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SDJ-Vstat + EasyTrigger + HS Touch Designer = ideal for Hot Water schedule display

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  • SDJ-Vstat + EasyTrigger + HS Touch Designer = ideal for Hot Water schedule display

    I hope someone finds this useful...

    I use SDJ-Vstat for the display of my Hot Water schedule.

    It needs a combination of SDJ-Vstat, EasyTrigger and HSTouch Designer.
    Your hot water boiler function will need to be controlled by a Z-Wave switch or similar.

    1) Create a Schedule with EasyTrigger
    2) Create a Counter in HomeSeer
    3) Create a "Stat" using the SDJ-Vstat Plug In - and use the schedule previously created in EasyTrigger
    4) Create a HomeSeer event to be used as an indicator that Hot Water is needed. It will use the EasyTrigger schedule. When the schedule is entered it will increment the counter by one.
    5) Create another HomeSeer event to be used as an indicate that Hot Water is not needed. It will use the same EasyTrigger schedule. When the schedule is exited, it will decrement the counter
    6) Create another HomeSeer event that is triggered if the counter is greater than 0. It will be used to trigger the Z-Wave switch controlling the Hot Water on the boiler
    7) Create another HomeSeer event that is triggered if the counter is set to 0. this will be used to switch the Hot Water off.

    (The reason I separate the schedule events from the switching events is that I can create a "manual override" option that can turn the hot water on at any non-scheduled time. The manual override function will simply need to increment and decrement the counter)

    8) Create another HomeSeer event that ensures Hot Water is always turned off at 11:00 (or some time). It simply sets the counter to 0.
    9) Next, create an image in HSTouch that simply uses the Schedule Graphic created by SDJ-Vstat.

    Now you can have a visual display in HSTouch for your Hot Water Schedule

    Hope this assists someone
    /Marcus


  • #2
    Originally posted by metkhoo View Post
    I hope someone finds this useful...

    I use SDJ-Vstat for the display of my Hot Water schedule.

    It needs a combination of SDJ-Vstat, EasyTrigger and HSTouch Designer.
    Your hot water boiler function will need to be controlled by a Z-Wave switch or similar.

    1) Create a Schedule with EasyTrigger
    2) Create a Counter in HomeSeer
    3) Create a "Stat" using the SDJ-Vstat Plug In - and use the schedule previously created in EasyTrigger
    4) Create a HomeSeer event to be used as an indicator that Hot Water is needed. It will use the EasyTrigger schedule. When the schedule is entered it will increment the counter by one.
    5) Create another HomeSeer event to be used as an indicate that Hot Water is not needed. It will use the same EasyTrigger schedule. When the schedule is exited, it will decrement the counter
    6) Create another HomeSeer event that is triggered if the counter is greater than 0. It will be used to trigger the Z-Wave switch controlling the Hot Water on the boiler
    7) Create another HomeSeer event that is triggered if the counter is set to 0. this will be used to switch the Hot Water off.

    (The reason I separate the schedule events from the switching events is that I can create a "manual override" option that can turn the hot water on at any non-scheduled time. The manual override function will simply need to increment and decrement the counter)

    8) Create another HomeSeer event that ensures Hot Water is always turned off at 11:00 (or some time). It simply sets the counter to 0.
    9) Next, create an image in HSTouch that simply uses the Schedule Graphic created by SDJ-Vstat.

    Now you can have a visual display in HSTouch for your Hot Water Schedule

    Hope this assists someone
    /Marcus
    Hi Marcus,

    This sounds intriguing although I'm not sure I understand what you are doing.

    I'm probably missing something obvious, but why do you need all the events? Why not just use the VStat you have created to control the HW switch on the boiler to the schedule?
    You can then use the VStat controls for temporary overrides like turning it on or off until the next schedule change, or the boost to force it on for a period of time.

    I would create a virtual device to use as a dummy temp sensor for the current temperature. Set this with a value that is above your low set point but below your high set point. The Control device of the VStat would be set to the Boiler HW control and would therefore turn On and Off to the VStat schedule which could be created in Easy Trigger or in the VStat-Scheduler.

    Steve

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi Steve,
      Yes, I did think of the config that you are proposing - but was experimenting without the need to create a virtual temperature sensor.

      I felt the "Boost" option wasn't really ideal for hot water use and also I wanted a 15min boost interval for my Heating vStat - as far as I was aware it is not possible to have different "boost" intervals for separate vStats.

      Also I have a similar architecture for my Heating so wanted to borrow the same for that too. For my heating, I have the heating controlled via the vStat (i call this "scheduled heat"), and also a TRV heat needed" function. The latter allows heating to be triggered via a TRV in a room - the TRV will trigger the boiler to fire if the temperature of the TRV is set to above the current target temp of the vStat. This allows just a single room to get heat even when the current target temperature is "Low" on the vStat schedule. It also stops all the other rooms getting heat since those TRV will follow the Target temp of the vStat.

      Thanks for the tip though
      Best regards
      /Marcus


      Comment


      • #4
        Hi Marcus,

        One of the interesting things about home automation is that there are many ways of achieving the same end and it's always good to see other peoples ideas. No particular way is right or wrong.

        Originally posted by metkhoo View Post
        Hi Steve,
        Yes, I did think of the config that you are proposing - but was experimenting without the need to create a virtual temperature sensor.
        Having thought a bit more about what I suggested, you can actually use a VStat this way without needing to create a virtual device. If you create a VStat without setting any input sensors you can actually set a permanent Current Temperature value using the following technique:
        • Open the Status Graphics tab for the Current Temperature child of the VStat.
        • Change the Staus-Control from Status to Both
        • Change the Row to 1

        Click image for larger version

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        You will now have a text box and a submit button for the Current Temperature which you can set to whatever you want. If you set it to a value between the Low and High SetPoints then it will turn the control On or Off to the schedule.

        Click image for larger version

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        Originally posted by metkhoo View Post
        I felt the "Boost" option wasn't really ideal for hot water use and also I wanted a 15min boost interval for my Heating vStat - as far as I was aware it is not possible to have different "boost" intervals for separate vStats.
        As you say the Boost increment is set globally but remember that multiple presses of the boost button work. So, if it is set to 15 mins then two presses give you 30 mins or 3 presses give you 45 mins. Also if you are in the Low (HW Off) period of the schedule pressing the Toggle Low/High button will turn it to High (HW On) until the next schedule, and visa versa.

        Originally posted by metkhoo View Post
        Also I have a similar architecture for my Heating so wanted to borrow the same for that too. For my heating, I have the heating controlled via the vStat (i call this "scheduled heat"), and also a TRV heat needed" function. The latter allows heating to be triggered via a TRV in a room - the TRV will trigger the boiler to fire if the temperature of the TRV is set to above the current target temp of the vStat. This allows just a single room to get heat even when the current target temperature is "Low" on the vStat schedule. It also stops all the other rooms getting heat since those TRV will follow the Target temp of the vStat.
        Interesting. I have considered adding another type of device to the VStat pi that would be a Boiler Control Device (BCD) instead of an actual VStat. The BCD would have multiple inputs and control one output. It would turn the output On, if ANY of the input devices were above a configurable value, and Off, if NONE of the input devices were above that value. My intended use would be to:
        • have several systems of radiator valves, probably controlled by VStats in zones
        • the valve open % would be the input devices to the BCD
        • if at least one valve was open by at least 5% the BCD would call for heat from the boiler
        in actual fact I would have more than one BCD as my system is further zoned so each BCD would open and close a zone valve which in turn calls for heat from the boiler.

        I have been waiting for suitable Z-Wave radiator valves before I implement a system like this. I've tried quite a few, most have been pretty crap. The one I like the most is the Eurotronics Spirit. However, even that isn't perfect in that the one I have been trialling for a couple of years now tends to loose it's ability to send the temp and valve percentage settings each time I change the batteries (only about once a year) and requires to be reset. The first time I had run the batteries until they died as a test and the second time I changed at 5% with the same error. Next time I will change at 10% (this is a long term experiment!). Mine was an early model so it might be a firmware issue.

        I hope this helps.

        Steve

        Comment


        • #5
          Thats very interesting Steve and thank you for your responses.

          When I used my Zipato controller, I did set up a virtual thermostat for every room in the house but found it was way too complicated for my wife. With HS I only have one "zone" as it were and now my wife is much happier with the system.

          To set my TRVs, I use an event that is triggered on a change of target temperature on the vStat which then fires off a set point to all my TRV's. I use the EasyTrigger PI for this. The TRV's are not always the same to the vStat target temperature. For example, the Bedroom TRV's get "target temp - 1" and some other rooms that we don't go in often are "target temp - 2" or even "target temp - 3".

          I have a "Heating Counter" that keeps track of how many devices are asking for heat and I also have a "Master switch" that allows me to turn off all heating irrespective of the counter value. I have another event that ensures everything is also reset at 00:30 each day too, just in case someone left "Manual heat" or "TRV heat" on although I could create a few events that ensure TRV heat is only left on for a few hours.

          I am also experimenting with room occupancy to control heating - but am early in my investigations. Ideally "TRV heat wanted" would disable if there was noone in the room for a period of say 1 hr. I currently use four events, one counter and one virtual device per room and use "Wasp in a Box" logic combined with motion sensors in an attempt to determine occupancy. Even so, I do have a problem trying to capture occupancy if someone is in a room with the door open and they don't move for a long time. I'm working on that one by adding additional motion sensors outside the room and using BLRadar to detect movement - but that doesn't always work either because my wife could come in and then leave and the room does not "know" that I am still in it unless I move (and I have another issue with the blind time of the motion sensor throwing me a curve ball too !)


          Coincidentally, I too am using Eurotronic Spirit TRV's which I have found reliable and responsive (albeit a bit noisy).
          My older preference was the Danfoss LC-13 - which are much quieter but do not ever "transmit" anything. It is only possible to "Push" a set point to those devices.

          I found the early LC-12 Z-Wave Danfoss devices had a very short z-wave range and the buttons on the top are really unresponsive.

          I have not needed to replace the batteries in the Eurotronic yet - but I normally replace batteries when the indicator shows about 25%.I will let you know what my experiences are but so far the Eurotronic are really easy to use.

          Thanks for your help and advice (and the plug in too of course)

          Best regards
          /Marcus

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by metkhoo View Post
            Thats very interesting Steve and thank you for your responses.

            When I used my Zipato controller, I did set up a virtual thermostat for every room in the house but found it was way too complicated for my wife. With HS I only have one "zone" as it were and now my wife is much happier with the system.

            To set my TRVs, I use an event that is triggered on a change of target temperature on the vStat which then fires off a set point to all my TRV's. I use the EasyTrigger PI for this. The TRV's are not always the same to the vStat target temperature. For example, the Bedroom TRV's get "target temp - 1" and some other rooms that we don't go in often are "target temp - 2" or even "target temp - 3".

            I have a "Heating Counter" that keeps track of how many devices are asking for heat and I also have a "Master switch" that allows me to turn off all heating irrespective of the counter value. I have another event that ensures everything is also reset at 00:30 each day too, just in case someone left "Manual heat" or "TRV heat" on although I could create a few events that ensure TRV heat is only left on for a few hours.

            I am also experimenting with room occupancy to control heating - but am early in my investigations. Ideally "TRV heat wanted" would disable if there was noone in the room for a period of say 1 hr. I currently use four events, one counter and one virtual device per room and use "Wasp in a Box" logic combined with motion sensors in an attempt to determine occupancy. Even so, I do have a problem trying to capture occupancy if someone is in a room with the door open and they don't move for a long time. I'm working on that one by adding additional motion sensors outside the room and using BLRadar to detect movement - but that doesn't always work either because my wife could come in and then leave and the room does not "know" that I am still in it unless I move (and I have another issue with the blind time of the motion sensor throwing me a curve ball too !)


            Coincidentally, I too am using Eurotronic Spirit TRV's which I have found reliable and responsive (albeit a bit noisy).
            My older preference was the Danfoss LC-13 - which are much quieter but do not ever "transmit" anything. It is only possible to "Push" a set point to those devices.

            I found the early LC-12 Z-Wave Danfoss devices had a very short z-wave range and the buttons on the top are really unresponsive.

            I have not needed to replace the batteries in the Eurotronic yet - but I normally replace batteries when the indicator shows about 25%.I will let you know what my experiences are but so far the Eurotronic are really easy to use.

            Thanks for your help and advice (and the plug in too of course)

            Best regards
            /Marcus
            Marcus

            It can see you are enjoying your HA tinkering

            I really like the Spirit valves apart from the issue I have when I change the batteries.

            I'd be interesting in your findings when you do change the batteries in your Spirit's and what firmware versions you have. What intervals do you have the internal temp and valve positions set to report?

            For the particular situation I actually operate mine in Direct Control Mode, controlling the valve from HS. However, I did find it reasonable at controlling the temperature itself when I used it that way.

            Steve
            Click image for larger version

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            Comment


            • #7
              I tried your suggestion of setting to "both" and setting Row to 1

              Click image for larger version

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              But my device shows no text entry box:
              Click image for larger version

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              Any ideas why I can't see the temperature input box?

              Thanks
              /Marcus

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by metkhoo View Post
                I tried your suggestion of setting to "both" and setting Row to 1

                Click image for larger version  Name:	Both.JPG Views:	0 Size:	45.9 KB ID:	1345153

                But my device shows no text entry box:
                Click image for larger version  Name:	CurrTemp.JPG Views:	0 Size:	7.2 KB ID:	1345154

                Any ideas why I can't see the temperature input box?

                Thanks
                /Marcus
                Hi Marcus,

                I tried doing it again to test and it turns out there is a further little twist that you have to go through to get the control to appear.
                Go back to the Status Graphics tab and from the Control Type drop list select a different option such as 'Drop List' you should then find a drop list control has been created on the Current Temperature device. You can then go back to the Status Graphics tab and change it back to 'Text Box' and the control will change to a Text Box.

                Steve

                P.S. I'm not sure how many users would use this feature but I'm thinking that for convenience I could modify the pi so that if there are no input sensors defined, the VStat shows controls on the Current Temperature child device. It would change to Status only when at least one input sensor is defined. I'm working on an update at the moment so I might add that.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Hi Steve,
                  Yes, that trick did it. Thanks.

                  I am going to redo my Hot Water control using a "HotWater" VStat.

                  BTW, If you were going to modify the PI, one feature I would love to test out would be the Boiler Control Device a you called it. Sounded great to me.

                  Best regards
                  /Marcus

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by metkhoo View Post
                    Hi Steve,
                    Yes, that trick did it. Thanks.

                    I am going to redo my Hot Water control using a "HotWater" VStat.

                    BTW, If you were going to modify the PI, one feature I would love to test out would be the Boiler Control Device a you called it. Sounded great to me.

                    Best regards
                    /Marcus
                    Hi Marcus,

                    Glad it works.

                    I have now added a feature to the plug-in whereby the Current Temperature child now has controls if there are no Internal Sensors configured. Not many will use this but it allows the Current Temperature for a VStat to be controlled manually or by events if it is not configured to sync with internal sensors. The new version will be released shortly but it has some other changes as well so needs a little more testing.

                    Steve

                    PS The Boiler Control Device I postulated is a possibility but it will be a while before I get round to looking at it.

                    Comment

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