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Controlling interior blinds with a chain system with Loxone (Solution & How-To)

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  • Controlling interior blinds with a chain system with Loxone (Solution & How-To)

    So I made yet another integration and this might be interesting for people who do a retrofit and have classic interior blinds with a chain system they don't want to replace (for any reasons). But this is also a cheap solution to control any wireless blinds with RF 433,92 MHz signals or even Somfy RTS blinds (just with a different type of chip, read on)


    As I really didn’t want to open my walls to lead power cables to windows, I choose “the hard way” to stay with a chain system 😎 It’s not exactly quiet but works fine. I control all three blinds with a Loxone Touch Pure Air and I’m also able to control separate blinds from tablet od smartphone app. I had to move chain to the handle side of the windows because of reasons described below.






    This is the motor I’ve used – Cortino Rollbox. Sold by Polish company for ~65 EUR / pcs (OEM manufacturer YhBlinds, China). Motors have built-in battery so they don’t require wires and permanent power supply. Unfortunately because of this battery, case of the motor is kind of thick. And I have very little space between window frame and the wall, so if I had mounted it on the hinge side I could not fully open the window. Moving chain and motor to other side solves that problem and also makes it easier to plug in the charger (by opening the window)

    Click image for larger version  Name:	02_rollbox-2.jpg Views:	1 Size:	154.4 KB ID:	242212


    At first I thought I’d be able to control the motors with Sonoff RF Bridge I already had. No way, impossible, RF chip to simple. After some research I decided to order RFLink from Netherlands (50 EUR). The list of supported devices is impressive.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	03_RFLink-zewn.jpg Views:	1 Size:	504.2 KB ID:	242213


    It’s based on Arduino Mega board with an addon including CH340 RF chip and SMA socket. Short antenna may be used here as well as 433MHz antenna with a 2,5m cable. RFLink is powered by USB port, I plugged it to LoxBerry with ioBroker installed.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	04_RFLink-wewn.jpg Views:	1 Size:	626.6 KB ID:	242214


    I’ve also ordered a 15-channel 433 remote. RFLink is able to clone RF signal (sniff it and then keep replaying) but I had no 433 remotes at home to get cloned. So I paired each motor with a different remote channel and then I included all remote signals to RFLink.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	05_pilot.jpg Views:	1 Size:	554.3 KB ID:	242215


    (Post 1 of 3)
    Zuletzt geändert von TomekWaw; 28.Mär.2020, 17:00.
    Noch ein oder zwei Jahre mit Loxone und ich werde Deutsch sprechen

  • #2
    Once again I’ve used ioBroker to integrate things what shows how versatile that tool is. This is how RFLink adapter looks like. Please mind then if running ioBroker in Docker, you need to map ttyACM0 USB device from host to container, otherwise ioBroker won’t see RFLink at all. BTW, why adapter author chose that icon…? 😉

    Click image for larger version  Name:	06_ioBroker1.png Views:	0 Size:	104.1 KB ID:	242217


    After enabling inclusion mode you sniff 433 frequency. First what has appeared here were several weather stations of my neighbors 😁 Then I’ve pressed my remote on different channels and RFLink adapter detected all signals.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	07_ioBroker2_en.png Views:	0 Size:	147.4 KB ID:	242218


    RFLink objects tree. My remote shows up as BrelMotor_1

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    Every channel has two object. Main is for control (0 – down, 1 – up) and the other is to stop movement.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	09_ioBroker4.png Views:	0 Size:	214.5 KB ID:	242220


    I could control it with http API but I went the MQTT way, so I’ve just enabled MQTT topic subscriptions on several channels and that’s it.

    Click image for larger version  Name:	10_ioBroker5.png Views:	0 Size:	94.9 KB ID:	242221


    (Post 2 of 3)
    Zuletzt geändert von TomekWaw; 28.Mär.2020, 16:50.
    Noch ein oder zwei Jahre mit Loxone und ich werde Deutsch sprechen

    Kommentar


    • #3
      Loxone Config diagram is super simple. Virtual outputs send commands to MQTT Gateway and ioBroker-MQTT-client is already subscribed to relevant Mosquito topics.

      Klicke auf die Grafik für eine vergrößerte Ansicht

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      Some app screens. Blinds open here:

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      Blinds moving down:

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      Single blind details:

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      Blinds closed. Btw I very impressed with Automatic blinds block features (haven't used it before)

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      (Post 3 of 3)
      Noch ein oder zwei Jahre mit Loxone und ich werde Deutsch sprechen

      Kommentar


      • #4
        And a summary:

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        Zuletzt geändert von TomekWaw; 28.Mär.2020, 16:54.
        Noch ein oder zwei Jahre mit Loxone und ich werde Deutsch sprechen

        Kommentar


        • #5
          Tomku fajny pomysł napewno komus sie przyda. Pozdrawiam

          Kommentar


          • #6
            Thank you Tomek for great tutorial. I've ordered RFLink to also automate my Cortino Rollbox but meanwhile I've found that actually Sonoff RF Bridge can also send RAW RF codes in order to control these motors and many more. The keyword You are looking for is Portisch firmware for RF module in the Sonoff RF Bridge. I won't go into details but I can recommend watching great DrZzz's tutorial about that. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cApVlG7Rfhk

            Please note that RFLink + IOBroker probably still gives more possibilities then Sonoff RF Bridge but I wanted to share a bit simpler and cheaper alternative.

            Kommentar


            • #7
              Zitat von TomekWaw Beitrag anzeigen
              Once again I’ve used ioBroker to integrate things what shows how versatile that tool is. This is how RFLink adapter looks like. Please mind then if running ioBroker in Docker, you need to map ttyACM0 USB device from host to container, otherwise ioBroker won’t see RFLink at all. BTW, why adapter author chose that icon…? 😉

              (Post 2 of 3)
              Hi TomekWaw,

              Many thanks yet for the explanation and also your Docker setup posted on Facebook.

              Currently I am struggling to get the ttyACM0 selectable in the RFLink instance in ioBroker. The "COM port" selection is completely empty while I did add the device under devices of the iobroker container.
              I did rename the device, setup a systemlink etc but never getting it into iobroker.
              Also the lrwxrwxrwx - line is never showing up with the link between the Arduino and the linked name.

              Could you please share which code and how you mapped the Arduino to /dev/tty_ACM0 in the portal of your Loxberry? Tried many different setups but not getting succesful.


              Many thanks!

              Kommentar


              • #8
                YorkPower

                This is how I map RFLink to ioBroker.

                1. It's best to use ID instead of common name such as /dev/ttyACM0, so first find it by listing directory /dev/serial/by-id/

                Code:
                root@loxberry:~# ls -al /dev/serial/by-id/
                total 0
                drwxr-xr-x 2 root root 100 Feb 3 12:01 .
                drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 80 Jan 16 08:46 ..
                lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13 Jan 25 23:04 usb-0658_0200-if00 -> ../../ttyACM1
                lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13 Jan 16 08:46 usb-Arduino__www.arduino.cc__0042_557313234363513031A0-if00 -> ../../ttyACM0
                lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 13 Feb 3 12:01 usb-dresden_elektronik_ingenieurtechnik_GmbH_ConBee_II _DE1996953-if00 -> ../../ttyACM2
                You see here my RFLink path is /dev/serial/by-id/usb-Arduino__www.arduino.cc__0042_557313234363513031A0-if00

                2. Then I use this path to map device in Portainer:

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                This makes host device /dev/serial/by-id/usb-Arduino__www.arduino.cc__0042_557313234363513031A0-if00 to be visible as /dev/ttyACM0 to ioBroker.
                Then you should be able to select it in RFLink adapter settings.
                Noch ein oder zwei Jahre mit Loxone und ich werde Deutsch sprechen

                Kommentar


                • #9
                  TomekWaw

                  I have applied your suggestions. I renamed the arduino to ttyACMO as the printscreen below:
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                  So far so good.

                  It has been linked in ioBroker:
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                  host: /dev/serial/by-id/usb-Arduino__www.arduino.cc__0042_5503731323735181B221-if00
                  container: /dev/ttyACM0

                  and rflink is still giving me nothing:
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                  I am becoming a bit desperate :/ kind of strange this.

                  Could you please share your code on how you linked the arduino to ttyACM0?

                  Thanks!

                  Kommentar


                  • #10
                    @YorkPower: check out this thread: https://github.com/ioBroker/ioBroker.rflink/issues/36

                    Try this rebuild I did.

                    Anyway, I also don't see ACM0 right now in adapter configuration but it works fine. I believe ACM0 is the default.


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                    Noch ein oder zwei Jahre mit Loxone und ich werde Deutsch sprechen

                    Kommentar


                    • #11
                      TomekWaw

                      Ok, I will check once I have a sender at disposal and revert back in this topic.
                      Currently there is nothing showing up in the devices tab.

                      Also, when you check instances, is RFLink connected to rflink? I have false:

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                      Many thanks for your help yet!

                      Kommentar


                      • #12
                        Yes, it is connected. That's my devices tab:

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                        Noch ein oder zwei Jahre mit Loxone und ich werde Deutsch sprechen

                        Kommentar


                        • #13
                          TomekWaw

                          Ok, just to be sure

                          In the printscreen I shared where there is mentioned "false" it does say "true" in your case?

                          If it's the case, than then I won't know anymore where to look :-)

                          Thanks!

                          Kommentar


                          • #14
                            Correct.

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                            Have you done the npm rebuild as noted above?
                            Noch ein oder zwei Jahre mit Loxone und ich werde Deutsch sprechen

                            Kommentar


                            • #15
                              Yes I did...

                              Only thing I am not sure about is how the link between the arduino and ttyACM0 is made.
                              And honestly speaking, I cannot remember the code I entered.

                              Do you remember this code? And even though, it is correctly shown when listing all devices by ID.

                              Tested the Adruino/rflink directly on my computer and that is working correctly.


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