[OpenTRV-interest] Tinkering kit / battery powered board

Tue May 20 20:17:05 BST 2014


On 20 May 2014, at 19:37, Alasdair Macdonald <EMAIL ADDRESS HIDDEN> wrote:

> Today I purchased a plastic box from Maplin, cut some holes in it, and put one of my 2 OpenTRV controller boards inside. It's powered from a battery caddy similar to that mentioned by Damon in an earlier e-mail.
> As far as I can tell, it's working as intended. There are a series of flashes from the red LED when I make the battery connection (boot up flashes), and there are also flashes when I press buttons.
> I've looked over the user guide.
> Q1. Now I have one board is connected to my PC semi-permanently, uncased. And one board in a black plastic case, with battery power. To what extent will the occupancy / light sensor fail in the cased board? (I don't even know what the light sensor is; is it the thing marked "LDR”?

Warning: black plastic boxes may be carbon-loaded and block RF.

Yes, the light sensor is the LDR.  If it doesn’t get enough light it’ll think that it can set back the temperature a bit because you’re in the dark.  But no huge changes.  if you update to the latest code then you can see regular status reports of light level.

> Now that I have a Conrad valve attached to a radiator, and having worked our way through the pairing issue that I mailed about yesterday, I can see data from the Conrad actuator in my console. Stuff like:
> 1146:30:73 FHT8V TX
> 1148:26:73 FHT8V TX
> However, I don't see anything from the battery powered board being received and spewed out to the console.

If you want a board to receive you’ll need to put it in hub controller mode with “C 2” (or a larger number) on the CLI; it can pick up and log transmissions from the other unit (if I’ve understood you correctly).

> Hence:
> Q2. Should I see anything from the battery powered board being received and spewed out to the console?

Not unless the PC board is in hub/controller mode.  And I suggest you power it via USB or the FTDI cable rather than batteries.

And make sure both aerials point in the same direction, preferably vertically/upwards.
> I think I can figure out from the user guide how to send messages to the Conrad valve to get it to open (I just need to set the controller mode and temperature knob to appropriate settings, right?); however the user guide says that the temperature knob goes up to around 23 degrees and currently my Oregon sensor reports 24.5 degrees.

Boost / quick heat mode gets you another 5C at least for testing purposes!

> Uh, maybe here's another question.
> Q3. How many devices are "paired"? Previously I paired the Contrad actuator with board #1 (connected to PC); and I set the House Code on that board (manually). Should I follow a procedure to pair controller #2, and / or set its House Code?

If you want the control a second valve then put its house code into a second OpenTRV unit.  One unit can also/instead control a boiler.

> (The board that is connected to the PC is currently flashing about once every 2 seconds. User Guide states "Essentially the more flashes and the more often the flashes, the more the room will be heated". But the Conrad Valve is still at 0%. It's been like this for some time; should I be seeing something on the Conrad vale (other than "0%")?

My guess is that you are in WARM mode (with status lines starting “=W” appearing about one per minute, but that the target temperature is below room temperature so that valve doesn’t have to open.

Hold down the BigRedButton until you get into Boost / Quick Heat mode (“=B”) status lines, and the valve should open, assuming that your room does not get above 28C or thereabouts.



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