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Thread: Lag with telnet vs RS232

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
    Then you're out of luck.
    You're probably right, but I'm still going to experiment with RF sniffing to see if the dimmer transmits something I can respond to more quickly. My other super crazy idea is to try to reprogram the dimmer itself, but I'm pretty certain the firmware on it is going to be a major pain to reverse engineer. Could be fun though.

  2. #12
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    Mar 2016
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    Welcome to the world of RadioRA2! It's so close, but yet so far.

    I too was you a few months ago. Thinking about everything I could do to make RadioRA2 work for MY needs (granted, my needs are Homework QS features with RadioRA2 pricing/programming software availability). In the end, I went a different route with no complaints.

    I'll share some of the things I tried and considered (to no successful outcome, but your mileage may vary)

    1) One could try and figure out how to program a RadioRA2 dimmer with Homeworks QS firmware. This would probably be the "best" firmware hack (outside of completely writing your own... fun but why!?) I actually purchased a Homework QS dimmer to perform a hardware tear down. However, Lutron has done a good job at making these **** near impossible to take apart. It's more functional than for security purposes, but really limits someones ability to opening a dimmer up and programming firmware directly to the chip.

    2) All the programming logic is stored in the SQL database and then converted to some proprietary format before being sent over to the RadioRA2 controller. You could get lucky and find "remnant" code that you could have work manually manipulating the database. Other things to consider is most of Lutron stack is in C#/.NET. Lots of tools to help here....

    3) Reverse engineering the RF would be nifty, but again I think you'll be limited in what you can do. From what I could gather most of the logic actually gets programmed at the keypad/dimmer. This is based on the design and to perform the super fast lighting that Lutron brags/markets about. Example would be: Radio Controller sends out programming command to all lights in a scene. Programming command sets Scene 1 => Light1 50%, Light 2 100%, etc.. One simple command goes out that says recall scene 1 and voila! Devices all start executing whatever logic they were told.

    4) Manipulate Homework QS software (see examples above - C#/SQL) to associate with RadioRA2 devices. Didn't spend much time going down this path because: I suspect their is actually functionality differences between RadioRA2 firmware and HomeworkQS firmware that would cause it not to work. This would be more than a serial#/model# blacklist. Also, trying to find the Homework QS hardware can be $$$ and a PITA.

    I'm sure there are some other ways, but this is the short list I came up with.

    My ultimate decision: Time is money.... The amount of time I spent mucking around (yes it was fun, but...) and the time to get a functioning solution was more than me just buying a new lighting system. Sounds like you have a fun project and like to tinker, but just buy a keypad..... Lutron intentionally limits these devices to not compete with one another. I purchases RadioRA2 hoping the conditional logic and other advanced features could be addressed with an automation system. I was wrong. The Lutron architecture has a lot of secret sauce occurring within the devices firmware (based on their radio design).

    Good luck to you. I really do wish someone figures out how to maximize and unlock the potential to RadioRA!

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  4. #13
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    Thank you for the very detailed and informative post! Looks like you've been down the same paths as me and have helped save me a bunch of time on a few fronts, although some I've already spun my wheels and reached the same conclusion. And you're right - I'm totally doing this because it's a fun project, I'm learning a lot about RF/hardware, and I do like to tinker. Maybe I'll even solve my original button press lag problem :)

    I'll add that the integration support has generally worked quite well for most of my needs. As an example, I wanted a "Welcome" keypad button to set a scene AND turn off Away mode. Not possible unless you write your own code, but if you do it's actually very simple to write. I'm currently using the serial port, but Telnet was just as easy and I haven't observed any real difference.

    I'll share back to this post if I find anything valuable about lower-level integration, assuming Lutron's cool with me doing so.

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