Jump to content

Show Automation beyond Scheduling


Recommended Posts

So obviously most of us likely use the Scheduler to start and stop LOR’s show playing, but what about other aspects?    Here’s what i am doing, and I’d be interested to hear others ideas as well.. 

I have a home automation system that controls (mostly) lights in the house (on a sunset, entryway light comes on when the door opens, etc, etc), so the show is incorporated with it as well.   The show starts at 6pm, so at 5:59, the system turns on power to the controllers and the outside stereo system.    The show plays until 10, and then starts a 30 minute show that plays a slow fade across the lights with a “the show is done, come back tomorrow” message.   At 10:05, the home automation system cuts power to the outside stereo, so the message still plays on the FM transmitter.  At 10:30, the show ends, and the system cuts power to the controllers. 

We shut the show down if it is raining or if it was raining so much during the day that the ground is too wet to safely run the show without blowing the one sensitive GFCI circuit that also has a refrigerator attached.    So right now I am working on a system to automatically prevent the system from coming on or to shut it down if it reaches pre-set thresholds for either rainfall rate or total accumulated rainfall.    This would not only prevent the controllers from turning on or shutting them off entirely if the show is running, but also change the show to play a PSA that weather has cancelled the (rest of) the show.    I do have the ability to do this while home or even remotely via VPN, but if I am not home, I have no idea how much rain fell THERE as opposed to wherever I may be, so this is just one way to give me some freedom to not be home at showtime if inclement weather is forecast.  

What are you all doing to automate things, if anything?

 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
28 minutes ago, jtomason said:

So obviously most of us likely use the Scheduler to start and stop LOR’s show playing, but what about other aspects?    Here’s what i am doing, and I’d be interested to hear others ideas as well.. 

I have a home automation system that controls (mostly) lights in the house (on a sunset, entryway light comes on when the door opens, etc, etc), so the show is incorporated with it as well.   The show starts at 6pm, so at 5:59, the system turns on power to the controllers and the outside stereo system.    The show plays until 10, and then starts a 30 minute show that plays a slow fade across the lights with a “the show is done, come back tomorrow” message.   At 10:05, the home automation system cuts power to the outside stereo, so the message still plays on the FM transmitter.  At 10:30, the show ends, and the system cuts power to the controllers. 

We shut the show down if it is raining or if it was raining so much during the day that the ground is too wet to safely run the show without blowing the one sensitive GFCI circuit that also has a refrigerator attached.    So right now I am working on a system to automatically prevent the system from coming on or to shut it down if it reaches pre-set thresholds for either rainfall rate or total accumulated rainfall.    This would not only prevent the controllers from turning on or shutting them off entirely if the show is running, but also change the show to play a PSA that weather has cancelled the (rest of) the show.    I do have the ability to do this while home or even remotely via VPN, but if I am not home, I have no idea how much rain fell THERE as opposed to wherever I may be, so this is just one way to give me some freedom to not be home at showtime if inclement weather is forecast.  

What are you all doing to automate things, if anything?

 

 

J

Get a Rain (delay) switch (Toro, Hunter). These are somewhat adjustable on how much it takes to trip. They can be wired NO or NC, so it should be able to use it with the input of the controller (non-enhanced network only) or Home Automation (I am familiar with ELK M1G). Rain can just be another Alarm contact. Same for Motion, Photo switch. and if your system has Outputs, you can add relays (or direct if simulating a button push) that your sequence s run from (triggers)

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, TheDucks said:

J

Get a Rain (delay) switch (Toro, Hunter). These are somewhat adjustable on how much it takes to trip. They can be wired NO or NC, so it should be able to use it with the input of the controller (non-enhanced network only) or Home Automation (I am familiar with ELK M1G). Rain can just be another Alarm contact. Same for Motion, Photo switch. and if your system has Outputs, you can add relays (or direct if simulating a button push) that your sequence s run from (triggers)

It would definitely have to be an input to the HA system to allow it to cut power to the controllers.   There’s a few ways to accomplish that, but this (so far) seems to be somewhat simpler and requires no additional hardware.    That’s compelling, although I have to verify if the system I am using for rain detection (actually an API to a weather service I am calling) is as accurate as I think it might be.    One of the other things I am working our with it is what the threshold should be to shut it down. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 4 weeks later...

This is definitely an interesting topic and would like to see others' ideas.  When you say you turn yours off when raining (locally or via VPN) are you just disabling the show from the LOR icon or by some other means?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Another method besides having the home automation kill power to the controllers (which gets harder when there are controllers spread all over the place that are fed from multiple sources) is to kill the LOR network or networks with a relay.  I do that every morning to kill my overnight landscape lighting when the sun comes up.  In my case, I have a light sensor that detects that the sun has come up.  That sensor triggers an input on an InputPup which triggers an interactive sequence that turns on one channel of a CTB08 controller.  That channel powers a 12 volt wall wart which drives a 12V relay.  Contacts on the relay open the pair of wires used for LOR networking on my Regular and AuxA LOR networks.  The AuxA network has all the controllers that are in use for the landscape lighting show, and the regular network has the InputPup.  When the controllers lose heartbeat from the show computer, they turn off the lights within a couple seconds.  I did all this as a way to shut down a show based on a trigger (which the LOR software does not support).  Here is a singe line drawing (a bit out of date) of my LOR networking.  If your browser does not show the image, there is a link to it below.

 

LOR_Network_2016-07-19.jpg

http://www.newburghlights.org/images/LOR_Network_2016-07-19.jpg

 

Link to post
Share on other sites

My HA system has some existing actions related to the display that I enable and disable every season.

One action I kick off when the show starts for the season is to block the on and off commands for all my exterior lights like the driveway, porch, etc.  The action unblocks at midnight and turns on all the exterior lights.  The block also also prevents the HA commands to run my lawn sprinklers that have display elements on them.

Another script powers up one big inflatable and a mini light figure about an hour before show start and then off at midnight.  On the weekends the inflatable fires up in the morning and is up for the entire day instead of the hour before showtime.  

I've heard conflicting information about LOR controllers running fans/motors for things like inflatables.  I just use my HA system for it and can manage the inflatable like daytimes without having to depend on the show running.   The HA system is running anyway so it all seems to work well for me.  

Edited by Wingrider
Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...