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Integrate a MClimate Vicki LoRaWAN Radiator Thermostat on akenza

In this tutorial you will learn how to integrate the Vicki LoRaWAN radiator thermostat on akenza.
Applications:
  • Comfortable adjustment of radiator heaters
  • Retrofit manually operated thermostats
  • Save energy by turning the temperature down during absences
Product features:
  • Mountable on the majority of radiator valves, adapters available
  • Non-technical usage with the mobile app
  • Mobile app or enterprise platform can manage multiple thermostats
  • Ability to manage schedules, child lock, open window detection
You will find more information about the MClimate Vicki LoRaWAN thermostat here.

How it works

The MClimate Vicki LoRaWAN thermostat requires a connection over a LoRaWAN network. The network server can be configured to forward all data coming from the device to the MClimate service. A mobile app and an enterprise solution can then be used to claim a device registered on the network. Several thermostats can then be controlled and observed in a simple manner using a mobile phone or a computer.
Registering a Vicki LoRaWAN thermostat on akenza brings freedom to use the LoRaWAN network provider of choice. Currently, the following networks are tested and supported:
Network managed by akenza
Supported
Swisscom LPN
yes
Loriot
yes
TTN
yes

1. Preparations

First, check the MClimate documentation for the right adapter for your heater and get it ready.
For this integration two keys are needed: The token to authenticate with the MClimate broker for uplinks and another key to authenticate with the akenza platform for downlinks:
  1. 1.
    Token to authenticate uplinks on the MClimate broker: Open the MClimate Enterprise Platform: https://enterprise.mclimate.eu/ Signup on the platform if you don't have an account already. Click on the menu entry Integrations. Create a new token by clicking on "create a new M Token" and give it a name. This token will be needed in step 2.
  2. 2.
    API key to authenticate downlinks coming from the MClimate broker on the akenza platform: Open the akenza platform. In the left menu, select Organisation and then API Keys. Create a new API key and give it at least Data Flow permissions.

2. Create a Data Flow

Select a workspace and go to Data Flow in the left-side menu and select Create Data Flow. As we have a LoRa device, select LoRa as a device connector.
Make use of the Connectivity-as-a-Service (CaaS) that akenza offers. Therefore you do not need to have a connectivity account from a network provider. You simply connect your LoRa device to a network provider which is then managed from akenza. Select Actility Swisscom -> Swisscom LPN, The Things Stack -> The Things Network or Loriot -> Loriot.
Device Type
Use the search field to search for Vicki in the Device Type library, Select Vicki (MClimate).
Output Connector 1: Akenza Database
Choose akenza Database as the first output connector to store the measurements and settings data coming from Vicki in the internal database on the platform. Click on the filter icon and select the topic default. This results in the topic default being saved into the akenza Database. The default topic contains the decoded data from the Vicki.
Output Connector 2: Webhook
Add another output connector and choose Webhook from the list. Give the webhook a name, e.g., 'MClimate'.
Method: POST
Headers: m-token ("key" field) and the token previously generated in MClimate Enterprise.
Content Type: JSON
Auth Type: Headers
Auth headers: api-key and the akenza API Key previously generated.
Press Save Connector.
Not all data needs to be forwarded to MClimate, so click the filter icon on the webhook connector and select the topic raw_payload.
Output connector webhook to MClimate
Press Save Data Flow.

3. Create the device

To create a new device, select Create Device in the Asset Inventory.
Add a device name and choose the Data Flow of the Vicki that you just have created. Add a description or tags to your liking.
Choose the data flow just created to assign the device to it and select Next.
Fill in the LoRaWAN keys of the Vicki thermostat and the additional parameters. The keys are supplied by the manufacturer of the device.
Once created, the Vicki thermostat appears in the assets list.
Make the Vicki thermostat join the network now by inserting or shortly removing and reinserting the batteries. Attach it to your heater. Refer to the MClimate documentation on how to fit it to your specific heater. An adapter might be needed.
Click on the device to check the connection status and the measurement values it transmits. It might be necessary to wait 10-20min until the device transmits some data.

4. Use the MClimate Enterprise platform and the mobile app

The Vicki is now sending data to the MClimate Enterprise platform. You can now add the Vicki to the Enterprise platform to check the device status and to configure it.
Refer to the MClimate Enterprise platform documentation on how to register a device there.
Once registered, the device will be available to be read and controlled remotely using the platform or the mobile app.
Congratulations, you have now integrated the MClimate Vicki LoRaWAN thermostat with the connectivity of your choice on the akenza platform. Time to adjust your heaters and save some energy.

5. Using the Vicki

  • The temperature can be adjusted manually by rotating the thermostat. The new set target temperature will be transmitted to the akenza platform and the MClimate Enterprise platform when the next uplink happens.
  • The target temperature can be adjusted in the MClimate Enterprise platform by either entering a manual temperature value or by adding a schedule for automatic adjustment of the temperature.
  • The target temperature can also be adjusted in the mobile app.
Keep in mind:
  • Adjustments from the app or enterprise platform can take 10-20 minutes to take effect. This is because downlinks are only processed when the Vicki is sending data.
  • When adjusting manually on the thermostat, changes can take a few minutes to show up in the app or on the enterprise platform.
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