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ISY controlling a fireplace using RF and a wifi arduino


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I have a gas powered fireplace that is controlled by a RF transmitter & receiver. Now that the ISY portal allows Alexa integration I'm anxious to get Alexa start carrying the water and give me some heat without having to search for the remote. My main problem is that I don't have AC power near my fireplace. And I don't want to have wired exposed, otherwise I would just use an insteon low voltage contact.


So I'm planning on rolling my own RF receiver / transmitter setup. Unfortunately most of the ones I have found have significant current draws, so the batteries won't last more than a few days. But I did find this fellow:




It supposably draws < 5ua in receiving mode, so it should last quite a while off batteries. Note, this does NOT come with a transmitter, that is sold separately. This unit is a latching decide. If you watch the video, buttons A,B,C,D will turn on an LED when pressed and turn off the others. I plan on hooking the fireplace up to A, and using the A button for On and B for Off. I'm going to see if I can capture the RF signal of the transmitter and use that instead of the remote (that way I can have a physical remote), but if that doesn't work I'll solder wires to the pads on the A & B buttons and use the Arduino to control them.


I'm still awaiting for the RF parts to arrive, but I have made some nice progress with the Arduino. Now one of the problems with making your own "Alexa" device is having it be discoverable. But the ISY makes this a snap to get around. What I've done is add a variable to the ISY called FP. When I set that value to 1 (from the program module or Alexa) that is the signal to start the fireplace. A value of 2 is the off command.


Now how do you use this variable with an Arduino? You don't, at least with not a standard Arduino. But they make cheap versions that have wifi built in. I'm using one called nodencu. When the unit fires up, it connects to my wifi and starts querying via REST the FP value. If it detects 1, it will transmit the A code and then set FP to 0 using rest. Value 2 will send the B code. This part of the project is working like a champ.

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