Although I had very little positive to say about the TED 5000 with my last review, after looking at the alternatives, I couldn’t really find anything that matched it’s capability without being the eMonitor (which costs at least 5x as much, and has a subscription fee!). While there are some competitors (one clamps to your meter outside, and a couple use current clamps), none of those also wire into your electrical system to provide actual voltage readings (and therefore power factor). I did get one company to offer a review unit (which I could return if I didn’t like it, or buy for a discount if I did), but it too didn’t provide voltage information, but it also didn’t use Power Line Communication (PLC), so it avoided those issue).
So, knowing that TED (the company) wasn’t going to provide me with a review unit I swallowed my pride, and mailed off a check for the refurbished unit they had offered before.
About a week later, they emailed saying they had a refurbished available, and were sending it. It came 3-day Priority mail, and all seemed to be in good order. The Gateway was obviously the newer hardware, and setup was simple (albeit, not something the average Joe could handle without some help). Install of the MTU was basically the same as installing the TED 1001 MTU, though I wired everything to JUST talk to the same outlet that the router, and therefore Gateway were on. This is a big reason I wanted my router in the garage as well, since I wanted to have the TED on it’s own relatively dedicated circuit, to avoid having to jump through hoops for dealing with PLC.
Install was pretty simple. I removed the whole circuit filter from the previous TED connection (which was my whole office), and moved it over to the new circuit, and with some wiring pigtails, wire nuts, and patience, I had everything wired and powered on the circuit. Viola, it worked! It is a bit interesting that the new TED doesn’t send data every second, it seems to be every couple seconds… which is fine, but a bit different.
After several days of uptime, I only had 2 dropped PLC packets (out of over 65000 packets) due to noise, and those both corresponded to me firing up my air compressor. After the initial spin up, the packets came through fine. So obviously the compressor was producing some bad harmonics on start up. Anyway, I’m pretty happy with that, and it means I could remove a lot of filtering from the equipment in the office (UPS causing issues, another power strip with issues, etc).
All that complete, it was on to what power monitoring service I could find. Google Power Meter was really what the TED5000 was pimping when it came out, but it has since died (for better or worse). Since then, several others have come around. The two I found apps for easily for the iPhone were plotwatt.com, and bidgley.com. I started with Plotwatt.com, but after a couple days of feeding it data and nothing showing up, their iPhone app being buggy (crashing), and an unanswered email to their support, I decided they weren’t worth my time, so I moved on to bidgley.com, which actually worked right away, and at least over twitter, they respond! Also, their app works (though, it could use some updates for things like auto-refresh, etc). There’s another app for the iPhone called TED-O-METER, but it hasn’t been updated in forever, and iOS7 pretty much broke it completely. =(
But, to the TED5000-G, I’m pretty darn happy at this point. While I do wish they’d offered a unit for review, they did offer one at a discount (refurbished), so that’s nice. And ultimately, it has simplified my home wiring, and offered additional functionality. So, my previous old unit experience aside, and any quirks with the company aside…