First impressions after installing some modules

I bought my velbus modules yesterday, so here are my first impressions. I thought this could be interesting for other people …

  • Buying modules: look at the velleman site for the dealer list and ask to several dealers for their prices: The difference between the cheapest an most expensive dealer was 100€ on a total of 600€!

  • My plans are to build a simple domotica system that controls my lights in the living room.
    I want to create atmospheres for eating, reading, and watching tv.
    Being a programmer, I want to create my own software to control the modules. Once my hardware is all installed I want to make a Vista Media Center plugin or simular tool in order to control all from my Logitech Harmony remote.

What I bought:

  •      1 x VMB8PB 8 channel push button module  
  •      1 x VMB1USB USB interface tool
  •      1 x VMB3PS Power supply module 
  •      4 x VMB1DM Dimmer module 
  •      1 x VMB4PD Push button and timer panel
  •      1 x VMBFLG Light grey frame for VMB4PD…
  •      1 x VMBBOX Patress box for VMB4PD… 

First Impressions:

  • The VMB4PD Push button and timer panel is a lot smaller then what I expected from the online photo’s! This is not a bad thing: it looks nice, although a litte bit too “plastic”. However, the medium backlight lighting of the display looks very nice, so overall it looks nice and clean.

  • Don’t think this is just plug and play. All wiring has to be done and the setup (dip switches, channels, learning procedure) needs some investigation also. But hey, this is what we like, don’t we? :wink:

  • The manuals for each module are rather minimal but still understandable. They explain how to wire a module and how to set up a switches, but I missed some info about the interaction between them. After some investigation all pieces fall together, but it would be nice to have a tutorial or guideline on how to install up a typical setup of modules.

  • The VMB8PB 8 channel push button module includes also 8 red leds that can be used to put parallel to your push buttons: cool, this was not mentioned in the online documentation or manuals. Now I’m really thinking to make my own nice push button panels in stead of buying expensive switch boxes of niko or btcino … can’t find cheaper than 60€ for a 6-channel switch box … anyone else?

  • connecting to the pc: The VMB1USB USB interface tool is nothing more than a print without any protective box, even without mounting holes to screw it into a box … That’s really a pitty - how do I mount this module in a decent way?
    After downloading the inf driver for usb and installing the software, I had some minor issues:

  • the help file did not open: reason: the help file is not Vista compatible. After downloading the old window help system (WinHelp32) from the microsoft site this issue was resolved.

  • connecting to com1, which is defaut does not work, it has to be com30 in my case (Vista pc), because the USB driver was installing it driver for com port 30. Luckily Vista mentioned me that the port was set to Com30. The software has no Com30 in its pick box, so I had to fill it in manually. After that I could connect without problems. Each time I restart the tool I had to manually reconnect: this should be remembered, no?

  • the help is not very helpful: most topics do not help any further or are very outdated. Although, after some own investigation I was able to connect a push button to my dimmer …

  • interface: you have a section for configuring all modules: no documentation so most things are still to be discovered but, basic things like learning your buttons just work well. All ongoing bus traffic is logged in a listbox, which provides detailed info at first sight.
    There’s even a server mode to connect locally, but also no documentation here, so investigation needed … Looks promising …
    Now I have to dive into programming all this myselve, but that’s for an other post :wink:


  • the velbus system is still undergoing minor and major changes, which is good and bad: always new and better stuff to discover, but sometimes this feels like having a system still under construction.
  • It all works! In the end, this matters: the modules just do what I want them to do.
  • looking forward for future modules and software: I hope that the community reacts good: share your own setups, problems and solutions, workarounds, …
  • Velleman is doing a good job: really affordable (although not cheap) modules with both power and great opportunities!


Thanks Gert for this good summary and feedback.

This kind of feedback helps us to improve our new system.
We are constantly improving our manuals (please download latest version on the product page) to get started easier and to develop ideas what can be done with the Velbus system.

The free VelbusLink software had some improvements the last weeks.
Included now with the download of the Velbuslink is a tutorial pdf file, to help you on the way.