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Tekmar Net4 Thermostats

samanprabhathsamanprabhath Junior MemberPosts: 1
Anyone has experience in integrating Tekmar Net4 thermostats?

-Saman

Comments

  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    I haven't but when I looked into it I came up with two user switches that can connect to the Net 4 T-stats. User switch 481 has 3 output contacts and user switch 480 has 3 demand inputs which in combination should allow you to set and monitor radiant floor scenes.

    There's also a gateway w/ web server that I supose you could connect via IP HTTP and use to control the system but it was a little more work than I wanted to do. At the time I was looking at doing something with this I felt the simple contact closure input switch to set a scene and using the contact closure output for feedback was simplest way to go. These are regular manual push button switches with contact inputs on the back but I would most likely keep the switches in the mechanical room for integratoin only.

    With radiant floor heating systems you really only need 2 maybe 3 scenes. Home, Away and maybe a Night.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    There is an integration piece for the Tekmar systems that is supposed to be available soon. Supposedly it is in the final testing phases, but we've been waiting for almost 3 years now so I won't get my hopes up. Guess who keeps getting blamed for the HVAC integration not working .... even tho we told them that we could not integrate (at the level they want) until the piece is available. I am hearing that it should be available in the next month or two.

    On a positive note, the Tekmar system is supposed to be extremely effective at using the outdoor temperature as well as the various heating/cooling methods to efficiently manage the climate within the house. The other positive is that more of the HVAC programming is done by the HVAC people and all we have to do is report the temps and allow the homeowner to recall preset scenes. (We'll see how this holds up when I have an actual protocol tho).

    Jeff
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    Probably should have ask what kind of system you're trying to control.

    Typically TekMar T-Stats are used for radiant floor hydronic heating systems but the TekMar controllers are often installed just for boiler management on hydro-air systems to control the boilers firing point and high limit based on demand and outdoor temperature (outdoor reset), alternate boilers on multiple boiler systems and manage domestic hot water. At least with the systems installed on jobs we've been associated with the TekMar T-Stats are only installed for radiant zones and we use Aprilaire T-Stats on the hydro air zones.

    You wanted to know about TekMar integration so I assumed you meant for a radiant system or radiant portion of a larger system. If this is the case as I mentioned previously a simple ON or OFF (Home or Away) and possibly Night or Vacation is really all that is needed since the response times for these types of systems is so slow. Even changes from day to night scenes is pushing its capabilities unless you change to night 4+ hour before night and switch back to day 4+ hours before you wake. Typically you set it and forget it and only set back if you're away for an extended period of tiime as with a week end house.
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    even tho we told them that we could not integrate (at the level they want) until the piece is available
    What type of control or feedback are they looking for? Are you using TekMar Stats for hydo air zone or just the radiant zones? I think you only need TekMar for the radiant zones to connect a slab sensor otherwise any communication T-Stat should work. You just set up the TekMar controller for the various set points and it just cares about a call for heat from any type of T-Stat.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    vining wrote: »
    What type of control or feedback are they looking for? Are you using TekMar Stats for hydo air zone or just the radiant zones? I think you only need TekMar for the radiant zones to connect a slab sensor otherwise any communication T-Stat should work. You just set up the TekMar controller for the various set points and it just cares about a call for heat from any type of T-Stat.

    They decided to go with Tekmar for everything. (in concept, it is better than Aprilaire... imho) They want the ability to see the temps and set points for all zones and the ability to change the set points as well as set scenes. The new integration piece allows this. It's similar to their webserver, but it is designed to allow AMX and others integrate with the system.

    We did suggest Aprilaire at the time, but they choose to go with Tekmar. They didn't believe us when we said "Don't count on integration until it is actually available."

    Jeff

    P.S.
    It's a VERY large house and I don't know how many zones they have, but it is easily over 10 (might be over 30). I haven't gotten into the details yet because we haven't had any ability to do anything with the information.
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    They want the ability to see the temps and set points for all zones and the ability to change the set points as well as set scenes.
    You should have told them that that's why they bought touch panels. :) I guess having the ability to do that on a little 3" x 3" T-Stat w/ a 3/4" x 2.5" display is also handy. I will agree, they are nice,attractive, reliable T-Stats but I still prefer them in closets or the mechanical room.
    The new integration piece allows this. It's similar to their webserver, but it is designed to allow AMX and others integrate with the system.
    Did you try to integrate with the gateway's web server? I would think it would be fairly easy and stable since the web pages couldn't change unless you do a firmware update and even then they probably wouldn't change. I probably would have tried it on a job if we weren't just controlling radiant zones w/ TekMar Stats.
    We did suggest Aprilaire at the time, but they choose to go with Tekmar.
    I'm sure the HVAC guys who engineered the system wouldn't hear of using AprilAire and they probably brain washed the customers. After all they know more & know better!
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    vining wrote: »
    You should have told them that that's why they bought touch panels. :) I guess having the ability to do that on a little 3" x 3" T-Stat w/ a 3/4" x 2.5" display is also handy. I will agree, they are nice,attractive, reliable T-Stats but I still prefer them in closets or the mechanical room.

    That's the problem, I believe most of the stats are hidden and they are using remote sensors. (But I'm not positive this it the case).
    vining wrote: »
    Did you try to integrate with the gateway's web server? I would think it would be fairly easy and stable since the web pages couldn't change unless you do a firmware update and even then they probably wouldn't change. I probably would have tried it on a job if we weren't just controlling radiant zones w/ TekMar Stats.

    I'm sure the HVAC guys who engineered the system wouldn't hear of using AprilAire and they probably brain washed the customers. After all they know more & know better!

    I looked at integrating with the web server, but the job was not quoted to include the cost to do this. Part of it is also not letting Tekmar get away with the web page as the final solution. Tekmar GUARANTEED that the integration piece would be done before Dec 07 (not sure if it was in writing, but it was part of the stipulation in Tekmar being chosen). They then came up with this web server idea which is sort of kludged together. It is really just a mac mini with a USB interface to some other box and the mac mini is running a web server that is talking to some program that talks to the usb device. We refuse to assume responsibility for the duck tape solution, because that is what happens the minute we say "Okay, we can integrate that." With all of those failure points, not to mention a less than stellar response time (based on using a computer to view the web pages), it is just asking for trouble.

    Jeff
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    Spire_Jeff wrote:
    It is really just a mac mini with a USB interface to some other box and the mac mini is running a web server that is talking to some program that talks to the usb device.
    No $hit! That does sound like a hacked together temporary piece of crap solution. I thought it was a real web interface device like AprilAire 8825.
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Spire_Jeff wrote: »
    There is an integration piece for the Tekmar systems that is supposed to be available soon. Supposedly it is in the final testing phases, but we've been waiting for almost 3 years now so I won't get my hopes up.
    I've been hearing it should be available in the next month or two for almost two years. I agree, don't get your hopes up.

    --John
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    The rs232 gateway was released a couple months ago. I am just now trying to get this device to integrate with my system and I am wondering if anyone else has had any success? I tried the AMX comm module and the only thing I am able to receive is the current temp. All attempts to change heat or cool setpoints result in an error that indicates the device does not support heat or cool (depending on what I am trying to change). I verified functionality using the protocol from Tekmar and the stats are not locked. They do report correctly when queried manually.

    Has anyone else had success with the AMX module?

    Another word of warning.... the AMX module does not support control over the Slab Setpoint (in floor temp)... since one of the big selling points of this system is how well it integrates heating of the house using a combination of radiant (floor) heating and forced air heat, it seems like the Slab Setpoint might be a useful thing ;)

    Jeff
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    vining wrote: »
    No $hit! That does sound like a hacked together temporary piece of crap solution. I thought it was a real web interface device like AprilAire 8825.

    Don't even get me started on the 8825 ... I am so incredibly disappointed with Aprilaire on that device (yes, I know it's made by someone else, but that's not material).

    1) It takes over the RS-422 buss entirely, so you can't piggy back it with a touch panel interface to get the best of both worlds. It's only viable as a stand-alone solution (though I have successfully installed one on a PC and used a panel to VNC into it, it is an ugly solution).
    2) It's running a Java app., and is subject to breakage with every update; furthermore, you can't even parse it like a normal web server to use on a touch panel.
    3) It currently doesn't work with any properly updated browser. Worried about your computer security? Well, don't if you want to access your thermostats. Aprilaire has been promising me a fix for months, and one by one clients have been calling me, irate that they can't adjust their schedules.

    /hijack off
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    DHawthorne wrote:
    Don't even get me started on the 8825 ...
    I guess I should have stated I never actually use one but I did read up on it and read your posts on it. I guess you're not happy with it. :)
    3) It currently doesn't work with any properly updated browser. Worried about your computer security? Well, don't if you want to access your thermostats. Aprilaire has been promising me a fix for months, and one by one clients have been calling me, irate that they can't adjust their schedules.
    I did offer you use of my scheduling module and it's always available in the ModPedia section if you need it, complete w/ GUI. Of course it was written several years ago and I wasn't as smart as I am today (no comments!) but it's been working fine for me and can be easily modified to suit ones needs. It's been running in several jobs for years and in my own house too and I haven't been yelled at once. (knock on wood).

    Resume TekMar discussion........
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,358
    Let me borrow this thread again..

    Dave,

    If I recall a feature you liked about the 8825 was a logging feature. This could easily be added into the ViewStat Scheduling module but I actuall do it using your DevTermLogger module. I add T-Stat changes to the log and send myself a daily email listing daily items of interest. This could easily be changed to read write just HVAC entries to a different log file and viewable on a TP.

    Section from daily email:
    <<< 16:00 >>>
    
    (2685732335) CIpEvent::OnLine 0:2:1
    (2685732423) Exiting UDP SNMP Read thread - closing this socket for local port 2
    (2685732446) CIpEvent::OffLine 0:2:1
    (2685775188) Connected Successfully
    (2685775205) CIpEvent::OnLine 0:3:1
    (2685776021) Exiting TCP Read thread - closing this socket for local port 3
    (2685776363) CIpEvent::OffLine 0:3:1
    (2686191710) 16:28:16 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Notready!
    (2686203549) 16:28:28 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2686206048) 16:28:30 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2686235575) 16:29:00 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mud Room Motion : Notready!
    (2686409134) 16:31:53 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mud Room Motion : Notready!
    (2686525383) ClockMgr: Setting system time to - FRI JAN 29 16:33:51 2010
    
    (2687042799) 16:42:28 * SECURITY, ZONE : Pantry Motion : Notready!
    (2687052956) 16:42:38 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mud Room Motion : Notready!
    (2687238524) 16:45:44 * SECURITY, ZONE : Bed Hallway Motion : Notready!
    (2687324581) 16:47:10 * SECURITY, ZONE : Bed Hallway Motion : Notready!
    (2687336630) 16:47:22 * SECURITY, ZONE : Back Hallway Motion : Notready!
    (2687883953) 16:56:29 * SECURITY, ZONE : Back Hallway Motion : Notready!
    (2687900478) 16:56:46 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mud Room Motion : Notready!
    (2688031980) 16:58:57 * SECURITY, ZONE : Back Hallway Motion : Notready!
    (2688094564) 17:00:00 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : Basement : HEAT SP : 64
    (2688094698) 17:00:00 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : Basement : HEAT SP : 64
    (2688095054) 17:00:01 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : Basement : COOL SP : 74
    (2688095181) 17:00:01 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : Basement : COOL SP : 74
    (2688095554) 17:00:01 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : Living Room  : HEAT SP : 68
    (2688095686) 17:00:01 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : Living Room  : HEAT SP : 68
    (2688096060) 17:00:02 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : Living Room  : COOL SP : 74
    (2688096182) 17:00:02 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : Living Room  : COOL SP : 74
    (2688096544) 17:00:02 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : Kitchen : HEAT SP : 67
    (2688096675) 17:00:02 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : Kitchen : HEAT SP : 67
    (2688097040) 17:00:03 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : Kitchen : COOL SP : 74
    (2688097170) 17:00:03 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : Kitchen : COOL SP : 74
    (2688097534) 17:00:03 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : 2nd FL Bedrooms : HEAT SP : 68
    (2688097656) 17:00:03 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : 2nd FL Bedrooms : HEAT SP : 68
    (2688098029) 17:00:04 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : 2nd FL Bedrooms : COOL SP : 74
    (2688098139) 17:00:04 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : 2nd FL Bedrooms : COOL SP : 74
    (2688098525) 17:00:04 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : Master Suite : HEAT SP : 68
    (2688098633) 17:00:04 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : Master Suite : HEAT SP : 68
    (2688099018) 17:00:05 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : Master Suite : COOL SP : 74
    (2688099123) 17:00:05 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : Master Suite : COOL SP : 74
    (2688099514) 17:00:05 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : 3rd FL Playroom : HEAT SP : 67
    (2688099622) 17:00:05 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : 3rd FL Playroom : HEAT SP : 67
    (2688100007) 17:00:06 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : 3rd FL Playroom : COOL SP : 74
    (2688100103) 17:00:06 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : 3rd FL Playroom : COOL SP : 74
    (2688100501) 17:00:06 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : 3rd FL Bedrooms : HEAT SP : 68
    (2688100604) 17:00:06 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : 3rd FL Bedrooms : HEAT SP : 68
    (2688100995) 17:00:06 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : 3rd FL Bedrooms : COOL SP : 74
    (2688101091) 17:00:07 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : 3rd FL Bedrooms : COOL SP : 74
    (2688101487) 17:00:07 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : 3rd FL Spa : HEAT SP : 67
    (2688101589) 17:00:07 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : 3rd FL Spa : HEAT SP : 67
    (2688101982) 17:00:07 * HVAC, PROGRAMS : AUTO : 3rd FL Spa : COOL SP : 74
    (2688102072) 17:00:08 * HVAC, RESPONSE : Zone : 3rd FL Spa : COOL SP : 74
    (2688104437) 17:00:10 * SECURITY, ZONE : Bed Hallway Motion : Notready!
    
    <<< 17:00 >>>
    
    (2688211903) 17:01:57 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Notready!
    (2688214346) 17:02:00 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Notready!
    (2688244384) 17:02:30 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2688246600) 17:02:32 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2688266844) 17:02:52 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Notready!
    (2688270361) 17:02:56 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2688272782) 17:02:58 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2688333950) Sunset occured at 17:04:00
    
    how mem
    Volatile Free   :  9741392 (largest free block in bytes)
    NonVolatile Free:   934528 (bytes free)
    (2689811036) 17:28:36 * SECURITY, ZONE : Service Door : Notready!
    (2689874891) 17:29:40 * SECURITY, ZONE : Service Door : Secure!
    (2689918960) 17:30:24 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Notready!
    (2689922450) 17:30:27 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2689924905) 17:30:30 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2689928484) 17:30:34 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mud Room Motion : Notready!
    (2689948520) 17:30:54 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Notready!
    (2689950744) 17:30:56 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Notready!
    (2689951218) 17:30:56 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2689982925) 17:31:28 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    (2690126590) ClockMgr: Setting system time to - FRI JAN 29 17:33:53 2010
    
    (2690282079) 17:36:28 * SECURITY, ZONE : Mudroom Door : Secure!
    
    <<< 18:00 >>>
    
    (2692932361) CIpEvent::OnLine 0:2:1
    (2692932417) Exiting UDP SNMP Read thread - closing this socket for local port 2
    (2692932487) CIpEvent::OffLine 0:2:1
    (2692975176) Connected Successfully
    (2692975245) CIpEvent::OnLine 0:3:1
    (2692976030) Exiting TCP Read thread - closing this socket for local port 3
    (2692976147) CIpEvent::OffLine 0:3:1
    (2693727797) ClockMgr: Setting system time to - FRI JAN 29 18:33:55 2010
    
    <<< 19:00 >>>
    
    

    Resume Tekmar.........
  • DHawthorneDHawthorne Junior Member Posts: 4,584
    The internal logging on the 8825 provides lovely line graphs showing at-a-glance what any thermostat's temperature has been compared with it's set point over a period of time (I'd post a screen shot if I had any that worked ...).I have a scheduling module, and getting the data is no problem. Making a graphical representation of the data for the end user is the one thing I haven't had the liberty (read: time and budget) to develop.
  • bcirrisibcirrisi Junior Member Posts: 148
    Jeff,

    I'm looking into the TekMar Gateway 482, any other words of wisdom? Did you ever get the control working? Anyone else have any experience with it?

    Thanks,
    Brian
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    I am not sure of the state of the AMX module, but I had to write my own module to get everything working. The last I tried the AMX module, it was communicating and getting the current temps from all of the thermostats, but it was not allowing me to change the heat/cool set points, nor reporting them properly.

    The documentation from Tekmar is very good and it wasn't that difficult to write the module. I know AMX is aware of the issue and they were going to be working on the module, I am just not sure if they got it finished.

    Jeff
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