The PCS Scenemaster

Posted on Feb 7, 2014

The PCS SceneMaster Model LM4LS2 was won from Home Automator Magazine for `Best Web Site` and was installed during the spring of 1999. This controller is capable of ramping lights on and off, and `scenes`. This is where a single X-10 command can produce a combination of lighting levels. These light levels can be achieved with programmable ramp rat

The PCS Scenemaster
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es. I have a location in my home where four lighting circuits are controlled. In the past, three of these have been controlled by standard X-10 wall switches. The fourth one was a bank of fluorescents, and it was not X-10 controlled. This location controls lighting that covers a majority of the open design of the living space, and is the logical choice for the SceneMaster. I wanted the fluorescents to be controlled also, but connecting them to the TRIAC output of the SceneMaster is risky. I therefore chose to add a relay to the SceneMaster. The coil is wired to `Load 4`, and its output is connected to the unused contact on the barrier strip on the back of the SceneMaster. The relay is a four pole, double throw, and fits inside the SceneMaster. The whole package is quite tidy and self-contained. Three poles of the relay are used in parallel to share the current and to provide redundant contacts. The fourth one is left for a spare contact in case the other three fail. If that point comes I can then temporarily wire to the fourth one to get the circuit operational again, buying me some time to think up a long term solution. In addition to three poles sharing the current, I added an MOV (Metal Oxide Varistor) surge suppressor across the relay contacts. One operational restraint is that this circuit is not allowed to be dimmed. When the `Load 4` circuit is dimmed, the relay buzzes loudly in the transition range between bright...

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