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Should I Reconsider Z-Wave?

upstatemike

Senior Member
This is getting a little complex. Can't I just have some DIP switches to set and skip all the master controller/secondary controller stuff? :blink:
 

pete_c

Guru
Yeah X10 works fine for me these days.  For Christmas here set all of my X10 modules to one house code.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Our local hardware store had a sidewalk sale this past weekend to sell off old stock and they had these modules that you control simply by clapping your hands,,, no programming required! I bought a whole case of them for practically nothing and am thinking I can just install these and use strategically placed speakers to have Homeseer play a handclap wave file in whatever area I need to control. Problem solved.
 

macromark

Active Member
upstatemike said:
This is getting a little complex. Can't I just have some DIP switches to set and skip all the master controller/secondary controller stuff? :blink:
Primary > Secondary controller replication for a main system used to be the standard many years ago and this was usually accomplished by walking around with a laptop. However, this method is definitely old school tech at this point. If you're using a HomeSeer system, the preferred method is to attach the Z-Wave interface to your system and simply use Z-Tool+ on your phone to set up the network. With this method, the interface attached to your main system is the primary controller, so you can leverage all the nifty Z-Wave features (like network wide inclusion and optimization and Z-Wave network backup and restore) from your main system. If you didn't get a chance to watch the video I (unsuccessfully) linked to on the previous page, give that a watch. It's really straightforward.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
The above stuff is just setup. Once it's set up, then you don't need to do any of that any more. So it don't make a lot of difference one way or another in the bigger scheme of things. Still, for us, Z-Wave is not a main priority, so we don't have any interest in doing all the work required to become a master controller. Z-Wave is a low end consumer system that we don't recommend using as a main lighting system. We support it since it can be used to add less important stuff around the periphery. We recommend at least something like Caseta for the main system, preferably RA2. Even Insteon is a step up when using the ISY, since it is more 'designed' whereas Z-Wave is more a conglomeration of ideas over time.
 

Dean Roddey

Senior Member
upstatemike said:
This is getting a little complex. Can't I just have some DIP switches to set and skip all the master controller/secondary controller stuff? :blink:
 
It would have ultimately worked out better had they gone that way probably. Though a unique id in each unit would be better. Having said that, that's nothing to do with master/secondary controller. The same inclusion scheme applies whether you have just a master or a master plus secondary. You still have to press the button. 
 

macromark

Active Member
Dean Roddey said:
Still, for us, Z-Wave is not a main priority, so we don't have any interest in doing all the work required to become a master controller. Z-Wave is a low end consumer system that we don't recommend using as a main lighting system.
We were the first controller company to support Z-Wave going back to 2003. For us, it has been a priority and there have been tremendous improvements over the years. I highly recommend it and would be happy to pit our products (especially our newest lighting products) against anything out there.
 
FWIW: Z-Wave "SmartStart" tech is on the way and our latest products are being shipped with Z-Wave "DSK" numbers (unique IDs) in a QR code format. So, it will eventually be possible to initiate inclusion by scanning products and powering them up.
 

pete_c

Guru
Personally waiting and already seeing the beginning of a modular ultimate smart switch
 
1 - modular front end - on and off and dim analog will function as a regular switch - toggle or decora style - led or non led illuminated
2 - miniature computer back end - low voltage network connection - wired and wireless - plug in module
3 - programmable such that it functions on it's own schedule or a connection to a master controller
4 - multiple function module - high voltage switching, low voltage sensors, tiny PIR, night and dark sensor, voltage and amperage draw et al.
5 - multiple automation protocal use - modular powerline, Z-Wave, Zigbee,WiFi*

current tinkering here lets me talk to a switch via the wire (serial-3 wires) or WiFi. Flash programming is 1Mb or less. You can now too expand flash beyond 1Mb same said footprint.

Radio modules these days are approaching thumbnail size...(wifi, Zigbee, Insteon and ZWave).


 
Back of switch footprint would have to fit conventional electical boxes width and depth.

I recall now posting here on Cocoontech or Homeseer about a father son tinkerer in Australia doing their own lighting switches using arduinos many many years ago. The issues brought up at the time related to the mixture of low voltage and high voltage switching (saftey) and sensors behind a conventional wall switch.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
Thanks for all the info... I'll read up on Z-Wave "SmartStart". I also will probably put Radio RA2 in my bedroom just because I like the Pico remotes on pedestals for bedside use. My ISY has a flashing red light for the second time in two weeks so I'm annoyed with Insteon at the moment and will continue to reduce my Insteon footprint.
 
This Spring I removed all of the Insteon from my basement floor (16 switches across 10 rooms) and replaced them with Leviton "dumb" motion sensor switches. This has turned out to work out better than I expected and since years ago I wired all the basement circuits to be monitored by Stargate and Elk inputs I can still keep track of what is going on with those switches. Unfortunately that won't work on other floors in bedrooms, TV rooms or anyplace where you might want to be in the room with the lights off.
 
I also put 14 HUE bulbs in my office /TV room and entry way (eliminating another 6 Insteon devices) so I could have the entry motion trigger a different color at night vs day and I can set the Office/TV area to a cool background color when watching movies. Unfortunately the HUE bulbs tend to turn themselves on whenever there is a slight power flicker (daily) so I definitely won't be using these in any additional rooms.
 
I don't think there is currently any lighting technology that is optimal far all use cases.
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
pete_c said:
Personally waiting and already seeing the beginning of a modular ultimate smart switch
 
1 - modular front end - on and off and dim analog will function as a regular switch - toggle or decora style - led or non led illuminated
2 - miniature computer back end - low voltage network connection - wired and wireless - plug in module
3 - programmable such that it functions on it's own schedule or a connection to a master controller
4 - multiple function module - high voltage switching, low voltage sensors, tiny PIR, night and dark sensor, voltage and amperage draw et al.
5 - multiple automation protocal use - modular powerline, Z-Wave, Zigbee,WiFi*

current tinkering here lets me talk to a switch via the wire (serial-3 wires) or WiFi. Flash programming is 1Mb or less. You can now too expand flash beyond 1Mb same said footprint.

Radio modules these days are approaching thumbnail size...(wifi, Zigbee, Insteon and ZWave).


 
Back of switch footprint would have to fit conventional electical boxes width and depth.

I recall now posting here on Cocoontech or Homeseer about a father son tinkerer in Australia doing their own lighting switches using arduinos many many years ago. The issues brought up at the time related to the mixture of low voltage and high voltage switching (saftey) and sensors behind a conventional wall switch.
 
Despite all the miniaturization manufacturers still make relay switches that are deeper than they need to be. Not an issue for new construction and "standard" modern electrical boxes but challenging or impossible for very old construction. One of the main reasons I went with Insteon was that their original relay switches were much shallower than anything else available including X-10. Unfortunately they moved to deeper cases with newer relay models so now I can only get shallow switches for dimming applications. Hopefully if somebody invents a relay version of your Arduino switch they will make it shallow enough to actually be usable in an old house retrofit.
 

pete_c

Guru
The SonOff WiFi switch board is already that small and folks are using it to retrofit a conventional light switch.  Largest hardware on the board is the 120VAC relay.
 
[youtube]http://youtu.be/OK1kWAeawQA[/youtube]
 
It is 120VAC powered and converting the voltage so around 5VDC for the ESP8266.  Folks are purchasing these for around $5 and reflashing the ESP8266 with custom multifunctional firmware.  Tiny web interface to program the switch using 1Mb of flash.  Double the flash on it and you can do much more with the switch.
 
sonoff.jpg
 
Programming web interface.  This basic switch is multifunctional.  High Voltage, low voltage, temperature sensor, buttons and PIR sensor.
 
sonoffgarage.jpg
 
 

pete_c

Guru
You can manage or talk to the switch locally / via the internet / Amazon Echo, via Homeseer, OpenHab, Home Assistant, Dom...  
 
Here is a picture of one that would fit in a regular box with a glass touch controller. EU look to it.  
 
Personally like the glass touch look or even a miniature virtual touch screen interface for a switch.   wallswitch.jpg
 
Currently my base of wall switches is UPB and control is via Homeseer and the Leviton OmniPro panel.
 
Thinking of testing one of these switches for tinkering purposes. (like with ZWave and Zigbee).
 

upstatemike

Senior Member
macromark said:
We were the first controller company to support Z-Wave going back to 2003. For us, it has been a priority and there have been tremendous improvements over the years. I highly recommend it and would be happy to pit our products (especially our newest lighting products) against anything out there.
 
FWIW: Z-Wave "SmartStart" tech is on the way and our latest products are being shipped with Z-Wave "DSK" numbers (unique IDs) in a QR code format. So, it will eventually be possible to initiate inclusion by scanning products and powering them up.
 
Z-Wave SmartStart looks like the missing piece of the puzzle... I wonder how long it will take for it to be supported by most Z-Wave hubs and controllers?
 

giesen

Active Member
macromark said:
The ONLY problem device is my older Yale door lock and I'm going to upgrade the Z-Wave module to Z-Wave Plus in a week or so. That should fix that. Everything else is rock solid.  
I have a bunch of Yale locks, but the newer Z-Wave Plus module is only for the Assure locks, not for the original. How did you plan to upgrade it?
 
Sent from my SM-N9500 using Tapatalk
 
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