solarsailor

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Everything posted by solarsailor

  1. solarsailor

    No Local Hub Processing When Offline HUGE BUG/FLAW

    You have got to be kidding me. No, you aren't. I tested this and no alarm with disconnected Internet.
  2. Just a fun note: My domestic solar hot water system includes a hot water recirculation loop that keeps a long leg of pex tubing hot in the attic with a return line back to the storage tank. All of my household plumbing fixtures are 1/2" drops from this leg. Automating the operation of this pump vastly improves efficiency since there is no reason to keep the loop hot when nobody is home or it isn't in use (energy loss from pipes, and energy loss from the pump). There is a flow switch on the cold inlet to my hot water system, a Johnson Controls paddle switch. It has NO/NC contacts, and the paddle switch has adjustable tension. I opened up the Iris/Alertme contact sensor and carefully removed the magnetic reed switch, and attached wires that run to the NO contacts on the flow switch. Whenever there is hot water demand, the contact sensor detects the switch closing as cold gross-flow enters the system and signals Iris. Magic rule turns on a smartplug for ten minutes to run the hot water recirculator pump and warm up the pipes. If use of the hot water continues, it keeps activating the rule to run the pump for ten minutes. Magic rules also schedule warmups via the smartplug in the mornings, evenings, and whenever the system changes to home mode. Away and Vacation defeat the schedule. I'm trying to get the temperature sensing chip to accurately read water temperature in a pipe or tank... somewhat challenging. But I can trend hot water usage through the care status (see attached).
  3. I have a rather large fleet of First Alert's zsmoke detectors, and one zcombo associated with iris. I've had several start chirping within a few months of purchase and popped new batteries in, and just now have started investigating what seems to be a premature warning from the smoke detector. First Alert technical support was helpful, I tested a detector that shows 77% on Iris status and was chirping low battery at 1.390V per cell on the OEM Duracell batteries. 1.390V seems too high to be a low battery, although a new Alkaline starts at 1.600. They shipped me a new zsmoke no questions asked (didn't even ask for a return of the old unit). I am going to put these 1.390V cells in the new detector that was sent to see how it responds. First Alert was unable to determine what final voltage the detector is looking for the low battery chirp or the voltage span for the percentage, but the percentage indicated seems to feel accurate for an alkaline span. Any similar experiences?
  4. solarsailor

    First Alert Zsmoke chirping at less than 77%

    A smoke detector shouldn't be chirping at 1.39VDC. I think the smoke detector's low voltage chirp threshold is too high.
  5. solarsailor

    First Alert Zsmoke chirping at less than 77%

    It seems that Iris handles the smokes just fine. The Detector itself doesn't handle itself properly. I tested the batteries and the low battery chirp comes on way before it should. FirstAlert couldn't quote what the low voltage warning should activate at, but without question they replaced the detector. I've had a few false alarms from various Zsmokes from FirstAlert. I want to try rechargeable alkalin batteries in these. NiMH won't cut it.
  6. solarsailor

    Any news on the new hub?

    My early 2013 hub just folded. 5.2V at the plug and no lights. I happen to have a Vera3 lying around and alot of Zwave devices. I wonder if I can convince them to give me a new hub.
  7. I have two 80 gallon indirect water heaters connected to a closed loop solar system. They have auxillary 3.5kW electric heaters in each with standard water heater thermostats and high limit switches. The plan is to buy two 20A contactors, and use the 120V switched power from a smart-plug to pull in the contactors. I'll schedule smart-plug to turn on in the evening near the end of the solar harvest to make sure the storage temp reaches the electric heater thermostat set-point of 145F. Once they reach set-point I think I can program the smart-plug to shut-down and wait for the end of the next day to kick in. The electric thermostats are at the middle of the tank, while the indirect coils are near the bottom. So its very likely that the smart-plug will energize at the end of the day and there won't be any demand for electric heat from the thermostats. I was thinking about hacking a contact sensor to use an aquastat contact that watches the top of the tank temperature, but darn if aquastats are so expensive.
  8. Has anyone considered adding a higher-gain omni to the hub? My coverage pretty much sucks on Z-wave. I have my hub mounted on the center of my livingroom ceiling, if I put a range extender any further away than this room I lose Z-wave connectivity and get red bars on Zigbee.
  9. Push notifications to the Iris app, which rolls back locally stored audio clips of the system sounds over the phone's speaker: System door chime, doorbell, voice annunciations...
  10. solarsailor

    Remote Speaker

    I think the keypad is too simple of a device to make voice announcements. If Iris was really on top of their game, push notifications to mobile devices could roll out system sounds from your mobile device speakers, including door bell and door chime.
  11. solarsailor

    Iris Door Chime Feature

    I kinda want to hack into the speaker on the Iris hub and add external speakers.
  12. solarsailor

    Iris Big Ass Fans

    Yea, its Wifi based control.
  13. Greetings all, I just purchased these batteries and a charger from Amazonians: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00HPFPBOI/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00KN8JWVM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o06_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 The rest fully charged at 3.35V (which makes them about 3V nominal), compared to most other lithium ion cells that operate at 3.6V nominal (4.1V resting fully charged). The cool thing is that at 2 for $8 they are cheaper than most primary CR2 batteries, and have a similar capacity rating to CR2 primaries at 800mAh. I have two of my six installed. One is in a "high traffic" contact sensor that is actually a flow swich on my hot water system, that is reporting contact status from a flow paddle switch on the cold water inlet to the water heater, and the temperature sensing chip is heat-sinked to the hot water recirculation return pipe to function as a demand response aquastat. with the dynamic temperature readings and dozens of contact cycles per day, it eats up CR2s a bit faster (6mo tops). I'll let everyone know how it performs but I expect with their very low self-discharge chemistry they should perform well.
  14. solarsailor

    First Alert Zsmoke chirping at less than 77%

    Further testing has revealed this repeatable data using the same batteries. 1.39V per cell in an old 2013 Zsmoke makes 76% battery level and causes low battery chirping. 1.39V per cell in a new replacement Zsmoke makes 83% with no chirping.
  15. solarsailor

    First Alert Zsmoke chirping at less than 77%

    "id":"AD-05-00-C8-17-75-EE-08","name":"SMOKE OFFICE","type":"FirstAlertSmokeAlarm","typeId":"42096","protocol":["zwave"],"isZwave":true,"isGeneric":false,"version":"VERSION_UNAVAILABLE","latestVersion":"VERSION_UNAVAILABLE","hardwareRevision":"VERSION_UNAVAILABLE","channels":{"presence":true,"battery":2.5,"batteryPercentage":0,"batteryLevel":0,"signal":100}}, xKing: thanks for the URL that is golden my friend. This data above is from a test with some really dead batteries in an older Zsmoke, 1.25VpC. I have two good DMMs that are both in agreement on voltage within 0.03V. I just installed the 1.39VpC 76SoC% chirping batteries into the replacement Zsmoke from First Alert technical support, and it is now showing 83%: {"id":"AD-05-00-C8-17-75-88-2D","name":"SMOKE UPSTAIRS GUEST","type":"FirstAlertSmokeAlarm","typeId":"42096","protocol":["zwave"],"isZwave":true,"isGeneric":false,"version":"0.5r0","latestVersion":"VERSION_UNAVAILABLE","hardwareRevision":"0.0","channels":{"presence":true,"battery":4.66,"batteryPercentage":83,"batteryLevel":5,"signal":100}}, Note the version 0.5r0 on the newer Zsmoke? Hmmm very interesting. It seems to be scaling the battery voltage differently.
  16. solarsailor

    First Alert Zsmoke chirping at less than 77%

    Tested a 1.26V used alkaline fand Iris reported this smoke detector as 1%.
  17. solarsailor

    Hub upgrade & Android update

    Updated mine as well today. Hoping this fixes the daily rebooting and occasional lockups that require power cycles. I even reinstalled the hub battery being hopeful. I guess we have learned one unfortunate truth about the Iris hub through this... It does not have a hardware watchdog timer. This is a sad state for an alarm system.
  18. solarsailor

    4.04r12 update December 16th

    Tried to add the Utilitec leak detector this morning and got a warning that I have to update my hub first. 4.03R09 was updated to 4.04.r12. A few of you out there have had lock-up issues like me, where the hub will freeze with the red light on steady. I have had this trouble for over three months now and the only relief I found was that removing the battery seemed to decrease the frequency of lockup, allowing the hub to just reboot itself (as seen in my event history). We shall see if this fixes the issue... I had actually connected a z-wave outlet from GE, associated with the Vera controller, to power the Iris hub, so that I can cycle power remotely to Iris when it locks up. I never got an answer from Iris support as to why this happens, and was never promised a fix date.
  19. solarsailor

    Range extender: only zwave?

    Hi, Was talking with Iris support tonight and technician told me that Zwave was the only protocol that the range extenders supported, as distinct from the zigbee based smartplugs. I had been told before that the range extender was Zwave and Zigbee... Looking for an authoritative answer on this. I have major range problems with Zwave smoke detectors and have had no luck with range extenders helping. The detectors just seem to ignore the range extenders despite apparently being setup correctly and opmized. Thinking about getting some GE Zwave switches/outlets to see if that works better than the range extenders.
  20. If I could add an Iris hub that would act as slave z-wave and zigbee bridge, and remote speaker for the main Iris hub, it would be brilliant. Especially with the given state of Iris range extenders.
  21. solarsailor

    Hub update 10-2-2014

    You just shelved a Vera lite... I just bought one. LOL. I was frustrated with Lowes realatively closed approach (very apple like) but then I found out why this is also awesome. The only devices that worked properly with Vera were my Radio Thermostats (CT-30 I think). The GE lightswitches... Got one to work and one would pair and then fail. First Alert smoke detectors showed up as motion detectors... But to answer your question about firmware: you have no option but to choose when to update to the current release. There is no file, there is no rolling back, there are no backups to be made. There aren't any release notes.
  22. I want to use the Utilitech leak detector... but want to curb my zigbee purchases in favor of z-wave so I can migrate to a different system if and when the time is right. Is the utilitech leak detector z-wave? I see the nearly identical (+$15) Everspring detector on Amazonian that is z-wave... I guess I could just buy it at Lowes and try it with my Vera lite.
  23. And all of these magic related wishlist items can easiliy be configured in Vera lite. Was playing with one this weekend.
  24. I formally requested with IRIS support: Utilitech leak detector be given the ability to lockout a given air conditioner - so the leak detector could be deployed in the overflow pan of the AHU. As a workaround, you could deploy the leak detector at the lowest level of the pan, while the actual overflow float switch (if so equipped) will still interlock the 24VAC contactor signal to the condensing unit. Set a magic rule to send a message when water is detected - get advance notice of an air conditioner problem.
  25. I think I am struggling through some early model or defective Iris range extenders. Vera3 and Vera lite can use additional hubs to relay data via Ethernet to a master hub, so detached buildings that are already networked (my garage has buried fiber from the house). The pair of range extenders I have used to boost signals out to my detached garage apartment are constantly falling off the network, which causes all of my z-wave smokes to fall off the network also. Since this initial post I have added two z-wave GE wall switches which seems to push the zwave signal much further and is more sensitive than my range extenders. Also with a recent update the range extenders are reporting zwave problems specifically.