1. Visiting from the US? Why not try DIYnot.US instead? Click here to continue to DIYnot.US.
    Dismiss Notice

What is "Smart" with electric goods?

Discussion in 'Electrics UK' started by ericmark, 8 Oct 2021.

  1. Gasguru

    Gasguru

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2005
    Messages:
    12,442
    Thanks Received:
    3,307
    Location:
    Sussex
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    This "smart" gas valve was dumped on the boiler manufacturers several years ago...and they fell for it. The concept was an auto adjusting boiler similar to lambda sensing in vehicles.

    https://www.bertelli-partners.it/en/sgv/24

    It turned out to be an absolute turkey with numerous recalls for replacement gas valves and firmware updates. The calibration routine is so long winded it rarely gets
    done properly (you simply can't dump sufficient heat for long enough in a customers house) and boilers are often ripped out for something more reliable. Very few manufacturers now use it.

    There is nothing smart about it, it's the most simple dumbass gas valve out there...the overarching design concept was that it must be as cheap as possible to manufacture and it's shocking how bad the quality is.
    What's even more remarkable is that the German DVGW standards group was actually prepared to approve it, and that boiler manufacturers own design teams could not see the likely issues.

    If anyone's familiar with controlling solenoid valves they will be be aware of how difficult it is to get any degree of repeatability due to stiction and mixing gas and air to an accurate combustable mix requires very precise control.
    The firmware must apply multiple layers of dither to the PWM drive signals to overcome the hopeless design, as a consequence the microcontroller probably spends most of it's time applying these algorithms.
    For the additional cost of pennies even a most basic valve suspension would eliminate much of the problems as other gas valve manufacturers have found.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  2. Sponsored Links
  3. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    8,283
    Thanks Received:
    1,144
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    LG?

    My new three are LG's. The first one I bought, became unsmart soon after purchase, due to the Smart software failing to be kept up to date. I raised hell with LG, got nowhere, then ended up emailing the LG's Europe CEO complaining. It was soon fixed after that.

    The Magic Remote is good for most things, except the FF, FR, Play and Pause - rather than being on the buttons, you have to point and click at the screen, so I usually resort to using the default remote for that.

    The LG will not accept just any bluetooth keyboard, it has to be their keyboard.
     
  4. ericmark

    ericmark

    Joined:
    27 Jan 2008
    Messages:
    18,600
    Thanks Received:
    1,745
    Location:
    Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I pick up the remote, press the button, and say what I want. In the main that works, gone are the days of remembering the channel number, or turning the turret tuner, and putting in the coils for the area you live in. As it if all the clever stuff is in the remote control, the set top, well really set bottom now, box, or TV, or some thing plugged into the TV I don't worry about, it works that's enough for me. There are some functions like playing a DVD or Blueray I have to read the display on the screen, and select, but today my collection of CD's is hardly ever touched, it is a case of saying hay google play David Jags and it does.

    I can select programs with my mobile phone, and some times things do go wrong, hay google turn off, and instead of turning off music it says turning off 5 switches and the lights go out, say hay google turn lights back on, and it says "I don't know how to do that yet." Think programmed by a mischievous little boy!

    I have removed central heating and lights from the voice activated automated system, don't want that failing, but it still auto turns off when we leave the house, as long as we remember to take our phones, and it has a PIR built into thermostat so if we both go out, but children are in the house, it does not turn off.

    All I have to do is remember to change the 18 x AA batteries once every two years to keep it all going, and even that if it fails due to discharged batteries it fails with the TRV open.

    I have not got a "Smart" meter, I assume if I have one all I have to do is say hay google how much power have I used today, and it will tell me? If not then not very smart. I suspect as when the Sky man installed Sky Q, the installer would set everything up, but does not really matter if smart meter fitted or not, it does not use any less power, I note the advert where clapping hands turns lights off/on, not sure how the smart meter does that? And I don't want it turning off all my power, as once off there is no power to work all the smart devices to turn it back on.

    After the lights turning off, I am wary, some things I want manual control of.
     
  5. bernardgreen

    bernardgreen

    Joined:
    3 Nov 2006
    Messages:
    25,822
    Thanks Received:
    2,571
    Location:
    Bedfordshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Early TV cordless remotes used ultra-sonics for the communication link. Jangling a bunch of keys could alter the channel or other settings.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  6. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    8,283
    Thanks Received:
    1,144
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Now you mentioned it, the Magic Remote includes that, but I only tried it once - it got the words OK, but not what I was looking for - so I gave up on it..
     
  7. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    8,283
    Thanks Received:
    1,144
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    It does not, they are extra items and they only work if you are Albert Einstein.

    The Smart Meters are now a very outdated spec.. They could be made much more useful than they are, but they made such a mess of it the first time around - in not foreseeing people would want to switch suppliers and need them to work for all.
     
  8. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    8,283
    Thanks Received:
    1,144
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    The only things have let lose Smart on, is giving my car's battery a daily 20 minute boost, drive lights on dusk to 11pm, Christmas lights (at Christmas), some table lights on and off - when we are away on holidays, then most recently my Iphone charge stand comes on for an hour during the early hours.

    I have had them misbehave once or twice, so I don't entirely trust them for anything crucial.

    The only useful thing I have to program Alexa with to set them is a tablet, but despite it having Internet access, it says it cannot connect to the Smart plugs now, yet it did when I first set them up. Iphone screen just too twee to be useful for that.
     
  9. Gasguru

    Gasguru

    Joined:
    9 Sep 2005
    Messages:
    12,442
    Thanks Received:
    3,307
    Location:
    Sussex
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    We've now got 7 different types of smart gas meters to contend with...all with different buttons and sequences to press to get them to display litres of gas (that we need everytime we work on a boiler).
    That's in addition to the previous generation of non smart digital gas meters. And they wonder why no one's going into the trade with this nonsense.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  10. Sponsored Links
  11. ericmark

    ericmark

    Joined:
    27 Jan 2008
    Messages:
    18,600
    Thanks Received:
    1,745
    Location:
    Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I wanted to work out what mothers boiler was doing. I know the Bosch boiler modulates, but there was nothing to say if it had modulated or by how much, so could not work out if radiator too cool because the boiler could not produce enough heat, or if the boiler had turned down, so when offered a Smart gas meter I thought that would show me in real time what was going on, it was the only gas appliance, so if like a clamp-on meter on an electric cable it showed in real time gas used that would help work out what was wrong.

    However it seems the gas meter does not report in real time at least not then, it updated every hour, which was useless. And they would not install a smart gas meter without also installing a smart electric meter which I didn't want.
     
  12. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    8,283
    Thanks Received:
    1,144
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    From memory, our smart gas meter reported to the electric meter, which then passed both readings on. Gas consumption was reported every few minutes, electric every 10 seconds.

    We can tell how hard our boiler is working, by opening the cupboard and listening to the noise. Fan runs faster the harder it is working and the more noise it makes.
     
  13. ericmark

    ericmark

    Joined:
    27 Jan 2008
    Messages:
    18,600
    Thanks Received:
    1,745
    Location:
    Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I use a so called smart car battery charger, the main reason is once it reduces from 3.7 amp to 3 amp to 0.8 amp it will not return to 3.7 amp. It will move between 0.8, 0.1, and zero, but will not return to 3.7 amp without pressing a button, and after having a mobility scooter battery fry when a cell went down, having an automatic charger not return to max output is good.

    But it is not really that smart, it just measures the voltage, and at set voltages it reduces the charge rate, so left on charge the battery alternates between 12.8 and 14.4 volt, once it hits 14.4 volt it turns off or down, until voltage drops to 12.8 volt at which point it turns on or up, so in the main battery sits at 12.9 volt, and once every few days it charges to 14.4 volt, which is better for the battery than being held at 13.8 volt.

    It is a battery charger which I can switch on and forget about. And it can be used on valve regulated lead acid, or absorbed glass mat is the other name.

    I was really surprised to see the damage to the good 35 Ah AGM battery when the other one of the pair had a shorted cell, the charger was only 4 amp, but it still damaged the battery case due to over charging. DSC_3936.jpg this was the good one of pair, not any more.

    What is odd to me is the cheap Lidi battery charger has the safety feature and will not return to full charge rate, but the far more expensive CTEK one will return to full output. Although that does mean it can be used to maintain caravan batteries while caravan in use.

    The much larger version used in the narrow boat (35 amp output) had a timer built in, and would reduce from 14.8 or 14.4 volt to 13.4 volt once timer had timed out. But that charger was not called a smart charger, it was just called a stage charger, although the little 3.8 amp chargers are really stage chargers, they have got that label "Smart".
     
  14. ericmark

    ericmark

    Joined:
    27 Jan 2008
    Messages:
    18,600
    Thanks Received:
    1,745
    Location:
    Llanfair Caereinion, Nr Welshpool
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Since I now use an oil boiler, no longer worried, we can it seems have a level meter fitted to the tank, which auto reports to fuel supplier, who auto tops up the tank as required and sends us the bill, but as it stands I have to lift the lid and shine a torch to see how much left, one tank full will likely last whole winter, but we normally get a top up in spring.

    Oil boiler does not modulate, either on or off, and can both hear when running and see the little red light. Actually in spite of larger house with poorer insulation heating bill is less with oil than it was with gas.
     
  15. JohnW2

    JohnW2

    Joined:
    28 Jan 2011
    Messages:
    48,622
    Thanks Received:
    3,189
    Location:
    Buckinghamshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    I think that illustrates the underlying point - when such things are called 'smart', it often/usually simply means that it is more complicated (with additional functionality) than the 'simplest possible alternative'.

    'More complicated' can, in some situations, be beneficial - but the general concept of the best being 'the simplest that will do what is required' probably always remains true. Apart from anything else, increased complexity generally means more scope for malfunction/failure, and more difficult (sometimes impossible) maintenance/repair, and sometimes even use.

    Kind Regards, John
     
  16. Mottie

    Mottie

    Joined:
    27 Feb 2017
    Messages:
    18,836
    Thanks Received:
    1,886
    Location:
    Essexshire
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Complicated to use if you’re aged 12 or above!
     
    • Like Like x 2
  17. Harry Bloomfield

    Harry Bloomfield

    Joined:
    30 Dec 2018
    Messages:
    8,283
    Thanks Received:
    1,144
    Country:
    United Kingdom
    Yep - I thought it might be a good idea to put my Iphone daily charging under Smart Plug control, but put off actually doing it for weeks, simply because I had forgotten how to do it with Alexa, plus the only thing suitable to use to set it up, was an old tablet - state of charge unknown. That was flat, taking two days to recover it to working order.

    Alexa is available for the PC, but you cannot 'program' using that - it insists on an Android system. Bluestacks emulator will run the Android on a PC and Alexa, but is painfully slow to use.
     
Loading...

Share This Page