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Is there a Z-Wave Compatibility List anywhere?

Micah

Active Member
I posted this over at Z-Wave world but they don't get nearly the traffic that Cocoontech does so I figured this would get more action/views.

I’ve experienced personally and read many accounts of compatibility and functionality issues between products from different Z-Wave manufacturers. The end result is that one Z-Wave product doesn’t work with another and while both are based on the same protocol you’re basically left with two totally separate devices that can’t interact with each other.

Additionally, because of my personal experience in this regard, I’ve become gun shy in purchasing new Z-Wave products. Unfortunately, even trying to research products before making a purchase can often lead to more frustration than answers and leaves people to purchase and pray that things will work correctly.

Is there any requirement on information that must be included within Z-Wave manuals or a master list of devices, their functions and what they’re compatible with so that people looking to make a purchase will know everything they’ll need to ensure that what they have will let them do what they want to do?
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
Hi Micah,

All Z-Wave Certified devices should play well with each other. But just like with Bluetooth there are two things to remember:

1. Z-Wave devices support profiles (command classes). Of course, the other device that you're talking to must support the profile(s) for the two to do much together :) So if you have a thermostat, the controller must be able to know how to talk to thermostats. If you have window blinds of lights, the controller must know how to talk to lights. Luckily, the most basic profile is the concept of a "level" (dim level on lights, position on window shades), and most controllers support this profile.
2. Z-Wave devices may have special functionality above and beyond the standard profiles. While Z-Wave (just like Bluetooth) provide for interoperability, you may need to have a more intelligent controller to take advantage of some of these nicer features.

Chris
 

Micah

Active Member
Thanks for the info Chris, but that's exactly what I'm talking about. Where do you go to find that information?

In my case, I've had the problem with Intermatic's HA07c controller not being able to talk to my TZ16 thermostat. I understand that the Controller doesn't have support for the thermostat but where would I have gone to get that info? Is each manufacturer expected to know if their device works with another manufacturers device? When the drapes controller is finally released, how do I know what controllers it's compatible with?

This isn't me rehashing my MC and thermostat problem again. I've accepted that the Intermatic controller can't control my thermostat. What I'm trying to do now is figure out how, going forward, I can avoid the same problem in the future and if we're lucky, help new Z-Wave users avoid the same mistakes I've run into already.
 

Micah

Active Member
I take it from the lack of follow-up that the answer is no.

Is there any chance a list like this may exist in the future and if so, who can I bug about it?
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
Micah,

The marketing materials for remotes should show what types of devices it works with. I've proposed that we have a "profile" system for Z-Wave that indicates what profiles the device works with. For instance, a controller would say "controls lighting, blinds, and thermostats" with little icons for each.

Chris
 

Micah

Active Member
ChrisWalker said:
I've proposed that we have a "profile" system for Z-Wave that indicates what profiles the device works with. For instance, a controller would say "controls lighting, blinds, and thermostats" with little icons for each.
That would be perfect and just up the alley for what I was looking for.

Thanks.
 
Micah said:
In my case, I've had the problem with Intermatic's HA07c controller not being able to talk to my TZ16 thermostat. I understand that the Controller doesn't have support for the thermostat but where would I have gone to get that info? Is each manufacturer expected to know if their device works with another manufacturers device? When the drapes controller is finally released, how do I know what controllers it's compatible with?
Isn't this a question for RCS?

In the RCS manual, DCN: 141-00882-01 04/11/05 it states "The TZ16 can be used with system controllers that support the ZWave thermostat protocol"

In the release notes there is a Requirements section:

Requirements

HomeSeer version 1.7.41 or later
HomeSeer Z-Wave USB interface
Any Z-Wave remote control

Reading further it appears that you can add the thermostat to the z-wave network using any controller and that you need Homeseer to actually control it.

And speaking of RCS, as I was researching this I found that they have removed any mention of Z-Wave and the Z-Wave thermostats from their website. The TZ16 is still for sale many places but RCS doesn't seem to be promoting it like before.

George West
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
Hi George,

You can control the RCS thermostat with any Z-Wave controller (remote, device, computer, PDA, smartphone, whatever) that controls the "general thermostat" profile. ThinkEssentials will do it, and the Z-Wave PC SDK will do it at minimum.

Any controller that can add/remove devices can add/remove a thermostat, but a simple remote with no LCD screen simply generally has no way of making it easy for the user to "change the thermostat heating setpoint to 72 F" ;)

Was the thermostat ever on their website?

Chris
 

Micah

Active Member
George West said:
Isn't this a question for RCS?
It really should have been a question for Intermatic since Intermatic makes the Master Controller that I eventually purchased that doesn't do Thermostats.

The problem however was that I did not know that not all Z-Wave Controllers are able to control all Z-Wave devices. As Chris said, you can add them to the network but other than acting as an additional node within the network you can't do anything with it.

The problem is that currently there is no simple, uniform way that I know of, to see what devices each controller supports. Chris' icon idea would fix that in a pretty simple and effective way.
 
ChrisWalker said:
Hi George,

You can control the RCS thermostat with any Z-Wave controller (remote, device, computer, PDA, smartphone, whatever) that controls the "general thermostat" profile. ThinkEssentials will do it, and the Z-Wave PC SDK will do it at minimum.

Any controller that can add/remove devices can add/remove a thermostat, but a simple remote with no LCD screen simply generally has no way of making it easy for the user to "change the thermostat heating setpoint to 72 F" :rolleyes:

Was the thermostat ever on their website?

Chris
Chris,

Are there any other companies besides ControlThink that provide support for a general thermostat profile? If I can give you some feedback, your site doesn't explicitly state that ThinkEssentials or the SDK do provide this support or if it does it wasn't obvious to me. If you follow the purchase link to TechHome, the literature there suggests that there is support for control of thermostats but doesn't state it explicitly. You're missing a good opportunity to highlight the functionality in your products.

I just checked the Exceptional Innovation site and the TZ16 is not on their compatibility list although most of the other RCS thermostats are as well as most of the Z-Wave lighting products.

The curious thing about this topic is that Danfoss was one of the original Z-Wave Alliance members and is still a Principal member. All this time and nobody put the screws to the controller vendors regarding thermostat control. What's the world coming to?

For a previous version of the RCS website see:

http://web.archive.org/web/20060424071143/....resconsys.com/

Right there on the front page. I was gathering background information on RCS earlier this year to get smart about HVAC control before I talked to a contractor about updating the heating system in my home. Not as big a deal here in CA as it is for you I admit. ;)

In any case, I remembered seeing the product prominently mentioned before and missed it today.

George
 
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