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Thread: Advanced control of shades with a single button

  1. #1
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    Advanced control of shades with a single button

    In the home we're building, we'll use a HomeWorks QS system with Palladiom keypads. It's unfortunate that these keypads have only four buttons. It's very easy to run out of buttons to control lighting and sheers and blackout shades, since we can't afford to dedicate a single button for each of UP, DOWN, STOP for each shade.

    I have an idea to run past you all that I hope makes for a workable solution.

    The basic functions that we need are simple: OPEN, CLOSE, STOP, GO TO PRESET LEVEL. Normally, I guess, shades are controlled in an UP/STOP/DOWN/STOP fashion as follows. Upon a single press ...

    • if the shade is not moving, a button press starts movement (in the opposite direction from its previous direction)
    • if the shade is moving, it stops.

    This algorithm creates difficulties for users. Without an UP or DOWN button, users may be surprised at which way the shade moves. The system remembers last direction, but users most often remember it if some time has passed or another user has changed the position of the shade.

    This approach also may require multiple presses to get the desired effect. With a partly open shade, it may move in the "wrong” direction". The user then has to press again to STOP, another press to move the shade in the other direction, and yet another to STOP again.

    Without a buttons for a "scene", it's not easy to get the shades to a desired level (like aligning with a window mullion, for example). It would be easy ... and frustrating ... to "overshoot" the desired position, and have to press the button many times to zone in on the desired level.

    My proposed solutions is as follows ...

    SINGLE PRESS:

    • If shade is stopped and fully open, fully CLOSES shade (moves to bottom)
    • If shade is stopped and even partially open, fully OPENS shade (moves up to top)
    • If shade is moving, STOPS shade

    DOUBLE PRESS: CLOSES shade (all the way to bottom)

    TRIPLE PRESS: Moves the shade to a preset position, whether the shade has to move up or down, and whether it is moving or stopped.

    This approach seems to have several benefits. It's intuitive, obvious and easy to use. It works like lights normally do (on/off) ... a SINGLE PRESS will fully OPEN or CLOSE the shade (if the user does not press the button again). Also, this approach works just like the UP/STOP/DOWN/STOP approach, in that a SINGLE PRESS while the shade is moving STOPs motion. The user will not be surprised at which way the shade will move, since the system is not remembering the last direction.

    Also, there's no need for the user to know about DOUBLE press to close, as they can can just wait for full motion to complete. Nor do they need to know about TRIPLE press, ,but moving the shade to a pre-set level is easy. There's no unobvious PRESS/HOLD functionality.

    Whaddya think? Is this easy enough to program? Any caveats?

  2. #2
    Your method here isnt easily going to work, and will drive your programmer crazy, not to mention the user. Theres no easy way I know to conditionally program in QS based off of shade position. How about using a non-Palladiom keypad? You can have up to 7 buttons. A perfect example of function over fashion.

    There are other shade control systems (Crestron) where you could do this type of thing.

  3. #3
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    I've never had a customer complain about the open/stop/close/stop function. If the shades don't go the direction they want, they press again until they do. If the customer is confused/frustrated by the open/stop/close/stop button all that additional logic is going to make them go postal.

    I find that 99.99% of customers don't want conditional logic. They want the lights to go on, off, or dim. They don't want to have to think if it is Tuesday after noon but before sunset on Thursday so the lights will do X. Same with shades.

    The double tap is an interesting idea. However, you can not use it with o/s/c/s. There is no triple tap function in HQS.

    I haven't done this in a while but... if you use a standard toggle button - the "on" press will open the shade. There is a check box for "stop shade if moving." The "off" press will close the shade. Similar to the o/s/c/s but I would have to test it to be sure. This also gives you the option to add a double tap. If they are interested in fine tuning the position you would need a keypad with a separate R/L button.

    Considering all that, I would give them a basic o/s/c/s button and tell them to use the app if they want additional controls.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

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  5. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by randyc View Post
    I've never had a customer complain about the open/stop/close/stop function. If the shades don't go the direction they want, they press again until they do. If the customer is confused/frustrated by the open/stop/close/stop button all that additional logic is going to make them go postal.

    I find that 99.99% of customers don't want conditional logic. They want the lights to go on, off, or dim. They don't want to have to think if it is Tuesday after noon but before sunset on Thursday so the lights will do X. Same with shades.

    The double tap is an interesting idea. However, you can not use it with o/s/c/s. There is no triple tap function in HQS.

    I haven't done this in a while but... if you use a standard toggle button - the "on" press will open the shade. There is a check box for "stop shade if moving." The "off" press will close the shade. Similar to the o/s/c/s but I would have to test it to be sure. This also gives you the option to add a double tap. If they are interested in fine tuning the position you would need a keypad with a separate R/L button.

    Considering all that, I would give them a basic o/s/c/s button and tell them to use the app if they want additional controls.
    Randy is on the right track here.

    If you set the button type to Toggle and LED logic to Scene. "Press on" to open and "off level" to closed and select "Stop shade if moving" you will get:
    Quote Quote
    • If shade is stopped and fully open, fully CLOSES shade (moves to bottom)
    • If shade is stopped and even partially open, fully OPENS shade (moves up to top
    The double tap is straight forward programming for "shade closed"

    As also stated there is no default "triple tap" function for your preset request and would take quite a bit of programming to achieve. A better solution would be to put the Preset level on a button hold instead.

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  7. #5
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    Thanks guys ... I really appreciate the collective wisdom here. I do appreciate, too, that simpler is better (and so my wife tells me repeatedly!).

    Johnmax, we're committed to the Palladiom keypads. We like the modern look. Our overall programming plan for the entire house is set, and in some places we did have to use a double-gang keypad. The alternatives from Lutron are not going to work for us. The buttons and the text are too small. I'm not sure why Lutron designed the Palladiom keypad the way they did. Surely there is room for eight buttons, perhaps even ten. (Vantage has eight-button keypads, with square buttons and reasonable size text. Crestron's Horizon keypad has five rocker buttons, for a total of ten buttons, not even counting double tap or press and hold.)

    Randy and Joe, I appreciate the specific comments on the program I outlined. I want to be sure I fully understand your recommendation. I do like the PRESS/HOLD idea to go to a preset shade setting. That addresses one of my original concerns -- getting to the preset easily.

    For the reasons I started (unpredictable direction of motion, multiple presses required to get to a desired setting, and easy to overshoot a desired location when not a preset), I thought the conventional up/stop/down/stop approach might be problematic for users. You proposal seems to address some of this. I'm not sure of the functionality users see with the settings you guys propose, so I'd like to verify the programming technique and result.

    Are you saying the settings should be as follows for a single button?

    • Set button type to Toggle
    • Set LED logic to Scene
    • Single press behavior
      • Set "Press on" to open
      • Set "Off level" to closed
      • Select "Stop shade if moving"

    • Program double tap to shade close
    • PRESS/HOLD to go to preset

    Having never worked with Lutron, I don't know the meaning of LED logic. Could/should it be used to say "the next direction is close", so it toggles with the status of the button? Or, do you recommend a different use for the LED?

    I bet toggle switches the button from "Turn ON" to "Turn OFF". I think "Press on" means the case when the next press represents "turn ON" the "lights" (i.e.,, the system thinks the "lights" are OFF). Thus, that press would open the shade, right? I assume that "Off level" is similar, but represents the opposite case ... the system thinks the "lights" are ON, and the next press would mean "turn OFF", or CLOSE the shade in this case. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

    If that's correct, multiple single presses with this approach results exactly in o/s/c/s, right? From the user perspective, the direction of movement (on a single press) most often is still unpredictable, so it's just like o/s/c/s/. However, the user can easily close the shade with a double tap, regardless of the prior direction, if that's what is wanted, so there's a little less unpredictability. The unpredictable direction on a single press is okay, especially if this implementation means you can in fact use double tap (which Randy says can't be used with standard o/s/c/s).

    Would the double tap set the toggle on single press to "ON" (or the system's knowledge of the shade's position?) mean that the next single press after double tap would open the shades? If so, then double tap closes the shade, and the next single press (not two or three presses) would open the shade. So it becomes press -> OPEN, double press-> CLOSE, press -> OPEN, so like o/s/c/s but with one double press and no STOP in the middle of the sequence. Sure, this is a little more complicated than standard o/s/c/s, but s

    By the way, one thing I once did with a Vantage system was to "hide" functionality (all lights off) by requiring a triple press. This was implemented with a counter that increments with each button press. If three presses were done within, say 2 seconds, it would act like a triple press from the user perspective. All similar counters in the system reset to zero after 2 seconds elapse based on a global clock. Does Lutron support counters and timers in a way that would permit this sort of workaround?

    Even if I could implement triple press this way, I would use PRESS/HOLD for putting the share at a preset location, and possibly use triple press for something more obscure (like move several shades, perhaps left and right windows, to their presets at the same time).

    Thanks for taking the time for clarifying and sharing your thoughts ...

  8. #6
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    By the way, we have three garage doors we'd like to control with a single button. One press for the left door, two for the middle, and three for the right. These would toggle, so two double presses would open / close the middle door based on the toggle. Each door could be controlled independently. Hope this counter/timer approach would work.

  9. #7
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    LED logic defines what makes the LED turn on. The LED status determines what happens when you press the button. Let's say you have 5 lights programmed to turn on at 75%.

    Scene - LED is on when all 5 zones are at 75% (scene is intact). The next press turns all 5 zones lights off. If you turn one zone down to 74% the LED goes out (scene no longer intact). The next press turns the scene on.

    Room - LED is on when any zone is >0%. The next press turns all 5 zones off. The LED is off when all 5 zones are off. The next press turns all 5 on to 75%.

    Pathway - LED is on when all 5 zones are on at any level (path is intact, don't care about level). Next press turns all 5 zones off. LED is off when one or more zones is off. Next press turns lights on to programmed level.

    You can combine these with button type (toggle, single-action) for various effects.

    The definitions vary slightly in RR2.

    There is no counter in HQS. The only timeout feature is on manual/auto sequences.

    Palladiom keypads are flat so you should be able to have them engraved locally. I could not find an engraver that would do the seeTouch because they were curved.
    LED, Incorporated
    Raleigh, NC 27614

  10. #8
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    Thanks for the explanation of the LEDs, Randy. That’s very helpful. Too bad there’s not a counter. I guess I can handle two of the garage doors with single and double tap, and the third with press/hold. Not optimal, but it works. Better than using a double gang keypad (the other three buttons are taken) or have to take out my phone to close a garage door!Since you didn’t correct anything I take it that my understanding of the button programming for shades is correct. That’s good to know. Thanks again.

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