TR-16 and Elk

mishab

Member
I have finished integration of TR-16 with Elk M1 Gold. I thought i would share my experience and get feedback from people who done similar integration.

The integration was not easy. The documentation is confusing and technical support does not seem to provide detailed answers, but i partially blame it on myself because good answer should have properly formed question and i might have failed to be specific.

Is it worth 200+ dollars? I do not think it is. The old thermostat had more functions built in, but had no integration with Elk. The TR-16 has many hidden features but one must have the tr-16 connected to a pc in order to gain access. One feature that i miss is a schedule, which really can be achieved by Elk, but why would RCS hide these features from the ordinary user?

Anyway, the integration is done and here is what i wanted the tr-16 to do? When the system is armed i want to shut the thermostat off. Its simple and very cost effective - you are not home then why would you need to have heat on. Ok, this might be not the case in Chicago where winters are cold, but in San Francisco I really do not care - I have no plants in the house that require room temperature to stay above some magic mark.

When system is disarmed I want the thermostat to kick in and heat up the room to 70F. I created a task to do just that and disarmed the system. The TR-16 wall display unit showed 70F but furnace did not kick in. I realized that the thermostat is OFF, which is correct since it was turned off when i armed the system. I need to add another step to the task to turn the thermostat to heat and then set the temperature to 70F.

I have a gas furnace and it will take a while before i fully trust my installation so i want to dial in to the Elk and check the thermostat reading. Apparently that is not possible. I should be able to get temperature reading, but for some reason mine always returned an error.

Anyone wants to comment on this?
 

johnnynine

Active Member
1. Where did you mount the Control Unit? From my understanding the RS485 line is connected to the Control Unit, not the Wall Display Unit. In my case I ran cat5/rs485 to the wall display unit, not the HVAC unit. So does this mean that if I want to use a TR16 or TR40 that I would need to run additional wiring?

2. From the documentation the Control Unit (and not the Wall Display Unit) does have "a real time clock and a 4 x 7 setback schedule stored in non-volatile memory. The clock and schedule can ONLY be viewed and set with network commands."

So from my understanding you could use the Control Unit's scheduler or you could use the elk as the scheduler, but you can not control the schedule from the Wall Display Unit.

However the TR40 wall display unit can be used to set the schedule.

Is that all accurate?

3. It looks like the HAI RC80B is less expensive, has a wall display unit that RS232 connects to and can be programmed from the wall display unit. I may have to look at it as an option. Is there a reason you went with the TR16 over the HAI? - just curious.
 

mishab

Member
The TR-16 does not require an additional power supply. I did not want the additional power supply. The tr-16 runs from the HVAC power source, which is a big plus.
 

Digger

Senior Member
I want some control of temperature etc but dont want to go the $200 route. If I can ever get my Insteon reliable I plan on putting an Insteon Switch in place of my shutoff switch.

Doing so I can supplement my programable thermostat that cost me $40 or so. By shuttiing off the furnace when I arm away I will accomplish what you wanted. I can then have the ELK turn it back on upon disarm or a certian time of day (1/2 hour before my wife normally gets home etc).

Also in a Fire or CO alarm it can shut off the furnace.

If only I could get the Insteon to work 98% of the time (presently about 60% ir so).
 

johnnynine

Active Member
johnnynine said:
1. Where did you mount the Control Unit? From my understanding the RS485 line is connected to the Control Unit, not the Wall Display Unit. In my case I ran cat5/rs485 to the wall display unit, not the HVAC unit. So does this mean that if I want to use a TR16 or TR40 that I would need to run additional wiring?

2. From the documentation the Control Unit (and not the Wall Display Unit) does have "a real time clock and a 4 x 7 setback schedule stored in non-volatile memory. The clock and schedule can ONLY be viewed and set with network commands."

So from my understanding you could use the Control Unit's scheduler or you could use the elk as the scheduler, but you can not control the schedule from the Wall Display Unit.

However the TR40 wall display unit can be used to set the schedule.

Is that all accurate?

3. It looks like the HAI RC80B is less expensive, has a wall display unit that RS232 connects to and can be programmed from the wall display unit. I may have to look at it as an option. Is there a reason you went with the TR16 over the HAI? - just curious.
Bump.

Just wondering is anyone had the answers to the above questions?
 

Guy Lavoie

Active Member
1. Yes the RS-485 connection goes to the control unit, which is usually installed near the furnace. You need 2 pairs (4 wires) between the control unit and the wall display unit. You can use the previously installed thermostat wire if you have 4 or more conductors. OTherwise you can use Cat 5 wiring.

2. Yes there is a real time clock, although I'm not sure if its in the control or display unit (...does it matter?). The settings are stored in non-volatile memory. You can set the date/time and schedule from the display unit if you have the TR-40. For the TR-16 you will need to use a PC and serial commands.
 
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