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Venstar: Nodelink 0.7.3 Supports Venstar's Wifi Temp Sensor


paulbates

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The latest Nodelink =>0.7.3, and V5 of Venstar FW, allow the ISY to read all Venstar Wifi Temp Sensors. attached to Colortouch thermostats. When you add the sensor, press the Install ISY Nodes button and they'll appear on the ISY and available for program use.

Temperature Sensor capabilities:
  • Multiple sensors per thermostat - Remote Indoor, Outdoor, Supply, Return. The wired terminals only support one of those
  • Sharing sensors across multiple thermostats, where that makes sense. For instance, sharing one sensor for outdoor temperature between all on property thermostats
  • Wired/wireless sensors can be either be individually used for the thermostat's reading, or averaged by the thermostat based on the facility behavior, to keep living space temps even.
  • Easy to mount - and mounting holes exactly fit a one gang electrical box. I put one of mine over an older intercom location, with wire I can run 24vac to the sensor
  • It can be powered by 24vac to get rid of batteries
  • It comes with the duct sensor probe to install in the return or supply  
Things to think about
  • Its kind of big for a single function sensor 3" x 5" x 1.25"
  • I could use a remote humidity sensor in the same unit that could be averaged with the Tx900 series that have on-board humidity sensors
  • I found it easiest configure and add them at the computer to use Skyport Cloud under Sensors to add each thermostat prior to mounting them.
What I'm doing with them

Indoor Remote Sensors (2): My house is older and has 2 HVAC units, each that service different spaces on both floors. Currently I control temps across living spaces by cycling the fans more, sacrificing electricity to save gas by pushing the next cycle off a bit. But that only goes so far, and both comfort, and the electricity use can be improved.

 

I put a remote sensor on the living space on the opposite floor from the thermostat, and configured the thermostat for averaging with the sensor. That will speed up the call for heat/cool when the living spaces are not the same to improve comfort.

 

I'm using the ISY to calculate the spread between the thermostat and its remote indoor sensor, and ramp up fan cycling when the difference is larger to even the temps out and delay the next call, and ramp the down the fan cycles when its the same.

 

Outdoor Sensor. I wanted a more accurate local temp for stepping humidity down when it gets colder to better control window frosting. I'll also use it to cancel sprinkling when its close to freezing and kick on attic vent cycling when its hotter out.

 

Paul

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Great info, Paul - thanks for the write-up!  

 

Lack of support for multiple external sensors was one of my only gripes with the Colortouch, it's good to see that they've filled that hole.  Adding humidity would certainly be nice, but for now I'm most interested in supply / return temps so this will do fine for me...

 

I might have liked to see them at half the price, but oh well...  :|

 

Just to be clear, this (these) CAN be used in conjunction with a wired sensor as well, correct?  I think I'd like to keep my wired sensor for outdoor temp...

 

--Bill

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Hey Bill-

 

Yes on using both wired and wireless together. Wired is part of the original API response that remains as is. In V5, there is a json extension to /query/sensors that dynamically adds the wireless sensors temps and battery %.  Not having to change batteries outdoors is great ;)

 

FWIW, amazon is not the best place to buy them (or most venstar products), <No longer recommend vendor HVACPW  4/2018. They were completely unresponsive to multiple methods of contact for an under warranty replacement that was supported by venstar>  is where I usually get mine. MSRP is $60, that's what they have them for.

 

Paul

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  • 2 weeks later...

That's what I did.. bought them one at time until I could confirm they were doing what I was assuming. After a couple of weeks of using them and tweaking my ISY programs, I'm very happy with them.

 

I did find a few small API omissions issues but not enough to stop progress or make me wish I hadn't bought them. 

  • "Space Temp" returns the averaged value if the sensors are averaging. It should be returning the stat's actual value. Not a huge issue but my cycling routines will run better with the correct value.
     
  • If the sensor goes offline the API returns the last temp value and battery %. In some ways that's good, eg I would not want them to drop to zero. But I asked that an additional json message be added for "offline" and "online" so my ISY programs can adjust and not over cycle based on old data points. I found out when having one of the areas painted and the painter took the batteries out. Took a while for it to hit me that it never changed.

Both were confirmed by Venstar and passed to their software team.

 

Paul

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