Monthly Archives: December, 2011


Status-Q as it appeared about a decade ago, thanks to the Internet Archive.

All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air…

The very pretty Nest thermostat has justifiably attracted a certain amount of attention recently. But it has a few failings, too:

  • It’s expensive – someone quipped that the Apple-inspired design comes with Apple-inspired prices
  • It’s a single point of temperature measurement, and what most houses need is multiple thermostats, or at least sensors
  • It isn’t available in the UK and wouldn’t work with most UK heating systems anyway,

So, it’s not for me. But I am keen to upgrade my heating controls: we have pretty substantial fuel bills even for our small and fairly well-insulated house.

So I’m after recommendations. Here’s my ideal system:

  • You could set the temperature you want in each room, and control the times of day at which you want it. Or, even better, it would learn the pattern for each room. (And not get too confused by daylight savings time changes)
  • We have radiators in each room, so it would need to manage the radiator valves. (i.e. replace the TRVs)
  • The temperature sensors would not necessarily be on the radiator valves, but could be elsewhere in the room.
  • The timing of the boiler ignition would be based on the combined needs of the house, and not on the temperature of a particular thermostat in the hall, or of the time programmed into a separate heating controller.
  • Ideally, it could be programmed through a wife-friendly app or web interface.

Anyone know of anything that satisfies a significant number of these?  I don’t expect to get them all. But I also don’t want to spend a lot of money and time on a system which does some of them, only to discover that another would have been a better choice.
Oh, and I’d rather not have to do any major plumbing…

Any suggestions welcome!

May I?

I’m not quite sure if I’m allowed to have this. But we could have a fun chasing game if you wanted to take it away from me….

It’s lovely once you’re in…

A rainy night at Gog Magog Hills farm shop – one of my favourite local haunts.

In a box in the loft I found my old Olympus OM30, which I purchased a little over a quarter of a century ago: an OK, but never great, camera. With it, however, were a couple of Olympus OM-series Zuiko lenses, which were pretty good for the price. And I was delighted to find that you can get adapters to connect them to a micro-4/3 body like my Panasonic Lumix GH2. You can buy the adapter from Olympus for £143 or from Fotodiox for £29. I chose the latter.

My first few experiments with the combination are here.

© Copyright Quentin Stafford-Fraser