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Insteon wired + Wireless Thermostats


barrygordon

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Is anyone using a setup where both wired and wireless Insteon thermostats are being linked and used. I would like to discuss performance issues with any one with such a configuration.

 

I see some strange behavior:

 

The wireless unit drops out of being Master after some period of time with no overt action to change it from being Master.

 

Sometimes both units indicate that they are the "Master"

 

I am running ISY 4.1.2. The wired units are in the ISY configuration, the wireless ones are not

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I had them but got rid of them due to problems with them but unrelated to your issues.

 

I read about many others complaining about the Master mode problem. I did not use "Master" mode. For me, that seems to defeat the point of having a central controller, although I understand why that would be easier. Instead, I had them both linked with ISY but wrote programs to control the HVAC system. Basically, the wireless tstat was just a temp sensor for the room it was in. With the ISY making decisions and controlling things you'll probably be more successful and happier with them.

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You are probably correct, using multiple wired thermostats. I will be achieving the same thing but I am using 1-wire sensors to sense the temperature in rooms without thermostats. Right now I have an always running (24/7) PC program that reads all the 1-wire temperature sensors and sends out UDP broadcast messages whenever a temperature changes

 

My next step (if possible) is to have an ISY network program, I have the network module installed, to listen for the UDP messages and take appropriate actions.

 

How did you command the wired thermostat to turn on /off the HVAC and set its modes? I don't see any way of doing that with the ISY. I guess you could move the set point up/down.

 

Help/advice would be appreciated.

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I had one wired (2441TH) and one wireless (2441ZTH) tstat.

 

The ZTH isn't really a thermostat since it doesn't directly control the HVAC. In reality it's a remote temp sensor that when is the "Master" tells the TH to turn on the furnace. And that's how I setup my programs. The ISY reads the temp and set point of the ZTH and when appropriate tells TH to turn on the HVAC.

 

For example, I have a Sleep scene. When that scene is active, I have a program that looks at the set point on my ZTH and compares it to the TH. So when in Cool mode and the ZTH temp is greater than the TH and greater than the set point, then reduce the TH set point by one thus engaging more cooling.

 

Since then, I have ditched them. Instead, I have two Z-wave tstats and use IOLinc controlled dampers instead to control the temp in the main rooms I'm concerned with such as the master bedroom.

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Thanks for the reply. I suspected that you wre controlling the HVAC by manipulating the set point on the TH. I really did not want to do that since after the set point is reached or some future time I would think i would want to put the set point back.

 

I am probably going to do all of the HVAC control, and eventually damper/zone control using relays under the control of the program that reads the 1-wire temperature sensors. After all, that is what the thermostat eventually does, control relays to request state changes on the HVAC system.

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Thanks for the reply. I suspected that you wre controlling the HVAC by manipulating the set point on the TH. I really did not want to do that since after the set point is reached or some future time I would think i would want to put the set point back.

 

I am probably going to do all of the HVAC control, and eventually damper/zone control using relays under the control of the program that reads the 1-wire temperature sensors. After all, that is what the thermostat eventually does, control relays to request state changes on the HVAC system.

 

 

I do both, ish.

 

1-wire and other types of temperature inputs.

An insteon thermostat connected to the HVAC.

I/Os for the HVAC Dampers.

 

Still tweaking but so far going well.

I have a set of programs that act as a go between for the Thermostat and the HVAC.

 

So, if my office needs cooling, it will lower the TStat Cooling SP until the cooling comes on.

The TStat returns itself to the normal setpoints by 1 degree every hour.

The Dampers open and close based on a set of parameters and conditions.

 

 

I'm in the process of doing a bunch of ZWave stuff, but I am waiting for the release of the 5.0 branch with enhanced variable control. Then I can go crazy.

 

 

 

One note about the wireless TSTATS, they are more than just a remote Temp/Humidity station. You can also get set points from them. In a zoned system this can mean having a different band that is adjustable by a user. I'll be placing this one in my Daughter's room as an example. She can set it to whatever she likes; it will then interface with programs and adjust the house Tstat to turn on / off cooling within whatever restrictions I have.

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I should add another advantage to having an actual TStat as a go between. Reliability.

 

If your ISY goes down for whatever reason, the TStat still does its thing. When you move it also makes it easier to reach the right 'tech level' for selling. Linked lights and being able to control things on your phone are plusses; having to look at code and explaining the 'complex parts' is a minus.

 

Last, a TStat has the built in timers already (such as compressor delays). If you are going the relay route you'll need to program those in.

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Thanks for the info madbomber. I agree with all of the points you are making.

 

I will probably keep the main Tstats (wired) and use the 1-wire stuff for all the other rooms. I wanted to get the 1-wire stuff into the ISY but I do not see a simple way of doing that. I guess I need to understand the network module more. The last I read it (the network module) only controlled things but did not take things into the ISY; but those were older posts. My HA design uses UDP for many things related to notifications. For example at the current time my 1-wire system, a program on an always on PC sends UDP messages whenever any temperature changes providing the room name and the current temp reading. The wall mounted iPads pick this up to act as the UI. The same is true for the pool control system using an Autelis module. The ISY does subscription TCP broadcasts to all the iPads.

 

One thought I had was to set up the wiring such that I could revert to standard Tstat control with the flip of a switch turning a set of NC relays off to allow the Tstats to control the HVAC as it does now, but with the relays flipped in the other direction the program controls the HVAC.

 

I am going to have to replace the HVAC systems, there are two, in the near future as the are about 15 years old and will be starting to become a maintenance issue.

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I will probably keep the main Tstats (wired) and use the 1-wire stuff for all the other rooms. I wanted to get the 1-wire stuff into the ISY but I do not see a simple way of doing that.

On that topic take a look at the link in my signature. IOGuy (from these forums) has created a wealth of programs that are very usefull. One of them is called OWLink. It allows a 1-Wire Bus to post updates to ISY Variables. I use the RPi as the computer interface. Once in ISY these are just variables that you can do whatever with.

 

The issue that I am facing with them, is how to make them look good in a room. One approach, since they can easily be wired into telephone or network jacks, is to have them in one of those. I like my temperature sensors near the doors though. I may start looking around for a local 3D printer and see about designing a wall plate myself.

 

One thought I had was to set up the wiring such that I could revert to standard Tstat control with the flip of a switch turning a set of NC relays off to allow the Tstats to control the HVAC as it does now, but with the relays flipped in the other direction the program controls the HVAC.

 

This is an excellent idea. I'll need to look more into this. The EZIO8SA may be able to handle that. It has 8 relay outputs and 4 inputs (some others but..). I'm just starting to play around with mine (using it to control dampers).

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On the subject of placing temperature sensors here is what I did.

 

I got a standard steel electrical box with 1/2" knockouts. I removed each of the knockouts so I had a bunch of steel disks approximately 3/4" in diameter. I tossed the box. I carefully ground the faces along the edges and the circumference of each disk to make it nice and smooth.

 

I fastened leads to a standard DS18B20 sensor chip. I put shrink tubing over each lead, and then one more around the three leads.

 

Using Artic Silver Thermal adhesive I glued the flat face, not the top so as to have maximum thermal contact between the disk and the sensor, of the sensor to the middle of the disk and clamped it to let it cure. When it was cured and firmly attached, I bent the leads (right where they enter the chip) to be 90 degrees from the steel disk.

 

I drilled a 1/4" hole into the sheetrock and stuffed clear adhesive bathtub caulk into the hole and around the hole in a thin layer.

I pushed the wires into the hole and pressed the disk against the wall so it was grabbed by the caulk and held it with pressure for a minute or two. Holding the disk against the wall I wiped away the excess caulk that was squeezed out between the wall and the disk.

 

When the caulk was completely dry (I gave it an hour) I painted over the disk and the shiny residue from the caulk. You can not see/notice it unless you are looking for it!!

 

The temperature sensor reads perfectly the ambient room temperature.

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On the subject of placing temperature sensors here is what I did.

 

I got a standard steel electrical box with 1/2" knockouts. I removed each of the knockouts so I had a bunch of steel disks approximately 3/4" in diameter. I tossed the box. I carefully ground the faces along the edges and the circumference of each disk to make it nice and smooth.

 

I fastened leads to a standard DS18B20 sensor chip. I put shrink tubing over each lead, and then one more around the three leads.

 

Using Artic Silver Thermal adhesive I glued the flat face, not the top so as to have maximum thermal contact between the disk and the sensor, of the sensor to the middle of the disk and clamped it to let it cure. When it was cured and firmly attached, I bent the leads (right where they enter the chip) to be 90 degrees from the steel disk.

 

I drilled a 1/4" hole into the sheetrock and stuffed clear adhesive bathtub caulk into the hole and around the hole in a thin layer.

I pushed the wires into the hole and pressed the disk against the wall so it was grabbed by the caulk and held it with pressure for a minute or two. Holding the disk against the wall I wiped away the excess caulk that was squeezed out between the wall and the disk.

 

When the caulk was completely dry (I gave it an hour) I painted over the disk and the shiny residue from the caulk. You can not see/notice it unless you are looking for it!!

 

The temperature sensor reads perfectly the ambient room temperature.

 

 

This is awesome and simple. I'll have to give it a try.

 

Next question, any idea about a humidity sensor? Trying to avoid mounting a vented box but I don't see another way.

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The temperature sensor reads perfectly the ambient room temperature.

 

Sounds crafty.

 

When I come home, the rooms are noticeably warm since I increase the set point for cooling up 6 degrees while I'm gone at work. The AC runs for an hour or so getting the temp down, although it's comfortable within 10 min or so. My concern with your approach would be that the paint would serve as an insulation on the metal disk that would need to radiate a lot of excess heat back into the room before the temp sensor would be reading the same as the ambient temp in the room.

 

Have you tested having an separate temp sensor on the wall at the same location where you install these to test the delay? I'm thinking it could be 20+ minutes which in terms of controlling HVAC would have noticeable results.

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This is awesome and simple. I'll have to give it a try.

 

Next question, any idea about a humidity sensor? Trying to avoid mounting a vented box but I don't see another way.

 

Sheepwalk makes a humidity sensor for the 1-Wire bus:

 

http://www.sheepwalkelectronics.co.uk/p ... ucts_id=55

 

which uses a Honeywell HIH-4031. I'll be ordering one of those at some point in the near future.

 

(EDIT: Correction, I *have* ordered one just now.)

 

I'm tracking this topic to see if anyone else has a bright idea, but I don't see any way to avoid a "vented box" of some type, unless you just hang the thing on the wall. That would be ugly, though.

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Sheepwalk makes a humidity sensor for the 1-Wire bus:

 

http://www.sheepwalkelectronics.co.uk/p ... ucts_id=55

 

which uses a Honeywell HIH-4031. I'll be ordering one of those at some point in the near future.

 

(EDIT: Correction, I *have* ordered one just now.)

 

I'm tracking this topic to see if anyone else has a bright idea, but I don't see any way to avoid a "vented box" of some type, unless you just hang the thing on the wall. That would be ugly, though.

 

Yes they do. I actually have 3 of this exact product and 3 additional modified versions (they removed the actual humidity sensor).

 

The modified versions can be useful if you have a 0-10vdc instrument. You would connect it up in place of the humidity sensor and it would read out in % of 10vdc. In practice I am thinking of hooking a water flow meter and / or an air quality meter to the 1 wire bus using this.

 

For the humidity sensors, the question is mounting in an aesthetically pleasing way. I am wanting these in our bath rooms for turning the exhaust fan on/off automatically.

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For the humidity sensors, the question is mounting in an aesthetically pleasing way. I am wanting these in our bath rooms for turning the exhaust fan on/off automatically.

 

I have been toying with this idea as well. If I move forward, I will be installing the sensor inside the Fan/Light unit above the grille.

 

-Xathros

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  • 2 weeks later...

First off with the Insteon thermostats. Smarthome after arguing with me for many days has finally admitted there is a bug in the wireless thermostat firmware that will cause it stop being "Master" after some period of time all by its own volition. They have not indicated when it will be fixed.

 

With regard to the wired thermostats not sending temperature readings to the ISY; several of their techs insisted that the unit does not do that, that the temperature must be pulled. I was finally pointed to the wiki entry by someone in this forum that stated to make sure the thermostat mode is "Off" prior to linking it into the ISY and to use the link management | start linking and the set button on the thermostat to link the thermostat to the ISY (PLM). The thermostats are now properly reporting temperature.

 

With regard to my HVAC project. I have 7 indoor flush mounted sensors installed. They are 1-wire DS18b20 devices from maxim. I asked for some samples and they sent me 10 at no charge. I thermally adhered them to steel disks about 7/8 inch in diameter and glued them using clear bathtub caulk to the wall. I then painted them to match the wall. You can barely notice them. The actual sensor is sitting in the Sheetrock and measuring the temperature of the disk. Readings come back fine and are very accurate. The nice thing about these sensors is that wire length does not affect readings and they are factory calibrated. Unfortunately as someone pointed out the heat transfer function between the disk and ambient air is poor. I have purchased little wall mount cases that are used to hold temp/ humidity sensors by firms like Johnson controls and RCS. I got then from Mamac systems for $7.50 per case. They are white, vented and made specifically for just what I want. I will see if this configuration gives better results than the flush mounted disks. It should closely track the thermostat I will be putting it next to for evaluation.

 

That's all for now. I really appreciate the comments and feedback from the community and the support by UDI

 

Barry

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Barry-

 

You may want to pick up some Ram Sinks similar to these and chop them into 1/2" sections and adhere your DS18b20's to these before placing them in your wall boxes.

 

 

-Xathros

post-1437-140474164559_thumb.jpg

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I have purchased little wall mount cases that are used to hold temp/ humidity sensors by firms like Johnson controls and RCS. I got then from Mamac systems for $7.50 per case. They are white, vented and made specifically for just what I want.

Would you mind to post a link or mention the name and/or model number of the item you bought? I couldn't find it on their website. Thanks.

 

Sent from my SPH-D710 using Tapatalk

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Precisely, they will not sell it without the sensor. But an ugly case from Hobby Boards is $9.00 without the sensor. Hobby boards charges $18 for the DS18B20 mounted on a nice PC board with twin RJ45 jacks. Their case makes it impossible to hide the wires coming out of the RJ45 jacks. Its a lot easier just to tie wires together with a little solder and save a lot of money. The DS19B20 can be gotten for about $5.00 or free from maxim as small sample quantity. They sent me 10.

 

 

The sensor is held in by a little plastic clip attached to the case with 2-sided tape or some kind of adhesive. Rips right out.

 

The DS18B20 fits right through the hole in the middle of the wall plate, the bottom of the case, making it very easy to install

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Precisely, they will not sell it without the sensor. But an ugly case from Hobby Boards is $9.00 without the sensor. Hobby boards charges $18 for the DS18B20 mounted on a nice PC board with twin RJ45 jacks. Their case makes it impossible to hide the wires coming out of the RJ45 jacks. Its a lot easier just to tie wires together with a little solder and save a lot of money. The DS19B20 can be gotten for about $5.00 or free from maxim as small sample quantity. They sent me 10.

 

 

The sensor is held in by a little plastic clip attached to the case with 2-sided tape or some kind of adhesive. Rips right out.

 

The DS18B20 fits right through the hole in the middle of the wall plate, the bottom of the case, making it very easy to install

 

I understand. Which size did you get, standard or Micro? How did you order, you have to order by phone? Thanks

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