[REVIEW] Intermatic vs ACT/Home Pro

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
Chris, is "Live status" z-waves version of 2-way? Any reason not to say 2-way? Now I am really confused

2-way just means the controller can get the state. But there are multiple ways of doign this. The controller can periodically ask for it, and the unit can just send it out when it changes. His 'live status' is the latter type. In a system that doesn't have the speed to poll a lot of units quickly, the time it takes for the controller to see a change goes up (latency increases.) This can be ameliorated by the units sending out status when they change. This way, the controller can do a much slower poll that is just designed to make sure that everyone he thinks is out there is really out there, and can depend on async notifications of change to keep his view of the state of the world up to date.
 

rocco

Active Member
ChrisWalker said:
"Live status" is a feature that manufacturers can implement in their products. ACT has chosen to do this with their thermostat and PIR. From the press releases I've been reading, it looks like a number of new devices coming to market will support this as well. It's really up to the manufacturers on what they want to do.
Now I'm confused . . . again . . .

What happened to the Lutron patent? Has it been licensed?

I know that motion sensors, thermostats and other appliances were exempt, but the patent covers light switches for over a decade more.

Or maybe it's up to each manufacturer whether or not to license from Lutron?
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
gunther52 said:
Are there any 2-way z-wave switches currently shipping?

Chris, is "Live status" z-waves version of 2-way? Any reason not to say 2-way? Now I am really confused. :unsure:
"2-way" is a loaded phrase. It means different things to different people.

[a] 2-way: A device which can acknowledge commands.
2-way: A device which can transmit its current state.
[c] 2-way: A device which transmit its current state whenever it is updated.

I see all three of these definitions being used, for various reasons. I generally break these down into:

[a] = "acknowledged protocol"
= "able to report status"
[c] = "live status"

As far as products shipping, I have a thermostat and a PIR which have "live status." All Z-Wave products have 2-way (definitions [a] and ), which helps makes them reliable and usable in larger home control systems. I am not aware of any light switches shipping today with "live status."

Chris
 

elcano

Active Member
Chris,

Do the Live Status is a broadcast to all devices in the network?, Or is addressed only to qualified controllers? Or just the main one?
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
elcano said:
Chris,

Do the Live Status is a broadcast to all devices in the network?, Or is addressed only to qualified controllers? Or just the main one?
In the case of currently-shipping products, you associate the "live status" notification recipient (likely your PC) into Group 1 (or another group) of the device you want to monitor. It will then send a message (via the routed network) to that recipient (again, likely your PC) whenever its state changes.

With the ACT PIR and the ACT thermostat, you can see this today using the Z-Wave PC SDK. Change the mode or fan mode on your thermostat, and you will get a real-time notification via the SDK's events. Activate the ACT PIR, and you will get a LevelChanged event.

As other manufacturers ship products which include this functionality, the PC SDK should automatically pick up on most of them as long as you have your group associations set up.

[As a side note, very little is broadcast in Z-Wave networks.]

Chris
 

elcano

Active Member
ChrisWalker said:
In the case of currently-shipping products, you associate the "live status" notification recipient (likely your PC) into Group 1 (or another group) of the device you want to monitor. It will then send a message (via the routed network) to that recipient (again, likely your PC) whenever its state changes.
Chris,

Please excuse my ignorance, but I dont know what a Z-Wave group is. And what does it has to do with the controller(s).

But going directly to the point, you say notification recipient. Is recipient always singular? Only one controller can get the live update message? So if I choose this controller to be the Elk M1 Z-Wave module, I'll have to find a way of sending this status from the M1 to a PC (or vice-versa), if I want all my computing devices to make decisions based on what is happening?
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
elcano said:
Chris,

Please excuse my ignorance, but I dont know what a Z-Wave group is. And what does it has to do with the controller(s).

But going directly to the point, you say notification recipient. Is recipient always singular? Only one controller can get the live update message? So if I choose this controller to be the Elk M1 Z-Wave module, I'll have to find a way of sending this status from the M1 to a PC (or vice-versa), if I want all my computing devices to make decisions based on what is happening?
In Z-Wave, you can associate devices with a group # inside of a device. These groups can mean different things, depending on the device. For ACT's transmitter switch, devices in GROUP 1 are instructed to turn on/off whenever the button is tapped on/off. In the ACT thermostat, devices in GROUP 1 are given notifications that the thermostat mode (or fan mode) has changed when the user does that manually.

As far as notification recipient goes, I'm guessing that both the ACT PIR and thermostat support "live status" notifications to multiple devices. Manufacturers have a lot of liberty on how they want to implement various features (for market differentiation purposes, to be able to create unique features, etc.), so much of this is up to the implementer.

Chris
 

gunther52

New Member
Chris,

I too am ignorant on this with z-wave but want to learn more. In not so many words you alluded to the fact that there are no 2-way, live status, able to report status, etc. currently shipping z-wave switches. This is fine, as I am sure they will be out soon as polling every node would take too long and would have too many hurdles.

In regards to enrolling into different groups: would this mean that I would need to enroll each device I want the status update relayed to on a seperate group? For example, if a switch was "live update" enabled I would need to enroll both my PC controller and my Elk z-wave module? How would this distinction between groups on my pc and elk be made? I guess I don't understand where or what the master controller in this example would be.
 

Steve

Senior Member
I now have 9 Insteon switches and none of them even get warm so it sounds like they have been pushed past the limits of their load ratings. If this happens all switches get hot.
Agreed. FWIW, my experience as noted above was well within specs.
 

ChrisWalker

Active Member
gunther52 said:
In regards to enrolling into different groups: would this mean that I would need to enroll each device I want the status update relayed to on a seperate group? For example, if a switch was "live update" enabled I would need to enroll both my PC controller and my Elk z-wave module? How would this distinction between groups on my pc and elk be made? I guess I don't understand where or what the master controller in this example would be.
Your master controller could be a handheld controller, or a PC USB controller, or whatever you'd like. In this instance, you would enroll both the Elk and PC controller into a group on the device with "live status"--and it would then send real-time updates to both the Elk and the PC. You can do this today with the ACT PIR.

Chris
 
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