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Author Topic: hvac automation  (Read 32370 times)

Brandt

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hvac automation
« on: March 10, 2010, 02:51:29 PM »

I'm interested in automating the thermostat, a/c and furnace. How do I get started? What do I need?
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dbemowsk

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2010, 04:41:27 PM »

I don't know how far you want to go with this, but if you are looking to stay with X10 for the limited control that it gives, you can get the X10 thermostat setback controller.  I cannot give any information on how well they work or not as I have never tried one.  If you want to get a little more elaborate, you will need some type of comunicating thermostat.  The one I have installed is an RCS-TR40 thermostat that I picked up on ebay for just under $60.00.  The TR40 has been replaced with the TR60, but if you can find a TR40, yo may be able to get it at a reasonable price.  When I bought mine back in October, the TR40s were going for a typical buy it now on ebay for $175.00, so the price I paid was a steal.  It runs on an RS485 serial line which I have a cat5 line to my HA PC.  I know they also have ones that run on Z-Wave and a few other protocols.  RCS (Residential Control Systems) is a good manufacturer for a few different kinds of thermostats.

My software RemoteWatch X10 has the capability of monitoring an RCS TR40, and displaying the temp and all the LED indicators on the unit.  It may even work for the TR60 as I am sure the protocols are similar if not the same just with other added features.  I do not as of yet have the ability to control the thermostat through the software yet, but that is a feature that I have on the list of TO-DOs for the software.

Hope some of my babble helps.

Dan Bemowski
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Dan Bemowski
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Brandt

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #2 on: March 10, 2010, 05:08:26 PM »

Is this the setback you're referring to?

http://www.x10.com/products/x10_th2807.htm


sounds like a kludge....
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 05:16:19 PM by pomprocker »
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pconroy

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #3 on: March 10, 2010, 05:36:44 PM »

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Brandt

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #4 on: March 10, 2010, 06:24:31 PM »

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pconroy

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2010, 08:25:17 PM »

http://www.smarthome.com/3045B/X10-Bi-Directional-HVAC-System-RCS-TXB-16/p.aspx

would'a been my guess at what you're after.


not for that price....


me neither.
don't think I have enuff faith in X-10 to control my HVAC either... :)

For internal temperatures, I have two cheap USB thermometers and the Ws2308 weather station up stairs that shows inside and outside temps.
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dbemowsk

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #6 on: March 10, 2010, 11:13:00 PM »

http://www.smarthome.com/3045B/X10-Bi-Directional-HVAC-System-RCS-TXB-16/p.aspx

would'a been my guess at what you're after.

This unit looks exactly like the RCS TS-16.  They have one of these right now on ebay with a buy it now of $69.00.  It is the RS485 version. 

This is exactly what my TR40 unit and the new TR60 looks like:


The RCS TR40 and TR16 cone in two parts.  The have the WDU (Wall Display unit) and the control unit.  Both of these models have the same control unit, the only difference is that the TR16 WDU only offers basic control of the system.  The TR40 WDU has more advanced functions. 

The other nice thing about these units is that they are expandable to do multi-zone heating control if you would chose to go that route in the future. 

If you can find someone selling the TR40 under $100.00 I would snatch it up.  It is a discontinued unit, but it is good.  Just make sure you are getting the whole setup and not just the WDU as they would many times sell just the WDUs for a cheaper price.

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Dan Bemowski
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JeffVolp

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #7 on: March 11, 2010, 12:23:11 AM »

don't think I have enuff faith in X-10 to control my HVAC either... :)

We have virtually 100% X10 reliability, but I still wouldn't use it for primary HVAC control.  Here I went with a multi-zone Carrier/Bryant system that was quite expensive, but has worked flawlessly for 6 years.  I do use X10 to control auxiliary ventilation and dampers that shut down additional portions of the house at night.

For a single zone system, I would recommend one of the programmable thermostats available from all the major home improvement centers.  We used several of them at our last house.  They were easy to program, and did the job.

Jeff
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Charles Sullivan

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #8 on: March 11, 2010, 08:11:26 AM »

<snip>
don't think I have enuff faith in X-10 to control my HVAC either... :)
<snip>

You're right that X10 should not be used as primary HVAC control, but with the RCS thermostats it's the thermostat which controls the HVAC, just like any other thermostat.  X10 is used only to remotely change or read the settings, or read the temperature.

Note that software which supports the old style Preset Dim commands is required for full functionality of the RCS X10 thermostats - ActiveHome Pro is not up to the task.
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Yesterday it worked.
Today it doesn't work.
X10 on Windows is like that.

HEYU - X10 Automation for Linux, Unix, and Mac OS X     http://www.heyu.org

Brandt

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #9 on: March 11, 2010, 11:56:10 AM »

Note that software which supports the old style Preset Dim commands is required for full functionality of the RCS X10 thermostats - ActiveHome Pro is not up to the task.


luckily I use Heyu
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raster69273

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #10 on: March 11, 2010, 03:59:02 PM »

I recommend you don't try to cheap your HVAC system.  Stick with a well known brand like HONEYWELL but go through a reputable contractor.  Honeywell has wireless thermostats that are not sold at the hardware stores.   Also, the models sold at Home Depot and Lowes, etc. are the ones that did not meet " INDUSTRY STANDARDS" and won't be warrantied. Good Luck!
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JeffVolp

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #11 on: March 11, 2010, 04:46:23 PM »

Stick with a well known brand like HONEYWELL but go through a reputable contractor.

The three Honeywell programmable themostats I installed at our last house worked very well.  They came from either Lowes or HomeDepot.

Jeff
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X-10 automation since the BSR days

Brandt

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2010, 05:44:46 PM »

From what i've seen, hvac control can be pretty granular as far as multiple baffles connected to a hvac controller, and remote thermostats in every room communicating with a master thermostat...I think I would like to be there eventually but for now I would like a second thermostat upstairs, and be able to turn on/off the ac/heat from both locations...also preferably x10 ready so I can tie it in to my home automation software for monitoring.
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dbemowsk

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2010, 06:23:34 PM »

From what i've seen, hvac control can be pretty granular as far as multiple baffles connected to a hvac controller, and remote thermostats in every room communicating with a master thermostat...I think I would like to be there eventually but for now I would like a second thermostat upstairs, and be able to turn on/off the ac/heat from both locations...
The RCS line of HVAC controllers are flexible and expandable.  You can put in the main controller, and later down the line if you want to install a zone controller and some dampers, you can.  As far as being able to turn the HVAC on and off from two locations, that might be hard with standard thermostats (I could be wrong).
 
also preferably x10 ready so I can tie it in to my home automation software for monitoring.
I forget, what software do you use for your HA setup?  is it AHP?  If so, you probably wont be able to do much for monitoring temps from your thermostats.

Dan B.
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Dan Bemowski
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dave w

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Re: hvac automation
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2010, 07:44:22 PM »

   Also, the models sold at Home Depot and Lowes, etc. are the ones that did not meet " INDUSTRY STANDARDS" and won't be warrantied.

Are you a HVAC contractor?
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