Author Topic: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience  (Read 4282 times)

Offline snovvman

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Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« on: October 15, 2018, 12:51:35 am »
Compared with Vera, what is the complexity of setup with HomeSeer?  About the same, more, or less?

To put it into context, I have Vera with 50+ devices, cameras, locks, sensors, Harmony Hub, scenes, many plug ins, HA-Bridge integration, some Luup, and automation.

I also have Smartthings, Home Assistant/HASS, OpenHAB, and Domoticz running.  I was evaluating them as possible replacements for Vera.  HASS and OpenHAB are clearly capable, but I find the setup to be too tedious and time consuming.  Smartthings feels limiting, even with CoRE, not having a direct web interface feels against the grain.

So back to HomeSeer, is the learning curve, efforts required to setup, maintenance, and achieve automation similar, more, or less compared to Vera?

Thanks!

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #1 on: October 15, 2018, 11:48:28 am »
I went through and evaluated all of the systems you mentioned.  I gave them each a good time period of learning/adjusting and I settled (for now) on HomeSeer.

It's not that hard of a system but it has some quirks.  Download the 30 day trial and give it a test run.  Post on the HS forum and people will help.

Offline snovvman

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2018, 11:57:51 am »
I went through and evaluated all of the systems you mentioned.  I gave them each a good time period of learning/adjusting and I settled (for now) on HomeSeer.

It's not that hard of a system but it has some quirks.  Download the 30 day trial and give it a test run.  Post on the HS forum and people will help.

Thanks.  At this time, I don't have the leisure to learn, tinker, and make script/textula configs with OpenHAB/HASS.  If HomeSeer is mostly menu-driven and the level of effort is similar to Vera, I might give it a try.  What sort of quirks does HS have?

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2018, 12:13:12 pm »
Common complaint from people is the Web UI is old/ugly.  Well yes and no.  It's functional and not intended to be on "display" so if you come from the Admin angle of the Web UI and not a "dashboard" expectation that's a good first step.

Everything in HomeSeer is a plugin.  Including the Z-Wave functionality.  So the first thing you have to do on a new install is....Install the Z-Wave plugin.  This is done through the updater in the plugins manager.  This step seems to trip up people right off the bat.

Plugins generally are not free.  Some are and they are very good.  Most are not.  You get what you pay for and the benefit of knowing that plugins work and are supported by their developers or they get removed from the store.

Read the documentation.  Most people don't and they get all messed up.  Read the docs.  Save yourself the issues of not doing it.

Timers.  Timers in HS Count UP not Down.  A timer in terminology times something which means it counts up.  A count down clock or "kitchen timer" counts down.  So change your thinking of the term "Timer" and think of a Stop Watch.  They count up in how much time it takes for something.  Once you get this you'll understand the immense flexibility this gives with creating events.

Those are some of the "basics" that people tend to get hung up on.  Join the forum, download the trial.  If you plan on running the trial in a virtual machine you will probably encounter issues at first with the z-wave USB stick and communication issues.  This is a VM USB-Serial translation problem and not a HS issue.  I always recommend to just use a spare rPi or a spare PC for initial testing.

Offline snovvman

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2018, 01:32:26 pm »
This is a VM USB-Serial translation problem and not a HS issue.  I always recommend to just use a spare rPi or a spare PC for initial testing.

Thanks for all the info.  +1 on the karma!  I was originally thinking about running HS in a VM for easy hardware upgrades, but I'll steer clear.  One last thing--I presume HS is more GUI/menu-driver rather than text/script based like OpenHAB or HASS?

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #5 on: October 15, 2018, 02:07:51 pm »
This is a VM USB-Serial translation problem and not a HS issue.  I always recommend to just use a spare rPi or a spare PC for initial testing.

Thanks for all the info.  +1 on the karma!  I was originally thinking about running HS in a VM for easy hardware upgrades, but I'll steer clear.  One last thing--I presume HS is more GUI/menu-driver rather than text/script based like OpenHAB or HASS?

1. Running in a VM is perfectly fine once you get the quirks of the USB settled.  This varies if using VMware or VirtualBox... or whatever else.  A lot of people do run in a VM and using a VM with a Z-Net is a great combination actually!

2. Well yes and no.  The primary interface to HS3 is a Web UI.  However you can also do anything you want in VBscript.  The history of the system is Windows based but it is now written in .Net and does run on Linux with Mono.  So you can script out lots of things or write a plugin for functionality that you may find is "missing".  Plugins are mostly written in VB but more and more are C#.

Myself I'm a Unix/Linux engineer by trade and I was hesitant about using HomeSeer at first because of the Windows history.  I have ran it now for quite a while and I'm impressed with it.  The choice to run on Windows or Linux is up to the user and I've found both to be stable.  Most plugins work cross-platform but some are specific as they use OS specific features/functions and those are mostly "historical" plugins that used Windows Media functions. 

HS3 is not a "Pretty" system unless you make it so with HSTouch Designer or with external "interfaces".  It is stable and functional and importantly extendable. 

BTW - Self advertising... there's a Vera plugin to integrate the systems and I'm working on a REAL GPS solution for all systems Vera included.

Offline snovvman

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #6 on: October 15, 2018, 02:40:32 pm »

1. Running in a VM is perfectly fine <snip>

Thanks for all the info!  Another +1!

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #7 on: October 15, 2018, 10:43:30 pm »
I migrated @ 3 dozen devices to HomeSeer in an afternoon. Device enrollment is fast and easy.

The scene/event system is very information dense, menu driven and provides about the same flexibility as PLEG. You can quickly make if-and/elsif-and logic, clone scenes, cascade scenes, and set up groups

Most homeseer plugins do have a charge, but not all. The weather app and some of the system utilities are free.

Also the core system has a lot of functionality that vera doesn't.  You can set up virtual devices, control timers and counters, read and search logs, all without plug ins.

Offline snovvman

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2018, 11:14:59 pm »
I migrated @ 3 dozen devices to HomeSeer in an afternoon. Device enrollment is fast and easy.

<snip>

Also the core system has a lot of functionality that vera doesn't.

Great info!  Thank you very much! +1

Offline snovvman

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2018, 11:18:55 pm »
Regarding VM, I am planning on running VirtualBox in Windows.  I read that VBox supports USB passthrough.  Any feedback on that?  I can see so many benefits with a VM, no issues with license transfer, hardware replacement/upgrade, and easy backup.

Also, linking in relevant Vera content, my plan is to slowly, orderly migrate Vera-connected devices over to HS and replicate Vera functions in HS.  Can HS talk to HA-Bridge as if it is a real Hue?
« Last Edit: October 15, 2018, 11:22:23 pm by snovvman »

Offline zedrally

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2018, 11:31:38 pm »
If you haven't already purchased a UZB, then avoid the Aeotec, there have been many reported problems with these working correctly.
Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, Fantem Tec and then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors, RFXComm, Broadlink RMPro & Mini plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline snovvman

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2018, 11:46:38 pm »
If you haven't already purchased a UZB, then avoid the Aeotec, there have been many reported problems with these working correctly.

Thanks for mentioning that.  I was thinking about buying the Aeotec.  Instead, I presume I should go with the SmartStick+, or if running HS in a VM, it might be easier to go with the HS Z-NET?  +1!

Offline snovvman

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2018, 11:48:44 pm »
I'm hoping for the Thanksgiving/November 50% sale to pick up a HS3PRO and Z-Wave interface.

Offline peterxbmc

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #13 on: October 16, 2018, 07:40:40 am »
Which Vera controller are you using.

I'm a long time user of Homeseer and while it's a very capable platform, as mentioned its quite dated looking in today's terms. The additional paid plugins are a nuisance too. Being a Linux user I'm not too impressed having to use Mono to get a . NET Windows designed product like Homeseer running on a Linux platform. There's definitely performance issues to consider.

I'm not sure what direction they are taking it in. They've just introduced Homeseer Mobile on a beta basis to replace Homeseer Touch I imagine and there is mention of Homeseer 4 so some form of change of direction must be afoot.

I've recently implemented Home Assistant on a trial basis and I must say I'm very impressed. So impressed I'm strongly considering moving everything over to that platform. Of course unlike Home Assistant and a number of other programs you mention there's a hefty price tag on Homeseer.

Offline snovvman

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Re: Question for those also with HomeSeer experience
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2018, 09:01:31 am »
Which Vera controller are you using.

I've recently implemented Home Assistant on a trial basis and I must say I'm very impressed.

I am using Vera Plus and Edge prior to that.  Like many, I have been enduring Vera for many years, for a variety of reasons.  I agree that the HS UI is old, but if its ecosystem functions well and has better [more prompt] manufacturer support (features, compatibility, reliabilt), I can live with the ugliness.

I do like HASS, but having no development/coding experience, I find it time consuming to have to script for customization.  Though YAML is not unlearnable and I was able to add groups and customize some things, I find it too tedious and time consuming given my other priorities.

As a sidebar, I  find Smartthings to be limiting--the GUI (rather, the lack of web GUI) and the round-trip model is not ideal.  Even with WebCoRE, I still like other solutions better.  I bought the V3 when it was released and gave it a shot.  It was, too, shocking to me that there was no migration/backup path for the ST platform.  It is now collecting dust.