Automation Control for Baseboard Heaters

This month we’ll be exploring how to automate the temperature control of a baseboard heater. Automation relay modules from Honeywell are available for the both 120-volt and 240-volt powered systems. They are compatible with 24-volt powered, low voltage thermostats.


Remember, safety first! Always disconnect the power to the baseboard before working on it. And always follow local, state and national electrical codes.

The relay module we’ll use as an example is the Honeywell RC840T. This can be wired for either a 2 wire or 3 wire installations. The relay would be installed in place of the standard baseboard thermostat and connected to the Honeywell thermostat. The Youtube video linked here has more information on installing the relay.

Once the installation of the relay is finished you can use the Honeywell mobile app to control the thermostat if it is the Wi-Fi version or an automation panel and app if it is the Z-Wave version. For more information and dealer pricing, give us call!

Holiday Sounds

`Tis the season for great sounding music and television. And what better way to enjoy the festive sounds of the holiday’s than through a Russound MBX-AMP. The MBX-AMP is a 2.1 channel, single source Wi-Fi streaming zone amplifier with 50 watts of power per channel at 8 ohms.

Streaming services include Spotify, SiriusXM, Deezer, and other’s. The AMP is compatible with Chromecast and Apple Airplay. It’s also able to play music files stored on flash or disk drives using the USB port. With integrated Bluetooth you can stream directly from your smart phone or other Bluetooth enabled device.

Connecting the MBX-AMP to a television, via the digital output, will allow your customers to enjoy listening to their favorite holiday movies. The AMP can be paired directly with an infrared remote control to adjust the sound levels and mute function for the TV.

This amp is perfect for single zone control for any style of room. Control it from the MyRussoundApp on a smart phone or from a touch pad. The ability to save favorites is also a plus for the end user.

To install these units, you will need to be Russound certified. The certification process is easy and only takes a few moments to complete. There is a confirmation period that could take up to 24 hours after registering.

If you’re a home automation installer looking for an additional revenue stream, the Russound MBX-AMP is a great way to start! Call today for more details!

What Replacement Parts are Available for Omni?

We all know, by now, that Leviton has discontinued the Omni line of security panels. And, by now, I’m sure there are quite a few systems left out there that still work tremendously well. But, what do you do when you can no longer find a specific part, such as a UPB dimmer or a notification board. Join me this month to learn the answer to the following question: What parts can we use to replace those that are no longer available for our Omni panels?


HLC UPB Lighting Options


PCS has long been associated with creating the Universal Power Bus protocol and has been manufacturing lighting controls for all types of systems for many years now. There is now a direct replacement dimmer that is basically a plug and play option for the HAI 35A00-1 600 watt dimmer. These are available in white, black, brown, ivory, almond and light almond.

Also available through PCS is the 7 button keypad controller. A direct replacement for the HAI HLCK6 keypad. They are designed with HAI room controls in mind. Configuration includes 4 room scenes, 1 on and 1 off button. Available colors are white, black, brown, ivory, almond and light almond. Custom engraving for the buttons is also available. Like all UPB products, they can also be configured using the Upstart program.


Omni Notification


One of the options that Omni had was the notification board. It would send an email or text message directly to your phone when an alert sounded. Today, that board is no longer available. So, what do we do when the board goes bad? We pull it from the system and replace it with the Homeseer Zee automation hub. Homeseer has a software plugin that can be purchased to work with the Omni panel for at least email notifications. This is a quick solution for the installer that is in a pinch. The Zee has other benefits as well. It will integrate with other Z-Wave devices and can talk with Alexa directly.


Panel Replacements


Of course if you need to replace a bad panel, you can always try to have it repaired via Leviton’s repair service or if it’s still under warranty, have it replaced. But what do you do if you can’t have it repaired or replaced? It depends! How is the old panel set up? Do you have lighting and automation? Or just security? There are a lot of options available to replace or take over an existing system. For that, we recommend calling us!


This, of course, is not an exhaustive list of what is available for workarounds or replacements. In the future, there may be more!

Introducing the Alfred Deadbolt

This month we delve into the new Alfred Smart Lock. If you’re not familiar with the name, that’s ok, their smart locks are new to the market. However, the company has been manufacturing locks and mechanisms for almost 30 years. The design on these new smart locks is aesthetically pleasing with a smooth touch screen and affords easy installation. With a width of 3.07 inches, this lock can mount on nearly any door with no extra drilling or physical adjustment’s to the mechanism hole. They just seem to fit!

The DB1, their entry-level model, includes Bluetooth connectivity and the capability to store up to 20 pin codes. According to the Alfred Company, the ability to set temporary pin codes makes this unit ideal for short term rental applications and time sensitive applications. Using the Alfred’s One-Touch access through Bluetooth, will allow easy unlock and lock action with a single touch when you have your smart phone in your pocket or purse.

Alfred’s DB2 has the above options and more. Using the optional Z-Wave module allows hands free operation by integrating with Google Home and Amazon Alexa. Lock and unlock your door with your voice. The DB2-B includes the same, but has the added keyed lock with a swivel cover. Both versions of the DB2 have voice prompts when activated. And, both versions are network ready to connect to your z-wave hub.

The Alfred is looking to be an exciting addition for any automated home. The cost is competitive to big box, big name brands and is readily available through our distribution channels. Keep an eye out for specials this October with this new product! And as always, let us know what you think, give us a call!