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Old 10-25-2007, 07:39 PM
pete scalia pete scalia is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Long Island, New York
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Lutron Radio RA

I'm installing the lights on a house that has an existing home automation system. The owner has hired the original installer to automate my lighting system. He is using Radio RA and swears by it. This is a rather large property and i'm interested to see how reliable it is. He claims it's better than Lutron's graphic eye which makes me skeptical of his comments. He also said UPB is not much better than x-10 and that it still needs phase couplers to work reliably over time. Everyone has their bias. I can remember one other project that i did where they used Radio RA and it was such a nightmare that they had to convert over to graphic eye within a yr. This property was 2 acres but all the switches were centrally located in the basement under the house and within 75' of all keypads. So long distance really had nothing to do with the failure.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2007, 07:48 PM
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INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting is online now
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Muskoka, Ontario, Canada
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If the lot is large and your transformers are remotely located across the lot... well all I can say is good luck with the RA.

I tried it. The RA system requires repeaters about every 40-60' depending on the obstacles in its path. They don't make outdoor rated repeaters. In fact, even their receptacles are not outdoor rated.

Best of luck
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2007, 08:33 PM
Eden Lights Eden Lights is offline
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Location: Nashville, TN
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pete scalia View Post
I'm installing the lights on a house that has an existing home automation system. The owner has hired the original installer to automate my lighting system. He is using Radio RA and swears by it. This is a rather large property and i'm interested to see how reliable it is. He claims it's better than Lutron's graphic eye which makes me skeptical of his comments. He also said UPB is not much better than x-10 and that it still needs phase couplers to work reliably over time. Everyone has their bias. I can remember one other project that i did where they used Radio RA and it was such a nightmare that they had to convert over to graphic eye within a yr. This property was 2 acres but all the switches were centrally located in the basement under the house and within 75' of all keypads. So long distance really had nothing to do with the failure.
Yes, A UPB coupler should always be speced in every job. While you may get away without one, I still sale one on every job. I don't want to go back to the table in the middle of an install due to poor signals across the phases. RA is a excellent product when everything is within a tight circle, but the Cronos adds and extra $1500.00 to the system to get the same features as a UPB Scheduler at say the $300 range.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:36 PM
pete scalia pete scalia is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Long Island, New York
Posts: 960
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eden Lights View Post
Yes, A UPB coupler should always be speced in every job. While you may get away without one, I still sale one on every job. I don't want to go back to the table in the middle of an install due to poor signals across the phases. RA is a excellent product when everything is within a tight circle, but the Cronos adds and extra $1500.00 to the system to get the same features as a UPB Scheduler at say the $300 range.
Thanks for the responses. Money is really not an issue to this client as he has over 200K invested in the automation system alone. The tech took me down to the room where all of his equipment and wiring home runs to. I was very impressed with the racks of electronics, beautifully wired systems etc. The Radio RA switches this time are installed on interior walls throughout the house at every door leading outside. The home is a major remodel and the switches homerun to the basement where they switch several contactors (relays) that bear the load of the various transformers around the exterior of the property. The only exception is the switch for the patio lights which is dimmable and goes directly to my patio transformer. He says he has 4 repeaters located around the house. I'm responsible for the transformer forward so if there are switching issues it's not my headache
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