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RFXtrx433XL USB-controller

Hi all,

I have a MCZ pellet stove (Club 2.0 Comfort Air) that I can controll via remote or WIFI. But I want to take this further and control it via Animus. The RFXtrx433XL USB-controller has support for the stove (as it uses the 433/434 MHz band) but it has it’s own interface apart from Animus. Is it by any change possible to attach RFXtrx433XL to Animus and communicate with- or integrate it in the same manner as with for ex. the Hue router? Apparently automation routers like Vera has support for RFXtrx433XL. Or is it even possible to use Animus own 433mHz function? I think one of the obstacles is that the stove has it’s own id which need to be sent along with all commands sent to the stove as a security measure. The id can be fetched via the RFXtrx433XL, but this need then to be configured into Animus somehow. I realize this sounds like an impossible mission… Anyway, Ideas anyone?

// Niklas

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Hi @niklas

Connecting RFXtrx433XL to the Animus Heart USB will not utilize it’s functionality. The Heart has its own built in rf433 transceiver so it’s a matter of protocol compatibility in the 433 frequency to support MCZ.

To support your MCZ there are two options (both will require a new release by Animus)

  1. Implement the protocol used by MCZ in the Hearts built in transceiver.
    or
  2. Add support for RFXtrx433XL

Option 1 will be faster but Option 2 will add more supported devices.

There hasn’t been any indication to support RFXtrx433XL before and considering the amount of time required to implement option 2 it will most probably not be prioritized the highest. Most likely option 1 will get implemented first.

Do you have any documentation about MCZ rf433 protocol that could help out understanding the magnitude of Option 1?

Hi @vato

Thanks for your comment! I anticipated that it would not be an easy solution to this. Regarding docs on MCZ 433 protocolI have none. I tried to ask their technical support, but that was a dead end as their english knowledge (the HQ is in Italy) was less that none based on the answer I got back. Of course one could give this a second try and hope for a better response.

On the other hand has the french RFXtrx433XL developer(s) team obviously implemented the MCZ protocol but I have no idea how they got hold of the protocol spec nor how much time they put in to this and I doubt they are willing to share the info as it might be a marketing/sales advatage for the RFXtrx433XL product to support it.

I can understand the background of your 2 point list, but I think it is probably a “better value for the buck” to implement an interface to the RFXtrx433 product which would open a pretty much new world of devices (some of them overlapping the already implemented support for 433) instead of just implementing the MCZ protocol that will only satisfy a limited number of people which owns a MCZ stove which I assume is quite a limited number. Of course it may, as you also mention, probably be quite a large job to implement the interface.

Nevertheless, I have decided to give this with RFXtrx433XL a shot anyway. Even though the MCZ communication (if I now get it to work) will live within the RFXtrx433XL world, I hope to be able to use some common devices known to both RFXtrx433XL and Animus, namely Nexa, Proove and Telldus devices which I have quite a few of, to tie the two systems together in the meaning that if a nexa tempsensor say “temp under 20 degrees” the RFXtrx433XL have the possibility to trigger on this and start the MCZ stove. Hopefully…

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This might be a waaay long around to get the functionality you want/need but the following could work;

Animus -> webhooks -> rpi webhook server + rfxtrx433 module -> do all stove stuff on rpi -> use Animuse REST API to update the Animus.

I have managed to set up an RPi as webhookserver as per my other thread.

Like i said, this is a loong way around, but could possibly work.

4 Likes

Hi,

Thanks for your ideas with webhook server @heart1 . As of now I think this will be the way forward although it means I have to install a Pi (done yesterday) and configure it with some sort of webhook SW and do some scripting. Read another thread here in the forum that stated a very similar solution.

I have already got the RFXtrx433XL unit to send commands to my MCZ stove (from the (RFXCom GUI) so that part is solved. Apparently RFXtrx433XL can also accept input via commandline/script which means it should be possible to use a webhook that in turn executes a script which in turn sends a command via RFXtrx433XL to the stove. That’s the plan anyway.

2 Likes

You should be able via the API (doc; https://api-docs.animushome.com/#update-a-device )
to update a virtual device, like “Stove feeder” from off to on.

At the moment i only think a virtual device can mark “on-off” and not be used to display values, like temp or humid.

That could be solved by a generic 433 or zwave board with analog or digital inputs tho.

3 Likes

Just want to let you know that I have managed to “go all the way” with my intention to control my MCZ stove via Animus automation! During the weekend I managed to configure the PI with the GoLang framework, an easy webhook app and a node.js lib to handle the communication to the RfxCom hardware. I also created an initial automation in Animus that by using a webhook could start and stop the stove! Nice! :slight_smile: Thanks to all you who contributed in this thread!

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Problems to be solved is to, as stated by heart1, to update a virtual device with the current status of the stove by means of “on/off” and some intelligent text (in the name field) that states what config is actually “on”. I have though some problems with this in the sense that I cannot get the https://api-docs.animushome.com/#update-a-function-property to work for me. I assume this is what I should use to update “the switch” data property to on/off (or true/false in the service…)? Have tried both with Postman and curl (locally on my PI) but only get http response 415. Hmm… Any of you who have succeeded with this? Probably I have misinterpreted the API docs…

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Cant help you there, i only use the api for reading atm (pulling device status).
Just make sure you got your key set up and sending it with the request.

Otherwise perhaps the devs could chime in.

@heart1 Yepp I use the correct API key. All other services I have used are all GET requests and they work just fine. To update requires a PUT according to the docs. Well, well, have to dig deeper then.

Wow, good work guys! This could be the most advanced use example? Makes me want to learn to use the API even more! I’ve got a few things I want to connect that doesn’t speak anything externally right now (as in robot lawnmower room scenter and so on) except WiFi and its own app.