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RCS TR60 thermostat question


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#1 reko19

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 02:06 PM

I have two thermostats connected to Elk via ELK-M1XSP. Also have M1XEP hooked up. Is there a way to use Thermostat Control Program that came with the unit? There is an IP Address field under program setup tab, not sure what do I need to enter.

Thank you.

#2 Work2Play

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Posted 06 July 2012 - 04:50 PM

You won't be able to use that... that'd only be if you didn't have the unit connected to your Elk. The IP Address field is likely for cases where you have a Serial to IP converter.

#3 reko19

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:52 AM

You won't be able to use that... that'd only be if you didn't have the unit connected to your Elk. The IP Address field is likely for cases where you have a Serial to IP converter.

thank you, i guess all thermostat programming would have to ve done locally at the unit

#4 Work2Play

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:17 PM

Well you can program the thermostat with the computer, then hook it to the elk - but it can't be connected to both simultaneously.

I forget people still program their thermostats - I have never programmed one myself in my life - I used to keep the house a permanent 73, but now as power has gotten more expensive, I let the Elk handle the setbacks based on more factors than just time of day.

#5 reko19

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:06 PM

OK, so a thermostat has "away" setting. I armed the system in the away mode, no changes at the thermostat. So I created a rule, if armed away then set heating desired temp to 50. Was expecting a change on the thermostat screen where heating setpoint is displayed after the system was armed. No changes, stays at 68 as per program. What am I missing here?

Update, was able to get rules to work, turns out "sent to controls" button in ElkRP doesn't do anything, had to send rules via menu on top. Is there a way to set it to away mode?

thanks

Edited by reko19, 07 July 2012 - 09:26 PM.


#6 Ishmael

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:53 AM

There is a way to send arbitrary commands to the thermostats directly from an M1 rule. This was described in the 1.0.46 release notes, which state:

3. RCS Thermostat Mode: Added the ability to send virtually any RCS thermostat command. This is done by creating a M1 text string. The string must start with character ">" followed by the RCS command protocol. Example, to lock the thermostat's display, the text string would be: >A=255,O=00,DL=1^M
Then write a M1 Rule to transmit the text string out the M1XSP’s serial port.


You can find the RCS protocol at http://www.rcstechno...50-00225-43.pdf

In it, if you look at 2.49, you'll find the command to change the setback mode. I've never personally tried this, but it looks like sending:

>A=255,SB=2^M

should activate away mode on all thermostats, and

>A=255,SB=0^M

should turn the system back to normal.

I've considered doing this in the past, but never actually done it. If you try this, please share back your results.

Chris

#7 Work2Play

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:49 AM

I do this and was going to pull the examples when I get a chance because there were a couple tricks getting it all working... but I use it to display the outside temperature on my thermostats (pulled from a local weather station from wunderground.com by Elve, stuffed into an Elk counter, then fed to the thermostat). I also have a rule that sends a "Message" to the thermostat when it's colder outside than inside AND the thermostat is set to cool - indicating that I should turn it off and use the whole house fan - this causes a red light to flash on all the thermostats to get our attention. Then I use yet another to clear all messages in the morning to make the light stop flashing. Those are on a different computer though so I'll grab them later today and post the exact strings as well as give you a specific example that should work to put it in/out of away mode.

#8 reko19

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:16 AM

thank you all for the detailed replies, examples would definitely be very helpful. right now setting desired temp to a certain value when armed away works. i could see it going to 50H and 90C immediately as soon as i arm the system. access from eKeypad also works, i could adjust desired temp remotely. the problem is that internal thermostat programming overrides set temp once the next scheduled time slot begins. so it would need to be set to hold and then set to 50H and 90C once armed and then set to run once it is disarmed or something like that

Edited by reko19, 08 July 2012 - 10:28 AM.


#9 Work2Play

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 12:26 PM

It looks like you need to play around with section 2.49 using the SB command. SB=2 appears to be Away, SB=1 is Home, SB=0 clears any setbacks.

To send commands, you have to build the text strings, then select the one to send. Here is an example - I have the following 3 texts set up:

This exact string is used to display the outside temperature on the display - this is from custom setting 1, hence the CS1
>A=255,OT=% CS1 %^M

This one sends a message to the thermostat in the generic messages - I would never actually read the messages, but it's useful because it causes a red light to flash on the display units. Normally I'd use an annoucement, but lately it's not cooling down under 70 degrees until the middle of the night - but we have a newborn baby in the house, so my wife is up every couple hours anyways - when she wakes up and sees the light flashing, she opens a few windows and kicks the whole house fan on
>A=255,TM="Use the House Fan!"^M

And this one clears all the messages, which in turn makes the light stop flashing:
>A=255,TM="#"^M

To send these to the thermostat, build up your rules so that WHENEVER action THEN SEND THE FOLLOWING TEXT: [Select a pre-built text string here] THROUGH PORT 1 (whichever XSP your thermostat is connected to).

I'm using an RCS Zone Controller, so I have multiple addresses I can choose from, but so far these actions are global. When I'm doing temperature setbacks, I just have the Elk do them via the simple rules interface.
In looking at this, it looks like it'd be a cool function, but a PITA to set up and maintain - I'd be really tempted to stick my preferred values for each condition into some custom settings, then use Elk rules to completely manage the thermostats - then it's a matter of simple rules via the M1.

That said, try experimenting with these values; your string would be something like >A=1, SB=2^M

#10 reko19

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 01:41 PM

I was able to get it to work by setting a rule to whenever armed away then set hold to on, then set to desired temp of 50H. whenever disarmed set hold to off. Will definetly play with the text strings, thank you for the examples.


#11 sic0048

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:42 PM

You should be able to set the heat setpoint and cool setpoint via the programming protocol without using the hold function. I use the RCS series thermostats (TR-40) with my ELK and CQC system and change the thermostat's setpoints based on the alarm status.. When the house is unarmed, the heating and cooling setpoints are set for general comfort in both winter and summer seasons. If it is armed night mode, then the setpoints are changed a couple of degrees since we are going to bed, but automatically resets back to the general comfort settings a hour or two before we get up in the morning. If it is set Away mode, then it is changed to a different set of setpoints and if it is armed vacation mode, then the system changes the setpoints the greatest distance from the regular settings.

I can also change the setpoints for all the different possible alarm modes via my CQC interface which makes it very easy to tweak the set points based on the season and or personal comfort, although the reality is that this never really needs to be changed.

The hold method really a poor way of accomplishing this IMHO as the desired temp will probably change depending on if you are heating or cooling (ie you might want to set the cool set point to 78 degrees, but would not want to keep the house that hot when heating in the winter, etc, etc, etc). With your current method, you are going to have to keep changing the hold temp based on time of year.

Edited by sic0048, 11 July 2012 - 04:46 PM.


#12 Work2Play

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 12:18 AM

It sounds like the OP is using a hybrid of tstat programming and automation... so if he were to set the heat temp to 50° and not set the hold, the program would continue to run and at a set time it would automatically set itself to the next programmed temperature.

In general I think it's sort of a poor way of handling it - you should go all thermostat or all automation programming, not so much of the half and half... if you want to keep your rules clean, the original idea of setting vacation and home via the text string is a good way to go; otherwise if you want total control and a much more intelligent rules-based way of automating the temperature, then put it into your home controller.

It would be nice to see a "best" way of automating your thermostats... someone posted their example a while back here and at first I didn't understand the point - but now I do after going through some season changes. The goal is to eventually get it where you're never messing with the thermostats. I'm not positive I'll ever get there though, because I have a constant internal struggle between being comfortable and getting electric bills that are reasonable, so some days I'll deal with it being a bit hotter than others... and some days I'll use the whole house fan, until my allergies just need a break.




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