Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp

Hello my dear readers,

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: free-control

Ricc - I blog for you

After a long time, there is once again a message from my workshop, which has a slightly more extensive conversion behind it and in which the radio system Free Control of Kopp is drafted.

The main area (workspace) certainly know some and I also admit that I like to show it. But not all know, there is a side area with kitchen and small bathroom. Although this was quite well prepared years ago, but suffered and partly I have already removed the wall coverings. All walls of the workshop were first provided with battens about 9 years ago and then clad with panels. This had the reason that the workshop was used during the house construction time as a living room, kitchen and bathroom and had to be made quite comfortable. In addition to a quick and stylish appearance, the wall porch above all achieved additional thermal insulation.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: free-control

The main area of ​​the workshop has already been renewed but is also not quite up to date. The ceiling was redone and the pillar replaced (now without covering).

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: smarthome

Former construction of kitchen and bathroom

Wall coverings provide space for cables and unfortunately also for animals

Yes, there is plenty of room behind wall cladding and it's easy to hide all power cords and other wires. However, we live in a rural area and own two Cameroon sheep, which unfortunately leads to the fact that every now and then small rodents on the feed hermachen.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: conversion

Here, the rodents have felt comfortable.

In principle, the extent and number of animals is not bad, but I think it's terrible when the little beasts hide behind the wall paneling and you hear them gnawing. That can not stay that way! The only solution is:

  • remove all wall coverings
  • Replace the ceiling and eliminate loopholes on the exterior walls
  • plaster all the walls again, so that no wall coverings are necessary, behind which animals can hide
  • forced to relocate the electrical system and "hide" cables

Chaos during the conversion of the workshop

The work began with the dismantling of the ceiling, all wall coverings and the removal of the partition between the kitchen and bathroom / WC. In the bathroom but are usually washing machine and dryer and they must remain in use. After all, we have children - whoever bought them.

As a result, the work was often chaotic and everything was constantly evacuated from one corner to the other in order to work in the first corner. In the first picture, this is very clear. When the second is already the bathroom half plastered and the skeleton stands for the partition.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: kopp

Partition is out and there is chaos

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: smarthome

Bathroom half plastered and partition prepared

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: workshop

Divider stands, bath finished and kitchen in work

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: workshop

The last wall to the front workshop is plastered.

My workshop needs smarthome

Maybe you should first clarify at the point: "What is Smarthome?". Some people are now thinking about controlling the heating via app and smartphone, but Smarthome starts much earlier. Smart = smart. Home = home. Smart home!

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: smarthome

The domestic waterwork behind the panel can only be operated "smartly" by radio.

If I turn to Wikipedia, Smarthome is a generic term for networked and "blurry" devices that improve the quality of living. Once summarized on a sentence! Accordingly, already Radio outlets smart and thus smarthome. That's exactly what I want to use for several reasons.

The picture on the right already serves as a good example. You can see the small bathroom (can be photographed badly through the door) with a box of OSB panels in the back right. That's the disguise for ours Water works, The cladding is insulated from the inside, which works wonders, and of course, from the outside is even prettier designed. But the cladding does not make it easy to turn off the pump quickly because a dripping line may have been detected. And also the Fan in the adjacent wall, which is to replace the missing window, somehow has to be operated. In both cases, a variant offers by radio. If you look closely, you may discover the small remote control in the mirror cabinet that currently serves the two radio-controlled sockets behind the paneling.

Although remote controls are practical, they rarely make sense in workshop chaos

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: conversion

Radio sockets for fan and pump

What is practical in the house or apartment does not automatically apply to the workshop. There is dust, dirt and often a (structured) chaos during project implementation. Then finding the remote control is not always easy. So it has to be a fixed version. Sure, I could lay cable and install somewhere light switch, but that brings us to the second motivation.

As described at the beginning, cables can be easily hidden behind the walls of the substructure. But now the wall coverings are gone and yet, of course, I do not want cable clutter on the wall. Similarly, it is rarely useful in the workshop to put all lines under plaster. This works when the workshop is in the shell, but not if you can only work piece by piece. The goal is therefore: Lay as few cables as possible.

Smarthome saves additional cable laying

The basis was therefore that (almost) all cables in cable shafts must and I would like to see so few cable shafts, as only possible.

The floor plan of the workshop can be seen quite well on the pictures. Not to be seen, the control cabinet is on the right wall next to the kitchen. From there I have to supply kitchen, bath, boiler, domestic waterworks, dryer and WM. I solved that with two lines 5 x 2.5. One is on the back wall in a cable duct and runs behind the kitchen cabinets (so hard to see). There I grab a line for the kitchen, the boiler and the waterworks.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: kopp

Cable laying in the workshop

A second cable is under the screed in a long since used 50's HG pipe - I love such practical preparations. This goes from the meter cabinet to the pillar between the bathroom and the workshop (left in front of the bathroom door). There I also divide up the three lines and have connections for the bathroom lighting, the dryer and the washing machine.

But it is already problematic with the lighting or the light switches. I would like to turn on the kitchen lighting at the front of the entrance, but I would have to put a cable from the kitchen connection back to the front and back to the lamp. The same applies to the lighting in the front workshop. There I have a total of four lamps, all of which need an additional cable routing to the switch on the front door or all would have to be operated from different points. Now Smarthome and the radio switches from Kopp come into play.

Lighting control with wireless switches from Kopp

The easiest way to avoid unnecessarily laying cables is via radio switches. This works via radio-controlled sockets but also with radio relays that are integrated into the power grid. The highlight of Kopp's Free Control system is (I did not know it before) that they do not have a typical remote control, but switches that look like light switches. So they can be visually integrated into the existing system and do not even need a flush-mounted box. Imagine that you only take the cover of a light switch, stick it somewhere on the wall and turn the light on and off. This is exactly how it is implemented in my workshop. I take the light switches in a suitable place and distribute the receivers in the workshop where they are needed.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: workshop

The receivers fit into a flush-mounted box or even directly into the lamp.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: free-control

Using the switch, they can be used as a series or roller shutter switch.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: workshop

The transmitters are not thicker than a light switch, can be glued or screwed.

The installation is for professionals only

In own thing: Please forgive me for not showing pictures of the installation. I have been doing this for a very long time and for a good reason. Working on 230 V belong in trained hands and are not for a layman, who only likes to tinker. If you have sufficient knowledge and experience, you are welcome to do such work yourself. The decision is up to everyone. Nevertheless, I would like to encourage anyone to even hand on electrical lines. I do not show pictures and I do not describe the electrical connections in any of my projects. Please understand.

Installation of the transmitter not so easy but in the extra design

Of course, what I like to show is the assembly of the switches / transmitters, which was not that easy. The problem here is my personal taste.

Four transmitters were used, which I wanted to accommodate centrally. But not, as is typical, all together or side by side, but in the form 2 x 2. Unfortunately, there are no 4-frame, which allow mounting in this arrangement. After a short search on the net, there is apparently not a manufacturer who offers such frames. Why not or did not I search correctly? Especially with smart home functions, like these, the possibility often arises to place several light switches centrally.

Anyway, I wanted it that way and saw the only way to position four individual switches with individual frames. So that they do not look so "composed", they should get a black frame from the 3D printer. So far no problem and a paragraph on the panels even simplified the attachment of the frame. It is, like the old transparent frame to protect the wall from soiling, held and does not require its own attachment.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: conversion

Drill holes must be marked exactly.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: workshop

Then screw on the brackets

Fastening the switches was already more difficult. Since each switch has its own frame, which is then attached by a click system to the switch, the switches are not adjacent to each other, but must be dowelled with a certain distance. Absolutely exact measuring, scribing and drilling are required here. Any deviation would be seen later. Without a cross-line laser you should at least make a drilling template for it.

But, I made it and with small corrections that allow the screws in the mounting holes, all switches sit perfectly in the black frame, which gives the wall a nice contrast.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: free-control

Hang up the frame and click on the transmitter

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: kopp

The black frame has become great.

Use of transmitters and switching relays

Plans are created during construction or rather: "So, as planned, it will never be." I also had to realize this project. Despite extensive conversation with a technician from Kopp (by the way, very nice and good advice) and a good plan, which should be implemented, then everything changed. The timer is not used for the fan in the bathroom because the bath keeps its usual light switch on the door (should actually be combined with the fan) and also a receiver with two switch contacts I can not, as planned for the two lamps in the workshop use. For this I would have to pull on the ceiling a line from one lamp to the next, which I would like to avoid.

An advantage of Kopp's Free Control, however, is that it allows you to program and connect freely. So it is for example possible to connect the left switch of a series switch with receiver 1 and the right switch with receiver 2. The second series switch could then operate the other two switching contacts of the two relays again. I have used that and can operate the two lamps in the front workshop area with a series switch, although they are operated by two different lines with two different receivers. I hope you can follow me. ?

  • Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: smarthome

    Combination of transmitter and receiver

    Series switch 1 operates relay 1.1 (receiver 1 switching contact 1) and relay 2.1 and switches the two lamps in the front workshop area

  • Series switch 2 operates relay 1.2 (receiver 1 switching contact 2) and 2.2 and switches the light outside and the lighting in the back of the workshop (machine park and robotic lawn)
  • Series switch 3 operates 3.1 and 3.2 and thus the kitchen lighting and the kitchen workplace light

Now I have a simple switch and a timer left, the use of which got a completely different direction during installation. As you can see on the pictures, I decided to place all the free-control switches in the middle of the room. Although this has the advantage that in the evening I can easily turn off all lights, but then I have to pat in the dark to the door. Since the timer is used. Although I have not yet decided on a suitable lighting (everything else is done), but the timer is used for the "output". So I want to leave the workshop in the dark, I tap switch 4, which triggers with the timer for 2-3 min emergency lighting, I can turn off all other lights in peace and leave the workshop. The last light goes out by itself.

I have just searched for opportunities and found a suitable transmitter. That would actually have been a possibility. Anyway, maybe as an addition.

A gateway to the crowning of my smarthome technology is still following

What is still to come, is a gateway, so that the operation can even be done via smartphone or tablet. Although Kopp is currently offering one to the Free Control series, I have heard (quite clearly) that there is a new model this year. So I hold myself back and wait for the new technology.

Of course, the central technology is already a significant improvement and the app control is seen by some as an exaggerated luxury, but for me there are reasons that justify a gateway. Hopefully my wife will see that as well. ?

With us "Fred" the robotic lawnmower mows the lawn and this fixed times are programmed. Early, before I start my work, I stroll with coffee over the lawn and check again, if not possibly toy lying around the dog or the children or I was too lazy the night before to roll up the garden hose. But sometimes it can happen that I get up later, have a quick way to get done, or for other reasons Fred should not drive across the grass. Then I have to disconnect to the workshop and the charging station from the mains. He already stays in his garage. Of course, that would be a lot easier on a mobile phone or tablet, because I could do it from anywhere. The same applies to the light in the workshop, that you might have started because you wanted to go out again, and then for some reason remains in the house. Therefore, there are enough reasons for an operation via App.

Overall it was a lot of work and I am not finished. There is still missing the ceiling (roof is newly made) and the right wall on the meter cabinet, I would like to plaster. It is a pity, of course, that I hardly have a chance behind the heater (right in the picture) to rebuild the wall. For this, all heating pipes and the gas line would have to go away. This is too complicated for me.

The previous result can be seen but also my smart home light switches work great. Everything is lighter, not only bigger, but it is also a little and the small bathroom has finally got a decent door. The old sliding door was not really tight and could not be locked from the inside.

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: kopp

Old kitchen during renovation

Workshop conversion with Smarthome Free-Control by Kopp: conversion

News and almost finished result

A little hint:Below the worktop are (from left to right) a door from the old worktop, a fridge, a freezer and a heater. With a little adhesive foil, everything does not look like a dice. Later, I will also make the upper cabinets new and then the doors will look the same. But now I need a break first. ?


Meanwhile, the time switch was installed and I came up with a great idea. Free-Control probably comes from "free control" and so can really connect and combine all transmitters with all receivers. This not only affects the switch itself, but even turning it on and off. For example, if a switch turns on a lamp, it can simultaneously turn off another lamp and turn it over. That's exactly what I'm doing for me and save me in the evening switching off the lamps.

If I want to leave the workshop, I'll just tap a switch. This switches on the time relay and thus the "emergency lighting" for one minute. The same signal also activates all other receivers and turns off the light everywhere. So I do not need to operate each switch individually for each lamp.

No matter which lamps were on before, after a click all go out and the emergency lights on. Oh, what am I lazy? ?

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