I'm a little confused about using thermostats with

johnnynine

Active Member
I'm a little confused about using thermostats with the Elk M1Gold.

I read a recent thread which helps a little but on some things but I still have some questions.

I currently have a normal thermostat which I can set 4 different temperatures during the day and can change them based on it being a weekday or a Saturday or Sunday.

Some of the more advance thermostats can be connected to the Elk.

1. So what acts at the brains.. the elk or a schedule in the thermostat?

2. If the thermostat still is the controller why do I want to connect it to the Elk? Just to read the current temp and maybe override it?

3. The advanced thermostats look like they have a control center that goes with them... are they required, or does the Elk take their place?

4. How many thermostats will the Elk M1XSP control? I have 2 thermostats.

5. How does this all fit together with CQC? I assume I can read the current temperature at the thermostat, and reset the desired temperature from CQC via the Elk? Anything else?


I guess those aren't really exact questions but they should give you an idea of my misunderstaning of the whole thing.

Thanks
Johnny

Edit: I know some of this is discussed in the above thread but I have generalized some of the questions just to get past being overwhelmed.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Very much up to personal preference, but:

1) Easier to stick with a single location for the programming. Use the Elk as the brain

2) If you opt to use the Tstat as the controller, then yes, the Elk could override it. Also, you may not want to bother connecting to Elk, but rather direct to CQC (assuming it's either the aprilaire or proliphix, which have drivers), so you can display the temp on screen and have CQC override it.

3&4) eh, no idea.

5) See this page for a full list of the CQC-Elk commands, but basically you can do the following from CQC->Elk->Thermo:

I opted to put my programming directly into CQC, as the Elk wasn't going to add any value for me at this point in time. I'll probably do lighting directly via CQC, so even the various vacation/night/away modes will be handled in a single location. However, if you put that in the Elk, CQC's role could be to display temp, easy GUI manual override if you so choose. Also, if you get a mobile device like my Cingular 8125, you can pull up the HVAC over the cellphone network, and turn it on/off/up/down over the PDA while on your way back home.

Here's the CQC/Elk command listing for the tstats.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------
- TXCurTemp Int R Provides the currently reported temperature for thermostat number X.
- TXCoolSP Card R/W Get or set the cool setpoint for thermostat X.
- TXFanMode Bool R/W Get or set the fan mode for thermostat X. False means it is off and True means it is in auto mode.
- TXHeatSP Card R/W Get or set the heat setpoint for thermostat X.
- TXHold Boolean R/W Get or set the hold value for thermostat X. True means the hold is enabled.
- TXMode String R/W Get or set the thermostat mode for thermostat X. This is an enumerated field with the values: Off, Heat, Cool, Auto, Emergency Heat.
- ThermoXX Card R If you configure any thermocouples in the client interface, then you will have fields of this type. The XX will be 1 to 16. The value is the temperature being reported by this thermostat.
 

Spanky

Senior Member
The ELK M1 is compatible with RCS, Aprilaire, and HAI Thermostats. The main advantage in using these thermostats is that the M1 or compatible third party software running on a PC can control and read the temperatures on the thermostat.

Much more advanced energy management algorithms can be written than what is available in the built in thermostat scheduling. You can access the thermostat setting remotely through the M1 to adjust temperatures when not at home. Arming and disarming the security system may also adjust the temperatures of the thermostat for energy savings.

Rules can be written if the temperature reaches high or low settings and even sound alarms if someone changes the settings.

Any scheduling that is built into the above thermostats should be disabled when connecting to a M1 because the built in scheduling overrides the settings from the M1.

Imagination is the limiting factor here!! :unsure:


Edit: You can control 4 HAI, 16 RCS or Aprilaire from a M1XSP serial port expander. Most of the third party software providers for the M1 offer Thermostat control.
 

IVB

Senior Member
One more thing - the latest version of CQC that came out yesterday (1.6.21) has the SMS driver packaged up, so even if you got a regular cellphone, as long as it does SMS, I *think* you could do something in the way of sending your CQC server an SMS message to turn up the heat.

Not entirely sure what this entails, I know you need an SMS modem, which lately has been going for $100-$150 on eBay, so it might be cheaper just to get a PDA cellphone that can run the CQC DotNetViewer natively so you can create a simple but fast-performing GUI.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Much more advanced energy management algorithms can be written than what is available in the built in thermostat scheduling.
Great point - check out the ElkRP rules tab, see what you think you're going to want to do. That Elk rules engine is seriously powerful.

As an example as to why I cannot use my tstat as the controller: My house is old, it's either burning hot or freezing cold. I can't leave the tstat on as it'll swing to those extremes. Once winter rolls around, i'm going to setup CQC [you could do this in the Elk] to turn on the tstat at 7am, set the target temp to 5 degrees higher than whatever it thinks it is at that point. No way can you do that in a tstat, as, well, it'd be off :unsure:

You can access the thermostat setting remotely through the M1 to adjust temperatures when not at home.

Wow! I didn't know that. How does that work?
 

Spanky

Senior Member
You can adjust the Thermostats several different ways: By way of Rules or Tasks. Fire a Task to set thermostat levels. ELKRM can adjust the Thermostats from a Touchscreen, PC, or PDA. The M1 Serial ASCII protocol supports full Thermostat control for any third party software developer.
 

Steve

Senior Member
IVB said:
You can access the thermostat setting remotely through the M1 to adjust temperatures when not at home.

Wow! I didn't know that. How does that work?
My strategy is a bit different in that I use the M1 as the primary controller for everything I possibly can. Regardless of how reliable CQC is, it still runs on a pc which is inherently more unreliable than a dedicated controller IMHO.

Anyway, to answer the question, if your M1 is hooked up to your phone you can dial into it and press '***' to get into the system (settable options in RP). From there, you can control just about anything with voice prompts and a simple telephone. So, while running CQC on a PDA is cool and perhaps easier, anybody with a telephone can control the M1. I bet you could even script DTMF tones to access certain menus, etc.
 

johnnynine

Active Member
Ok things are clearer now, thank you.

So I don't need a real fancy thermostat with programming since I would use the Elk to do the scheduling.

I can use the thermostat to override the current temperature and maybe hold?, or does the Elk will then reset it at the next scheduled time???
 

noshali

Active Member
To control the temperature remotely (if you have the ethernet expander) then just open up your ports and setup a DNS service and you can see access and change any of the ELK setting. Rules cannot be programmed but ELK can be controlled.

regards,
 

johnh123

Member
If I am going to get one of these elk compatable tstats to replace the ones I have, am I going to have to pull new wiring up to the tstat locations? If so, what kind of wiring?
 

Guy Lavoie

Active Member
In the case of an RCS thermostat, you need 4 conductors between the furnace and the wall display unit location. If you are already running a system with heating and A/C, chances are you already have 4 or more conductors in the existing termostat cable. The wires that normally go between the furnace's controls and the thermostat will now go to a control unit that you will mount near the furnace. Then you can use old thermostat wiring to connect from the control unit to the wall display unit. Alternatively, you can run a Cat5 wire if your existing thermostat wiring doesn't have enough conductors.
 

johnh123

Member
That sounds good- just to be clear, as my current tstats do have the 4 wires, if I get an RCS tstat, the elk should be able to control it using existing wiring?
 

Mike

Senior Member
johnh123 said:
That sounds good- just to be clear, as my current tstats do have the 4 wires, if I get an RCS tstat, the elk should be able to control it using existing wiring?
I have not worked with the RCS, but if it is anything like the HAI, you will need another 4 conductor to pass control information from the stat to the Elk. This is separate from the traditional thermostat wiring he was referencing.

The manual for the XSP probably has the diagrams for the RCS.
 

Guy Lavoie

Active Member
johnh123 said:
That sounds good- just to be clear, as my current tstats do have the 4 wires, if I get an RCS tstat, the elk should be able to control it using existing wiring?
The wiring from the Elk will be going to the control unit near the furnace, not to the wall display unit. So the 4 conductors for the wall display unit are all you need. The only time you would need more then 4 conductors would be if you are using an outside temperature probe (or an extra inside temp sensor).
 

Mike

Senior Member
I missed the wall unit reference. In looking at the elk documentation, that is a nice feature.
 
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