C-Bus goes to wireless

C-Bus RF Wireless dimmer

C-Bus users now have a possibility to build wireless network as well as a wired. It might be needed when existing system is expanded and you don’t want to put additional cables. Currently only wireless switches, dimmers, scene controls and remote controls are available. Unfortunately there are no any security sensors or thermostats yet.

The switches, dimmers and scene controls are available in two styles – Neo and Saturn. Switches and dimmers can have two or four buttons. Scene controls – only four. To integrate wireless devices into wired system the C-Bus RF Gateway should be used. It provides a C-Bus protocol communication bridge between a single C-Bus RF wireless system and a single C-Bus wired network.

Wireless C-Bus devices look nice but there are two big disadvantages which limit their usage. The first one is small choice of available devices. And the second one is a range of transmitting of the commands. If I’m not wrong a wireless C-Bus device cannot re-transmit command sent from the controller via gateway. So, to improve a signal coverage additional gateway should be added. Comparing with Z-Wave or ZigBee where each device in the network can re-transmit sent commands.

But in any case, for existing C-Bus users the wireless devices can help extend their network without breaking walls.

Clipsal opens C-Bus protocol


Clipsal made a good step towards integrators and developers decided to open C-Bus protocol. The initial set of protocol documents will be published and made available during one or two weeks. These documents include: a guide for developers to use the C-Bus Serial Interface device – a description of the different ways to interface a device to C-Bus – over 15 detailed serial protocol descriptions covering the following C-Bus applications: lighting, switching, security, climate control, telephony etc. Later on the rest documents (such Multi-Room Audio Control) will be published as well. Additionally equipment and product developers will have possibility to get 5000SM/2 – a small matchbox sized module that can be easily added to equipment to build in a C-Bus Interface.

Opening C-Bus serial protocol is a great news! Now support of Clipsal devices can be added into many systems including LinuxMCE (hope it’ll be soon). Currently LinuxMCE supports X10, Z-Wave, INSTEON, PLCBus, EnOcean and KNX/EIB. C-Bus will bring another way to automate your home with open source software.

[via AutomatedHome]

New Clipsal Black & White Touch Screen

Cbus Touch Screen

Clipsal started to sell its new Black & White Touch Screen. It has diagonal 4.7″ and offers resolution 320 x 240 pixels. Thanks to enhanced contrast and superior backlighting the work with panel should be very comfortable. The panel can be programmed via USB port, which can be used as PC adapter, using Clipsal software (PICED). Additionally, it has RS232 port for integration with third part systems.

The panel doesn’t require additional power supply. It should be enough just connect it to the C-Bus network. There are two variants of that panels: with C-Bus Logic Engine features and without them.

The new Clipsal Black & White Touch Screen is available with price £649.84 (with C-Bus Logic Engine features) in the Cbus shop.

[via AutomatedHome]

C-Bus released USB interface

USB C-Bus to PC Interface

Clipsal have released the first C-Bus to PC interface that doesn’t require RS-233 or a serial to USB converter – 5500PCU. It offers following:

  • Provides a native USB connection front a PC to a C-Bus network
  • Housed in a 4M DIN Rail enclosure
  • The USB port is easily accessible from the front of the unit
  • Utilizes a sturdy USB B-Type connector
  • The unit is supplied complete with a 3m USB cable
  • The unit uses the same US cable type as the 5500PACA
  • Contains a C-Bus network burden and is capable of generating a C-Bus system clock signal

The 5500PCU is available at price $328.71 as well as RS232 version.

P. S. LinuxMCE doesn’t support C-Bus at all. There is a topic in the forum with request of support that technology. The easiest way is to create a GSD software interface but to do that you have to know the protocol description.