Author Topic: Goodbye Vera  (Read 7986 times)

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #15 on: May 08, 2018, 01:34:47 pm »
https://forum.athom.com/discussion/5150/athom-is-going-to-kill-off-the-desktop-app

Disgruntled user on homey....

I have not seen any very good reviews of Athom Homey.  From the specs and direction it is going it really is a glorified Harmony Hub.

Offline rafale77

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #16 on: May 08, 2018, 02:39:08 pm »
https://forum.athom.com/discussion/5150/athom-is-going-to-kill-off-the-desktop-app

Disgruntled user on homey....

I have not seen any very good reviews of Athom Homey.  From the specs and direction it is going it really is a glorified Harmony Hub.

Would never be my first choice...
At this point Hubitat seems pretty good even though it lacks an API so you can control it with something else. Homeseer is also a bit too rigid and spendy to my taste. HomeAssistant and OpenHab are free ibut you want to spend the money on a zwave (and zigbee sticks) and I don't think the learning curve is that much more than Homeseer yet the flexibility is so much greater since you are not stuck to a hardware set. You can change memory, CPU and storage as your system grows.
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 12:17:49 pm by rafale77 »
openLuup (96 devices, 122 scenes, 20 apps) controlling HomeAss + VeraPlus (133 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 200 devices, 34 scenes , 1 apps) Bridged to Homekit and Alexa

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #17 on: May 08, 2018, 03:55:53 pm »
https://forum.athom.com/discussion/5150/athom-is-going-to-kill-off-the-desktop-app

Disgruntled user on homey....

I have not seen any very good reviews of Athom Homey.  From the specs and direction it is going it really is a glorified Harmony Hub.

Would never not be my first choice...
At this point Hubitat seems pretty good even though it lacks an API so you can control it with something else. Homeseer is also a bit too rigid and spendy to my taste. HomeAssistant and OpenHab are free ibut you want to spend the money on a zwave (and zigbee sticks) and I don't think the learning curve is that much more than Homeseer yet the flexibility is so much greater since you are not stuck to a hardware set. You can change memory, CPU and storage as your system grows.

I own and use all of the above.  I was an early entrant to Hubitat and I still have it.  It is good and growing in abilities and device support.

Home Assistant or OpenHab2 yes require a z-wave stick.  HA z-wave and zigbee support is limited.  Z-wave is limited to OpenZwave capabilities and zigbee is also very limited.  I run HA still for some IP devices (which I'm slowly migrating)

My current Primary system is Homeseer.  I switched off Vera Plus to Homeseer and I still use my Vera Plus only for device control of 2 motion sensors that I have not yet replaced.  Homeseer is not rigid by any means.  In fact it is probably too open which makes it complex, more so than the other "hubs" that are made for the consumer market.

Homeseer is just as flexible as Home Assistant if you can code.  You aren't limited by cpu/memory constraints like Vera and you can code in whatever language you want for your own stuff.  Official "plugins/scripts" are usually done in VB.net or C# but I have some that I run in Python.... With the current sales, it's worth looking at.  Now I'm waiting to get dinged by Sorin :)

Offline jbfoster

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #18 on: May 08, 2018, 03:58:22 pm »
It's only been a couple days but so far smooth sailing. No issues at all. Time will tell.

I bought the HomeSeer smart stick+.
I'm running HomeSeer on my Acer One 10" tablet 1.4mhz 32gb Drive with 2 gb of ram running Windows 10 Home.

I have a small Z-wave network of about 12 devices. So far things are smoother and faster. I hope things don't degrade over time. I hate to say it but at this point, I wish I would have switched to HomeSeer before now. The more I use it the more I like it. I still think the cost of plugins sucks but if things keep running with little to no issues the cost just may be worth it. There were times I wanted to throw my Vera against the wall.  I will post back in 30 days to give an update as to how things are going.

Jim


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 02:10:02 am by jbfoster »

Offline intveltr

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #19 on: May 08, 2018, 04:03:08 pm »
Pretty happy with OpenLuup and AltUI so far, using a Vera Plus to handle Z-Wave comms.  This combo has a few shortcomings and AltUI isn't quite mature yet, but it's pretty stable and fast.  And the Workflows feature is good, lets you build stateful scenes.  My only worry is that this setup is basically a stack of stuff that's hard to replace, and any part of it could drop out of the market at some point.  I'd have to rewrite my app then...  :P

I agree with kwieto that Vera need to step up their game or go the way of the dodo.  One of Vera's strong points is the API and the ability to write plugins for any device on serial on LAN... but if the device is a Z-wave one, you'll need to wait for a firmware update, and sometimes it takes far too long to get a device supported.  Take what I would call a high profile device: the Fibaro TRV.  Awesome hardware but from Vera's point of view it's a brick.  Waiting for a sample from Fibaro?  Come on, these things are on the market now so just spend the $50 and get one yourself.  At this point I'd be happy to reimburse you.
HomeWave is available in the App Store!  Turn your iPhone/iPad into an easy-to-use remote control for Vera.

Offline rafale77

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #20 on: May 08, 2018, 08:51:01 pm »
Pretty happy with OpenLuup and AltUI so far, using a Vera Plus to handle Z-Wave comms.  This combo has a few shortcomings and AltUI isn't quite mature yet, but it's pretty stable and fast.  And the Workflows feature is good, lets you build stateful scenes.  My only worry is that this setup is basically a stack of stuff that's hard to replace, and any part of it could drop out of the market at some point.  I'd have to rewrite my app then...  :P

I agree with kwieto that Vera need to step up their game or go the way of the dodo.  One of Vera's strong points is the API and the ability to write plugins for any device on serial on LAN... but if the device is a Z-wave one, you'll need to wait for a firmware update, and sometimes it takes far too long to get a device supported.  Take what I would call a high profile device: the Fibaro TRV.  Awesome hardware but from Vera's point of view it's a brick.  Waiting for a sample from Fibaro?  Come on, these things are on the market now so just spend the $50 and get one yourself.  At this point I'd be happy to reimburse you.

I too have jettisoned most of my automation and plugins to OpenLuup but even as a zwave bridge I am still getting some zwave reliability issues. Occasional false positive on motion sensors, Occasional miss of untrip signals from sensors. Occasional non execution of portions of a scene or complete scene even when the trigger clearly occured, occasional delays in execution and above all annoying random luup reloads which can occur right when a plugin is syncing with and API or a scene is running. If your system grows to a certain size (20-30 devices), the vera just starts losing reliability. More devices are supposed to improve the network mesh but for the vera and its whimsical hardware it is too much to handle. I recently have had issues even including a device because... it tries to exchange security keys faster than the vera can handle. The Zwave chip seems to go too fast for the vera CPU/memory and it drops data causing it to go out of sync. It is either this or the firmware is so poorly written that it easily goes out of sync with the radios. Same thing happened to Zigbee until fw 7.0.20. My entire zigbee network would go out after a few hours post reload. This was later fixed but I am not sure how. I hope not by internally reloading the radio firmware since the timing of this event may occur when that network is in the midst of an activity.
openLuup (96 devices, 122 scenes, 20 apps) controlling HomeAss + VeraPlus (133 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 200 devices, 34 scenes , 1 apps) Bridged to Homekit and Alexa

Offline kigmatzomat

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #21 on: May 08, 2018, 11:36:40 pm »

Jump on the software sales now while Homeseer is 50% off.  Worry about the hardware later.  I bought HS3Pro and thinking of buying a Pi license as well.

The controllers are on sale now too. So I can either buy a more powerful fanless PC w/win10 from Newegg and install HSPro3 or I could save $70 and get a Hometroller SEL Pro. I would like the extra horsepower but the potential management issues with non-server windows is worrisome.

Offline Quixote

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #22 on: May 09, 2018, 04:54:17 am »
The only reason I'm still using a Vera is the community here, which as far as I'm concerned is the real backbone of this device. Without the developers that selflessly create and maintain the plugins that make this device worth having, it would be a no-brainer to switch it out for something more powerful and versatile. Aside from the plugins, its best attribute seems to be its price-point. I've rarely noticed anything even remotely relevant to me when I read the firmware release notes and I have no idea where they find their priorities.

I'm still stunned and reeling from my realization that by "upgrading" to the Vera Plus, I actually lost functionality. My USB-UIRT that I was using with my Vera 3 for infrared remote commands is now useless, the Wifi access point remains visible even when set to be hidden, the DNLA plugin suddenly ceased to work, etc.

Anyway, I don't even really use the thing for ZWave or Zigbee at the moment, so maybe my opinion is not as important as the rest of their client base.
My "Karma" has been modified by 2 or 3 douchebags that didn't like that I criticized the plugin that they worship. I'm not actually a bad person.

Offline kwieto

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #23 on: May 09, 2018, 07:11:15 am »
if the device is a Z-wave one, you'll need to wait for a firmware update, and sometimes it takes far too long to get a device supported.  Take what I would call a high profile device: the Fibaro TRV.  Awesome hardware but from Vera's point of view it's a brick.  Waiting for a sample from Fibaro?  Come on, these things are on the market now so just spend the $50 and get one yourself.  At this point I'd be happy to reimburse you.

I may understand that integrating a device may take some time, or that not all devices in the world are integrated. But what bothers me more is lack of maintenance and inconsistent approach.
Lack of maintenance refers to whole range of devices or plugins which were working at some point of time, but then for some reasons are not working anymore. Take Netatmo for one example, some Qubino devices for the other (like ON/OFF thermostat), or lot of plugins which you install just to see that they don't work properly. Nobody cares to update them or remove, they are just abandoned.
If you ask support, they will tell you "we don't have ETA for correcting/implementing/making this work", which in fact means that it will never happen.

This merge with inconsistency. Some thing is started, then nothing happens for months. Take IFTTT integration as an example. The beta stage was announced almost a year ago. There is no information about progress or release date to final users ("we don't have ETA"). I don't know what is happening here, but it is more and more clear that the project is abandoned.
Another example is "AND" logic in scenes. It was already implemented in iOS app and I had hoped that it soon will come to web app and other platforms, but no single word about that since then. Now I think about it as another abandoned project (I don't even know if it still available under iOS or not).
Next example will be mobile apps. I use all three: iOS, Android, WindowsPhone, and every is different than the others. Devices are presented different way, one app has functionalities which others lack, and so one. Fortunately for me, Windows app, which is still my main phone system, looks to be the best built version. But if I move to the other system, I'll probably choose third party supplier, like Imperihome.

Sometime I have impression that Vera's "development team" is one single poor guy working 24h/day just to keep things running, and not having time for anything else.


This is why I  consider more and more seriously moving somewhere else. For now cost of migration (in money and time) seems to be more than living with Vera. But this also changes as time go by. Zipato introduced very affordable new model of controller which looks promising (I thought they have cloud based service, while in fact you need internet connection only to design scene logic, then the unit works perfecly also if offline). I also seen interesting offer from one of my local Fibaro dealers - they can rent you controller (and even modules) for monthly fee, which is really affordable way of trying their system and comparing it before final decision about migration.

« Last Edit: May 09, 2018, 07:14:04 am by kwieto »

Offline Sender

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #24 on: May 09, 2018, 03:03:21 pm »
OMG. Touching up the forum after long time...

Same story all over... so sad to read... firmware published and pulled back again.
People still unhappy with support.
Bad device integration (amount of devices)

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,81524.0.html

And still lot of "more to come" promises... this looks exaclty lile 5 years ago  :-X
Good firmware is more important than good karma. (and this costed me lots of Karma)

Offline Wekke

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #25 on: May 09, 2018, 03:08:59 pm »
I switched over from Vera to Homey and I'll never go back. Homey is a very young product and it's not finished but works very stable in my situation. The software needs more features but they are working hard on it.

I even connected my Bluetooth Mipow Playbulb candles to Homey. My home automation goes much further now because the flows (scenes) a more powerful without the need of programming skills or the need to buy 'rich'ard apps.




 

Offline JohnRob

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #26 on: May 09, 2018, 03:55:54 pm »
My experience has been much different from most others in the thread.  My guess is my system is more modest than most.

I have a VeraPlus with all Z-wave devices.  Mostly Leviton dimmer modules + a few GoLinear switches + Fibaro RGB and a MultiSensor 6.   I have basically simple scenes with the most complex (at the moment) scene querying Wunderground for sky status (cloudy, sunny etc) to time shift accent lights.

I have 5 plugins.  I recently added a MySensors Node.

My system is rock solid.  By that I mean no crashes no reboots (that I know of)  and to the best of my knowledge no mis-run scenes.

My one complaint is the lack of an RTC.   I was told by Vera before I purchased the VeraPlus that it would work fine without an internet.  It does not run any time based scenes!

No conclusion, just my 2 cents.

Offline Tillsy

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #27 on: May 09, 2018, 09:17:46 pm »
My system is rock solid.  By that I mean no crashes no reboots (that I know of)  and to the best of my knowledge no mis-run scenes.

I thought that about my two Veras:
Vera Plus - Around 30 x Fibaro dual switches and dimmers, 2 x Aeotec smart switches, 1 x Dome mouse zapper, 4 x Aeotec smart sensors
Vera Edge - One door lock

That's it - lean, mean, and clean.

However I had noticed that, on occasion when looking at the web interface, the LUA restart bar might flash up.  Bit odd.  But have since installed my first plugin on both - DelayLight.  It shows last time it initialised, which is due to LUA crash/restart.

I have noticed this time is reset multiple times a day, even in the wee hours of the night when nothing is happening.  Even on the Vera Edge with nothing but a single device on it.

So not as stable a platform as it first appears, even with a brand new clean setup with a single device on it...


And still lot of "more to come" promises... this looks exaclty lile 5 years ago  :-X
Okay this is a major worry... :(

Offline rafale77

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #28 on: May 09, 2018, 10:39:50 pm »
I too have and edge and a plus. I use the system monitor app to send me a notification at each luup reload. My edge had 0 zwave devices and 2 plugins and it still had random reloads... I finally decommissioned it completely yesterday. My plus seems a little better, I neutered it aggressively removing a lot of plugins and scenes but can still observe regular random luup reloads and occasionally get into much worse conditions.
openLuup (96 devices, 122 scenes, 20 apps) controlling HomeAss + VeraPlus (133 zwave nodes, 8 Zigbee nodes, 200 devices, 34 scenes , 1 apps) Bridged to Homekit and Alexa

Offline kwieto

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #29 on: May 10, 2018, 05:29:02 am »
My system is rock solid.  By that I mean no crashes no reboots (that I know of)  and to the best of my knowledge no mis-run scenes.

Unfortunately, the stability goes just "by the time".
It is not like you have problems all the time, most of it the system goes well. Then all of a sudden your system has major breakdown and you're firefighting to make it work again.
It is not like one device stops responding or some scene doesn't work. Your whole system goes nuts and if your home is automated enugh you're sitting in dark without electricity and water untill you make it working again.
Then for next couple of monts it goes fine, utntil next "then" happens.
The problem is that you can't prepare for these moments. I've tried, but it is every time something new and unpredicted.


During the first half year after installing my system was rock solid as well. It was doing fine until I started getting "can't write data" errors. I asked Customer Care for support, they said that it is due to problems with free memory,  cleared the device and... it got just bricked. Fortunately they took responsibliity and replaced the controller, but it Took time, so I boutht second unit as a backup.
Then it was fine until "can't write data" error again. Another controller got bricked (again, fortunately under warranty).
This time I was more familiar in the system, so I suspected wrong configuration of Datamine plugin.
By the way, I've installled this plugin mostly because the well known "ERGY" plugin, which is monitoring energy data is malfunctioning. I've installed Datamine mostly as a replacement for ERGY. This is another unbelievable story and unfortunately typical for Vera: everybody knows that installing ERGY is "wishing for troubles" as this plugin gieves your system a headache. Yet it is still the only official solution for monitoring energy usage of your devices. It is integrated in a way that guides you to install it (under "energy" section on the dashboard). How nice.

OK, third time I was better prepared. I replaced Edge with Plus, Installed system monitor established memory tracking in Datamine, Took care to make sure if it is properly installed... And this was what probably saved me from having third controller bricked. Because I had memory issues again: everything was fine, until all of a sudden number of free memory dropped significantly and controller got unresponsive. But Plus has more memory than Edge, so after reboot it was OK.
So I contacted Customer Care, discussed topic, got a script to run in need of clearing memory, established a special routine for that (you can read my recipe on the forum), and It was OK for some time.
Then my luup engine went crazy, it was reloading every couple of minutes. Often enough to make usage of the system really difficult - switching device ON or OFF took minutes as pressing any button caused luup reload and you had to wait untill it finished to have effect. Customer Care installed new Z-wave chip firmware (6.1) and it dropped from 100 a day to once a day (acceptable for me).

But then the controller stopped responding again, at least remotely. As I have it at my vacation home, I drove to the house (1h one way), and checked - all lights OK, I can access it locally. Changed connection from WiFi to LAN, it got accessible remotely. Contacted customer Care, they told me that now it is about filling up memory reserved for the system (ridiculously small amount of 10 MB). They cleared it, two days later new firmware was released... the whole story again. And the system broke completely when I tried to remove one of devices from the system (z-wave, zigbee, buletooth lamps off, controller unaccessible). Did system reset, restored backup... It works for a week now, stable.
But I still don't know if I can remove the device I wanted or it will cause another "factory reset" story?

Even If I can monitor the system and take meaures in case when "operational" memory is filled, I can't do much about filling up of blocks reserved for system data. I was told that I have lot of devices and plugins (well, some of them were installed just to monitor the system and be able to prevent next drama, and about 50 nodes (about 100-150 devices counting masters and slaves) is still way below advertised limit for Plus).
I think I'm now very close to the end of the road in terms of taking activities which could improve stability of my system and preventing me from next major breakdown.

I don't know if my story is typical, but this maybe answer the question why users are complaining but still using Vera. They have major issues, but only from time to time. They want to drop Vera for some other brand when system breaks, but at that point major focus is on making it work again, as nobody likes to sit in dark, cold house. Then the system i stable for some period of time and due to cost of migration or lack of the time for it they stay with Vera. Until next brekdown happen...

As my main installation is at my vacation house (and it's primary function contains things like room antifreezing during winter)  stability is crucial. I can survive one or even two breakdowns in a year, but I have more and more of them as my system grows. I have other installation at my main house, smaller - just heaters and couple of lights, and this works without issues. That doesn't mean that I don't have occasional memory drains which can make system unresponsive - yes, I have them also in this smaller installation. I've just learned how to prevent them for making the damage (I have the same routines and tracking of the system condition on both and I check them regularly).
But I will not split my main setup into couple of smaller ones just because of stability issues. Sooner I'll move to the other platform.

I see that Vera's priorities are now somewhere else (Vera Secure and related things), but I wouln't recommend Vera as security system to anyone. Too much risk that your system will break just when you're on vacation and then you don't know what condition you'll find your house after return. And this will not change until Vera will take responsibility for all the mess of unfinished/obsolete/misbehaving things they have in the backlog.
I've recently seen very good oportunity to buy Vera Secure (someone was selling it on internet auction for around 150EUR), but I didn't take the chance. I don't see any profit, as even if it has more "operational" memory, the limit for system files (10MB) is probably the same, so the good old "can't write data" error would bother me again.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2018, 05:59:58 am by kwieto »