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Develop a "basic backup schedule" mode for when Tado outage or loss of internet

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  • ChrisJ
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    @thefern I don't personally use Homebridge. I did set it up a year or so ago but found it a bit flaky and also overkill for my needs, so I turned it all off again :-) HomeKit's own automations are fairly powerful, especially if you use third party app such as 'Controller for HomeKit' to access some of the capabilities not exposed via Apple's own Home app (yes, I know...). I don't currently use those to control the heating (that is what Tado is for of course) but I do use it to control Hot Water (via an electric immersion heater with a HomeKit compatible on-off switch). That means that my hot water control is now totally independent of Tado (and the Internet).

  • Thanks @ChrisJ but does it need to be a specific hot ’water heater’ control in HomeKit? In essence it is just another remote switch on/off - that functionality exists in HomeKit already!

  • ChrisJ
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    @Flow @thefern A simple 'switch' control might work for HomeKit (that is a question for Tado). certainly HomeKit (of course) already has those. Tado determine how their devices get exposed to HomeKit so they could expose a simple on/off for Hot Water and they you could automate it with HomeKit (or HomeBridge) as desired. I guess that is another feature request for Tado...

  • @ChrisJ - I think that's my point, homebridge tado heating uses the Tado API and is therefore reliant on Tado and the internet. A native Tado exposed Homekit switch is what we need.

  • @ChrisJ you have me thinking. If you’re using a 16A switch to control an immersion heater, I could probably use similar to turn my HW boiler relay on and off, sidestepping Tado controls completely. I’m not using ebus or digital controls, still a 230v relay and 2way valve.

  • ChrisJ
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    @Flow Very likely. I doubt it needs to be 16A though. I imagine the boiler relay needs much less than that.

  • Rob
    Rob Admin
    edited September 2022
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    @johnbur (and others)

    I guess it's known at this time that with the current hardware there is nothing we can do. The options you have when our servers or your internet goes down are:

    1. Manual control. This should still work. Heating obviously, but also hot water. Use the interface on your thermostat. This is assuming your bridge is at least powered. When you use a thermostat wired to a boiler using a digital interface (no relays), you don't even need the bridge for manual control of the hot water. With a Wireless Receiver (and with a bit more effort: the Extension Kit) you can also manually toggle hot water without internet and without bridge, but only on the device itself. Inconvenient: yes. But you would never be without heating and hot water after manually toggling this setting.
    2. Homekit, to some extent.

    As I noted, this is a hardware limitation. Our devices need an outside input when using a schedule, as they are not aware of time. Either from our servers, or a local Homekit host. This is not something we can change with software or firmware. We have this feature/lack of feature very clearly on our radar. However I cannot make any statements about hardware/software that has not been officially announced yet.

  • johnbur
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    @Rob (at risk of going over very old ground) manual control is all very well except when the issue happens in the middle of the night and you wake up to no heating or hot water in the morning.
    It is not easy to justify a 'clever' system to a wife when it is so dumb in this respect.
    You have had years to create a bridge that knows what time it is (!) to resolve the issue for your current customers, but nothing. Many people have bought tado not knowing about this major design fault until they wake up cold one morning. It has never been clear in the sales literature.

    Will the 2023 bridge work with current thermostats/trvs/receivers to resolve the issue for your current customers?

    Your server issue the other day also reminds me - what would happen to current installations if tado were to cease trading?
  • @Flow

    Take a look at my posts on this thread - I think it covers your hot water requirements and you could easily do the same kind of thing for boiler demand.

    I have posted in detail on this subject in several threads. Working around the Tado limitations using Home Assistant, Homekit, IFTTT etc is entirely possible, but the underlying issue is that we shouldn't have to. It's entirely unreasonable that Tado haven't addressed this clear functional shortcoming yet, and isn't prepared to stand up and clearly state that it's a priority for them. There are three significant design flaws that are common and noisy topics on these forums, that can be addressed by a hardware design refresh of the Internet Hub and Wireless Gateway components of the system. The first is the problem with internal connectivity between devices and the wireless gateway, the second is the lack of a locally held/operated instance of the schedule that can maintain function in the event of connection failure between the home system and the Tado cloud, and the third is the general stability of Internet connectivity (although I think this is mostly a software issue on the Internet hub).

    It's about time Tado confirmed openly that there is progress, a willingness to make the necessary changes, a planned launch date (even if that is subject to change).

    XKRMonkey

  • @johnbur I absolutely agree.

    I proposed providing an app that can run on Raspberry Pi, or a separate dedicated "On Prem" device that can be a separate purchase or service if you feel you need that, to save having to redevelop the existing hardware for a problem that affects a potentially small section of the market. As usual, there is no useful response from Tado to any of these posts.

    What is the point of having a crowd-sourced team of innovators and beta testers (entirely free input) when you don't listen to them or interact with them. Clearly, the ongoing arrogance of Tado management and their approach to their customers is going to drive people away to competitive products from more visionary companies.

    XKRMonkey

  • Rob
    Rob Admin
    edited September 2022
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    @XKRMonkey

    You mention 3 points:

    1. Range/connectivity between our bridge and individual heating devices
    2. Schedule that does not depend on the cloud
    3. Internet bridge internet connectivity stability

    I notice that number 1. and 2. are highly discussed items on the forum. Number 3 not as much. I recognize that it is an issue to some though.

    Regarding 1, I have replied multiple times in the relevant forum that we are working on Thread/Matter adoption. I've seen a working prototype (=progress and willingness). So yes, this is a priority.

    Regarding 2, I commented right here in this specific forum thread on September 15th; last paragraph. It is a priority too.

    Regarding 3; with the implementation of 1 and 2, I would assume this will also be addressed? Honestly though, 1 and 2 are clearly defined issues. Number 3 is not. I'm not aware of any IB issues that are related to its wired connection, other than the dated 10 mbit lan chip it's using that is more than adequate for our use (the bandwidth we use is minimal) but is disliked by some internet router models. With a next gen IB there certainly won't be a 10 mbit lan chip though, it might even be wireless (wi-fi).

    I personally like your ideas about the raspberry pie. I have one at home too, which I use to play around with. But for a mass market company where the average customer has quite the lay person tech knowledge, this is not a fitting solution. We are still a company. With your point 1 and 2 we are not talking about things that broke, but (lack) of features. Solutions, both in hardware and in software, need to be adopted on a significant scale. The higher the effort (€) on our end, the higher the uptake rate needs to be. If not, it makes no business sense. This is true for all companies.

  • @Rob highlights the problem.. and why I think we’re all going to be disappointed.

    1. I am not convinced ‘the new bridge’ will have what we are asking for. Why? Because, how can you attribute sales uptake to a feature that 99.99% of prospective customers assume exists anyway?
    It’s not like Tado informs prospective customers their houses will go cold when Tado has a server problem (quite the opposite).
    So why develop something when sales are not suffering, as Rob points out?
    Certainly not to appease a bunch of grumpy existing customers who have already paid their money.
    Also, sadly, not because it is a fundamental feature concerning safety and well-being - that’s been the case since Tado V1.

    2. I can almost guarantee a new bridge will not be backwards compatible in any case. How else will Tado monetise? Plus new chips, new tech/protocols (as mentioned by Rob) will unlikely work with existing hardware. I’m guessing they may also drop the radio frequencies our existing hardware uses.

    I would love to be proved wrong, but let’s be honest, we’ve had no firm commitments for the entirety of this thread.
  • Still no solution? It's been cca 3 years old thread and Tado is not able to develop? That's hilarious.
  • I have a similar issue. The scheduler is showing 24 h format but if I look under each thermostat in the home section it shows next change at 2pm etc
  • It would be best to get an updated firmware functionality for the existing v2&v3 bridges that address some of the cloud dependencies.

    I personally would not mind getting a new bridge if reasonably priced £50-60 as long as it addresses the mentioned issues 1&2 and it must be compatible with the existing ecosystem from TADO TVRs, hot water extensions, wireless thermostats, etc. Some sort of upgrade package for existing customers would keep me on the tado team.

    Otherwise there will be No more tado in my next home which I’m moving next year.

    Thread/Zigbee support is optional, but backward compatibility is NOT! Local API or webserver on the new bridge to interface with my other smart-home devices is good to have.

    Well of course you can always join the open source communities and decide to publish the firmware/cloud code on git. I’m sure many would be willing to contribute and fix whatever you do not have the resources to address on the existing ecosystem, this includes hardware and software. Such a move could even drive your sales up.

    Best regards,
    Martin
  • Jurian
    Jurian Admin
    edited September 2022
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    @Soren_ba

    This seems more like a smartphone setting on your specific phone.

    Our app follows the settings of the phone. If your phone is set to US time settings, it will use AM/PM, if it is set to international 24H settings, it will use 24H settings.

    Be aware: Some parts of the tado app are "webview", so it could be that part of your phone is set to some US based time settings?

  • jcwacky
    jcwacky ✭✭✭
    edited September 2022
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    @GrayDav4276 As the solution for this will need new hardware, I'm personally not expecting any news until the actual hardware is officially announced, and being hardware I expect it to take a while to develop. So I am still hopeful that this is being worked on by Tado. Especially as there aren't currently any other large features they seem to be focusing on. I may be wrong, but fingers crossed!

    EDIT 10:48: Just saw this recent response from Rob which is promising: "(Local schedule) We have this feature/lack of feature very clearly on our radar. However I cannot make any statements about hardware/software that has not been officially announced yet."

  • @Rob whilst we wait, please can you expose HW as a Homekit switch. That would allow us to at least control the HW in an outage situation until you develop any new product?

  • My first day having a Tado starter 3+ system. It was an easy and very well presented Tado installation programme that I went through to install and replace the broken controller that I had. I didn't even realise that the controller was not working until I went to check the controller in the boiler closet on Saturday. I made the mistake of trying to find out what was wrong with it and reset it and this cancelled the automation that continues even when the controller is broke. I think it has been working all summer like this perhaps. I didn't monitor it. After doing all the checks on Saturday and finding that it was not working and that it needed replacing, I was unable to simply replace due to the product no being longer made. I decided to upgrade to the Tado system. It seems pretty slick stuff. Setting the automation with my laptop is the modern approach and I like it. My wife has reservations.

    Lately, I have been warned from a brochure from National Grid and EDF, my energy provider, that outages are going to be more prevalent in the future. Having just read all the comments from this thread I am worried that I will have future problems, especially as I plan to do some travel and be away at times through the winter (leaving wife and child), who expect our newish boiler and associated kit to work without serious interventions.

    Are we at risk do you think?

  • @oakway unfortunately yes, but the risk is down to Tado’s architecture. ie. Server-only commands, no local intelligence or scheduling. They had an outage last week and consequently nothing worked in my house. Pretty shoddy when you consider even your old system had local automation - but here we all are.

  • Jurian
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    @oakway I don't see any additional risk. As soon as there is a power outage, your boiler won't work anyway. As soon as the power goes back up, your boiler will reboot and tado will also get the latest information from the server regarding the current expected setting of your schedule.

  • johnbur
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    @Jurian have you actually read any of this thread? The issue is an outage with your servers (like last week) or and isp outage.
    Both can result in no heating or hot water when you wake up. Three years and counting...
  • ChrisJ
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    @Jurian Not necessarily. For example, I have home battery backup (Powerwall) and Solar. So if the power goes out my boiler continues to work just fine (for many hours). For me, power outages are less of a risk than Internet outages or Tado server issues. Smart home systems need to be designed and implemented such that all basic operations (which for me includes schedules) function independently of the Internet. Other smart home system vendors (for example LightWave) have done this for some years now and their hub/bridge is not huge nor expensive. Internet is fine for monitoring, advanced functionality, software updates etc. but should not be a requirement for the basics of day-to-day operation. I understand that improvements are not feasible with the current hardware. So we look forward to new hardware coming ASAP, at an affordable price (maybe an upgrade discount for existing customers), and which is fully backwards compatible with the current thermostats, extension kit, TRVs etc. It should also expose hot water control as a HomeKit on/off switch or button (though that is mainly a software thing).

  • Jurian
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    @johnbur I am very aware of this thread. I simply replied to @oakway who has concerns that not having a offline schedule will be an extra problem when there are more power outages.

    I simply reasoned why I believe that additional power outages won't have a significant impact on the lack of an offline schedule. (Because without power, the boiler won't work anyway).

    I am not debating that the lack of an offline schedule itself does not have certain drawbacks as has been illustrated by the rest of the comments in this topic.

  • johnbur
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    @Jurian very pleased to hear that any new hardware will be fully backward compatible!
  • ChrisJ
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    @johnbur Did Jurian actually say that? Where?

  • Just thinking, in the interest of resilience, a notification in the app would be great when there is a problem (one device cannot be reached, server cannot be reached) and ideally for those of us who linger, also an IFTTT action on similar on such errors woudl allow us to not wake up cold or with cold water.