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1467 posts

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  Reply # 636739 6-Jun-2012 15:37 Send private message

LookingUp: Can't understand why all appliances don't come with an Ethernet port for remote control - I'd certainly pay a little more for a remote controllable option!

Immediate thoughts include heat pump, oven, electric blankets, and I'm sure there are 101 other great ideas.

It really comes down to cost, both product cost and support costs. It would be fair to say that refrigeration engineers and electricians mostly don't understand automation and supporting products like this would be problematic.

I work in commercial building automation and the level of understanding there is low let alone one man bands hanging heat pumps. For them 5% of customers (at most) are interested in this type of solution so why would they bother? There is no margin in heat pumps and is a volume based business. If they have to provide lots of support then that cuts their margin further.

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  Reply # 636748 6-Jun-2012 15:53 Send private message

On the other hand, the market for heat pumps seems to be pretty crowded, and the players involved will want to do anything that can differentiate their product, without using price (because price competition can lead to a price war, which is bad for all producers). We see this in the cricket player endorsements, eyes that 'see' you enter the room, pretty much everything except price. Largely gimicks/brand positioning.

So if a manufacturer managed to come up with a simple control method, perhaps letting phones connect to it via bluetooth and control via an app, this would have next to no actual product cost (just a little circuit board). The only question would be if they can make it simple enough to minimise support costs.

As awesome as a geeky ethernet or RS-232 interface would be, in reality, if one of the manufacturers was to come up with a solution in the consumer space, it would probably just be an iphone app that works over a local network. But this has the problem of not being controllable when away from home (sort of the whole point of this thread), so looses its enticement for selling heat pumps. So probably unlikely.



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  Reply # 636749 6-Jun-2012 15:54 Send private message

I have a Cool Automation CoolGate device sitting on my shelf here at work. There are ways of achieve what you are after, but currently not at a price you would entertain. In practise you can probably achieve what you are after by sensible use of the inbuilt time schedule, but yes, you could improve on this for sure with smartphone/tablet/web integration, especially if your 'home times' vary day to day.

The industrial world is years behind the consumer electronics world, but they are being dragged along more and more each day. So it will come for sure, it's just a matter of when and how much extra you'll be paying for that functionality.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 636759 6-Jun-2012 16:08 Send private message

OK you guys as the originator of this topic appreciate the feedback. Have given up trying to find a model or brand that will do what was wanting ? bet within 2 years they will all have them! In the meantime am getting 2 Fujitzu units installed.
Is it worth running some data cable to try and future proof them?!

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  Reply # 636764 6-Jun-2012 16:13 Send private message

I don't know what the fuss is about.

I have a universal remote that plugs into my iPhone and I control everything (literally everything except the PS3) on it. Even my fan heater which has a remote works

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  Reply # 636765 6-Jun-2012 16:14 Send private message

Cant hurt to run cat5e EVERYWHERE in your house. So on that basis yes.

But realistically it depends on how likely it is for consumer units to have ethernet in the near future, which based on the mood of this thread is unlikely

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  Reply # 636770 6-Jun-2012 16:25 Send private message

ha my harmony remote does control my PS3 . . .

Run the cat cable, it wont hurt. If its a new build just lay it everywhere and dont install a face plate until its necessary.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 636807 6-Jun-2012 17:02 Send private message

Probably not what you want to hear, but presumably with better insulation, well thought out thermal mass, air-tightness, and an air handling system, you may not need an airconditioner...

If you then only need minor heating, I think the Nest thermostat (which has an iphone app) then works with most two/three control wire thermostat heaters.


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Master Geek
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  Reply # 639706 12-Jun-2012 14:52 Send private message

Ok we now have our 2 new Fujitsu heat pumps and they are fine - except trying to sort out the weekly and daily timer options. Reminds me of timers on those VCRs 25 years ago! The installer set the timer up to come on at 6am each morning - but guess what - no go.......Now if only had an iPhone App (even if did only work on the wifi). Would be just so easy with the Apple scroll to date and time. 

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  Reply # 639716 12-Jun-2012 15:10 Send private message

stuffed:  Would be just so easy with the Apple scroll to date and time. 

Many industries are suffering this at the moment.  Moves to VOIP etc are hurting older infrastructure that can't easily migrate off analogue phone lines etc.  SCADA systems intended for square monitors are leagues away from iphone style interfaces etc.  There are lots of busy companies moving to update their products.

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