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3-way, 4-way and beyond switch circuits


paulstevens

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Is there a way to use a Wireless Switch or Wireless Dimmer in a 3-way or larger circuit without the need for the 2-button keypad?

I have several multiple-way light circuits (hallways, living room) that I would like to control, but the cost of keypads adds up in a hurry. If there is a cost effective way to add control to these types of circuits, please share.

Also, are there any FAQs with Q&A such as this? I've done some scouring, and I don't want to bring up old topics anew.

Thanks again. I feel my wallet beginning to contract. I want to minimize the pain. :o

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NO,

I understand your wallet tightening, but you may have to put some upgrades until you have the money. From reading your post's you are trying to get MORE for LESS, nothing wrong with that. But in this case you will need the 2 button keypads.

Good Luck

Brent

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Just to confirm what I'm reading: if I have 3-way or 4-way circuits, I need a switch at one end of the run and keypad at the other end.

I have a similar situation where 90% of the circuits in my house are 3 or 4 way. When I disccussed optioned with my dealer, he only mentioned the need for a switch at one end of the run. ( we were tallking about linking them to motion sensors)

What is the purpose of the keypad in these situations?

Tx

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The keypad is to provide something to press at both ends of the 3-way.

i.e. typically, at stairs or hallways, you'll have a switch at each end. If you only replace one of those with a dimmer, you don't have anything to fill the other box, nor a way to turn the light on or off from the 'far end'.

with a 4-way, you need an additional 2-button keypad for the 'other hole', etc., etc.

RyanE

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Keep in mind that the keypads are useless if and when the controller is down for whatever reason. This is because the keypads turn on the light by communicating with the controller first, which communicates with the primary dimmer/switch. The controller typically has very good uptime and you may never encounter this but it's good to know.

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Good point.

When you do replace 3-way and 4-way scenarios, it's a good idea to think where the dimmer should go, vs. where the 2-button keypad goes.

i.e. on my stairs, the dimmer is at the *top*, the 2-button at the bottom, mainly because I believe it's safer to have the dimmer at the top, since going down stairs is more dangerous than up.

That said, other than when I've been updating the system, the 2-button has always worked.

RyanE

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Keep in mind that the keypads are useless if and when the controller is down for whatever reason. This is because the keypads turn on the light by communicating with the controller first, which communicates with the primary dimmer/switch. The controller typically has very good uptime and you may never encounter this but it's good to know.

Typically, as in three weeks?

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I don't know offhand how much a 2 button keypad costs vs a switch. If switches are significantly cheaper than a 2 button keypad, you could program a switch to function as a keypad as was discussed on another thread.

I'm pretty confident a two button is cheaper than a switch. I can guarantee it isn't more.

That would be a hack job to say the least.

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^^ I haven't had a problem with my controller for the past 4-5 months. I have noticed a minor lag where the TV channel would not change for 2-3 seconds or a light would not turn on until 2-3 seconds passed a couple of times since but other than that, my controller didn't need to be rebooted.

I have added a lot of switches, etc. though and have noticed that the system is a little slower to respond overall since I first purchased it 2 years ago. But then I only have a HC-300 and a HC-200 which is dedicated to the master suite.

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I don't know offhand how much a 2 button keypad costs vs a switch. If switches are significantly cheaper than a 2 button keypad' date=' you could program a switch to function as a keypad as was discussed on another thread.[/quote']

I'm pretty confident a two button is cheaper than a switch. I can guarantee it isn't more.

That would be a hack job to say the least.

I don't really know what the price diff is either (I personally don't care) but I'm wondering how much more ghetto it would be. I think it would be OK from a functional [programming] standpoint in CHE...

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And I'm sure you want one, and ONLY one, dimmer or switch in the 3-way circuit. Everything else must be a keypad. Otherwise, it is not going to work the way you expect.

For one thing, you cannot leave the mechanical switches in the circuit with a Control4 dimmer or switch. If you do that, you can turn the light off with either the mechanical switches or the Control4 device. But the other cannot then turn it back on.

For another thing, if you use anything but a keypad for the other locations (like another switch or dimmer), you'll have to link them together with programming scripts and then you may encounter about a two-second delay before the lights react to anything except the dimmer directly. If you use a keypad, then a dealer can bind the keypad to the dimmer in the C4 magic and it works almost instantaneously.

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I think you'd be OK. I mean hook-up the primary wiring with nothing on the load side. All you would be doing is programming off of the button push. Delay? How so? I have many 2B-controller-dimmer trips that work around say 500 ms response T and these are situations where I have unbound them for higher-level capability.

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I think you'd be OK. I mean hook-up the primary wiring with nothing on the load side. All you would be doing is programming off of the button push. Delay? How so? I have many 2B-controller-dimmer trips that work around say 500 ms response T and these are situations where I have unbound them for higher-level capability.

There was a another thread where several dealers (and Ryan, I think) confirmed that there's no way to bind a dimmer to another dimmer in the way you could bind a keypad to a dimmer.

If they are correct, then your only choice in using another dimmer in the second location is to script it. I've done that in my kitchen where I have a currently unused dimmer and I programmed it to control the overhead lights with a double-tap. There is always a second or two delay before the lights react. Maybe it's because I'm running on an HC300 or maybe it's due to the double-tap.

Perhaps I try programming it to trigger on the release. Hmmm....back in a minute...

Edit: Thanks....it was the double tap. Works fine when triggered on the release. Made my day.

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Eaglemoon,

The logic around double taps and triple taps is simple, the problem is cutomizing it for the customer.

I.E. You tell your dinner guest to just double tap the top button and he walks over and PrEEEESSSes the button pauses and PREEEESSSes the button.

Now using the default double tap settings in composer HE it will still work because it waits around 2 seconds before executing the command.

You can build it yourself to wait only 500 mlseconds but then that requires a fast tap. (also network congestion can mean that it gets the second command 20 mlseconds too late.)

It really depends on the usage, and I think Control4 picked a "safe" amount of thime.

Brent

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it waits around 2 seconds before executing the command.

Yep, that's exactly what it was doing. It was temporary solution in my case so I didn't give it much thought but I assumed (without that thought) that the delay was inherent in using programming script to control the other dimmer. Not so, as I found out today.

I have a space beside it for two-button keypad that I'll use instead when I can get it. FYI, On Monday I sent my dealer a list of dimmers, switches and keypads plus some security system and sensors that I want. Waiting to see prices. If he doesn't come through soon, someone here will get the opportunity.

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