[clug] Linux compatible external Thermometer

Kevin Pulo kev at pulo.com.au
Mon Mar 22 04:28:59 MDT 2010

On Wed, Feb 24, 2010 at 06:00:56AM +0000, neilp at velocitynet.com.au wrote:

> On Wed, 24 Feb 2010 16:47:46 +1100, Adam Baxter <voltagex at voltagex.org>
> wrote:
> > Talking about solar hot water, any idea how to interface with something
> > like:
> > http://www.flickr.com/photos/voltagex/4383528685/sizes/o/
> > 
> > (Other than a webcam and OCR)
> The joys of proprietory hardware.
> I have encountered the same problems with devices such as Bonaire cooler,
> Vulcan heater controls, and Hurlcon pool pump chlorinator controller which
> all at least have remote interfaces but NO documentation on the protocol or
> operational connectivity.

I've been pondering the possibility of doing this sort of thing with
the house alarm.  There are some headers on the board which might be
useful, but it turns out that the thing actually has a proper RS232
add-on board that can be bought and installed.  It's supposed to
interface with some Windows software, but I figure if it's put into
ASCII mode it shouldn't be hard to at least just get status readouts
from it, even if that means snooping on the Windows client initially.
They also have an ethernet addon, which may or may not be easier to
configure and/or talk to.

Although they are somewhat targetted at installers/third party
developers, for endusers/consumers this stuff seems to come under the
heading of "Home Automation".  So you might get somewhere by
contacting the original manufacturer/installer and asking if they have
any home automation solutions.

I've also been looking at the Bonaire RF unit, and wondering if they
might sell a little module which speaks the right protocol over the
air to the base unit, and has an RS232 or USB or something on the
other end...  At least with RF you don't need to worry about wiring it

If they didn't have such a thing, then I presume getting another
remote and hacking it up to have an Arduino or similar "press" the
buttons, would be the easiest way to go.  Having another thermostat
and dead reckoning would probably be easier than trying to get a
readout from the remote (even though sometimes the base unit doesn't
receive the signal, which would complicate things).


| Kevin Pulo                Quidquid latine dictum sit, altum viditur. |
| kev at pulo.com.au               _ll l_ng__g_e_ _r_ hi__ly p__d_ct__le. |
| http://www.kev.pulo.com.au/         God casts the die, not the dice. |
`--------------- Linux: The choice of a GNU generation. ---------------'
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