Thermostat controller - commands not getting through

@bravenel - I was very excited to see this new app as I have used some pretty cpu expensive Rules to accomplish the same thing. However once set up I'm finding that simple controls do not pass through correctly. For example - if I select "heat" or "off" on the controller device this does not pass through - but if I set the heating setpoint it does... a bit strange

What do you mean? "heat" or "off" for what?

so in the controller page if either select the "off" command or set the thermostat mode to "off", it does not send this command to the actual device

Are you talking about the lower section or upper section of the main page? Please show a screenshot of exactly what you are talking about. The "controller page" doesn't have a setting option for thermostat mode.

Sorry I deleted it now but I'm not talking about the app pages.

For clarification:

  • When you use Thermostat controller it creates a device that is the controller device that when used takes into consideration the multiple temperature sensors etc + any other settings and then calculates the correct settings (using the app) to send to the actual device, thereby overruling whatever the actual device thinks the temperature is, correct?
  • When using this controller device, if I send the command "off, or "heat" or set the thermostat mode to "off" or "heat" - these commands do not pass through to the actual device

That device only has a single mode that cannot be set: control.

Maybe I have misunderstood the point of this app and device - this is my understanding, please tell me where I have it wrong:

  1. You may have multiple temperature sensors in a room that also has one thermostat that controls an ac or heating device in that room
  2. you may want to use the the average of all of these sensors (with or without weightings) as the temperature that the thermostat "thinks" it is, to override the single temp sensor it has internally - because often it is not accurate
  3. You set this up using the thermostat controller app, and it generates a new controller device
  4. From then on you use that controller device (not the original device) when wanting to set the thermostat in that room - and the app and controller device will take care of the rest and control the actual device as needed based on your settings and the average temp recorded in the room

That's all correct. The controller thermostat is effectively always in Auto mode.

ok great - now if I set the controller thermostat to "off" - it does not turn the actual thermostat off.

When on "heat" or "cool" mode it does all the calculations correctly re: what temp to set the actual device in order to compensate for the average temp. However, sometimes you just want to turn the whole thing off, not leave it on auto. In such circumstance you would set the thermostat mode to "off" - and currently, if you set the controller thermostat's mode to "off" it does not turn off.

You can't set the controller thermostat to off. It has only one not-settable mode.

If you want to set the controlled thermostat to off, take Thermostat Controller out of Controlled mode, into Free mode. Then do whatever you want with the real thermostat. Or use a Restriction.

Ok - so this is by design, not a bug. Here is why I think it should be changed:

  • It's not practical - because you have to go into the app settings in order to accomplish this. Hypothetical situation - you have gone on holiday and left the thermostat on. How do you turn it off? If you don't have VPN access to your home network it would be impossible (on the assumption that only the controller device is exposed on a cloud dashboard)
  • Similarly, when I leave my home the system automatically turns off all AC and Heating units. If the control device does not allow for this then it is permanently on auto controlling a particular temperature.

It has restrictions you can use. So, for instance, you can use a mode to restrict it, or a virtual switch.

What would turning it off really mean in the real world? If that meant to turn off the controlled thermostat, that may not be what you want either.

But that is exactly what I want! There are many occasions where I simply want the climate control off in a particular room - even if I'm in the house. Case in point - I have a guest room, there is no need to waste electricity even when I am home controlling the temperature there - so I just want it off. This app is really useful, so I don't want to have to go into the app settings specially everytime I want to turn it off - I just want to go to the controller device and turn it off from the dashboard

In short, you are suggesting that to fully control the temperature in a room I would need to use this app and potentially two devices depending on the settings (the original device and the controller device) - but the whole point of this app is to abstract these issues from the user... I should only need 1 device to accomplish the control I need.

You can also use Thermostat Scheduler on top of Thermostat Controller, as in scheduling the controller thermostat. I don't think adding "off" mode to TC is the right answer for what you want, because you probably still want freeze protection from the real thermostat, not 'off'. There are many ways to get fine grain control of the controller thermostat.

Ok, well for the time being I'll stick to my rules - they do the same thing but allow me to just use one controller device that I can turn on or off and set the temperature and the rules take care of the temp set point to send to the actual thermostats based on the avg temp of the sensors.

I think the current way the thermostat controller works is too impractical requiring the user to keep flicking between controlling or not controlling the actual thermostat and jumping between 2 devices. My thinking is if a user has decided to use this app to control a thermostat based on the avg temp recorded then that is what they want to do, and they would expect to be able to fully control the room including turning climate control on or off from that one device - and the only time they would want to release control would be to stop that control altogether, not just for the purposes of turning it off.

So you are turning your real thermostat to mode off?

yes - If I have turned the controller thermostat off, it's because I want climate control off - and so the best way it can achieve this is to also turn the actual thermostat off

Alright, I'll look into it.

Thank you!