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15214 posts

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# 177890 18-Aug-2015 09:08
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I'm tired of having to reset our air conditioners twice day - in the morning I set it to come on late afternoon, in the evening I set it to come on in the morning. I want to automate this with my Fujitsu Nocria and Daikin heat pumps, which are 3 and 5 years old.

What's the best automation product? Sensibo (US$239 for hub and two controllers), Pebble (which was announced but I can't find anything about it), I suspect there are others out there. Also potentially interested in DIY options, within reason - if it involves any soldering I'm probably not interested.

UPDATE: I purchased two Broadlink RM Pro Units, so I no longer need advice thanks.

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15214 posts

Uber Geek


  # 1392648 23-Sep-2015 12:29
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First report back on the Broadlink RM Pro units - they're ok (not great) but have potential as the problems are all in the software.

The core hardware is pretty good. It looks good and seems to work well. The USB power supply that comes with it came with a US to NZ/Aus adapter that's incredibly shaky and looks like it could cause a fire. I'm not going to use them, but I've used a USB PSU that meets NZ standards.

The Android software is pretty damn poor. You can get it to do what you want, but it looks like they had a student half write it then shipped before they finished. The documentation on how to use it is really awful, mostly in Chinese, though there are enough pictures to mostly work it out - it took MUCH longer than it should've though. The Fujitsu Nocria Air Conditioner was easy enough to add, but the Daikin was a pain in the butt - it worked on about the 15th try. It seems to do different things each time you try to add it. It can also control TV, receivers, anything IR through both a database of devices and by manual training. Manual training of air conditions is problematic, the remote is a state machine that says "heat mode, 18 degrees, auto fan (etc)" not "make it one degree warmer".

Once air con is added you can control them like you would with a regular remote. It seems to work both on WiFi and on 4G, though it doesn't report back room temperature on 4G - at least not reliably (it has a temperature sensor in it). The timer function is ok, in that you can tell it to do things like "turn air con #1 on at 4pm Monday, Wednesday, and Sunday, 22 degrees", "turn off air con #2 at 6pm every day". The problem is once you set this program you can't view the details of what you set, so you have to give it a very descriptive name. You can't edit the program, you have to delete each action and create it again.

I haven't tried training other devices on it yet, since I have a harmony remote. I will one day though.

All in all, if you want a cheap timer for your air con, it works and it's worth it, but it's frustrating to use. I might see if my old iPod v2 can run the apple software. I wonder if there's a web interface... I was told that they use a cloud service so you can control things while you're out of the house.

I'll do a more full review eventually. I'll probably contact them and give them my feedback to see if they can improve the app.

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