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Communicating with Control4 keypad using ZigBee Pro


jmoskowitz

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We have an application that has nothing to do with lighting control for which we wish to utilize Control4 keypads to control the operation. We are interested in utilizing the keypads to communicate with our ZigBee enabled server, to start, stop and control certain operations of our servers. It is our understanding that the switches are ZigBeePro compatible. Is anyone aware of any difficulties we may encounter in linking Control4 keypads to a non-Control4 server? We are concerned about the initial linking of our server and the keypad and if ZigBee security functions that have been implemented in the keypads are going to be an issue. We are also interested in using touch screens but we are assuming that there will be similar issues to address.

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You can certainly try, but there won't be any support from Control4 to do so.

The devices themselves should join to a ZigBee Pro mesh, but they may not send messages until they've gotten messages from Control4, and the messages they send (and the commands to set LEDs, etc.) are not published.

As far as the touchscreens, all of the 'magic' in Control4's touchscreen is in the Navigator, and you can't run a Navigator without a master controller running Director. All the UI is generated based on the project, which is in the controller.

RyanE

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Maybe you would be better off using the keypads to change variables on your C4 system and then somehow have your server read the variables. I am not sure how easy it is to do the latter but you could always trigger an email from C4 to your server from a keypad press and then have your server react to that email. Not an elegant solution but it should work.

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The issue is, I do not wish to use any c4 server in our network. It is redundant when we already have ZigBeePro support capabilities in our servers. The keypads should be able to connect directly to our servers. Our servers are spread across a wide geographic area and already use ZigBeee to communicate with each other. We want each server to be able to be controlled by a number of C4 keypads and touch screens that directly communicate with our servers. It is just not clear if the keypads are using anything outside the ZigBeePro home automation profile or if built in security features will leave us unable to communicate with the devices. We will need hundreds or thousands of keypads in our application to connect to all of our servers.

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Our servers already support ZigBee. We would need to modify our hardware to add WiFi to support iPods. The c4 ZigBee keypads make the most sense for a cost effective solution. But I suppose there are few, if any, on this forum that have really attempted to communicate with the c4 keypads or touch screens at the level we are looking at interfacing. Even with the touchscreen, we can paint data onto the display just as a Director would do so, by having our servers send the proper data to the screens. But the details of such communications may be beyond the scope of this forum and require some licensing from C4 itself.

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Control4 is fairly open, but only in the sense that it's not too difficult to add 3rd-party devices to Control4's ZigBee/WiFi/Ethernet architecture, mainly because the driver architecture is so good.

Control4 doesn't typically publish the protocols used by keypads, or touchscreens.

To get that level of detail, you'd have to engage Control4 in something more along the lines of an OEM agreement, etc., or at least through the partner program, I'd guess.

Otherwise, you're on your own as to figuring out how to hack Control4's gear to be used in your scenario.

Sorry I don't have more help than that.

RyanE

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  • 1 month later...
Our servers already support ZigBee. We would need to modify our hardware to add WiFi to support iPods. The c4 ZigBee keypads make the most sense for a cost effective solution. But I suppose there are few, if any, on this forum that have really attempted to communicate with the c4 keypads or touch screens at the level we are looking at interfacing. Even with the touchscreen, we can paint data onto the display just as a Director would do so, by having our servers send the proper data to the screens. But the details of such communications may be beyond the scope of this forum and require some licensing from C4 itself.

There is plenty of Zigbee gear out there why are you trying to use products made by a company for a specific purpose?

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Our servers already support ZigBee. We would need to modify our hardware to add WiFi to support iPods. The c4 ZigBee keypads make the most sense for a cost effective solution. But I suppose there are few, if any, on this forum that have really attempted to communicate with the c4 keypads or touch screens at the level we are looking at interfacing. Even with the touchscreen, we can paint data onto the display just as a Director would do so, by having our servers send the proper data to the screens. But the details of such communications may be beyond the scope of this forum and require some licensing from C4 itself.

FYI, the touchpanels are not zigbee. They are either hardwired ethernet or WiFi.

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