Author Topic: Can Vera settings impact a device's battery life?  (Read 681 times)

Offline dt126

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Can Vera settings impact a device's battery life?
« on: February 13, 2018, 12:18:33 pm »
I've had Vera running for about two years. I have two Yale Deadbolts located about 12 ft from the Vera Hub (on the floor directly below). I also the have a Chamberlain garage door. I had the Yale deadbolts for about two years before I added the Vera Hub and the batteries lasted close to 2 years. After adding the Vera Hub, I still got about a year of battery life.

I recently tried to add a Kwikset 912 electronic lock to the house (about 30 ft from the hub). I couldn't connect, so I added two Aotec range extenders, each about 10-12 feet on the path to the lock. It worked but it keeps disconnecting. However, after I set this up, my two Yale Deadbolts have been eating batteries. I've replaced both deadbolts three time now over the past 6 weeks. Something is causing them to literally eat their batteries.

Has anyone seen anything like this before and do you think the problem is the Hub or the new devices? I'm wondering if there is a setting in one of the Vera software updates that increased the device polling frequency and maybe that's causing this (and I can make an adjustment for this)? Since it's two Yale locks and both are doing the same thing (and they both worked fine before) I think it has to be something else in the system. Through Vera we issue two auto Lock events per night and that is it. Via the keypad, the locks are probably unlocked 3 or 4 times per week, so the use of the motor is actually pretty low.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.   
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 03:51:31 pm by dt126 »

Offline Jamr

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Re: Can Vera settings impact a device's battery life?
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2018, 04:26:38 pm »
You need to diagnose.
Try taking the extenders out of the loop and see if things return to what they were.

Offline dt126

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Re: Can Vera settings impact a device's battery life?
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2018, 05:56:13 pm »
I did that yesterday. I can't easily do that with the Kwikset lock that was added though. Do you think I should delete these devices within Vera too or ignore that for now?

It will probably then take 2-3 weeks before I know for sure if this is helping. I looked back through the logs (in Vera) for both Yale locks and I didn't see any abnormal activity, just one "auto lock" each night. For each lock, there was a warning in one of these events saying that the battery had dropped to 10% and then the next event was that it had lost communications with the device.

I will also monitor the battery status through Vera, but not sure how accurate those %'s are though.

Thanks for the advice. 

Offline aa6vh

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Re: Can Vera settings impact a device's battery life?
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2018, 10:25:50 am »
Check your polling interval for the locks. I have seen instances where Vera set the polling to a very short time (like every two minutes). Which of course will rapidly deplete your batteries.

Offline dt126

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Re: Can Vera settings impact a device's battery life?
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2018, 12:12:16 pm »
Polling on these devices is set to 0, which says, "never poll". I just got 15 days of use and dead batteries again. Last time I disconnected the newly added extenders but those and the Kwikset lock are still listed as devices in the Vera web app. I'll try deleting them now as maybe that will help?

Offline dt126

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Re: Can Vera settings impact a device's battery life?
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2018, 05:09:31 pm »
In case anyone stumbles on this thread in the future, I wanted to report back that the issue was resolved when I deleted the devices which were not longer connected from the Vera software. Apparently the hub was continuing to send out commands to these devices and the Yale locks were constantly repeating the signals.

I guess I understand why this happened but still it seems like a weakness of using battery powered devices on a mesh network. I can contrast this with something like Clear Connect (Lutron) where we have literally thousands of battery operated sensors and controls installed and have almost no battery issues whatsoever.

I wonder is there a way in Vera to stop trying to communicate with a device after a selectable period of time? Say try to 24 hours and then stop but issue an alert or something like that?

Offline jchin

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Re: Can Vera settings impact a device's battery life?
« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2018, 10:17:58 am »
I have decent battery life from my Schlage locks.  The poll interval was left at default value of 10800.
I believe this is the interval in which the lock wakes up and contacts the controller for updates.
Battery operated z-wave devices do not actively rebroadcast on the mesh, as far as I know.
I have active (always line powered) outlets doing that for me.
I did notice that my battery powered devices (those further away from the controller) did drain faster when I did not have active devices in the middle of the mesh.