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Author Topic: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?  (Read 3525 times)

Offline VidPro

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Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« on: November 13, 2011, 03:20:55 pm »
I've done my best to search this but my ZWave knowledge is in its infancy. I have standard 3 Ways in my 3 family home front hallway and I want to swap out with ZWave switches. The goal is to extend the mesh to the first floor front door to get my Kwikset deadbolt on the grid.  With all the trouble I'm rapeading about an aux switch I'm nervous about ordering and I'm not really sure it will extend the ZWave network.

Thanks,

VidPro

Offline oTi@

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Re: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2011, 05:54:45 pm »
@VidPro,

Welcome!

With all the trouble I'm rapeading about an aux switch I'm nervous about ordering and I'm not really sure it will extend the ZWave network.
If you're referring to the GE kits, it sounds like they may be shipping the improved design now.

Those aux switches, and other brands as well, typically do not have a Z-Wave module inside. They communicate with the primary switch via a signal wire (typically what would currently be your traveler). Consequently they are a lot cheaper than the Z-Wave primary switch.

There are also 'virtual' 3-way switches out there, which do have a Z-Wave module in them. They only need power and control other devices via Z-Wave.
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Offline VidPro

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Re: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2011, 06:07:33 pm »
Hi and thanks.

Ok so this will not work to extend the network.  So should I buy two kits and just use the two ZWave switches as my replacements? The goal here is not only to get these switches on the grid but to extend the signal to the front door.

Thanks!

Offline oTi@

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Re: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2011, 06:19:57 pm »
So should I buy two kits and just use the two ZWave switches as my replacements?
I doubt you can connect two primary switches that way.
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Offline VidPro

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Re: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2011, 06:34:20 pm »
Ok then I'm really confused.  I guess I'll need an alternative to the switches to extend the network.

Offline oTi@

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Re: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2011, 08:07:19 pm »
[...] alternative to the switches to extend the network.
You could go the 'virtual' 3-way switch route. The Evolve LTM-5 is an example. Matches the look of the GE (but the LED is green, not blue).

If you currently have mechanical 3-way switches, then you can typically reuse the existing wiring, but you'd repurpose some of the wires. (You'd need a permanent hot and neutral, there where the LTM-5 would go.) Therefore, it is crucial to understand your current wiring.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2011, 08:11:39 pm by oTi@ »
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Offline VidPro

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Re: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2011, 07:36:42 am »
Thank you for the info but I'd like to pick your brains a bit more. :)

Here is my issue and setup. I own a three family and I live on the third floor. I'd say from where my Vera 2 is located to the first floor is about 16-20 feet but we are talking through doors and floors to get there. From the Vera to the front door of my floor into the hallway is about 12 feet. Then to the second floor is probably another 12 or so and another 12 or so to the first floor front door where I will be installing the lock. The first and third floors are using three way switches for hallway lighting control. My question is how would you guys extend the network in my case? I was thinking initially the three way kit from GE and then a single switch on the second floor. The second floor has its own lighting control with a regular single pole switch. I was also thinking of adding a Intermatic HA05C Home Settings Screw In Module on the second floor light as well but I don’t know if I’m over doing it or just doing this all wrong.

Thanks again for your time!
« Last Edit: November 14, 2011, 07:38:31 am by VidPro »

Offline VidPro

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Re: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« Reply #7 on: November 14, 2011, 03:18:31 pm »
So should I buy two kits and just use the two ZWave switches as my replacements?
I doubt you can connect two primary switches that way.

Well I just ordered two of these.

GE 45609 Z-Wave Wireless Lighting Control On/Off Switch

I called GE and was told that this is a three way switch and I can use then instead of the kit. I'll double check once I get them to be sure. If I can't they won't go to waste. The goal here is to get these switches to extend the network to the bottom floor.

Offline oTi@

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Re: Better off with two 3 Way Switches for Extending ZWave?
« Reply #8 on: November 14, 2011, 10:30:41 pm »
[...] I don’t know if I’m over doing it or just doing this all wrong.
Hard to predict how many things in between you'll need; but there is a maximum of four. Perhaps @punkbrain has some insight.

If you already have, or plan to use, some of the plug-in modules (GE's for example), you could stick those in some outlets (if present) on the way from Vera to the front door, to test things out. The last device before the lock must support beaming.
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