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Old 09-26-2017, 08:13 PM   #1
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Wifi enabled thermostat

Is anyone using one of the new wifi enabled thermostat controls with their boat heating system? I have a Kabola diesel furnace and would like the ability to turn on the furnace before we arrive at the boat, particularly on very cold winter days. We have access to marina wifi on the boat 24/7. Btw, I'm only wanting to power on/off and maybe adjust temperature setting remotely...not really interested in "smart" capabilities. Thanks!
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Old 09-26-2017, 08:35 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by nwboater View Post
Is anyone using one of the new wifi enabled thermostat controls with their boat heating system? I have a Kabola diesel furnace and would like the ability to turn on the furnace before we arrive at the boat, particularly on very cold winter days. We have access to marina wifi on the boat 24/7. Btw, I'm only wanting to power on/off and maybe adjust temperature setting remotely...not really interested in "smart" capabilities. Thanks!
Didn't know that had such a thing. Will be waiting to see what others have to say on it. Thanks for the post.

Cheers

H.
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:47 PM   #3
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No input on the wifi t-stat....but there are many gadgets that connect to wifi that are simple switches. This would allow you to turn a device on remotely. Since most space heaters have thermostats built in, you could just turn on your space heater and it would bring the boat to the temp you like. I use an app called Kasa that is simple and easy.
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Old 09-26-2017, 09:59 PM   #4
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My experience is with Nest thermostats. Nest and Ecobee are at the top of the functionality/cost scale. Honeywell and others make less fancy and less expensive wifi thermostats. We have Nest thermostats at home and at our apartment in Los Angeles. The remote functionality is very handy. I don't know how well they would adapt to boat systems. You would need to talk to the manufacturers about that.

Based on my limited understanding, most modern systems with heat and AC require five wires. I know the Nest will work with fewer wires and other system combinations. The Nest requires 24 volts on the C wire or a battery for power. The battery is built in. You need to charge it periodically using a mini-USB cable.

Nest has a compatibility tool on their website. You tell it which wires your current thermostat uses and it will tell you whether Nest is compatible (https://nest.com/thermostats/#works/?mode=buy). Ecobee has a similar tool (https://www.ecobee.com/compatibility/).
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Old 09-26-2017, 10:16 PM   #5
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Doesn't Nest require Internet to remote access their thermostat? I was talking to a guy and that's what he said... so, unless you have wifi and live internet on the boat you won't be able to access the Nest thermostat remotely.

Just like the NestCam, the thermostat talks to the Nest server out in the cloud, and when you check on it or command it, you are sending a message to the cloud. The thermostat checks the cloud periodically for updates and applies any commands from the remote app.
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:12 PM   #6
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He said he has internet access 24/7
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Old 09-26-2017, 11:41 PM   #7
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I do not see any reason it would not work. We have an ITR heater and for six winters in Baltimore, the heater ran 24/7. We have programmable thermostats that set the set points down during the day and higher before we were to arrive home.
I have temp sensors on the boat and have a PC send me screen shots to my phone via email every 2 hours. It also gives me bilge alarms and camera views.
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Old 09-27-2017, 01:40 AM   #8
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Dallas does have a remote system that allows you to do that, turn on, if, check temperature of boat.
It runs on gsm cellular network.
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Old 09-27-2017, 05:57 AM   #9
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On a side note, if you have something on board that uses cellular to communicate, check what frequencies it uses and more particularly what technology for data ("2G" "3G" "4G non-LTE" and 4G LTE. The various carriers are re-farming their spectrum and phasing out certain techs to make more use of LTE in the near term and 5G in the not too distant future. For instance, ATT has decommissioned their 2G EDGE network, T-Mobile has almost finished phasing out their 3G, and Verizon will start phasing out 3G beginning next year.

Back to wi-fi and other wireless technologies, there is a plethora of sensors and other devices coming on the market using a variety of connectivity methods, such as Zigbee, Z-Wave (Zensys), Bluetooth, wifi and so on. This has given rise to hub devices that allow you to have whatever mixture you want without worrying about compatibility. The Vera units are a good example (they also make them private label for a variety of telcos, security comapnies and utilites, as do others. Smart Home Controllers ▾ Vera™
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Old 09-27-2017, 06:57 AM   #10
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We have Wi-Fi enabled thermostats in the house, now, after our heat pump replacement/upgrade project last year.

They work well enough; don't see any reason they wouldn't work on a boat assuming they'd have signal access, and assuming that particular furnace would be compatible with (respond to) the thermostat you want.

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Old 09-27-2017, 08:20 AM   #11
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He said he has internet access 24/7
How does it behave away from the dock with no wifi?
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Old 09-27-2017, 09:32 AM   #12
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How does it behave away from the dock with no wifi?
You just use it manually like any other t-stat in that case.
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