[OpenTRV-interest] OpenTRV prototypes

Wed Feb 5 22:25:05 GMT 2014

Hi all

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We are putting together a production run of prototypes (engineering
samples) this month. We are inviting interested people to participate at
cost and receive populated boards. However, in order to take part please be
aware of the following caveats:

1) You will potentially have to bootload your own AVRs. This implies that
you have at minimum an FTDI cable and some way of setting some pins, such
as breadboard and jumper wires.

2) The Conrad valve actuators http://goo.gl/FrS48M are a necessary extra, 1
per radiator you want to be able to control. In the UK they are £30.99 each
plus shipping.

3) Next year we plan on producing our own radio controlled radiator valve
actuator (i.e. a replacement for the Conrad valves) at a cheaper price. Our
new valves will not use the radio protocol of the Conrad system as their
primary protocol, although we certainly hope to be able to, but can't
guarantee to, continue to support systems using Conrad valve actuators.
Therefore you will be buying some Conrad valve actuators and OpenTRV
controllers that will potentially not be supported by a revised OpenTRV
system next Winter.

4) Our best estimate is that the OpenTRV controllers will cost just under
GBP40+VAT per unit. It may be higher or lower than this.

5) We've experienced 20% out of the box failure rate with the last run of
controllers. Whilst it may well be possible to nurse a failed controller
back to life, this may take you some effort should you be unlucky enough to
receive a unit that passes the POST (Power On Self Test) but will not work
in everyday use.

6) We're not supplying boxes for these. You can 3D print your own using the
OpenTRV design (being updated for the new revision at the moment) or make
your own - I'm really tempted to make one from Lego myself.

7) You will need to wire this into your boiler or in parallel with your
existing thermostat connection yourself. We can suggest how to do this
(this is the component we're using http://goo.gl/iTvXFc ) but if you're not
confident about this part you'll need to find someone yourself to help you.

8) Should we get a ridiculous amount of interest in this, we may have to
restrict the availability. Honestly, we don't expect that to happen,
although it would be a nice problem to have :-)

OK, that's the bad news out of the way. The good news is that this is an
opportunity to join in with the project on an at cost basis and help out
with furthering the aims of the project.

You can use the OpenTRV controllers and Conrad actuators to get going on
your whole house home automation project and when put into context with the
proprietary nature and expensive costs of alternatives, this offer to join
in with the current OpenTRV system at cost is appealing.

What happens next? Email EMAIL ADDRESS HIDDEN by the end of Wednesday
12th Feb with your commitment to purchase a number of fully populated
controllers and we'll be back in touch with payment details and the final
price. The order will be put in probably by the end of that week (Friday
14th February) and there is a two week lead time for the boards to be made
by the contract manufacturers. Given that we'll need a few days to separate
out your kit, stick it in a box, write address labels and visit the post
office we should have them with you by around Friday 7th March - but please
don't shoot us if we don't hit that date.

Regards, Mark

PS Quick calculations:

Whole house system, e.g. 5 radiators meaning 5 valve actuators + 5
controllers, one doing double duty as a boiler controller, USB power
supplies/battery packs + batteries, relay board, supply your own boxes
totals around GBP420. We supply the controllers and details about where to
get the rest of the kit.

Tinkering kit, meaning just 2 controllers, no need for boxes, plus a little
for postage, totals GBP100.
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