[Article] UPDATED: Z-Wave firmware bug


Staff member
See below for an update about this bug.
It has come to light that a design flaw in the Sigma Z-Wave chip may affect your Z-Wave network performance, especially with larger networks. Mi Casa Verde, the guys behind the Vera 2 controller (stay tuned for the review!), which also supports Z-Wave, has discovered a pretty significant bug while troubleshooting existing Z-Wave installations.
Z-Wave is a mesh network, meaning every device has a 'routing table' which remembers how to get to the correct switch (think of it as a mini-internet). When you first pair a new Z-Wave device with a controller, they have to be very close, so the controller can learn about the device. Once this is done, you move the Z-Wave device to the location where you want it, and 'repair/heal' your network, which is supposed to force each Z-Wave device on the network to relearn how to communicate with other Z-Wave switches (and learn the best routes). This is where things go wrong. When you repair/heal the Z-Wave network, it is supposed to overwrite the existing routing table (since before issuing this command, it thinks it is directly connected to the controller), but this isn't happening. Instead it looks like the new routing info is being appended to the existing routing table, making it very difficult for Z-Wave devices to communicate, especially on larger networks.
Since Sigma is the only manufacturer of the Z-Wave chip, this will affect every Z-Wave component on the market. Mi Casa Verde's Vera 2 controller has a field upgradeable firmware option, so they are working hard on pushing out a new update which will resolve this issue. Not sure how other manufacturers will tackle this problem, but if you have a large Z-Wave network, and are experiencing problems, this might be why. I will update this post as more information becomes available.
UPDATE: This issue seems to involve only controllers with certain firmware revisions (so your locks and light switches are safe), and controllers suffering from this issue will probably receive a firmware upgrade in the very near future to address this issue, (since it is a software problem, not hardware problem). Mi Casa Verde has updated its statement regarding this issue. I have confirmed this issue does not affect every controller on the market, so contact your manufacturer if you still have questions.

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