Sunday, 24 April 2011

It's Been a While

It's gorgeous weather outside, Steven's getting stuck in out in the garden, and I've realised I've not posted a blog for ages, so here goes.

The front lounge is more or less done, just needs to pictures up. Idratek is installed in there and is working well. The picture on the right is the light switch just in side the door. Okay not the most exciting of switches! But the modular design means I can decide how many buttons each plate has.

I'm not keen on the look of Idratek's own switches, so after a bit of resarch I've gone for a range of modular faceplates made by Australian company Clipsal, I think they are to Ozzie's what MK is to Brits etc, as I've never heard them before. They aren't widely available, you can't get them from B&Q or Wickes etc, but I found a electrical shop in Cardiff that sells them mail order.

 Wyevern Electricals have been really helpful, and appear to sell the whole range. The only slight downside is you have to buy in multiples of ten, but as I'm doing up the whole house, I'm going to need quite a bit of stuff, and as it's wholesale they're not that expensive. The picture above is the reverse of the light switch, I'm using what are effectively door bell buttons to switch the light. There's five as the lounge has a pendant light hanging from the ceiling, and four 5 amp sockets around the room that we can plug table lamps into, we're currently only using two.

These buttons are connected to an Idratek ODI-002, which is in the airing cupboard upstairs, this via the network talks to a QRI-002 and a QLD-001. I chose to use 5 amp sockets to ensure we didn't accidentaly plug the hoover in to them, or anything that may blow the QRI/QLD fuses. The picture on the right shows two QRI's as this is how I set it up originally before I bought a QLD, however we decided having the table lights dimming would be useful. It actually makes a load of difference, you can set the mood at a touch of a button!

I'm using yellow bog standard cat-5 cable to connect the modules together, it's easy to identify it when scrabbling around under floor boards. Meanwhile I'm using red cat-5 to connect the buttons in the light switches to the digital input modules, once again for easy identification.

 Also in the lounge I have an ITR-002, which is a infrared reciever and transmitter. This sits on a wall just above the skirting board, next to a LAN point, as you can see this photo was taken before I wired it in. I wasn't too sure where to put this module, I've seen on some blogs, some people have put them in the ceiling, but I tested it out ona long cable and it seemed to work fine near the floor. It's just beside the TV, which doesn't seem to get in the way. I've not tried the IR TX bit yet, not sure if that would be useful, plus as it's near the floor it may not work anyway.

The final bit of Idratek tech in the room is a LPS-002, which is a PIR and a light level sensor. As this is the only room that I've fitted out with Idratek kit so far, it doesn't really do anything yet. I did have it wired to switch the main light on we when entered the room, but that got a bit dull after a while, as Cortex the pc program behind it all doesn't have any other sensors feeding in to it yet, so it can't make an presence deductions yet. Once I've installed a few more sensors it'll work much better. In the meantime we're using an old IR remote control from a knackered digibox as a remote for the lights. It works well as we've programmed a few dimming scenarios etc.

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