Fixed my Bryant two stage furnace with my NEST

When we bought the house we learned it had a fairly new Bryant furnace installed. The previous owner upgraded from an electric furnace a few years ago. When we had an HVAC guy over for an AC quote he mentioned it was a good two stage furnace, better than the one we had in Bothell. Ok, I didn’ really think about until a recent discussion with some colleagues at Microsoft.

When inspecting my connections of my NEST, I assumed the R, G, C and W1 wires needed to be connected. C is for power, the other ones for the fan and heater. In my previous home the Y was used for the airconditioning. I don’t have one in this house yet. Although if you connect the wire to the Y on the backplate of the NEST, the nest assumes you have a AC connected.

Since you need to hook up the W2 on your thermostat to work with a two stage furnace to make it work. I connected the spare wire to the W2 on the backplate. The NEST gives you a message the wiring is changed and now a two stage heating system is connected. That looked promising. One of my colleagues mentioned it might not be smart to just randomly connect wires and he was correct of course. So disconnected the W2 wire from the NEST and took a better look at my furnace. (In the picture below the W2 connector is lefr from the blue wire)

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Great thing about internet is you can find all kinds of information. I happen to have a Bryant 355MAV042080F model. Some googling on Bing pointed me to the user manual and the installation instructions. Cool.

Also on the inside there are some schematics of the furnace.

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After some reading and inspecting the furnace after opening it up I saw the yellow wire wasn’t connected at all. So i hooked it up to the W2 connector, checked if the SW2 switch was on (which was). Hooked the wire up on my NEST and voila, two stage furnace worked. Yellow light came on when HIGH HEAT was switched on (just cranked the NEST up to 90) and the green light came on when in LOW HEAT mode (when I switched the NEST to 1 degree more than the current temperature).

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No idea why the W2 wire wasn’t hooked up. The original Honeywell thermostat supports this system as well. I took some pictures before I installed the NEST and it wasn’t connected when I removed the old thermostat.

So I am kinda proud of myself I increased the efficiency of our thermostat.

How to disable the SIM error message on your Windows Mobile device

wp_ss_20160124_0001Some people use Windows Mobile devices without a SIM. I use it to test different things during my job and also on my developer devices at home. I just started a little project where I want to use the Lumia 640 as a control device and these devices will never get a SIM. So this pesky little warning prevents the device from automatically starting up and run my control software.

Fortunately this is easy to fix. If you install the Imaging and Configuration Designer (ICD) you can set a configuration setting and provision your devices to this setting. Installing the ICD is easy. Instructions can be found here. The cool thing about provisioning package is you can mimic a lot of the more fancy Mobile Device Management features. So if you need to test deployment, settings like WiFi and email you can do that without any MDM server and just use provisioning packages. These packages are just a bunch of zipped up XML like any MDM syncml is as well. So easy to test your things without needing to go to the IT guy and ask him to setup some policies and you enrolling the devices in a work account.

The setting you are looking for is called AllowSIMErrorDialogPromptWhenNoSim under the experience group.

Since this is the first time I will show a step by step guide. Future posts will just mention the settings involved.

First you create a new project (File New Project). Enter the name RemoveSIMErrorDialogPromptWhenNoSim
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Hit next and choose Provisioning package and hit next again
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On the next screen choose ‘Common to all Windows mobile editions’ this will give us all the options available for mobile and not just a subset.
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You can skip the page to import a provisioning package (or import my package linked to this blogpost to see what I did) and click Finish

In the search box type SIMerror and click on the AllowSIMErrorDIalogPromptWhenNoSIM and configure it to No.
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Save your project and choose Export – Provisioning package. Leave the defaults and click Next (if you want to change your package the next time make sure you increment the version, otherwise your device won’t take the changes.
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I leave the encrypt package and sign package checkboxes unchecked and click next.
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Select the location where you want to store the provisioning package and click next.
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On the final ‘build the provisioning package’ you click the build button.
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And you are done. If you navigate to the directory you will find the RemoveSIMErrorDialogPromptWhenNoSim.ppkg file.

You can drag and drop the file to your connected phone in file explorer.
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On your device you will see a message popup asking you if you trust the package which is trying to be installed.
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If you click Yes, add it your device will be provisioned. If you reboot your device now you will not see the annoying screen anymore. Mission accomplished.

If you decide you want to remove the setting you can do that by going to the settings screen. Accounts, provisioning.
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You can find this provisioingpackage over here. Make sure you check it before you install it since these packages are really powerful and can totally mess up your device settings.

New project: Lumia 640 as touch control device for my home automation

The other day I was chatting with Morten Nielsen on twitter about some ideas for home automation. I want to be able to control lights, temperature etc in some rooms in my home. Ideally that would be done with some kind of easy to use touch screen device. The Raspberry Pi came to mind. There are some screens you can attach to it. It’s low power and pretty easy to put inside the drywall and make the screen look nice on top of that.

14528240889_5d4fde6341_k-728x420Morten mentioned he used a Dell Venue Pro 8 is also a nice and affordable device. But when I found out you can switch your Windows 10 Mobile device to embedded mode it sounded that a really affordable Lumia 640 (last one I bought was just $60 on AT&T and I got a free unlock code as well) would be a perfect fit too. It has al kind of sensors, so you can undim the screen when somebody is in front of it. Cortana should work for voicecommands. It runs any Windows 10 Universal App (Morten is working on an AllJoyn solution).

We have provisioning tools to configure the devices, heck, i could use my intune test account to maintain the devices as well.

Plenty of ideas to look into and so I will try to post some of my findings during the way about what I want to do and what the results of these investigations are. Some of the things which needs to be solved are:

  • I need an app which is a dashboard which can control my z-wave lights, temperature, perhaps music and intergrate with security cameras
  • It need to be easy to configure the devices in every room and easy to update the software as well. So i am looking into writing my own updater app (packagemanager) and provisioning of the devices by using our provisioning tools
  • Cortana integration would be cool
  • Device could be a bluetooth token which opens some possibilities
  • Device could be a IP camera for security purposes
  • AllPlay music services, control music playing in the entire home, although i need to hook up some good speakers instead of just the device

Plenty of stuff to figure out and probably never a project which will be completely done.