Author Topic: Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus  (Read 316 times)

Offline Greybeardvacationrental

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Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus
« on: November 25, 2018, 10:46:47 am »
Well it's time for me to finally upgrade my hardware.  My Vera3 has been working more or less flawlessly for near 4 year now.  But the now space to update is too difficult on a remote property.  So I just purchased the VeraPlus.  I am wondering, given all the problems I've read in here on upgrading from one controller to the other, if it's not just cleaner to unpair everything from the Vera3 and repair with the VeraPlus.  Redo my Pleg and all the plugins too.  Any thoughts?  And if its ok to somehow do a transfer from the Vera3 to the VeraPlus is there a written procedure for this?  I am only at the property for a few weeks out of the year so I can't risk a "brick" situation.

Thanks

Offline rigpapa

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Re: Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus
« Reply #1 on: November 25, 2018, 11:07:52 am »
When I did the same upgrade over a year ago, Vera Support then advised that starting over was the way to go. That among other choices I made along the way (abandoning some previously installed plugins that I suspected contributed to instability) have gotten me a stable system (relative to normal Vera behavior).

As for handling your devices, my advice to you is to take it very slow. Both Veras will be reloading a lot, and you should give them time to stabilize. They will reload at surprising times (e.g. every time you change the device name or assigned room), so just slow the roll on everything. Every single thing you do, don't rush, give Vera plenty of time to do it. If devices don't seem to be working properly after pairing, leave them be until the next day and move on to something else. Things really do heal overnight. For example, devices that go wrong when pairing with the Plus and can't be deleted today no matter what you do will go away on the first attempt tomorrow. As you go device to device, three steps: unpair from the Vera3, then fully reset the device by whatever procedure it may have natively (long presses on various buttons, etc.), then pair it to the Plus. If you find you can't unpair a device from the Vera3 for whatever reason, change its "Automatically configure" to "No" (under Settings tab on Z-wave devices)--this will keep the missing/failed devices on the Vera3 from bogging it down during the many, many reloads that it will go through as you do this.

I took about 5 days to do 80-ish devices. I did it strategically. Remember Z-Wave is a mesh. I chose to go room by room, and I did so in a manner so that at each step, both the Vera3 and Plus were left with a set of devices in which all Z-wave nodes were accessible to others. Sometimes that meant I had to leave one device in a room on the Vera3 so it could be the relay for devices in a more distant room that I wasn't moving to the Plus that day. You can't just start with all the devices closest to the Plus, because eventually you can put devices left on the Vera3 too far out from the controller. You have to mix a bit.

This is also the opportunity for you to find the "perfect" location for your controller, so choose a location that's central in the way your network is now. Networks grow, and sometimes the location we first choose for our controllers isn't the best after a few years of growth. Start your project by pairing 2-3 devices closest to your new location, as an anchor. Then move out from there.

The other thing I advise is that after every couple of hours, or even every hour, stop, back up the Z-Wave network on the Plus (goes much faster than Vera3), and when that's done, do a full backup. During the process, my Plus crashed several times and I would have lost a lot of work had I not had those checkpoint backups to restore. Admittedly, I learned this on the first day after losing all of my work. On this note, while you're moving the Plus around to where the devices are, if you're on AC power, give the Plus plenty of time to settle down after pairing before you unplug it, and I strongly advise that you SSH into your Plus and use the "poweroff" command rather than just unplugging it. This does a more orderly shutdown that will include a proper update of UserData, which is vital.

Good luck! You got this!

[Edit: thought of a bunch more stuff]
« Last Edit: November 25, 2018, 11:18:02 am by rigpapa »
Author of Reactor, DelayLight, SiteSensor, Rachio, Deus Ex Machina II, Intesis WMP Gateway, Auto Virtual Thermostat and VirtualSensor plugins. Vera Plus w/100+ Z-wave devices. Vera3 sandbox.

Online HSD99

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Re: Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus
« Reply #2 on: November 25, 2018, 02:04:47 pm »
I second @rigpapa's advice. I upgraded from the Vera Lite to Vera Plus several years ago by doing the same thing---start over from scratch and take it slow. I would also add that you should make sure that the Notifications Header (Additional diagnostic and operational messages displayed) is turned on. This is the blue banner that was standard in Vera firmware, but has been shipped with a default value of OFF in the last few firmware versions. Go to  Users & Account Info---> Notifications Settings and check the box to turn it back on. This will help you see when the Vera is busy doing its many reloads, backups, etc. Making lots of full backups along the way (and making careful notes so you know what you have) is imperative.

I would also suggest adding all the powered (repeater) devices first, starting with those closest to the hub and working your way outwards in a spiral to build the mesh. Avoid the Z-Wave hourglass effect that occurs when there are too many devices trying to receive data from the Vera Plus through one or two repeating devices. Once the powered mesh is stable, add the battery powered devices. Taking the time at this stage will repay you many times over.

Depending on the complexity of your automation, you might want to look at @rigpapa's plug-ins Reactor 2.0 and DelayLight. You may find, as many folks have, that these can replace complex scene logic, other plug-ins, and PLEG in many cases.

Good luck!

Offline zedrally

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Re: Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2018, 04:54:01 pm »
I'd be reluctant to move all devices over in one go.
Why not set the Vra 3 up either as a stand alone to start with, after all you have it all working, then as you need new devices add them to the Plus.
Your other (easy!) solution is to set up both Vera's , one as Master the other as slave, the slave being the Vera3. In that way you use what you already have setup and add to the network as required.
Support can help you with this, it should be painless.
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Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 10:19:50 am »
Consider getting a UPS and putting both Veras on it. Turn on their wifi. Then you can move them around the house. Remove a device from the vera3 then swap to the plus and enroll it. Odds are by the time that is done, vera3 will be ready for next disenroll.

If you go this route, disenroll the battery powered devices first before you take away their powered relay nodes.

Offline Greybeardvacationrental

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Re: Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 09:39:57 pm »
Thanks for all of the input!  Sounds like a fresh install is the best way to go...  It's not the devices, its my pleg setup that will be the time consumer.  I'm pretty sure I'll go around with the vera 3 on day 1 and remove all devices and factory reset them.  Then go around on day 2 and add them to the vera plus and then redo my scenes and pleg.  I'll have to look into those plug-ins for possible substitute.  I can tell you what I use pleg for mainly.  The property is a vacation rental and I have GE paddle dimmer switches which people can't seem to figure out.  When they go to turn them off they hold it down thus dimming it... so it's never really off.  Just dimmed to like 3%.  I don't need to stress out the switches with them being on all of the time so I use pleg to write code that says if the dimmer switch gets to 5% or below then turn off.  I also use pleg to auto turn off lights if they are turned on during the day time and left on for more than 2 hours.  Guests tend to get up in the morning turn on lights to get ready and then head out for the day to tour Glacier.  I use pleg to turn them off for them when they forget except for a couple of designated lights they can leave on so they have light in the house when they return in the evening.  If these plug ins can handle these scenarios and it's less time consuming to set up then I'd be all for it.  If not, I don't mind rebuilding it.  I documented all my steps so it would just be the time involved. 

I don't want to use the Vera3 with what is currently on it because it has the issue with updating with a lack of space.  I need to back up, reset, update and then restore.  I've had issues doing that in the past and since I do not live where the property is, it has caused great expense and wasted time.   I think I'd rather just run one unit and I'll keep the wiped Vera 3 as a backup unit in case the vera plus fails.   

The notification advise is golden.  I would have been thinking they got rid of it for the vera plus.  Also good stuff on how to add devices.  I've redone my mesh before but I think I just went room by room and not in a spiral or anything like that.  And I added the battery devices as I went.  The only things I have on battery are the touchpad locks and the smoke detectors so probably why it hasn't been much of an issue.  However, would this make the battery operated devices be at the end of the mesh and therefore not a relay point and thus saving battery life?  That would be nice.

In any case.  Thanks again.  I'll be able to plan my time budget better knowing what I am in for. 

Online HSD99

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Re: Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus
« Reply #6 on: November 26, 2018, 10:15:46 pm »
Battery devices are not signal repeaters. They are mesh clients only, hence adding them when you have a solid mesh will likely give better overall results.

Good luck!

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Upgrading from Vera3 to VeraPlus
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 07:48:25 pm »
For the PLEG transfer, you can export from V3 and import into V+. The devices numbers added to the V+ can be changed to the number used in the V3. Logic should then work.
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