Author Topic: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation  (Read 9428 times)

Offline madas

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Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« on: September 08, 2009, 09:42:42 pm »
I just read over the wiki for the Intermatic Handheld Remotes (Thanks Librasun) and am trying to get my head around exactly why the OFF buttons on the remote all trigger the same scene (scene 0).  Is there no way to differentiate between Button 1 Off and Button 2 Off? will that always be the case?

Thanks

Vera(1.0.958), Dongle(2.78), WDTC-20 Thermostat, HA02C Appliance Module, HA-04WD Outdoor Appliance Module, HA20C Dimmer, HA-07WD Remote, HSM100 Motion/Light/Temp, HA03C Lamp Module, HA02C Appliance Module, BE369 Schlage Deadbolt

Offline micasaverde

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2009, 11:42:18 pm »
There's no way around it.  That's the way the Z-Wave device works.

Offline LibraSun

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #2 on: September 08, 2009, 11:47:06 pm »
I trust and respect MCV's expertise, so you must forgive the following outburst:

That totally sucks!

This brings me right back to wanting to incorporate my plain old $5 X10 remotes for use as scene triggers, where each side of a toggle and every button will (can) send a different "code".

Wow, what were the Z-Wave folks thinking (I'm looking at you, Zensys) when they dreamed up this oddball behavior?  Sadder still that Vera cannot be taught to tease apart different 'Off' buttons from a $50-150 controller.

Ho hum, grumble, fume, and all that.
Vera Model I running UI4 (Firmware 1.1.1338), died in 2015
Vera Plus running UI7 (Firmware 1.7.2935)

Offline madas

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2009, 07:20:18 am »
Same here.  I have to go back to my old X10 remotes, which are unreliable but allow me to turn individual devices on and off!
Vera(1.0.958), Dongle(2.78), WDTC-20 Thermostat, HA02C Appliance Module, HA-04WD Outdoor Appliance Module, HA20C Dimmer, HA-07WD Remote, HSM100 Motion/Light/Temp, HA03C Lamp Module, HA02C Appliance Module, BE369 Schlage Deadbolt

Offline micasaverde

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #4 on: September 09, 2009, 12:28:35 pm »
Quote
Wow, what were the Z-Wave folks thinking

There's a mis-understanding here.  This *isn't* the way the Z-Wave folks intended it.  The Z-Wave scene transfer command, which you use to get the scenes into the handheld remote, let's you specify (a) the scene id, aka button, (b) the device id and a level.  So, scene button 3 can turn node 8 to 70% and node 5 to 50%.  There is no concept of 'off'.  Intermatic and the others added the concept of 'off' by just saying 'whatever node we turned on, 8 and 5 in this case, set them to 0'.

The problem with the Zensys scene is that it works only for lights, because a scene takes nothing more than a level value for a node (0-100).  So, we our docs describe: method #1 where Vera programs your scene controller using the officially sanctioned method.  This means if you create a scene that turns the thermostat to 70 degrees, sets light 5 to 20% and light 3 to 50%, Vera will program in the scene controller 'light 5 is 20%, light 3 is 50%', and skip the thermostat.  Then your 'off' buttons work--Intermatic sends an 'off' to light 5 and 3.

But, to get around the limitation of a scene only controlling lights, we invented our own workaround: method #2.  Vera tells the scene controller that Vera is a light.  Vera programs scene #1 to set Vera to 1% dim level.  Scene #2 programs Vera to 2%, etc.  Now, when Vera gets the 'Light switch go to 2% dim level' Vera says "Aha, scene button #2 was pushed", and runs the scene which has the 'scene button #2' event attached.  In this way the scene can set the thermostat, turn on an X10 light, turn off the TV with infrared, etc.  So with method #2, Vera is acting as the intermediary.  This is the 'treat scenes as events' option.

Now you see the problem with the 'off' buttons, right?  The off button just sends a 'go to level 0' to whatever node it otherwise would turn on.  Since scene buttons #1 through 5 all just turn "Vera the light switch" on to different dim levels, the 'off' for scenes #1 through 5 all do the same thing: 'turn Vera the light switch off, to level 0'.  Vera can't know which one you pressed.

The limitation, therefore, is not from Zensys.  It's because Intermatic did a 'hack' to get the off concept to work, since Zensys scenes don't have an off.  And Vera did a 'hack' with method #2 to let scenes to do more than lights.  And the 2 hacks are not fully compatible.

Offline LibraSun

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #5 on: September 09, 2009, 12:47:46 pm »
Thank you, MCV... I'd been waiting and hoping for this explanation for a looong time.

My hat's off to you and Vera for the lovely hack #2 (though I sorely wish Vera could train today's remote's OFF buttons to send her DIM messages she could interpret, etc.).

To Zensys et al, however, I maintain:  This design could have been better!

MCV, are you saying Method #2 cannot be "enhanced" to that Vera could keep track of the Node being told to turn 'On' or 'Off'?  So that OFF buttons retain their independent function?

Right now, from what you said, Vera is posing as a single device (light), responding only to various coded DIM commands.  Why can't Vera pose as N devices (lights), each capable of responding to both DIM and OFF commands?

That's the part I just don't understand.
« Last Edit: September 09, 2009, 12:52:17 pm by LibraSun »
Vera Model I running UI4 (Firmware 1.1.1338), died in 2015
Vera Plus running UI7 (Firmware 1.7.2935)

Offline nolos

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #6 on: September 09, 2009, 12:48:18 pm »
....My brain just fell out of my head trying to comprehend that.lol

Offline LibraSun

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #7 on: September 09, 2009, 12:55:48 pm »
LOL, nolos.

To summarize:  Users who want to use remotes to activate Scenes within Vera, with Method #2 (see Wiki), effectively lose half of their remotes' potential.  Because all the OFF toggles now appear to Vera as the same command.

You get (N/2)+1 possible Scenes instead of 2N possible scenes!  Boo.
Vera Model I running UI4 (Firmware 1.1.1338), died in 2015
Vera Plus running UI7 (Firmware 1.7.2935)

Offline Chimpware

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #8 on: September 09, 2009, 01:25:24 pm »
Quote
Wow, what were the Z-Wave folks thinking

There's a mis-understanding here.  This *isn't* the way the Z-Wave folks intended it.  The Z-Wave scene transfer command, which you use to get the scenes into the handheld remote, let's you specify (a) the scene id, aka button, (b) the device id and a level.  So, scene button 3 can turn node 8 to 70% and node 5 to 50%.  There is no concept of 'off'.  Intermatic and the others added the concept of 'off' by just saying 'whatever node we turned on, 8 and 5 in this case, set them to 0'.

The problem with the Zensys scene is that it works only for lights, because a scene takes nothing more than a level value for a node (0-100).  So, we our docs describe: method #1 where Vera programs your scene controller using the officially sanctioned method.  This means if you create a scene that turns the thermostat to 70 degrees, sets light 5 to 20% and light 3 to 50%, Vera will program in the scene controller 'light 5 is 20%, light 3 is 50%', and skip the thermostat.  Then your 'off' buttons work--Intermatic sends an 'off' to light 5 and 3.

But, to get around the limitation of a scene only controlling lights, we invented our own workaround: method #2.  Vera tells the scene controller that Vera is a light.  Vera programs scene #1 to set Vera to 1% dim level.  Scene #2 programs Vera to 2%, etc.  Now, when Vera gets the 'Light switch go to 2% dim level' Vera says "Aha, scene button #2 was pushed", and runs the scene which has the 'scene button #2' event attached.  In this way the scene can set the thermostat, turn on an X10 light, turn off the TV with infrared, etc.  So with method #2, Vera is acting as the intermediary.  This is the 'treat scenes as events' option.

Now you see the problem with the 'off' buttons, right?  The off button just sends a 'go to level 0' to whatever node it otherwise would turn on.  Since scene buttons #1 through 5 all just turn "Vera the light switch" on to different dim levels, the 'off' for scenes #1 through 5 all do the same thing: 'turn Vera the light switch off, to level 0'.  Vera can't know which one you pressed.

The limitation, therefore, is not from Zensys.  It's because Intermatic did a 'hack' to get the off concept to work, since Zensys scenes don't have an off.  And Vera did a 'hack' with method #2 to let scenes to do more than lights.  And the 2 hacks are not fully compatible.

Just curious then, why not create more than one virtual Vera light device to achieve this behavior?  That way you could make use of all the buttons.  In other words, during the setup of a particular remote, set up amn equal number of virtual lights corresponding to the number of buttons on the remote.

Offline guessed

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2009, 01:39:50 pm »
A "method 1.5" would be nice where:

  • Vera would add more than one "Proxy" ZWave Scene-aware Switch devices to the ZWave network
  • Tie this [Proxy] ZWave device to a Scene, as you would with Method 1.
  • Have the [ZWave] Scene controller device behave like Method 1.

This would mean that the Scene controller would work for regular "Lights", even if Vera was down or just being grumpy at the time.

Mine are currently method 1, since I believe that the HA Device (Vera) should Assist/Augment/Automate, and not Control.  This means that the lights "just work" in all cases...  but I'd love to be able to extend that to cover a few non Scene-aware devices (like my Outdoor ZWave Appliance module, and perhaps "Turn the TV on" type stuff).

In method 1.5, there'd be a graceful degredation (loss of Vera's Scenes) if Vera stopped working, but basic light functionality would work just fine.

The key to all this is that the Dongle Firmware would need to support some notion of this "Proxy" in Hardware. 

ie. ZWave deviceId's  0, 4, 22, & 31 events all need to be sent to the Vera dongle (unique addressing).

Additionally, each of these would need to be setup by Vera telling the dongle directly about it, since there's no "button" to press on the Scene to create this type of device (but the scene would need a way to asset it, to get a ZWave device id)

Offline brsipaq

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2009, 04:06:21 pm »
Why not the following:
On buttons - 51% = button 1, 52% = button 2, etc.

Off buttions - 41% = button 1, 42% = button 2, etc.

Or did I miss something?

Brian
Controllers - Vera firmware 979 Dongle version 2.78 L:1, GE 45601 and 45608, HA07c, HA09c
Outlets/Switches - HA01c, (2) HA02c, (4) VRI06, (2) VRS15, HA04c (Not used yet) Sensor - HRDS1 Door/Window (garage door) Thermostat - WDTC-20 IP Camera - Linksys WVC54GCA

Offline nolos

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #11 on: September 09, 2009, 04:31:24 pm »
I may be way of the reservation here since my brain fell out and all but why couldn't you use the same "on" buttons as "off" buttons eg. If button 1 is pressed activate scene that turns everything on or whatever you have set up and set status to "true" if button 1 is pressed check status.  If status ="true" then activate another scene that's set up to do the opposite as the other scene (turn everything off or whatever), change status to "false". If button 1 is pressed and the status is false run the first scene and set to true.  Then we don't even need the off buttons.....not a programmer so here's the next question....can that even be done :)

Offline micasaverde

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #12 on: September 09, 2009, 06:19:54 pm »
Quote
Why can't Vera pose as N devices (lights),

Z-Wave doesn't allow that.  Vera has a single Z-Wave module in the dongle, with a single node id.

Quote
method 1.5

That actually is an excellent idea.  So we would do both at once.  Vera you attach a scene to a button on a scene controller/remote.  Vera separates the z-wave lights vs. everything else, programming the lights using method #1, but also adding Vera as a light for method #2.  Then when you hit the 'off' button, it will have no effect on thermostats/etc., but turn the lights off.  I'll add it to the todo list.

http://bugs.micasaverde.com/view.php?id=631

Offline nolos

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #13 on: September 09, 2009, 06:58:05 pm »
....so....you responded to everyone's reply but mine......as in...like....mine was bad?.....DAMIT! I SUCK!...jk :)

Offline Boyo

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Re: Intermatic Handheld Remotes - Scene De-activation
« Reply #14 on: September 10, 2009, 12:33:06 am »
Quote
method 1.5

That actually is an excellent idea.  So we would do both at once.  Vera you attach a scene to a button on a scene controller/remote.  Vera separates the z-wave lights vs. everything else, programming the lights using method #1, but also adding Vera as a light for method #2.  Then when you hit the 'off' button, it will have no effect on thermostats/etc., but turn the lights off.  I'll add it to the todo list.

http://bugs.micasaverde.com/view.php?id=631

That is exactly what I was just thinking, the only thing I ask is that you make it work with more then just the 4 or 5 button controllers, I would say up to 10 buttons, 0-9. I really hope to see this so that I could use it for my lighting and still be able to do other stuff with it.

Now on the programming side of this, it would require the remote to be reprogrammed every time you change the scene, yes? If so I'll probably get intimate with reprogramming the remote I have as I play with the scenes I want.
Vera UI4 1.1.1183; Schalge Link Door Handle; HA18WD 3-Way/Single-Pole Switch x2; WDHA-12R - Wireless Gateway Module; Trane Thermostat; Retired: WDTC-20 - Z-Wave Enabled Thermostat