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Author Topic: Smart Macro for Jewish Holy days?  (Read 4171 times)


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Smart Macro for Jewish Holy days?
« on: December 30, 2008, 04:48:25 PM »

Hello Everyone;

I have a client that is spending/has spent a nice amount of money with me.  Now they want to spend some more with me if I can get their
X10 CM15A with Smart Macros to work on the Jewish Holidays without changing each rooms day and on/off times that they use for their
Sabbath.  There are some 50 devices that need to be changed for each holy day pair. Then the devices have to be changed when the
holy days are over.

The rules, as I understand them are:
The Holy Day starts the previous evening, in the US the holy days are for 2 days, nothing can be changed manually and lights cannot be turned on
or off.  The CM15A programs are not affected because the CM15A is not connected to the computer so the signals are coming from the
stored program.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to accomplish this?

In 2009 Passover will begin the evening of 8-Apr-2009 and run for 2 days so the programming needs to repeat both days AND then the
Sabbath comes on Friday evening. That is not a problem because all switches/devices are alread programmed for their Sabbath.

Another problem they have is on Friday, if the Sabbath has started but there was an electrical problem or a storm knocked out the electricity,
the lights that were supposed to turn on at sunset do not turn on.  Is there some kind of smart macro that can determine if the lights are
already on and if not, then turn on the lights or would it be better to just, arbitrarily, turn on the lights every hour?

If I can get these problems resolved, the lady told me she will tell all her friends about the cool system they bought from me.  And, I know
she has lots and lots of friends.  I have already gotten some referral business from her just because her garage sconces turn on at sunset and
turn off at sunrise, 365 days a year and they don't have to reprogram the lights as they used to do with the timers.

Any help would be appreciated.

steven r

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Re: Smart Macro for Jewish Holy days?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 07:53:39 PM »

First let me say AHP and X10 do not lend themselves to working well with floating holidays, Jewish, Christian or any other. Also a X10 "day" is defined as from midnight to midnight so programing is further complicated by this.

Don't despair this issue has been addressed before and I think there are a few others using X10 for similar settings.
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Re: Smart Macro for Jewish Holy days?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 08:23:32 PM »

I can tell you this much:
As someone who has spent a considerable amount of time programing my own system for the Jewish holidays, there is no easy answer.
According to the Jewish calendar, the day starts and ends at sundown, not at midnight (as in the Gregorian calendar). This presents a lot of complications when programming X10, as sunset shifts throughout the year.
Fortunately, X10 does have dusk and dawn tables, so we can work with it. My "regular" weekly program (I actually have separate ones for winter and summer, as the times are so vastly different) has timers for Friday evening/night, and timers for Saturday.
The holidays add complication, as I need to think about the day/night combinations correctly. For example, in 2009, Passover begins Wednesday evening, April 8th. I need to think about programming for Wednesday evening/night, Thursday (daytime), Thursday evening/night, and Friday (daytime). This is on top of the programming I may need to adjust for Friday evening/night and Saturday.
I usually end up writing a modified program several times a year, and then switching back to my "normal" program after the holiday is over.
It certainly is a large amount of work, but I've gotten better at doing it faster each time.
Since the Jewish holidays are based on the Jewish calendar, they do not fall out on the same dates (on the Gregorian calendar) or the same days of the week each year. At the very least, you will need to write a new program each year.
As for the religious restrictions, it is true that we cannot turn the lights on or off (hence the whole advantage of X10 and the CM15A).
This becomes an issue if there is a power outage at any time over the sabbath (sunset Friday through sunset Saturday) or on any of the holidays.
For my own setup, I created a series of If-Then-Else SmartMacros, with the conditions set based on day of the week and time of day.
The trigger is a PowerFlash module with the contacts shorted together (with a short section of wire). It is set to send a momentary "on" signal when activated.
When power cuts off (for more than 5 seconds or so - there is a capacitor that needs to discharge), and then back on, it sends the signal, which the CM15A interprets to trigger the macros.
Depending on the day of the week and time of day, the macros turn on all of the appropriate lights and other devices.
I set this up several years ago, when we had a long series of brief power outages all through the summer. Or course, by the time I got the PowerFlash and the macros completed, the power company had fixed the issue.
I have only used it a few times since then, but it has worked flawlessly since.
You could probably use something similar to this in your setup.
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