Jump to content

Critique my home automation cabinet wiring


Recommended Posts

I'm about 95% done for the "benchtop" build of my Loxone LXN5 cabinet. Couple more tweaks to the doorbell transformer and bring out the connections for the DMX Relay board, before I pack it away until 2nd fix. (The plan is i'll get it put in place in 2nd fix, then the part P sparky will populate the RCBOs as he or she wishes them, and terminate the lighting circuits into the top of the board, and sign it all off.

 

 

From top to bottom I have:

 

[TDK PSU for LED strips]

Low voltage LED and sensor connections | 25 ohm resistor for doorbell | Mains dimmed connections for lighting (populated with neon lamps for testing)

Loxone server | Tree extension | DMX extension | RS232 extension (for texecom connect) | DI extension | DMX amplifier PCB | DMX 12x relay board (DIY case)

DMX 24 ch LED strip controller | 8x 2ch DMX Mains dimmer ("upstairs LX")

DMX 24 ch LED strip controller | 8x 2ch DMX Mains dimmer ("downstairs LX")

Mean well HDR-150 24V psu | Doorbell chime transformer | RCBOs (for testing)

 

IMG_20200727_133220.jpg

Edited by joth
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, joth said:

I'm about 95% done for the "benchtop" build of my Loxone LXN5 cabinet. Couple more tweaks to the doorbell transformer and bring out the connections for the DMX Relay board, before I pack it away until 2nd fix. (The plan is i'll get it put in place in 2nd fix, then the part P sparky will populate the RCBOs as he or she wishes them, and terminate the lighting circuits into the top of the board, and sign it all off.

 

 

From top to bottom I have:

 

[TDK PSU for LED strips]

Low voltage LED and sensor connections | 25 ohm resistor for doorbell | Mains dimmed connections for lighting (populated with neon lamps for testing)

Loxone server | Tree extension | DMX extension | RS232 extension (for texecom connect) | DI extension | DMX amplifier PCB | DMX 12x relay board (DIY case)

DMX 24 ch LED strip controller | 8x 2ch DMX Mains dimmer ("upstairs LX")

DMX 24 ch LED strip controller | 8x 2ch DMX Mains dimmer ("downstairs LX")

Mean well HDR-150 24V psu | Doorbell chime transformer | RCBOs (for testing)

 

IMG_20200727_133220.jpg

Coooooorrrrrrrr home automation super porn !

I’m not familiar with dmx - but I know it’s expensive! . What are you doing about house wide audio , Cctv , sensors for automation?
 

?

 

You showed me yours so I’ll show you mine !

BB5193B0-2CBE-4267-8BF7-760ABC8C7937.jpeg

1842C6DF-0E33-4CC5-BCE4-AA27659600F5.jpeg

4532CFC3-7F5D-4EEF-9F46-5900FC8C6398.jpeg

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Work of art there! Whats the proper name for the cable management 'finger strip' type stuff? Been looking for that for a while but not sure what to google!

 

My only comment would be 'earths'/CPCs!.. although most of that kit is low voltage, looks like the TDK transformer in the top has an earth terminal. I guess you'll probably want another large set of connectors to common up all the earths on your lighting feeds out, not sure that metal block in the bottom would take them all.

 

Normally only one conductor per RCBO/MCB unless it's a ring final circuit... but thats more a nice to have.

Edited by MrMagic
  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks like it belongs in the back of a DeLorean!

 

We had a guy from a tech forum spec our house with cabling diagrams to cover various circuits from CCTV to home network, but how they will all link together is beyond me.  Running the cable for now and anything about the integration of the systems that my sparky doesn't have experience with (probably most of it) I will likely need to hire a smart home professional to figure out.  Only one I asked so far is asking for £500/day in just his labour, and he was familiar with all the tech.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

17 minutes ago, MrMagic said:

Whats the proper name for the cable management 'finger strip' type stuff?

 

Slotted panel trunking. For example:

 

https://www.google.com/amp/s/uk.rs-online.com/mobile/amp/p/cable-trunkings/1446409/

 

I just happen to need a bit of this 20x20 right now but I'm buggered if I'm buying 32 lengths! Smallest I have here is 25w x 37.5h. Got a whole bloody carton of it! 

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, pocster said:

I’m not familiar with dmx - but I know it’s expensive! .

 

Funny enough I settled on DMX  it's the cheapest option (for wired primary lighting). Dali is at least £30 per channel, plus more expensive cabling and (much) more expensive light fixtures. I never really priced up KNX or Tree lighting.  Loxone proprietary mains dimmers are like £90 per channel (!!), but those S1-DR DMX dimmers I'm using are a steal at £12 per channel and easy for anyone to wire to standard (dimmable) GU10 bulbs.

(The LED strip dimmer is one £1.50 per channel, but it's 5 channels for RGBWW lighting, and adding a beefy PSU for it starts to add up.)

 

I also have the Loxone directly controlling a number of Teckin B22 bulbs over Wifi, which at £11 per fixture with RGBWW (tunable-white) is by far the best value of all, but I really don't want to rely on Wifi for my primary lighting! (Now I have that working so well, I question if I needed quite so many channels of DMX dimming...)

 

 

4 hours ago, pocster said:

What are you doing about house wide audio , Cctv , sensors for automation?

Whatever makes you think I'm having those? Oh, OK...

- Audio: putting speaker wires in, plus some speakers in key rooms now. Initially I'll use my Sonos Amp but I'm not a major fan of their ecosystem so probably move to $something_else someday.  The Loxone light switches can send volume / play commands to it, and I'll slowly get better control of it with Home Assistant

- CCTV: Blue Iris and a bunch of Dahua cameras on cat6 (from unifi PoE switch). Might go Synology some point, or mess around with coral.ai person detection

- Motion: Integration with the  alarm system PIRs, door contact sensors, etc.

- Motion: 24V motion sensors in key living areas and bathrooms (these, but butchered by my not so fair soldering hand to remove the damn noisy relays. "silent" my arse)

 

Some other integrations in the works
- Internorm automated shading

- MVHR boost (based on CO2 or humidity ...)

- Heating boost & eco mode control (UHF, fan coil, towel rads..)

- Catflap

- Garage roller door.

 

 

3 hours ago, MrMagic said:

My only comment would be 'earths'/CPCs!.

Good spot! Everything (that needs earth) gets it through the chassis of the LXN5 cabinet. The mains terminal blocks  have pickups in their DIN rail clamp, and the TDK PSU likewise does.  That said, I'll probably hard wire it in anyway as it looks better doesn't it.

 

3 hours ago, Onoff said:

 

Mine came pre-installed in the LXN5 cabinet as bought from Future Automation, but it is exactly that stuff

 

 

3 hours ago, Mr Punter said:

I would have this somewhere fairly focal with a glass door.  Alternatively you could set it into the floor in a corridor under some beautiful walk-on glass.

 

Thanks (all!)  for the positive feedback! My wife has very severe restriction on putting this anywhere visible -- I was hoping after 5 late nights helping out with  wiring it all ("working the loom" as we called it -- getting the lengths in and terminating both ends much easier & faster with 2 on it) I was hoping she'd feel proud of it too and relent, but not dice (yet). We will have it in a central cupboard on the landing, but not overlooking the hallway balcony as I was hoping!

 

 

Edited by joth
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, MrMagic said:

Normally only one conductor per RCBO/MCB unless it's a ring final circuit... but thats more a nice to have.

 

Just saw this one - good tip! Yes I intentionally haven't done anything 'neat' with the connections into those as I'd like the certified electrician to have their input on that. Hence no bootlace  crimps there (yet).

For cases like this where multiple things come off one RCBO and terminate inside the cabinet, what is the alternative? Using something like wago blocks to split them out after the RCBO? Or daisy-chain the things? 

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, joth said:

 

Funny enough I settled on DMX  it's the cheapest option (for wired primary lighting). Dali is at least £30 per channel, plus more expensive cabling and (much) more expensive light fixtures. I never really priced up KNX or Tree lighting.  Loxone proprietary mains dimmers are like £90 per channel (!!), but those S1-DR DMX dimmers I'm using are a steal at £12 per channel and easy for anyone to wire to standard (dimmable) GU10 bulbs.

(The LED strip dimmer is one £1.50 per channel, but it's 5 channels for RGBWW lighting, and adding a beefy PSU for it starts to add up.)

 

I also have the Loxone directly controlling a number of Teckin B22 bulbs over Wifi, which at £11 per fixture with RGBWW (tunable-white) is by far the best value of all, but I really don't want to rely on Wifi for my primary lighting! (Now I have that working so well, I question if I needed quite so many channels of DMX dimming...)

 

 

Whatever makes you think I'm having those? Oh, OK...

- Audio: putting speaker wires in, plus some speakers in key rooms now. Initially I'll use my Sonos Amp but I'm not a major fan of their ecosystem so probably move to $something_else someday.  The Loxone light switches can send volume / play commands to it, and I'll slowly get better control of it with Home Assistant

- CCTV: Blue Iris and a bunch of Dahua cameras on cat6 (from unifi PoE switch). Might go Synology some point, or mess around with coral.ai person detection

- Motion: Integration with the  alarm system PIRs, door contact sensors, etc.

- Motion: 24V motion sensors in key living areas and bathrooms (these, but butchered by my not so fair soldering hand to remove the damn noisy relays. "silent" my arse)

 

Some other integrations in the works
- Internorm automated shading

- MVHR boost (based on CO2 or humidity ...)

- Heating boost & eco mode control (UHF, fan coil, towel rads..)

- Catflap

- Garage roller door.

 

 

Good spot! Everything (that needs earth) gets it through the chassis of the LXN5 cabinet. The mains terminal blocks  have pickups in their DIN rail clamp, and the TDK PSU likewise does.  That said, I'll probably hard wire it in anyway as it looks better doesn't it.

 

 

Mine came pre-installed in the LXN5 cabinet as bought from Future Automation, but it is exactly that stuff

 

 

 

Thanks (all!)  for the positive feedback! My wife has very severe restriction on putting this anywhere visible -- I was hoping after 5 late nights helping out with  wiring it all ("working the loom" as we called it -- getting the lengths in and terminating both ends much easier & faster with 2 on it) I was hoping she'd feel proud of it too and relent, but not dice (yet). We will have it in a central cupboard on the landing, but not overlooking the hallway balcony as I was hoping!

 

 

I know your going to have everything in because I am . I do recommend a nas for storage and nvr . Also raspberry pi with max2play for audio everywhere . Very cheap and very reliable.

 

So what’s the actual hub ? I.e central to controlling all the HA ? . Access via phone but what about wall mounted tablets ? . Just wondering.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, pocster said:

I know your going to have everything in because I am . I do recommend a nas for storage and nvr . Also raspberry pi with max2play for audio everywhere . Very cheap and very reliable.

 

So what’s the actual hub ? I.e central to controlling all the HA ? . Access via phone but what about wall mounted tablets ? . Just wondering.....

 

Already have my own NAS (linux box with bunch of drives and plex and stuff).  I tried an Amcrest NVR but was distinctly underwhelmed. (Their camera doorbell is OK though. Forgot to mention that).

 

Out of stubbornness I'm on a  "no raspberry pi" policy.  I find they just miss the spot for me between a proper embedded system (ESP32 or Loxone proprietary where I must) and a proper server box.

 

I'm also, not quite by choice, on a double "hub" design. Loxone for lighting, shading, and motion sensors and "basic" automations from them, and Home assistant for the more complex stuff. The idea being Loxone works without any  router/IP network/ethernet, and is part of the fabric of the house (i.e. it would stay here if we ever moved). The Home Assistant bit is more convenience layer over it, and would move out with us. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in practice.

 

One tablet in the kitchen, by large the plan is to get must stuff through automation and motion sensors, and the mutli-touch light switches. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, joth said:

 

Already have my own NAS (linux box with bunch of drives and plex and stuff).  I tried an Amcrest NVR but was distinctly underwhelmed. (Their camera doorbell is OK though. Forgot to mention that).

 

Out of stubbornness I'm on a  "no raspberry pi" policy.  I find they just miss the spot for me between a proper embedded system (ESP32 or Loxone proprietary where I must) and a proper server box.

 

I'm also, not quite by choice, on a double "hub" design. Loxone for lighting, shading, and motion sensors and "basic" automations from them, and Home assistant for the more complex stuff. The idea being Loxone works without any  router/IP network/ethernet, and is part of the fabric of the house (i.e. it would stay here if we ever moved). The Home Assistant bit is more convenience layer over it, and would move out with us. It'll be interesting to see how this plays out in practice.

 

One tablet in the kitchen, by large the plan is to get must stuff through automation and motion sensors, and the mutli-touch light switches. 

SWMBO approved ? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 hours ago, joth said:

For cases like this where multiple things come off one RCBO and terminate inside the cabinet, what is the alternative? Using something like wago blocks to split them out after the RCBO? Or daisy-chain the things? 

 

Thats certainly what I've done in the past... same as your LV distribution up the top, have a set at the bottom perhaps for the mains distribution. Splitting hairs here really, two conductors in an RCBO isn't the end of the world, no more tho! Talk to your sparky as well, they will have an opinion even if thier demarc is going to be the main isolator.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

14 hours ago, pocster said:

SWMBO approved ? 

The light switches are - we went through a lot of options, visited the Loxone showroom, compared alternatives, and settled on this plan. The tablet in kitchen is entirely untested, but we need something to replace our underused and unloved Google assistant.  We're both very keen to avoid relying on voice commands for everything, but need to live with the options for a while and see. I'm fairly confident we can adapt that over time, the key thing at this stage (1st fix) is knowing what wires to bury in the walls where, which is largely about light fixtures and switches, motion sensors, and lots of extra cat6.

 

2 hours ago, MrMagic said:

 

Thats certainly what I've done in the past... same as your LV distribution up the top, have a set at the bottom perhaps for the mains distribution. Splitting hairs here really, two conductors in an RCBO isn't the end of the world, no more tho! Talk to your sparky as well, they will have an opinion even if thier demarc is going to be the main isolator.

 

Thanks! Yeah unlike the top rail, the bottom rail is "visible" even with the cover on (to access the trips) so I'd need to find rail mounted terminals that have no wires exposed in that central 45mm part (i.e. to look like a blanking plate), or install a cover over the top of them or something.

 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

20 hours ago, joth said:

Integration with the  alarm system PIRs, door contact sensors, etc.

 

Using an "approved" alarm then?  Is this an insurance requirement?  My current plan is just to use Loxone for alarm using Loxone presence sensors and factory-integrated window contact sensors...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, Dan F said:

 

Using an "approved" alarm then?  Is this an insurance requirement?  My current plan is just to use Loxone for alarm using Loxone presence sensors and factory-integrated window contact sensors...

Mostly personal preference. And, a graded alarm is required for ARC monitoring with police call out.

Nothing against people that use Loxone for their intruder alarm, music streaming, weather forecasting, PV -> EV charging, monitoring the progress of the steak on the barbecue[1].... just for various reasons these are all things I want to partition apart from my lighting controller. 

 

[1] - no, I lie, I have a lot against that one.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

49 minutes ago, joth said:

Mostly personal preference. And, a graded alarm is required for ARC monitoring with police call out.

Nothing against people that use Loxone for their intruder alarm

 

I was initially planning to use a graded alarm (not taken final decision yet),  but the thought of ugly PIR detectors in each room on top of whatever you might use for Loxone functionality , that are only used by the alarm system put me off.  Same with window/door contacts; We've ordered windows with integrated (macotronic) reed contacts that aren't visible and a front door with electric lock, so don't really want to have to add additional door contacts either.

 

55 minutes ago, joth said:

for various reasons these are all things I want to partition apart from my lighting controller.

 

You are planning to integrate a catflap though! ?

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Dan F said:

You are planning to integrate a catflap though! ?

 

Have you seen those things? Very much "fabric of the building" - no chance of taking that with us when we move! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

5 hours ago, Thorfun said:

@joth out of interest, who supplies your Loxone equipment now it’s not possible to buy direct?

 

 

I used http://www.spiderelectrical.co.uk/ who are localish and has also provided several useful pointers and tips, and has an hourly rate for consulting remotely or onsite to unblock me if I hit snags, which is perfect arrangement for me knowing I have that backup if I need it. In particular, he's very familiar with the graded alarm integration.

@Rob99 can also resell the parts, so I'd likely otherwise have gone with him (indeed I contacted him first but unfortunately missed his reply due to an zealous spam filter. Sorry again about that Rob!)

 

5 hours ago, Thorfun said:

nice cabinet btw!

Thanks ? 

  • Thanks 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, joth said:

 

I used http://www.spiderelectrical.co.uk/ who are localish and has also provided several useful pointers and tips, and has an hourly rate for consulting remotely or onsite to unblock me if I hit snags, which is perfect arrangement for me knowing I have that backup if I need it. In particular, he's very familiar with the graded alarm integration.

@Rob99 can also resell the parts, so I'd likely otherwise have gone with him (indeed I contacted him first but unfortunately missed his reply due to an zealous spam filter. Sorry again about that Rob!)

 

thanks for the information. I was passed to a local installer by Loxone head office and that guy said that he would build the cabinet off site and come and do the installation and then leave me to it. but I'm pretty technical and confident I can do it myself so would prefer to buy the bits myself and put it all together.

sounds like you've got a good arrangement with your installer though. nice to have the backup if required!

 

I'm very interested that you've gone for DMX lighting. I also thought that it was expensive when compared to standard lighting controlled by Loxone but from your research it would seem that I have much more research to do on the matter! it's probably the lighting that is the area I probably need most help with, the rest of it seems pretty straight forward.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Thorfun said:

thanks for the information. I was passed to a local installer by Loxone head office and that guy said that he would build the cabinet off site and come and do the installation and then leave me to it. but I'm pretty technical and confident I can do it myself so would prefer to buy the bits myself and put it all together.

 

I'd be curious what the cabinet build up costs are for something like this. Certainly this DMX route we took  demands a good bit of upfront labour, if paying someone to build up the cab I expect that distributed options like DALI or Tree start to look more competitive. The bulk of the job is a kind of handicraft work that my wife enjoys even more than I do and really was a benefit having 2 of us on it, but still not a quick job by any means.

 

If seriously looking into  DIYing an install  then https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/loxone-english is fairly necessary reading.  DMX lighting almost seems the most popular approach on there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

6 hours ago, joth said:

I'd be curious what the cabinet build up costs are for something like this. Certainly this DMX route we took  demands a good bit of upfront labour, if paying someone to build up the cab I expect that distributed options like DALI or Tree start to look more competitive. The bulk of the job is a kind of handicraft work that my wife enjoys even more than I do and really was a benefit having 2 of us on it, but still not a quick job by any means.

 

If seriously looking into  DIYing an install  then https://groups.google.com/forum/#!forum/loxone-english is fairly necessary reading.  DMX lighting almost seems the most popular approach on there.

 

thanks. I'll happily give an idea of costs once/if I get a quote back from the installer. I have a few months before I think I'd need to make a decision about this whole thing so it's on my list of things to research. every little bit of information I can get from threads like these is priceless.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...