Bells and data buses
As the new regulating scheme necessitated the utilisation of a more powerful microcontroller in comparison with the one used in DTE1 model anyway, we decided to put the newly available surplus of the program memory to pack in a much reacher set of device functions. For example, DTE1.1 now has a loud built-in Piezo beeper that alarms users in case of irregular system operation (overheating, freezing etc).
But an even more important upgrade is the ability of DTE1.1 to talk to a PC via a USB connection. For this we used our own highly optimised and well tested software routines and purposely constructed hardware interfaces. The data bus connects to the PC via a standard USB cable (and USB-USART translator chip), but we also wanted to galvanically insulate the bus from the PC as differential thermostats are prone to lightning strikes and similar misfortunes due to the very nature of their operation - a considerable length of temperature probe wire conductors spread over the house enters them and it is all too well known fact that any cable is able to act as an “antenna” for static and dynamic overvoltages sooner or later. So we designed an inexpensive but highly reliable optically insulated two-way data interface as we did not want nasty voltage spikes to enter users’ computers.
Once data enters the computer, it is only up to the programmer’s imagination to make a splendid use of it. We have a great fortune to have a visionary 3D expert as a member of our development team who, as the time of writing this article, puts a lot of effort into compiling the software suite. Visitors of this web site interested in this matter will be able to download and test the application free of charge very soon.