Zwave Problems with ELK-M1XZW *help*


Active Member
I've been beating my head against the wall with a few issues. Since there is no diagnostic software for Zwave, fixing this problem seems pretty much out of my reach right now. I was hoping someone with much more experience with Zwave than I have might be able to help. (BTW, I have the basics down on the ELK sync up with the zwave hand controller and Elk lighting configuration, etc)

Here are my issues:

1) A couple lights in a scene will not respond when using the elk to control the scene. From the ZTH100 controller everything works great. These switches used to be ZDW120s, which I changed out to the newer ZDW103s - same problem. These switches will respond to direct commands from the elk, so my work around is to create my own scenes with elk rules that individually turn on the lights that do not response to the scene commands.

2) Intermittent 'off' failures. 30-50% of the time, a command from the elk to turn off lights will fail or take a very long time. The *all off* command has never worked, so I am using an off command for each group (there are 9 groups). Again, here, the hand held remote works like a champ. It is near instantaneous and has never failed me. In fact, it works so well, it even tells me when it does fail to complete the request. I've used this to find dead/hung modules.

3) Intermittent 'on' failures. 10-20% of the time, a turn on command for a series of lights from the elk will skip various lights randomly. This series is a rule that tells a scene and three other individual lights to turn on (see 1).

4) Hung units. This never happened to me before when I used just hand held remote for 6 months. Various units seem to stop responding to commands from the elk and hand held controller. It takes a power cycle, or in some cases, a unit-reset (unit-reset by the hand held controller).

Some other info:
- House is 3200ft^2
- 9 Relay modules
- 2 wall controllers
- 2 Lamp Modules
- 21 Dimmers
- Elk & ELK-M1XZW are in a control closet on the second floor with centralized a/v and data equipment. Probably a very RF noisy environment.
- there are 2 Modules within 12 feet of the ELK-M1XZW on the same floor, and 2 within 10 feet on the lower floor.

Some things I've tried.
a) replaced any unit that has hung more than 2 times with a newer designed HomePro unit. I think I've replaced 5 units - and BTW, the out of box failure rate on HomePro units is about 20%.
;) rebuilt the network a few times. One time I reset each unit before I added it to the network.
c) tried using the hand controller from the equipment closet and other areas of the house. It always works flawlessly - just like I hope I can get from the Elk.
d) contacted Elk about the issue (when I thought it was caused by the ZDW120s), but they were not super helpful (in contrast to excellent help I got from Richard Helmke, who went WAY out his way to get my USB zwave controller fixed, I have not asked him about these new issues, I figure I have pestered him enough).
e) tried the same thing with homeseer and the USB controller (bypassing the elk completely). Same kinds of issues, which leads me to believe this is a software issue with elk/homeseer or a firmware issue with the ELK-M1XZW and usb controller.
f) future - I plan to get the SDK software and write a diagnostic program, assuming the API gives you access to routing tables and can listen in on traffic.

Sorry for the long post, I really hope someone out there can help. I am feeling pretty stupid for investing a few grand in the elk/zwave setup at this point.