Vera - Smarter Home Control Forum

General => General => Topic started by: parkerc on October 19, 2013, 04:20:37 am

Title: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: parkerc on October 19, 2013, 04:20:37 am
I managed to talk one of my best mates into purchasing a Veralite. He already had Philips Hues, Wimos and a few other items all running independently; so (under no commission) I sold him the benefits of z-wave and the interoperability of Vera as his central controller.

To help him, I thought I'd give him a nugget or two of information about his new life partner ;) so that he can get more and more out of his Vera everyday..

Then I remembered the thought power of this forum, so to help my friendand others like him, if anyone has any tips/nuggets/pearls of wisdom about Living with Vera, that they think would help others (old timers or new), please add them (or link to them) below..


1) Before you buy any new devices - there are some great plugins available for equipment you may already have, e.g Sonos, Current Cost EnviR, iPhone etc. - Allowing you to create a number of 'virtual Vera' devices and have them working together in no time at all.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: intveltr on October 19, 2013, 06:45:12 am
2) Visit this forum every now & then, it's a great source of news, tips and help when you need it.

3) Remote controls are an underestimated factor in getting the most from your HA setup.  Get one for each room you spend time in. I got a couple of Minimotes and I use them daily.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: parkerc on October 19, 2013, 01:22:13 pm

4) Don't get hung up with the Vera web UI, there are many others you can use for your PC, Mac and smart devices. Think of it more as the background admin console, look at the Remote Control section on this forum for ideas.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: conchordian on October 20, 2013, 03:41:14 am

4) Don't get hung up with the Vera web UI, there are many others you can use for your PC...
Could you tell me what other programs for the PC exist, please?
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: parkerc on October 20, 2013, 03:51:18 am
Search for 'myvera' via this forum or google   -  http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,13133.0.html - it's not a executable file that you would run, but it does give you an alternative UI to use.

Or there is 'Yu Vera Remote' (for Windows) - still in its early stages - http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,15583.0.html

4b) Note - The forum search window is your best friend here, you can find most of what you want to know that way.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: bdevaux on October 20, 2013, 06:07:47 pm
when you find a sale on z-wave items, buy more then you need
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on October 21, 2013, 06:36:42 am
5) Dont get ANY remote !

its "Home Automation" not "home Remote Control" ;)

the vera does it all ... you just have to be creative on finding the hooks of human behavour.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: AndersH on October 25, 2013, 06:18:55 am
6) Do your installation step by step. Have patience. Don't install a lot of new devices at once. If (when) things starts malfunctioning, it is nice to be able to take one step back to a known state.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: chixxi on October 25, 2013, 08:59:39 am
7 ) Use PLEG and not luup code right from the beginning.
8 ) Be aware that once you start, you always see more posibilites and then you want it.  ;D
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: emtschei on October 25, 2013, 09:58:38 am
6) Do your installation step by step. Have patience. Don't install a lot of new devices at once. If (when) things starts malfunctioning, it is nice to be able to take one step back to a known state.

9) Remember to always refresh your browser after tinkering with the UI and/or installing plugins - saves you a lot of headaches (and humiliation :-[).
[CTRL]-[F5] does the trick on most browsers.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: buzzdavidson on October 25, 2013, 10:57:43 pm
6) Do your installation step by step. Have patience. Don't install a lot of new devices at once. If (when) things starts malfunctioning, it is nice to be able to take one step back to a known state.

Amen, brother.  I made the mistake of starting WAY too big when I first got my Vera.  Insanity followed.  It's much better now  :)

This point can't be stressed enough!
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Pestus on October 27, 2013, 03:56:32 pm
1.  Do backups of your configurations when they are stable.  Especially before making serious changes.

2. Consider a basic alarm system as a better choice for door or motion sensors.  Once integrated, they are cheaper and more reliable than the Zwave equivalents, yet do the same thing.

3. Always consider integration possibilities before buying any new electronics for the home.  There's almost always a way to make it dance with the Vera!
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: bobnatale on October 28, 2013, 05:44:15 pm
1.  Do backups of your configurations when they are stable.  Especially before making serious changes.

2. Consider a basic alarm system as a better choice for door or motion sensors.  Once integrated, they are cheaper and more reliable than the Zwave equivalents, yet do the same thing.

3. Always consider integration possibilities before buying any new electronics for the home.  There's almost always a way to make it dance with the Vera!

Can someone recommend a basic alarm system as mentioned in #2?
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: RichardTSchaefer on October 28, 2013, 07:11:00 pm
Code: [Select]
Can someone recommend a basic alarm system as mentioned in #2?I suggest you look at:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,13773.0.html
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Pestus on October 31, 2013, 11:36:09 pm
ALWAYS enable notifications on battery levels for smart locks!  In other words;  NEVER have the house lock your girlfriend out!
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: betabob on November 04, 2013, 11:56:05 am
+1 on the lock battery, don't forget to monitor the motion sensor batteries if you use those
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on November 05, 2013, 04:19:17 am
actually what (percentage) is considered dangerously low ?

my z-wave lock has even 2 alerts defined.

1 Battery low
and a "battery VERY low" .... no idea
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: RichardTSchaefer on November 05, 2013, 06:03:11 am
Depends on the Battery type .. they have different decline curves.
Plus the accuracy of these devices is not exact. You should monitor them before failure.
Then you will see where they fail ... replace with the same type of battery if you want to use the same value.
Or be on the safe side and always replace them at 25%.

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on November 06, 2013, 02:42:07 am
Or be on the safe side and always replace them at 25%.

thanks for the tipps .. yes i do monitor them, on my in-wall tablet i display the battery values next to the label .. so i see it every time i watch them.
the values seems (like you say) not very accurate ... i put in new batteries (because i had no recharge ones left over)
and the display did start at 23% ... but holds this since 1 month or so ..
this morning it was by 13% .. and a few hours later back to 19 ... so this numbers are indeed very much useless.

i will leave them inside and wait when they will fail .. then change batteries to rechargeable .. and do the same test again ...

damm science  :P
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: RichardTSchaefer on November 06, 2013, 05:54:00 am
That's why I indicated that the technology of the batteries will effect the number range.
Put real batteries in and see the difference.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Piwtorak on November 06, 2013, 07:58:41 am
My tip, sorry, is not the tip I would like give...

do not realize the heal process, because you can damage your zwave network and have many devices stopped to work.

if someone have good experience with this, please say for us when and how use this feature of vera, for me not working and make the things crazy.

thanks...
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on November 12, 2013, 03:19:54 am
if someone have good experience with this

its not exactly well documented feature, i personally do "manage the neighbours manually" which worked quite good so far.

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: mikewop on November 12, 2013, 01:36:03 pm
if someone have good experience with this

its not exactly well documented feature, i personally do "manage the neighbours manually" which worked quite good so far.

Hi nullx8, that sounds interesting, could you comment on that a little bit more? I.e. how do you manage the network manually?
Thanks.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on November 13, 2013, 04:50:05 am
Each device have a "neighbors" field in advanced tab,

Since you are the one installed the hardware, you also know best which one may have issues and wich one not.

I do edit the neighbors field with nodeId's i know they solid and as best reachable by the edited device as possible.

As example. I have one inline smart switch installed in my breaker box.
The vera is about 20cm away from there in plain sight, and another switch is also in sight (trough a gipsum wall)

The network cleanup did add about 15 "neigbors" including some battery powered devices, which did make zero sense to me.

So i removed all and added just node 1 (the vera itself) and the switch nextto it
The speed of this switch did increase dramatically, so i have startet to do this with all devices i use.

Much less "mash" but very very fast responses.

Remember you need to put the Node-ids in this field and NOT the device ids!!

Also if too many devices irectly talk to the vera instead of using the mesh, vera starts to resend commands and wait for ack. So having all devices talk directly to the vera is also not super-smart.
But that is something youwill see on normal operation, if some devices lag or the vera keeps saying "waiting for ack"
 
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Z-Waver on November 13, 2013, 01:47:57 pm
@nullx8 - While it seems that you know what you're doing, this is a really advanced topic and manually altering the neighbor list on a device could easily lead to a broken network.

The neighbor list is used for route calculation purposes. That means not only how the device talks to Vera, but also how Vera talks to other devices and how other devices talk to each other. When you removed neighbors from the list, you basically told Vera and the other devices that the switch could not see those(any) neighbors, so Vera will not try to create routes through the switch to more distant nodes. This kills the mesh likely having a detrimental impact on range/reachability.

I would recommend against editing the neighbors list. I might choose to use manual routes to force a particular route for a single device. But changing the neighbors field impacts routing for many, possibly all, devices.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on November 15, 2013, 02:25:42 am
.... When you removed neighbors from the list, you basically told Vera and the other devices that the switch could not see those(any) neighbors, so Vera will not try to create routes through the switch ....

thats the whole idea about what i wrote above!

of course you are right, if too excessive manual changes remove a device completely from all neighbours, this would disable the device completely.
one do this changes need to keep in mind the current network structure to avoid this from happening.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Piwtorak on November 15, 2013, 08:34:26 pm
My vrcs2-mrz suddenly again stop works.

He is inserted in my network and i have 4 scenes to turn on and off the local loads associated the scenes to each scene button of the device.

Suddenly the local button stops works. Only turn on or off the light by homewave or vera using the device of the direct load.

In second step stops to work complete.

Some report i can collect to analysis and identify the problem ?

I have an evolve switch more distant from my vera than that leviton and works fine. I thought was the distance.

I want try before take off the device and change for a evolve or ge switch. Some tips about ?

Thanks.

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: parkerc on November 16, 2013, 03:51:08 am
Hi all

While there's been some interesting side discussions going on, the goal of this thread was ultimately to create a list of hints and tips to help a newbie out. So if possible please could we return to sharing  those useful nuggets of wisdom on Vera, it's devices or the Z-wave protocol etc.

Please do spin your posts off (via a link) to a more focused thread within this forum if one exists, especially if it relates to the topic and can handle any further discussions. (If one does not exist create one to help others)

A big thank you for what you've shared so far, it's already helping my friend (and I'm sure others) a lot.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Fryswatter on November 17, 2013, 12:24:28 am
 :P Always show your Vera you love her and kiss here goodnite before bedtime. Just no tongue, electrical shock is a hazard. :-X
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: stappy on November 22, 2013, 10:45:34 pm
When Vera is not cooperating, give it some time alone. Walk away, go get a beverage, maybe take in a movie or a good night's sleep. Very often when you come back Vera will have sorted itself out and responded to whatever you were trying to do.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: RexBeckett on November 23, 2013, 07:56:56 pm
There is a module buried deep in Vera's code that implements Murphy's Law. It will fire whenever you attempt to demonstrate the beauty of your home automation to a techno-sceptic. It is also triggered, in some mysterious way, when you leave town for a day or two. The code refers to special sensors that can detect when you really don't have time to fix your broken lighting, heating and security systems.

Like all manifestations of Murphy's Law, there is no way to circumvent it however predictable it may seem.  ;D
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on November 23, 2013, 08:49:22 pm
.... demonstrate the beauty of your home automation to a techno-sceptic. It is also triggered, in some mysterious way, when you leave town for a day or two. The code refers to special sensors that can detect when you really don't have time

That made my day !! And above that, its so very very true :)

Btw. I did hear myself saying serval times in reply to "in-law's behavour issues" with my 9 months old daugter, that its actually really simple to make a place "baby proof" but its very very difficult to make somethings "idiot proof"

Non-rational behavour (loss of common sense) gives you and the vera a really hard time.
I guess the "Murphy implementation" is just Veras way to shoot back :)
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Cor on November 24, 2013, 04:49:22 am
There is a module buried deep in Vera's code that implements Murphy's Law.

 ;D   +1
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: shady on November 26, 2013, 08:58:32 pm
When Vera is not cooperating, give it some time alone. Walk away, go get a beverage, maybe take in a movie or a good night's sleep. Very often when you come back Vera will have sorted itself out and responded to whatever you were trying to do.

Agreed, I practice GMS (go make sandwich) when Vera is not responsive, or after I add a device.  The web interface is sluggish, but that isn't the problem when a new device half populates in the UI or your app-based remote controls stop responding.  For the new user it isn't obvious that Vera is busy or choking on data.  I have the same problem with PCs and laptops today as I miss hearing the hard drive tick away as an indicator of sluggishness like we had a few years back (now I have to look to see if a LED is solid, not as handy as just listening).

@RexBeckett yes, how often have all of us proudly said to our friends and relatives, "You see, I just push this button and...hold on, I was adjusting things before you came over and I may have gummed things up, I'll be right back."  Or...  "See this app, it is cool you can do A, B, and...wait do I have WiFi, yes, well, hmmm, Vera must be busy I'll just describe what would have happened."  Then when alone with Vera, she has almost no latency and everything fires the first time.  I think it was brilliant to have given the system a female name as it often reminds me of the 80's John Carpenter movie "Christine" as Vera only seems to show her owner love.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: chixxi on November 27, 2013, 01:05:56 am
...how often have all of us proudly said to our friends and relatives, "You see, I just push this button and...hold on, I was adjusting things before you came over and I may have gummed things up, I'll be right back."  Or...  "See this app, it is cool you can do A, B, and...wait do I have WiFi, yes, well, hmmm, Vera must be busy I'll just describe what would have happened."  Then when alone with Vera, she has almost no latency and everything fires the first time....

I have to confirm this, my vera really seems to love me, but if somebody she's not used to is arround she takes all the power she has in order to emphasize her apparent jealousy.  :o
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: PaulMcT on November 30, 2013, 08:53:55 am
I have been reading this forum for a couple of years and just today noticed a shortcut that saves time when browsing the forum. To the far right of the message topics there is an icon that when clicked will bring you to the last post of the topic.

Paul
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: ih8gates on December 18, 2013, 09:29:07 am
When I'm working on a PLEG or some Luup. I often need the ID of a scene or device. I've found that a quick search through the output of this URL is a quick way to find that kind of info:

http://IP-OF-VERA:3480/data_request?id=user_data2&output_format=xml
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: parkerc on December 30, 2013, 02:54:44 am
Tip No. ??

If possible avoid using the ERGY feature in a Vera, it seems to cause more problems than it's worth.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: parkerc on January 13, 2014, 02:41:07 am
Tip No. ??

Plugins/Apps such as InfoViewer and EventWatcher are a good way to see a bit more detail behind the scenes of your Vera unit and your HA set up.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: n0ir on January 13, 2014, 10:52:47 am
Think first about WHAT you want to achive. THEN think about how to achive it using different devices and configurations. Sometimes it is easy as a nerd to get caught up in the technical joy of gadgets and the endless possibilities of the system, but my mantra is to build a smart home that is (almost) invisible and just works. It should facilitate your life, but in a automatic and non-intrusive way.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on January 13, 2014, 11:18:52 am
Think first about WHAT you want to achive.

very true !
its actually quite disapointing, how easy most things are to accomplish ;)

the main challenge in a "Automated home" is how to detect human behavour, anything else is just simple luup ;)
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: a-lurker on January 25, 2014, 02:59:54 am
Tip #

When testing Lua code via the "Test Luup code(Lua)" in the user interface (UI5).

Always end your code with "return true". Otherwise you can't tell the difference between a successful run of the code or a code parse error.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: melsman on January 26, 2014, 07:00:51 pm
Here's a few things that would have saved me a lot of time had I known them:

First, as was said earlier in this thread, RUN - don't walk, from the ERGY program/plug-in! It caused a lot of problems with my Vera and many hours of troubleshooting - and it never worked correctly anyway. Use the "Usage" tab under the "Energy" menu item to access Vera's internal energy monitoring. That's assuming, of course, that you've entered "energy used" in the "Settings" area of the devices you want to monitor.

Second, buy a cheap small USB memory stick (8 GB SanDisk Cruzer Fit for $8.00 on Amazon) and activate USB logging.  Then, use http://[INSERT YOUR VERA IP HERE]/cgi-bin/cmh/log.sh?Device=LuaUPnP to view the command actions log as they happen. That's how I figured out the the ERGY plug-in was swamping my system with garbage calls.

Third: The device ID number is assigned by MiOS and is used in Luup programming.  The AltID# is the same as the Node# and is used in the Z-wave network to identify the device.  For example, one of my switches has a Device ID#49, but a Node# (altid) 28.  When I program a Luup routine, I refer to the device ID#49.  When MiOS sends commands to the device, it talks to it using its Node ID#28.  That's important to know when viewing logs.

I'm going to disagree with many and say that programming scenes in UI5 is easier than using Richard's PLEG.  Though I commend Richard for the job he's done (this community owes him a lot), PLEG is not very easy to figure out. But, with Rex's sample Luup codes, building UI5 scenes with conditional logic was easier for me. (YMMV).  If you do use PLEG, be sure to load the Logic Core plug-in also.  PLEG needs this to work.

Melsman

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: esc on February 03, 2014, 06:47:44 am
But, with Rex's sample Luup codes, building UI5 scenes with conditional logic was easier for me. (YMMV).  If you do use PLEG, be sure to load the Logic Core plug-in also.  PLEG needs this to work.

Melsman

stupid question: Where do I find Rex's sample Luup code?
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: RexBeckett on February 03, 2014, 06:52:57 am
But, with Rex's sample Luup codes, building UI5 scenes with conditional logic was easier for me. (YMMV).  If you do use PLEG, be sure to load the Logic Core plug-in also.  PLEG needs this to work.

Melsman

stupid question: Where do I find Rex's sample Luup code?

Right here. (http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,18679.msg141954.html#msg141954)  ;)
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: parkerc on February 07, 2014, 02:39:38 am
Tip No ??

Check out Vera's own Support Centre, it seems they are trying to provide users with more focused/categorised content -> http://support.micasaverde.com


** I personally think this site should be promoted more for FAQs etc. as it's pretty good.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: TC1 on February 08, 2014, 06:13:10 pm
Tip No ??

Check out Vera's own Support Centre, it seems they are trying to provide users with more focused/categorised content -> http://support.micasaverde.com


** I personally think this site should be promoted more for FAQs etc. as it's pretty good.

Its still just as bad as the wiki, because nothing is maintained/updated on a regular basis. For example, I picked this question at random:
http://support.micasaverde.com/customer/portal/questions/985926-dsc-panel-1616-and-envisalink-3-on-vera-lite

Notice the date on the original question? And I love at the bottom how it says: "This question has received the maximum number of answers." But there are NO answers.

Sorry to rant, but they are a high-tech company, their Internet presence should be given more attention.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: samboney21 on February 27, 2014, 05:23:37 pm
Tasker and Veralite are an awesome combo. If your an android user and are not using tasker and autovera (plugin for vera) you need to give it a try!!!
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: therealabdo on March 06, 2014, 04:00:38 am
Tip #

Start using XBMC, it is a very nice media center that can controlled from vera and vise versa
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: romanlist11 on March 16, 2014, 04:46:59 pm
Sign in so that I could write this my knowledge of VERA is worse than to NASA!
I understand why it does not VERA new version of firmware, most programmers invents method of registration. I appreciate it is pleasant to VERA hardware for a reasonable price, but that's it. Development team is wholly inadequate for producers. I tried to create the perfect automated central unit VERA but starting to regret it, the user has to be a system programmer to fix an error in VERA! Latest version is 1.5.622 public firmware 3.28 in 2013 but I think it is only a beta version. From that date VERA does not solve anything. Some time ago I wrote a thank-you email us Fibaro for their products, their central unit has pretty good support and is not far from the price VERA.
Therefore dourčujem anyone who wants a super small price, and wants only pinky installation company VERA (which is not what it is not)
For anyone who want to have super comfort support Fibaro ..
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: mcv.vlad on March 17, 2014, 02:06:19 am
Sign in so that I could write this my knowledge of VERA is worse than to NASA! I understand why it does not VERA new version of firmware, most programmers invents method of registration. I appreciate it is pleasant to VERA hardware for a reasonable price, but that's it...

Hello romanlist11,
Since you posted the exact same thing in multiple topics i have only approved one of your posts. If you have such big issues with Vera can you tell us what they were and if you tried to resolve them how you did that? Did you try contacting support?

Thank you,
Vlad
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on March 17, 2014, 02:24:32 am
If you have such big issues with Vera can you tell us what they were and if you tried to resolve them how you did that? Did you try contacting support?

true.. MVC Support may slow .. but like everywhere in this world "you simply get what you pay for"
we can all agree that Vera Hardware is Dirt cheap .. and it does hell of a job for the very tiny price.

i had a few MVC Tickets running myself, it always take its time to response, but they always get the job done. and this is what really does count.
maybe MVC need to do some Premium support service (like apple does it) ... you pay 100 Bucks extra and the tickets never open longer than a few hours ;)

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Vodden on March 26, 2014, 09:10:58 pm
Plan ahead!  It pays off during the install.

Do your research on sensors, receptacles, switches, plugs, etc.  There are many different flavors that can do different things, and at different price points.

Z-wave is almost always the most expensive route.  Other methods (IP, IR, RS-232, Alarm Panel) are usually much more cost effective, and sometimes more reliable.  Beats X10 and Insteon hands down tho. 

Search the forums.  The answer to your question is probably here somewhere.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: nullx8 on March 27, 2014, 05:27:26 am
Z-wave is almost always the most expensive route.

that is probably true, but for security and stability .. it pays back, i use myself alot of "other" ways to control things, but the essentials are 100% z-wave.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Cslagle on March 29, 2014, 04:16:31 pm
Here's a tip for lighting control problems.  Be sure your power wiring is stable and routes the way you think.  I was trying to replace a single pole switch with a motion sensor switch.  The switch controlled four fluorescent fixtures in a laundry room.  I tried Leviton, Lutron and Cooper.  None worked.  Each time i re-installed the good old single pole switch and it continued to work fine.  Also tried Aeon labs micro switch triggered by a motion sensor but the micro switch wouldn't work.  I ran a dedicated ground thinking my grounding to the box was weak.  I also ran a dedicated neutral thinking there was some sort of harmonics causing issues.  Those attempts got me nowhere.  I blamed all the manufacturers, the previous homeowners and the electron gods.  Finally i traced the entire circuit and found the switch was at the end of the circuit instead of the beginning.  in other words, power was going directly from the panel to the lights and the switch was in the neutral path going back to the panel.  Works fine for a normal mechanical switch but doesn't work at all for an electronic device.  Swapped things out and everything works!

I hope someone can learn from my frustrations.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: S-F on March 29, 2014, 06:15:55 pm
Hmmmm. This is probably the only mass thread I haven't posted in yet so I might as well give my two cents (forum can't cope with the cent symbol!).

If you're just starting out or you already have a fairly complex installation, take your time. No matter how much research and thinking you do today you'll always find more you can do tomorrow. So tackle what you want most NOW, camp out with it for a time and then make your next move. One of the beauties of home automation is that it's still a hobby. You'll always have new ideas on how you can make your situation sing and dance. Leave room in your head space for these new developments.

A little effort up front will probably pay off at a later date. Taking the arduous time to pull wire or waiting a few more weeks until you can afford the better device will pay off financially and psychologically in the long run. Don't have the experience or time to pull wire? Maybe you have a friend who can help you get the basics of running wire and/or patching drywall. You'll be happier in the end if you did it "right" but it took a week of Sundays. If you think you're being thrifty by getting a good "deal" on something that's coming with mixed reviews, ask yourself if you're going to be happy with your life when things don't work when you want or only work when you don't want.

Just know that out the door you'll have a technologically more sophisticated house than the vast majority (%99.X) of the people on the planet and it's all up hill from here.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Piwtorak on March 30, 2014, 07:17:10 pm
For me the frustrations goes out at the 100 posts. Counting with this forum and peoples here being patient with starters made the difference. Go ahead and be sure in the end all will be right.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: airedale on April 04, 2014, 06:55:56 pm
If you are looking for some help building the luup code, you can use this to see the code to help get variables or call actions from your devices:

http://www.airedalez.net/ha/ (http://www.airedalez.net/ha/)

It is being actively developed, so any support or questions, please post them over here:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,24268.0.html (http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,24268.0.html)
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: catchingthezwaves on April 08, 2014, 09:51:46 am
6) Do your installation step by step. Have patience. Don't install a lot of new devices at once. If (when) things starts malfunctioning, it is nice to be able to take one step back to a known state.

This makes a ton of sense, but as I am about to jump in to the home automation with lighting controls, what is the threshold for number of devices to install?  My original thought was to purchase the controller and nearly all of the switches (for continuity).  Hearing this i may stick with the purchase plan but do a phased install.  A couple of light switches and a scene controller one weekend, test it through the week, then the next weekend install 2-3 more...and so on. 

I am anxious to get going and want to get the system up and running.  I wonder what the test period is,  could i install 3 switches, pair and program and test for say one day-if everything works... install 3 more the next day?  Any thoughts?
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: S-F on April 08, 2014, 10:04:54 am
Light switches aren't really a big deal. I would go ahead and install them all. Really it's programming and installing devices which are a little more persnickety that get's confusing. Setting up scenes and so forth just how you like is a never ending process. If you make too many changes at once you will be confused when, inevitably, you throw a monkey wrench in somewhere. Also installing some devices which aren't run of the mill Z-Wave gadgets can be complicated. So best to do that type of thing methodically.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: clippermiami on April 08, 2014, 11:39:55 am
I've just received my new VERA 3 from Amazon to replace my Vera Lite and i'm in the process of configuring it on my LAN. I'm setting a temporary static IP that will eventually be replaced by the Vera Lite IP when its removed. Right now the firmware is updating to the current version so I'll be ready to go in a few minutes. I've done a full ZWave and System backup and I'm close to restoring it to my new unit.

  {FINGERS CROSSED}
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Jamr on April 08, 2014, 03:41:11 pm
I've just received my new VERA 3 from Amazon to replace my Vera Lite and i'm in the process of configuring it on my LAN. I'm setting a temporary static IP that will eventually be replaced by the Vera Lite IP when its removed. Right now the firmware is updating to the current version so I'll be ready to go in a few minutes. I've done a full ZWave and System backup and I'm close to restoring it to my new unit.

  {FINGERS CROSSED}

I am interested in knowing the details of this restoral from VL to V3. Let us know. Thanks
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: clippermiami on April 08, 2014, 04:27:00 pm
The restore is straightforward and appears to be easy. It does note that the restore is from different hardware and says certain things will not be restored. But everything functional appears to be OK. At this point I can't them for sure, I had to fall back to the Vera Lite because the PLEG licenses are tied to the VERA Device ID they immediately failed so couldn't stay Vera 3 .. it would be better if the license was tied to something else, device independent. Hopefully Richard will be able to get back to me soon with the revised license so I can complete the conversion



Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: ALcALoIDe on June 08, 2014, 01:06:13 am
Hello, guys. I Just bought my Vera lite and am eager to see things working like i would like. But it seems that it is not that easy. So i would like to thank you for this thread. I will try to read as much as i can, but keep those tips coming. For newbees like me, these tips are precious.


I am already having problem sensors, but will not give up. Just have to learn the process first, i believe.

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: geotech on June 24, 2014, 06:22:46 pm
Hello, guys. I Just bought my Vera lite and am eager to see things working like i would like. But it seems that it is not that easy. So i would like to thank you for this thread. I will try to read as much as i can, but keep those tips coming. For newbees like me, these tips are precious.


I am already having problem sensors, but will not give up. Just have to learn the process first, i believe.

I had issues with sensors when I first try to add to my Z-wave network. Sensors can be tricky because most of them are battery operated with no active signal back to the Vera unless the sensor is tripped. What you need to do is keep the sensor active during the entire inclusion process and polling. For examples, if it is a door Opened/Closed sensor, keep closing and opening the sensor with the magnet over and over until the Z-wave inclusion is complete. If you just leave it at Closed or Opened position, it will not send any signal to the Vera box for inclusion.

Hope this helps.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Z-Waver on June 25, 2014, 08:10:40 am
I had issues with sensors when I first try to add to my Z-wave network. Sensors can be tricky because most of them are battery operated with no active signal back to the Vera unless the sensor is tripped. What you need to do is keep the sensor active during the entire inclusion process and polling. For examples, if it is a door Opened/Closed sensor, keep closing and opening the sensor with the magnet over and over until the Z-wave inclusion is complete. If you just leave it at Closed or Opened position, it will not send any signal to the Vera box for inclusion.

Hope this helps.
Tripping and untripping the sensors to keep them awake, as described above, is not adequate for most sensors. Most sensors have a way of keeping the sensor awake for an extended period of minutes so that they can be included and configured. The method varies. The keep awake method may be to leave the battery cover off or it may require pressing the inclusion button in a specific sequence. Look at your sensor's manual for the precise way to keep it awake for inclusion and configuration.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: BOFH on June 25, 2014, 10:44:48 pm
I've just received my new VERA 3 from Amazon to replace my Vera Lite and i'm in the process of configuring it on my LAN. I'm setting a temporary static IP that will eventually be replaced by the Vera Lite IP when its removed. Right now the firmware is updating to the current version so I'll be ready to go in a few minutes. I've done a full ZWave and System backup and I'm close to restoring it to my new unit.

  {FINGERS CROSSED}

You may want to check this as chances are due to the restore, the root password (which is on the bottom of the Vera) is not the one for the Vera3 but the one for your old Vera Lite as that password is part of the restore. This has bitten quite a few people including myself and can be frustrating to figure out. 
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Bboy486 on July 19, 2014, 06:59:19 pm

Search for 'myvera' via this forum or google   -  http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,13133.0.html - it's not a executable file that you would run, but it does give you an alternative UI to use.

Or there is 'Yu Vera Remote' (for Windows) - still in its early stages - http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,15583.0.html

4b) Note - The forum search window is your best friend here, you can find most of what you want to know that way.

Anything for Mac/idevice?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: dominoman on September 03, 2014, 04:35:12 am
This topic has dried up.

Anyone else got a tip of the day?  As a newbie even recycled tips are useful.

Here's my tip:
To save on on/off switches connect an extension cable to a single z-wave switch and plug all your computer equipment, monitors, speakers etc into that.  It means only buying one switch to control lots of stuff.  Personally, I use the TKB plug-in switch which also gives power consumption readings.

(OK - that may be obvious, but hey ho).   ::)

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: aa6vh on September 03, 2014, 10:09:14 am
To save on on/off switches connect an extension cable to a single z-wave switch and plug all your computer equipment, monitors, speakers etc into that.  It means only buying one switch to control lots of stuff.  Personally, I use the TKB plug-in switch which also gives power consumption readings.

That is a good idea. But be sure that you do not overload that switch.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Borat on September 08, 2014, 05:43:02 pm
My first tip would be to use fibaro dimmers for lights if possible and then use s2 and the built in scene controller with pleg. Extremely powerful and flexible way of adding functionality for anything you like to a switch.

My second would be to keep an eye on memory if using a vera lite especially.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: conchordian on September 08, 2014, 08:47:59 pm
My first tip would be to use fibaro dimmers for lights if possible and then use s2 and the built in scene controller with pleg. Extremely powerful and flexible way of adding functionality for anything you like to a switch.

Could you expand on this, please?  Does the s2 need a separate physical switch connected to it?  How are you using it?
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Borat on September 10, 2014, 06:03:42 pm
My first tip would be to use fibaro dimmers for lights if possible and then use s2 and the built in scene controller with pleg. Extremely powerful and flexible way of adding functionality for anything you like to a switch.

Could you expand on this, please?  Does the s2 need a separate physical switch connected to it?  How are you using it?

You can initiate scenes from s1 as well, eg with a double or triple click, butas some of these are also controlling the light it is much more powerful with s2 connected. You have to enable double click in the parameters and then use pleg to process the scene ids. I use it for sonos control, lighting scenes, home state functions and smart switch operation. Let me know if you want any help setting it up.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: ember1205 on October 23, 2014, 07:29:01 pm
If you like your existing non-Z Wave switches, you can install micro switches inside the wall box as a form of control. These are less expensive than full switches, will work with existing multi-switch configurations, and allow full controls. They do not support beaming, however, so you can't use them as a route between the controller and a lock device (as an example).
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: conchordian on November 05, 2014, 08:05:18 pm
You can initiate scenes from s1 as well, eg with a double or triple click, butas some of these are also controlling the light it is much more powerful with s2 connected. You have to enable double click in the parameters and then use pleg to process the scene ids. I use it for sonos control, lighting scenes, home state functions and smart switch operation. Let me know if you want any help setting it up.

Is PLEG  a requirement, or can you use LUUP code to trigger stuff from the scene IDs?

Thanks.

To answer my own question, no, PLEG isn't needed:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,15855.msg200101.html#msg200101
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: ballroller on November 08, 2014, 11:14:05 am
Be sure to manually backup and save to your computer on a regular basis. Especially if you don't plan on making many changes over a long period of time. You might lose a node (or all nodes), try to back up, and realize that your auto backups don't go far enough back. Personal experience.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: dominoman on November 24, 2014, 06:33:22 am
I installed a Secure two channel boiler controller over the weekend.  It was easy to fit and now I can turn heating on and off remotely and with timers and scenes

I only wish I had done it earlier.  It should save me money too because I'm often out late after work and can just flick the heating off from my mobile - if I remember
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: clippermiami on November 24, 2014, 10:49:46 am
I installed a Secure two channel boiler controller over the weekend.  It was easy to fit and now I can turn heating on and off remotely and with timers and scenes

I only wish I had done it earlier.  It should save me money too because I'm often out late after work and can just flick the heating off from my mobile - if I remember

Now you need a Vera function to send you a reminder to turn on the heating. then you'll need a Vera reminder to remind you to turn on your mobile so you'll need another mobile in case the first one is off and then .... :)
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: tony-park on December 01, 2014, 05:35:10 am
I installed a Secure two channel boiler controller over the weekend.  It was easy to fit and now I can turn heating on and off remotely and with timers and scenes

I only wish I had done it earlier.  It should save me money too because I'm often out late after work and can just flick the heating off from my mobile - if I remember

Now you need a Vera function to send you a reminder to turn on the heating. then you'll need a Vera reminder to remind you to turn on your mobile so you'll need another mobile in case the first one is off and then .... :)

Sounds like you need geofencing  ???
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: jaded on January 11, 2015, 01:15:47 am
When buying switches (especially looking for deals on clearance merchandise), be aware of the style of switch you're buying.  I recommend you pick one style and stick with it.  GE/Jasco and Evolve switches have top-push-on/bottom-push-off rocker action, while Leviton switches have bottom-push-toggle action.  I started by buying whatever I found on clearance, but the resultant mess was hard for guests to the house to figure out.  I eventually removed all the Leviton switches (they were the most confusing to most people) and replaced them with rocker type switches, and everyone is happier now.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Jamr on January 11, 2015, 02:07:08 am
When buying switches (especially looking for deals on clearance merchandise), be aware of the style of switch you're buying.  I recommend you pick one style and stick with it.  GE/Jasco and Evolve switches have top-push-on/bottom-push-off rocker action, while Leviton switches have bottom-push-toggle action.  I started by buying whatever I found on clearance, but the resultant mess was hard for guests to the house to figure out.  I eventually removed all the Leviton switches (they were the most confusing to most people) and replaced them with rocker type switches, and everyone is happier now.

Great tip. I made this mistake myself with some switches.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Gr8hifi on January 16, 2015, 12:10:08 am
Highly recommend that you make sure the Vera has a manually assigned IP.  My VeraEdge decided to change IP's and it caused a bit of a mess.  I turned on manually assigned IP's in my router.  Now, when the Vera MAC address ask for an IP, it always gets the same one.

And, on iOS, the program "Fing" is your friend if you (or a client) ever lose the Vera's IP address....
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: RoChess on May 14, 2015, 12:22:13 pm
Fing is also available on Android, and indeed very useful in finding not just the IP that a device use, but also to help identify a device if you have a lot of them.

As for Vera tip of the day, be sure to have a failure-recovery plan in place. My Vera3 is down right now due to a with failing Z-Wave module, and I am thrown back into the dark ages of manually having to control my home again.

Being able to monitor the energy usage of the dishwasher seemed like a good idea, and I did not stop to consider the consequences of installing an Aeon-Labs 1st generation SmartSwitch behind it away from easy access (Z-Wave doesn't fail right?). Of course now I regretted that view, as the Vera3 failure meant I was unable to clean any dishes (well the easy way anyway).

Thankfully I have a ton of HA07 master controllers (free add-on from a cheap bundle I found) that I use as Vera3 scene controllers. They have a "Z-Wave ALL ON" button on them, and it allowed me to power the dishwasher again.

Was forced to go around the house and manually turn off a bunch of other devices. Can not use the "Z-Wave ALL OFF" button, because my fridges, and waterheater are also monitored for energy consumption with an in-line Aeon-Labs SmartSwitch.

Testing HomeSeer out right now as my faith in Vera has been shaken (worked awesome for 215 days though), and it actually supports Z-Wave modules being excluded from the "Z-Wave ALL" commands or to create groups for it, so I will have many new options available soon.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Vodden on May 19, 2015, 10:47:16 am
Testing HomeSeer out right now...

I too am giving this a go.  I'm still running UI5 and will eventually have to bite the bullet and install/learn a new UI, so after reading a thread on how rock solid HS3 is, I decided to give it a try.  It is a bit of a learning curve but a curve I would have to explore regardless with UI7, so rather than have to deal with an underdeveloped UI, I opted for the HS route.  So far I have been impressed with the software and the forum support.  I have yet to receive the Z-stick for the Z-wave devices, but I have tried out the DSC and Sonos plug-ins and have been impressed. 

We'll see how it goes with z-wave inclusion. 
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Reliance on May 21, 2015, 12:31:59 am
When I'm working on a PLEG or some Luup. I often need the ID of a scene or device. I've found that a quick search through the output of this URL is a quick way to find that kind of info:

http://IP-OF-VERA:3480/data_request?id=user_data2&output_format=xml

If you have the EventWatcher App installed and you find the XML a bit verbose and hard to read, you can use

http://<ip of your VERA>:3480/data_request?id=lr_EventWatcher&report=devices

http://<ip of your VERA>:3480/data_request?id=lr_EventWatcher&report=scenes

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Ryanoc75 on July 27, 2015, 12:14:36 pm
POWER CYCLING IS YOUR FRIEND!

This is long but may be helpful to some newcomers.....

I am quite surprised that this topic made it through 6 pages and no one mentioned technology's favourite cure to most problems... when Murphy's Law has been invoked by Vera (had to laugh at those posts because it's SO TRUE that whenever you want to show Vera off, she will have none of it!) What I have found is that if she seems unresponsive or isn't doing what she's told, pulling the power cord out from the back and waiting a second or two and putting it back in and let her start up "usually" fixes most problems.  I personally have Vera perform a restart at 3 am daily.  While some may think this is excessive, it's usually right before she performs her automatic nightly "heal" process and I personally have found the network and Vera to be way more stable when she's been refreshed daily and I have far fewer headaches as a result.

When she's running very well, do a manual backup and save it in a few places, they may come in handy in the future or when expanding a network and things get messed up.  Do a manual backup BEFORE adding new devices as you expand your network.  I once had a new device literally wipe Vera of all her devices and suddenly nothing was paired (don't ask how MCV doesn't even know but what I do know is that the backup I had done just before it happened saved my bacon)  More IS better with Zwave!

I agree with the comments about installing all the switches, however I would say for new people, only "add" 2 or 3 at a time, then label them and test them and then move on to your next batch. If you add a device by bringing it close to Vera and then place the switch or whatever some distance away, running a 'heal network" will often help Vera "find" the new device your trying to control. (We have 1 Vera and z wave devices in 5 outbuildings some nearly 200 ft away from the controller with excellent range - If you want to control something far away, put other devices in between to help communicate.)

Also don't be too alarmed if Vera randomly tries to show off her many talents and you wake at 4 am to find the house a blaze with lights turned on (she's just practicing lol) In those situations its best to just shut off the lights and go to bed and let Vera sort it out

USE THIS FORUM !  the contributors and experts here are wonderful people who will save you from going bald or wanting to hurt yourself or Vera  (I say this as I have added the ability to use Siri to control Vera and scenes and devices and its super cool! but I nearly went crazy trying to make it work and couldn't have without this form)

Finally, be patient and take things bit by bit step by step  your relationship with Vera will get stronger in time.   When I started it was very confusing and things didn't always go as planned or work as they should, but with time and patience I now have a very extensive, very stable, very cool automated home that my 65 year old mother is very comfortable coexisting with Vera in (they too took some time to bond, but they have now, and my mom loves Vera and Vera shows her much love in return, finally!  I bought Vera when my mom was widowed as I didn't want her coming home to a dark empty house. Now whenever she comes home Vera has opened her garage door and turned on her lights  and adjusted her HVAC and turned off the alarm and unlocked her doors and mom doesn't feel quite as alone. )
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: logmaster on August 02, 2015, 08:02:36 am
Never install a new firmware if your system is stable and working without any issues.
The only exception is if there is a major update which includes features you need, and only after you check with other people that the firmware is not buggy.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: RoChess on August 07, 2015, 04:27:57 pm
@logmaster, amen! Made that mistake on last firmware update as some features looked good, but now both of my Enerwave ZWN-BPC motion sensors stopped working.

Also had to manually fix 6 other battery sensors, but they kept working once fixed.

Really irritating, because Vera killed the manual "heal" option that normally fixes this issue.

Both sensors are just configured on a lot of scenes, so deleting the device to repair is my last resort.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: CudaNet on August 07, 2015, 07:05:46 pm
UI7..
Cinderblock...
Roll of duct tape...
A boat or a plane to locate deepest water source...
Kaplunk !

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: jjessop on August 08, 2015, 09:35:25 pm
Could not agree more with the last 3 posts!!

UI7..
Cinderblock...
Roll of duct tape...
A boat or a plane to locate deepest water source...
Kaplunk !
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: ballroller on August 08, 2015, 11:35:27 pm
"Also don't be too alarmed if Vera randomly tries to show off her many talents and you wake at 4 am to find the house a blaze with lights turned on (she's just practicing lol) In those situations its best to just shut off the lights and go to bed and let Vera sort it out"

You must not be married! My closet light- which shines into our bedroom decided to go- and off. And on. And off. Etc. All night long the next morning was not a pleasant time around my home. I removed the light from the system- I couldn't afford any more grief from it (Franky, I don't blame her).

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: mystic860 on October 04, 2015, 07:49:21 am
POWER CYCLING IS YOUR FRIEND!

How is this accomplished?
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Mugwug on October 04, 2015, 09:12:06 am
Use luup code to schedule a routine reboot.

In my case I also plugged my vera into one of those Wemo modules to give me the option of a remote power cycle (nothing more frustrating than being off site and having the thing bog down or otherwise grind to a halt). Doesn't come up often, but is damned handy when it does (and I had three of those Wemo modules sitting around doing nothing).
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: otakup0pe on November 03, 2015, 02:32:32 am
HA I'm also about to wire my Vera3 through a WeMo and setup it's raspberry pi buddy to act as a heartbeat. I really don't like having the Vera get stuck to the point where I can't even SSH into it :(
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: callahan on November 16, 2015, 06:00:11 pm

4) Don't get hung up with the Vera web UI, there are many others you can use for your PC, Mac and smart devices. Think of it more as the background admin console, look at the Remote Control section on this forum for ideas.

Although I am fine with UI5, I am curious. Do the different UIs surface more functionality? If it makes it possible to do more with a different interface, I'm willing to give it a try.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Chrisfraser05 on January 16, 2016, 10:44:26 am
My tip of the day is to use the rooms facility to create both rooms and systems for ease of navigation.

For example I've got each room, plus "system AV", "System Alarm",  "System Utilities" etc.

Things like room temps, lux levels and actual devices like lamps I've got in the rooms.

The actual motion sensor I've put in "System Alarm" along with my PLEG device.

"System Utilities" homes plugin devices and the like, vera alerts, day/night switch etc.

Obviously everyone has their own ways and means, and what works for one doesn't for another but the better you organise your structure the easier it becomes to find things, make changes and come up with new ideas of how to control things
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: ZwaveOutlet on February 02, 2016, 03:39:10 am
For everyone trying to do auto reboots take a look at the Wattbox. It's very good at just that. Ping sensor ( internal and external) Text alerts and remote power cycles that are tide to the cloud and reboot schedules! Perfect if you aren't on site to reboot vera, modem, and router  ;D
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: homeuser on February 08, 2016, 10:21:59 pm
+1 thats a genius idea! Nothing like having my wife call me at work with the siren going off in the background with a toddler crying because of the noise and not being able to connect to vera to turn it off.

Use luup code to schedule a routine reboot.

In my case I also plugged my vera into one of those Wemo modules to give me the option of a remote power cycle (nothing more frustrating than being off site and having the thing bog down or otherwise grind to a halt). Doesn't come up often, but is damned handy when it does (and I had three of those Wemo modules sitting around doing nothing).
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: RichardTSchaefer on February 09, 2016, 09:26:42 am
Sounds like you need the Vera - Emergency Kit
   - 1 Pair of Earplugs
   - 1 Pair of Extra Small Earplugs

You may need some eye shades to ... in case the lights are blinking.

Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: MrAutomate on March 20, 2016, 12:00:55 am
@Richard, too funny!! 

So , to live with Vera, this week, I stripped her  of 99% of apps and devices and moved over to Indigo where it just works. 

Vera is much happier, taking care of the wink devices, a few scenes (for Wink)  I trigger from Indigo for the wink devices, and the ZWave door locks...  When vera gets a firmware bug, it will barely impact my day
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: MrAutomate on March 21, 2016, 02:46:37 pm
Funny,  the more often I speak of Vera's short comings, I seem to get smited.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Jamr on May 26, 2016, 02:51:44 pm
Today we turned a 13$ outdoor motion sensor flood light into a Z-Wave outdoor motion sensor flood light.
Now I can trigger all of my scenes, other lights inside and out, sirens, even other flood lights making it appear that someone is home all from this one Z-Wave motion light.
I can even get notifications on my phone when this happens instantly.
The best part is that the motion sensor is easy to install, use and is made for outdoor use.

Take a look and tell us what you think.
http://www.007systems.com/blog/z-wave-outdoor-motion-flood-light
 
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Scoutmedic on August 14, 2016, 10:16:29 am
Today we turned a 13$ outdoor motion sensor flood light into a Z-Wave outdoor motion sensor flood light.
Now I can trigger all of my scenes, other lights inside and out, sirens, even other flood lights making it appear that someone is home all from this one Z-Wave motion light.
I can even get notifications on my phone when this happens instantly.
The best part is that the motion sensor is easy to install, use and is made for outdoor use.

Take a look and tell us what you think.
http://www.007systems.com/blog/z-wave-outdoor-motion-flood-light

I'd like to see this done for solar powered flood lights.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Mike Yeager on August 14, 2016, 05:06:37 pm
I'd like to see how the wired the relay module....
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: otakup0pe on August 18, 2016, 10:52:36 pm
These days it's all about coping mechanisms. Whiskey, actually having to use a lightswitch, coming home to my partner sitting in a darkened home, that kind of thing.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: CelticWebs on September 07, 2016, 06:26:50 pm
These days it's all about coping mechanisms. Whiskey, actually having to use a lightswitch, coming home to my partner sitting in a darkened home, that kind of thing.

Sounds about right to me....
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: iflyM3 on October 20, 2016, 04:30:02 pm
Wow, I cannot believe it has been over 5 years since I first bought my Vera 2 and came onto this forum to 'learn' how to get my Vera 2 working as advertised.  Most of the time, I thought I was more of a Beta Tester than an actual consumer with a finished product... I should have collected a paycheck... many, many, many hours spent LUA scripting, troubleshooting, designing programming logic, algorithms and plugins simply to get Vera 2 to function properly as advertised. 

It was not all bad, had fun doing it, and I absolutely love the Open Source platform along with this great forum/user community.  Without this much needed forum, I simply do not see how MiCasaVerde could have stayed in business.  Are any of the 'old heads' still around here on this forum such as AP15e, Shady, TimALLs, BIG517, 325xi, guessed, strangely, woodsby, futzle, and/or obot?!?   If so, I send my "hellos" and many, many thanks and much appreciation.  You people rock!!!  :)

My question, the reason I am poking my head around here once more... I have seen some of the newer Vera units and UI out on the market currently and I am wondering if it is the same old same old with MiCasaVerde as it was when Vera and Vera 2 were out.  Are the newer Vera units similar in headaches and frustration as the Vera 2 units were/are?  Or has MiCasaVerde made some much needed improvements over the years?  I mean with Google Home (https://madeby.google.com/home/) coming out and Amazon Echo (https://www.amazon.com/Amazon-Echo-Bluetooth-Speaker-with-WiFi-Alexa/dp/B00X4WHP5E) already out... it seems these Vera units are bit behind the power curve these days.  I've thought long and hard about simply putting the money out for Crestron, toss my Vera in the trash, and be done with it.  After my first experience with Vera 2, I do not trust any of MiCasaVerde's fancy advertising on their website.  Any thoughts about the latest Vera units?  In your own opinion, are they worth it?   :)

What is the best Vera unit out right now?  Is it the Vera Plus?  Anyone with a Vera Plus on here?  Does it work as advertised or do you still have to monkey around with it, somethings work and most other things do not?  I'm just curious.  Thank you all for any responses. 
 
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Z-Waver on October 21, 2016, 08:54:10 am
What's your "Tip Of The Day?

Many/most of the old guard have moved on. They were skilled programmers/scripters and they gravitated to other projects in heavy development. I know that several of the people that you listed are now working on openHAB an open source HA system. Contrary to your post, Vera is in no way open source, though it does expose one of the more extensive APIs in the home automation/ control space making it highly extensible.

The newest Vera Plus has improved dramatically since Vera 2. New UI, improved hardware, increased device support... lots of improvements. But, there's still lots of opportunities for further improvement. Depending on what you are doing with your HA system, you may experience no problems whatsoever, or you may suffer miserable frustration and utter failure. If you want much more than basic device control, then there will be "monkeying around". There's going to be monkeying around with virtually every HA controller. If you don't want to do it, you'll have to pay someone else to do it for you(see Crestron).

Comparing Vera(a dirt cheap DIY controller) to Google Home(an unknown and unavailable product), and to Crestron(an extremely expensive professionally installed system) is very unrealistic. I see that you like cars so, using a bad car analogy; you are essentially comparing a Toyota Carolla  to a McLaren 570GT MSO. The thing is that anyone that can afford a McLaren can easily afford a Carolla just to see if they like it, and if they don't, they can literally throw it away and get the McLaren without a second thought.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Alex1991 on October 27, 2016, 10:23:12 am
when you find a sale on z-wave items, buy more then you need

____________________
cool dating video here > http://romancecompass.com/video-dating/
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: michaelhinchey on November 20, 2016, 05:41:11 pm
2) Visit this forum every now & then, it's a great source of news, tips and help when you need it.

3) Remote controls are an underestimated factor in getting the most from your HA setup.  Get one for each room you spend time in. I got a couple of Minimotes and I use them daily.
I use alexa in my rooms :)
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: michaelhinchey on November 20, 2016, 05:43:34 pm
ALWAYS enable notifications on battery levels for smart locks!  In other words;  NEVER have the house lock your girlfriend out!
It seems also that they will stop working at a certain level. It happened to me twice under vera 2.  Inclusion of locks are a such a pain. So keep them juiced up. 
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: adamhay on November 26, 2016, 05:46:14 am
Buy an RFXTRX433 at the very start. Thereafter all your simple devices such as remote sockets, door sensors, etc will be much cheaper. My latest purchase is a batch of remote plugin sockets for less than 5 pounds each (Maplin UK), instead of 30 to 50 for z-wave

Also buy Milight instead of Hue
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: TinCup on January 06, 2017, 09:33:20 am
when you find a sale on z-wave items, buy more then you need


Did exactly that with Vera3.  Bought a couple of cold spares off ebay.  One for $5 (new in box  ;D) the other for $75.  Ended up using one as a bridge for the devices upstairs.  That helped with the lag I was experiencing.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Chrisfraser05 on January 07, 2017, 11:50:25 am
Buy an RFXTRX433 at the very start. Thereafter all your simple devices such as remote sockets, door sensors, etc will be much cheaper. My latest purchase is a batch of remote plugin sockets for less than 5 pounds each (Maplin UK), instead of 30 to 50 for z-wave

Also buy Milight instead of Hue

to be fair... this is the route I went down.

And I've just pulled out all my 433 stuff after a year and replaced it with zwave.

I found it all just too flakey, having to move exension cords around under the bed because of poor signal etc etc

I have kept the trx and put it on my PC connected with domotics incase I need to use anything, and I monitor my electricity usage with the owl clamp.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: amino on February 14, 2017, 09:23:28 pm
If you need modules in a hurry, Lowes carries the IRIS product which is fully compatible with Vera/Z-wave. They GE modules are priced well and work great. Amazon is also a great source.

Also a great product to use with your VERA is the HA Bridge from BWS Systems. It easily integrates Amazon Echo with VERA adding a whole new dimension to your system. I really don't think the upcoming Vera support will work as well as this bridge.

Finally Aeon Labs Minimote is a handy remote to have when you don't feel like fumbling with your smartphone or shouting commands at Alexa. 
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Z-Waver on February 15, 2017, 08:00:17 am
If you need modules in a hurry, Lowes carries the IRIS product which is fully compatible with Vera/Z-wave. They GE modules are priced well and work great.

This is only true for the Z-Wave devices. There are several Iris devices at Lowe's that use Zigbee and do not work well or at all with Vera. Z-Wave only.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Jamr on February 25, 2017, 12:11:52 am
Complete step by step instructions on how to get your Vera to Automatically Arm and Disarm(away) your alarm system using Vera's Geofence feature.
You never have to arm or disarm your alarm again!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1crlp69FXoTzAO0oojqc-wQ2pUcZOET_5E4tf-KVxzLo/edit?usp=sharing

 
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: ScottHammet on February 28, 2017, 05:19:03 pm
Complete step by step instructions on how to get your Vera to Automatically Arm and Disarm(away) your alarm system using Vera's Geofence feature.
You never have to arm or disarm your alarm again!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1crlp69FXoTzAO0oojqc-wQ2pUcZOET_5E4tf-KVxzLo/edit?usp=sharing

Yeah.  It SHOULD be that simple, but it isn't.  This feature has never worked for me, and from scrounging around the forums, I gather I'm not the only one.

Tip of the Day...

Never change the House Modes setting from a mobile device using the Vera app...there's no "Cancel" feature, and if you change the wrong thing, it will instantly wipe out your settings.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Jamr on March 01, 2017, 12:00:20 pm
I am sorry you are having problems with your Geofencing. The few geofences I have set up for myself and others seem to be working great.
Your problems may be a hardware issue. Either way, I would call Vera and get it straightened out.
Once you get it working, it will be that simple.

Yes, changing your hose mode settings from your mobile device, changes them on your controller.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: ScottHammet on March 01, 2017, 09:04:25 pm
I am sorry you are having problems with your Geofencing. The few geofences I have set up for myself and others seem to be working great.
Your problems may be a hardware issue. Either way, I would call Vera and get it straightened out.
Once you get it working, it will be that simple.

Yes, changing your hose mode settings from your mobile device, changes them on your controller.

I get the notification that the Enter/Exit geofence has fired.  It just doesn't do anything.  The House Mode never changes.  When you said it might be hardware, what did you mean there?  The phones or the Vera?

And yes...you are correct that changing things on your phone changes them on the controller.  I get that.  My point was more about how an inadvertent touch on the wrong part of the screen can hose things up.  Would perhaps be better if the phone app didn't behave like the web page and commit changes immediately, for the very reason that it's easy to to touch the wrong thing on a phone screen.  Maybe "Save" and "Cancel" buttons, just to be sure that the user really wants to make changes.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: BOFH on March 01, 2017, 09:34:51 pm
On your Vera dashboard, click on the > next to My Modes. On the page that opens, scroll all the way down for GeoFencing settings. Are both options checked? (set to away of no one home & set to home if at least one user home)
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Jamr on March 01, 2017, 09:41:50 pm
I am sorry you are having problems with your Geofencing. The few geofences I have set up for myself and others seem to be working great.
Your problems may be a hardware issue. Either way, I would call Vera and get it straightened out.
Once you get it working, it will be that simple.

Yes, changing your hose mode settings from your mobile device, changes them on your controller.

I get the notification that the Enter/Exit geofence has fired.  It just doesn't do anything.  The House Mode never changes.  When you said it might be hardware, what did you mean there?  The phones or the Vera?

And yes...you are correct that changing things on your phone changes them on the controller.  I get that.  My point was more about how an inadvertent touch on the wrong part of the screen can hose things up.  Would perhaps be better if the phone app didn't behave like the web page and commit changes immediately, for the very reason that it's easy to to touch the wrong thing on a phone screen.  Maybe "Save" and "Cancel" buttons, just to be sure that the user really wants to make changes.

I sent you a PM so we do not clog up this thread.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: homeuser on March 06, 2017, 08:25:55 am
Finally got my VeraLite upgraded and working with Alexa.


Running an old iphone as as ipcam in the window of my front porch. The video is setup on a imperihome dashboad page.

I setup a scene with an imperihome goto dashboard page that goes to the page with only the camera.

When I say "Alexa run front door camera" imperihome running on the wall mounted tablet switches over to the camera allowing me to see who is at the front door.

I set up another scene allowing me to return to the main page via voice command too.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: 3rdStng on March 25, 2017, 03:11:10 pm
I setup a scene with an imperihome goto dashboard page that goes to the page with only the camera.

When I say "Alexa run front door camera" imperihome running on the wall mounted tablet switches over to the camera allowing me to see who is at the front door.

I set up another scene allowing me to return to the main page via voice command too.
I'm interested in how you did this. Just installed ImperiHome on my spare (old) tablet. I've been wanting to replace my old wall mounted weather clock and leverage my Netatmo more. This could possibly do it, and allow me to see the front porch. Imagine a scene with a RingTo or Vera Doorbell (when it is released) that will auto switch the tablet when someone rings the doorbell.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: Iron Man on June 16, 2017, 05:52:31 am
Do not buy dimmers to control light switch without neutral line!

Buy double relay and run neutral line from near by outlet to light switch. By doing this, we can save money, 1 double relay can control 2 lights.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: treetop777 on June 22, 2017, 05:24:02 pm
I setup a scene with an imperihome goto dashboard page that goes to the page with only the camera.

When I say "Alexa run front door camera" imperihome running on the wall mounted tablet switches over to the camera allowing me to see who is at the front door.

I set up another scene allowing me to return to the main page via voice command too.
I'm interested in how you did this. Just installed ImperiHome on my spare (old) tablet. I've been wanting to replace my old wall mounted weather clock and leverage my Netatmo more. This could possibly do it, and allow me to see the front porch. Imagine a scene with a RingTo or Vera Doorbell (when it is released) that will auto switch the tablet when someone rings the doorbell.

+1
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: 3rdStng on June 22, 2017, 11:53:00 pm
That's exactly what I did too. I also hooked a door sensor up to my doorbell so when someone pushes the doorbell button it flips to the page. It also immediately takes a picture then waits 5 seconds and takes another one.
Title: Re: Living With Vera - Tip Of The Day
Post by: treetop777 on June 23, 2017, 04:23:39 pm
That's exactly what I did too. I also hooked a door sensor up to my doorbell so when someone pushes the doorbell button it flips to the page. It also immediately takes a picture then waits 5 seconds and takes another one.

Do you manually have to put back to the main page (page 0) or does it go back automatically after a certain period of time?  if so, how?