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    Controlling RCS Thermostats?

    I have RCS RS-485 thermostats attached to SG - they work great with SG, but I would like to do more. I use HomeSeer and Main Lobby and I believe there are at least a few others out there with the SG + HS + Main Lobby combination.

    I would like to view and control my thermostats from HS and Main Lobby. I'm looking for guidance, ideas, HS scripts or events, ML scenes, or any other help I can get on how to do that.

    I have set up SG/HS variables that can show me current zone temps and setpoints in HS and Main Lobby. That part was easy, but how do I control the thermostats from HS or ML? For instance, what is the best way to set or increment/decrement setpoints from HS? How about from Main Lobby? How about setting Heat/Cool/Auto mode? Or Fan on/off?

    I don't think the SG-HS plugin can do anything directly with the thermostats. The only thing I can think of is to set up a bunch of SG Then Macros and then run them from a HS event or script. But how exactly would I do that?

    Open to any ideas or experience. And I'm not above copying someone else's work.

    Thanks,

    Mark
    Mark

    #2
    Have you looked at the HS RCS Serial plug-in?
    Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
    HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

    HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

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      #3
      I run my Tstats directly to homeseer and use the older of the 2 RCS serial plugins(I can mod it since the source code is available).. I have an RS485 HUB with a ZCV-4 zone controller and a TR-16 thermostat connected to it..

      there are lots of script commands available for doing everyting from setting the vent dampers to setting the system variables.. with the "cmdsendcustom"script command you can send anything that is in the protocol to the stat.

      the plugins also read current stages, temperatures and settings.. the only thing that isnt available is what Mode a stat is in if it is set in auto.. RCS doesnt tell us if a zone is in heat or cool if it is set to auto mode but you can get around that fairly easily wit ha script that monitors what the system last operated...

      I took it several steps farther and wrote a companion VB program that controls the speed of the Blower in my air handler..
      -Christopher
      PerfecTemp - the Most advanced HVAC system I've ever Built - and its in my House

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        #4
        Thanks guys, but I would rather keep the thermostats on Stargate - 1) because of the price of oil, I trust SG more than HS to do routine setbacks, etc., and 2) we use several LCD keypads which integrate very nicely with the RCS-SG setup.

        If I can't find another way, I will consider a HS RCS plug-in.

        But I have to believe somebody has come up with a way(s) to generate commands from Main Lobby, that trigger a HS Event/Script, that trigger Stargate to do stuff to the RCS thermostats. It's probably easier than it sounds.

        Thanks for any ideas.

        Mark
        Mark

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          #5
          In that case, I think I would design it so HS calls SG 'Then Macros' and put all the mechanics in the macros.
          Mike____________________________________________________________ __________________
          HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.548, NUC i3

          HW: Stargate | NX8e | CAV6.6 | Squeezebox | PCS | WGL 800RF | RFXCOM | Vantage Pro | Green-Eye | Edgeport/8 | Way2Call | Ecobee3 | EtherRain | Ubiquiti

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by cadillackid View Post
            I run my Tstats directly to homeseer and use the older of the 2 RCS serial plugins(I can mod it since the source code is available)..
            Excuse me if this is obvious, where can I find that source code?

            I've noticed that the thermostat events and functions are possible though the JDS if comm debug is enabled. Thermostat events appear in the log. I think I could probably modify the plug-in to back door work with thermostats connected to the JDS. I'm not beyond reverse engineering the communication between WinEVM and the Stargate to make this possible.

            Comment


              #7
              Hi Mark. S

              Have you figure out how to control RCS 485 connected to Stargate via HS-MainLobby. I am in the same situation and actually using a discontinued ZC6R RCS Multizone controller connected to Stargate via RS485.

              What I do no like about using SG/HS variables is that it seems that I cannot associate those variables to HS Thermostats device status at least there is a way around I am not aware off. In fact I am newbie to HS but I have been for while with Mainlobby and my stargate

              Please let me know

              BTW: Hi lschweiss.. Could you modify the Plug-In to work with thermostats connected to Stargate taking advantage that thermostats events appear in the log, as you realized.

              Thanks to all

              Comment


                #8
                Enrique-

                Yes, I got it working. I am not a very good programmer, so I'm sure my scheme can be improved and I hope to continue to improve it.

                I have attached a screenshot of a Main Lobby scene and a screenshot of the HS Status page showing the variables.

                It's probably not easy to explain what I did in one post, but I will try. Basically, I created all the devices (SG variables) in WinEVM and imported them into HS. Then on the Stargate side, I created:
                • WinEVM events to update the variables every minute by polling (or when they change) with the current status of the RCS thermostats (same values as RCS reports - 0=off, 1=auto, 2=heat, 3=cool, etc.) and
                • Macros to execute commands to the RCS thermostats ( for example, increment heat setpoint).
                On the HomeSeer side, I used 2 custom scripts:
                • one (HVACMode.txt) to update the HS DeviceStrings with text to describe the status based on the variable value whenever the DeviceValues change, and
                • one (HVACControl.txt) to execute the SG Macros when triggered by Main Lobby.
                On the Main Lobby side, I used:
                • DeviceStrings to fill out the text on the RCS graphic and
                • buttons trigger MLServeCMD's to run the relevant portion of the control script to execute the SG Macros (for example, MLServeCMD.MLHSPLugin| HS_RunEx:HVACControl.txt~ HVACDo~ ToggleRunZone1)
                It is probably easier than I made it sound. And I'm sure it can be done better.

                I would be happy to post the HS scripts, the WinEVM events, and the Main Lobby scene if you are interested.

                Mark
                Attached Files
                Mark

                Comment


                  #9
                  Hi Mark S.

                  First of all thanks you for taking your time to response. I am absolutely interested on HS scripts file ( despite I am not even started to understand what script language is about), WinEVM event as well Mainlobby scene. My setup its 100% identical to yours so it will be very helpfull at least to start at this point and have the 3 components (SG,HS & ML) integrated and working. You are at a step much further than I am so I am not able to say if there is a way to improve it at least HS take their time to modify the plug-in and integrate the HVAC part.

                  I will wait until to receive your files and try your config in my own..

                  Let me take the chance to ask you how you have figured out or set up your system in such way you can leverage the best of each of 3 components ( SG, HS, ML). What is it unique to each one or which particular applications ( features) are you taking from each one in order to keep/justify this set up?. Question rised because searching other forums I have read that in one side it seems that Stagate its not capturing so much market attention as it used to be in the past ( actually when I bouth it 5 years ago), on the other side some people think that Mainlobby is getting closer or its even close to HS capabilities so for somepeople system complexity can be reduced to Mainlobby Suite as long of course you are not requesting at this point in time certain capabilities such as VR ( voice recognition), RFID integration, enhanced telephone capabilities ( such as Voice Messaging and Voice Control) which are built in today in HS. Naturally I want to leverage my previous investment done in SG and HS but being a Mainlobby fan since 2 years ago, sometimes I wake up asking myself if its not easier and less complex to simplify my set up with just ML suite or look for ideas ( what I am doing now with your help) about how to get the best of each one and how I do justify it for myself .

                  Thanks in advance for your help and I expect to be able to help you as well

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Enrique-

                    I have attached a zip of the relevant files so you can hopefully see how it all works.

                    The SG file shows the relevant SG events and macros that I use. Sorry, the Macros are not numbered for you, but you can figure it out.

                    The HS scripts I discussed in the post above. The scripts need to be modified with your variable house codes and device codes - I have had problems using byname in scripts. A screenshot of the HS events is in the jpeg - the events is the part I still need to improve.

                    The MainLobby files in the Cinemar directory should hopefully have everything you need to see how it all works.

                    I'm not sure if I forgot anything, but feel free to ask questions, or ask for anything that is missing.

                    With regard to your question about SG+HS+ML. SG is old, but I still don't know of a more flexible or capable piece of home automation hardware on the market today. Main Lobby is getting more capable every year, but it does not yet do anywhere near what HS can do. HS keeps getting better also. I want to see if HS's new HSTouch can rival ML. But for now, I need to use all 3 - SG for a solid, reliable base system that does most critical functions; HS for complex events, voicemail, TTS, and as the interface to ML; and ML for my touchscreens.

                    Good luck.

                    Mark
                    Attached Files
                    Last edited by Mark S.; August 26, 2009, 08:26 PM.
                    Mark

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