Dining Room Idratek Installed

It's been done for a while, but finally I get around to making some notes. The dining room automation (phase 1) is complete, consisting of 4 Idratek modules, an LPS-001, ITR-001, THS-001 and DRB-001. This provides most of the functionality of the MFP panel, except anything to do with audio - like speech recognition, annunciation or spoken menus.

A DRB-001 module has replaced the normal light switch. This provides button and LED indication, door sensor connection and two relays for switching light circuits. With white fascia , it's pretty unobtrusive. I stuck on transparent labels to indicate the function of each button (basically main lights or under cupboard lighting on currently non-existent cupboards):

DRB-001 by dining room door


The other three modules are installed in the ceiling. These provide light level measurement, high-sensitivity PIR detection (PRS-001), infra-red transmit and receive (ITR-001) and temperature and humidity measurement (THS-001):

Dining room modules in ceiling.

I think they are not too bad - although most people do notice them. There again, the ceiling in this room is quite low - and they are spaced further apart than I would have liked due to the plaster/batten ceiling construction (stick and sh*t more like):

Dining room ceiling long view.

The doors into this room have both got magnetic sensors, which connect to the DRB-001 module. Yes - this installation did involve chasing out walls:

Chasing old plaster leads to big holes

although in theory you could probably pull out the mains wiring and pull in the LV-stuff in it's place if you used remote relay switching.

The combination of door sensors and PIR make for accurate and fast presence detection. If the door is already open the lights come on in about 1m of travel. If the door was closed it's effectively instantaneous.

When a multi-room set-up is integrated it gets even better, since direction of travel can be inferred. Button presses on the DRB are also integrated into the presence detection. This is used to switch the main light on if the light level indicates that there isn't already sufficient light present. Opening the curtains on a sunny day will also add enough light to tip another threshold so that the lights are switched off again. One of the DRB buttons is used to provide an override in case the automation doesn't suit at any particular time.

Currently I am not using the IR functionality, but the module will allow support multi-zone redistribution. At the moment it just detects IR packets the laptop seems to spit out. Prontos are ready, just need some time with the editor to explore this functionality.

Temperature and humidity are also just for interest at the moment. The room has been cabled to allow radiator valve control to be added later - once all rooms and the boiler have been cabled, since I only want to have to drain the central heating once. I guess in theory that individual room temp readouts might help with radiator balancing if you didn't want to go the whole hog with rad valves.

And finally here's what my dining room looks like in the Cortex application:

Dining Room in Cortex

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This page contains a single entry by David published on January 4, 2006 9:41 PM.

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