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Thread: Evohome for new installations?

  1. #21
    Site Sponsor The EVOHOME Shop's Avatar
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    Do you see Tado, Heat Genius or any of the other manufacturers on these forums?

    Honeywell have a rock solid offering and amazing support from not only ourselves as a reseller, but the Honeywell technical support team that is both on the end of the phone and also men on the ground. When things go wrong, things get sorted.

    Managing customers expectations is difficult, but one thing I do know is that the fundamental principles of heating design does not change. Its nice to have flashy new items, but when your home isn't controlled properly the first people to complain would be you guys.

    I my eyes Honeywell need to keep focusing on heating the home correctly, efficiently and cost effectively first and flashy things second. New rival product offerings will come and go. I have been in the market long enough to say that if they don't have their bases covered, they will quickly fail.

  2. #22
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    The other thing to bear in mind is the the more features and adaptability that is baked into evohome the more it may appear too complicated to setup and use for the vast majority of customers.
    As has already been explained many customers simply install and program; then ignore it to do its primary functions.
    Not many customers have the mindspace for continual interaction or setting up demand based applets like ifttt.

    After all it is essentially a programmable thermostat - designed to be configured and run autonomously.

  3. #23
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    I agree with Top Braked and Evohome Shop I would say the vast majority of people here are very motivated to get their Heating working to a precise Temp etc but in reality the Vast Majority of other users just want it to work and be easy to use
    The major Advantage of Evohome to me is the ease of multizoning and its success lies it it being a Heating Controller I would think most users just use it like a Central Heating Timer and leave it alone and it Just Works
    Problem is some like us like to tinker and mess about etc but to me Evohome set up properly and left to do its thing has no equal for its primary function and I have used a few other systems over the years, but no it wont tell you to order a pizza or the traffic is bad etc etc

  4. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by mylesm View Post
    I agree with Top Braked and Evohome Shop I would say the vast majority of people here are very motivated to get their Heating working to a precise Temp etc but in reality the Vast Majority of other users just want it to work and be easy to use
    Some of the feature improvements that have been suggested or asked for are precisely to make the system easier and more convenient to use. The assumption that improvements inherently make the system more complicated to use and are only for the benefit of nerds is false.

    Examples include heat demand indicator, (good for both expert troubleshooting and helping non-technical users understand what their system is doing) another example is the suggestion I've made a couple of times that the timed override page needs to be improved so that there is a) a quicker way to select favourite temperatures than tapping up or down arrows 20-30 times, (which I find completely infuriating, and can't be the only one to find this painful) and b) a way to apply the new temperature and override end time to multiple zones at once.

    Some sort of "advance schedule" feature would be welcome too I think, one of the things you lose when you go from a conventional timer to evohome is the "advance" button which advances your on/off schedule to the next schedule point - which is used to do things like:

    * Turn the heating off early if you go to bed early
    * Turn the heating on early if you wake up early
    * Turn the heating on early if you arrive home early
    * Turn the heating off early if you leave for work early

    In all cases the schedule resumes at the next schedule point.

    These are all things that normal users want to do on a regular basis - on a conventional timer you press a single button. On Evohome you..... cobble together a number of workarounds, none of which are fully satisfactory, typically involving tying up the custom action, (which I use for the "go to bed early turning off downstairs but leave the bedrooms scheduled" action) or you do a lot of manual overriding of individual zones (for example when getting up really early) which thanks to the 30 presses to get from 5 degrees to 20 degrees and only being able to apply one zone override at a time, is exceptionally tedious and time consuming.

    What do normal non-technical users do when faced with this situation ? They probably just manually turn up their HR92's as its quicker and easier in this situation...if that's true it only helps underline that some interface redesign is needed. The frustrating thing is that quicker overriding of zones and applying to multiple zones could be done with a relatively minor UI change that would be self explanatory to normal users.

    For the advance feature, because Evohome has a schedule for each zone and it is not just on and off, a basic advance button like a conventional programmer is not possible, however all you need is an advance button which then asks you to select the time to advance the schedule to.

    So for example say your Saturday morning schedule doesn't start to turn rooms on until 7am and you wake up at 5am and decide you want to stay up. Instead of numerous manual overrides you press "advance schedule", then select 8am, which takes you all of 5 seconds. The schedule now immediately jumps to 8am, so all the zones change set points to what they would normally be at 8am and the house starts to warm up. An icon can be displayed on the home screen to indicate that an advance is active. It remains like this until 8am actually arrives and then the schedule resumes and starts progressing as normal and the advance active icon goes out. So simple it's hard to believe that it isn't already implemented.

    If your night time schedule turns off downstairs rooms at 11pm and you go to bed at 9:30pm one night, instead of messing around with (and wasting) the custom action, or tediously overriding every individual zone, simply press advance and choose 12:00am as the point to jump to, again about 5 seconds work. In my schedule bedrooms are at their night time set back by 12:00am and downstairs is off. So simple and logical I really wish this feature existed.

    The only difference between this and the advance button on a manual programmer is that you also need to tell it what time to advance to, but as most people have a pretty good idea of what their heating should be doing at different times of the day this would work just fine and be quite user friendly even for non technical users. "Make your heating do what it normally does at the selected time, until that time" is not a difficult concept to understand.

    I think the awkwardness of multiple manual overrides and the lack of any sort of schedule advance feature are two glaring omissions in the current UI and could be implemented so easily without any sort of major UI overhaul.

    These are examples of features that normal users would really appreciate, not just nerds.

    I hope Honeywell are listening.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 3rd September 2017 at 12:11 PM.

  5. #25
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    I've long advocated, in this place and others, that Evohome be given a user interface that can be switched between simple and advanced. Advanced mode could even be accessed via the installer menu, so needing a long press to get there.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    I've long advocated, in this place and others, that Evohome be given a user interface that can be switched between simple and advanced. Advanced mode could even be accessed via the installer menu, so needing a long press to get there.
    I agree with the idea of an advanced mode that can be enabled in the installer menu to give additional geeky functionality, however I think there are still quite a number of improvements that can be made to the "easy" version of the interface like those I've highlighted above. Things that everyone will want and that would make the unit easier to use, not more complicated.

  7. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post

    Some sort of "advance schedule" feature would be welcome too I think, one of the things you lose when you go from a conventional timer to evohome is the "advance" button which advances your on/off schedule to the next schedule point
    With you all the way on this one DBM.

    I have a single button I can press to do this. My solution was to keep the original controller in circuit, above the evotouch in the hierarchy. The actual heating zone times on the evotouch are set much wider than needed for every day use, e.g. all zones stay "on" until 0100h, so if it is NYE or there is a special feature on TV one press is sufficient to keep the heating on. Similarly if we go out we can switch the heating off during the day just by moving the slider from ONCE to TWICE, then it will come back on automatically at 1600h. Also it is entirely adequate for managing the HW on the occasions when the solar generation has not been sufficient, which saved a BDR91 and a lot of configuration hassle.

    The name of this ingenious piece of kit? Honeywell ST799 Electronic Dual Zone Timer(!)

    BTW I don't see how a forthcoming second custom schedule can be presented as an amazing technical advance, the original b/w controller had three.

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post
    The full blown slider in Domoticz is good for us nerds but more than the average user needs to know. I like the approach Tado took where there is a 3 pronged flame icon ..... which is absent if there is zero heat demand from the zone, or 1, 2 or 3 segments for low, medium and high (full) demand - that's all you really need.
    I have been thinking about this for a while since DBM suggested the 'three licks of flame' as the icon to show heat demand from a zone. That sounds great and would certainly be very illuminating. However, as I understand it, Evohome remains a binary system for those of us without OpenTherm. BDR91s are either on or off. Thus with the 'licks of flame' you could have, say, three zones showing just one lick, but you would not know which of those zones has triggered its BDR91. A single lick of flame would mean (I think) that that zone would call for heat X minutes out of Y minutes. But you would not know whether it is in the X minutes just from the one lick showing on the display. At the risk of over complicating DBM's excellent suggestion, could I suggest that the licks of flame should change colour when their zone is actually demanding heat (i.e. demanding the BDR91 to be on)?

    (I realise that I am in a minority of about one on this forum in not having ubiquitous HR92s but rather using separate zone valves, each with its own BDR91. I am therefore keen to see on my controller or app whether each BDR91 is 'on' or 'off', without having to camp in my boiler room to watch the BDR91s' little green lights. However, it is possible I am misunderstanding the aggregation of demand by the controller to the single BDR91 controlling the boiler in the full-HR92 world, and my suggestion above might be inappropriate for that - in which case, apologies.)
    Last edited by Edinburgh2000; 9th September 2017 at 10:41 AM.

  9. #29
    Automated Home Ninja Dan_Robinson's Avatar
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    I read it that the flame licks wold be in the respective tile for the zone.
    Kind Regards - Dan Robinson (Jennings Heating Ltd)

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Robinson View Post
    I read it that the flame licks wold be in the respective tile for the zone.
    Indeed. But my question is "How would you know if that zone is signalling the BDR91 to be on, right now"?

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