Background

Ever wanted to achieve unlimited freedom to control your home or business indoor lightning, outdoor lightning as well as indoor environment controlling applications?

With the Intelligent Dimmer Controller 4 (InDiCo4) you will be able to customize your home- or business environment according to your, or your customer’s specific needs. The InDiCo4 will give you unlimited freedom to control the environment of your choice - home- or business.

The InDiCo4 will control up to 4 0-10 volt dimmers - the dimmers can then control light, pool light, ceiling fans, ventilation or other dimmable devices. I have previously worked on number of hardware/software projects - one of them a volume-controlling unit (Controls the line signal) that works with the LK-IHC system - now my audio volume is controlled via my IHC remote control.

So at a Halloween get-together with some friends, an electrician asked me if it was also possible to make the same controller for light dimming, and how much it should cost - from there on the idea for the “Intelligent Dimmer Controller 4” arose - and now I want to see if it can fly…

When the InDiCo4 is used in an IHC environment, the 4 dimmer ports can be used in scenario programming or ordinary IHC programming. All this will give you the option to control the specific requirements of the environment of your choice. As a standalone device, the easy configuration options for the InDiCo4 provides unlimited possibilities to turn one or more dimmable source (Light, Fans, ventilation) to the best possible level.

The versatile 24 volt input will give you the option to activate the inputs via an almost unlimited number of devices. The build-in timer will let you control on/off times and levels for each dimmer output.

The diversity of the InDiCo4 provides a wide range of user scenarios:

  • Indoor light scene set for your customized comfort and home environment lighting preferences, set according to time of day
  • Outdoor light scene with on/off controlled by a sun sensor and 50/100% controlled by a motion sensor
  • Stair control system, with low light as standby, full light on button press, or motion detection. When lights turn on, the timer starts – when the defined timer time is exceeded, light goes off/down to low.
  • Fan control according to work hours and requirements, e.g. set to turn off outside office hours, turn to low in office hours and to full when the specific room is in use, controlled by motion detector

Benefits

If able to control lighting and regulate lighting and/or ventilation in accordance with your specified time and/or movements, you will be able to gain several benefits:

  • As a private person, you can make your home environment safer and more energy efficient if able to customise lighting to your everyday routines.
  • As an electrician, you can provide residents or businesses with full control of their lightning environment and consequently huge savings.
  • Assist in controlling your indoor environmental control system - turn fan speed up/down, turn on/off - all based on a number of measuring devices (Humidity, light, sun, temperature, motion etc.)

Key features for the Intelligent Dimmer Controller 4:

  • Self contained unit
  • Easy programming
  • No external configuration units or software/pc needed
  • Internal clock
  • Almost unlimited input methods
  • A wide range of options for dimmers/lamps to control
  • DIN rail mounting
  • Programming is performed via buttons and LCD on the unit – hence no external device is needed to program or change configurations.

Tested dimmers (But not limited to these):

Power supply:

  • IHC 24 volt and data connection
  • External 24 volt power supply

Possible input controllers:

  • IHC 24 volt output module
  • As an IHC output module connected directly to the controller
  • Motions detectors (24 volt systems)
  • Sun sensor (Light sensor)
  • Variety of buttons
  • Internal timer

The best day in this project was when i got this picture from my hardware vendor, of the PCB.

The components for the prototype was mounted on the board, ready to veld...

Next big event was when I got power on the board and started to get things working, getting letters and numbers to print on the LCD and to use buttons, what a day.

Why use the IHC Input module? because it communicates like the IHC controller. This makes me and the test board mobile instead of using my live IHC house system for testing (and I avoid a nagging family when the light goes out)

The Software Development Kit (SDK)

This kit will give you access to

  • One Intelligent Dimmer Controller 4 (InDiCo4) - with standard software loaded
  • Copy of my source code - as-is
  • Community support With this SDK, you can write your own code for the InDiCo4 (or use a subset of mine, and extend it).

If you make a good program and want to sell this, buy some InDiCo4 (The hardware perk), program it and resell it as your own. When the unit is reprogrammed, all software warranties are void.

Production plan...

The hardware producer can spew out 300 InDiCo4 a week. When the goal is reached, the production plan are set in motion:

  • Order the required numbers of InDiCo4 from the hardware producer
  • Order cardboard boxes to hold InDiCo4(s) and datasheet/user-guide (+USB for SDK kits)
  • Write and duplicate the datasheet and user-guide
  • Load each InDiCo4 with test firmware and run it thorough the test board (Test each output from 0 to 10v, all inputs and display)
  • Load the InDiCo4 with production firmware, test the InDiCo4 starts, and and QC mark it
  • Package and label the box and shipped for all you wonderful backers in September 2016