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HAI - Getting started?

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  • HAI - Getting started?

    I'm trying to improve the system I use to monitor and control temperature remotely in my weekend ski house.

    My ski house has 5 thermostats, with 3 or 4 pairs of wires run to each thermostat location. I'm currently using an older version of Homeseer (1.6.xx) with dry-contact closure thermostats (to switch between home and away modes), and am using a one-wire network with an old TEMP05 unit to monitor the temperature.

    The thermostats (from Leviton) keep breaking and are no longer made, and I also want to be able to adjust the temperature more precisely, rather than simply switching between "Home" and "Away" setpoints - which is all that my current thermostats can do. It seems from what I've read in the forums that I could use 5 HAI RC-80B thermostats in serial mode, connected to my PC and using the new (2.0) version of Homeseer with the free HAI thermostat plugin (not, as I understand it, the HAI Omni plugin). If I go this route I don't need a controller board like it seems I would with RCS thermostats, so the total cost would be about 5 x $125 = approx. $600 (plus the cost of upgrading Homeseer).

    My questions are:

    1. Is the above basically correct?
    2. How do I combine 5 serial devices into one serial connection to my PC?
    3. Do I need to use an old-style serial port, or is there a USB connection I can use?
    4. If all of the above works, will the thermostats report the current room temperature to Homeseer, as well as allow me to change thedesired temperature in each room?

    Thanks in advance for your help. I realize I've asked a number of questions, but I don't want to spend the money without knowing it will get me what I want (I've made that mistake before...)

  • #2
    HAI thermostats can have multiple units connected to the same RS232 connection. Their RS232 port is not a normal serial port, it can be tri-stated which allows them to be tied together and the protocol is half-duplex. HAI does recommend a RS232 booster if you use more than 4 thermostats connected to one serial port.

    I use the HAI thermostats connected to the HAI panel so I can not speak to direct connection to Homeseer but according to the writeup on the plug-in it should work.

    I have attached the Omni stat serial protocol for your reference, it discusses the serial booster it recommends.

    I also would be careful with USB to serial converters, I have tried two different ones and had problems. Worthington Distrubtion recommends the ELK usb converter which is ~ $20 (I have not used this one).
    Worthington Distrubution sells the RC-80 for $109.95
    Attached Files

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    • #3
      Thanks very much - the .pdf file explains pretty much everything. I'll give it a try.

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