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Thread: HouseHeat system

  1. #21
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    I'd be most interested in the reply you get. Should they be amenable to some alternate form of software integration - I'd be interested in buying a fairly large system and adding xAP support which would allow integration of their system inside most of the current HA software applications (HomeSeer, CharmedQuark, HouseBot, MisterHouse, xLobby, xAP Floorplan, Girder, Premise etc).

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  2. #22
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    Some thoughts.. .. not sure if anyone has any answers - overall for the price it looks to have lots of possibilities though...

    The radio system seems 1-way to most modules - namely to the valves and the boiler controller, so no confirmation that things are being received OK

    Following on from the above it would seem the thermostat cannot know/take account of flow temperature when calculating how much to open a valve. If your boiler automatically modulates the flow temp (as mine does) this could be an issue.

    I wonder how much the thermostat learns about an individual rooms thermal behaviour or if it's just a slow feedback loop and not modified based on previous behaviour.

    No HotWater integration

    I personally would have preferred six programmable temp changes per day and to choose between three rather than two setpoint temperatures (you can't select 'off' ie frost on a timed basis)

    No separate sensors for remote mounting of a thermostat

    No external temp sensor to do any weather compensation

    No optimum start inbuilt

    No mention of inline valves for pipes to rads although I'm sure they exist

    Not sure quite what is configurable via the web interface, eg if you can reprogram the setpoint change times etc rather than just overide current temp.

    Shame they haven't updated the display interface for English.

    No detail on the USB interface - actually there are several variants available inc an Ethernet (WiFi) one.

    Other HA bits on German site (and eQ-3) look interesting although the controller is expensive. The whole 'bidCoS' RF system seems to be based on a very low cost Chipcom cc1000 TI part.
    Nice brochure here
    http://www.homematic.com/fileadmin/H...efter_engl.pdf

    K
    Last edited by Kevin; 12th January 2009 at 04:40 PM.

  3. #23
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    got an answer, but it's not the one I was hoping for:

    I'm afraid it is not possible to operate the system using your own software - it only works as an integrated package using all the HouseHeat components listed on the web.
    So... I'm thinking about using z-wave instead:

    The rad valves might be almost double the price, but at least it's an open standard, I won't have to buy anything I'm not going to use, and I'll definitely be able to integrate it into my existing system and make it do what I want.

  4. #24
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    I too have looked at Danfoss - not ruled them out yet but it's not quite right for what I want.

    With the Danfoss rad valves they can only be manually set to a temperature and then controlled via Z-Wave with an on/setback command. The setback temp is fixed at a few degrees below the main setpoint , 3.5 degrees or something from memory.

    Nor can you IIUC read the current room temperature or valve postion (% open) back from the valve. Z-Wave does have the advantage of confirmed RF receipt though.

    For me this is a big problem as I would like the setback to be much lower than that fixed value, and also to be able to select an off (well frost protected) mode too. Ideally I just want to send a setpoint temperature to the valve and let it get on with it, providing a % open value feedback would be a bonus.

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  5. #25
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    Not sure what the software is that comes with the USB interface for HomeHeat. It says it's single zone restricted but can easily be expanded. If the software is 'HomePuter' or if the HomePuter Studio software is useable with the heating system then the German site shows a DLL as being available for 69 . I am not sure of the interoperability of the heating system with the other HA items/system.

    K


    PS Here's the Google translation...


    The DLL provides functions that allow objects and variables homeputer the studio version when queried active execution and can be changed. It is possible regardless of the hardware with their own programs into the controller to intervene.
    How DLL's in a programming language used is the language-dependent. Instructions for use of the DLL and the functions of the DLL are in the associated PDF file.
    The download file contains examples in Delphi 2006 and Borland C + +.
    The use of a DLL requires knowledge!
    contronics can not provide support regarding the involvement of the DLL in the various programming languages or other support concerning the programming of the individual application.
    The DLL 10 days can be used free of charge, after 10 days must be included with the program FreigabeDLL2.exe a release code, to the perpetual use of the DLL release.
    The license fee associated with ordering the release of code is due is 69,00 Euro.

  6. #26
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    Default danfoss valves

    that's a shame about the danfoss valves; they don't sound quite so good now.

    The other method I was considering was to use thermoelectric actuators for the rad valves, but they'd need to be permanently wired as they take too much power for batteries. It might be possible to use a mains (e.g. x10) module to drive them though.

    You could probably get separate temperature sensors and let your controller use that to decide when to turn the heating on or off. I'm currently doing that, using an x10 module to spoof the boiler thermostat, and it works quite well, but I obviously can't control which room gets the heat.

  7. #27
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    Default HomePuter

    I've looked at the example code and documentation they supply - the API mainly revolves around the following functions:

    homeputer_SetObjValName(char*, char*)
    homeputer_GetObjValName(char*, char*)

    gets or sets the current value of the named object, or object variable (using "name.variable" syntax).

    Of course the usefulness of that would depend on what values they make available...

    homeputer_SetWindowHandle(DWORD)
    It will send a windows message to the registered window handle every time an object in the Studio software changes. wParam is the index of the object being changed.

    It rules it out for me though; I want my current system to be able to run as a windows service without being logged in, so it won't be able to run another gui program either.

    Bottom line for me is that even if the uk distributor was able to help, I think I'd be better off using something else.

  8. #28
    Moderator Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by andy_p View Post
    Bottom line for me is that even if the uk distributor was able to help, I think I'd be better off using something else.
    Well three telephone calls to UK number (all diverted to a mostly German speaking answer phone) - no return call and no reply to my email suggest that they're not too much help at all :-( - enquiry was sales oriented too....

  9. #29
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    Hello Everyone.
    I've been watching this thread in the hope that someone would have some luck with controlling the Househeat devices.
    I can't say that I had much hope from looking at their site, and the response Andy_P and Kevin received confirmed this.
    Still, they look like a very good system for the price, I just have to find a way of hacking the protocol. I get the impression that this has been done from the links that were posted earlier, but since it's all in German I can't be sure! Looking at the stuff on the German site it looks like it would be possible to send commands to the devices using the PC Interface and listening in, either by monitoring the virtual serial port or the radio transmission, and from that reverse-engineer the protocol. I get the impression that the radio link is a standard protocol, so tranceivers should be available.
    Does anyone have enough German to confirm this?

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hoo View Post
    Does anyone have enough German to confirm this?
    Google does
    That's how I got the docs out of the german pdf.
    It's also why I stopped after only 3 functions!

    This might be a good starting point on contronics.de

    This wiki attempts to understand FHZ1000PC, BidCos and HomeMatic etc. (I've left it in google translate because some of the linked pages are in german, even if that page in in english).

    Let us know how you get on; the hardware would be a very attractive price, if only the software wasn't so closed.

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