So I’ve been working on a bit of a pet project lately – which I’ve been calling the PolyController. Slightly fed up with our central heating controller and thermostat being so stupid, I thought I could do better myself and build my own. Our current controller is nothing but a time switch, and the thermostat a manual dial one that has unfortunately been mounted right next to the main central heating feed pipes and hence is mostly useless.

The idea started with a simple microcontroller operating 4 relays and getting fed temperature information over the network from my already existing 1-Wire temperature sensors. My thoughts were to run a simple program to feed the controller the temperature information and it could determine whether the central heating and/or hot water needed to operate. A simple schedule could determine if/when heat was needed and what temperature to aim for – that way you could keep the heating on at a lower level during the night for example, or offer frost protection when you’re on holiday.

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