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View Full Version : Crestron infiNET & UPB - Be Forewarned!


INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-03-2009, 11:48 PM
They say you should learn something new everyday...

I have spent the last 2 days, about 30 hours on site now, trying to get a large UPB controlled lighting system to function in a new home that has a Crestron infiNET (ZigBee protocol) lighting control system installed for the interior. What a mess!

Basically, the Crestron dimmer/switch modules use the same 'brain' as the UPB switch modules do, but they also have wireless RF transmit & receive ability. Bottom line is that these Crestron modules put up MASSIVE levels of noise onto the electrical system, to the point that you cannot begin to establish a UPB network.

We have now isolated 12 individual circuits that power up the various Crestron 'manifolds' of infiNet modules and have ordered in line noise filters that the EC will be installing at the two main panels.

Lesson learned? Do a lot of research as to what high tech. systems the client has and try to find out if they will work alongside UPB BEFORE you sell the system!! ( This is a 17 zone, $90K outdoor lighting system we are talking about)

Next chore? Installing a 3-Phase Phase Coupler between 200A Panel A and 200A Panel B! Who knew??

Pro-Scapes
07-04-2009, 11:02 AM
James a few notes....

Just curious as to why you didnt have the lighting system installed into the crestron system. We did and it had touch screens and worked flawless.

Are you using upstart software ? It will check your powerlines for noise. I too have a huge house (8ksqft) that keeps erasing the program in the controlscapes timer. We have swapped the timer out 2 times but its still happening. I have a simply automated timer here and will be going this week to install it. I will have to swap out a switch someplace for a 8 button touch pad so they can still manually control the lighting as needed. This upb system has been a complete mess.

On the coupling of the 3 phase. I installed 2 of the simply automated breaker ones that just snap in then installed the plug in dryer one and it solved my issue with signal.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-04-2009, 04:10 PM
James a few notes....

Just curious as to why you didnt have the lighting system installed into the crestron system. We did and it had touch screens and worked flawless.


Billy, the outdoor lighting system is in 17 zones spread across more than 15 acres and is powered from the Main house, guest house, boathouse 1, boathouse 2, coach house, and recreation center. The crestron infiNET control system is only installed in the Main house and is a Zigbee Wireless protocol. As such it does not have the range to reach any of the outdoor lighting transformers or even the ancillory buildings.

tonyGub
07-04-2009, 04:25 PM
James a few notes....

Just curious as to why you didnt have the lighting system installed into the crestron system. We did and it had touch screens and worked flawless.

Are you using upstart software ? It will check your powerlines for noise. I too have a huge house (8ksqft) that keeps erasing the program in the controlscapes timer. We have swapped the timer out 2 times but its still happening. I have a simply automated timer here and will be going this week to install it. I will have to swap out a switch someplace for a 8 button touch pad so they can still manually control the lighting as needed. This upb system has been a complete mess.

On the coupling of the 3 phase. I installed 2 of the simply automated breaker ones that just snap in then installed the plug in dryer one and it solved my issue with signal.

I have had the same issue with it losing time. The CS rep said it could be a loose battery in the controller but that is not the case. Please let me know what you find out. This is extremely frustrating because one of the clients is 3 hours away.

Pro-Scapes
07-04-2009, 11:06 PM
James with a system that size and of that kind of dinero I probably would have requested the automation be handled by the integrator in charge of the property and let it become his baby and I would dedicate myself only to the design and installation of the lighting system.

When I come up with an AMX or crestron system I call the automation guys in and tell them what I need and where and it happens. I never even see the bill for it. The last AMX system I had integrated with was 100k for the Automation and AV system alone.

Tony on the CS clocks I was told the same thing. I was also told I needed to change the clock to an updated firmware. This is about the 6th service call on the CS clock in 2 years at this residence so I will no longer look for a problem but will simply change out the timer to a simply automated unit and program it via my laptop and the upstart software. I will create a link for the system in upstart and set the timer to turn on that link. I will install an 8 button touchpad linked to the various transformers and relays that will allow the client to still turn on and off the lights after midnight.

Where is Doug Hill with some insight when you need him???? He is the owner of controlscape

Cassius
07-05-2009, 06:23 AM
i come from the entertainment lighting industry originally. we used to have similar noise and interference with pro lighting and microphone interference whenever we ran cables carrying different phases even near one another. in the Concert/ moving light industry they developed what is known as an opto-isolator. basically it reads the electric signal and isolates it from any interference ( ie sound cables, other voltages if they're high enough))before boosting it to a higher level. it really made a difference if you wanted long cable runs between your signal source and your output, or if you were using lots of sound gear near your lighting stuff. i'm surprised that manufacturers haven't introduced a similar setup to help us outdoor lighting guys yet. the best luck i had integrating landscape lighting systems into home automation or controll was to to KISS. x10 controlled timer for the transformers. done. but i still wish i had me an opto-isolator.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-05-2009, 08:50 AM
Billy, fact is that the home automation guys could not come up with a control system that would communicate between all the buildings, across all those acres, without it breaking the clients will to automate. (He is a very different cat... trust me, I tried everything to get away from controls on this one!) The UPB will work, once we line filter out the 12 Crestron circuits and install a 3=phase coupler, but it has been a learning experience.

Eden Lights
07-06-2009, 01:18 AM
James, Please update us on how this goes? Are you using GEN II devices? What UPB controller and what UPB modules are you using? What noise filtering devices are you installing? We have hybrid Infinet and UPB systems on the same type properties where the homeowner would not spring to pull a communication cable nor would they install multiple Crestron gateways and or additional modules to stay with the recommended Crestron lighting system.

On a side note, you guys with the CS issues, have you called and discussed your issues with Doug?

Eden Lights
07-06-2009, 01:24 AM
Add a few more $$$ to the 90K and I could come on up, A? as you guys say.

Pro-Scapes
07-06-2009, 11:12 PM
I spoke with Doug months ago about this and he replaced 2 clocks with ones with new firmware. One of the new firmware ones is one that I am having repeated problems with.

Eddie if I rememeber right you are using the PCS tec timer ? I have the simply automated one on my desk and was going to install it today but we actually got some rain. How have you found the stand alone event schedualers hold up vs the controlscape clocks ? I know others besides me have had issues with the CS not holding up well.

Pro-Scapes
07-07-2009, 02:31 PM
Been emailing with Doug Hill the Owner of controlscapes today. He is helping me track down what could possibly be the problem. A question for some of you is this.

How many of you have assigned more than one device to a channel and if so has that system given you any problems. Keep in mind with my computer interface plugged into the same outlet the clock would be using All devices had great communication and very low noise levels. The system is also protected by panel gaurds.

Eden Lights
07-07-2009, 04:58 PM
I spoke with Doug months ago about this and he replaced 2 clocks with ones with new firmware. One of the new firmware ones is one that I am having repeated problems with.

Eddie if I rememeber right you are using the PCS tec timer ? I have the simply automated one on my desk and was going to install it today but we actually got some rain. How have you found the stand alone event schedualers hold up vs the controlscape clocks ? I know others besides me have had issues with the CS not holding up well.

I have had some issues with both the SA and PCS timers early on (firmware) and I have had some limitation issues with the CS timer early on. I am only installing GenII products now due to countless noise issues and I am also a fan of the PCS timer due to its endless customization options and abilites with Upstart.