Author Topic: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level  (Read 8862 times)

Offline grybrd

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #15 on: October 21, 2010, 06:45:13 pm »
I agree 100% with what JOD just stated ... including offering praise to Ovidiu and others in Tech Support.  JOD and others on here have always had a positive attitude and did everything they could to take the pressure off MCV by helping others.  It is time for all of us to proactively ( not negatively ) inform MCV management about finishing what they start before moving on to other projects. 

Offline Ap15e

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #16 on: October 22, 2010, 04:26:55 am »
If you would like to know how reliable Vera is, setup a scene which logs the uptime:

Code: [Select]
local filename = '/etc/cmh/uptimes.log'

local outf = io.open(filename, 'a')

outf:write(os.date('%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S '..os.time()..' '))

outf:close()

os.execute('uptime >> '..filename )

Results for my Vera1@1.1.1047 attached.

Bug submitted: #1315
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 05:41:46 am by Ap15e »

Offline Ap15e

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #17 on: October 22, 2010, 04:38:24 am »
@JOD

We should keep in mind that we are customers - not co-developers.

For me, the time I dedicate to help MCV improve Vera and to support other customers depends on the time MCV is willing to spend on my issues.

IMHO, there are three main issues MCV has to cope with:
reliabilty, security, usability

We can point out reliability/security/usability issues, but as customers we are not able to fix these issues. We can observe how MCV handles the issues raised by the community (via forum and via Mantis) and draw our own conclusions.

Things we can do:
Submitting trouble tickets (if submitting a trouble ticket doesn't fail ...) and documenting bugs in Mantis.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2010, 05:34:41 am by Ap15e »

Offline Ap15e

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2010, 07:49:01 am »
BTW, I submitted trouble ticket #5153 on 20.10.2010 12:15 and trouble ticket #5253 on 22.10.2010 13:41.

So the frequency seems to be about 50 tickets/day.

Offline JOD

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #19 on: October 22, 2010, 10:36:45 am »
@Ap15e,

First let me say I agree with you. AND...

I don't need a scene to tell me how UN-reliable Vera is. I have my wife for that.  ;D I brainwashed her saying don't turn the lights on / off  "Let Vera do it" as though it was the maid, butler or servant. My wife now stands in the foyer when she comes back from the store with an arm full of groceries waiting for the lights to turn on after entering her code at the door and those words have come full circle and biting me in the *#!  "The lights didn't turn on" or "the A/C has been running all day with no one home", like finger nails on a blackboard...LOL

I also know I am a customer, a paying customer, TWICE; and we are somewhat of co-developers due to our bug reports and feature requests. Remember the thread about MCV's web site?..Cmon, why would there be any discussion about MCV's web site if people didn't feel that they had a HUGE part in the product? Do you really care if the site is well laid out or if there are typo's on their pages? I just want the product I paid for.

My point is this. I WANT TO PUSH TO GET VERA FIXED BEFORE IT GETS DROPPED. I'm on that path but collectively we can make it happen sooner. We all know it needs fixing so that should not be a come back discussion.

You are right about the three main issues and to run through the logic of the list I think the priority changes.  Who cares about security if you do not have usability and reliability. If you do not have reliability you don't have usability. So the main issue comes back to fixing the code and I'm not trying to split hairs.

Don't get me wrong here, I'm not trying to bash MCV, the product or any user. I'm just stating my user experience which is the same as ALOT of other users and I'm not happy. MCV is not answering the phone or emails. I am thankful for this forum and the contributors to be able to reach out to those that need a little help in getting their units running. Just to end on a positive note.

JOD.
I'm sorry, my responses are limited. You must ask the right questions.

Offline Ap15e

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #20 on: October 22, 2010, 12:43:52 pm »
@JOD

I'm not sure whether MCV would trust your wife (How to reproduce the bug: Ask my wife!). ;D Lets document the bugs with Vera's own assets.

I cannot tell where Vera is heading. But I can ask whether Vera does work without MCV's servers (and without internet connection) ...

Offline mtf

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #21 on: October 25, 2010, 06:21:45 am »
I think the Vera is a wonderful idea, a nice Linux box that controls devices and I have 3 of them in my vacation homes, but I must say it is pretty rough around the edges and numerous things just didn't work easily.

One incredibly irritating flaw is that if you write some Luup code and don't put a carriage return or space at the very end of it then when all the Lua is joined together all of your Lua gives an error, because somewhere it no doubt reads 'endend' rather than 'end (some sort of whitespace) end'.  That particular bug took me ages to find and to be honest it would be trivial to fix it by just automatically checking that any Lua entered ends with a carriage return.  It isn't a mistake I would make again in a hurry, but it is very frustrating for a newbie.  I simply couldn't understand what I was doing wrong and I don't lack coding experience.

Having said that z-Wave technology itself seems pretty immature.  It took me ages to work out that you need to rapidly click the switch on the back of the Hawking HomeRemote Pro HRDS1 Door/Window Sensor 3 times in order to include it.  To be honest I fiddled with it for hours, without being able to find any documentation or to work out what was going wrong with it.  Eventually I got so frustrated with it I started clicking it like mad and then as if by magic it included itself!

Having worked these things out I have put my Vera's into a pretty hostile environment (ie short-term rental property) and they are now working flawlessly despite running around 600 lines of Lua.  The one thing that the Vera really lacks though is some sort of locking to ensure that code isn't re-entered while running.  I haven't been able to work out how to do that really well with Lua as yet, but I have tried a few bits and pieces that work to some extent.

That isn't to say that people don't try hard to break things though.  I have had people changing the thermostats from Fahrenheit to Celsius which broke lots of stuff, and they have also fiddled with the easily found 'calibration' settings on the Trane thermostats, but all these things can be overcome with the Vera and a fair bit of Lua.  It is also great that I was able to extend and enhance the Energy Profiler by editing the xml and uploading it.

In its current state the Vera is a fantastic product but it can't go mass market because it is so rough around the edges.  Furthermore it is pretty poorly documented which makes life even more difficult.  There isn't even full documentation for all the API's.  Furthermore the need to view all the log files through the command line is pretty dreadful.  In my case I am at the property once a year, so I need to be able to view it from elsewhere.  I have managed to get around it because I have servers on the internet that are running ssh and I have a shell script on each vera and connects to a remote server and opens a remote port in much the same way as MiCasaVerde do it.

mcvovidiu

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #22 on: October 26, 2010, 02:33:25 pm »
Hi all,

First of all, I'm sorry that most of you feel this way about the way things are evolving (because they do). We're working really hard on Vera to make it better. And, indeed, we did loose focus at some point on improving it and went adding features and stuff because voices asked for them. Right now, the feature list is our lowest priority. I'm positive that in 1 month top, all major issues reported by customers will be solved.

Sometimes it seems like we don't provide inside info or keep customers up to date with what we're doing, but it's not like that. The developers are constantly updating the status of their work and Aaron is posting them when it's the case. We have the Company Blog which will be updated soon. Some of you already know that big things will happen and the main product we need for all of them is Vera along with it's hardware. Without it stable and usable, there's no future in anything we want to accomplish. I'm saying this just to assure those who are skeptics that development and improvement of Vera will continue for a very very long time from now on.

We really appreciate all the feedback and constant help you provide along with the Beta Testing members. Without you, the UI4 won't be here now and Vera 2 hardware either.

As for the support, we're trying to reply in less than 1 (working day) for each ticket, but sometimes cases slip between cracks or are treated with less priority (a feature request will get a later response than one of a customer who's Vera is not working or he cannot include devices with it). And I'm not saying that a reply for the feature request is not necessary, but it can wait a little bit longer. Another thing we're trying to accomplish is to reply to each ticket regardless the problem/question/unknown he has and we succeed most of the time.

I hope that soon this kind of topics won't appear on the forums because things are not like this and for sure we don't ignore our customers.

Thanks!

PS
I know this forum is monitored by MCV, even the personal messages. Great. I have a lot to say!!

Yes, we monitor the forum, but no way we monitor the personal messages, we really don't have time for that and even if we do, we will spend it on something useful since most of the forum users say what's on their mind here, in threads, not in PMs. Anyway, we would probably need another employee to do this and those are not money well spent in our opinion.

Offline JOD

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #23 on: October 26, 2010, 03:18:06 pm »
@mcvovidiu,

Apology accepted and it's good to see you and hear from MCV. I think it's been about a month.
Honestly, if MCV spent a bit more time on here you might see the real issues as they unfold. I'm not saying you need to get involved with the usual thoughts and suggestions but trouble issues, might be insightful.

It's also good news that feature requests will be halted until the issues are under control. That was one of the discussions for moving forward.

#1. Issues (usability & stability) #2. Logic function. #3. Feature requests.

JOD.

Ps. Thank you for the new title
I'm sorry, my responses are limited. You must ask the right questions.

renato

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #24 on: October 26, 2010, 04:28:24 pm »
Incorporated in LV, the main development office California, (your neck of the woods strangely ;D) tech support in Romania., 
I hate threads that go on forever as they tend to lose the original reason of the post. But I am going to do something about this, I don't mind speaking my mind to MCV about the lack of support or praising Ovidiu, Valentin & the rest of tech support for their efforts. I know these guys are swamped and trying to get the issues resolved but they can only do what they are told to do.
I wont speak for anyone else here as I have not been asked to and will try to use the word I instead of Us or we as this has been my experience over the last year and its got to come to a close with the issues.
*Granted, it's a work in progress and a software based device, I understand that but issues that transfer from one FW to the next is not acceptable.
I know some users will blast me for blasting MCV and that's OK. If your happy with your Vera that's good news, for me its got something broken that I want fixed. I have been asked to reach out to a few forum contributors after my last post to move this complaint list forward and I will do that. If you want these issues fixed then lets do something about it collectively. If not then I will try on my own.

If you don't agree with me or my views, that's your right but I will not sit idle waiting for a fix. I have literally spent thousands of hours on this project that seems to be heading for an unhappy end. My wife told me I should have bought the HomeSeer, It's too late for that now as I am in the thick of this project and want it to succeed (as I'm sure everyone else does here) We as end users have gotten Vera to where it is now.

I know this forum is monitored by MCV, even the personal messages. Great. I have a lot to say!! And what I feel we are here is an experiment, V1 & V2 were the prelude to test the waters for where the project should go. V1 & V2 need a fix before the plug is pulled. We as end users need to band together and get the issues fixed. ASAP.

Thoughts, comments, suggestions?

JOD.

Way to go JOD, I am just on the sideline as a newB, but I do share your exasperation, thoughts and feelings. Althought Ovidiu, Valentin and Alfonso are very helpful, the trouble tickets that i have sent have not been resolved. i join you and others in raising complaints against MCV.

Offline mtf

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #25 on: October 26, 2010, 05:49:16 pm »
Going back to what this topic was about I am rather worried that the battery level on my 3-in-1 devices and other sensors may be completely wrong because I do rely upon it to let me know when I need to change the batteries.  Of course I could just wait until I see that the sensor isn't waking up anymore, but it would be nice to know in advance of that!

Offline michaelk

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #26 on: October 26, 2010, 06:20:55 pm »
has anyone opened a ticket or a bug report on this so we know it's in the official todo list?

I assume so but never hurts to ask.   ;)

Offline JOD

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #27 on: October 26, 2010, 06:54:32 pm »
The reason for the ranting was brought about by the original post of the battery status. The battery status issue has been known for a while with nothing APPEARING to be done about it. The battery issue is also a security / safety issue and should be high up on the priority list and we should push to get it resolved rather than just waiting for the next FW release and hoping the fix is incorporated. We should also insist on a list of fixes that each FW fix addresses.

Agreed. Tech support are an amazing bunch of guys, my hat is off to them and my ranting was not directed at an individual but to MCV as a company. Obviously, we don't know the whole story as to what goes on at MCV but it is assumed that they are very busy and we only see the result of individuals experiences of using Vera from this forum. Vera was marketed with a girl in an apartment setting up her system and then logging in remotely with a cell phone to make an adjustment. I think we all know it was not that easy and thanks to this forum, users can help other users get over some user experience hurdles.

JOD.

I cant log into Mantis to search the 3 in 1 but will keep trying.
  
HRDS1: http://bugs.micasaverde.com/view.php?id=1309

General Battery Warning Level: http://bugs.micasaverde.com/view.php?id=1303
I'm sorry, my responses are limited. You must ask the right questions.

Offline mtf

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Re: Current state of battery operated devices' ability to report battery level
« Reply #28 on: October 27, 2010, 05:56:00 am »
The mention of the 3-in-1 only updating battery status at configuration made me wonder if I would get an update by running the network heal and reconfigure stuff.

Anyway I left it running for a few hours and it reported that one of my 3-in-1 devices couldn't be configured, but everything else was.  I was sort of concerned about that particular 3-in-1 because LastWakeup hadn't changed for a few hours.

Anyway the good news is that the 3-in-1 did eventually start talking to the Vera again and a few hours after the network heal had finished it even changed the battery level reducing it from 97 to 96, so hopefully the battery level info is vaguely reliable.  Having said that I am somewhat surprised that after a couple of months of use all 6 of our 3-in-1 sensors are still reporting battery levels in the high nineties.  Does anybody have a feel for how long batteries should last in a 3-in-1 that is tripping just a few times each day?