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Full Version: Does Anyone know if Aprilaire or RCS will work with a Honeywell MiniZone Panel
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Before I asked Aprilaire or RCS this question, I thought I would ask here to see if anyone else had done it before.

I have two HVAC units in my house, of which the one in question has a Honeywell EMM-3 Electronic Mini-Zone panel which controls two different areas of the house. Essentially the Mini-Zone controls a damper that directs airflow between two different areas of the house. If one zone needs heat or A/C, it closes the damper to the other zone and directs airflow to that zone. If the other zone then needs it, it will do the same there. Each of the two zones have a thermostat located in the area.

Has anyone ever installed one of these thermostat controls with a setup like this? There is nothing special about the thermostat, but I didn't know if the mini-zone was compatible with either of these two systems.
The minizone panel is just a regular zoning panel, which means that any standard thermostat can be used. You didn't say if you had a heat pump Fossil Fuel or other. Regardless, there is no reason Aprilaire or RCS T'stats could not be used.

That being said, I prefer the RCS over the Aprilaire. I am assuming you have single stage warm air fossil fuel with A/C, if that is the case then I found the compensation on the Aprilaire much too loose. The house drifts way too much for my taste.

The HAI thermostat is also really good especially the newer version and both Elk and HAI suport it. You should seriously consider it. It is self contained and has it's own scheduling as well as the ability to communicate. The ones I've installed really hold the temperature tightly and it has ample adjustments for compensation. You really should have a common wire for the HAI to use backlighting and other things. Which means for a regular Fossil Fuel Heat/Cool you need 5 wires at the thermostat
Red(RC-RH)/White(Heat)/Yellow(Cool)/Green(Fan)/Blue?(Common).

My favorite thermostat for these applications is the Honeywell IAQ. It uses the Enviracom protocol, but sadly there is no CQC driver available so the RCS is really a good second.

An electronic thermostat does not just regulate temperature by its setpoint alone. It uses a complicated algorithm that can either be fixed or in the better thermostats dynamically variable. For example when you set the temperature to 74 and the house is 72 the heat will go on until the house is about 73, at that point the heat will start to cycle on and off for a certain amount of time. The thermostat will then check to see if the setpoint is reached and alter the cycle time accordingly. This type of control is important in forced air systems and even more important in simple single stage zoned systems, as the same furnace is running the same speed regardless of how many zones are calling. Temperature swings are prevalent in such systems.
Yes I have a gas fired heater and conventional A/C unit, both units are single stage.

On the HAI, I do have an Elk M1 Gold (Yet to be installed, but hopefully soon). I did run a Cat5e cable to all 3 thermostats in the house in addition to the wire that was run (which I was assuming was 4 conductor cable but it may be different than that - will check when I get home). so if I went that way, could I use the CQC Elk driver to monitor and control it?

What are the advantages of going through the Elk .vs. CQC for any of the three choices (RCS, Aprilaire, and HAI)?
parts225 Wrote:My favorite thermostat for these applications is the Honeywell IAQ. It uses the Enviracom protocol, but sadly there is no CQC driver available so the RCS is really a good second.

I have a half-written driver for this. I'm reading data now, haven't done the write values bit yet. How much interest is there?
bph Wrote:I have a half-written driver for this. I'm reading data now, haven't done the write values bit yet. How much interest is there?

I could be interested - one of my upgrade choices is to go with a dual fuel setup with the IAQ thermostat.
jkish Wrote:I could be interested - one of my upgrade choices is to go with a dual fuel setup with the IAQ thermostat.

I have the "two-piece" thermostat, and the enviracom serial adapter. I have dual-fuel (and multi-stage on the gas). It works quite well, except that my house is drafty and also needs to be zoned (neither of which it the Tstat's fault).

I have no ability to test any zoning functions over enviracom, since if I do zone the house, it will probably be with RCS. That's why I haven't finished the driver, as I will probably stop using enviracom when I can afford the zoning panel and new TStats.
bph Wrote:I have the "two-piece" thermostat, and the enviracom serial adapter. I have dual-fuel (and multi-stage on the gas). It works quite well, except that my house is drafty and also needs to be zoned (neither of which it the Tstat's fault).

I have no ability to test any zoning functions over enviracom, since if I do zone the house, it will probably be with RCS. That's why I haven't finished the driver, as I will probably stop using enviracom when I can afford the zoning panel and new TStats.

The other system I am considering is a Daikin VRV S that would provide zoning - but not in the traditional way. Those are very interesting systems that have a single outdoor unit that can support multiple indoor units. The indoor units can be ducted and are very efficient since they can vary the capacity at the compressor. Depending on where you live, they may not even need supplemental heat as they can go down to 0* F. You can put 150% of the outdoor capacity spread across the indoor units if you can take advantage of the diversity of you home heating / cooling requirements.
I have the AprilAire 4 zone controller and the 8870 thermos... still need to hook the system up though:-( .... all I have hooked up is the one thermostat with no remote or CQC control yet... but I do have the pieces to do it. Hopefully after the holidays I will get it up and running.
bph Wrote:I have a half-written driver for this. I'm reading data now, haven't done the write values bit yet. How much interest is there?

I noticed that the RCS and the Aprilaire drivers do not allow for changes to the programming setup within the CQC driver. I would be interested in the honeywell driver as well if this was available as an input to the driver.
kblagron Wrote:I noticed that the RCS and the Aprilaire drivers do not allow for changes to the programming setup within the CQC driver. I would be interested in the honeywell driver as well if this was available as an input to the driver.

The underlying protocol supports it, but it may not be worth the effort. It also needs a fairly complex IV then, too (plus a bazillion fields).