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Question concerning Skytech 3301P BE and Jotul GF 300 DV

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by Andyw2100, Jan 17, 2009.

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  1. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 New Member

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    Hi. I have a couple of questions that I'm sure one or more of you can help me with.

    I have a Jotul GF 300 DV natural gas stove that has been converted to be used with propane. I am considering purchasing a Skytech 3301P BE to use with it. This particular model of Skytech thermostat does not require batteries in the receiver. Instead it operates on power from the thermopile. The Skytech installation manual for this unit states, "It is recommended that the thermopile voltage with the main burner OFF be no less than 450 millivolts for proper microprocessor performance. IMPORTANT: It is essential that proper voltage from the thermopile be maintained for proper operation of the remote receiver." I dug around a little, and found a post here where DAKSY wrote: "A thermopile can be thought of as a “pile” of thermocouples...maybe 25 - 30 pairs of dissimilar metals which act the same way, but generate more mvs… Normal range is from 325 - 600 mv. This voltage allows for the larger magnets in the burner side of the gas valve to stay open & keep the gas flowing to the burner.." So my question is will my Jotul be putting out the requisite 450 mv or more? If for some reason it is not, is this something I can easily adjust myself?

    A second question that I am only a little concerned about is that the coloring and labeling of the wires on the stove do not match the coloring and labeling on the Skytech unit. Obviously I will hook the wires on the Skytech unit up as labeled, not based on the colors, but I am wondering if this should be of any concern to me or not? The Skytech wires are colored and labeled as follows TH/TP - White, TP - Red, TH - Black. The wires on the stove are labeled and colored as follows: TP/TH - Red; TP - Yellow, TH - White. Does this seem OK to those of you in the know?

    Thanks very much in advance for any assistance.
    Andy W.

    Edit: I just found the following in the manual for the Jotul GF 300 DV (Allabash): "Optional Wall Thermostat or Remote Control: Use only a 750 millivolt DC two-wire circuit thermostat with this appliance." Does this mean the Skytech thermostat would not work with this stove? Thanks.

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  2. trafick

    trafick Member

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    I wired my 3301p to the terminal block on my Jotul Allagash 300dv and it has worked flawlessly. I looked at the 3301p BE but decided that the batteries were OK and I also think the 3301p was the first one I found. At first I hooked it straight to the gas valve but then I couldn't use the switch on the stove.

    If I had the 3301p BE I would connect to the terminal strip on the stove. I would connect TH and TH/TP to the terminal block (makes no difference which goes to which) and then connect TP to the gas valve (this is where the output of the thermopile is landed). I wouldn't worry so much about the colors, just what the wires are labled. My stove read .6 when I put the meter leads between TP and TH/TP meaning about 600mv. You may void the warranty because Jotul states to only use a two wire thermostat/remote. Maybe they think holding the gas valve magnets open AND running the reciever electronics is too much for their thermopile. JMHO
  3. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    I work for one of Jotul's competitors and I know this particular remote has generated phone calls with pilots dropping out. I ended up getting a call from Skytech's electrical engineer asking about a few different units we make because they were getting nuisance pilot outage calls from our customers who bought their power-less remote. Skytech makes a lot of great products, but we recommend to our consumers that they don't use this particular remote.

    It's a cool concept, but its asking the pilot to run something it wasn't designed to and its my experience that the additional draw means your system will break down faster.

    Think of it like constantly towing a boat with your sedan. It will tow it, but your car's engine and brakes will wear down and need to be replaced sooner.
  4. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 New Member

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    Thanks very much for the replies.

    Unfortunately about ten minutes before the second reply, and based on the first reply and on my own research, I purchased the 3301P BE on Ebay. The seller also sells the 3301P, so it is conceivable that I could ask him to switch my purchase to that model, and refund the difference. My concern about the 3301P was that unlike the BE model, the instruction manual says that it does not come with wires. So I would have to do all the wiring myself, instead of just connecting wires with receptacles on the ends. While I'm not particularly handy, I imagine I could do this. Would I then just sit the receiver behind and underneath the stove? (It looked like I could easily wall mount the receiver for the 3301 P BE.)

    If I did stick with the BE model, is the only harm I could possibly do to the stove that I would wear the thermopile out sooner, requiring replacement?

    Also, is the draw on the Thermopile happening 24/7, or only when the thermostat is turning the stove on or off? I ask because this stove is in a bedroom, and my plans would be to be using it perhaps an hour or two per day, turning it on and off no more than a handful of times per day, and possibly as few times as one "on" and one "off." So I am wondering if perhaps with such light usage I might be OK with the BE model.

    Assuming you guys still think the BE model is a poor choice, am I correct that the 3301P is a fine choice?

    Again, many thanks for the responses.
    Andy
  5. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    Correct. Think of it like this, if the thermopile puts out 400 MV brand new and the burner needs say 250 to turn on, and the receiver uses say 100 MV then you have 50 to spare. As the thermopile gets older it produces less volts and one day it will produce less than 350. No big deal without the remote since you'd still have about 100 MV to spare, but with the receiver you have less than what you need and the burner never comes on.

    Some units depending on their vent configuration loose a bunch of MV for the first few minutes until a good draft is established and the burner ends up dropping out because of the added drain.

    You're likely fine, its just something my mfg does not recommend that's all, and I can understand not wanting to wire the other remote yourself. That can be quite confusing if you don't do it every day.
  6. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug New Member

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    I have the 3301P Skyteck Remote and I think I would stick to the battery type recievr than go to the unit that gets it power from the thermopile. I believe Skytech even made a remote reciever that could be placed directly inside the firebox of the unit instead of underneath the stove. I would stay away from something like this also.
    These recievers, I believe, require four double A batteries that will easily last a year depending on which brand and type you use.
    I have never had a problem especially if you change the receiver batteries once a year both in your transmitter and receiver when you change your smoke alarm batteries.
    John
  7. trafick

    trafick Member

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    My 3301p came with wires. I had to change the connectors on the end from push on type to spades so I could connect it to the terminal strip. I put the receiver under the stove because it stays cool there.

    I'm sorry if I swayed your desicion to go with the 3301p BE as I wasn't really trying to tell you which one to get. Just trying to help you hook it up.
  8. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 New Member

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    No problem, Trafick, I appreciated the response.

    As for your changing the wire connections to spade type instead of push on, did your stove not have the receptacles for the push-on? Or were you connecting to a different part of the stove? I am a complete novice at this. I noticed labeled connections at the bottom of the stove that looked like they would accept the push on connectors that were shown with the 3301P BE, and just assumed that was the correct place to connect the receiver.

    Also, the reason I assumed the 3301 P would not come with wire connectors was that the manual for that unit says it does not.

    I am pretty confused, but for now, based on what people have written here, I am leaning towards going with the 3301 P BE, hoping I'll be able to get it connected correctly, (despite the wire colors not matching the labeling) and realizing that I may wind up having to have my Thermopile replaced somewhat more often than I otherwise would have had to.

    Assuming I do go that route, I'll probably take pictures of the receptacles I plan to plug in to (with the oddly colored wires) to see if I'll be doing it right.

    Thanks.
    Andy W.
  9. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 New Member

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  10. trafick

    trafick Member

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    At first I hooked the receiver up using the gas valve terminals, with the push on connectors, that you have shown. When I did this the switch on the back of the stove was useless. I could only turn the stove on/off with the remote. I then connected the receiver to the terminal block (two screws) that can be seen in your pictures 1&2;behind and to the right of the gas valve. This put the stove switch in series and it was useful again, meaning I could manually turn the stove on and off or put put it in the T-STAT position and use the remote.

    As I said in a previous post, the TH and the TH/TP wires should go to this block (the one behind and to the right of the gas valve) and the TP wire should go to the gas valve where it is marked. Unless you don't want the stove switch to work, then connect all to the gas valve.

    I hope this helps and I'm sure if I can't help you the Skytech tech will.
  11. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 New Member

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    Thanks again, Trafick.

    I had read about your two different setups, but was not familiar enough with the terminology to know which setup was which.

    For my purposes, the only need I can forsee for wanting to be able to use the switch on the stove would be if the Thermopile gets to the point where it is not putting out enough power for the Thermostat to operate. And I'm guessing if that were the case, I could simply disconnect the receiver, at which point the switch on the stove itself would become operational again, assuming the Thermopile still had enough power to get the stove on. Assuming this is true, I'd be using the connectors and receptacles on the gas valve terminals, so disconnecting and reconnecting would be a 30 second procedure.

    Does that sound about right?

    Again, many thanks!
    Andy W.
  12. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 New Member

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    I just spoke to Tom, from Skytech tech support. He looked at the pictures and said that the BE model would work, and that I could hook it up as labeled, but that I simply needed to switch the red and yellow wires. I did just switch the red and yellow wires, and the stove still turns on. (Just wanted to make sure.) So I am going to go ahead and ask the Ebay seller to ship the 3301 P BE, the model I purchased, and hope for the best.

    I will post here again once I have received and installed it.

    Thanks again for everyone's help.
    Andy W.
  13. trafick

    trafick Member

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    Good luck and let us know what happens.
  14. Andyw2100

    Andyw2100 New Member

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    I received the unit yesterday, and installed it without any issues. Everything went smoothly. The only issue is that I apparently received a remote with a funky chip. It works, but programming it is tricky, as when you initially go below 60 degrees for the first time instead of 59 degrees being displayed the display shows A9. After you get to A0, it goes back to 99, and then works fine after that. Something similar happens with the time, which can show 51:45. I was pretty sure the remote was defective, and when I called Tom at Skytech he confirmed that they had had a buggy batch some time ago, and knew about some of (but not all of) the issues. He is sending me a new remote, and, of course, wants the bad one back so he can investigate.

    Also, I believe the switch on the back of the stove still works, although I won't be using it. I can turn the stove on and off using that switch, even with the thermostat receiver hooked up. I am leaving that switch set to "off" and controlling the stove with the thermostat, so I guess you could make the point that "off" is not really working. But I am happy with this set-up because if I get to the point where the thermopile is not generating enough power for the thermostat to operate, I should still be able to manually turn the stove on, without even having to disconnect the thermostat.

    Thanks again for everyone's help.
    Andy W.
  15. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    [quote author="R&D;Guy" date="1232324477"][quote author="Andyw2100" date="1232306535"]

    <>If I did stick with the BE model, is the only harm I could possibly do to the stove that I would wear the thermopile out sooner, requiring replacement?

    Correct. Think of it like this, if the thermopile puts out 400 MV brand new and the burner needs say 250 to turn on, and the receiver uses say 100 MV then you have 50 to spare. As the thermopile gets older it produces less volts and one day it will produce less than 350. No big deal without the remote since you'd still have about 100 MV to spare, but with the receiver you have less than what you need and the burner never comes on.<>

    I'm a coupla months late on this one, but as far as using the BE units on a Jotul product goes, they're fine.
    As a matter of fact, the BE was designed for Jotul, because of room constraints under their DV inserts. There
    wasn't any room for the battery receiver, so the smaller BE units were ideal...
    As far as the draw on the T-P, it's ONLY 18 millivolts - NOT 100 - & as long as your T-P is putting out OVER 325mv on the pilot
    there will not be an issue...
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