Renard Standard Setup

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This is a work in process, so check back from time to time for updates.

This page is intended to provide a simplified set of instructions for configuring and installing the Renard dimmer controllers. The information provided on some of the other pages has so many options that it is likely to be confusing, and the information is not organized in a way that is easy to use. This page is an attempt to provide instructions that are less confusing and easier to use.

Simplified Connection Instructions

These instructions assume that

A) Renard8 boards will be configured with non-PWM firmware, and will get both unfiltered power and the zero-crossing signal through the RJ45 input connector.

B) Renard16 boards will be configured with non-PWM firmware, will get filtered power through the RJ45, and will generate the zero-crossing signal on-board.

C) Renard24 boards (fkostyun) have the standard configuration.

D) Renard64 boards will have all of the 64 Channel LEDs installed, and all of the PICS will be programmed with the PWM firmware, and will get the zero-crossing signal through the RJ45 input connector.

E) Ren-C boards will get power from the attached Grinch/595 board, and will get the zero-crossing signal through the RJ45 input connector.

F) Ren-T boards are assembled with 300 mA transformers.

G) The SSRs use MOC3012 or MOC3023 opto-isolators, and have resistors installed to limit the DC current through the SSR to 6 mA (or so).

There are other options possible for almost all of these boards, but these instructions do not address those alternate configurations.

Determine Number of Serial Ports

Before you reach this point you should decide how many Renard-dimmable Channels that you will be using, the baud rate and the refresh interval. For the first year you should limit the number of channels to 64 or less. A lot of other people are using 57600 for the baud rate and 50 ms for the refresh interval, so these are good numbers to choose. Once you know these values, go to this chart to determine the maximum number of channels per serial port, and use that to determine how many serial ports are needed.

Determine Which Controllers are Connected to Each Serial Port

The first rule here is to make sure that the number of channels on each serial port does not exceed the value from the section 1.

The second rule is to place the Renard16 boards on their own serial port, or at least at the end of each 'chain'. The reason for this is that they normally don't pass the zero-crossing signal through from RJ45-input to RJ45-output, since they require a DC signal on the relevant pins.

Other than this, the controllers can be mixed and matched on each serial port so long as they are all configured for the same baud rate.

Determine DC Power Requirements

A) The Renard8 requires about 50 mA unfiltered DC (e.g. output of the Ren-T)

B) The Renard16 requires about 80 mA filtered DC (e.g. 12V output of a PC Power Supply)

C) The Renard24 has a built-in power supply, and therefore does not need an external low voltage DC supply.

D) The Renard64 requires about 1 mA unfiltered DC (for the zero-crossing), and about 1A of filtered, regulated 5VDC (e.g. 5V output from a PC Power Supply).

E) For Ren-C, skip this step (since the power comes from the Grinch/595 board)

Determine How Many Ren-T Boards are Needed

A) For Renard8, use one Ren-T Board for each PC serial port used.

B) For Renard16, don't bother with Ren-T (unless the distance from the PC to the first controller is more than 100 ft).

C) For Renard24, you don't need a Ren-T (unless the distance from the PC to the first controller is more than 100 ft).

D) For Renard64, one Ren-T Board for each PC serial port used. The Ren-T board is used only for the zero-crossing signal.

E) For Ren-C, one Ren-T board for each Ren-C board (based on the above recommendation of 64 light channels per PC serial channel). The Ren-T board is only used for the zero-crossing signal.

NOTE: See this chart to determine the number of PC serial ports required based on the number of channels that you are planning on using.

Determine How Much Other Power Supply Capacity is needed

A) For Renard8, no other power supply is needed (Ren-T supplies everything).

B) For Renard16, an external DC supply providing 8-12V, 80 mA is needed (must be filtered, doesn't need to be regulated).

C) For Renard24, you don't need any external power supply.

D) For Renard64, an external 5VDC supply (with 1A output for each Renard64) is needed.

E) For Ren-C, no other power supply is needed.

Cables Required

PC-RenT Serial Cable

The cable that connects the PC serial port (or the port on a USB-RS232 converter) to the Ren-T transformer board must have the following pinout (J1 is the DE-9S connector that plugs into the PC, P1 the DE-9P connector that plugs into the Ren-T board):

J1-5 to P1-5 (ground signal, mandatory)
J1-3 to P1-3 (serial data signal, mandatory)

Note: The cable length should be kept under 100 ft, preferably under 25 ft.

Note: Sometimes people will refer to the 9-pin D-sub connectors as DB9 connectors, although this is technically incorrect.

Note: There must be a ground wire in this cable, do not leave it off.

RenT to Renard Serial Cable (and Renard-Renard Serial Cable)

This is a normal CAT5 cable with RJ45 ends and straight-through wiring (i.e. do not use a crossover cable). The cable can be CAT3, CAT5, CAT5E or CAT6 wire, whichever is convenient, but do not use doorbell wiring. The wires on pins 4 and 5 should be form a twisted pair inside the cable, and make sure that pins 1,2,3,7,8 are all wired through.

For the Ren-T, JR-1 (nearest the transformer) is the RS485 output.

For Renard64, J4 (top-right) is the RS232/RS485 input, J3 (top-left) is the RS485 output.

This cable will work with Renard16 and Ren-C, but will not work with Renard8 or Renard24, because pins 4 and 5 on the RJ45 are transposed on those two boards.

Power Cable for Renard64

This cable is used to provide 5VDC power to the Renard64. There are several different possible sources of power, so the exact design of this cable may vary. The power can be input to the Renard64 through a connector installed in place of U1. The pinout on this connector is:

U1-1 (square pad) no connection
U1-2 (middle pin) ground = 0 VDC
U1-3 +5VDC

PC to Renard24 Cable

The FKostyun Renard24 board has on-board power supply circuitry and on-board zero-crossing circuitry, so all that it needs on the RJ45 cable are data signals and ground. If you are using RS232 input and connecting it directly to the PC serial port, the following cable pinout will work:

PC DE9 Pin 3 to RJ45-pin 5
PC DE9 Pin 5 to RJ45-pins 1,2,4 (pins 1 and 4 are required, pin 2 is optional).

This cable will not work with the Renard16, Renard64 or Ren-C boards because pins 4 and 5 on the Renard24 are reversed from those other boards.

Renard-SSR Cable

These can be normal CAT3/CAT5/CAT5E/CAT6 cables connecting the Renard boards to the SSRs. The length of this cable has been successfully tested up to a range of 1000 feet.