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Chowmain - Generic Thermostat Driver (IR)


alanchow

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Chowmain%20Logo%20Transparent%20Medium.p 

Chowmain - Generic Thermostat Driver (IR) 

Split infrared controlled HVAC systems are quite common in Australia and New Zealand. The issue with these systems is that control is only one way, without any feedback what so ever. Furthermore each IR string contains code information about the mode, fan speed and set point within in. Given this you must learn every single combination of IR code to get full integration into your home automation system. 

The Chowmain Generic IR Thermostat driver enables us to integrate infrared controlled HVAC systems into the Control4 system with feedback from a dry contact (to sense if it is on/off) and temperature input from the Control4 Thermostat, Axxess Motion Sensors, Card Access Contact Sensor or Relays. 

This provides a total solution for what would be a one way system. Note this driver is only compatible with HVAC systems that utilize Celsius. 

The two options we recommend for installation are as follows: 

* Option A: 'Retrofit' via a card access Zigbee 2 IR device 
* Option B: 'New Construction' via hard wired connection from a Control4 Controller or IO Extender. 

In both cases installation is recommended on the interior of the heat pump chassis to ensure a clean look. However if this voids the manufactures warranty a tidy exterior installation can easily be done. 

thermostat%20solution.png 

Features 
* Inbuilt Web server for control, setup and backup or IR codes. 
* Ability to test IR codes via the Web setup page. 
* Heat, Cool & Auto HVAC modes supported. 
* Low, Medium, High & Auto Fan modes supported. 
* 16 – 30 degrees of Set Point supported. 
* Temperature Feedback from Axxess Motion Sensor, Control4 Thermostat, Card Access Contact Sensor or Card Access Contact Relay. 
* Power State Feedback via dry contact input. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

Can you give us some examples of how we could use this driver? 
* This driver is extremely useful for countries where IR based HVAC solutions are common. By combining it with 3rd party temperature inputs you get a fully integration IR HVAC solution within Control4. 

Are there any other cool things we can do with this driver? 
* This driver supports an optional contact input. This is useful for when the consumer utilises the existing IR remote control for feedback. It will set the mode to off when the unit shutter closes and to auto at the last setpoint when the unit shutter opens. 

* This driver has an inbuilt webserver for setup and control. If the client is on their PC they can control their HVAC system by just visiting the URL specified in the properties page of the driver. 

What hardware will this work on? 
This will work on all IR based HVAC systems. Note that a 3rd party IR learner is required to learn the codes. 
Temperature input is compatible with the Control4 Thermostat, Axxess Motion Sensor, Card Access Contact and Card Access Relay. 

Where do i find IR backup files for existing systems? 
You can download IR backup files from our website

How do I find out more information about the driver? 

Please see the links below for more information about the driver. 

Download Product Information Sheet 

Download Installation Guide 

How do I buy the driver?
This driver is developed by Chowmain software & apps and is distributed and supported by Houselogix, Inc. 

Download Driver / Purchase Licence

Who do i contact for technical support?
This driver is developed by Chowmain software & apps and is distributed and supported by Houselogix, Inc. 

Support

Do you provide trial licences?
All Chowmain drivers for Control4 come with a 48 hour trial. This is activated once you add the driver to the project. No additional steps are necessary. 

generic%20thermostat.png

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  • 7 months later...

Dear Alan,

There are plenty of countries (including where I live) where it's hot all year round, so there's never a need for a heater. Can the Generic Thermostat Driver (IR) be configured/modified/tweaked so that the "HEAT" options s not displayed? Perhaps you could let us know which parts of the code should be commented out.

My split unit also doesn't have an "AUTO" mode. Can that be disabled / not displayed?

Regards

Kannan

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The c4i file has XML tags for hvac_modes and fan_modes.  You can eliminate modes by removing them from these tags from the file and then saving it.  Note that this is every mode available.  You cannot add additional modes.

    <hvac_modes>Off,Heat,Cool,Auto</hvac_modes>    <fan_modes>Auto,Low,Medium,High</fan_modes> 

in your case the hvac_mode will look something like this.

    <hvac_modes>Off,Cool</hvac_modes>
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  • 1 year later...
  • 2 months later...

Alan,

I am seriously considering adding this to my system but I have a few questions before spending the money on the driver and dealer programming. My dual zone HVAC system is made by LG. 

- My system has a plasma function for air purification. Is your driver able to enable/disable this function?

- The wall units have left/right and up/down guide vanes. Can the driver control the swing of these vanes like the handheld remote can?

- Is the driver able to control both indoor units? If so, do I need my dealer to install two instances of the driver, one for each room?

- If one indoor unit is set to heat, and the other is set to cool, the unit will throw an error. Can the driver be set to prevent selecting different modes on the two indoor units?

Thanks,

Mike

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12 hours ago, CT-Mike said:

Alan,

I am seriously considering adding this to my system but I have a few questions before spending the money on the driver and dealer programming. My dual zone HVAC system is made by LG. 

- My system has a plasma function for air purification. Is your driver able to enable/disable this function?

- The wall units have left/right and up/down guide vanes. Can the driver control the swing of these vanes like the handheld remote can?

- Is the driver able to control both indoor units? If so, do I need my dealer to install two instances of the driver, one for each room?

- If one indoor unit is set to heat, and the other is set to cool, the unit will throw an error. Can the driver be set to prevent selecting different modes on the two indoor units?

Thanks,

Mike

The driver is designed for control over the basic functionality common on all infrared controlled HVAC systems.  As such specific functionality like plasma, air purification and swing modes cannot be added in.

The driver only fires a single IR code to tell the HVAC system to goto a specific mode, setpoint, fanspeed.  It does not communicate with the HVAC system apart from that.  Your dealer will be able to do some programming so that the systems always match (eg if one system changes to heat the other one changes to heat).  That portion is upto your dealer to program under the composer actions.

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Thanks for the reply Alan. I guess I can always just set the plasma and guide vane swings using the OEM remote, and control the system using C4. 

One additional question: my C4 controller is quite a distance from the two in-wall units. Would I be better off adding a couple of Zigbee light dimmers in between the controller and in-wall units, or try to find really long IR emitter cables and home-running those to the controller?

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31 minutes ago, CT-Mike said:

Thanks for the reply Alan. I guess I can always just set the plasma and guide vane swings using the OEM remote, and control the system using C4. 

One additional question: my C4 controller is quite a distance from the two in-wall units. Would I be better off adding a couple of Zigbee light dimmers in between the controller and in-wall units, or try to find really long IR emitter cables and home-running those to the controller?

its hard to say without knowing your home.  Running cables or adding a zigbee 2 ir both achieve the same result but depends on how hard one is over the other.  Also note that if you want to know what the current room temperature is you need to add in one of the supported temperature sensors.  My recommendation is the Axxess Motion Sensor (battery operated) as this provides motion sensing as well as temperature in the room.

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  • 1 year later...
9 hours ago, Ilushka85 said:

Is it possible to make the display temperature a variable that we can change?  We want to be able to update the temperature from a 3rd party system and it seems we cannot change the variable without your help on this.

Thats not a bad idea.  I'll add it to our development queue but won't be actioned until late May.

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21 hours ago, Ilushka85 said:

Is it possible to make the display temperature a variable that we can change?  We want to be able to update the temperature from a 3rd party system and it seems we cannot change the variable without your help on this.

While you wait for Alan’s development (which I know will be top notch), you may want to try the Yatun Temperature Display Driver. It allows you to do what you are after. I have 12 of these in a separate variable room (to view and control 12 variables) and three experience buttons, one of which cycles through which variable I want to change and two of which increase / decrease the variable in question...

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1 hour ago, South Africa C4 user said:

While you wait for Alan’s development (which I know will be top notch), you may want to try the Yatun Temperature Display Driver. It allows you to do what you are after. I have 12 of these in a separate variable room (to view and control 12 variables) and three experience buttons, one of which cycles through which variable I want to change and two of which increase / decrease the variable in question...

But does it provide a normal thermostat interface to allow changing a temperature setpoint ?

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10 hours ago, Ilushka85 said:

But does it provide a normal thermostat interface to allow changing a temperature setpoint ?

They have one that does (they have 3 or 4 of these drivers)... but I found it a bit buggy (I was able to work around the bugs) and I preferred the clean look of the display only and so now use these with Experience buttons (Blackwire emoji driver) for increasing and decreasing the values.

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  • 3 years later...

Finally getting around to integrating Alexa with Control4. Does the Generic IR Thermostat driver support voice commands via Alexa? I can’t figure out what voice command should be used. Any help would be most appreciated.

 

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7 hours ago, Kannan_g said:

Finally getting around to integrating Alexa with Control4. Does the Generic IR Thermostat driver support voice commands via Alexa? I can’t figure out what voice command should be used. Any help would be most appreciated.

 

It’s just a thermostat driver.  Alexa integration figured out the devices you have in the project.  Please refer to Control4’s usage guide for more details 

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  • 2 months later...

Great driver, been using it for the last few days with a Daikin Split AC which does not have the possibility to use wired control.
Used a C4-Z2IO for IR output, Temperature Sensor and wired up a magnet contact to have some feedback if the Aircon gets switched on with the Remote VS  a Control4 interface.

 Hoping we will be able to use this driver and the other Daikin Wifi drivers in the future as we want to use it as a selling tool for retrofitting the many Rental Villas in Bali with the main benefit to lower AirCon electricity bills.


 

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On 7/25/2021 at 9:45 AM, swissglobalsolutions said:

I will need to get an IntesisBox but the Aircon I tested it would have only be compatible with the IR version anyway so also only a 1 way control.

The IntesisBox universal model is semi bi-directional.  What this means is that the unit ahs an IR receiver which when mounted in the correct location will detect when the home owner uses the original IR remote to control the HVAC system.  This provides feedback for IntesisBox and as such Control4.

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8 hours ago, alanchow said:

The IntesisBox universal model is semi bi-directional.  What this means is that the unit ahs an IR receiver which when mounted in the correct location will detect when the home owner uses the original IR remote to control the HVAC system.  This provides feedback for IntesisBox and as such Control4.

Oh I did not realize that. This is indeed better. I‘ll contact the Singapore distributor to import some test units 👍

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