Carribean awning control (somfy motor)

I just bought a Carribean awning, it has a somfy motor and i think there might be a way of controlling it via Vera. Has anybody done that, is it achievable ?

Do a search for somfy … there are lots of hits.

I have looked through those, but i am not sure how i can do it, i think people who have done it are in the US and have different motor controls. I will read through again to see if i can get some more information. There seems to be a USB module but i have googled the module but cannot find anything on it. The motor just plugs into a normal socket, but is controlled via RF remote, so this module would probably be the way to contol it, plug into Vera’s USB and it transmits rf (i think that is what it does), but my guess is it is discontinued

It’s not USB, RS232.
Google URSTI II. It’s not cheap.

Ouch, you are right its not cheap… i think i spelled it wrong when i looked for it. It is a US version i found, but with a little more digging there might be a UK version. Just have found this: Somfy Z-Wave Universal RTS Interface (ZRTSI) Bridge Controller. That looks as if it could work (if there is a UK version)

I believe the ZRTS is even more expensive than the URTS. All you need is the URTS.

The ZRTSI allows Z-Wave to RTS (Somfy Radio) control. The URTSI allows Serial RS232 and RS485 to RTS control. Both of those allow for multiple channels, I believe 16 channels on both. If you only want to control one motor or group, you could get the Somfy Single Channel Dry Contact to RTS Interface and trigger the dry contacts with a relay board (there was a $20 one from ebay and someone wrote a plug-in in the Vera store). This will be much cheaper than the ZRTSI or UTRSI I believe. You won’t have Z-Wave feedback but you wouldn’t anyway with Somfy RTS. FYI the single channel interface is just a Somfy remote with the a set of 4 wires soldered to the circuit board to act as button presses. So you could take your existing remote, solder the wires yourself and add the relay board, or buy the Somfy part where they have soldered the wires for you.

The RFXCom USB device you might have been referring to doesn’t work with Somfy RTS AFAIK. It is meant for other 433 signals that aren’t as encrypted or maybe they just haven’t added support for it yet. I seem to remember reading they couldn’t control Somfy RTS.

The Somfy Single Channel Dry Contact to RTS seems like the best option to me, although i am not sure yet i fully understand what to buy, will have to do a bit more research, soldering 4 wires should not be difficult though. So basically i need 2 relays, one to extend the awning, one to retract, and control them via anything, preferably zwave for reliability, or x10 or anything else as i have the rfxcom

Here is the relay board that the plug in works with:

http://item.mobileweb.ebay.com/viewitem?itemId=171031145666&index=1&nav=SEARCH&nid=60832269616

And here is the interface or you can make your own:

http://www.avoutlet.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=4471

Or you can try using zwave to dry contact modules, but rts radio should go up to 70ft so you might not need zwave.

Thanks very much Shady, i think i know what to do now. So i get the Somfy dry contact to RTS, wire that up to the relay board (I should only need to wire up 2 of the relays for 1 motor ?). So far, so good. Then i need to get the RS232 to connect to my Vera lite. There is a USB version, which i could plug into the USB, only thats been taken up by my Rfxcom. I could try a powered USB hub ? Not sure if that works, think i have read here on the forum that it doesnt work. But i could also upgrade to Vera 3 which has 2 USB ports… or wait for Vera 4 with the automation…
One last question. How do i link the Somfy RTS to my somfy awning motor ? Is there different codes which i have to program in or does it just work ? I think i have to somehow assign the RTS to my motor, i guess thats somewheer explained in the manual ?

I have found this: Global Cache IP2CC iTach TCP/IP to Contact Closure (Relay)
this has 3 relays, which can be controlled via ethernet. I could use that to control the somfy dry contact to RTS ? The i would only need a plugin for Vera, and i could keep the Vera lite and not have the problem with usb or rs232, does that make sense ?

Update: I have spoken to Somfy UK, and the UK equivalent of the US Dry contact to RTS is this: part number Somfy 1810334 dry contact transmitter, so i have bought that. Now i need something with 2 relays minimum to control the Somfy module, ideally not USB as i have used my USB port on my Vera lite already, that relay board looks like a good cost effective option, but i dont know how to get Vera to control it
Update 2: had a look on the forum, a powered usb hub seems to work with Vera, so bought that, so could use a usb relay board, is there a usb (or ethernet) relay board with a plugin for Vera ?

iTach Wifi relay 3 relays … uses the GC100 plugin … looks like 3 switches on Vera.
But these are only SPST relays … Do you need SPDT relays ?

i dont know the difference, sorry… its just to connect to a contact closure module (2)

Hi Mikee,
I’ve just gone through this in the UK… following is what I did and all works fine. Hopefully it will help someone in the future. Sounds like you’ve gone down a slightly different route though.

I purchased the single channel dry contact transmitter you’ve referenced - UK part number as per your post - available from controlis online - was ?100ish (I was quoted upto ?140 from other Somfy dealers - Somfy wouldn’t sell direct). This compared to about ?440 for the multi-channel 485 interface box. I decided that was overkill given I was happy to just group all the blinds I have and control them all at once.

I purchased a fibaro 2x1.5kw micro zwave relay unit - approx. ?45.

Then I wired the two together, and placed everything in a single gang exterior / weather proof surface mount pattress box. I just managed to fit both units in a 1Gang UK size box.
wired both the dry contact transmitter and relay to mains live / neutral.
Wired the ‘common’ of the somfy unit into the relay as the common relay input.
I wired one channel of the relay to the ‘up’ terminal on the dry contact transmitter.
Wired the other to the ‘down’ terminal.
Couldn’t ascertain 100% if the somfy unit requires just a momentary closure to activate the unit, but some ref’s I found online suggested a max.of 1.5s closure - I therefore programmed an auto-off time for both channels of 1s just in case- this is documented in the fibaro instructions and easy to add as an optional device parameter in vera. May experiment to see if this is defo required - it works fine, but has the disadvantage of resetting the switch to off after activating, so it’s not obvious from the switch status if the blind is actually up / down as you’d get if you could leave the switch permanently on.
To get a stop button I added a virtual switch to vera (using the virtual switch plug in), and added a new scene with some luup code - the code turns on channel1 (up)and channel2 (down) of the relay one after the other (both these triggered together cause a stop to be actioned from the somfy controller). I also added a timed delay of 1s before the virtual ‘stop’ switch turned off automatically which mirrors the up / down switch behaviour.
Programming of the somfy dry contact transmitter was v. easy from the existing remote - just select the blind req. on the remote, hold down the remote prog button til the blind jolts, then press the prog. button on the contact transmitter - repeat for each blind being added.
It all works v. well.! really pleased with it.

That is so easy i never thought about it, and i have an unused Fibaro 2x1.5 switch !!! Would you mind posting the luup code you used here ? I might come back and ask about the auto off when i start implementing it all, i am still waiting for an installation date on my awning, just getting everything ready…
Great idea, thanks very much

For the stop command I just put this in as the luup code for a new scene called ‘blind stop’ - I added a trigger for the scene which meant it’s triggered whenever a virtual switch is turned on:
Device ID’s of mine - 26 was one channel of the relay (tied to ‘up’ on the somfy unit) , 28 the other channel (tied to 'down)
31 is my virtual switch.

luup.call_action(“urn:upnp-org:serviceId:SwitchPower1”,“SetTarget”,{newTargetValue = “1”},26)
luup.call_action(“urn:upnp-org:serviceId:SwitchPower1”,“SetTarget”,{newTargetValue = “1”},28)

luup.call_delay( ‘switch_off’, 1) – Call the switch off function after a delay of 1 seconds

function switch_off()
luup.call_action(“urn:upnp-org:serviceId:VSwitch1”,“SetTarget”,{newTargetValue = “0”},31)
end


Auto off is a function of the fibaro units - configured via the ‘device options’ tab in vera for the relay channels.
I added parameters 4 and 5 as 1byte Dec’s, both with a value of 5 - means they turn off after 0.5s

Thanks, thats very comprehensive ! I think i will probably try without the auto off on the Fibaro first, and see what happens. I am not sure, but should it not stay ‘on’ as long as you press the button, and if you release it close again ? If that is the case you would not need the auto off. But i think only experimenting with it once everything is installed will answer that question. I’ll be reporting back here in about 3 weeks once everything is in place… with the luup code and the auto off instructions i should be prepared for everything

If you get the SOmfy dry contact to RTS module, we have a Z-Wave motor controller with dry contact open/stop/close outputs. $ 65.00
contact us at www.z-wavemotors.com

Tapgrove i have a question for you. I am still waiting for my Somfy dry contact, but had the awning installed. I have a Somfy remote control, with one up, one my and one down button. To stop the awning i have to press the my button. I have tried if i can stop the awning with pressing up and down simultaneously, but that doesnt work. Have you tried with yours if you use the remote and press up and down together if it stops ?