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Fresco: Why is the Somfy Connect UAI needed for control of Somfy Shades?

The Somfy Connect UAI is what is used to communicate with the Somfy shades, and reports the shade status back to the FCS AVI allowing for control of the shades through channels. If the UAI is not used, you would need to send commands directly through RS-485 which limits what is possible through the FCS AVI. While it can send RS-485 commands directly by using the driver type AVI, you would then need to program it such that commands are sent based on Zone status rather than controlling the shades directly. 

When set to driver type AVI, you will have 36 Inputs and 36 Outputs that can be configured. To control the shades without the UAI you would program the Outputs with an On string and an Off string, limiting you to an open or closed state. The On string would be sent when the associated Zone is above the Threshold, the Off string sent when the Zone is above the Threshold.

The FCS AVI command guide is linked below and has more information on the commands available:

https://www.acuitybrands.com/products/detail/465586/Fresco/Fresco-FCS-AVI/Audio-Visual-Interface/-/media/products/Fresco/465586/document/FCS-AVI-Interface-Commands_pdf.pdf

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