Author Topic: Goodbye Vera  (Read 3180 times)

Offline kwieto

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #60 on: May 17, 2018, 03:36:33 pm »
Homeseer has a lot of European users and support EU z-wave frequencies and sells EU ready Smartstick+ and Z-Net devices.(...) Hubitat is also available with an EU z-wave stick and has several EU users.

Yes, but as I wrote above, I'm not convinced to use system with z-wave USB stick instead of the built-in z-wave chip. I know it works, but I don't trust solutions based on "adapters" instead of built-in design.
The other topic is that if device doesn't have even EU version, for sure it is US centric. Which mean less support for EU based manufacturers or for EU specific needs.
I've had enough troubles about that with US based software developers for example to be cautious about that.

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #61 on: May 17, 2018, 03:40:36 pm »
Homeseer has a lot of European users and support EU z-wave frequencies and sells EU ready Smartstick+ and Z-Net devices.(...) Hubitat is also available with an EU z-wave stick and has several EU users.

Yes, but as I wrote above, I'm not convinced to use system with z-wave USB stick instead of the built-in z-wave chip. I know it works, but I don't trust solutions based on "adapters" instead of built-in design.
The other topic is that if device doesn't have even EU version, for sure it is US centric. Which mean less support for EU based manufacturers or for EU specific needs.
I've had enough troubles about that with US based software developers for example to be cautious about that.

Z-Net is a built in z-wave controller system (onboard) and comes in a EU flavor.  The USB stick provides additional flexibility and also comes in EU flavor.

It's funny, Vera used to be a USB stick hanging out the backend also... I might crack open the spare vera plus I have and see if it's actually integrated on the board or if they just have a USB stick inside the plastic box.

Offline kwieto

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #62 on: May 17, 2018, 03:48:10 pm »
There's really only very few that are Windows exclusive now.  There are some but really not many.

Maybe. But you can install only 5 plugins on linux version, if I read homeseer page correctly.
The cost of the plugins is another story.

Also to note for those that are and a must have Homeseer has the concept of "Remote Plugin".  Think in terms of OpenLuup.  You can run a Windows Plugin on a remote machine and have it connected and managed through the HS3 install on Linux if you so choose.  There's actually a lot of people that do that.  They have Linux HS3 as Primary and then have a Windows box purely for running Windows only plugins.

Then you have two machines to manage, not one. As with z-wave stick the problem is that you're increasing number of things which may go wrong. Maybe not an issue when you live where your controller is, but in my case It may happen that I'll not visit the place for couple of months. And don't like to be forced to, just because one of devices gone nuts.

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #63 on: May 17, 2018, 03:56:52 pm »
There's really only very few that are Windows exclusive now.  There are some but really not many.

Maybe. But you can install only 5 plugins on linux version, if I read homeseer page correctly.
The cost of the plugins is another story.

Also to note for those that are and a must have Homeseer has the concept of "Remote Plugin".  Think in terms of OpenLuup.  You can run a Windows Plugin on a remote machine and have it connected and managed through the HS3 install on Linux if you so choose.  There's actually a lot of people that do that.  They have Linux HS3 as Primary and then have a Windows box purely for running Windows only plugins.

Then you have two machines to manage, not one. As with z-wave stick the problem is that you're increasing number of things which may go wrong. Maybe not an issue when you live where your controller is, but in my case It may happen that I'll not visit the place for couple of months. And don't like to be forced to, just because one of devices gone nuts.

You read wrong.  The 5 plugin limit is for the the Raspberry Pi version not full version.  Full version doesn't have a plugin limit and runs on Windows or Linux.  Cost of plugins is what it is.  You decide value for your own requirements.

As for the two machines.  It could be two or more or 1 that is dependent on your preference and requirements.  The point was that it is flexible.  As for the controller going nuts?  I have no experience with HS doing that, plenty with Vera  not working.  Is HS perfect? No, of course not nothing is. 

Anyways, I was providing information about options.  I'm not selling anything and I wish you the best of luck with your remote setup.

Offline kwieto

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #64 on: May 17, 2018, 03:58:43 pm »
Z-Net is a built in z-wave controller system (onboard) and comes in a EU flavor.

But it is not standalone z-wave controller.

The USB stick provides additional flexibility and also comes in EU flavor.

Again, it is not standalone controller.

It's funny, Vera used to be a USB stick hanging out the backend also...

During the Vera 1 times, maybe...

I might crack open the spare vera plus I have and see if it's actually integrated on the board or if they just have a USB stick inside the plastic box.

Do so. There is no USB stick inside. Nor in Edge or Lite.

Offline kwieto

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #65 on: May 17, 2018, 04:05:15 pm »
You read wrong.  The 5 plugin limit is for the the Raspberry Pi version not full version.  Full version doesn't have a plugin limit and runs on Windows or Linux.

Then you need to have a Windows/Linux based computer on which you run that version.
And this is what I want to avoid, as I have computer at remote location, which is sometimes empty for months. And system has to run during that time with minimal risk for maintenance.
I've already stated that criteria above.

As for the two machines.  It could be two or more or 1 that is dependent on your preference and requirements.  The point was that it is flexible.  As for the controller going nuts?  I have no experience with HS doing that, plenty with Vera  not working.  Is HS perfect? No, of course not nothing is.

Again, as I stated at the very beginning - I have the controller at remote location, so it has to be "bulletproof". In that matter I don't trust any "computer based solutions".
Fot the same reason I don't trust any "usb stick-based solutions".


Offline jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #66 on: May 17, 2018, 04:06:20 pm »
Z-Net is a built in z-wave controller system (onboard) and comes in a EU flavor.

But it is not standalone z-wave controller.

The USB stick provides additional flexibility and also comes in EU flavor.

Again, it is not standalone controller.

It's funny, Vera used to be a USB stick hanging out the backend also...

During the Vera 1 times, maybe...

I might crack open the spare vera plus I have and see if it's actually integrated on the board or if they just have a USB stick inside the plastic box.

Do so. There is no USB stick inside. Nor in Edge or Lite.

Nope no stick.... oh well.

Offline jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #67 on: May 17, 2018, 04:09:56 pm »
You read wrong.  The 5 plugin limit is for the the Raspberry Pi version not full version.  Full version doesn't have a plugin limit and runs on Windows or Linux.

Then you need to have a Windows/Linux based computer on which you run that version.
And this is what I want to avoid, as I have computer at remote location, which is sometimes empty for months. And system has to run during that time with minimal risk for maintenance.
I've already stated that criteria above.

As for the two machines.  It could be two or more or 1 that is dependent on your preference and requirements.  The point was that it is flexible.  As for the controller going nuts?  I have no experience with HS doing that, plenty with Vera  not working.  Is HS perfect? No, of course not nothing is.

Again, as I stated at the very beginning - I have the controller at remote location, so it has to be "bulletproof". In that matter I don't trust any "computer based solutions".
Fot the same reason I don't trust any "usb stick-based solutions".

Ok.  Good luck.

Offline krementz

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #68 on: May 17, 2018, 04:36:44 pm »
Thank you, everybody. The Homeseer system look interesting, and seems to have a lot of support.

I do not want to run a freestanding server if I don't have to. As I understand them, they have both Linux and Windows freestanding controllers, with the Linux somewhat less expensive.

My regret is I have 4 Veras at present, and am unenthusiastic with scrapping them for a new system and resetting everything to new controllers.

Just a suggestion.

Could you list out exactly what you want to achieve HA wise and people could possibly make suggestions on what could best suit you. This would save you diving straight in and once again being disappointed.

I don't see anyone wanting to run a desktop server in this day and age. As far a I can see your best bet would be a Raspberry Pi 3B + and a copy of Homeseer 3 Pro. This will give you a licence to run a copy on both Windows and Linux and give you all the Homeseer 3 designed plugins included in the purchase price. Don't forget there are a lot of 3rd party Homeseer plugins that are free to use too.

Don't go making any further purchases until you are very clear on what is on offer and if it will meet with your expectations.

I am on a remote off-grid PV powered house. I have two Veras at this location. (The other two Veras are at other mainland locations)

Water Heating system consists of electric heater with both resistance and heatpump heaters. Secondary indirect tank has 2 heating circuits. One circuit is plumbed to WoodStove1, the other circuit is plumbed to WoodStove2. Wood stoves are primarily space heating and have coils. Stratification in tanks is significant, which is overcome by long pump run times. In addition to the EmergencyValve, there are 4 mechanical safety overpressure/overtemp valves in the system. I prefer to control where the hot water goes and not wait for them to release.

If (Loop1 = water AND WoodStove1FlueTemp > 220˚F), turnon Loop1Pump, else quit
If WoodStove1FlueTemp < 200˚F, turnoff Loop1Pump, else quit

(ditto for Loop2 for WoodStove2)

If TankTemp > 160˚F, (too warm)
   turnoff HiTempResitanceHeater
   turnoff HiTempHeatPump
   If Loop1 = water, turnon LoopPump1 for 2 hours
   If Loop2 = water, turnon LoopPump2 for 2 hours
   turnon RecyclePump for 2 hours
Then remeasure water temperature, if still >160˚ repeat for 2 hours, else turnoff RecyclePump, quit

If TankTemp >190˚ (too hot)
   open EmergencyValve for 30 minutes, then close
   send message or siren
  [repeat "too warm" commands for safety]

If PV has ExcessPower, turn on HiTempHeatPump, turn off at 6pm.

I also have another half dozen high energy loads triggered on the PVExcess Power relay. I expect to have more triggers based on BatterySoC, such as 80%, 50% and 20%, to disconnect loads when batteries are low. The PV items are triggered on Mimolite relays in workshop (location of the PV inverters and batteries). A second Vera in the Workshop monitors the Mimolites, and is ethernet wired with the primary Vera in the house.

Any thoughts or ideas welcome!



Offline peterxbmc

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #69 on: May 17, 2018, 05:00:49 pm »
My first observation here would be that I would be reluctant to entrust any form of mission critical tasks to any of the "off the shelf" home automation products on the market. Unless they are expressly UL listed you may well find yourself in a lot of deep water in the event of an insurance claim. Your solution would have to be professionally designed with the maximum of security and certified which a lot of HA products fall down on badly these days.

Notwithstanding the above, you are definitely in search of a reliable event driven solution and I imagine Homeseer would be the ideal candidate for you. As I previously posted, register with the Homeseer forum and download the trial version of Homeseer 3. You could probably reuse most of your technology including your Veras purely as ZWave controllers.

Homeseer's strength lies in its ability to drive multiple logical events which in turn can call other events based on these results. This coupled with its support for a wide range of technologies and a wide range of additional plugins seems to be the most logical choice for you. Coupled with a Raspberry Pi you should more than solve your problems.


Offline Quixote

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #70 on: May 17, 2018, 05:24:24 pm »
Homeseer would be a lot more interesting to me if there were a plugin for local control of LIFX devices (not IFTTT).
As it stands, the Vera is managing well enough to make the expense superfluous. I rely on my Elk for "mission critical" tasks and the Vera as a sort of auxiliary system that communicates with the Elk. I can understand the appeal for someone with a more elaborate set of devices and the need for one, rock-solid device as the central pillar, though.
I guess as someone once explained their perspective; the Vera should not be used as a home automation controller, but as it was designed for -- a Zwave controller.
Over the years I've learned to adapt my home automation system to be modular: each component in communication with the next, but if one fails the rest will continue to function regardless. It can still be frustrating, but has saved me countless serious headaches.
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 05:30:34 pm by Quixote »
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 jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #71 on: May 17, 2018, 05:43:12 pm »
Homeseer would be a lot more interesting to me if there were a plugin for local control of LIFX devices (not IFTTT).
As it stands, the Vera is managing well enough to make the expense superfluous. I rely on my Elk for "mission critical" tasks and the Vera as a sort of auxiliary system that communicates with the Elk. I can understand the appeal for someone with a more elaborate set of devices and the need for one, rock-solid device as the central pillar, though.
I guess as someone once explained their perspective; the Vera should not be used as a home automation controller, but as it was designed for -- a Zwave controller.
Over the years I've learned to adapt my home automation system to be modular: each component in communication with the next, but if one fails the rest will continue to function regardless. It can still be frustrating, but has saved me countless serious headaches.

There is a LIFX Plugin

But I think Homeseer if WAY overkill for just controlling light bulbs...but to each their own.

And for the rest of your post...YES Vera is a really good z-wave controller... it just falls down under the load of plugins.

Offline Quixote

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #72 on: May 17, 2018, 07:16:21 pm »
There is a LIFX Plugin
But I think Homeseer if WAY overkill for just controlling light bulbs...but to each their own.
And for the rest of your post...YES Vera is a really good z-wave controller... it just falls down under the load of plugins.

My understanding is that the LIFX plugin is only IFTTT, not local control, but I could be wrong. I only looked at the Homeseer plugin listing and didn't make any inquiries.
I use the Vera to control the lights and the Elk for other stuff additional to security, like output control and monitoring aquariums. I had the Vera working on infrared remote control as well until they decided to scrap the USB-UIRT support for some inexplicable reason, as well as some media control until they snatched DNLA from us. Homeseer sounds like it might fit the bill as a replacement one day.
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 jeubanks

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #73 on: May 17, 2018, 10:59:37 pm »
There is a LIFX Plugin
But I think Homeseer if WAY overkill for just controlling light bulbs...but to each their own.
And for the rest of your post...YES Vera is a really good z-wave controller... it just falls down under the load of plugins.

My understanding is that the LIFX plugin is only IFTTT, not local control, but I could be wrong. I only looked at the Homeseer plugin listing and didn't make any inquiries.
I use the Vera to control the lights and the Elk for other stuff additional to security, like output control and monitoring aquariums. I had the Vera working on infrared remote control as well until they decided to scrap the USB-UIRT support for some inexplicable reason, as well as some media control until they snatched DNLA from us. Homeseer sounds like it might fit the bill as a replacement one day.

I won't post a link or I think I'll get slapped but here's the info you are looking for. 
--------------
UltraLighting3 is a HomeSeer3 plug-in (HSPI) that allows you to use HomeSeer to set your LIFX LED lights to suit your mood or life style. The UltraLighting3 HSPI uses the LAN protocol which allows the fastest control of your lights. With LIFX there are no cables or hub; all you need is Wi-Fi, your iOS/Android device to initially configure your LIFX lights. Once your lights are configured, the UltraLighting3 HSPI will automatically discover and configure them for use with HomeSeer.
---------------

Here's the rub with Plugins and Homeseer.  Yes they cost money.  Are they expensive, well that depends.  I think a Hue Color bulb is expensive, I think a LIFX bulb is expensive.  Do I have them? No.  Am I going to buy them? Yeah one or the other.  Out of all of the stuff I have I'm going to pay close to $50 for a stupid light bulb.  At that point am I really going to complain about another $40 bucks to be able to control all of them and have SUPPORT if the plugin has issues and breaks?

Offline Quixote

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Re: Goodbye Vera
« Reply #74 on: May 18, 2018, 12:24:30 am »
Thanks. That is good to know. I'll definitely be looking more closely at that option in the future. I don't mind paying a little extra for quality and reliability.

By the way, I highly recommend the LIFX bulbs. The hardware is great and support is responsive and helpful. I haven't tried the Philips Hue bulbs, but I wouldn't want yet another hub to worry about and I heard the colors/brightness don't "hold a candle" to LIFX.
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.