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General => Lighting & Load Control => Topic started by: Dignan17 on November 29, 2012, 03:51:04 pm

Title: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on November 29, 2012, 03:51:04 pm
I'm experiencing terrible delays and flaky behavior from my Vera. Please tell me what I'm doing wrong!

A little background: I started with all GE switches, lamp modules, and remotes. Everything worked flawlessly. I then bought a Vera Lite, moved all my equipment over to it, and it all worked flawlessly. THEN I moved, and that's when the problems started.

I had to leave my GE switches behind, so I purchased and installed some Intermatic switches (CA600's). I don't know if these are the source of my problem, but it seems like it. Almost all the time I'll get 10-20 second delays when activating scenes. I'll get some lights changing to the new scene, others going to random dim levels, others delaying, and then most of the time eventually all the lights will go to the right dim levels for the scenes I've made.

All my devices are reasonably close to each other, and usually respond to commands from AutHomation pretty well (though I have some problems there too, sometimes).

I've just been extremely dissatisfied, and I can't figure out what's going wrong. How do I fix this? I've already removed every single device and remote from the network, then reset the ZWave network in Vera, then added everything back, but I'm still having the same flaky problems as before.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: futzle on November 29, 2012, 04:17:55 pm
What you describe are symptoms consistent with a borderline too-sparse Z-Wave network.

Some brands of device, and some classes of device, have much less Z-Wave radio range than others.  I've seen users here on the forum have problems with locks and in-wall switches in particular.  It may well be that the Intermatic ones are just not getting enough signal and your mesh is intermittently breaking whenever there is radio interference from the world around them.

You could troubleshoot this by reducing your Z-Wave network to just one device that is very close to the Vera.  See if the reliability is any better.  Add one more device and experiment (at different times of day and night).  Grow the mesh one device at a time so that you can identify at what point the mesh got too sparse.

If the mesh network signal strength turns out to be the problem then you can improve it by adding more devices in between.  This is what I did in my house and it greatly improved the reliability and speed of commands.  Or you can experiment with replacing the Intermatic modules with a different brand, one that might have a longer range.  Either way, it's going to cost money, sorry.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: frichter09 on November 29, 2012, 06:12:48 pm
Hi!
Have you ever run a network heal after moving things around?
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on November 29, 2012, 07:23:25 pm
Thanks for the replies, folks.

I apologize, I accidentally left out some information. When I reset my network and added all my devices back in, I noticed a decent improvement in performance, but that only lasted a day or two.

It's possible that I could be too sparse in my network, but that seems odd, unlikely, and/or disappointing to me. My Vera unit is right in the middle of my home, with the bulk of the switches 10' away with no obstructions. I have six switches within 6' of each other. What I've been seeing is that frequently one light will hang up the entire process, which already makes NO sense. I'll see my lights go to their dim level in a scene one by one, get hung up on one light for 10 seconds, that light will finally go, then the other lights will go. To me, this is NOT how ZWave is supposed to work and is extremely frustrating to me. Even when I felt everything was working OK after my network reset, I noticed that the lights seemed to respond in some sort of order. Before my Vera, when a scene was activated every light would respond at the same time and would do so immediately.

The behavior I'm seeing really isn't acceptable for a mesh network.

But I think you're right that I might need to swap out some switches. I'm going to try to go all GE for my critical lights on my main floor, and move my Intermatics to non-essential roles.

Hi!
Have you ever run a network heal after moving things around?
I ran one today, and will see if that helps anything...
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: ehillis on November 29, 2012, 08:12:36 pm
Basic question. Did you remove all the GE devices you left behind as well as removing them from all scenes etc. From my own experience if not things go wonky.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on November 29, 2012, 11:37:04 pm
Basic question. Did you remove all the GE devices you left behind as well as removing them from all scenes etc. From my own experience if not things go wonky.
It's been two months and a couple days since we moved out of our condo, so honestly I can't remember, but I'm pretty sure I recall walking around and removing all the switches with the Vera in exclude mode.

So a ZWave reset does not do the equivalent of this anyway? I assumed that the process would wipe out any memory of previously-connected devices. I mean, just to be sure, before I did the reset I went and excluded every single ZWave device I had using the Vera Lite, in case any of my unused switches were perhaps associated with one of my unused GE remotes.

I've noticed that since running the heal AND since adding two GE switches to the mix, the reliability of the system seems to be improving. I still think I'll be heading to Lowes to pick up a few switches, though...
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Piwtorak on November 30, 2012, 06:03:41 am
Reset proccess is not enough...
exclude one by one is the best way. at least with me the things were well when I did it.
the problem is if you do not have the switches more with you...
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on November 30, 2012, 08:44:47 am
Reset proccess is not enough...
exclude one by one is the best way. at least with me the things were well when I did it.
the problem is if you do not have the switches more with you...
Well isn't that just a stupid way of doing it? There has to be some way to wipe out the memory of all past devices in Vera.

I'm pretty certain that I did exclude all the old switches before we left, and I know I excluded every single device in my new home before I did the network reset.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on November 30, 2012, 08:48:11 am
This morning everything is as bad as it's ever been :(

I ran my main "evening" scene, and half the lights came on, everything paused for about 20 seconds, then some more came on, then about 10 seconds, then the rest.

I then tried my "movie" scene, which of course turns everything down to a very low level. Some of the lights responded, others took about 10 seconds, and one switched light completely f-ed up and went to full brightness, which is especially annoying.

Why did this change? Why did it work fine last night and then all of a sudden completely fail this morning? Why on earth would any of this change?
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: RichardTSchaefer on November 30, 2012, 09:42:19 am
In seems to me ... from observation ... that if I ever get a delayed response from a ZWave device that Vera remembers it and does an automatic heal that evening and restarts.

The HEAL does not always work very good ... but it notices it ... and fixes it the next night.

I have some lights that are far from Vera ... these are the ones that have the most problems. But they are in places I hardly notice. All of the close devices (to Vera or other ZWave devices) work great.

Are your devices close  together ? Do you have some possible radio interference ?





Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: frichter09 on November 30, 2012, 10:36:55 am
Dignan17,
Personally I don't think that you don't have enough devices.
I have a fairly big Z-Wave network and observed the same you did when executing scenes with many switches etc.
The problem is, if one node does not answer, it affects the following part of the scene if you have delays programmed.
This is how I fixed this:
For each switch, go to the settings, and put 0 (zero) for manual z-wave route under device options. This way the switch will talk directly to Vera! Once done with every node, run a network heal. After the heal go to setup --> zwave settings and disable "use Vera routing instead of z-wave", which will disable the nightly automatic heal.
Please let us know if there are any improvements. I do agree with the other posters, I d not buy GE. Go with Evolve instead.
Let us know,
Flo

EDIT:
What plugins do you have installed? ERGY by any chance?
Also, when you do the heal, how does your heal report look?
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Piwtorak on November 30, 2012, 01:43:51 pm
Frichter09,

then for big zwave network the recommendation is that ?

"For each switch, go to the settings, and put 0 (zero) for manual z-wave route under device options. This way the switch will talk directly to Vera! Once done with every node, run a network heal. After the heal go to setup --> zwave settings and disable "use Vera routing instead of z-wave", which will disable the nightly automatic heal.
"


and if I change a switch or dimmer from my network ? is some tip to run ? how stay a network that has devices changed?

thanks.. my worry is because my network will be big...and can have problem some day.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: frichter09 on November 30, 2012, 02:00:49 pm
Frichter09,

then for big zwave network the recommendation is that ?

"For each switch, go to the settings, and put 0 (zero) for manual z-wave route under device options. This way the switch will talk directly to Vera! Once done with every node, run a network heal. After the heal go to setup --> zwave settings and disable "use Vera routing instead of z-wave", which will disable the nightly automatic heal.
"


and if I change a switch or dimmer from my network ? is some tip to run ? how stay a network that has devices changed?

thanks.. my worry is because my network will be big...and can have problem some day.

Sorry Piwtorak,
Im not sure what you are trying to say.

Yes, this is my recommendation for the problems the OP is experiencing.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Piwtorak on November 30, 2012, 02:34:19 pm
ok Frichter...

I tried say if some device burns and I must change that...how can I exclude that device from my vera3...to free that memory position...

Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: frichter09 on November 30, 2012, 03:10:21 pm
ok Frichter...

I tried say if some device burns and I must change that...how can I exclude that device from my vera3...to free that memory position...

You would exclude the device like any other device.
If its burned out, you throw it away anyways :)
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Piwtorak on November 30, 2012, 05:00:54 pm
thanks!  I understand...
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on November 30, 2012, 06:58:13 pm
Today I picked up four dimmer switches from a local Lowes (well, not that local, I had to go pretty far out of my way), and swapped three of my Intermatic switches.

The reason I went with GE is because of the lack of problems I'd had with them in my old condo, so I thought I'd go with them again.

Well, after excluding the replaced Intermatics then installing and including the GE switches, I'm pretty much right back where I started. The scenes are very flaky in general.

The worst behavior I'm seeing is this: lets say I'm going from my TV-watching scene - which has most lights dimmed a good ways already, but still plenty of light - to my movie-watching scene, which turns almost all the lights off but leaves a couple at an extremely low dim level.

For some reason, when I go from my TV scene to my movie scene, most of the time a few of the lights that are getting turned off will go to FULL BRIGHTNESS then eventually go off. Clearly this is NOT at all what should happen, and I find it incredibly annoying.

One question for you guys: could I have power issues? Could there be something wrong with the electrical wiring in my home? Apparently the guy we bought the house from considered himself a real DIY-er, to the detriment of the house. There's a ton of stuff that was done completely wrong, and I worry that the wiring could be one of them...
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on December 01, 2012, 12:04:28 pm
Okay, I'm even less pleased now. I just had a scene go off at a completely random time. Nothing was touched, no scenes were activated by any controllers, and my dashboard is saying that the last time any of the triggers were activated was yesterday. WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!?

Please, I really need help here, folks.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Brientim on December 01, 2012, 01:27:02 pm
From Setup > Location
Have you verified both the time zone and your current city (note both are independently of each other). Even they they appear correct, you can try changing to another time zone, saving and then changing back. It has been previously reported that this has caused others issues.

Also, you can utilize the Dashboard and Overview to see when the next event is due to occur
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on December 02, 2012, 01:55:21 pm
From Setup > Location
Have you verified both the time zone and your current city (note both are independently of each other). Even they they appear correct, you can try changing to another time zone, saving and then changing back. It has been previously reported that this has caused others issues.

Also, you can utilize the Dashboard and Overview to see when the next event is due to occur
Yes, both fields are correct.

But that doesn't matter, because for some reason it's turning on lights that I don't even have in a scene together! This is seriously weird. It did it again this morning, and it turned on all the lights in two rooms, but there is no scene in my system that only turns those particular lights on. This was a mix of switched lights and lamps.

Very frustrated here...
Title: Very unhappy
Post by: Brientim on December 02, 2012, 03:11:27 pm
The long or short whichever way you look at this would be to exclude all devices, reset z-wave network, reset your Vera and start over. There is no logical reason for the behaviour your experiencing and you could spend an inordinate amount of time trying to work though it, so depending on your network size, it may be quicker to start from the beginning before you loss your sanity.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: futzle on December 02, 2012, 03:14:23 pm
for some reason it's turning on lights that I don't even have in a scene together!

It's sounding like you have some serious radio interference.  Z-Wave commands have a checksum but it's still possible for the command and the checksum to both be corrupted, resulting in an actual command.

Things to try:

Delete ALL your scenes.  Wait.  Don't activate anything on the Vera.  Do lights still do weird things?

Turn OFF the Vera.  Wait.  Do lights still do weird things?
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on December 03, 2012, 11:37:25 am
I will try your suggestions. Thanks. Is there a way to make my Vera Lite think it's just out of the box again? Can I reset it to factory defaults somehow?
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: RichardTSchaefer on December 03, 2012, 06:15:08 pm
Under Setup Backup

There is a Restore to Factory Defaults.

But You also need to reset the Z-Wave to a NEW network so it looses all associations with existing devices:

Under Setup Z-Wave Settings  Advanced
    Do Reset Z-Wave Network and Reset-Z-Wave-Chip.
I think it's the first one that does it ... but I can't remember for sure ... doing both will do the trick.

Then you will need to exclude than include each Z-Wave device.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on December 04, 2012, 12:21:36 am
Thanks so much for the instructions. They're much appreciated. I think I might do this tomorrow and see what happens.

I'm also beginning to worry about an electrical issue with one of my switches, but that may not have anything to do with the others. Not sure...
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on December 06, 2012, 11:31:21 pm
Update:

I'm cautiously optimistic. At the moment, everything is working exactly as expected, with a split-second delay on commands sent through AutHomation or the only 45601 I have set up on the system. I have several scenes that are all working as they should, and even the remote connection from AutHomation is only getting a ~second delay.

But I don't want to call it fixed yet. I've had it working this well in this house before, and then it went to pot. I'll see how it goes for the next week before I call this problem licked.

Thanks, though, to you guys for helping me out here!
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on December 08, 2012, 01:37:39 pm
Uh-oh. Late this morning, I had one of my scenes go on by its self.

What on earth could be causing this? It seems odd to me that interference would happen to set off a scene, specifically. That's weird.

What the heck is going on?

Also, I'm pretty sure that while we were out last night, our front door lock randomly opened on its own, which is obviously NOT a good thing to have happen...
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on December 12, 2012, 06:57:20 pm
Okay, every day at about the same time I have lights turning on.

All the lights coming on are in several scenes, but the dim levels they all end up in aren't in any of my scenes at the same time.

This appears to be happening sometime between 10am and 12pm. None of my scenes are triggered by anything happening at that time. I have completely wiped and rebuilt my Vera twice now, and it's still happening. The general performance is much better than it was a few weeks ago, but these lights still keep turning on randomly!

PLEASE HELP!!
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: RichardTSchaefer on December 12, 2012, 07:23:03 pm
Disconnect you Vera for 1 day.
This will help to see if the problem is with Vera or EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) from other nearby devices.

r.t.s.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Z-Waver on December 13, 2012, 04:06:17 pm
Disconnect you Vera for 1 day.
This will help to see if the problem is with Vera or EMI (Electro-Magnetic Interference) from other nearby devices.

r.t.s.

I think that this is a simply and easy troubleshooting step, so it is worth a try. However, I think that the reasoning is wrong.

When issuing Z-Wave commands, a fair bit of data must be delivered including the network(home)ID, device ID, command etc. Furthermore, this information may or may not be encrypted. If any of these parts of the command are not correct, the command will fail or possibly execute incorrectly.

While it is entirely possible for interference to hinder or block a command, it should not be possible for spurious signals to be interpreted as a command. In other words, interference may prevent a command from working, but it should be impossible for interference to mysteriously turn on a light.

If I am mistaken, please feel free to correct me. However, if I am mistaken and spurious signals can indeed be interpreted as commands that are then executed, then Z-Wave would not be secure and would not be suitable for devices such as locks or security systems. Basically it would be like old garage door openers before the advent of rolling codes. Anyone could walkup with a controller and activate your devices.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: RichardTSchaefer on December 13, 2012, 04:39:18 pm
However, Z-Wave devices can talk to other Z-Wave devices on the same home network to allow group level communication. You can have a flaky device causing all of the problems.
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Dignan17 on December 15, 2012, 09:16:29 pm
BIG NEWS! I'm a dolt! :D

Okay, there's a definite cause for this mystery condition. I don't know if this explains any of the original problems I'd been having with my network, but the latest problem of all my lights turning on at the same time every day has been solved with the help of the MCV people (thanks to them!).

MCV support sent reports from my logs that one of my scenes was being enacted every day at about 11:31. I didn't think it was one of my scenes, but dim levels look very different during the day than they do at night. So apparently what was turning this scene on was the main remote control I was using in my TV watching room. This puzzled me because nobody was using that remote to turn anything on, and they certainly weren't doing it at the exact same time every day (in the middle of the day when usually nobody is home).

Then it struck me: this was my main remote in our condo. Before we had Vera, I used this remote to turn our lights on at the same time every evening. It turns out the clock had gotten reset, so this remote thought 11:30am was 6:30pm, and was turning my main scene on at that time. I had thought this remote (a GE 45601) had been totally reset, but it seems the events persisted :)

So there's the explanation. Very sorry to freak out about this, but I couldn't figure out what was happening and it was very frustrating :)
Title: Re: Very unhappy
Post by: Brientim on December 15, 2012, 11:08:34 pm
Well done! It is a real annoyance when logic seems to fly out the window and at least in this case, you were able to identify the cause and eliminate your Vera. Logic and sanity returned.