Goelst CAN-BUS

Discussion in 'Smart Home, Climate Control & Security Forum' started by Hitman, May 1, 2007.

  1. Hitman

    Hitman
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    Hi,
    I've fitted some Goelst motorised tracks and was wondering if anyone out there in avforums land has any tips on controlling the tracks via the CAN-BUS system.

    I was hoping to control things via my Linux server but am stuck at the hardware level. Can I just connect my serial port via an RJ45 convertor to the grail motor to then use some Linux ioctl system calls to send signals?

    Any pointers would be helpful, Google is confusing me!

    Cheers,
    Hitman
     
  2. hornydragon

    hornydragon
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    havent heard of them but if they are standard control operation either voltfree or contact closure etc i an sure there is a way to do it i know of none PC based methods might be worth looking at the harmony home autiomation software (not sure if they do a linux version) but they may have knowledge of a hardware control interface http://www.domia.eu/
     
  3. Rob100

    Rob100
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    I don't know anything about these curtain rails, but do have some knowledge of CAN.

    You certainly cannot connect a RS232 serial port directly to CAN. The following PCI cards and USB adapters may be of interest (listed under PC interfaces for CAN).

    http://www.amplicon.co.uk/dr-prod2.cfm/secid/4/subsecid/10034.htm

    Do you have any idea what protocol they use (CAN is just an "electrical" connection and doesn't define the data which is sent over the connection)? If CANopen (compliant with CiA DS 301) then one option could be to have a PLC sending CAN commands to the track. This could then be controlled via digital inputs to the PLC, from commands sent from your server from a RS232 serial port or from an ethernet interface (modbusIP).

    Hope this helps.

    Rob.
     
  4. Bruce_

    Bruce_
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    Goelst won't provide details about their protocol unfortunately.

    CANbus adapters are available, but they're not very cheap. Google for "USB CAN" or try some of the CAN websites, like www.canbus-info.com (ask a question on the forum/email list).
     
  5. garyb9900

    garyb9900
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    For an item that is going to be used to "open and close" possibly no more than a couple of times a day, is it really worth all the trouble of this type of set up?
    I'm a professional curtain track and blind installer (not just manual ones either, mainly electric tracks and blinds) and have seen loads of times the sort of lash up that a lot of control system installers (also supposed professionals) make of this.Let alone the amount of effort it takes to get it all working right. Sometimes i wonder if its all worth it, over and above just a simple hand held remote!
    Also unless your system is set up to operate from several locations or a hand held remote control, the act of getting from a seated position to walk to a specific wall mounted position to simply operate a single set of curtains (sometimes 2 pairs) in a typical domestic situation hardly makes it worth while.
    For large rooms with several pairs of curtains and additional blinds and/or a security type automated closing scenario i can see the point, but not even then if i had to spend more than a few hours getting it all to work.
     
  6. Hitman

    Hitman
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    Thanks for the replies, I didn't realise there were any as I didn't seem to be getting notified (must have turned the email updates off!).

    Regarding the hassle of controlling a couple of curtains, I mainly want to do this for a security reason, i.e., when I'm on holiday I want to be able to allow scheduling of curtain opening/closing. The goelst remote has a set time to open and close, but it is very primitive, you have to set it the day before and then it will open/close at the same time each day.

    As the track has the facility for remote control I wanted to explore this.

    Marata have control unit that allows this sort of control but it doesn't come cheap and it looks like the application is Windows based rather than Linux, although if it just a configuration app then it's not a big deal! If I can't find any other way then it will be my only option.
     
  7. Hitman

    Hitman
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    Just realised why I was querying Serial to RJ45!

    Not only does the motor interface have CAN control (CAN H and CAN L on ports 1,4 and 8)), but there are connections for sending signals to open and close via a switch (ports 3,4,5 and 6).

    I'm hoping to tap into the switching side of things rather than the CAN.

    I'll attach a screenshot of the PDF which gives more details.

    Let me know what you guys think... if anyone is still reading this thread! :hiya:
     

    Attached Files:

  8. Hitman

    Hitman
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    I finally figured this one out so just thought I would share it with others.

    Using the manual switching method worked for me. I ran wires 4, 5 and 6 into a serial I/O switching unit (£60-ish from quasarelectronics.com). I was then able to send commands via the serial cable to fire the relays to open and close the curtains. Turned out to be very straight forward.

    Now that I've got the basics done all I have to do is program the commands on my Linux server, (I think perl has some serial communication possibilities) and then schedule it all.

    Wish I'd known that I was going to be installing the motorised curtains when I was renovating the house as I would have run some cat5 to the windows as well as everywhere else! Oh well, most of the wiring will be hidden by the curtains and other naturally positioned furniture so it's not too bad. Just waiting for the curtains to turn up now!

    If you want additional details please do not hesitate to get in touch.

    Thanks.
     

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