We have moved at community.getvera.com

Author Topic: Zwave for Installers  (Read 14577 times)

Offline TimAlls

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Karma: +0/-0
Zwave for Installers
« on: June 28, 2012, 03:49:25 pm »
Hi All,
I wanted to start a thread for those of us who install multiple Zwave networks and struggle to make them reliable.
I have a pile of Zwave USB sticks, Think Essentials, Homeseer, and made many other purchases to make the setting up a Zwave Network an easy process. I have had many problems using Vera as the setup tool and as a result rebuilt my systems too many time to count.
Yesterday I bought a Leviton USB controller and downloaded their FREE professional installer PC Software and all I can say is At Last!
It could use a few improvements but overall I have not seen anything that compares. The setup, including the unique Zwave number, is saved to file and allows one to create a new Master Controller in seconds.....imagine never having to go through the setup process again.
Look at the screenshot and you will see an easy way to name, track, associate, check signal strength, check routing, and lots more. Everything that a professional needs to setup and test the network. The USB stick can be bought for around $70 dollars and the program is free.
I would like to be able to transfer the primary control back to Vera but that's where I am stuck.

MCV if you see this thread.....please consider allowing installers to use this software and then make the transfer when they are done....it would save so much time and effort to have this kind of tool while setting your system up.

If anyone has been able to transfer information from the Leviton Stick to the Vera......well Speak Up!

Many thanks to Leviton for the great software!

Regards
Tim

Offline TimAlls

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #1 on: June 28, 2012, 05:26:30 pm »
I have the Vizia handheld remote.....after setting up my Zwave network on my PC I transferred the primary role to the Vizia Handheld.....all the settings and labels came through fine. Once in the primary role I was able to share the network with Vera using the ZWave / Advanced / Copy Zwave Network from a Master Controller.....
Works but you have to go through  and add all the lables back in. Controllers all come through incorrect and cannot be deleted.....
It's too messy.....must be a better way.
Tim

If you try this software you will love it's capabilities.....there is lots to be learned here

Offline shady

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1331
  • Karma: +11/-0
  • This monkey knows his Window Coverings!
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 02:02:15 am »
Thanks for the review, count me in as one who would need this desperately to play nice with Vera.  I have recently gone all Leviton(Monster)!

I am hoping it wouldn't be that difficult for MiCasaVerde.
Vera3 1.5.346, Schlage (3)DB (2)Lever, Kwikset (1)Lever, RCS TZ43 Thermo, (2) Vizia RZI06-1LX 600W Dimmers, (17) Monster (Leviton) Dimmers (6) Monster (Leviton) IWC Scene Controllers (1) Etherrain-8, (3) HSM 100's (1)GE 3-Way set

Offline oTi@

  • Community Beta
  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4041
  • Karma: +32/-6
  • UI what ?!
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 07:06:19 am »
I've been using the Leviton Installer tool to set up isolated mini networks for testing. Pretty quick indeed.

As a secondary controller / tool to Vera, it has never worked great for me, as a lot of the device data appears to be missing. When you start from scratch, as primary, like @TimAlls, it works a lot better. I'm using it with a ControlThink USB stick, but I'm not sure it matters.

The latest version appears to have some more device awareness. The tool does have its stability issues.

@TimAlls,
I haven't tried transferring the network to Vera from within the Installer software. But I have from ThinkEssentials quite a while back, and yeah, not a route I'd recommend, as I believe I had to redo a lot of the labels too.
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 07:20:17 am by oTi@ »
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline Piwtorak

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 988
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #4 on: June 29, 2012, 08:05:06 am »
Good Morning for all !

I'm with many devices buyed for tests..and I'm searching for partner to make a change of ideas more fast by msn or skype maybe...I have a big project (appartment) to install and would like install zwave in that.
yesterday I slept very later....I do not understand the concept of scene controller, in vera3 how can active a scene or associate it to a scene controller ?
I have seen leviton has very good products...and I'm thinking in buy a leviton handheld controller for tests. has leviton a controller like vera3 ?

if someone interest in hear my project, we can adjust a price for the consulting.
thanks !
Vera3 (1), Airport Extreme (2), Apple TV (3), Sqblaster (1), GE Switch (3), GE Dimmer (1), Leviton VRCSZ2 (2), GE 45601 (1), Intermatic HA03 (2), GE Zwave Outlet (1), Remote Control Curtain (1) and growing.

Offline oTi@

  • Community Beta
  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4041
  • Karma: +32/-6
  • UI what ?!
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #5 on: June 29, 2012, 09:13:40 am »
I do not understand the concept of scene controller, in vera3 how can active a scene or associate it to a scene controller ?
Vera will see the push of a button on a scene controller and you can use that as a trigger to run a Vera scene. Depending on the controller, Vera may actually program (part of) the scene into the controller, so the devices are controlled directly by the scene controller. E.g., when using Leviton scene/zone controllers with Leviton switches/dimmers etc., most of the programming ends up in the devices. See also this post perhaps, which describes (part of) the process.

Quote
[...] has leviton a controller like vera3 ?
Some quick terms regarding Leviton control options: VRCPG-SG; VRC0P; Leviton USB stick / ControlThink USB stick + Leviton Installer Tool or ThinkEssentials.
 
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline TimAlls

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #6 on: June 29, 2012, 09:14:29 am »
yesterday I slept very later....I do not understand
Sometimes I have similar problems ;D
In regards to the software stability.....I have had it shut down on occasion so yes it has bugs.
On the plus side is the network information you get:
How many hops to a device
How many milliseconds does it take for the message to arrive
Test the Zwave network and a REAL optimizing of the mesh
Set the fade rates on scenes
Drag and Drop associations
Setup and save your network
Save templates if you do repeat jobs

Again....this is for those of us who do more than just one location, but I can see this software as a must have for large homes with lots of dimmers.

Note: Do NOT confuse this with the Think Essential software by Leviton as well. It is a waste of money IMHO. The Think Essential USB adapter will not work with the installer software! The correct adapter will say "Leviton" on it and it is the only compatible adapter for this software.

Regards
Tim
« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 09:20:39 am by TimAlls »

Offline TimAlls

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #7 on: June 29, 2012, 09:25:29 am »
On another note....
The Leviton adapter is compatible with the "InControl" software for the Android......a free and 10 dollar program that gives remote control of your zwave devices on your android. This requires a PC server to be setup....so it's only for those of us that have a pc running 24/7.

Regards
Tim Alls
AllSeas Yachts

Offline oTi@

  • Community Beta
  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4041
  • Karma: +32/-6
  • UI what ?!
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #8 on: June 29, 2012, 09:45:03 am »
The Think Essential USB adapter will not work with the installer software!
Maybe it depends on the version of the Installer tool and the firmware in the ThinkStick (and/or other factors), but as said, I've been running the Installer tool with the ThinkStick.
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline TimAlls

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #9 on: June 29, 2012, 10:40:11 am »
The Think Essential USB adapter will not work with the installer software!
Maybe it depends on the version of the Installer tool and the firmware in the ThinkStick (and/or other factors), but as said, I've been running the Installer tool with the ThinkStick.
I missed that.....interesting. It didn't work for me and on the Leviton Forum is says that they are not compatible! Looks like lady luck is shining on you ;)
I bought the Think Essential software package last week thinking I could use the USB adapter that came with it for Leviton's Installer Software if I didn't like Think Essentials.....nice thought but it didn't work!
I just want to share what I am doing so that others won't repeat my mistakes!

Regards
Tim Alls
AllSeas Yachts

Quote from Leviton Rep on their forum:
Can I use the ControlThink USB ThinkStick with the Vizia RF + Installer Tool software?

Correct Answer by Leviton Technical Representative  on May 3, 2011 12:42 PM
No, the USB sticks are configured differently.

« Last Edit: June 29, 2012, 01:11:32 pm by TimAlls »

Offline TimAlls

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 722
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 11:02:21 am »
Update with more information.....

After using the Leviton Installer program for an entire week and setting up three separate Zwave networks I have a few obsevations to report....I might be talking to myself here ;D

I really believe developers of this software understood the difficulties of a large network with areas that are separated by distance.
I give it an A rating on being easy for anyone to use on a basic level.
I give a C rating on it's ability to transfer saved Networks to other devices.
    It is difficult or impossible to regain primary control once you have transfered the primary role to a handheld device.
    You should save the Network File in the primary role so that you can restore it.....lesson learned
    Areas do not get transfered to the Leviton Remote...but the remotes work perfect after the transfer including 4 button controllers

Transfer to the Vera is only possible through the handheld remote and the Vera has to be included in the network.....One will spend much time reworking the setup after the transfer.

I still believe that it would be a worthwhile project for MCV to program Mios to accept the incoming data from the program....It would save Vera Users hours and hours of time in setting up their Zwave network and allow hard copies to be made for easy reinstalls after the latest firmware behaves badly forcing the users to rebuild from scratch.....food for thought.

Regards
Tim Alls

Offline oTi@

  • Community Beta
  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4041
  • Karma: +32/-6
  • UI what ?!
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #11 on: July 03, 2012, 03:20:50 pm »
Looks like lady luck is shining on you ;)
As hinted at, it depends on the firmware versions. You must have 5.02 or 4.52 (not anything older like 4.30, or newer like 4.53) on the ThinkStick and it works (for me). It appears to be the same (Wayne Dalton 0001478 Rev. A) hardware as the Leviton stick, as far as I can tell.

Regarding the primary role shifting, you must have VRCPG firmware 2.54 and a recent version of the Installer Tool (say 1.1.0.0). Role shifting is then supported between Installer Tool and VRCPG. I'm also able to shift roles between Installer Tool and Vera, as well as from Vera to VRCPG. But from VRCPG to Vera appears to fail. (BTW, ThinkEssentials allows you to just force the primary role; so you can always use that (carefully). Same in Vera when using 3.20.)

Regarding the areas, did you select to receive those on the VRCPG when you did the transfer of the configuration data?
« Last Edit: July 03, 2012, 03:29:40 pm by oTi@ »
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline Aaron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1985
  • Karma: +61/-193
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #12 on: July 04, 2012, 11:36:15 pm »
Seems odd you are asking MCV to support a hack/workaround and not just make UI5 better... almost like you'd rather have them spend time making/supporting a hack than doing what they should be... making UI5 better for everyone.

Offline mcvflorin

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1755
  • Karma: +11/-3
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2012, 06:29:15 am »
It would save Vera Users hours and hours of time in setting up their Zwave network and allow hard copies to be made for easy reinstalls after the latest firmware behaves badly forcing the users to rebuild from scratch.....food for thought.

You can use backups if something goes wrong.

Offline oTi@

  • Community Beta
  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4041
  • Karma: +32/-6
  • UI what ?!
Re: Zwave for Installers
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2012, 09:14:48 am »
Seems odd you are asking MCV to support a hack/workaround and not just make UI5 better... [...]
There's the Z-Wave network information (HomeID, NodeIDs, device info, etc.), and then there's the configuration information (scenes, areas, etc.). The former is standard Z-Wave and can be transferred between controllers (i.e. include as a secondary, controller shift, etc.). I'm assuming @TimAlls is floating the idea of support for the latter, which, I think, is vendor specific and possibly proprietary.

[...] forcing the users to rebuild from scratch.....
You can use backups if something goes wrong.
FWIW, as a data point: I have not once rebuilt my network.
Dezwaved at the moment...