SmartThings Community

Gas Fireplace - Ultrasonic Remote / Receiver Replacement

Does anybody have any experience with making a Gas Fireplace smarter?

My fireplace already has a remote control with it - unfortunately it seems it uses ultrasonic frequencies, rather than infrared, so my hope that I’d be able to control it via my harmony hub has taken a bit of a hit.

The model I have is an FocalPoint Excelsior Slimline Remote, but the remote parts of the fire seem to be supplied by Maxitrol.

Here is the URL for the manual (http://bit.ly/2i6t4HL) which shows a bit of the remote control sender / receiver parts. I’m just wondering whether I can somehow adapt this to make the fireplace usable via SmartThings / Harmony.

I know you can get an Ultrasonic to IR converter, but this seems a bit drastic and very bulky, so I was wondering whether I can adapt the fireplace to be Z Wave somehow.

EDIT: It’s probably worth mentioning that the sending uses a 9 volt battery, and the receiver uses 4 AA batteries.

I know this has been discussed elsewhere, but is this really a good idea in the UK? My gas fireplace has an IR remote control and I could integrate it easily with my harmony but I’ve intentionally not done so. Not sure I can trust smartthings with anything that can kill us.

It’s a valid point - and something which I’ve toyed about in my head for a bit. It’s very similar to the security debate I guess.

I suppose I’d like to check whether it was possible first and then I could weigh up the pro’s and con’s from there.

I’d like to think I could use CORE to put some large safety measures in place, but you’re right - the likelihood that I would be able to cover all bases is slim.

In theory you can put all sorts of controls in like only turning on during day modes and when you’re present and motion in the house etc… safeguards like always switch off at night and even linking it to detectors monitoring CO and CO2 levels etc…
Problem is, it’ll be fine until smartthings goes into it’s monthly meltdown and things happen which shouldn’t… Smartthings is nowhere near stable enough to risk this I think.
In my view a completely different level of risk compared to security issues of doorlocks or the occasional siren going off at night which you can potentially live with.

I wouldn’t risk it personally but here is how I would do it (semi) safely:

You will need two Fibaro relays, individual units, not the dual type.

Hot wire both relays to the fireplace, in series such that both have to be turned on to provide a complete circuit to the fireplace to turn (and keep) it on.

Setup the Fibaro relays to turn off automatically after 30 seconds using parameter 4. Once setup the relays will turn off without the hub so when the hub catches fire they will still turn off. Of course when the relays catch fire you’re stuffed!!

Use CoRE to send ‘on’ commands to both relays every 25 seconds + every other safeguard in CoRE you can think of!!

Technically this method achieves a non-hub-reliant fail safe with double redundancy.