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Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 21-Dec-20 18:39:39
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Central Heating Control via WiFi


[link to this post]
 
Our local village hall which last year had BT Business Broadband installed along with two Ubiquiti Unifi Wireless Access Points, is now considering a Central Heating Control System which will control the three existing heating zones.

This system will likely use a tablet running Android to locally interface with the controls and additionally allow remote control so that variations in hall bookings can be accommodated.

Presently the BT Hub due to the building construction can only give reliable WiFi in the manager's office where it is situated. Hence the two Ubiquiti Unifi Wireless Access Points to give Public WiFi access in the various rooms.

So, we have the BT Hub's SSID with a password which we keep secret and a SSID for the wireless access points which we make public (There is of course the BT public access SSID which for this we can ignore.)

Is it possible to have a second SSID on the two Wireless Access Points which would be the same as the BT Hub's SSID and password? This so that the interface of the three zone units, tablet and the control unit can inter-communicate and also for remote access from the likes of me or our Secretary?

Many thanks.

Cheers!

Clive

Andrews & Arnold Home::1 FTTC DrayTek Vigor 2762ac Cisco SPA112 and HUAWEI E5776 with O2 Data SIM
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 21-Dec-20 21:09:01
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
Yes, it's easy to run a second SSID on the Unifi access points. You can run more than that but in your case there's no need.

If you have guest policies enabled for the public network on the Unifi access points, folks who connect to that won't be able to see your heating controllers.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 21-Dec-20 21:52:08
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Sarah; That is just what I wanted to hear, especially "If you have guest policies enabled for the public network on the Unifi access points, folks who connect to that won't be able to see your heating controllers."

The current heating control system is three domestic type 7-day programmers in a box which are sort of easy enough to program, but checking through the whole week is a pain.

I get 30-minute gas consumptions the following day from SSE and end up wondering just why the heating for the main hall was on overnight on a Sunday etc! Especially as the boiler can consume 60 kWh of gas in the first 30 minutes on a cold morning...

Thanks again.

Cheers!

Clive

Andrews & Arnold Home::1 FTTC DrayTek Vigor 2762ac Cisco SPA112 and HUAWEI E5776 with O2 Data SIM


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Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Mon 21-Dec-20 22:17:24
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
That's good to hear Clive.

Certain more recent firmwares can be problematic for Unifi access points and 'internet of things' devices. I generally run 4.0.80.10875 because it has faster throughput than more recent versions and is very stable - which is quite important when most of the Unifi installations I look after are about a thousand kilometres away smile

If you have any problems, let me know.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User NJSS
(member) Tue 22-Dec-20 09:44:26
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
I use Evohome to control my central heating remotely, and very good it is too.

Worth a look: here.

Standard User tdw42
(member) Tue 22-Dec-20 15:11:48
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
You can have multiple SSIDs, but they would connect to the same underlying network as the BT Hub can't do VLANs to segregate traffic.

Doesn't the UniFi guest policy require a controller to be online? If these APs are cabled to the BT Hub they could well have been configured standalone with the app and there not be a controller installed.
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 22-Dec-20 23:31:29
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: tdw42] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by tdw42:
You can have multiple SSIDs, but they would connect to the same underlying network as the BT Hub can't do VLANs to segregate traffic.

Doesn't the UniFi guest policy require a controller to be online? If these APs are cabled to the BT Hub they could well have been configured standalone with the app and there not be a controller installed.
A guest portal requires a controller but applying guest policies doesn't. A portal is entirely optional. Once guest policies are set everything runs happily and traffic segregation is done by the access points.

Clients connected to a wi-fi SSID with guest policies active are blocked by default from accessing other wi-fi clients on any SSID or anything on the LAN. They also see no broadcast traffic from anything apart from the default gateway. You can block traffic to any other host or subnet you specify too. Guests can still access the internet via the default gateway and there's no need to use VLANs to achieve this. It's possible to specify a list of permitted devices (hosts/subnets) that guest clients can connect to - for example a streaming device or a shared printer.

By doing this at one site I manage, visitors are able to see and control SONOS devices in open areas but not in private parts of the building. This is a bit more complicated to configure but setting up a new SSID with default guest policies would achieve everything Clive wants to easily. It would just work.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs

Edited by caffn8me (Tue 22-Dec-20 23:39:44)

Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 22-Dec-20 23:36:00
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: NJSS] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by NJSS:
I use Evohome to control my central heating remotely, and very good it is too.

Worth a look: here.
Yes, that does look very interesting. I have very little experience with smart heating control systems (beyond rewiring a Nest Heat Link that the heating engineer had connected incorrectly) but that looks to be a much better in terms of controlling multiple zones. Thank you.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 22-Dec-20 23:42:51
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Ancient_Mariner:
I get 30-minute gas consumptions the following day from SSE and end up wondering just why the heating for the main hall was on overnight on a Sunday etc! Especially as the boiler can consume 60 kWh of gas in the first 30 minutes on a cold morning...
Ouch! I can see why you want to monitor that and make sure it isn't left on when it shouldn't be.

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Tue 09-Feb-21 11:59:07
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by caffn8me:
In reply to a post by NJSS:
I use Evohome to control my central heating remotely, and very good it is too.

Worth a look: here.
Yes, that does look very interesting. I have very little experience with smart heating control systems (beyond rewiring a Nest Heat Link that the heating engineer had connected incorrectly) but that looks to be a much better in terms of controlling multiple zones. Thank you.

I also recommend EvoHome, it's very flexible in terms of heating control though I wish Honeywell also provided wireless room thermostats that weren't TRVs, as my wife took one look at the EvoHome wireless TRVs on the radiators and decided she hated them and wanted them removed, so now the only benefit I get from EvoHome is a WiFi controllable on/off switch for the central heating.
Standard User lexden16
(committed) Tue 09-Feb-21 12:11:55
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: caffn8me] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by caffn8me:
In reply to a post by NJSS:
I use Evohome to control my central heating remotely, and very good it is too.

Worth a look: here.
Yes, that does look very interesting. I have very little experience with smart heating control systems (beyond rewiring a Nest Heat Link that the heating engineer had connected incorrectly) but that looks to be a much better in terms of controlling multiple zones. Thank you.


I had Evohome in my previous home for just over 4 years. It is a great system when it works but like all Zigbee systems it can suffer from communications issues between the various components. It’s USP for your situation is its built in failsafe protocols. For example, if an eTRV loses contact with the main controller it will start a cycle of calling for heat: similarly, with the BDRs. With this system it should be almost impossible to get frozen pipes. That said, the person managing the system does need to have some knowledge of how the system works. It is not FIT and FORGET.
Standard User burble
(committed) Tue 09-Feb-21 12:53:05
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by joconnell:
In reply to a post by caffn8me:
In reply to a post by NJSS:
I use Evohome to control my central heating remotely, and very good it is too.

Worth a look: here.
Yes, that does look very interesting. I have very little experience with smart heating control systems (beyond rewiring a Nest Heat Link that the heating engineer had connected incorrectly) but that looks to be a much better in terms of controlling multiple zones. Thank you.

I also recommend EvoHome, it's very flexible in terms of heating control though I wish Honeywell also provided wireless room thermostats that weren't TRVs, as my wife took one look at the EvoHome wireless TRVs on the radiators and decided she hated them and wanted them removed, so now the only benefit I get from EvoHome is a WiFi controllable on/off switch for the central heating.


Is it the size of TRV's or display? If it's the display, can't you refit them with display facing wall?
Standard User broadband66
(knowledge is power) Tue 09-Feb-21 13:02:35
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
Aren't TRV's fit, set and forget.

All these smart devices are not making things easier.

Was Eclipse Home Option 1, VM 2Mb & O2 Standard
Utility Warehouse (up to 16mbps) via Talk Talk, upgraded to fibre 40/10
Standard User lexden16
(committed) Tue 09-Feb-21 13:38:21
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: broadband66] [link to this post]
 
It’s a fair comment. The reason that I haven’t fitted Evohome in my present home is simply because most smart systems are not age friendly. I am in my 70s, and if my wife was left on her own she wouldn’t have a clue how to, for example, change the batteries in a HR92. I got a call a couple of years after I sold my Evohome house with a request for help. The purchaser had an issue with the heating not coming on, and he had pressed system RESET. He couldn’t find a heating engineer that knew enough about Evohome to help him out. It took me a couple of hours on the phone to talk him through the various set up and re-binding processes. Double binding of components is Evohome’s Achilles Heel.
Standard User joconnell
(experienced) Tue 09-Feb-21 14:59:37
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: burble] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by burble:
In reply to a post by joconnell:
In reply to a post by caffn8me:
... nested quotes trimmed ...
Yes, that does look very interesting. I have very little experience with smart heating control systems (beyond rewiring a Nest Heat Link that the heating engineer had connected incorrectly) but that looks to be a much better in terms of controlling multiple zones. Thank you.

I also recommend EvoHome, it's very flexible in terms of heating control though I wish Honeywell also provided wireless room thermostats that weren't TRVs, as my wife took one look at the EvoHome wireless TRVs on the radiators and decided she hated them and wanted them removed, so now the only benefit I get from EvoHome is a WiFi controllable on/off switch for the central heating.


Is it the size of TRV's or display? If it's the display, can't you refit them with display facing wall?

It's the display (which isn't on unless you press the hidden menu button) and the fact that "a display on a radiator valve is ridiculous, I'm not having it!", regardless of whether it could be seen frown
Standard User caffn8me
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 10-Feb-21 23:11:12
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: joconnell] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by joconnell:
my wife took one look at the EvoHome wireless TRVs on the radiators and decided she hated them and wanted them removed
You could put a cover over so they can't be seen.

Over you wife, that is.

/coat wink

Sarah

--
If I can't drink my bowl of coffee three times daily, then in my torment, I will shrivel up like a piece of roast goat

Spiders on coffee - Badass spiders on drugs
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Sun 14-Feb-21 15:01:46
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Ancient_Mariner:
Thanks Sarah; That is just what I wanted to hear, especially "If you have guest policies enabled for the public network on the Unifi access points, folks who connect to that won't be able to see your heating controllers."

The current heating control system is three domestic type 7-day programmers in a box which are sort of easy enough to program, but checking through the whole week is a pain.

I get 30-minute gas consumptions the following day from SSE and end up wondering just why the heating for the main hall was on overnight on a Sunday etc! Especially as the boiler can consume 60 kWh of gas in the first 30 minutes on a cold morning...

Thanks again.

Cheers!

Clive - Don't know if you've made any progress of the remote CH setup at the village hall, but I'd recommend you have a look at the Tado system. I'd previously run Nest (since pre Google buyout) but Tado (despite some idiosyncrasies is on the whole a very good and very flexible setup.

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User Ancient_Mariner
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Sun 14-Feb-21 16:08:27
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: Pheasant] [link to this post]
 
Nothing fitted as yet, but following our AGM on Wednesday, it was agreed to obtain a quote from a specialist company who is involved with Building Management Systems.

If it was a normal Village Hall type building it would be quite easy, but with a mixed use of Village Hall and rented out Office space, needs to have ability to be controlled by the Office Tenants as they come and go during the week, but at the same time keeping inquiring fingers away from the programming selection, plus of course the means for the building Manager and myself to access remotely.

Cheers!

Clive

Andrews & Arnold Home::1 FTTC DrayTek Vigor 2762ac Cisco SPA112 and HUAWEI E5776 with O2 Data SIM
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Sun 14-Feb-21 16:34:59
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: Ancient_Mariner] [link to this post]
 
No worries, a proper commercial spec BMS will of course be fine, but wont necessarily come in cheaply.

Tado and the ilk can get combinations of both wired, wireless temperature sensors/stats, vertical and horizontal TRV replacement heads, extensions etc for quite modest outlay, something like £180 for a starter kit: including a wired or wireless room stat/sensor, CH/HW wiring centre interface and internet bridge.

Extra wired temperature senders/room stats are around £110 and the wireless versions are £70. Depending on the granularity of heating control you desire, individual Tado TRV's are about £60. The app is free, and pretty easy to understand navigate.

I have a 7 independent zone CH system setup at home, controlled via Tado. Tado will control up to 25 devices/heating zones.

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User gary333
(experienced) Thu 18-Feb-21 13:15:30
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: Pheasant] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Pheasant:
No worries, a proper commercial spec BMS will of course be fine, but wont necessarily come in cheaply.

Tado and the ilk can get combinations of both wired, wireless temperature sensors/stats, vertical and horizontal TRV replacement heads, extensions etc for quite modest outlay, something like £180 for a starter kit: including a wired or wireless room stat/sensor, CH/HW wiring centre interface and internet bridge.

Extra wired temperature senders/room stats are around £110 and the wireless versions are £70. Depending on the granularity of heating control you desire, individual Tado TRV's are about £60. The app is free, and pretty easy to understand navigate.

I have a 7 independent zone CH system setup at home, controlled via Tado. Tado will control up to 25 devices/heating zones.


I thought Tado was 10 zones, have they increased the number?

I swapped from Evohome to Tado. I think Evohome is getting a bit long in the tooth now. I could never get Evohome to work properly as there was clearly some form of interference (or software bug that they were not admitting) but non of the technical people could say for certain what the problem was. This led to the boiler being fired even when there was no demand, or other scenarios where all TRV's were closed, yet controller showed a demand from some of the TRV's.

I still get some gremilines with the Tado (and Tado don't really seem to listen to their community who recommend obvious improvements that should just be), but I certainly prefer the usability of Tado of Evohome. For people with a Valllant boiler the Tado can do eBUS so modulates, where as the Evohome ends up just turning boiler on and off all the time.
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Thu 18-Feb-21 14:45:09
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: gary333] [link to this post]
 
They quite possibly may have changed it at some point, but claim up to 25 heating devices + 25 separate A/C controls (should you have AC fitted/controlled):

https://support.tado.com/en/articles/3455030-how-man...

I can't speak for Evohome but agree with your comments about Tado. They aren't the most customer responsive, feedback engaged IoT company out there, but the products are generally well built/specified and the user interface is very good. There are some annoying things, like the inability to have a bridge repeater/extender and for me at least the fact the bridge only connects to wired Ethernet and half-duplex 10BaseT (which is blimming ancient and becoming a compatibility liability with some of the newest network switches which wont go down that low...) but there are workarounds and will be fine for 98% of folks.

In general I would still recommend them for CH and HW domestic IoT-enabled system.

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User gary333
(experienced) Sat 20-Feb-21 00:00:51
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: Pheasant] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Pheasant:
They quite possibly may have changed it at some point, but claim up to 25 heating devices + 25 separate A/C controls (should you have AC fitted/controlled):

https://support.tado.com/en/articles/3455030-how-man...

I can't speak for Evohome but agree with your comments about Tado. They aren't the most customer responsive, feedback engaged IoT company out there, but the products are generally well built/specified and the user interface is very good. There are some annoying things, like the inability to have a bridge repeater/extender and for me at least the fact the bridge only connects to wired Ethernet and half-duplex 10BaseT (which is blimming ancient and becoming a compatibility liability with some of the newest network switches which wont go down that low...) but there are workarounds and will be fine for 98% of folks.

In general I would still recommend them for CH and HW domestic IoT-enabled system.


Hi ya,

That FAQ intrigued me. Have done some digging and that link isn’t worded very well.

So, it looks like you can have up to 25 heating related devices in the whole system, but only 10 of those can have the facility to call for heat in a standard single zone controlled system. IMO it’s misleading, and I am sure people spending lots of money on Tado won’t be happy to find out this limitation. You could setup 25 rooms in the app, but only the first 10 (if all individual TRVs) would be able to switch the boiler on. The others would open up the TRVs, but if non of the first 10 call for heat, then no heat. Baffling limitation. Tado can rearrange which 10 can call, but the user cannot.
Standard User Pheasant
(committed) Sat 20-Feb-21 08:01:46
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Re: Central Heating Control via WiFi


[re: gary333] [link to this post]
 
Hi Gary

Yes it’s somewhat woolly! To be perfectly honest I haven’t personally come up against this limit, however doing a little digging it appears other folks have.

There is another FAQ from tado that looks into the zoning / call for heat / rooms on slightly more detail here:

https://support.tado.com/en/articles/4689126-how-doe...

Having read through this tado forum it appears the 10 room (call for heat zones) is something that tado claim is quite deeply embedded in their firmware design and apparently can’t easily be changed. It’s an interesting read and quite up to date with some of the changes that they have recently made that allow user changes of which 10 zones can call for heat when a user has defined in excess of 10 zones /rooms.

https://community.tado.com/en-gb/discussion/4954/sup...

There are some interesting nuances to Tado’s argument from Jurian in that thread above that actually 10 call for heat zones is actually not a hard limitation for the vast majority of situations. Could they update their firmware to support more? That’s debatable and only Tado know the limitations of their current hardware and software.

Saying all that though, I still do feel tado is the market leader in this space. I’ve just looked at the new Bosch Easy system and it’s interesting too.

Are you a Tado user? If you are what do you think of it as a whole?

My Broadband Speed Test
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