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Radio RA2 tutorial
#1
I've been going through some of the starter CQC tutorial videos, and I've installed a single device driver - for my Radio RA2 system - to start playing with basic concepts. And, as expected, I'm already stumped! 

Obviously part of this is that I'm new to CQC, but also unfortunately new to the Lutron environment as well. I've searched for some basic tutorials on the Radio RA2/CQC integration but haven't run across any. Does anyone know of any guides or videos that would be good to start with?

I'm using Inclusive 12.9.0 for Lutron programming, and have successfully configured my system consisting for now of just dimmers and ceiling mounted vacancy/occupancy sensors. I've programmed desired dimmer levels and set up several timeclock events for dimmer presets as well as to disable occupancy sensors at certain times. That all works fine but is pretty basic.

As an example of a concept I'd like to play with:

- occupancy sensor and dimmer behavior that varies with time. I thought at first perhaps this could be accomplished by sending an integration phantom button press that changes timeclock mode in the Lutron system. That seems to only allow different timeclock events to run, and to allow a certain occupancy sensor to be enabled or disabled at various times specific to that timeclock mode. But I don't see a way to, for example, have light A respond to motion at 100% during the day, 50% in the evening, and 0% at night, and simultaneously have light B response at 0% during the day, 50% in the evening, and 2% at night.

As it seems this level of complexity just isn't available inside the Lutron environment (as far as I've found), it will be necessary to do this inside CQC, short of having several occupancy sensors in each room that are disabled/enabled at different times and have different dimmer settings - which obviously I'd like to avoid. I had hoped to keep most of the lighting program in the Lutron environment, but oh well.

So, pointers generic, for tutorials or guides, and specific are all appreciated.
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#2
For CQC, bookmark this page: http://www.charmedquark.com/Web2/CQCDocs/CQCDocs.html   this will be your go to for help.

you will want to navigate down to reference material/device drivers/lighting/lutron radio ra2

I have Lutron HomeWorks QS, not RA2; however, the drivers are extremely similar if not the same. 

I have not used Inclusive; the software for Homeworks QS is called Designer.

Some basic tips:
* stick within Lutron as much as possible. Avoid cross-system dependencies. I love Lutron and love CQC, but I avoid as much as possible having CQC do things that are better left to Lutron. 
* use "shared scenes" as much as possible, instead of manually setting load levels in response to conditions. For example, you might want a button to turn bathroom lights to high. You might also want bathroom lights on high base on motion at some times of day. Define a scene called "bathroom high" and use that scene. It allows cleaner performance when making changes and using scene-based LEDs on buttons.

For occ-driven time-of-day based levels, I do that all in Lutron. 
 * I have a "variable" called DayEveNight. I use a timeclock to change the value
         * at sunrise, DayEveNight = Day
         * at sunset,  DayEveNight = Eve
         * at 9:30pm, DayEveNight = Night
 * Then when programming occupancy, I use the conditional programming feature. I use program type (single variable) and then specify DayEveNight as the variable. then I get 3 tabs to allow me to specify the programming for Day, Eve, and Night. Each has two subtabs for occ and unocc.

* I do create phantom buttons for Day/Eve/Night. But I only ever use that if I reboot the system or if there is a power outage and I need to tell lutron what time of day it is now. Buttons are for control, not automation. 

That is my general approach for goal you described. 

Oh, I just found this: https://www.lutron.com/TechnicalDocument...arison.pdf and apparently there is no conditional programming in RA2. 

So, to implement, you would have to due the conditional logic in CQC.
You would define a "triggered event" in CQC. where the trigger is the motion sensor.
The event would then adjust loads or trigger a scene or push a real or phantom button (bathroom high, bathroom low) based on time of day. 

Hope that helps.
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#3
Yes, definitely helps, thanks. I followed the general advice for newbies to watch the tutorials and not get bogged down trying to digest all the reference docs, but should have know that's where I'd find a lot of answers!

Conditional programming in the Lutron RA2 environment would have been nice. To be honest, I was surprised to find it isn't in there as that seems a pretty basic function of a fairly high end whole home lighting automation system.

Thanks for the tip on using shared scenes instead of defining dimmer values for each action and condition. I hadn't gotten into shared scenes yet, but that makes a lot of sense.
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#4
Lutron is to control your lights for very basic stuff... Time driven or button driven. 

Highly recommend all of your lighting scenes be controlled by Lutron. You can access these scenes by assigning them to keypad buttons or to phantom buttons in Essentials. CQC can then access either of these which will allow you more advanced conditional logic.

You can do some basic stuff with the Visor Control Receiver's CCI ports. If you have the Visor Control Transmitters you can do more as well with those buttons on the transmitters.

I do these very things:
  • if garage overhead door opens and it is night, turn on X, Y, Z lights for 5 minutes then turn off
  • if alarm is in Alarm Mode, activate the All On lighting scene by simulating in CQC a button press of a button to which I have All On assigned
  • if Home button on Visor Control Transmitter is pressed then turn on X, Y, Z lights. If it is night then turn on additional lights
  • if Away button on Visor Control Transmitter is pressed then execute Scene X by simulating a button press to which that scene is assigned
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#5
My tip and the way I started was the go through some of the systems of the folks around here and see what you're interested in trying to do. Start simple and work your way out from there. When I started, I wanted a theater room and I picked a projector, AV system, etc and worked out from there. It was a resounding success until the children decided they wanted to watch TV on their phone/tablet away from the parents.

Lighting is a very involved subject but there are clearly RA2 folks here. Keep going with dialog and you'll get there. My only suggestion is that you look at the way others present their lighting before you delve head in to this complex arena. I tend to think that CQC is best in the lighting arena when it automatically does things. IVB did a bunch on this over the years.

Enjoy!
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#6
CQC is the best for lighting or anything else that requires complex logic. For lighting these are things outside of what RA2 can provide. This said, if you have All On (whole house) or All Off type scenes, I highly recommend relegating that control to Lutron.

I followed in IVB's footsteps in creating scenes in CQC and using variables, but CQC turns each light in a scene on sequentially versus RA2 which sends a signal to everything at the same time so the lights in the scene turn on/off in sync. For an All On scene with 20 lights, this looks very odd whereas with RA2 controlling the All On, it looks amazing. Same for All Off. CQC does it sequentially and RA2 all lights go off at the same time.

If you need help with the CQC type scenes, please let me know.
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#7
I agree, but I do believe that if the lighting doesn't work reasonably when CQC is unavailable, then the system is likely DOA depending on the spouse/partner involved. Some will not tolerate 20 lights coming on in sequence, while others just won't give a damn.
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#8
Didn't mean to abandon my own thread. Been swamped at work for a while. I'll have some time to play more with creating shared scenes and having those controlled by cqc in the coming days and weeks and I'm sure I'll have some more specific questions as I go. The more I think about it, the more sense that approach seems to make. Almost everything I want to do is groupings of lights anyway and I'd like them to turn on and off simultaneously so a scene fits the bill there.
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#9
Some systems expose a 'multi-cast' type message capability to the automation system that lets it directly address a number of units of the same type with a single message. That allows the automation system to do scene style operations, affecting a bunch of things at once. RA2 doesn't expose that sort of stuff, so we can only turn things off/on one at a time.
Dean Roddey
Explorans limites defectum
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#10
As [b]gReatAutomation[/b]  indicated, the place for scene definition with Lutron RA2 systems is in the RA2 configuration. You can define a scene and then a single command to the RA2 can activate it. This achieves the 'all on' / 'all off' without 'ripples'.
Mark Stega
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