eQ-3 MAX! Affordable Wireless Heating Control with your Smartphone or Raspberry Pi

As the days begin to shorten and the leaves start to fall thoughts turn to the winter ahead and the ever increasing energy bills.  Heating control is a problem that’s made for home automation to solve and there’s always plenty of advice on our Heating Control Forum.

Hello Max – One solution that’s being discussed in there more and more is ‘MAX!’ from German manufacturer ‘eQ-3’.  A system of inexpensive components including wireless battery operated TRV’s that easily retro-fit to your existing radiators without the need for a plumber, or to drain your system.  Once MAX! is installed, it will control each radiators motorised valve individually, creating a zoned heating system with higher efficiency and in turn reduced bills.

It also has the added benefit of allowing you to control your heating on the move with a free iOS app  for your iPhone / iPad  plus an Android version too.  The system uses the 868 MHz frequency to communicate between its modules.

eQ-3 MAX! Wall Thermostat

eQ-3 MAX! Wireless Wall Thermostat (~£25) – The wall thermostat is more business like than handsome, but it’s still looks better than most.  It can control up to eight MAX! radiator thermostats in any one room and has an internal sensor that measures the temperature in the room and transmits it to the radiator thermostats.

eQ-3 MAX! TRV Radiator Thermostat

eQ-3 MAX! Wireless Radiator Thermostat (~£25) – The Radiator Thermostat is responsible for regulating your radiators. All configuration settings are made with the MAX! Software and different settings can be made for each room. Communication between MAX! components is bi-directional. This ensures that the information sent reaches the recipient.  There’s also a ‘Plus’ version of the thermostat available for an additional £5 with a more comprehensive LCD display and local control.  Both units use 2 x AA cells and e-Q3 quote battery life as 2 years with 2 operations per day.

eQ-3 MAX! Cube Ethernet Gateway

eQ-3 MAX! Cube LAN Gateway (~£45) – The Cube is the gateway between your LAN and the RF comms of the MAX! system.  An Ethernet port connects to your network and power is provided via a USB socket.  Once attached you can configure the system with the MAX! software.  In addition you can monitor the status of your system and control it from your PC or Smartphone / Tablet across the Internet via eQ-3’s server.  Local control can be carried out without the need for an Internet connection.  The Cube seems to ship with 3 years service included in the price.  This means you’ll have to pay for the service from year four.  eQ-3 says the sub prices are set by their distribution partners but from what we can see they’re not expensive (a few Euros per year?).

eQ-3 MAX! Window / Door SensoreQ-3 MAX! Wireless Window Sensor (~£20) – The Window Sensor lets the system know when a door or window has been opened allowing the Radiator Thermostats to automatically reduce the temperature to save energy, and increase it again once the window or door has been closed.

The value of the drop in temperature can be set separately for each room in the MAX! Software.

eQ-3 MAX! Eco SwitcheQ-3 MAX! Eco Switch (~£20) – The MAX! Eco switch allows you to set back the temperature in all your rooms with a single button press when you leave home.  When you return you can also set all rooms back to auto mode by pressing the button again.  The battery operated wireless device can be mounted almost anywhere and can be stuck to the wall with adhesive tape.

There’s also a Plug Adaptor for controlling electric and water heaters but it appears to only be available with a European socket design.  It’s unclear whether this could also be used for boiler control, one aspect of the system that seems to be lacking.

eQ-3 MAX! Smartphone App for iPhone & Android

The Language Barrier – Currently the apps are only available in German and they also use the German time zone which can’t be changed.  We asked eQ-3 if there are any plans to remedy this and they told us…

“The apps are only available in German language currently. Changing the local time is planned in a future software release but we have no estimated date for the release of an English version.”

Integrating and Hacking – There’s no API for MAX! and it doesn’t look like there will be one in the future.  There is a third party Control4 Driver available from Extra Vegetables if that’s your home automation controller.  For the DIY hacker there’s support for MAX! built into the Fhem open source software package.  You can control the actuators using several hardware devices from Busware including an Arduino module and this Raspberry Pi Extension Board.  There is more information available on the MAX! Protocol Here if you have the qualifying neck beard.

MAX-raspberry-pi-busware-coc

Like most of these systems we’d love to see it opened up officially and feel it would benefit eQ-3 in the long run to have its affordable wireless system integrate with the largest range of home automation controllers possible.

Whether you want a standalone zoned heating control system with smartphone app control or one that you can hack to your hearts content and won’t break the bank then the MAX! is definitely worth checking out.

www.eq-3.de   :   Available from Conrad   :   Our Heating Control Forum

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82 Comments on "eQ-3 MAX! Affordable Wireless Heating Control with your Smartphone or Raspberry Pi"

  1. No APIs at all? Seriously?
    Ok, let’s keep looking.

  2. If this was multi region ( language and time zones ) then their market would be a lot bigger, it was just what I was looking for, but need English sadly.

  3. I have the MAX system. It HAS english language in every app they provide. The most recent firmware update added also timezone change.

  4. Does this new MAX! product meet the requirement to be able to also switch the boiler on and off?

    http://www.eq-3.de/max-heizungssteuerung-produktdetail-kopie/items/zwischenstecker-schaltaktor-1-fach.html

  5. Nick – That’s the unit we refer to in this paragraph in the review above..

    “There’s also a Plug Adaptor for controlling electric and water heaters but it appears to only be available with a European socket design. It’s unclear whether this could also be used for boiler control, one aspect of the system that seems to be lacking.”

  6. Thanks – I should have spotted that. Shame about the foreign plug/socket. It would be clunky, but there seems no reason why one shouldn’t use one of these (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Visitors-Adaptor-Converting-European-Standard/dp/B000KMF8DM/) and one of these (http://www.amazon.co.uk/Kit-3-Pin-2-Pin-Adapter-Travel/dp/B002TEB06I/) to convert it into a gadget which thus switches the power of any standard UK 13 outlet. Then one can use the switched 230v to do anything, including connection of a relay across any boiler’s connection for a room thermostat.

    We just need to find someone who has actually done it!

  7. Conrad tell me that:
    “Thanks to your interest in the product, it has been added to your UK site and will be available tomorrow after the next update. 449239-89 eQ-3 MAX! WIreless switching actuator. It will have a price of £ 33.99.”
    Presumably, we’ll see it here:
    http://www.conrad-electronic.co.uk/ce/en/overview/0812043/MAX-Heating-Control-Systems

  8. Let us know if you take the plunge Nick 🙂

  9. Hi everyone 🙂 This system is exactly what I need. However from the work done by Robert Hekkers (http://blog.hekkers.net/2011/08/29/unravelling-the-elv-max-heating-control-system-protocol/) some time back the eq-3 LAN cube was very much less than operable.

    In fact it seemed like a product which actually didn’t work / was useless. Since then new firmware has been released. Does anyone know if the firmware release fixed the very significant issues with the LAN Cube ? Nick, if you get this please report back 🙂

  10. Yes … a switching unit for the boiler was also missing from this product. So that is a useful addition. I think it was Robert Hekkers who also reported having to cut or adjust the pins on the TRV’s ? So while a great product line at a great price a little more work may be required by eq-3 to make this a great product … which will sell

  11. Has anyone managed to interface these wireless TRV’s to an Arduino via openly published material ? These TRV’s are a good price …

  12. Hello everyone, I’m a new user of this product line. I was wondering if there is a way to have the entire system reset to auto mode at a certain time of day, preferably several reset points per day. I’m using the system in a student house and while I do want to offer the possibility to have heating when it is wanted, the problem is that most students don’t think to put it back on auto mode and just leave the heating on when they are absent.

  13. Hello,

    as owner of a MAX! system I was not happy with the original smartphone software for controlling my heating. So I have built my own app: https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.koczewski.android.max

    It communicates with the control portal which is hosted by ELV or eQ-3. I have reverse-engineered the communication protocol and implemented an API myself. It is included as open source in my all-purpose library project on GitHub: https://github.com/Kunagi/ilarkesto/tree/master/src/main/java/ilarkesto/integration/max

    Best regards,
    Witek

  14. I have read through the article and the comments and I like the system a lot and want to test it. However can anyone establish whether you can yet switch the boiler off if there is no requirement for heat from the trv’s?

    Paul

  15. Hi, could anyone confirm whether these eQ-3 MAX! Wireless Radiator Thermostats can fit onto a basic/manual radiator valve (ie, not a TRV one)? The required force to turn them is much greater so I’m guessing not, but asking just on the off chance.. Presumably battery life will be shorter (but that’s ok).

    Has anyone tried it?

    Thanks, Hadyn

  16. hi, Silly question. TRV’s push the pin in/out to control temperature, whereas the manual radiators rotate around like a tap to open/close the valve.

    So these only work with TRVs.

    Interestingly, has anyone seen an electronic controller that will rotate a manual valve?

    thanks, Hadyn

  17. Hi,

    Probably a silly question. We have a combi boiler. If we used this system with a Zwischenstecker-Schaltaktor to turn the boiler off when not needed by the heating, presumably that would turn off our hot water as well? Does anyone see a way round this?

    Cheers,
    Ian

  18. Ian,

    I think you need to look at using the Zwischenstecker-Schaltaktor to replace the thermostat. I wonder if you could wire the thermostat wires to a plug socket, plug the Zwischenstecker-Schaltaktor into it and plug a plug into this that has the live and neutral wired together.

    Would that then operate as an open closed thermostat? Assuming your thermostat is 240v.

  19. Thanks Pat – there may be something I can do. The current thermostat is wireless but there is a receiver by the boiler and the boiler power supply appears to come out of that. Not sure I have the guts to try to rewire it, but maybe it can be replaced by something more cooperative. I’ll look into the details.

  20. Ian,

    I have a similar thermostat and am also looking at ways to control a boiler so will look at it next weekend. Perhaps we should start a thread on the forum?
    I have been messing with a Max trv controlled by a Pi for a couple of weeks. That has gone well and have just had two more trv’s delivered to try it in anger. My plan is not to have a standalone thermostat at all but use the trv’s in built stats instead and have Pi switch on the boiler. I think it can be done but not quite there yet.

  21. Try the HIVE system (£199 inc fitting) with smartphone app via British Gas: https://www.hivehome.com/hive-active-heating.
    Also Tado system: http://www.tado.com/gb/?gclid=COj1iIDV0LsCFQHHtAodnW0Aaw
    which is slightly more expensive at £258.80 inc fitting. You can also hire this system, but much more expensive that way.
    Both have good reviews.

  22. I (in Belgium) have installed the cube, 2 heatervalves in the livingroom, 1 in the kitchen and 1 in the bathroom. Also, a wall thermostat in the livingroom. I have a hands-on experience that I’d like to share with you all.

    First, install the local software (that you should download from the manufacturers site ( http://www.eq-3.de ). And yes, it has english language.

    Installing the cube is the easiest part. Simply plug into the network router, and you are ready to go. The cube is the gateway, i.e. the cube communicates with the devices, whilst the pc talks to the cube.

    The, install the valve regulator heads. They have a standard m30 thread, so they fit most quality valves. They come with some adaptor sets, and if needed, you should use valve adapter pieces (search the conrad catalogue for eq-3 AND adapter). I needed them for my Comap valves, as they have M28 thread.

    Finally, power the wall thermostat. The name of this device is a little confusing, as it is not really a thermostat. Merely, it is a remote control and temperature sensor for the radiator valves. See later.

    Once you have installed the hardware, it’s software configuration time. Simply click ‘new device’ in the software then go and push the button on one device. The device is the listed on the pc, and you should attribute it to a ‘room’. Do this for all devices. In my case, I have 1 valve in the ‘bathroom’, 1 in the ‘kitchen’ and 2 plus the thermostat in the ‘living’.

    You should know that the system is based on ‘rooms’, which contain devices. The minimum room contents is 1 valve. You can program the valve with a weekprogramme. And of course, manually inetrfere. Thence, the room is controlled by the valve.

    Now, this is where the system is ‘smart’. When your room has more than 1 valve, they are automatically synchronised, i.e. they copy eachothers settings! Nice and easy. Temperature is controlled bybthe valve, that uses its integrated temperature sensor.

    And when your room also includes a thermostat, it will also be paired with the valves. When you turn up the temperature on one device, the others synchronise automatically. So if you turn up one valve, the other valve and the thermostat display will follow. When you switch the thermostat on, the valves follow. You get the point.
    Temperature is now controlled by the valves, using the wall thermostat’s temperature sensor.

    Further on, the software has a ‘house’ notion, which simply means ‘all the rooms’. E.g., when you set the ‘house’ into economy mode, then all devices go into economy.

    Indeed, the only flaw is how to control your heater… I have set it to 60 deg, and have it permanently on. The water temp is thus controlled by the heater’s integrated thermostat.
    It would have been nice if there were a switch that could ‘go on when at least one device requests heat’. Not so…
    What I plan to do is use a remote switch in the eq-3 series, and have that one drive the heater on a timer basis. I.e., I will program it with the MAX software to switch on at 6am, and switch of by 11pm.

    I have the system now since one week. It regulates perfectly.

    I will also install the ECO button. This will allow me to switch everything in ECO or AUTO mode with a simple button press when leaving the house.

    And for completeness: the window detectors are devices that will lower the valves setpoints when a window is opened, and switch it back to AUTO when the window is closed again. Nice feature.

    Hope this is useful to you guys.

  23. …and just another small remark: the valve heads have a backlit display, that lights up when you touch the valve button. That is a good thing, but why does the thermostat does not have a backlighting. That is a pity….

  24. Would it be possible to use these instead of actuators on a manifold for underfloor water heating?

  25. Hi Pat,

    You mentioned that your were controlling your Max TRV’s from the RPi. Are you doing that directly using the 868Mhz wireless connection (i.e. not through the Max cube) or are you sending commands to the Max cube and then it is sending them to the TRV?

    One other question I have is how noisy these TRV’s are when they are moving? Are they suitably quiet so that they can be put into bedrooms etc?

    Cheers,

    Rick

  26. @Rick
    Hi,
    They are a little bit noisy, i.e. you can hear the lowcost plastic-cracking of the internal gearbox when it moves. I’d compare the sound to a cd-players drawer opening and closing, but the noiselevel is less. No propagation in the pipes either, so the rest of the house is not bothered.
    I bought four heads, one is clearly a little bit noisier than the others…
    I understand that this is one of the reasons why the price is so low. I understand that H*well is very silent, but much more expensive…

  27. Hi Dirk, thanks so much for your review – pretty much covered near all but a couple of questions i had.

    As it seems with your writeup, the only part i think is missing is not having any control over the combi boiler to only start up when a requirement is met from the radiator.

    As i understand it (please correct or confirm) that my boiler would need to run permanently, so if i don’t have a TRV on 1 radiator (like a spare room we don’t use) then that radiator would either need to be manually set to off, or be belting out full heat all the time..

    last question (with back-story explanation); right now i have mechanical/wax TRV’s on my radiators (bar the bathroom which has a permanent open valve), the only heating thermostat is on the mechanical timer box in the living room.
    If we want extra heat in the front room we boost via the mechanical thermostat and turn off when we are getting warmer. but the reason i have no valve in the bathroom is ‘incase’ of boiler malfunction so the water can still run through atleast one radiator and not cause problems with burnout….. am i looking at it in an outdated view (and should install a trv in the bathroom) or should there always be 1 fully open radiator, if there should always be one fully open radiator, how does this EQ3 (and your specific setup) handle that?

    Thanks!

  28. The EQ3 Max! System is great and value for money. Initially as a trial I installed one TRV in the remotest part of the house and communication with the Cube is fine which was one of my concern from wifi signal experience in the house. I was impressed that Conrad automatically included a UK adaptor for the power supply to the Cube at no charge. But the main negative point with this system is boiler control, I need the boiler off when there is no demand. After weeks of browsing I found a forum that offers a solution, but technical skill is necessary . The solution involves using Arduino Yún as “room thermostat” and forms the link between the Cube and the boiler. Great solution just need a solution for the not so technical chaps like me. If interested, see http://forum.arduino.cc/index.php?topic=195643.0

  29. I just bought this setup but misunderstood the thermostat. I thought it replaced the Boiler thermostat and turned the boiler off when all the TRVs reached optimum temperature. Disappointing. How hard would it be for them to make one? It would just need to be a simple receiver from the Cube that, when all TRVs reaching temperature, shut the boiler off! When one of the TRVs went below their set temperature it would switch the boiler back on again!

  30. Hi, I had a question related to the MAX cube. We are using the system to arrange the temperature in several student rooms, all controlled by a single max cube. The problem we are experiencing is that some of the inhabitants have installed the software and now have acces to mess around in the settings, not only of their own rooms but also in the other areas of the house. There is only one internet connection and this is devided through a router to all the rooms.Since the cube is on the same system any of the rooms can make contact if they install the program. Does a system exist to secure the connection to the MAX Cube and limit the acces by password or MAC nr. of the device trying to connect?

  31. For the people having trouble with boiler control. It depends with what brand and type you work but if the pump in the boiler is pressure sensitive you should be able to have the boiler shut down automatically.
    We work with a vaillant boiler that is constantly ready to produce heating but when all the rooms are hot and the heatings close the pump detects the pressure increase and stops itself and the boiler. When the room cools down afterwards and one of the heatings opens again the pump detects the drop in pressure and reactivates the boiler. Simple but effective.
    I didn’t install the system myself but explained everything to the technicians that did the installation and then we decided which boiler to instal. This works with a new installation. If the boiler is already in place and does not have a pressure sensitive pump, the only solution is to bypass the existing pump and install a seperate pressure sensitive one that takes over its task.

  32. @Sam
    Hi,
    Once the cube is programmed, you can disconnect it from the computer network. That’s the absolute 100% guaranteed way to avoid anybody to connect to it and mess with it…
    Dirk

  33. Hi Everyone,
    First time posting on this site. Fantastic bit of engineering from all the pioneers here.

    @Dirk.
    The pipe work into the radiators in my house comes up from the floor, to each side of the radiator. This means that the valves are in a vertical or upright position. Looking at what photos I have seen of the Max TVRs the LCD display would be upside down if I used these. Can the display be flipped?

    I’m guessing not as the writing on the buttons would still be upside down.

    Please clarify what software interface you are using to program the system.

    Thanks, Dave.

  34. @dave
    Traditionally, a TVR should be in a horizontal position, but I have the same issue as you on my bathroom radiator (due to space limitation).
    The bad side is that you are right, the display can’t be flipped.
    On the good side: it works without any problems.

  35. @dave
    As for the software, You need to understand the system concept.
    It might be useful to explain it first.

    1/You can use a valve on it’s own. Then you can program it on the valve itself, using the buttons. No cube, no pc required.

    2/If you use multiple valves, they can be synchronised to eachother. Move one, the other one follows. This is intended for those cases where multiple radiators are in one place. And if you add a room thermostat, this one will simply act as a remote control for the valves. This usage is named a ‘room solution’.

    3/ now, add a cube, and you get the ‘house solution’. I.e. Every device is part of a room, all the rooms are part of the house.

    Now, there’s two pieces of software.

    One is the pc software that will allow you to configure, group, and program all devices in a very clear and easy way through the cube. Obviously, if you have no cube, this software is of no use.

    The software can be downloaded from the distributors website or from the manufacturer’s (www.eq-3.de). It’s free, but of no use at all if you have no cube.
    The pc and the cube need to be on a network. Actually, the software simply talks to the cube.

    It seems that the first issue of the cube and software where very unreliable, with lots of bugs. However, I can fully confirm that the system works excellent, without any problems since the new software release (v1.4)

    The second piece of software is an app. Again, this is only useful if you have a cube AND if you allow that cube to go on the internet. Technically, the cube will connect to the manufacturer’s server, and your app can reach your cube via that server.

    I don’t use this option, because I never had the use to set or read my heating from anywher else than at home! Also, it is a bit inviting for hackers. If, in some way, somebody can connect to the manufacturers server with your credentials, it will be able to manipulate your heating system…

    For the technically interested, there’s people around reverse engineering the pc software (see above in the forum), and there’s also an alternative for the app.

  36. @Dirk
    Thank you for all your help Dirk, you explained in so much detail, clarified the functionality of the system and gave me confidence to go ahead and purchase some components. Really appreciate the level of effort you went to.

    I have bought a cube, two motorized TRVs and a remote switch to get me started. If the product is as good as the feedback everyone has published here, then I plan to do every radiator in the house.

    It is probably arguable and there is an additional cost, but is it really necessary to buy the wall mount thermostat to improve system efficiency?

    What is the general opinion on this?

    Larger rooms would probably benefit most from this.

  37. The wallmount thermostat is simply a remote for the valves.
    It will measure the temperaturenat the thermostat location i.s.o. at the valve(s) location.

    Besides that, the only advantage is that it can be set to display the obtained room temperature, i.s.o. the desired temperature (“set value”).
    (The valves can only display the set-value).

  38. @Dirk.
    I was assuming when a wall thermostat was fitted and paired with valves it would be the master temperature gauge not just the master temperature set value/reference controller.

    Good to know Dirk, so thank you again.

  39. @ Dirk.
    Even if this system didn’t offer possible improved heating efficiency I would still be installing it, as the idea of automated radiator control and room by room temperature monitoring is super.

    All that aside, is it too early to ask if it is lowering your heating bills, approximate percentage?

  40. @Dirk

    Hi Dirk, i see from the comments on this, that as standard the thermostat won’t turn on the boiler when it gets a call from a trv – as the boiler is only controlled by central thermostat temp, not individual zones.

    1 – you mentioned hacks, has anyone made one that would enable this functionality

    -or-

    2 – do you know of any other systems that can do this?

    Thanks!

  41. Too bad, and not understandable, but ther’s nothing at all in the eq-3 stuff to control the boiler…

    The logical thing would be that, if any of the valve requires heat, the boiler would start. This is exactly what this project:
    github.com/autopower/thermeq3
    takes care of…
    If you are into hobby electronics and software, that’s your solution!

    If your not into tech, then simply have your boiler temp controlled by a local boiler thermostat in the heater, and let the vcirculation pump turn permanently (have a small bypass, or have a pressure control on the pump)

  42. What about the plug switch adaptor, can’t it be used as the boiler interlock?
    http://www.eq-3.de/max-heizungssteuerung-produktdetail-kopie/items/zwischenstecker-schaltaktor-1-fach.html
    In the manual it describes setting it up as it’s own room and then controlling it from the cube with on a timed basis. I wonder if the cube allows it to be switched if any room calls for heat?
    I have the FHT system with interlock, but might change as I really like the max system, but only if boiler interlock works!

  43. The powerswitches can be used in two ways:

    One.
    Use the switch to switch on/off an electric radiator. In that case, you would put it in a room togheter with a wall thermostat. The thermostat will decide when to switch the power switch, and of course, the wall thermostat itself can get a week programme from the cube. Thus, you have a temperature controlled switch.

    Two.
    Use the switch as a time-programmable switch. In this case, you’d put it all by itself in a room, and you can program it with a on/off sequence. Thus you have a time-controled switch. I guess this application is intended for the small infrared or resistive bathroom heater. They have a built in thermostat, so it’s just a matter of switching them on or off…

    Conclusion: the switch can be time dependent (app two), or room-temperature dependent (app one), but *not* house dependent… So you can’t use it to control the boiler…

  44. I would like to control my max cube via internet or app but it won’t connect any tips to get going

  45. Dirk – that’s how I interpreted it at well. A massive oversight I would say, esp when the FHT stuff which I have has that feature. I imagine an update to the cube software could correct though and it would be a relatively simple concept to switch it at heat demand. Hopefully that’s something that will happen…

  46. Not sure if you guys were aware but it seems that the Maxcube has been integrated to Openhab. I’ve just started to tinker (not got it working yet) but this would appear to offer a route to both boiler control (with a wide choice of options) as well as many other integrations.

    I’m a novice at this stuff as I’m just installing Max as a start in my automated home due to being unhappy with the lack of control I got from British Gas Hive (which just offers boiler on / off). I’m hoping that with Openhab sat inbetween I can have the best of both worlds.

  47. @xav: I didn’t know, and it’s very nice to know (because I’m an interested tech savvy.)
    As the cube controls all the devices by wireless communications, and the only network interface is the cube, I guess that –sadly– This means that some third party smart device (PC) should talk to the cube, get all setpoint and current temp of the valves, do some basic calculations, and then decide if the boiler should be on or off. And then use this info to do it actually.
    How much better would it be, if the cube decided that, and sent a signal to one of their (already existing) switches.
    Wouldn’t it be nice if somebody started a petition or common request towards eq-3, where we can all sign and beg for them to implement this –how tough can it be– simple modification 🙂

  48. Dirk – fully agree that boiler control via the cube is what we really want.

    That said, Openhab is also v useful as it opens up new options for people who like to play with tech. I have a 24/7 media server anyway, so adding something like Openhab has little to no incremental cost and adds a lot of integration options (looking at Zwave or Lightwave RF for lights once I get the heating sorted).

    I have written to Conrad (who I bought my Max! from) advising I want the new features. Any idea who I can contact at EQ3 to say the same as my German is sadly lacking….

  49. Hi all,

    Please tweet, retweet, facebook, and socialise in any way this German letter, sign it, and send it to eq-3
    (support@eQ-3.de)

    Who knows…

    —–
    Sehr Geehrte,

    Ich habe das eQ-3 MAX! System.

    Meiner Meinung nach sollte es eine wichtige Komponente in der Inhouse-Lösung geben: die Heizungssteuerung. Es wäre sehr interessant, einen ferngesteuerten Schalter zu haben der einschaltet wenn eines der Zimmer Wärme braucht (und wieder abschaltet wenn keines der Zimmer Wärme erfordert).

    Da der MAX!Cube alle notwendigen Informationen enthält und der Fernschalter bei Ihnen vorhanden ist, scheint es mich das diese Option sehr einfach für Sie zu implementieren wäre.

    Für die Nutzer würde es ein einfaches Software-Update des Würfels bedeuten.

    Dazu meine Anfrage: könnten Sie vieleicht eine solche Funktion implementieren?

    Vielen Dank im Voraus für die Berücksichtigung diese Anfrage.
    —–

    Translation:

    Dear,

    I have the eQ-3 MAX! The system.

    In my opinion there should be a key component in the in-house solution: the heating control. It would be very interesting to have a remote controlled switch which turns on when one of the rooms heat needs (and again turns off when none of the rooms requires heat).

    Since the MAX! Cube contains all the necessary information and the remote switch is available to you, it seems to me that this option would be very easy for you to implement.

    For users, it would mean a simple software update of the cube.

    To this end, my question: you could maybe implement such a function?

    Thank you in advance for considering this request.

  50. Sorry guys, it’s “eq-3.de” not “eq-3.com”

  51. …and their answer is (translated from German)

    “We are glad about all tips and suggestions which can contribute to the improvement of our products, solutions and services. Unfortunately, it is not possible for us to check your suggestion immediately concerning the feasibility. Rather we can take your suggestion to the knowledge and pass on as a suggestion to the suitable places in the house.”

  52. I have just installed this system on 7 radiators in my house. I have used the mains switch to control the boiler tied to the thermostat in the hall. Works great, I can control the boiler remotely by adjusting the hall temperature. I could do with having more thermostats tied into the boiler control, but very happy with what I have already. Biggest issue is regular disconnects of the cube, so I have put this on a timer to reboot every few hours which works ok for now.

  53. I’ve written to both Conrad and EQ3. Got a response from EQ3 that they would pass my request to the appropriate dept for consideration.

  54. @dirk – sent to eq3 and got the following reply:

    Sehr geehrter MAX! Kunde,
    vielen Dank für Ihre freundliche Anfrage und das damit verbundene Interesse an unseren Produkten.

    Wir freuen uns über alle Hinweise und Vorschläge, die zur Verbesserung unserer Produkte, Lösungen und Dienstleistungen beitragen können. Wir leiten Ihre Anfrage als Anregung an die entsprechenden Stellen in unserem Unternehmen weiter.

    Mit freundlichen Grüßen aus Leer

    Ihr eQ-3 Support-Team
    —————-
    Google translation:

    Dear MAX! Customer,
    Thank you for your kind inquiry and the related interest in our products.

    We welcome all comments and suggestions that may help to improve our products, solutions and services. We will forward your request as a suggestion to the appropriate sites in our company.

    Sincerely from Leer

    Your eQ-3 support team

  55. @xav
    So, it’s a standard answer to a ‘standard’ question.
    I hope they transmit the message ‘to the right department’.
    I also hope they will not put us on a blacklist of spammers 😉
    I’ll resend my question in a couple of weeks, asking what they have decided.

  56. looking at the eQ-3 MAX! seems a real potential money saver.

    Currently i have a 2 year old Valiant Combi boiler that has been very reliable and efficient, its controlled via a danfoss wireless programable thermostat, we have TRV’s on all of our radiators.

    I’ve looked at BG hive but wanting something to control zone heating, honeywell controls just seem far too expensive.

    If i go down the MAX! route, how will i control the combi boiler? Would i just leave it constantly on and let the wireless TRV’s control the temperature? if the valves are closed would the lack of demand switch the boiler off, or would i still have to use this in conjunction with the danfoss wireless thermo stat?

  57. I recently bought the Max! LAN cube and three radiator valves. At time of writing there is a time-zone bug between setting a schedule locally (in the UK), using the downloadable app, and the internet login version, via eQ-3’s server (presumably on german time).

    I can set it up and get everything working OK, now I’ve learned to leave internet access out of the picture. But until I figured that out, it was getting me very confused. I’d set up a nice weekly schedule per room, then log in remotely to have a look and all the times had been shifted by an hour! So I set it back again there, only to find them all shifted the other way when I logged in locally again.

    In conclusion, it’s very nice kit, at the right price point to really start making a difference in wasted energy, but I hope they sort out the buggy software pretty quick. For now, it’s for early adopters I’d say (I include myself in that, so it’s just about ok with me).

  58. hot water heater solar | March 21, 2014 at 3:03 pm |

    You suggested it perfectly!

  59. solar hot water rebate victoria | March 22, 2014 at 2:43 pm |

    Fantastic stuff, Many thanks!

  60. Update! Still in search of how-to-control-the-central-heater, I came up with something! Though not perfect, it is certainly a very acceptable method and it can be done with the standard eq-3 MAX! components.

    The plug-adapter switch of the eq-3 series has two operating modes:

    Method 1/
    If you put it in a room togheter with a thermostat component, then the switch is controlled by the thermostat. It switches on when the room temp is below the thermostat switchpoint, it switches of when the desired temp is reached. This is how you would use e.g. it in a bathroom, with an electric heater. The heater is switched by the plug, the plug is controlled by the thermostat, the thermostat is controlled by its program.

    When you think of it, one could install that thermostat ‘outside’ and detect if it is ‘cold’ or ‘hot’ outside. This could then switch the heater on and off.

    However, I have used method 2/, to my very satisfaction. Read on!

    Method 2/
    If you set the switch on its own in a room, the it gets a weekprogram of its own. In my typical ‘working week’ case, it is set to switch ON from 6-9am and 5-11pm on weekdays, and 6am-11pm in the weekend.

    When you use it in the 2/ mode, then the heater runs when the valves might need heat. When the valves are very unlikely to require heat, the heater is off.

    Besides that, I have the ECO-AUTO switch that adds a nice function: when I press ECO, not only are all components going to ECO mode, the switch also gets into ‘eco’ mode (OFF). Thence, when I leave unforeseen my house, i press ECO, and everything goes to the low temp mode, and the heater turns off.

  61. Hi Dirk, Thanks for your useful posts. I’m considering the same setup and had paused because of the boiler control issue. (I have 4 bathrooms/ensuites and don’t want them all heated constantly)

    I didn’t quite follow the Method 2 of the plug-adapter, what did you control with it ?

  62. Hi Dirk

    Would you recommend these to a total noob?

    Also can the thermostats be installed on angled radiators rather that straight through?

    Thanks

  63. Daniel Mitchell | October 15, 2014 at 3:56 pm |

    The HouseHeat system is better much less problems individual room control and boiler interlock plus everything in English. I believe they are also based in the UK!

  64. Hello,

    I’m wondering how your Cubes and TRVs are doing? I’m thinking about buying the set but I’m concerned about the various problems mentioned in this thread. Does the latest firmware resolves the common problems?

    Anyone knows any alternative with the same feature set and allowing two TRVs in the single room?

    thanks!

  65. I bought all the bits and have so far installed 10 radiator valves (having changed 4 Drayton TRV 3 to the 30mm TRV 4). The cube is installed as well as the ECO switch. Software is working on my iMac and ipad. I left a Salus wireless boiler controller in situ and whenever the temperature in the hall as it happens goes above threshold the boiler is switched off. I read Dirks time wise solution to boiler control and think it’s clever to allocate a dummy room to the switch. I had to write a users manual for my wife as I could not find one on the Internet. For me what is missing are the actual temperatures in each room as well as the set point. I’m thinking of placing say 3 MAX! Thermostats at strategic points to retrieve this info. Has anybody done this?

  66. I also have had the eQ-3 maxi system in my flat for a year. My flat which has bedrooms downstairs and living rooms up stairs I have programmed all my radiators to come on when we use the rooms, and use boost to give temporary warmth at unusual times.What used to happen was all the rooms heated simultaneously but the downstairs remained cold as the thermostat turned the boiler pump off before the bedrooms were warm. now the bedrooms come on 1/2 an hour before the rest of the house result happy wife
    I found the wall thermostats essential to maintain the correct temperatures especially in my office which contains the boiler.they override the radiator stats so in many instances and the kitchen In my shower room and my en suite i have simple programmable electric radiator valves which do not connect wirelessly \these rooms had the most predictable use patterns and these valves are only about£9.99 I think that it would be a great improvement to have room demand switching on the boiler. eQ-3 did do a more expensive system that did have boiler demand control but I cannot seem to find it. I still have a wall thermostat and timer on my boiler which I would dispense with if demand switching was possible.
    In the meantime what i have is great I also have an eco switch . i have not had a single stuck valve since I installed the system. I hope the saving will be good

  67. Hi,
    The EQ-3 Max! caught my attention recently. The one thing I’m not sure of is how to integrate it with the existing thermostat on my boiler.

    The Honeywell evohome system has a wireless OpenTherm module that connects with all connected thermostats to determine demand for heat.

    How do you achieve the same result using the EQ-3 components? Because as far as I can tell this would depend on the existing thermostat connected to the boiler and EQ-3 does not provide a similar device as the Honeywell evohome R8810 (wireless OpenTherm bridge). So, only when my living room thermostat would demand heat would also the other rooms be heated. Puzzled…

    MB

  68. Hi,

    Does eQ-3 network will interference with Zwave or ZigBee?

    eQ-3 it is something like Enocean? They are using both 868 Mhz

    Thanks

  69. I solved the boiler control issue a while back. I wrote some ruby code (it was my language of choice at the time) that opens a TCP connection with the cube and requests the status of all of the connected EQ3 trv heads. Part of what comes back is the current valve opening value. I have a threshold value configured. If any of the values that come back exceed this threshold – the boiler is turned on via Z-Wave otherwise the boiler is held off. A cron job runs this process every couple of minutes. This has been running on a raspberry pi (with a z-wave piggy-back module) for perhaps 18 months now. Works great for me.

    I think I spotted something recently saying the manufacturer had an official solution for this now?

  70. Is the software capable of doing a 5 week schedule ?
    The reason is that I work shifts day, evening, night.. and or shifts goes for 5 weeks and then starts over. If the system is capable of having a 5 week schedule setup this would be extremely usefull to me and could probably save a lot of energy

    Cheers
    Peter

  71. Not sure how old this thread is, but I’ve successfully used the Max switch as a boiler control. As previously pondered you just connect a 230v relay in line with your room thermostat and have the Max switch flick the relay.

    It’s a bit of an eyesore at the moment with plug convertor>max switch>plug convertor>plug to relay but I’ll try and take it all apart and wire it directly in the summer.

  72. @Dan Can you give a bit more details about how you manage to control the boiler with the relay? What do you mean by “Max switch “? please

  73. I currently use 3 Stella Z TRVs with a rasberry pi and I *hate* them! Can only query them on wake up and they only wake up for 5 secs so often miss temp etc. How often do these TRVs/Thermostats report back the temp? I have relays connected to my Pi that turn on boiler so would like to be able to query an up to date temp. Also would like to be able to set the TRV in a timely manner too.

    Thanks!

  74. William Moore | May 14, 2015 at 6:08 pm |

    I recently installed a eQ-3 MAX wireless heating control system to control the heating in my house.I have 6 wall thermostats controlling 6 radiator thermostats controlled from 1 MAX Cube, and 8 wall thermostats controlling 8 radiator thermostats controlled from a second MAX Cube. The settings I programme into the system keep changing mainly on the Cube controlling the 8 wall thermostats. I decided to reconfigure the settings installed and set about deleting existing settings to discover An Error Message appears and reads “The connection to the MAX Cube Lan Gateway is disturbed”. This prevents me from reconfiguring the settings. Is there anyone who could help me to solve this problem. Kind Regards Willie.

  75. Hi Willie, as you have 2 Cubes, you MUST exit out of the PC programming control by exiting the Browser and then exiting out of the MAX! icon in the right hand corner at bottom of the screen (or in hidden icons) before communicating with the next Cube and its taught-in devices.

    Hope this helps.

  76. I have a problem. I have been using the cube for over a year now with 7 rads -and stats in each room.It has been great until now . The problem I have is the Cube has lost its communication through the gateway and it will not operate. I have changed to a BT hub lately could that be it ?
    The Hub shows the cube at a different iP address than the default.
    Is that a problem ? . Please help I have tried it on 2 machines now and a mac. Never worked on the mac anyway . Help !

  77. Stephen Hall | October 30, 2015 at 9:59 pm |

    Hi Guys, just got a Max system with cube. The problem I have is every time I check the weekly programming it has move all the points back an hour or 45 minutes or some random time.

  78. So, presuming I don’t wish to control this remotely, I could just go for the wall thermostat and the radiator thermostats? Just I don’t need to heat the whole house whilst in bed – but want it to be warm when I first go down in the morning – is that doable? or do I need other bits and bobs?

  79. I’m confused, I think this system will be perfect for me BUT not 100%.

    If I have the wall thermostat directly switching the boiler in say room 1 and a TRV valve in Room 2. If the temperature in room 1 is higher than the setpoint BUT room 2 is lower than the TRV setpoint, what happens ? Will demand of the TRV force the Thermostat to switch on ?

  80. Steve Clothier | March 8, 2016 at 11:16 am |

    We’re had a dozen of these devices with the cube and eco switch for several years. They generally work well. The Windows and Mac software is available in English, as is the IOS App. The instructions are also in english. The batteries last a long time and when they run low they warn you via the software – nice touch. We have saved on heating bills and had a warmer house. Controlling at the radiator rather than at the boiler is a very good design IMHO.

    the problems we’ve had:
    – The Cube can disconnect here and there from some of the thermostats if you have a big old house with thick walls. The location of the cube is critical, and any other MHz devices you have around the house can cause this to get worse. However, temporary disconnects don’t cause much problems.
    – The radiator valves have plastic mounts. On some old radiator valves it can be very frustrating to get them properly screwed in – can take a lot of fiddling. Metal collars would have been much better as the plastic is IMHO not stiff enough.

    Generally I would recommend the system as good value and still one of the best looking and least complicated.

  81. I’m a very satisfied eQ-3 MAX! user for the past years. For those who want to twiddle with software, talking to the system, and home automation, I can recommend Dmitry A. Kazakov’s open source MAX! home automation software. See http://www.dmitry-kazakov.de/ada/max_home_automation.htm for further info.

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