KNX is a wildly popular building- and home-automation protocol in Europe, with big plans for the U.S. market. The U.S. effort just got a boost from KNX developer CDInnovation, which offers a new gateway for simple integration with RTI smart-home systems.
An RTI “driver generator” added to a CDI Maestro KNX gateway allows RTI to import all KNX settings with the press of a button. In most other KNX integrations, dealers must manually enter settings from ETS – the programming software for KNX – into their home-automation system of choice.
In the case of CDI, “the entire procedure is automated and data is directly transferred from ETS to RTI, with zero configuration effort,” says CDI’s Ofer Ben-Nathan. “By using Maestro's RTI driver generator, the integrator's time spent on manual manipulation of data is saved.”
Most major home-controls manufacturers – including RTI itself – offer KNX integration, but migration from one platform to the other can be challenging.
“There are various solutions in the market to connect RTI and KNX and they are all based on a pre-defined driver, i.e., a general driver that was developed and prepared in advance,” Ben-Nathan explains.
All smart-home projects are different, however, due to the variety of equipment installed and the way the system is configured, he says: “A predefined driver cannot provide a complete solution for the job, and the integrator will have to modify and adapt to the specific project details by manually adding in the missing data.”
There’s ETS to contend with on the KNX side, and then Integration Designer software on the RTI side. Even with a KNX “driver,” the transfer from one to the other can get messy.
“We do not use a pre-defined driver,” says Ben-Nathan. “Our Maestro Designer software imports all data from the particular KNX project from the ETS program and then automatically generates a dedicated RTI driver.”
The driver includes all the relevant information from the KNX system including group address, data type and even the text description, “so each and every project will have its own unique driver, requiring no intervention by the integrator,” according to Ben-Nathan.
KNX’s historical data is maintained on Maestro, keeping RTI’s controller up-to-date on actual load state, “without any delay and any KNX bus overload,” says Ben-Nathan, explaining that there’s no KNX polling to bog down the network.
The system supports all common KNX data types, and an unlimited number of group addresses is supported with no extra fees.
RTI is On Board
RTI likes what it sees from CDInnovation. Marketing director Brett Stokke tells CE Pro that the beauty of RTI’s Integration Designer software is that dealers need not “write code” to configure the typical KNX driver. Even so, entering the KNX device data can be time-consuming.
“The difference with the CDInnovation KNX programming software is it actually has the ability to generate a custom two-way driver on the fly containing all of the KNX device data for the project,” Stokke says. “This driver is imported into the RTI programming, bringing with it all of the KNX configuration and eliminating the step of having to enter the KNX device data on the RTI side.”
He adds, “This will be a big time-saver for integrators, especially in larger projects.”
Video: Integrating RTI with KNX via CDInnovation's Maestro Gateway and driver generator.
More Functionality with Maestro Gateway
In addition to offering KNX integration, Maestro can bring additional functionality to RTI (and other home-control systems).
“The combination of RTI and Maestro produces a much stronger solution and saves the need to purchase and add external modules,” Ben-Nathan says.
The company promises:
- Most friendly macro and scheduler manager
- Powerful, yet easy to use, function blocks controller
- Collecting years of data and presenting them over graphs
- Dynamic email generator using artificial intelligence
- KNX NetIP for remote programming