Which Pellet Grills/Smokers Have PID Controllers?
At this point I have already had to replace the buttons in it once, as the old ones were beginning to wear out. Ecoteck remote control There are four buttons. Two for adjusting the target air temperature and two for adjusting the level of flames or something. Pressing the two uppermost buttons at once turns the stove on or off. The front panel looks like this: Ecoteck Francesca front panel So, for the long run we might have to find some sort of replacement of this remote control.
Fortunately, our Samsung tablet has an IR transmitter on-board that would be perfect for this. And the protocol is nowhere to be found online until now, that is. So before we can create an Android app, we need to get the codes and modulation settings from the old remote control. How to get the codes One approach would be to get the USB Infrared Toy from Seeed and record the transmitted codes directly, but instead I decided to try out a simple logic analyzer I just received in the post from China.
It even enumerates as a Saleae device when I plug it in. Naughty Chinese! The voltage drop here is big enough to trigger the logic analyzer. I started the analysis by having a look at the signal itself by sampling at 24 MHz and pressing a button.
The setup The signal consists of a series of infrared pulses, which seems to be grouped into blocks. Each individual pulse is on for 8. The interval between the last pulse of a block and the first pulse of the next block is Thus a normal pulse is Now that we have the signal timings we can zoom out a bit.
For the rest of the analysis a lower sampling rate is sufficient. In the following 1 means a high block and 0 means a low block. A single button press Notice how the slight inter-block delay causes the anti-aliasing to color each block a slightly different shade of gray. If we annotate the trace with 1s for on-blocks and 0s for off-blocks, we get something like this: Annotated button press If we do this for all 5 functions, we get these codes: Ecoteck remote control codes.
Hot water tank controller project – part 2
Read on! The Problem: My house and office are separate buildings. Up until this year, an outdoor wood pellet furnace heated water for radiant in-floor heat for both buildings. The furnace was close to the office and pumped hot water through insulated underground piping to both buildings. With that system, the outdoor furnace and the indoor heating systems were independent of each other; no communication was needed between thermostat and furnace. The furnace simply maintained its water tank temperature in a preset range and had its own controls to do this.
When the thermostat called for heat in house or office, a circulation pump started. With cool water flowing into the furnace, its temperature dropped rapidly and it lit itself and heated water. When it got ahead of demand and its water jacket reached the maximum set point, it shut back off. This year, for a variety of reasons, we got rid of the outdoor pellet stove and installed a high-efficiency propane boiler in the house basement. Among other changes, this furnace now needs to know when a thermostat somewhere is asking for heat.
No hot water is stored; water is heated on demand. When a thermostat calls for heat, we now need to cross two pins on the furnace to start it in addition to starting the circulation pump to send hot water through the pipes in the floor. Why is this a problem? Because I only have one cable buried between the office and house—a Cat5 cable used for networking the two buildings together. The first version of our office temperature controller. Hey, we needed heat right away!
Needing heat in the office, and not yet having a good way to turn it on no time for the Pi-based controller right away , for several days I would run to the house basement to twist two wires together to turn heat on see picture, above.
When warm enough, I had to take another trip to the house, descend the stairs, and un-twist the wires again. Not an ideal solution—clearly, we need something better! We need to send a signal over the network to the house, and that signal is going to have to turn on the furnace and the circulation pump sending hot water underground to the office. I had a couple Raspberry Pis lying around that I had never found a really justifiable usage case for; this seemed a perfect opportunity to harness them for a project that should be educational and enjoyable as well as useful.
This project is going to have to happen in phases. This setup offers the distinct advantage of being controllable from anywhere I can get internet access and connect to my VPN. I spent some time on Amazon and bought a couple relay boards. These boards are also available in an 8-relay configuration if your project will involve more circuits. I selected a leftover piece of window trim and laid out the Pi and relay board on it.
Using a small drill bit to mark where the holes need to be drilled for standoffs Holes drilled, ready for standoffs, which can be seen to the right. These are motherboard standoffs, leftovers from custom computer builds. Side view showing standoffs inserted into holes drilled into the board; an the Pi and relay board mounted.
I robbed some wires from an old dead computer on the junk pile — the connectors for power button, power and hard drive LEDs, etc, for a tidy way to plug into the GPIO pins on the Pi as well as the pins on the relay board. These wires only have a plug on one end, so to create cables with connectors on either end I simply spliced wires together.
Behold the completed furnace control board! Well, complete for now anyway… Two wires are used to supply 5V DC from the Raspberry Pi to power the relay board; the other two control the first 2 relays the two on the far right.
Next is the programming needed to make this work. This system has been saving me trips up and down the basement stairs for some time now—the wire twisting is long over! Look for Part 2, coming as soon as I have time to write, where we use a little bit of Python to make our Pi control the furnace!
8Bitdo Pro 2 Bluetooth Controller for Switch, PC, macOS, Android, Raspberry Pi
So I needed a way to control it remotely. By google searching pellet stove controllers I noticed that mine looks very similarly as those made by Micronova so it was clear — the controller inside my stove is some board from Micronova i, i or who knows. I noticed a DB9 connector at the back of my stove but no! It is not an RS, there is 20V on one of the pins and I destroyed my UART interface trying to connect it to the stove right, I should have checked the voltage levels on each pins first, lesson learned, but the interface is not expensive and I have more pieces at home anyway.
M4DIY - Unlimited creativity
I contacted one of Micronova employees just asking if it is possible to turn on the stove via that connector or if it would be just waste of my time trying to figure out how to do it. Right, thank you. So I decided to spend some time with this. Fist I did some research on IR remote. Later I found some helpful information about the serial communication in Italian at stufapellet.
It was not all in one place there and not complete. As I also recently purchased a Rigol oscilloscope and had a Salea logic analyzer available so I did more work on this subject and I am finally able to describe it in more details.
I created a testing Arduino code based on Infrared library.
Micronova Modbus protocol converter for pellet stoves
But that is quite crazy and unnecessarily complicated. I have read some italian threads. So I picked up known GND from the controller panel and measured voltages on every pin.
Turned the stove off and measured resistance between GND and those pins. And here are the pinouts. Out of curiosity, when the stove was off, I also measured resistance between IR pin on the controller panel and all pins in the DB9.
And guess what! There is about ohm between IR pin and serial pin.
Which Pellet Grill Smokers Have PID Controllers?(Worth it?)
Aha, so it uses almost the same path for IR as well as serial commands. Unfortunately, as they mentioned in the forum, only one pin is used for RX and TX. When it wants to send a bit 1 it can keep it at 5v it is pulled up apparently so no need for an extra pull up resistor.
In the forum they made some crazy schematics with optocuplers and transistors here and there. I created an arduino sketch again to just simulate me this NC7WZ07 device. I created this simple schematic with just one PNP transistor and one diode.
White line is 1V, 0V is at the bottom of the screen. At the serial line of the stove there is max 3. It is 3. In fact, my own interest in the IOT and OSHW as a whole was inspired in part by a desire to maximize the efficiency of a small pellet burner I installed in my basement a couple years ago.
While my interest in the IOT has branched out into new directions, I find myself returning to the original project whenever the weather starts getting colder. In short, enormous energy is wasted in either cooling or heating individual households and when residents try improving ventilation or insulation, the process relies more on intuition then on scientific data. Isnt this what a Thermostat is for?
In order to accurately map how much heat travels from the basement to a third floor bedroom for example, you will need multiple sensors all over the house. When quantity has a quality all of its own. Raw data is like arms production in WW2… In that quality is directly relative to quantity. In previous years, the cost or accessibility of available wireless networking components posed the primary obstacle.