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665 posts

Ultimate Geek


#270535 13-May-2020 23:41
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Got two Panasonic airconditioners and had a look at the Sensibo, which is $199.

 

Then I bumped into cheap Ebay options at around $20. These use the app Smart Life. Unsure if I'm allowed to link to Ebay, so instead just go there and search for Smart Wireless WiFi+IR Switch Remote Controller Home Control For Alexa Google

 

Yes, the Sensibo has climate react and also monitoring and reporting.

 

But from what I can see, the $20 option still allows you to switch the aircon on and off with your smartphone (with Smart Life) and it also works with Alexa and IFTTT.

 

...and it's 10 times cheaper.

 

Am I missing something here?

 

I would basically like to be able to turn the aircon on and off remotely or have it programmed to do so (for example at 5pm on all weekdays).

 

 


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  #2483284 14-May-2020 00:15
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I've got the Sensibo and rate it very highly - so highly in-fact, despite my heatpump supporting a WiFi module, I have not gotten one since the app is incredibly good.

 

Yes, you pay a bit more (actually, quite a bit more) but you can buy packs from Sensibo depending on how many heatpumps you have: https://au.sensibo.com/products/sensibo-sky (this is where I bought mine from). I've had my Sensibo for around 4 years now and it has not skipped a beat, it has controlled 3 different models of heatpumps in its life and its app is always reliable.

 

You'll likely be OK purchasing a cheaper option (like the Broadlink RM Mini / Pro) but my experience of these has been rather bad. I found it couldn't control some features of one of my heatpumps prompting me to buy the Sensibo.

 

Sensibo has rebuilt their app and I must say, it is looking incredibly good (still in a public beta) - also Google Home (Hey Google, turn on the Heatpump and set the temperature to ...), Alexa, IFTTT etc all work with it. Something else I like is you can share the remote to other members of the house via the app and get to see who does what.

 

Click to see full size  Click to see full size  Click to see full size

 

(click images to enlarge)







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Ultimate Geek


  #2483285 14-May-2020 00:18
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michaelmurfy:

 

You'll likely be OK purchasing a cheaper option (like the Broadlink RM Mini / Pro) but my experience of these has been rather bad. I found it couldn't control some features of one of my heatpumps prompting me to buy the Sensibo.

 

 

 

 

Thanks for the info.

 

What control features were missing?


 
 
 
 


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  #2483288 14-May-2020 00:57
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danepak:

 

What control features were missing?

 

It didn't support my Mitsubishi heatpump at all (couldn't turn on or adjust temperature) + had WiFi issues with the units also.

 

I had 2 of these units as I was planning on automating other things in the house but ended up binning them. When they worked, it was great but other times it would drop off the WiFi for no reason and refuse to reconnect - this is with multiple different access points also.





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  #2483292 14-May-2020 05:06
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I to tried the broadlink option. While I could turn my mitsubishi heat pump on and off, I couldn't get it to control anything else on the heat pump. I tried the Sensibo and it just worked, I can now control all functions of my heat pump.


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  #2483340 14-May-2020 07:46
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One of the key things the Sensibo can do that the Broadlink RM Mini can't is read the input from the actual remote. For example, if I use a Broadlink to turn my heatpump on, then later on somebody in the house turns it off via the original remote, the Broadlink continues to think the heatpump is 'on' and weirdness ensues. This is worse than it sounds when you're out as you can never look at the Broadlink app and know for sure that the unit at home is actually on or off.

 

With the Sensibo, if somebody uses the original remote, it will read the IR signal and sync its state accordingly, so whatever the app says is its current state is accurate.

 

Unless you plan to retire the original remote for good, I definitely recommend that whatever you buy can read its inputs. 


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  #2483343 14-May-2020 07:52
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The big difference between a heat pump ir command and say a tv ir command for instance the ‘on’ command. For the TV it’s just ‘on’. For the heat pump the ‘on’ command is, on, temperature, heat or cool, swing etc.
if the other device is a learning device, you can see how much a problem this is by trying to teach the harmony hub to control the heat pump.

Why I like the Sensibo, it will pick on a command from the heat pump remote and sync its state to the app.
You can control if from out of the home.
Alexa control is super reliable.



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  #2483344 14-May-2020 07:54
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OK, thanks for all your inputs.
I don’t think I’ll bother with the cheap option, if it doesn’t understand if the unit has been switched off from the remote control.
It can be rather pricey though with the Sensibo, as you’ll need one for each heat pump (we’ve got one downstairs in the living room and one upstairs in the bedroom).
Although the bedroom is right above the living room, I’ll still need two Sensibo’s, right?

 
 
 
 


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  #2483350 14-May-2020 08:06
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danepak: OK, thanks for all your inputs.
I don’t think I’ll bother with the cheap option, if it doesn’t understand if the unit has been switched off from the remote control.
It can be rather pricey though with the Sensibo, as you’ll need one for each heat pump (we’ve got one downstairs in the living room and one upstairs in the bedroom).
Although the bedroom is right above the living room, I’ll still need two Sensibo’s, right?

 

Correct.


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  #2483351 14-May-2020 08:13
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I've had two of the Broadlink RM Pro for years. Overall it works ok, with some drawbacks and weaknesses. The app is ok, and during daylight savings changes the app time doesn't work properly for a couple of days. It switches my Fujitsu and Daikin heat pumps on and off, changes modes, and sets temperatures no problems. RM Mini is probably a good enough solution if you can put up with slight weirdness, which in my case saved $350.

 

It doesn't read the current state of the heat pump if someone uses the remote, but I don't find that a problem at all. I don't need to tell it "I need it one degree warmer" I tell it "make it 22 degrees".




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  #2483353 14-May-2020 08:16
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timmmay:


It doesn't read the current state of the heat pump if someone uses the remote, but I don't find that a problem at all. I don't need to tell it "I need it one degree warmer" I tell it "make it 22 degrees".



But if it doesn’t read the current state, does it then know if the heat pump has been switched on from the remote? Or will it still think it’s off and if I then try to turn it on, I actually turns it off?

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  #2483354 14-May-2020 08:17
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IFTTT is going away from the smart life in the near future with IFTTT becoming greedy etc. Other tuya based gear can keep their IFTTT going themselves but the basic app is losing/has lost it.





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  #2483355 14-May-2020 08:21
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danepak:

But if it doesn’t read the current state, does it then know if the heat pump has been switched on from the remote? Or will it still think it’s off and if I then try to turn it on, I actually turns it off?

 

Aircon remotes generally send a giant packet with all the configuration in one go, so that what is on the display of the remote reflects what is on the aircon, so if its off it will turn on and set to the right mode and temperature.





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  #2483358 14-May-2020 08:24
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danepak:
timmmay:

 

It doesn't read the current state of the heat pump if someone uses the remote, but I don't find that a problem at all. I don't need to tell it "I need it one degree warmer" I tell it "make it 22 degrees".

 



But if it doesn’t read the current state, does it then know if the heat pump has been switched on from the remote? Or will it still think it’s off and if I then try to turn it on, I actually turns it off?

 

Heat pumps generally don't send "change the state in this way" commands, IR commands send the full desired state. So it doesn't send "toggle state from on to off" or "increase temp by a degree", it says "set the heat pump to on, heating mode, 22 degrees, medium fan". If you push the "increase temp" button on your remote it sends the whole state again, eg "set the heat pump to on, heating mode, 23 degrees, medium fan". So current state is irrelevant when a new command is sent. This is different from say a TV.

 

Maybe not all heat pumps work like this, but both of mine do.


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  #2483371 14-May-2020 08:43
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michaelmurfy:

 

I've got the Sensibo and rate it very highly - so highly in-fact, despite my heatpump supporting a WiFi module, I have not gotten one since the app is incredibly good.

 

Sensibo has rebuilt their app and I must say, it is looking incredibly good (still in a public beta) - also Google Home (Hey Google, turn on the Heatpump and set the temperature to ...), Alexa, IFTTT etc all work with it. Something else I like is you can share the remote to other members of the house via the app and get to see who does what.

 

 

 

Where/how are you seeing that new Sensibo app?

 

P.S. To the OP, for basic functionality the Broadlink RM mini works pretty well.  Sensibo is better (I have both) but to turn on/off your heatpump and change settings from remote and even scheduling it does work.  If you want something that works 100% out of the box buy the Sensibo (often down to about $169) otherwise give the Broadlink RM3 mini a go.  If you're in Wellington I've even got a spare one you could have.


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  #2483372 14-May-2020 08:43
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I've had a Broadlink mini for years and wrote a big blog post about them when I got mine. IMHO it works brilliantly and it's $20ish, but it's no $200 unit.

 

If you want all the functionality as discussed above them a Sensibo is the smart option. If you just want something to turn the heatpump on by scheduled timer or of/off remotely the Broadlink is a bargain.

 

 


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