Author Topic: Trying Vera  (Read 1083 times)

Offline venno

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Trying Vera
« on: March 20, 2018, 09:23:43 am »
Hi All

I am a control systems engineer by profession and I got bit a few years back by the HA bug. I have been using Homeseer for the past 2 yrs but have been experiencing some problems:

1. The z wave driver has issues resulting in lack of functionality for some of my devices.
2. The z wave driver updates have fixed some of the above issues but then broken previously rock solid devices.
3. The payment structure for addons had me staring down an expensive path.
4. I run the linux version and it is not a primary concern for HS and suffers some limitations they are unlikely to alter.

My HA system is only zwave devices, I have been running HS3 on raspberry Pi and also tried it as a VM, I won't use windows as I am trying to achieve appliance type reliability.

I have a good zwave mesh thanks to the geo dispersion of the devices thru my home and running them all on permanent power with the exception of a yale lock. My HA network has reached the limit of what I plan to put on it and I now want to concentrate on improvements and higher level funtionalities as opposed to expansion.

I use Imperihome (I am grandfathered thru so can keep using it without moving to subscription model) as I find HS3 interface (as all inbuilt vendor interfaces) a joke. I have around 20 real devices mainly using fibaro dimmer swithces, fibaro binary sensors, aeotec enviro monitors, zuno relays, and a remotec scene controller that handles group lighting switching. I have 2 virtual devices, one is a monitoring of my home alarm state via the fibaro binary switches and the other is a grouping control for a zuno relay device to apply blinds up/down control. My events setup is fairly basic and not large in scope just light switching via scene controller button presses, a timer control on towel heating rail and the ganged blind control all up/down.

I also have started using amazon echo/dot products but HS3 requires windows platform to integrate them, been having a lot of fun with services like spotify and harmony to control the AV side of my home.

I have ordered a vera plus, even after reading thru these forums, as I think my small network coupled with a good zwave mesh may not see me run into some of the issues I have read about. I also am very interested in the amazon integration and several of the plugins available (i use a Hydrawise irrigation controller for example) and the pricing structure (near free) is a lot more easy on the wallet, I also got a good deal on the plus which helped me pull the trigger.

As a new user what setup item(s) or issues should I pay attention to, is there a best practices standard config I should do?

How should I go about migrating my zwave devices, do I need to exclude them all in HS first and then include them into vera or is there another/better way?

Cheers in advance

Offline Priest

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Re: Trying Vera
« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2018, 01:11:24 pm »
On your migration...

From what I have read elsewhere on this forum, you can plug your USB zwave controller into vera and make that the primary and it will all just come over with it.  I've not done it myself, but I have read it.

I have actually been considering moving from Vera to Homeseer myself so it is interesting to see someone coming the other direction on the road. I personally do not mind a windows platform since that is what I am used to, and I plan to use the windows 7 embedded machine I have that is a rock solid machine that I have used in remote site installations for handling nurse-call system databases. My reason for looking to homeseer is that I am severely space limited in Vera where now for me to do an update, I'll have to back up my system, factory reset it, upgrade, then restore the backup.  I'm also memory restricted where sometimes it just gets bogged down and it takes time to run through some logic.  I also know that I am not skilled with programming language...it just doesnt make sense to me much.... so to do anything that actually requires logic other than IF-THEN i have to rely on finding other things people have done and doing lots of copy/paste/test/cuss/change/breakthings/etc until I get working logic.  I hope to find that the logic in Homeseer is better.  I have seen that homeseer allows you to put a delay on an action that then can be canceled by another event occurring.... I've not heard of one example of that in Vera.  In Vera people are doing something like it using a plug in called PLEG and making whole separate events that could run if other conditions are true rather than a delayed action that could be canceled.

Offline integlikewhoa

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Re: Trying Vera
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2018, 04:00:04 pm »
I have been using Homeseer for the past 2 yrs but have been experiencing some problems:

I have actually been considering moving from Vera to Homeseer myself so it is interesting to see someone coming the other direction on the road.

I was a long time multiple vera user that went to HomeSeer. I also run windows and tested HS3 on a pi 3 but it wasn't for me. Linux was a pain for me. Things like auto boot on startup and backing up files to a flash drive or storage on a pi was a crazy amount of trouble vs. selecting a C:/ and folder on a windows machine. But for someone thats good at linux and code i guess it works. As you know HS3 is windows though not true linux.

So far my cost was more on VERA in the long run not due to free plugins but the fact you need a new vera every year to get an extra 128MB of ram to fix your random issues. Vera software is free the plugins are free and generally ok but the Hardware is lacking and a new one comes out every year with just enough power to keep up with the previous years new plugins and alexa or software upgrades that no consume the hardware until next years update. 

Logic is way better in homeseer and is all drop downs. I needed to use PLEG in vera to complete even the most basic if/and/or. If you code at code you can do it without the paid PLEG plugin. But software is surely lacking in VERA built in logic.

Updates are also very fun with VERA. The first comment on that thread is always whos the brave one today? followed by I'm installing on my 2nd or test vera now (seems more then half the users have more then one vera probley for the reasons I started with).     

Keep us updated!

Offline kwieto

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Re: Trying Vera
« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2018, 05:10:01 am »
A bit off topic:

I have seen that homeseer allows you to put a delay on an action that then can be canceled by another event occurring.... I've not heard of one example of that in Vera.  In Vera people are doing something like it using a plug in called PLEG and making whole separate events that could run if other conditions are true rather than a delayed action that could be canceled.

I don't know about how to in PLEG but achieving that with lua is pretty easy.
The only potential trouble is that if the luup engine reload during such scene, it is aborted by definition. According to reports my luup engine is reloading about 1-2 times a day, so for short term scenes the risk is low.
PLEG allows you to mitigate this risk (it keeps schedules even in case of luup reloads), but here I can't give you any information.

Updates are also very fun with VERA. The first comment on that thread is always whos the brave one today? followed by I'm installing on my 2nd or test vera now (seems more then half the users have more then one vera probley for the reasons I started with).     

Maybe I'm just lucky, but I didn't have issues with any update since I have Vera (for about 1.5 year now).
By the way, installing any type of update on the less important machine is just common sense for me. For example I have one unit at home and one in remote location (vacation home) and I always do the updates on the "local" machine first, to save time and effort of driving 100km to the remote unit if something was really wrong with the update file. And I can go without local machine if something happen, but remote one is critical.
« Last Edit: March 23, 2018, 05:18:30 am by kwieto »