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Thread: Tado v3 feedback

  1. #1
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    Default Tado v3 feedback

    I posted a while ago about considering a smart heating solution. My concern with evohome has always been it seems "old" without much progress in updates.
    We have 27 radiators in our new house - and I identified 18 zones (although if I took off bathrooms and left them with just a standard TRV then I'd be down to 12).

    In the end I was attracted by the functionality and minimalist design of the tado, and ordered the kit from them with a 30-day money back guarantee. The kit was 27 trvs, the extension kit (which replaces the programmer), a smart thermostat, and the internet bridge.

    Installation was extremely straight forward. I followed the instructions and replaced the honeywell basic thermostat with the smart thermostat (wiring was given step-by-step on the internet page), and the extension kit was a drop in onto the existing backplate. Pairing the TRVs was easy enough - the app allowed me to scan a QR code on each device to associate it as I went round each room. I had a single radiator with a 28mm fitting rather than 30mm - and tado support said they would send me an adapter FOC (there wasn't one in the box - there were adapters for 5 other systems in there).

    After my initial success, things didn't continue quite so well. First of all there were quite a few problems with devices dropping off. I repositioned the internet bridge more centrally (using a powerline ethernet adapter); and support told me that I should wait for the firmware to update on all the devices as it improves range (this was to v47).

    The next problem I found was that it was unreliably turning on the heating. It was quite difficult to work this out as there is nowhere you can see whether it expects the boiler to be firing. The app does show heat demand from each room though and this would be a general proxy for this. I had a couple of cold mornings before (with the aid of tado support) I discovered that it actually only supports 10 zones with heating control - the 20 zone limit is if you are just using the trvs without a call for heat.

    But some of my zones are "less important" (like ensuite bathrooms etc - see above), and support were able to unbind these from calling for heat so they just work as smart trvs to moderate the temperature.

    In the meantime I discovered some problems with the boiler pressure and had to call out the maintenance engineer for this. I removed the tado to allow easy diagnosis because I wasn't confident that my installer would "get it" - especially if I wasn't around.

    Now I think all our heating problems are resolved, and tado is working. But I've decided I'm sending it back anyway.

    Why? Well, the basic reason I don't like the fact that if the internet goes down then it will not turn on and off. I experimented with the bridge disconnected from the internet and found it very difficult to manually override the system. Second, there is no way to see if the heating should be on and override it with a switch (as someone diagnostic boiler problems would need). Finally, I am still getting some slight coverage issues (only shown as gaps in the heat graph to be fair).


    I'm already missing it though, so thinking about trying something different. Wiser looks interesting with range extenders to solve any issues (and you can press on the programmer to turn heating/hot water on/off for diagnosis; ... and it works with the internet off).

    I think I may go for a smaller number of zones (see above) and just run standard TRVs in the rooms I don't care much about. My motivation is mainly comfort rather than energy saving.

    Any comments? Perhaps I should go evohome but it does feel a bit abandoned (I know it has had a minor firmware update) and due a refresh.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    What you see as abandoned I see as mature. I see it as a benefit.

    Sure Evohome isn’t the new kid on the block. The devices and interfaces are quite ugly up against the flashy competition.

    But that maturity means it's also been through several generations and is now quite stable. There isn’t a new firmware build pushed out every week because it doesn’t need one. Yes, there are bugs, but they are well known.

    I might consider the other players when they have the same maturity and stability.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    What you see as abandoned I see as mature. I see it as a benefit.

    Sure Evohome isnít the new kid on the block. The devices and interfaces are quite ugly up against the flashy competition.

    But that maturity means it's also been through several generations and is now quite stable. There isnít a new firmware build pushed out every week because it doesnít need one. Yes, there are bugs, but they are well known.

    I might consider the other players when they have the same maturity and stability.
    Don't get me wrong, Paul - my post was intended to be part of the learning about current state of the market. I am now considering whether to take a new risk on wiser, which feels less mature than tado but arguably solves my biggest criticisms (and is cheaper) - with the hope that it will do more of what I want later. Or go for the mature product - which as you say is quite ugly compared to the flashy competition - and there's no point thinking that the missing capability will come because history suggests that if it does it will be some time.

    But I fully accept that when it works.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jabes View Post
    After my initial success, things didn't continue quite so well. First of all there were quite a few problems with devices dropping off. I repositioned the internet bridge more centrally (using a powerline ethernet adapter); and support told me that I should wait for the firmware to update on all the devices as it improves range (this was to v47).
    This is interesting. Apparently there is an "extension kit" that can act as a repeater, I take it you didn't try this ? Keep in mind with Evohome there is no extension kit or repeater of any kind available...
    The next problem I found was that it was unreliably turning on the heating. It was quite difficult to work this out as there is nowhere you can see whether it expects the boiler to be firing. The app does show heat demand from each room though and this would be a general proxy for this.
    Individual zone demand should be a good indication. Also keep in mind that until the very recent Evohome firmware update there was absolutely zero indication on the controller of heat demand at all - a much asked for feature. And even now it is still hidden from the normal user and can only be found buried in the installer menu. So Tado at least had zone heat demand display in theirs quite some time before Honeywell.
    I had a couple of cold mornings before (with the aid of tado support) I discovered that it actually only supports 10 zones with heating control - the 20 zone limit is if you are just using the trvs without a call for heat.
    Wow. Really surprised to hear this! Is this not documented anywhere ? It seems like a pretty huge and arbitrary limitation ? What use is an additional 10 zones if none of them can call for heat ? I really can't see that working very well so if you had a lot more than 10 zones I think this would make Tado a non starter, unless they can fix this in software.
    Why? Well, the basic reason I don't like the fact that if the internet goes down then it will not turn on and off.
    I could be wrong but my understanding is this is not the case. While you need the internet to use the smartphone app to control it, it doesn't rely on the internet connection being up to maintain the current schedule - the schedules are stored in the individual devices I believe. So the house should still continue to follow you schedule, but you will be limited to making manual adjustments on the radiator controllers for overrides.

    To be honest lack of a central controller and full functionality with the internet down is one of my main reservations about Tado, especially after several weeks of intermittent Virgin Media broadband followed by about 3 days with it completely down. This really brought home to me how many of our devices rely on internet access to work properly...
    I experimented with the bridge disconnected from the internet and found it very difficult to manually override the system. Second, there is no way to see if the heating should be on and override it with a switch (as someone diagnostic boiler problems would need). Finally, I am still getting some slight coverage issues (only shown as gaps in the heat graph to be fair).
    I've seen the heat graphs on the iphone tado app - when you say there is a gap in the "heat graph" are you referring to the actual heat demand bar or is the temperature reading showing a gap as well ?

    If there is a gap only in the heat demand bar this is normal, and will happen when the radiator controller stops calling for heat due to the room being slightly too warm. I've seen this on my workmates system when he showed it to me and his is working fine.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    Sure Evohome isn’t the new kid on the block. The devices and interfaces are quite ugly up against the flashy competition.
    Personally I like the design of the HR92 and think it still looks modern and "premium", and certainly prefer it over the Tado V3 radiator controllers which are a lot less functional and don't look as good. The new HR91, not so much though! Looks a bit plasticky and cheap.

    The main controller I think looks good physically, but the actual user interface on it is very dated looking now. The biggest issue is it is a resistive touch screen that is not capable of multi-touch or swipe gestures that we take for granted on our phones these days, that combined with a flat colour scheme and no visual effects like alpha blending, transitions etc gives it a very early 2000's Windows CE look - which is not surprising when it runs a version of Windows CE!

    I can't see how a major user interface design overhaul could be accomplished without switching to a capacitive multi-touch screen and GPU that can do the visual transitions and effects that we come to expect today. I suspect the firmware on this controller is on extended maintenance while they work on the next generation controller...

    Of the other devices the BDR91 and DTS92 are both very perfunctory in appearance, certainly not pretty, (although I actually quite like the DTS92 - I know most people and my other half don't!) and the YT87RF looks nice but has limited functionality and a non-intuitive interface IMHO.

    The older mechanical dial and non adjustable temperature sensors are both hideously ugly and more expensive than a DTS92 or HR92 - I don't actually understand why they are even still on sale ? Who would buy them at any price, let alone how much they sell for ?

    There is an empty spot in the lineup for a new temperature sensor at about £25 that has no visible display, buttons, dials, logos, writing or anything, which can be discretely mounted on a wall without drawing attention to itself and has high WAF. If such a thing was available I would have one in nearly every room for the improved temperature control! It has thus far failed to materialise though!

    When the temperature sensors are either more expensive than an HR92, ugly, or both, I only use them where I really have to! I suppose at least Honeywell make remote temperature sensors for Evohome though. No such luck with Tado V3 where your only option is to use additional main boiler control boxes as a room temperature sensor at well over £100 a pop. Another thing that puts me off Tado.
    Last edited by DBMandrake; 3rd March 2018 at 11:46 AM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post
    This is interesting. Apparently there is an "extension kit" that can act as a repeater, I take it you didn't try this ? Keep in mind with Evohome there is no extension kit or repeater of any kind available...
    The extension kit replaces a traditional programmer and is used to activate and de-activate the boiler for central heating and hot-water. It just fits over the standard programmer back-plate. It doesn't act as a repeater, though - it is just another device.

    Individual zone demand should be a good indication. Also keep in mind that until the very recent Evohome firmware update there was absolutely zero indication on the controller of heat demand at all - a much asked for feature. And even now it is still hidden from the normal user and can only be found buried in the installer menu. So Tado at least had zone heat demand display in theirs quite some time before Honeywell.
    The Tado user interface user, on a per-zone basis is actually excellent. It shows 1-3 heat waves and you get a nice graph of the temperature over time which can be overlayed with calls for heat so you can see when it turns on and off. In this regard it is excellent. The bit I didn't like was there wasn't a "summed up" status showing whether the boiler should be on or off. Perhaps this is the same for evohome. And there isn't an "all off" either.

    Wow. Really surprised to hear this! Is this not documented anywhere ? It seems like a pretty huge and arbitrary limitation ? What use is an additional 10 zones if none of them can call for heat ? I really can't see that working very well so if you had a lot more than 10 zones I think this would make Tado a non starter, unless they can fix this in software.
    It is documented: https://support.tado.com/hc/en-gb/ar...o-one-account-
    But it is something that I hadn't appreciated before trying it. I think the additional zones really comes down to the fact you can have 25 zones for just the smart TRVs without any central boiler control. They obviously don't call for heat but do control their local environment. Actually although it was a surprise I pushed all of these extra zones to secondary type zones which would heat in-line with the primary zones.


    I could be wrong but my understanding is this is not the case. While you need the internet to use the smartphone app to control it, it doesn't rely on the internet connection being up to maintain the current schedule - the schedules are stored in the individual devices I believe. So the house should still continue to follow you schedule, but you will be limited to making manual adjustments on the radiator controllers for overrides.
    Tado support confirmed to me that if the internet is down then the last set-point is maintained. No schedule is followed. I guess all of the schedule is run from their servers.

    I've seen the heat graphs on the iphone tado app - when you say there is a gap in the "heat graph" are you referring to the actual heat demand bar or is the temperature reading showing a gap as well ?
    No a gap in the temperature reading; this is what happens when a device is "disconnected" and not under control

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post
    Personally I like the design of the HR92 and think it still looks modern and "premium", and certainly prefer it over the Tado V3 radiator controllers which are a lot less functional and don't look as good. The new HR91, not so much though! Looks a bit plasticky and cheap.
    The Tado radiator controllers are quite neat. The only light up when you adjust the temperature and they work nicely. I haven't seen an HR92 or HR91 in the flesh but the photos with the big 7-segment displays seem a bit 90s.

    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post
    The main controller I think looks good physically, but the actual user interface on it is very dated looking now. The biggest issue is it is a resistive touch screen that is not capable of multi-touch or swipe gestures that we take for granted on our phones these days, that combined with a flat colour scheme and no visual effects like alpha blending, transitions etc gives it a very early 2000's Windows CE look - which is not surprising when it runs a version of Windows CE!
    I can't see how a major user interface design overhaul could be accomplished without switching to a capacitive multi-touch screen and GPU that can do the visual transitions and effects that we come to expect today. I suspect the firmware on this controller is on extended maintenance while they work on the next generation controller...

    I suppose at least Honeywell make remote temperature sensors for Evohome though. No such luck with Tado V3 where your only option is to use additional main boiler control boxes as a room temperature sensor at well over £100 a pop. Another thing that puts me off Tado.
    Yes, you can use the smart thermostat (£99) as an additional temperature sensor. It is also this device which can drive wet under-floor heating actuator, and (low current draw) electric underfloor heating. I guess they are trying to increase their manufacturing efficiencies by having fewer devices.

    If the tado extension kit has hard buttons for HW/CH on/off like a traditional programmer (maybe which lit up), and it maintained the last schedule (as you suggested) in terms of internet outage then I am sure I would have kept it.

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