V3 firmware features

V3 firmware features

PostBy: pvolcko On: Sun Sep 28, 2008 3:48 pm

First things first. Thanks to all of you for your support, feedback, and patronage these past few years. Special thanks too to Richard, our fearless NEPA Forums proprietor :), for providing this great site and building such a great online coal and alternative heating community. You've all been key to our building a sustainable and growing business and more importantly, you've shown the industry that there is a strong demand for increased innovation, efficiency, comfort and convenience for coal and all solid fuel heating products.

There have been a number of requests through threads, email, and PM for information on the features of the new V3 thermostat firmware. Thought it would be good to make a thread listing them and to answer questions. We'll start with the higher level stuff, and since you all are hounds for details I'll then go into a some more detail in explaining some things and some additional changes. :) This information covers up to V3-064, which is our currently shipping Coal-trol software.

V3 Features
  • TS2ES: This year we have discontinued the TS1 and have introduced the new TS2ES, which preserves the EnergyStar features of the TS1 but puts them in the TS2 package. This was to reduce costs associated with maintaining the TS1 and allow for additional cost savings on the TS2.
  • Convection fan on MAX setting: This change will run the convection fan at the speed appropriate for the setting. Older versions had the fan still linked to the non-overridden feedrate and could result in the stove getting excessively hot while making MAX adjustments.
  • Convection fan start boost: Whenever the convection fan is turned on it will run at 100% for a few seconds before slowing down to the speed called for by conditions. This overcomes motor "stick" when trying to start at low speeds yet still allows setting as low a minimum running speed as the motor will support (via CFM, in the list below).
  • AUXFAN support on TS2: We've turned on the dry contact support on the TS2. Gets rid of a confusing prior requirement that only the TS1 could operate that output on properly equiped control modules.
  • Manual convection fan control: The manual fan speed control feature of the TS1 is now in the TS2. Shows "MANFAN" in round robin when it is engaged and slowly flashes the status LED.
  • Manual convection fan safety: We've added a safety feature which will automatically return convection fan control back to automatic if the speed is set too slow for too long compared to the feedrate. In this way the control cannot be accidentally left in a state that will allow the stove to overheat. I'll post more about this later.
  • RESET: A RESET option was added to advanced menu which will set all the user setting parameters (Programmed setpoint, SETUP and Advanced Menu settings) to factory defaults.
  • CFT (Convection Fan Threshold): Located in the SETUP menu, the user can adjust the feedrate at which the convection fan will turn on. In later V2 versions this was included as the "FSET" option.
  • CFM (Convection Fan Minimum): Also located in the Adavanced Menu, this allows the user to change the lowest speed the convection fan will be run at.
  • Temp BIAS: Located in the Advanced Menu, this setting allows the user to change the calibration of the temperature readings. This was also in later versions of V2.
  • SFT (Supplemental Fan Threshold): Located in the Advanced Menu, this can be used to adjust the feedrate at which the Supplemental fan (AUXFAN) output turns on, thus allowing adjustment of which feedrate an attached furance's blower engages. In later versions of V2 this was present and called "SFN".
  • Celsius now displays temperatures the nearest .1 degree. More on this below.
  • HLF was moved to the advanced menu from the SETUP menu.
  • Some ignition timing changes, more below.

Manual Convection Fan Safety
While we never had any reports of overheating problems, the number of TS1's sold over the years has been significantly lower than the TS2s. By adding the manual fan speed feature to the TS2 we were concerned that we may start to get reports of people forgetting they set to run at a low manual fan speed while the stove is cranking at a high feedrate. To address this we introduced a safety feature which will return convection fan control to automatic if a the feedrate is above a threshold for more than a threshold number of minutes. These two thresholds are user adjustable in the advanced menu through a feedrate threshold ("MF") and a duration threshold ("MT"). You might ask, "How does that maintain safety? Can't I just set both to maximum and defeat the safety?" The answer is no. The two settings are linked so that there is an upper limit between the two that cannot be exceeded. This limit is based on multiplying the two settings together. The product can not be larger than 3600. For example, the defaults are MT 60 and MF 60 (60x60=3600). This means if the FR is above 60 for 60 minutes it will cause the fan to return to automatic. If you go in and adjust the feedrate threshold, MF, to 70 it will cause the MT setting to be reduced to 51 minutes. In this way there is a maximum energy output that can't exceeded without the control making sure that heat is moved off the stove by the blower. The choice of 3600 being the pivot point was based on the selection of our defaults of 60 and 60. We'll be interested to hear people's experiences with manual fan control and this safety. We believe it is a sound feature and shouldn't interfere with most usages of manual fan control, but are definitely open to feedback so we can make adjustments in future revs if need be.

Ignition Timing Changes
First, the old V2 timings will work for most people. We made some changes because our final element design and power supply selection allowed for more element "on" time and thus the most reliable starts. We have tested with the old timing, though, and it works well. If you run into trouble with it, make sure to call us so we trouble shoot it with you and if necessary get you updated to the newer firmware.

Celsius Temp Displays
There was an issue with Celsius mode where it was possible, due to conversion from Fahrenheit, that button presses would not register a visible change in the Celsius setpoint displays. By extending the display to show tenths this issue is removed. This does not mean that setpoints can be set in increments of .1 C, only that it displays the Fahreheit temperatures to the nearest .1 C. Each button press still moves the underlying setpoint by 1 F and we still operate internally on degrees Fahrenheit.

Convection Fan Theshold and Minimum Speed
These showed up late in the V2 series but didn't get too much exposure. We've reworked them for V3 based on some dealer and customer feedback. They are designed to address a number of issues brought up in the first 2-3 years of sales. First, on some stoves there were reports that the convection blower wouldn't run at minimum speed. It would require FR to get a couple of percent above the threshold before it would reliable start and continue to turn. The CFM setting can be used to address this. The new convection fan start boost feature listed above addresses the starting issue independently of the minimum running speed of the fan. On the other side, there were also reports from people whose motors seemed to turn very freely and had extra turn down potential that they wanted to take advantage of. CFM can be used to address this too. Next, we got reports that some people felt the air being blown out at minimum was too cold. Sometimes this appeared to be a personal preference issue and other times there appeared to be a genuine difference in how hot some people's stove were at low firing temperatures, particularly if they were running very low MIN settings. To address this we added the CFT setting so the user can adjust at which feedrate the blower will start and thus how hot the minimum fan speed's air will be.

Some other things you guys might be interested in:
  • New powerup sequence: Firmware version, thermostat model, and OEM strings shown on powerup. Easier to find out what version someone has (both for their own information and if they need to call us for support).
  • Test Mode: This is still available on the extended operations menu, but it is now also accessible by pressing and holding the Menu button while the thermostat is powered up. Nice time saver while troubleshooting.
  • Convection fan speed logic: Those with V3 and earlier thermostats (and those who follow Coal-trol threads on the forums here) will know that there has been a good deal of confusion over how the convection fan speed and the feedrate are related. In those versions fan speed was based on what is called an exponential lag function. This function has the virtue of being simple and in many cases it can mirror certain natural processes, making it ideal for controls logic. However, in the case of fan speed it seemed to be causing more trouble than it was worth. In this new version we've modified the speed control logic to use a simple to understand and predict linear ramp function. It is set to take 30 minutes to go from stopped to full speed when the FR makes a change from 0 to 99. Said another way, the fastest the fan speed will change is 3.3% each minute. This delay should be better matched to the stoking and heat delivery of the stove and it is easier to understand and explain.
  • Fan Speed and Feedrate displays have been moved out of the SETUP menu and into the first positions upon pressing the menu button from the round robin (before the setpoint programming screens). In the first version we had FR in the round robin, in V2 we moved it to the SETUP screen only, and after some pushback we hope placing it in this easy to reach place (but without it cluttering the round robbin) is a desirable balance.
  • Hold and Override display changes: Our old indicators for these modes were kind of confusing. V3 changes to standard indications. Temperature hold mode shows an "H" in the current setpoint display of the round robin and slowly flashes LED. Temporary override shows an "O" in the current setpoint display of the round robin.

Think that about covers it. As mentioned in other threads, there is now a firmware update service being provided at a cost of $41.75. If you wish to take advantage of this please call us at 315-299-3589 to get an RMA and discuss when you should send in the thermostat for the least amount of downtime.
pvolcko
 

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: jpen1 On: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:34 pm

Paul, isn't there a feathure on the TS-2ES that can alter the ramp up of the convection fan so as to make it come up from a minimum to a maximum at a steaper/faster rate? I thought Neil and I had talked about that on the phone when he helped me re calibrate the room temp bias.
jpen1
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: 110 Boiler

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: pvolcko On: Tue Sep 30, 2008 1:03 am

Sorry, Jpen, no there isn't anything like that on either the TS2 or TS2ES.
pvolcko
 

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: nwaelder On: Tue Sep 30, 2008 10:33 am

Hey Paul:
I learned a few things myself! :)
nwaelder
 

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: morrisfamily3098 On: Thu Oct 02, 2008 4:44 pm

i just got my coal -trol with my new hyfire 2. i traded up for the ts2es. how do you get to the advanced menu :bang:
morrisfamily3098
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire2

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: pvolcko On: Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:04 pm

Hold the menu button down for 15 seconds or so. The display will switch from "FEED" to "R ##F" you're there, ## will be filled in with a temperature. And now, for the first time ever, a quick rundown on the advanced menu. Recommended only for those with a specific need to enter this menu or for advanced users wanting to tweak things and take on the responsibility of getting yourself out of the mess you may make. :)

1) "R ##F" Raw temperature reading. This is what we read the temperature as without any bias adjustment.

2) "A ##F" Adjusted temp reading. This will have the bias applied, it will match the temperature reading in the round robin and this is the temp used for all setpoints. The "A ##F" and "R ##F" displays will switch back and forth every few seconds. Pressing menu will jump ahead to item 4.

3) "TB ###" Is the current bias setting. It defaults to 130. Press up and down to adjust. This is a scalar value with no units associated with it. Once you make an adjustment wait for it to return to the raw/adjusted displays to see how it affected things. This adjustment is inverse to the temperature reading, meaning increased TB values will result in lower adjusted temp readings and decreased TB values will result in higher adjusted temp readings. A change of 7 in TB is equivalent to 1 degree F.

4) "TBRN" This is the triburn setting. It used to be in the SETUP menu in V2 and V1 software. It is only present on retail units. It is not on Leisure Line or Hitzer OEM controls.

5) "SFT" This is the supplemental fan threshold setting discussed in the earlier post. Set this to the FR at which you want the dry contacts to turn on your furnace blower. Default is 15, min setting is 0 (on all the time), maximum setting is 30. Only really has meaning if you have a Coal-trol control module with the dry contacts for furnace fan control. Recommend making small adjustment to this and testing for a day or two each time to find the right balance between plenum temp and vent air temperature.

6) "CFM" The convection fan minimum speed setting discussed earlier. While on this setting the convection fan will run at the speed indicated by the display. Defaults to 30, minimum setting is 18, max is 50. Be careful with this setting. You can adjust it too low, to a point where the fan will not turn. Make sure it is set high enough to reliably turn the motor.

7) "HLF" The famed HLF setting. Default is 0, max setting is 3. Higher values will add more of a "bump" to the FR when a setpoint change is made. Size of bump is a factor of this setting and the size of the setpoint change. Use this sparingly and with plenty of test time between adjustments. Using this can make your temperature control erratic if you have a particularly "tight" house. Generally only use this if you have a draft home and are suffering from overly long times to meeting new setpoints. If you are seeing overshoot (temp climbs well above setpoint before settling out to the setpoint) increasing this setting may or may not help you. It is a trial end error type setting.

8) "MF" Manual fan feedrate threshold setting as discussed earlier. Default to 60, min setting is 1 and max setting is 80. This setting is linked to the next one, "MT", such that this value multiplied by the MT value will not be allowed to exceed 3600. If it does the other setting of the pair will be automatically adjusted lower to maintain that maximum product of 3600.

9) "MT" Manual fan time threshold setting as discussed earlier. Default is 60, min setting is 1, and max setting is 240. The setting is the number of minutes at a FR above the MF setting that will be allowed before automatic fan control is reengaged.

10) "RESET" Press up or down to reset the control's settings back to defaults. This means all SETUP and Advanced Menu settings, except time and day.


That's it. Be careful out there. Don't make me sorry I published this. :) Just go slow and test adjustments well. If in doubt leave the setting at the default and ask your question first.
Last edited by pvolcko on Tue Nov 11, 2008 12:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Updated #3 TB information.
pvolcko
 

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: morrisfamily3098 On: Thu Oct 02, 2008 8:44 pm

thanks alot this is some very helpful info i will use it carefully. thanks very much :clap: :punk: :notworthy: :up:
morrisfamily3098
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire2

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: morrisfamily3098 On: Thu Oct 02, 2008 9:55 pm

is there ever a light up lcd screen in the future? i would pay for that upgrade!
morrisfamily3098
 
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire2

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: pvolcko On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 12:05 am

We've had a couple requests for the backlit screen in the past. It's on the wish list. :)
pvolcko
 

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: WNY On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 7:52 am

Do you need the whole thing back for the upgrade, or just the black box? (no thermostat) How's the lead time currently?
WNY
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: Rick 386 On: Fri Oct 03, 2008 5:07 pm

Dave,

I just sent my thermostat to them per their instructions. I sent it Monday (9-29) and received it in today's (10-3) mail. It was exactly what they told me for the turnaround time . However I didn't check the mailbox until 5:00 PM. :doh:

Too late to play with it now. Looks like I'll have to wait until Monday morning. :mad:


Unless it drives me nuts and I decide to come in to the shop over the weekend.




-------------------------------------------


Rick
Rick 386
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: AA 260 heating both sides of twin farmhouse
Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: LL Hyfire II w/ coaltrol in garage
Coal Size/Type: Pea in AA 260, Rice in LL Hyfire II
Other Heating: Gas fired infared at work

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: av8r On: Sun Oct 05, 2008 3:51 pm

Paul:

I called and was told that I didn't need an RMA number to send this back. Can't remember who I spoke with, but that is what i was told. My unit came with a Leisure Line Hearth model. Do I need to send the controller as well as the T-stat?

If I don't hear back, I'll call on Monday. I have it all boxed up, but wanted to be sure before I send it.

thanks
av8r
 
Hot Air Coal Stoker Furnace: Leisure Line Hearth with twin turbos (sounds like it)
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hearth model with twin turbos

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: pvolcko On: Sun Oct 05, 2008 4:08 pm

Yeah, call once more before sending it to make sure they understand what you want done. For software update it should only be necessary to send in the thermo, no control box, except for those who have units from the first year. As far as I know we're still wanting to get calls before people send anything in in order to give out RMA numbers and to manage scheduling. I'll find out if there has been a change tomorrow.
pvolcko
 

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: gtx71 On: Tue Oct 07, 2008 2:20 pm

neil,
installed my updated firmware coal-trol and to be hones it is above what i expected. looks like a lot of different settings to experiment with.
i like most that the convection fan can be manual turned on and of also the ability to control speed of the fan nice plus.

i have one question at this time, can you provide a brief explanation of what actually the temperature bias is/ does.

thanks,

tony b,
gtx71
 
Stove/Furnace Make: HARMAN, HARMAN
Stove/Furnace Model: MAGNUM, MARK111

Re: V3 firmware features

PostBy: pvolcko On: Tue Oct 07, 2008 5:23 pm

The temp bias setting was covered above:

V3 firmware features

1) "R ##F" Raw temperature reading. This is what we read the temperature as without any bias adjustment.

2) "A ##F" Adjusted temp reading. This will have the bias applied, it will match the temperature reading in the round robin and this is the temp used for all setpoints. The "A ##F" and "R ##F" displays will switch back and forth every few seconds. Pressing menu will jump ahead to item 4.

3) "TB ###" Is the current bias setting. It defaults to 130. Press up and down to adjust. This is a scalar value with no units associated with it. Once you make an adjustment wait for it to return to the raw/adjusted displays to see how it affected things.


The TB setting is used to adjust the raw temp reading ("R ##F") to make the adjusted temp value ("A ##F"), which is the one used in all the thermometer functions and comparisons to setpoints. It allows you to in effect calibrate the temperature readings of the thermostat. Some use it as a way to shift the control range of the thermostat from our standard 45F-95F to say 35F-85F or 55F-105F.
pvolcko