwave/Rfx combination? Works all across the house, including my bedroom which is as far diagonally away from the study as possible!

Now to order some more Lightwave... oh, my wallet's empty :(

Peter

Posted on
Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:13 am
autolog offline
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Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

Hi Peter,
Thanks for the info on LightwaveRF :)

I already have a RFXTrx433e and might try the LightwaveRF.

Does Indigo pick-up when the light switch has been pressed using this setup?

Posted on
Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:25 am
howartp offline
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Lightwave signal range in UK

I'm just using the Mood Switch, not the regular light switches, but yes.

In the log (with debug on) you see something like:

Command received from Unit 123456 Housecode 01: Mood 3
Cannot find matching unit 123456 in Indigo.
Create a device (looks like a switch to me?) with unit code 123456

So you create a Lightwave Switch device using that unit code and all works.

The Mood Switch has two modes; in the first, the On/Off buttons have a different unit code to the other buttons, but for us it's best to switch to the second mode where all buttons are one unit code.

Commands received are "Mood 1" to "Mood 5" plus "Group off". 1-3 are buttons 1-3. 4-5 are buttons On and Off.

I'm going to ask developer to look at the command-trapping UI. You can have trigger for "device state changed > my lightwave switch > command" but this doesn't work if you press the same button twice.

Me and Durosity are currently using "device state changed > Lightwave > lastupdated" then parsing/testing the current value of "command".

Posted on
Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:32 am
autolog offline
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

Hi peter,
Thanks for the info :)

Just to double check that the light switch is just a simple replacement and doesn't need a neutral?

Posted on
Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:34 am
howartp offline
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

The Mood Switch is battery powered - it's a wall controller only, not a light switch - so I can't definitely confirm that.

The user guides on Vesternet are very clear - have a look at those.

Posted on
Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:44 am
autolog offline
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Location: West Sussex

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

Ok -Thanks - Followed your advice and realise I have misunderstood how it works - thanks for the pointer :)

Posted on
Sat Jan 17, 2015 2:58 am
howartp offline
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Location: West Yorkshire, UK

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

No worries - I suspect what you thought is what I'd also thought earlier in the week! :-)

Posted on
Sat Jan 17, 2015 5:03 am
durosity offline
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Location: Newcastle Upon Tyne, Ye Ol' England.

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

Glad it's working for you! I did just notice that the rfxtrx433 firmware was updated a while ago to fix lwtf receive so that might explain my intermittent issues, just need to find time to get it updated!

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:35 am
colinpartridge offline
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Joined: Jan 13, 2014
Location: London, UK

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

howartp wrote:
Hi,


We're refitting our kitchen this Easter and I'll need both a regular and momentary switch in the same 2gang faceplate, which don't readily exist. (Could use MK Gridswitch, but their momentary switches are strong springs!)

I've started using these http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/230770241292 grid switches, they are only designed for low voltage, low current application but fit into the Get ultimate grids and have a lightweight but positive "click". The drawback is that they only appear to fit the flat plate grid . I'm using them with fibaro dimmers and they appear to work more reliably than the traditional 6A retractive IMHO.

Colin

Posted on
Thu Feb 04, 2016 9:53 am
autolog offline
Posts: 2001
Joined: Sep 10, 2013
Location: West Sussex

Re: Lightwave signal range in UK

I have improved my LightwaveRF signal by replacing the standard RFXtrx433E aerial with one of these: Patch Antenna

It seems to have improved matters and now "touch wood" my LightwaveRF devices are all behaving themselves and responding as expected. :D

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