Digital thermostats

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perfectbite
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Digital thermostats

Post by perfectbite » Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:33 pm

An elderly neighbour had her heater checked for the wintert and the guy broke her 1960's era Honeywell analogue clock that switched the thermostat on and off. I have looked for a replacement timed thermostat but they are all digital and I can see her having to pay $65.00 to someone to re–set it for daylight savings. (elderly folks can get very upset if something isn't right). I would like to recommend to her an inexpensive 12 or 24 VAC timer t'stat that has simple buttons that say 'hour +' and 'hour -' , 'time on', 'time off', temp now and temp desired. with a little real time clock in it. Dirt simple. Is anyone aware of such a simple device? I've checked Grainger's and Johnstone Supply and Ace Hardware but they all seem to expect the user to be digitally aware as if the designer is playing a digital "Simon says".

bodgy
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Re: Digital thermostats

Post by bodgy » Mon Dec 27, 2004 1:18 am

Perhaps you could use my one shot event timer as a basis for a DIY timer.<p>it was designed as a curtain/window/light controller - so assumes the same on/off times each day.<p>It actually says ON, Off but the code is available if it needs altering.<p>There would only be a little extra work required if it needed to sense temperature as well.<p>see Event timer on my website<p>Colin
On a clear disk you can seek forever.

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Chris Smith
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Re: Digital thermostats

Post by Chris Smith » Mon Dec 27, 2004 8:46 am

Have you tried the Honeywell site, they are still around. <p>I looked for thermostats on the web a while back, and found the simple to exotic still for sale out there.

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haklesup
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Re: Digital thermostats

Post by haklesup » Tue Jan 04, 2005 10:51 am

personally I do not reset my thermostat for daylight savings. As it happens, the day gets shorter and I want the heat on sooner just about the same time DLS goes back to standard time. One program seems to work all year round (it is completely off most of the summer anyway).<p>I think she should be able to adapt. All she needs to learn is how to kick it up or down a few degrees if she is uncomfortable. (and maybe how to set vacation mode if applicable).

ian
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Re: Digital thermostats

Post by ian » Wed Jan 05, 2005 5:00 am

Here's more info than you ever wanted to know about thermostats..........
I came up with the idea of a "self-programming set back thermostat" by using a motion detector and timer, tracking and recording activity. Eventually it would "learn" your habits and create set back schedules accordingly. I even patented it but during the oil crisis similar devices were made so my patent was unenforceable. After a while I gave up on the idea due to the impossibility of competing with the colossal marketing power of Honeywell or others for shelf space in stores. Honeywell makes these things in the orient by the millions for a few bucks each, ships them here and sells them for $100.
Anyway, almost every furnace switches on by using a 25VAC contact. If you're making a thermostat it has to essentially short the wires together. I know a while back one manufacturer had problems due to triacs overheating, and another had furnaces staying on due to the leakage in the triac when it was switched off.
I know that has nothing to do with your question but you touched a sore spot! ;

Engineer1138
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Re: Digital thermostats

Post by Engineer1138 » Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:28 am

ian: that is a really clever idea! Too bad you couldn't make a bundle from it. Did you mean that Honeywell has such a thermostat (learning from motion detector) on the market, or were you referring to their timer-based setback units?<p>FWIW, my favorite is the Accurite(?) I got at Home Depot when we bought our current home. It's both cheaper and easier to read from across the room (large, touch-screen LCD display) than the Honeywell unit in our last house.
I've been using timer thermostats since I had a Tandy Model 100 controlling the heat/window AC in my apartment years ago. Would never go back to manual ones.

Tommy volts
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Re: Digital thermostats

Post by Tommy volts » Wed Jan 05, 2005 7:53 am

perfectbite,<p>The kindest thing you could do for her would be to install a simple digital thermostat. You could drop in on her from time to time to adjust the settings.

ian
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Re: Digital thermostats

Post by ian » Wed Jan 05, 2005 8:16 am

ian: that is a really clever idea! Too bad you couldn't make a bundle from it. Did you mean that Honeywell has such a thermostat (learning from motion detector) on the market, or were you referring to their timer-based setback units?[/B]<p> Yes, it's a great idea, sooner or later that's what we'll see. When I came up with the concept microcontrollers and motion detectors were't what they are today. I never thought it was possible to make such a device using 80's technology. A patent is risky but when I applied for the patent the technology was just becoming available. Unfortunately a device was designed in the 80's, it was designed for schools, was the size of a microwave and cost $600. Who'd a thought that would be out there?
I went ahead with the project anyway until I realized I needed millions for marketing and production, which I'd never get without patent protection. Still a good idea if you have a few mil.
Ian

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