Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

Posted on
Mon Apr 09, 2012 3:08 pm
DomoPat offline
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Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

I have bought an RFXtrx to replace an aging W800 and gain access to a lot more devices throughout the plugin under development. Here are my first comments on the device and the plugin:
- very small and easy to install. I already had the FTDI driver installed, so immediately after plugging the box on a USB port it was ready to work, no extra power supply needed.
- started the plugin and immediately was in business, I could see messages detected and displayed in the log.
- I have 3 security devices, a few X10 motion detectors, 1 remote command, a flat X10 switch and 2 Chacon devices, all were seen in the log. The problem for me was deciding which protocol I should use in the list, and what were the parameters.
- I did not test yet the range of reception for the RFXtrx, I will do it in the next days.
- I could not access to the settings of the RFXtrx using the Windows program RFXmngr on a Parallels emulation on a Mac. I had to use a 'real' Windows PC. Settings are simple and I updated to the latest firmware easily.
- I cannot find the SD18 smoke detector in the log, this is the only device I cannot use with the plugin.

Questions:
- Is there a place where I can find out which device uses which protocol ? I think I use the right ones, but for example I was surprised to have to use 'AC/X10 switch' for the X10 remote commands or switches.
- Is the Smoke Detector using a different protocol ? It is well seen like the other security devices by the security attachment script I was using before, so I am surprised that it is not detected.
- The Chacon door sensor is ref 54781 is not reliably detected. If I wait less than 2 seconds before two movements a lot of movements are missed. I checked it with the RFX connected on the PC directly (so without the plugin) and it is the same. It could be that this sensor is transmitting a lot (I mean during a long time), because during 2-3 seconds after a movement no other commands seems to go through to any device.
- It seems that the devices created by a plugin are not 'remote display' enabled. Is it something normal or an option given to the programmer of the plugin ?

All in all a very good RF receptor, with an already usable and promising plugin, extending tremendously the possibilities of Indigo for us European users ! Looking forward for adding more devices and helping if I can on the plugin development.

Posted on
Tue Apr 10, 2012 3:34 am
b_weijenberg offline
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 14, 2006

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

1 and 4 will be answered by Robert

2 The SD18 (and other xx18) sensors do not produce correct X10 signals. These sensors can be used in the mode that generates a panic but not in the other mode! Better is to use the SD90 because these sensors produce correct X10 signals and have a much lower battery usage. battery life is about 1.5 year for the SD90 while the SD18 has only 3 months. See also touteladomotique forum.

3 If you use the RFXtrx in a home automation system it is not a good idea to use AC (HomeEasy,Chacon,KlikAanKlikUit,NEXA...) door/window and motion sensors! These sensors are designed for stand-alone mode and produce for 3 to 5 seconds about 50 RF messages. This will disturb the RF signals of other sensors and if you send a command to the RFXtrx transmitter it will wait until the AC sensor has stopped transmitting. It has no use to start transmitting if another sensor is active because both signals are disturbed due to the RF collision.
Code: Select all
Door sensor transmits ===================================================
                      |                                                | 5 seconds later the sensor stops RF transmit
                      Sensor received in application
                       |
                       Command to the RFXtrx transmitter - wait--------| RFXtrx starts transmit

For door/window sensors it is better to use the X10 DS90. This sensor can be used to trigger lighting commands and also for security.
The best motion sensor for lighting is the X10 MS13.
As motion sensor for security the MS90 can be used.


Important: To have the optimum receive performance disable all protocols not used. Especially for the AC protocol (Chacon and other compatibles) disable at least Mertik and HomeEasy EU.

Posted on
Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:44 am
RJdeKok offline
Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 27, 2012

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

AC Appliance, Dimmer and AC Switch should handle:
- KlikAanKlikUit with program button
- HomeEasy UK with program button
- ANSLUT with program button
- NEXA with program button
- Chacon with program button
- HomeEasy Heater

ARC Appliance and ARC/X10 Switch should handle:
- KlikAanKlikUit with address wheels
- DomiaLite
- NEXA with address wheels
- BBSB
- Proove
- ELRO AB600
- Intertechno
- Düwi

X10 Appliance, Dimmer and ARC/X10 Switch should handle:
- X10 lighting and security

As an X10 and ARC switch give almost the same output from the RFXTRX I put them in one type. But I think I'll split it up as it is confusing.

Appliances and Dimmers will transmit.
Switches and all other devices will be received.

If you have an unknown sensor it will show something like this in the log (log has to be enabled in the configuration of your plugin):
RFX TRX By RdK Debug Teststring=1059049380d6013b014a0262006d006b69
RFX TRX By RdK Debug Processing data 16 89 4 147 128 214 1 59 1 74 2 98 0 109 0 107 105 (1059049380d6013b014a0262006d006b69)
RFX TRX By RdK Error Unknown device type detected (type = 89)

If you send me this three lines from your log, I'll try to implement the sensor.

It is not possible in Indigo to make the custom devices 'remote accessible'. But you can put them on a control pages.

Posted on
Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:19 pm
Dewster35 offline
Posts: 835
Joined: Jul 06, 2010
Location: Petoskey, MI

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

Are X-10 security DS10A's supported with this RF receiver?

Posted on
Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:27 pm
b_weijenberg offline
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 14, 2006

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

No, only 433.92MHz European X10 lighting and security sensors are supported by the RFXtrx433 and RFXrec433.

DS10A is a US sensor. All X10 sensors with as last character "A" are US sensors and operate at 310MHz.
Last edited by b_weijenberg on Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posted on
Thu Apr 26, 2012 1:29 pm
Dewster35 offline
Posts: 835
Joined: Jul 06, 2010
Location: Petoskey, MI

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

Gotcha. Understood.

Posted on
Wed May 02, 2012 8:17 am
Dewster35 offline
Posts: 835
Joined: Jul 06, 2010
Location: Petoskey, MI

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

RFX TRX By RdK Error Unknown device detected (id = 47, type = 82). Select a Temperature/Humidity sensor from the list of devices


I am getting this message... and as far as I know, I have no other devices that this receiver should read... is it possible I have another RF device somewhere that happens to be on the same frequency as a temperature/humidity sensor out there? I went ahead and added this devices with that ID, but I am not getting any type of information from it...

Posted on
Wed May 02, 2012 8:40 am
RJdeKok offline
Posts: 89
Joined: Mar 27, 2012

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

I have seen this as well several times, explanation probably is that your receiver received something from the neighbors.
here it is very crowded on 433.92 MHz. I have at least 4 weather sensors in my list which don't belong to me.
By replacing the receiver a few meters, you sometimes receive new signals.

Posted on
Wed May 02, 2012 8:44 am
Dewster35 offline
Posts: 835
Joined: Jul 06, 2010
Location: Petoskey, MI

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

For what it's worth, I'm in a semi-rural area in the United States. My guess is that it is probably something else in my own home that's I'm not aware of... my plan is to assign any "stray" signals a device so it doesn't get mixed up in my system when I'm adding anything new to the mix. Thanks.

Posted on
Tue May 08, 2012 5:33 am
johnpolasek offline
Posts: 231
Joined: Aug 05, 2011

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

Query: Does the developer (or any users) know if the plugin can track DSC security sensors like this one?

http://www.dsc.com/index.php?n=products&o=view&id=88

It carries a bunch of European certifications and operates on 433 MHz, but I know that security companies are pretty paranoid about putting out info that would allow bad guys to spoof their stuff or competitors to use it.

Posted on
Tue May 08, 2012 6:02 am
b_weijenberg offline
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 14, 2006

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

DSC is not supported by the RFXCOM.

European 433.92 X10 lighting and security sensors and remotes are supported.
http://www.intellihome.be/english/secur ... d_marmitek

Another option is the RFXtrx315 which can receive US Visonic sensors.
The RFXtrx315 can also be switched to 310MHz to receive the 310MHz US X10 sensors but it is not yet clear what the performance of the RFXtrx315 receiving US X10 sensors.

Posted on
Wed May 09, 2012 6:37 pm
johnpolasek offline
Posts: 231
Joined: Aug 05, 2011

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

Another question concerning Oregon Scientific rain gage... I've got questions into OSI on this as well, but I'm wondering about what, if any, conversion factors you have in the RFX receiver. I got a WMR80A with the RFX from Homeseer.com here in the US and set it up; the day after I installed it, we got something over an inch of rain; The Rain device in Indigo showed 0.08 inch, the WMR console linked to a different sensor that apparently one of my neighbors has, which is apparently stuck, showing nothing... So the next afternoon I got up and measured the collector, which was 4 inches in diameter. Converting to metric and figuring 2.54 cm to the inch, 200 cc into the collector should correspond to 1 inch of rain. (2 * 2.54)^2 * pi for the area * 2.54 cm for the depth=199.5 cc. I had a measuring cup that was 100 cc and I poured it into the collector, getting 9 "clicks" and I think it was getting ready to go to the 10th when the water ran out... The RFX device showed 0.04 inch, off by about an order of magnitude, assuming that every tick of the bucket was 0.05 inch of rain (approximately 1 mm). Is something wrong with a conversion factor somewhere for the English system?

Posted on
Thu May 10, 2012 1:27 am
b_weijenberg offline
Posts: 105
Joined: Jun 14, 2006

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

Why did you not pair your PCR800 rain gauge with your WMR80A console?
You will be able to see the difference displayed in Indigo and on the WMR80A.

There will be a difference because there are 2 conversions done. In the RFXtrx a conversion is done from inches to mm and I suppose you can select in Indigo the conversion to inches.

Posted on
Thu May 10, 2012 5:18 am
johnpolasek offline
Posts: 231
Joined: Aug 05, 2011

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

b_weijenberg wrote:
Why did you not pair your PCR800 rain gauge with your WMR80A console?
You will be able to see the difference displayed in Indigo and on the WMR80A.



I did so; a reset allowed the console to see the new gage rather than the one it initially locked onto. However, that showed that 9 tips of the bucket is read as 0.38 inch on the console (a pretty good match to the 0.354 inch == 9 mm) and 0.04 (no units listed) in the Indigo plugin. So my question is: What units ARE those supposed to be? If it is feet of rain, then could I suggest at least one more digit of precision is needed...

Posted on
Thu May 10, 2012 6:59 am
matt (support) offline
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Location: Texas

Re: Comments/Questions on RFXtrx

Although I have the PCR800, other than verifying that it is communicating with the plugin, I have not yet put it into service yet.

But here is what the code does:

Code: Select all
      raintotal = self.convertRainfallToUnits( raintotal / 10 )


Where convertRainfallToUnits() is defined to:

Code: Select all
      if self.plugin.unitsRain == "in":
         return round((data / 25.4),2)
      else: #unitsRainfall = "mm"
         return data


So my hypothesis is that the when in metric mode the plugin wants to display rainfall in centimeters which is why it divides it by 10. However, I think when inches is the units it should not divide by 10 but currently does. So the solution is to move the divide by 10 in to the convertRainfallToUnits() function and only do it when the units is mm. The result will be rainfall in centimeters or inches which sounds most useful to me.

ADDENDUM: I don't think my hypothesis is correct. The rain sensor supposedly sends the rain total in mm * 10, so the divide-by-ten shown in the code is just backing out that multiply and not trying to convert to centimeters. So I'm not sure what the issue is.

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