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Thread: RadioRA Centralized Dimmer Bank Install - Your Pics/Ideas/Lessons Learned

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    RadioRA Centralized Dimmer Bank Install - Your Pics/Ideas/Lessons Learned

    As part of my remodel, I am going to be installing a RadioRA 3, wiring ~30 dimmers to be located behind the pantry door.

    Do you have pictures/ideas/lessons learned/best practices from centralized RadioRA installs that you can share?

    On electrician recommendation, planning to use 2-gang fiberglass boxes. Would love to keep access into the stud bay around the dimmers, using some sort of code-compliant bay cover, instead of drywalling it in. Glad to hear any ideas on this.

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    In the Zigbee world (2.4 GHz) they will tell you this won't work. The RA3/Sonnata products are also 2.4 GHz. I haven't seen anything yet where Lutron says yes or no to that many devices in close proximity. If you are going to use the type A products (Maestro, seeTouch, etc.) it won't be a problem.

    Heat used to be an issue and Lutron had a spec that the boxes had to be 4.5 vertical inches apart.

    I see mostly painted plywood with screws so you can gain access later.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

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    Everything Randy said was spot on. Clear Connect A is the only way to go, and plywood would be the best way to go (maybe not from an aesthetic perspective but from an accessibility perspective).
    Evan Kirkhart- Home Electronics Solutions
    Santa Barbara, CA
    evan@homeelectronics.solutions

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    Thanks. That is a good heads-up, and will check into it. I'm trying to discern how that is different than having a 4 next to each other in a switch box.

    I am thinking the painted plywood is not NEC compliant.

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    Quote Originally Posted by evankirkhart View Post
    Everything Randy said was spot on. Clear Connect A is the only way to go, and plywood would be the best way to go (maybe not from an aesthetic perspective but from an accessibility perspective).
    I feel like Clear Connect A will be more solid and also more certain when it comes to this implementation... HOWEVER, as the person spending the $3500 on dimmers... who wants to buy something that is one generation old and may be supported 10 years less. That is a huge cost to bear if clear connect A is supported to 2030 and Clear Connect X is supported to 2040. Right?

    I am thinking cement fiberboard (fire rated 2 hrs) may be the way to go.

    Do you all see those switch banks installed single-switch style, or doubles? Seems like largely the de-rating is not a huge deal with LED.

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    NEC doesn't care if you use wood panels as long as the box is flush with it or you put in spark rings...so I guess it does care...

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    thanks, Sparky. Interesting... for some reason I was thinking the surround had to be fire rated for NEC, but I guess it makes sense from the electrical perspective. After all, the cover plates are plastic. There isn't a code reference on that, is there? I'm on 2017 NEC.

    Maybe the other area to confirm is the IRC, since it is effectively taking out a fire rated material and replacing it with wood < 1.5" think. My guess is that if the stud bay is properly fire blocked at the top and bottom the inspector will be OK.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
    Thanks. That is a good heads-up, and will check into it. I'm trying to discern how that is different than having a 4 next to each other in a switch box.

    I am thinking the painted plywood is not NEC compliant.
    I think it has to do with the way Zigbee creates its mesh. Typically you only have 1 or 2 hops to get to the processor. With that many devices in one location you may wind up with so many hops that it creates latency.

    The Zigbee system I work with has a 70 device limit. It does support multiple servers though. Lutrons requirement of having 2 devices within 25 feet and two servers (RA3 processors) could be a design nightmare.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

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    Interesting, and thought provoking. All theory here... I would think it would keep a state table available and know how to get to the processor in the least number of steps, versus it being random.

    FWIW, I don't think there is a requirement on the 2 processors aspect. At least, I read it differently in the training.

  11. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ross1 View Post
    Interesting, and thought provoking. All theory here... I would think it would keep a state table available and know how to get to the processor in the least number of steps, versus it being random.

    FWIW, I don't think there is a requirement on the 2 processors aspect. At least, I read it differently in the training.
    I'm not sure Zigbee is that smart. I don't know how it determines the path to the processor. They way they harp on avoiding clusters it would seem the path selection is somewhat random. It's also self healing, meaning if it can't find a path this time it will try to find an alternate path. I can see a scenario where it jumps from box A to box B 6-feet away, then back to A, then to C, then to B, etc. I guess it is smart enough not to jump to devices in the same box??

    Zigbee also says devices should be within 100' with no additional restriction on distance from another device or processor. In most cases the 100' between devices is too much.

    I didn't mean 2 processors were required. I meant to say, if you need 2 RA3 processors, designing a layout using the 2/25/75 rule is going to be challenging.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

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