Author Topic: Help choosing thermostat tech  (Read 755 times)

kellbot

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Help choosing thermostat tech
« on: December 16, 2011, 09:23:03 pm »
I'm just getting started with home automation, and setting up a LinuxMCE machine. My home has four floors, and the network closet which will contain the core LinuxMCE machine is in the basement. I've been reading the wiki, but am confused about some of the implementation details and would appreciate some advice.

I would like to have LinuxMCE control two thermostats. In terms of physical installation/connection, my preferences in order are:
- something I can run a CAT5 cable to through from within wall (best)
- something that wirelessly/radio transmits to a device hidden in a closet and connected to my CAT5 network.
- something that wirelessly transmits to a wall wart I have to hide somewhere

Most of what I've seen talks about USB dongles, but I don't want to have to have a machine on each floor sucking up energy and making fan noise. I've seen some good reviews of inexpensive zwave thermostats, but have only seen USB zwave receivers.

Can someone point me in the right direction? Thanks.

sambuca

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Re: Help choosing thermostat tech
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2011, 09:55:46 pm »
Hi,

You only need one USB ZWave dongle, for instance on the core, which is supposed to be running all the time. If you are unsure about the range, every ZWave device that is plugged into external power acts as repeaters.

br,
sambuca

kellbot

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Re: Help choosing thermostat tech
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2011, 10:03:48 pm »
Hm, the way the house is built it will be hard to get a wireless signal very far out of the basement, so I was hoping to having the receiver on one of the other floors.

It seems really frustrating to have to daisy-chain wireless devices when I have a perfectly good wired LAN (and am not above running cables to specific devices). I guess that's just not very common?

JoakimL

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Re: Help choosing thermostat tech
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2011, 01:57:23 pm »
As Sambuca wrote, the Z-wave devices are designed with your problem in mind. Every device act as a repeater and the wireless network is handling multiple paths, reflections and other network problems in a very intelligent way. You could add Z-wave devices, like wall switches or power outlets to get a good network.
If you doubt connectivity, you could connect the Z-wave dongle to an MD which is placed closer to your thermostats.

/Joakim

kellbot

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Re: Help choosing thermostat tech
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2011, 05:11:48 pm »
Aha, thanks, I hadn't considered connecting the dongle to a MD. That would work perfectly, since we'll have a MD connected to the TV in the same room as the thermostat.

Thanks!

Techstyle

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Re: Help choosing thermostat tech
« Reply #5 on: December 18, 2011, 06:09:14 am »
I just bought a Filtrete 3M-50.  it is a WIFI thermostat and a driver is being worked on.

posde

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Re: Help choosing thermostat tech
« Reply #6 on: December 18, 2011, 09:33:06 am »
As Sambuca wrote, the Z-wave devices are designed with your problem in mind. Every device act as a repeater [..]You could add Z-wave devices, like wall switches or power outlets to get a good network.

This is only true for devices which are 120/240V powered, but not for battery powered devices.

mhorst

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Re: Help choosing thermostat tech
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2011, 09:58:05 pm »
I think the Z-wave solution is the easiest, but in case you want another (wired) option: http://wiki.linuxmce.org/index.php/Proliphix_NT_series_thermostat

Schmich

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Re: Help choosing thermostat tech
« Reply #8 on: December 19, 2011, 06:48:38 pm »
I hadn't considered connecting the dongle to a MD.
Keep in the mind that the MD has to be on at all times (or at least when you want to use the dongle).