Sonoff Heating Control

I’ve wanted to have my central heating controlled from MQTT for a while now to save me hunting around for the remote wireless thermostat timer.

The unit I currently use is a Honeywell CM67. It is pretty good and allows 7 day programming of the CH with up to 8 temperature setups per day. It remotely controls the boiler unit, shown below, which is hard wired to the mains and the boiler contact terminal for the CH demand.

All the boiler needs is for two contacts to be closed to activate the CH. This is normally bridged when using an internal timer or onboard switch. The bridged is removed for remote timers, thermostats or frost protection to be connected.

 

In my case I have modified my Sonoff to be just the contact switch I need without bridging mains to this input.

I removed a corner of the Sonoff to remove the tracks connecting the neutral bar and the live to the relay. This then leaves the input only connected to the onboard power regulator which feeds the ESP8266 and the low power side of the relay.

I then only needed to solder a bridge from the live input of the relay to the remaining neutral bar.

I have made a crude diagram of this below.

I could have easily done the same with a Sonoff SV and an external PSU but this will be a lot neater install.

Pics of the modified board will be up soon along with installed pics next to boiler.

This now will enable me to control the boiler CH demand state with a simple MQTT topic 🙂 Excellent.

Now initially the only functionality I would lose would be to be able to have the CH come on or off dependant on temperature as the digital thermostat timer would no longer control the boiler CH demand. But I could still run timers (more accurate and complex if need be) and have manual control over it.

I will be adding temperature sensors to my Home Automation at some point in the future to each room. This would give far more control over the heating of multiple rooms and corridors rather than just the room the thermostat is in.

My Venture into Home Automation

I have been working on home automation bits and pieces for a little while now and I’m finally getting a few things done.

I started off with a USB Energenie (https://energenie4u.co.uk/catalogue/product/ENER011) which has six sockets, 4 of which are controllable via USB. There is also an ethernet version which I don’t have sadly. I had originally controlled it with a Linux software called SIS-PM which provides a simple WebUI or control from the command line.

As I had started to get more into it I decided to go down the MQTT route for comms between devices and front ends. So I setup Mosquitto. I found a bridge for the Energenie which subscribes to an MQTT topic and then allows control of the 4 sockets via MQTT messages. Great!

Well my latest thing now is a small device called a Sonoff. These devices have an ESP8266 controller, which is Arduino compatible, connects over wifi and controls a relay all in one neat little package.

They come with their own software on them which is cloud based but you can upload Sketches via the Ardino software just like you would with an Arduino. So I have a sketch written by Jonathan Oxer who runs the Youtube Channel SuperHouse and also Director at Freetronics. http://www.superhouse.tv/17-home-automation-control-with-sonoff-arduino-openhab-and-mqtt/

I now have more control over home stuff and can go about wiring up items with these devices.

Doctor Who-a-thon

Hey all. Been watching Doctor Who a lot lately. Especially when I’ve had two days off in a row with katie. We have watched the 9th and 10th Doctor and we are now a few episodes into season 6 with the 11th Doctor. I had already watched them all before. But it’s nice watching them with Katie.

Once we have finished with the current Doctor we are going to start on the Doctor Who Classics starting with the 1st Doctor until the 8th Doctor.

For those interested below is how long it would take to watch each Doctor.

  • 1st – 54h, 24m, 36s
  • 2nd – 47h, 19m, 12s
  • 3rd – 51h, 53m, 8s
  • 4th – 69h, 6m, 4s
  • 5th – 30h, 3s
  • 6th – 17h, 18m, 4s
  • 7th – 17h, 5m, 31s
  • 8th – 1h, 24m, 34s
  • 9th – 9h, 30m, 38s
  • 10th – 38h, 11m, 18s
  • 11th (Up to “Snowmen”) – 26h, 40m, 46s
  • Grand total: 362h, 53m, 54s

As you can see that’s a lot of hours of Doctor Who. 🙂

Day Off

Hey all. Day off today. It’s nice having 2 days off a week, but each week it’s different. Which means I can’t plan anything. But oh well.

This week my two days off have been together which is nice. Had a lovely time with my Fiancée Katie and we have done a bit of cleaning and re-arranging the house.

Looking forward to having a week off next month. Have the 8th to the 14th off for mine and Katie’s going out anniversary. We are going to go out for a meal or make a meal at home. Haven’t decide

New home town

Well it’s been a long time since I posted here. I have now moved to Barrow-in-Furness and loving the place and my new position.

My new house is awesome. 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining room and nice bathroom. Got all my stuff from my old house. My gorgeous fiancee Katie has been sorting out the rooms while I’ve been in work. She is constantly improving each room.

We have one bedroom for ourselfs, one for Nathan one as a guest room and one for the computer room. I’ve setup my server rack and started routing cables. Not put and trunking up yet. But I am making good use of my patch panel.

We have put a single bed in the guest room and have the two seater sofa in there too. So we have room for three guests in there plus we have the main sofa with it’s double sofa bed in the living room so room for 5 guest. Come and visit family 🙂

Katie has made the guest room very nice and continues to

Long day

Well it’s been one of those Saturday’s again. Been a really long day. I actually got up early for a change. About 09:00 I got up. Went and had my bath early then relaxed before heading off to work. I normally have my bath then as soon as I’m changed I head off to work. So no time for rest normally.

I bought an Xbox 360 for £25 yesterday and I’ve set it up in the bedroom now so I can watch the likes of Netflix, iPlayer, SkyPlayer, etc on it. Also will be watching the odd DVD on there 🙂 So this is what I was playing with before heading off to work earlier.

I’ve had my interview date confirmed for the position at Barrow-In-Furness club. It’s next Thursday 21st of March. Will be taking Nathan along with me for his interview

Good news on the Wales vs England Rugby match today. Wales 30 and England 3. Facebook was full of status updates and pictures involving the match.

Been tired in work today but this evening I flew through my paperwork and was finished work quite early today. So now it’s time to go home, relax and watch TV and browse the internet.

Nice lazy Sunday

Been a nice lazy Sunday today. Went to bed really late last night. About 6 am this morning. So I woke up at around 13:00. My Brother came around with his kids and we had a Coffee. For dinner we had half a Pizza each and I peeled some spuds to make chips. Been on the Laptop since just browsing the internet and Katie has been on webcam to her parents. Have defiantly reconsidered my move to Barrow-In-Furness and will be moving if I get the position at the Bingo hall there.

Still Awake

Well it’s 04:30am and I’m still awake. Feeling good though. Moved some furniture around with Katie and Brett. Moved the desk into the bedroom and setup Katie’s Computer. She is happy to be using it again. She has had her laptop but it’s not the same as sitting at a desk with a real keyboard, mouse and a good set of speakers.

Also moved a wardrobe into the spare room/computer room where my brother is currently living. So now he has somewhere to keep his clothes properly. 🙂

It’s always a good feeling getting something done. Especially if it’s something you have been wanting to do for a while.

Visited Nick for a while earlier too. We had a nice chat about Rocket Mass burner which we are both planning on building. I am planning on having a water heating circuit built into mine which will heat a home made hot tub and possibly the central heating system too via heat ex-changers.

Various video rounds on YouTube has led me to this video. I plan to closely follow this idea when I ever get my own place 🙂