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Author Topic: Mesh networking - need help, please  (Read 1236 times)

Offline cowger

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Mesh networking - need help, please
« on: January 22, 2019, 03:15:27 pm »
I have a Z-wave GE outlet under my sink that is supposed to turn on/off the instant hot water.  I have never been able to get this outlet to work reliably... about half the time, I get a "Cannot contact device, error code 1..." message.  Apparently the wood cabinet door is preventing reliable radio access to this outlet; why, I honestly don't know, as I thought that radio signals would go right through wood.  But having the cabinet door open or closed seems to affect it.

I'm a complete Z-wave newb, but I'm trying to figure out why this outlet isn't correctly working in the mesh network.  I've tried to map out my network, as follows:

Device name       Device#       AltID     Neighbors
Instant                38               14         5,8
RecircPump          36               10         1,11
RoofHeat              5                 5           1,11
Pantry                  39               11         1,5,8,10
Doorlock               6                 8          1,11

(Instant, RecircPump,Roofheat, and Pantry are all Z-wave outlets)
I'm assuming that the "Neighbors" field refers to the "AltID" field.  Is this correct?
My guess to the issue here is that nobody considers "Instant" (the problem outlet) to be a neighbor.  And Instant can't see node 1.

I installed the outlet "Pantry" intentionally close to "Instant" in the hope that it would help relay messages to/from "Instant".  But that's not working.

Is there some way I can force "Pantry" to see "Instant" as a neighbor and thus perform this relay function?

Or perhaps I'm way out in left field...

Thanks for any help!
Bryan

Offline Catman

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2019, 04:05:46 pm »
I don't think AltID is that at all. Neighbours is the node with which each node communicates.
It appears that you can edit nearest neighbours directly which may be worth a try, or you can go to 'Device Options' and hit the button?

I'm no expert though.....

C

Offline cowger

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2019, 04:24:58 pm »
Thanks for the response.

I tried to go to Device Options and hit "Update Neighbor Nodes" - it gives me a "Received Empty Response" message.

I also tried manually adding device 14 to the list of Neighbor Nodes for "Instant", but it doesn't want to take that addition.

If Neighbor Nodes doesn't refer to AltID, then the list of Neighbor Nodes seems to make no sense to me...

Offline rafale77

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2019, 04:33:11 pm »
AltID on vera corresponds to the zwave ID. It is different from the device ID which is a different set used by the vera. One altID may correspond to many vera device IDs in order to represent the physical device as well as possible. There are arguably better ways to do this but it is just how the vera platform was designed.
As for your problem, indeed the ids list in the neighbor's list are AltIDs. You may just have a poor network meshing to get to that "instant" device. It is perfectly fine for it not to connect to (1 which is the vera) directly. It should be connecting through 5 and 8 but it is definitely from your list, the device which requires one hop. The problem is here that devices 8 and 5 do not see device 14 as a neighbor as you noted. Try to run a network heal, or try removing and re-including that device into your network. It will cause your network to try to remesh it.
openLuup (79 devices, 141 scenes, 19 apps) master to VeraPlus (142 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 221 devices,  20 scenes , 2 apps) +  Hubitat (15 Zigbee nodes) + Home-Assistant (API Integrations). Bridged to Siri and Alexa. Homewave. VeraPlus ExtRooted and mios server independent.

Offline cowger

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2019, 04:52:08 pm »
AltID on vera corresponds to the zwave ID. It is different from the device ID which is a different set used by the vera. One altID may correspond to many vera device IDs in order to represent the physical device as well as possible. There are arguably better ways to do this but it is just how the vera platform was designed.
As for your problem, indeed the ids list in the neighbor's list are AltIDs. You may just have a poor network meshing to get to that "instant" device. It is perfectly fine for it not to connect to (1 which is the vera) directly. It should be connecting through 5 and 8 but it is definitely from your list, the device which requires one hop. The problem is here that devices 8 and 5 do not see device 14 as a neighbor as you noted. Try to run a network heal, or try removing and re-including that device into your network. It will cause your network to try to remesh it.

Thank you, Rafale, for confirming the definition of AltID.  Makes sense.

Device 8 is a battery powered doorlock, so I wouldn't expect it to relay commands to "Instant".  But device 5 is another always-on outlet, but I don't know why it can't see "Instant".

You suggest to run a network heal -- I don't know how to do that, and thought I read somewhere that it was removed with UI7???

You also suggest to remove and re-include the device.  My understanding was that to include a device it needs to be right next to the Vera box -- is that wrong?  Can I include it while its installed under the kitchen sink and thus invisible to node 1?

Bryan

Offline Catman

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2019, 04:59:43 pm »
Ahh I see what you meant by the AltID. Doh! Sorry.

C

Offline rafale77

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2019, 05:02:01 pm »

You also suggest to remove and re-include the device.  My understanding was that to include a device it needs to be right next to the Vera box -- is that wrong?  Can I include it while its installed under the kitchen sink and thus invisible to node 1?

Bryan


It depends a lot on the type of device. My experience with it is that I actually want the device as close as possible to its final location when I include it. Devices which require a lot of communications to include may work better by being closer. Before I modified my vera, my experience was actually quite the opposite. My devices were sending too fast for the vera and the vera would fail the configuration because it would not get the data it was expected. (it missed them). I would need to take some distance and put some devices in between to complete the configuration. I would say try it and see if it works. zwave plus devices in particular shouldn't have too many problems including. I have included devices 3-4 hops away.

The heal in the vera is now called "update neighbor nodes" in the vera zwave menu.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2019, 05:10:44 pm by rafale77 »
openLuup (79 devices, 141 scenes, 19 apps) master to VeraPlus (142 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 221 devices,  20 scenes , 2 apps) +  Hubitat (15 Zigbee nodes) + Home-Assistant (API Integrations). Bridged to Siri and Alexa. Homewave. VeraPlus ExtRooted and mios server independent.

Offline cowger

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2019, 05:12:57 pm »
It depends a lot on the type of device. My experience with it is that I actually want the device as close as possible to its final location when I include it. Devices which require a lot of communications to include may work better by being closer. Before I modified my vera, my experience was actually quite the opposite. My devices were sending too fast for the vera and the vera would fail the configuration because it would not get the data it was expected. (it missed them). I would need to take some distance and put some devices in between to complete the configuration. I would say try it and see if it works. zwave plus devices in particular shouldn't have too many problems including. I have included devices 3-4 hops away.

The heal in the vera is now called "update neighbor nodes" in the vera zwave menu.

Awesome, thank you again!!  I will try pairing the device where it is installed and see if that works. 

Cheers,
Bryan

Offline Don Phillips

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #8 on: January 24, 2019, 08:30:11 pm »
Let me add that I have the best luck including devices when I take the Vera to the device instead of the device to the Vera during inclusion.
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Offline cowger

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #9 on: March 01, 2019, 10:52:41 am »
Sorry for the slow pace of updates - this problem is in a 2nd home so I'm not always here and able to debug this.

Let me add that I have the best luck including devices when I take the Vera to the device instead of the device to the Vera during inclusion.

Thanks for this.  I ended up excluding the problem outlet (Instant hot water) and couldn't include it with Vera in its normal (central) location.  Using the above tip, it did finally include successfully, re-naming it in the process. 

However, now the whole mesh mapping seems to have collapsed:

Device name       Device#       AltID     Prev Neighbors       Current neighbors
Instant2                38               14         5,8                               1
RecircPump          36               10         1,11                              1
RoofHeat              5                 5           1,11                             1
Pantry                  39               11         1,5,8,10                        1
Doorlock               6                 8          1,11                              1

IOW, now no nodes seem to see any neighbors.  And with Instant seeing only node 1, it is still exhibiting the flaky connection behavior.

A step backwards.  It has been a week since I did this re-inclusion and it doesn't seem to be re-learning the mesh.  Strange.

Bryan

Offline therealdb

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #10 on: March 01, 2019, 11:53:17 am »
In a very similar situation (energy meter is outdoor, at 30+mts from my Vera) I had to move my HEM device closer (that means to drill some holes in a concrete wall). no matter how many devices I tried to put in between Vera and the HEM, I had to move them in order to make them communicate directly and properly.

maybe it's not what you'd want to hear, but I found that for some kind of devices the mesh doesn't work very well.
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Offline wilme2

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #11 on: March 01, 2019, 12:00:24 pm »
So in the old UI5 we could manually kick-off a z-wave heal, plus we could put in manual routes and see the auto-routes to give us some information as to how things were routing.  At this point in UI7 we don't have those tools.

Which Vera model?
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Offline shallowearth

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #12 on: March 01, 2019, 05:49:50 pm »
Honestly, you might also try using a appliance plug in instead of an outlet.  Those z-wave outlets have been the bane of my existence and I have gotten rid of most of them in my house because their radio capabilities seem to be uniformly bad (I have had similarly bad luck with micro-controllers probably for the same reason).  Basically you are putting them in a jbox in the wall in a cabinet, the signal just isn't going to be strong enough.  Using a plug in appliance model while less awesome looking is going to have a stronger radio and not be in the jbox, so going to have a much better chance of meshing with others.

Offline cowger

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2019, 11:28:07 am »
In a very similar situation (energy meter is outdoor, at 30+mts from my Vera) I had to move my HEM device closer (that means to drill some holes in a concrete wall). no matter how many devices I tried to put in between Vera and the HEM, I had to move them in order to make them communicate directly and properly.

maybe it's not what you'd want to hear, but I found that for some kind of devices the mesh doesn't work very well.

Yes, it's not ideal, but better understanding what's possible and correctly setting my expectations is definitely useful.  At this point, I'm willing to make some changes if I can figure out a workable solution.

Thank you!

Offline cowger

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Re: Mesh networking - need help, please
« Reply #14 on: March 06, 2019, 11:29:33 am »
So in the old UI5 we could manually kick-off a z-wave heal, plus we could put in manual routes and see the auto-routes to give us some information as to how things were routing.  At this point in UI7 we don't have those tools.

Which Vera model?

VeraLite.

I was under the impression (could be wrong) that UI7 did its own network heal each night.  Based on that, I was hoping that this "neighbor" thing would heal itself over time, but that's clearly not the case.  So I remain confused...