Author Topic: First Steps - Help  (Read 1004 times)

Offline oldy

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First Steps - Help
« on: March 16, 2017, 04:57:44 pm »
Hello folks,

I am a complete newbie to this technology, so please go easy on me.

Having been recently burgled I am looking in to this technology to improve security at home.  Current alarm system did its job in alerting neighbours and sending unwanted guests running.

Starting gently with switching on/off lights via mains adaptors and hopefully progress to greater things.

I also like the idea of being able to have remote control via the internet when away.

Partner thinks that cheap timers are adequate, but I want to have more fun. As my user name, I am an elderly person, but like playing with technology.

I'm thinking about purchasing a Veraplus with a number of mains adaptors, using z-wave. Approximately six devices around the house.

Can anyone recommend a make of switched mains adaptors (UK use), or also ones to avoid ?  Not too expensive, bearing in mind previous comment on partner?s solution of cheap timers.

Some guidance on uk suppliers would also be great.

Hopefully I am okay posting in this area as a starting place.


Many thanks
« Last Edit: March 17, 2017, 12:56:37 pm by oldy »

Offline jlind

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #1 on: March 17, 2017, 01:22:48 pm »
Z wave is definitely not cheap.  It seems to even be more expensive now that Amazon and Google have started selling their assistants.  If all you want is a centralized smart timer that controlls a bunch of lights (timed events, on at specific times, etc), then Vera will likely work great.  If you dive in and want to do anything more advanced than that, you'll need to know a lot about the different types of technology associated with it (i.e. networking, programming, troubleshooting, testing, hardware, linux, etc).

There is no way that I would depend on Vera for security.  I barely trust it to know if I am home...
VeraLite/VeraPlus with UI7, Multiple GE switches, GE Outlets, Aeon Smart Switches, Minimote, GE Portable outlets  Apps: (Pentair Autelis Plugin, Weather Underground, Honeywell WiFi Thermo, System Monitor, AlternateUI)

Offline Slartibartfast

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #2 on: March 17, 2017, 01:48:19 pm »
For UK supplier you won'the get simpler than going to www.vesternet.com who will supply UK type equipment. They have all the Vera models and are happy to provide advice.
For plug in mains switches without metering, I use TKB (from vesternet) and I find them perfectly suited for Vera.  Not a problem since day 1.
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Offline oldy

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2017, 05:26:41 pm »
Many thanks Slartibartfast. That's the kind of information I'm looking for.

Offline Slartibartfast

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #4 on: March 17, 2017, 05:50:53 pm »
They have deals on packs of plug in switches at the moment. They also have powernode types which are cheaper but I have seen reports that they are difficult to set up but I have never tried them. Search the forum for advice on any device you consider buying.
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Offline oldy

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2017, 06:22:42 am »
Thanks again. Much appreciated.

Offline Chrisfraser05

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #6 on: March 18, 2017, 08:52:29 am »
the power node ones are good.

I've got 15 of them running.

You need to change a parameter on them to stop the light on the front flashing but they work well.

If you use domoticz as a secondary controller to Vera it has access to change default powerm cycle settings (ie turn off/on/return to previous setting after a power cut).
By default they turn on after a power cut and vera seems unable to set the parameter to change them.

Offline Slartibartfast

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #7 on: March 18, 2017, 09:16:32 am »

If you use domoticz as a secondary controller to Vera it has access to change default powerm cycle settings (ie turn off/on/return to previous setting after a power cut).
By default they turn on after a power cut and vera seems unable to set the parameter to change them.

I think oldy is pointing out that he is an absolute beginner so adding secondary controllers etc. is possibly going a bit far.  I forget the actual return to power mode for the TKB but they are settable via Vera.  That said, powernode is cheaper so if he can stand the default settings they can be a good option.
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Offline oldy

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #8 on: March 19, 2017, 05:55:43 am »
All information welcome. Many thanks folks.

Offline RichDC

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2017, 06:13:52 am »
I also run the TKB mains plugs for various things around the house from garden lighting to aquarium lights etc. and they work no problem but... they can be a pain to include which might frustrate you.

The other ones mentioned "greenwave" from Vesternet are great, I bought a couple to test and they include straight away on a vera plus, give you energy usage and are a lot cheaper.

http://www.vesternet.com/z-wave-greenwave-1-port-powernode

They do flash green which can annoy if on show but it's easily remedied by setting 1 parameter.

Out of the 2,  I would go Greenwave from now on for ease of use and cost.

Offline Slartibartfast

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Re: First Steps - Help
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2017, 06:32:23 am »
I also run the TKB mains plugs for various things but... they can be a pain to include which might frustrate you.

You surprise me. I have never had a problem including TKB. It has worked first time every time for me. The only setting I have ever changed on them was to make the LED on when the socket is on rather than the other way round. I do the same with the TKB light switches I have too.
I actually wish there was an option to turn off the LED's completely in some cases but ce la view.
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