How to Register Velux radio controlled windows

Velux Window Registration of Window to Controller

An Off Piste rant ….having just had a few hours of my life dribble through my fingers I thought others might want to avoid having the same misery.

We have two Velux centre hinge windows in our ‘Summer Room’.   They have been temperamental about behaving to the handheld controller over the years and at the weekend they both went AWOL to the controller while open.

The handbook is a bit disjointed and has a circular path if you have a problem that does not get you anywhere apart from very frustrated.

First thing is that if you end up with the window open and not responding there is a tiny white button on the electronics box inside of the window frame which if you press once will cause the window to close.  This assumes that the window has failed fully open and you can get at the button….

Now to the main problem, getting the remote control to ‘see’ and register the window(s).   I got the spectrum analyser out and checked what was happening.  When you take the batteries out of the controller and give it a hard bounce it takes you into a primary screen asking for the language option you want.   This is followed by a Register menu option.   When I selected this I could see a polling signal at 868MHz (European short range devices frequency allocation) so the controller looked to be working OK.

To activate the window to listen for a poll from the controller you have to switch off the power to the window and then switch back on.  For the next 10 minutes it should be listening for the controller polling request.

Well I followed all this but the controller was not seeing the windows to register them.  I could not see the ACK on the analyser coming back from the window so something was wrong.

Digging in the handbook there is mention of a ‘window reset’.   The same white button that allows you to close an open window also acts as a reset button for the window.   If the window is closed you can manually open it to get at this button. You hold the button down for 10 seconds and this causes the mechanism in the frame to cycle back and forth and make noises.

When all stopped and it went quiet I turned the windows off and on and re-tried the controller and immediately both windows registered.

Magic.   I can now get on with something more important or at least more interesting.

In summary : –

  • Remove the batteries from the remote controller.
  • Manually open the window and press the white button on the black electrical unit on the frame for ~8 secs. The white T shaped part of the mechanism will go into an ‘in and out’ process for 6 or more times and then stop.
  • Close the window manually and switch off the power to the window.
  • Put the batteries back in the controller.
  • Switch on the window.  You now have 10 minutes to register the window.
  • The controller will ask for the language to be selected and will then give an option to Register. Cross all your fingers, hold your breath and then press Register and wait for registration to happen.

Hope that helps someone lose a little less of their life trying to get this to work.

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Activity Update – FlatCAM, Arduino and Social Distancing

While I have been quiet for the last month or so there has been some intensive work by Dave and myself on FlatCAM.   We are in the throes of doing a formal document to help others get to grips with the process and techniques for milling circuit boards.

I need to also put my hand up and admit going over to yet another dark side by experimenting with Arduino technology.  This came about as a follow on to the work on silencing my Bill Smith Gravity Arm Gearless Clock.   With the help of another colleague we have replaced the discrete timer logic board with an Arduino.  I have learned quite a bit in the process and more details will follow.

Finally like many others round the world, myself and my wife are socially distancing ourselves at the moment but every cloud has a silver lining and this does mean I am spending even more time in the workshop doing ‘stuff’.   It has also been a good time to look at the workshop and make plans to tidy, organise and structure things better.  Some of the accumulated odds and ends are getting sifted and sorted and binned as appropriate.

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No Man’s Fort

My wife has the knack of finding some interesting and diverse places to visit for birthday treats.   We have just returned from an overnight stay at No Man’s Fort which sits in the Solent between Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.

The Fort along with three others were constructed in the late 1800s to protect Portsmouth from the French fleet.   Like our modern day government projects they overran their construction target date and budget and by the time they were finished so were the French navy.   There is plenty to read about them on the Net.

The reason for this mention is the resulting respect and admiration I now have for the engineers that put these fortifications in place.   You arrive by shuttle boat at the landing stage faced with a circular wall of stone blocks that are precisely cut and interfaced together and show no sign of cracking or movement.   The whole construction has no deep pile foundations but simply sits on the sea bed.  They had no laser positioning equipment, no JCB equivalents, no CAD.  Yet here these structures sit after 150 years in the most hostile of environments and look non the worse for wear.   Impressive.

If you get the chance to visit any of the Solent Forts either for afternoon tea or an overnight stay you should go and you will not fail to be impressed.

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DNS issue on Samsung Tablet and Logging onto GMail via Outlook

I try to avoid IT issues.

I am not an expert but just have an accumulated veneer of knowledge of what goes on under the hood.  I have also had enough of ‘my printer doesn’t print’ during my working life to not want to expand this limited knowledge.  However when my wife has an IT problem it is in my best interest to try to fix it …

First problem was her Samsung Galaxy Tab A (2016) would log onto the house WiFi network but would not be able to make internet connections or was unreliable.   This did not seem related to whether the connection was to the router direct or via the various extenders we have running.

Logging into a WiFi connection OK but not allowing internet connection smelled like a DNS issue.   The WiFi was running under DHCP so the DNS was being passed out from the router to each device.   I had Google’s DNS servers entered as DNS#1 (8.8.8.8) and DNS#2 (8.8.4.4) on the router.  All other devices were quite happy with this … except the Tab.  My solution was to change all the Tab WiFi settings for each of our nodes as Fixed instead of DHCP and used 208.67.222.222/4.2.2.5 as the new DNS servers.   

This seems to have fixed it but you have to ask why was this needed just on this single device ?

Second one was a bit more difficult.   

She runs GMail on all portable devices and uses Outlook 2007 on her desktop set up with her GMail accounts.  Yes I know it is a bit dated but it works (usually) so who cares if the GUI isn’t quite so sexy as Office 2040 or whatever the latest version is ?

Logging on yesterday to her desktop it came up with demand to login before allowing access to GMail on Outlook.   It is one of those infuriating dialogue boxes that just keeps on popping up even though you and it knows the answer given is not correct …. except it was correct but was not being accepted. Logging into GMail via Chrome all worked fine so it was something to do with Outlook and Chrome suddenly not being best buddies for some reason.

I did some digging around on the Net and it seems that GMail can for various reasons decide that it is not going to allow access to ‘Less Secure Apps’ and this includes Outlook.   They go to great lengths to tell you it is a potential security risk. 

In order to re-enable this you have to log into GMail in Chrome, go into the Security settings in the left hand side pane and find the ‘Allow Less Secure Apps’ section and click this back on.   

This fixed the problem and all is now sunshine and joy with domestic peace restored.

Have you ever stopped to consider how much of your life dribbled through your fingers while suffering IT related issues ?

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Decision Making Process for buying a New Workshop Asset

While reading a hobby related magazine I saw the following note that I think speaks volumes  …..

When deciding whether or not to buy a new piece of kit for the workshop ask yourself three questions  :-

Do I need this tool ?

Do I want this tool ?

Can I justify this tool ?

If the answer to any of the above is ‘possibly’ then buy it.

If the answer to any of the above is ‘no’ then ignore it as it is probably a statistical anomaly.

If you feel you cannot afford to buy it then tell yourself you are in danger of becoming a cheapskate and buy it anyway.

Enough said ?

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