We have moved at community.getvera.com

Author Topic: Access control for vacation rentals via Vera - Share your experience  (Read 7048 times)

Offline DrZWave

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 79
  • Karma: +0/-0
  • Z-Wave Expert
We have a Lake House that we rent on a weekly basis that we use Vera primarily for access control.

We have a schlage lock that controls access to the main entry door. We also have a side door with a lockbox with a good old fashioned key in it as a backup. But so far Vera and the lock have worked perfectly and not 1 renter has had a problem with the system. We've had vera running since the spring when we bought the place.

Vera works really reliably so far. I upgraded to a vera2 but have been running UI4 the entire time which I haven't had a problem with.

One very key thing to remember is that Vera needs to be close to the lock so it can reach it directly (without having to hop thru other ZWave nodes to get there). Communication was a little flakey at first so I relocated Vera via an extension cord to the other end of my basement so it was much closer to the entry door and it's been solid ever since. What is "close"? Depends the path and how many walls/floors it has to pass thru. Generally you want to be less than 30 feet and pass thru not more than 1 or 2 walls and defintiely not more than 1 floor (floors are thicker and thus block the RF more). I also have a wall switch right next to the entry door which improves the likelyhood that vera can talk to the lock. The lock definitely doesn't have great range.

The scheduling of pin codes doesn't work (in UI4) but since we have weekly renters that isn't too much of a problem. We log in sometime during the transistion day and delete the old code. We have several weeks of future codes in the lock already. Generally we let each renter pick their own code and suggest the last 4 digits of their phone number.

We also have our own personal code, the cleaners have their own code and we have a back-up code that is pretty easy to remeber just in case we need to get a repairman in or if someone forgets their code.
 
Overall I'm very impressed with Vera but I keep asking MCV when the "official" version of UI4 will be out and they keep saying "soon" (I got a response from them just last week). I'll add a bunch more Z-Wave stuff once UI4 is a little more mature and officially released.

Offline bennynations

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 136
  • Karma: +0/-0
Re: Access control for vacation rentals via Vera - Share your experience
« Reply #1 on: November 08, 2010, 01:58:17 pm »
Vera was a must for us when we wanted a rental.  Once I learned of the 35% charge just to keep a key and send a cleaner over, I decided that we would seek out alternatives.

My search found the Schlage Door Lock and I kept searching to learn of the free service with Vera. It started out easy enough however my addiction grew.  First the doors, then the thermostat, then the lights...ceiling fan control...bathroom fan control...ETC...$$

Once Vera2 was released...I upgraded the rental and kept the original Vera to bring home and play with.

Now my addiction is outta control!!!

I am a HUGE VERA FAN...and have already shared with many other owners in our building.  I actually think that there is a great potential to start a condo management company by cutting out the 35% fees of all others.  

2 Schlage locks, Trane Thermostat, Leviton lights and fan control

Offline SuperflyMD

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Karma: +0/-0
I have six of the Schlage locks in our building. I'm mostly happy, but I'm more than a little frustrated about the scheduling not being supported. Any rumors about a fix?

Offline Don Diego

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 534
  • Karma: +300/-3
Hi SuperflyMD--

  Daily scheduling does work in the current beta release of the firmware (1.1.1245) for the schlage locks. Weekly scheduling has not yet been implemented. What version of the firmware are you currently running?

             Don

  
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 08:54:34 am by Don Diego »
Vera 3 (@1.5.622) (3); Vera Plus (2);
Trane/Schlage TStats (1); Schlage Deadbolt (2); Kwikset Lock (3);  GE 45602 Dimmer (14); GE 45603 Dimmer (17); HSM-100 (16); Everspring Siren (8), Everspring Temp/Humidity (4); HSM 200 (1)

Offline SuperflyMD

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Karma: +0/-0
1047

Just to clarify, daily scheduling would allow me to input a code with instructions to turn it on at a given tim on day X, and turn it off on day Y, correct?

If that's the case I'll upgrade to the beta. Can I upgrade remotely, or do I need to be on the same network?

Offline oTi@

  • Community Beta
  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4041
  • Karma: +32/-6
  • UI what ?!
Just to clarify, daily scheduling would allow me to input a code with instructions to turn it on at a given tim on day X, and turn it off on day Y, correct?
Right. You get to do one-shots (aka daily scheduling, e.g. renters), but not the recurring ones (aka weekly scheduling, e.g. cleaning crew).

There appear to be some side effects though; see @Don Diego's experience.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2011, 02:13:30 pm by oTi@ »
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline SuperflyMD

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 28
  • Karma: +0/-0
Is it worth upgrading to the beta for this feature? I finally have all the nodes getting along and I'm leary of creating instability.

Anything else in this release that would make it worthwhile for a FNG?

Offline oTi@

  • Community Beta
  • Master Member
  • ******
  • Posts: 4041
  • Karma: +32/-6
  • UI what ?!
Anything else in this release that would make it worthwhile[...]
Depends on what's important to you. Check the Release Notes for the changes relative to .1047.

In general, I'd say .1245 is the best yet. It's now also the official version.
« Last Edit: May 21, 2011, 10:00:57 am by oTi@ »
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline Don Diego

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 534
  • Karma: +300/-3
Hi SuperflyMD-

   In addition to the daily scheduling feature with 1.1.1245 I saw a great improvement in the routing and pairing of the Schlage and Kwikset locks. It was much better in 1.1.1245. Locks configure more reliably now.

   On the other hand, if you're satisfied with reliability of the configuration I would suggest you do not upgrade.

   It is a tough decision.

       Don
« Last Edit: May 26, 2011, 07:50:57 am by Don Diego »
Vera 3 (@1.5.622) (3); Vera Plus (2);
Trane/Schlage TStats (1); Schlage Deadbolt (2); Kwikset Lock (3);  GE 45602 Dimmer (14); GE 45603 Dimmer (17); HSM-100 (16); Everspring Siren (8), Everspring Temp/Humidity (4); HSM 200 (1)