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Homeseer Seems Not Ready :(

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    Homeseer Seems Not Ready :(

    I really want to love Homeseer. I just bought 60 Homeseer light switches for my new house. I dream of connecting a home automation controller to my security system and Sonos. And all of it runs locally.

    I recognize the folks devoted to this board are passionate and smart. And I appreciate all of the help I've received so far.

    But I think I'm ready to quit. The UX is *so poor* and unintuitive compared to current modern apps. SmartThings and Nexia for example (which themselves aren't perfect, of course).

    I just spent an hour trying to figure out how to uninstall the Sonos plugin to upgrade it. I spent 2 hours this week trying to figure out how to geofense using IFTTT and use Imperihome to have a semi-decent mobile experience (still haven't gotten either of those to work).

    I have a CS degree, I work for a large tech firm as an engineer, and I don't mind dabbling with code. But honestly, this doesn't seem like anything that I could remotely keep stable and keep my wife happy without hours a month (after the fixed cost to get it all figured out and keep it in a semi-equilibrium).

    It is super powerful. And managing an ecosystem of products with a platform built on top is a huge task; I commend everyone for getting it this far.

    But how am I supposed to trust a very small company with a horrific UX (again, comparatively) and not flush hours days and months of my life away, when I can get 95% of the functionality using an off the shelf system?

    I would love to have time to tinker and customize and build custom interfaces using HSTouch. I have kids. It pains me that I can't invest the time. But I shouldn't have to in today's day and age.

    I want my music, alarm system, and home automation connected together. If I give up on the first two and just use Alexa for music controlling and keep my alarm system separate, I get everything in a way that just works and with an intuitive UX.

    Is my analysis wrong? Am I missing something? I hope I am. Because I want to love Homeseer, and I know folks on this board have it working for them.

    So I started with HS 1.7 in 2003 and too found it foreign but my setup was very small - just a few light switches. Next in 2008 (Late to transition), I moved to HS2 and though the interface was a radical change from HS1, I began to build on my experience and grew my system more and more. In the Spring of 2016, I finally (late again) migrated to HS3. I too was somewhat frustrated with the change but when I got tired of trying to figure it out, I would stop the playing and bring back up my reliable and stable HS2 which also ran on the same system. Slowly, taking baby steps I began to feel more comfortable with HS3 building on it brick by brick to what I consider an awesome system with a high WAF.

    Saying all of that, my recommendation is to take your time implementing one feature or plugin at a time and not to move on until you understand where you're at. I can appreciate with children that your time is limited, but if you don't beat yourself up with trying to implement an HA solution in a couple of hours, you'll get there.

    I understanding many feel the UI is not up to par with respect to some of the turn key remote control solutions many are seeming to grasp on, but I can assure you, you'll have way more flexibility.

    Good luck

    HS3PRO as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.


      I agree with langenet 100%. I came from vera (3 different boxes), vera is no way near as powerful as HS. Vera is however a lot easier for the novice to setup out of the box and run. a lot of things in vera are already done for you. HS is a steep learning curve to start out, because you have to build your system one piece of the puzzle at a time.

      Several things to keep in mind about HS are, when the internet goes out your house will still run, (samsung, echo, nexia won't) there are a lot of talented people on this forum willing to help you out if you reach out to them, HS is only limited by your imagination, you will never get it all done in one day. It is an ongoing process of learning, improving, and from my point of


        Agree as well... unless you have already been down the road with Vera, Smartthings, or something else, you'll quickly realize that there is no perfect product that integrates across all connection points (lights, AV, security, etc) yet.

        IMO, the market is closer than ever. I was at a Best Buy today, and they have 3 aisles of "smart home" products.... at least 10 different manufacturers... and none of them really interoperate.

        I came from Vera... which also has a great community of users that can help with all sorts of cool stuff. I found the platform was just a bit lacking.

        HS is more powerful ,and in general way more robust........ Don't get fooled by the old UX (I agree BTW)... but what you can do under the covers.

        There is no golden bullet here... but this is pretty close if not the best for right now. Just take it a step at a time.

        With that kind of investment in lighting... get that to where it does what you want. they move on to the next thing.

        As for me.. I have Alarm, sonos, Harmony, lights, garage doors, and probably more that I can't remember. Tablets running Imperihome. Alexa integration using about 5 different protocols to get to even close to what I want... (still not there).

        you can get there...but it takes time and patience. And i'm not a CS engineer :-) .


          Thanks folks - appreciate the kind words. Agree if I do it, step by step is the way to go and for sure I appreciate the forums.

          As a little bit of a caret for myself (while I'm experimenting with SmartThings)....what are the top 5ish things that you do with Homeseer you can't do with SmartThings (or Vera)?


            Originally posted by larrywal32 View Post
            As a little bit of a caret for myself (while I'm experimenting with SmartThings)....what are the top 5ish things that you do with Homeseer you can't do with SmartThings (or Vera)?
            I can't give you much detail here because I didn't use SmartThings for long before coming to HS. But the main thing that Smartthings can't do is backup your system. You will also spend tons of time setting up SmartThings and guess what when that little box eventually dies your only option is to get a brand new hub and start over. The only option to backup some of your invested time is to build your logic into WebCoRE. As soon as I realized this I canned ST and bought a hometroller. No hardware lasts forever and the longer you invest into ST the more time you will lose when it eventually fails.

            I agree, the UI sucks in HS, but in my house we don't use it. The lights turn on with motion and there is no need for an interface. My garage door opens and doors unlock automatically when I arrive. No need for an interface. When I go to bed I just tell Siri goodnight and doorbells locks, lights out and alarm is set. No interface needed.

            HS is something that I expect to have a long lifespan. ST worries me will be a passing fad that Samsung can terminate in a couple years and leave me high and dry. Samsung will decide when that happens, not its users. Homeseer removed all those long term fears, you are in control with HS, no cloud needed. You make your backups local in HS and nobody can shut your system down on you.


              [QUOTE=larrywal32;1335039]Thanks folks - appreciate the kind words. Agree if I do it, step by step is the way to go and for sure I appreciate the forums.

              Take a look a the "How To's" Forum and check out Homeseer in Youtube. Both should help you. As with most good programs the learning curve is steep. I remember when I first used Autocad. Seems the more you can accomplish with a program the more you have to learn.

              Good Luck and Happy Holidays!


                Welcome to Homeseer Larry!

                Keep reading on the forum and note that today there is no match for Homeseer on the market today that I know of.

                I understand relating to the UX.

                Most powerful part of Homeseer is the base core event engine and what you can do with it via the GUI or just scripting.

                As mentioned above have a look see in the How to's forum.

                These days I do not really pay attention much here as it just works for me.
                - Pete

                Auto mator
                Homeseer 3 Pro - (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb
                Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro
                HS4 Lite - Ubuntu 22.04 / Lenovo Tiny M900 / 32Gb Ram

                HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 22.04 / Lenova Tiny M900 / 32Gb Ram
                HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets (Jogglers) - Asus AIO - Windows 11

                X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Alexa, Cheaper RFID, W800 and Home Assistant


                  I'll tell you the one thing I don't have to do with HS3 that my son has to do regularly with his Smartthings hub, and that is to run scripts (device handlers) so that you have a workaround for specific z-wave devices.

                  It's a pain and I've never seen that done in HS3, at least not with the myriad of devices I have. Granted, there are plug-ins that are sometimes required for unique features or non-zwave devices, but the vast majority of z-wave switches work right out of the box.

                  Search the smartthings forum for device handlers or as I did for my son, search for Qubino and you'll see the need for device handlers.


                    Of course HS is more work. It has SO MANY MORE options than things like Vera. I came from Vera and I've never looked back. That thing was a nightmare. I would occasionally have to wipe it and start from scratch. I have a lot of TTS here and that's just not possible at all with Vera. The options for complex event logic doesn't exists in Vera and in order to even accomplish simple logic you need to write code. HS is worlds more stable. One of the mistakes many people make when coming to HS from competing platforms is getting bummed about the UI. The thing is that the UI is really all the other systems have going for them and you're not meant to use the HS UI for anything other than configuration. I find the UI to be straight forward and utilitarian. It was a breath of fresh air for me after dealig with all of the nonsense in the Vera UI. There is HSTouch which is pretty powerful and the learning curve isn't that big. I'm all but computer illiterate and I managed to make screens that I'm pleased with in a few days.

                    Really I think the only thing HS doesn't have nailed down is media control. They didn't port their media player plugin to HS3. They said that they were working on Pandora and Spotify plugins but they haven't said a peep about that in years. There are no 3rd party media player plugins that work well. I've never been able to get the Blade music plugins to work reliably. Really I think that most other systems don't have this functionality either though. Vera doesn't even have the capability to make sound of any kind. I think that outside of the big names (Crestron, Control 4, etc) Main Loby is the only system that handles media well. I'm not sure why nobody has made a good media plugin, especially seeing as how all of the top dollar solutions focus on media so heavily.
                    Originally posted by rprade
                    There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause


                      Thanks folks - I guess one thing that got me pretty down was that I don't feel like I have a solid understanding of the system structure.

                      I read the manual cover to cover (except for the API references - that's for later) -- but just figuring out how to uninstall the Sonos plugin was a multi-hour affair. (Turns out according to Dirk, a MultipleInstanceSingleEXE cannot be removed from the UI, you have to know to go to the HomeSeer directory and delete the .ini file)

                      That doesn't seem to be documented anywhere. I guess I would feel comfortable tinkering if I felt like I had an understanding of the basics of adding and removing not just devices but plugins and state. Which would also allow me confidence of backing things up.

                      After many hours I think I figured out that:
                      a) The program files HS3 directory should be backed up and replaced fully and everything should be fully restored.
                      b) deleting a plugin is deleting the .ini file (though I don't understand what happens to its devices if you do that?)

                      I guess it's tough for me to rationalize what y'all are saying - that it's a robust, stable platform.....and yet basic stuff like the above isn't documented in the manual. Unless I missed it of course.


                        For backing up your HS3 directory, I recommend using the BLBackup plugin. It's free. This is a good place to start.
                        Additionally there is one little thing about upgrading pluings (for the future) which gets many people. If the plugin is left enabled when you upgrade it (after checking the box), you will likely run into an error with the upgrade which would produce and error. Just disable the plugin before you upgrade it, then upgrade it, then re-enable it. This is my method which works every time.

                        Last edited by langenet; November 25, 2017, 06:54 PM.
                        HS3PRO as a Fire Daemon service, Windows 2016 Server Std Intel Core i5 PC HTPC Slim SFF 4GB, 120GB SSD drive, WLG800, RFXCom, TI103,NetCam, UltraNetcam3, BLBackup, CurrentCost 3P Rain8Net, MCsSprinker, HSTouch, Ademco Security plugin/AD2USB, JowiHue, various Oregon Scientific temp/humidity sensors, Z-Net, Zsmoke, Aeron Labs micro switches, Amazon Echo Dots, WS+, WD+ ... on and on.




                            Right. Those other systems are fancy remote controls for expensive light switches. HS is about automation. Sure there's some simple automation available in them but it's puny and the hardware you have to run them on is woefully inadequate for real automation. My 5 year old phone has 10 x more memory than the flagship Vera.
                            Originally posted by rprade
                            There is no rhyme or reason to the anarchy a defective Z-Wave device can cause


                              Just throwing in my $.02 also.

                              I also came from Vera about 2 years ago. Went through a couple of their controllers and at that time I also invested a lot of time in getting it set up properly. I eventually "outgrew" it (I believe my system just became too large to run quickly). I would have 1-5 second delays before lights would turn on. My major concern is that I would have to go in every month or two and "tinker" with things as it would randomly stop working correctly. People around here joke about WAF, but the system should make my like easier so reliability is my number 1 requirement.

                              I made the switch to Homeseer and I agree it is a learning curve. I think that many of us that came from Vera already had to go through one so the switch to Homeseer was not such a big deal. I spend about the same amount of time in creating events and figuring out new plug-ins (which does take time). My free time is also rare so I completely understand your frustration in the time it takes to figure out things.

                              I often have to search the forums for information that should be in a user guide (mainly for the Plug-ins). My largest complaint with Homeseer is that there seems to be a lack of easily accessible documentation. The funny thing is that the free plug-ins seem to be much better documented than some of the paid ones. In some cases I can't even find a "good" document on what a plug-in can do and how to set it up before just installing it and see how it works.

                              I am not going to even get into HS Touch, but just say that when I finally get it to work it does remain reliable and it seems it is very powerful. It does just take time to set up and test to work the bugs out (or work around the "known issues").

                              I am an EE (Controls specialty) so I program PLC's and Human Interfaces every day so it is similar to what I do and it still takes me some time to do and figure out things.

                              However, all that being said: I have been VERY happy with Homeseer. It has been very solid for me. The speed of the system is very good. When I set things up they have been reliable (the homeseer portion). I have had very good experiences with the Plug-in owners (of the few I have) responding quickly and being very helpful.

                              I am not trying to bash any other companies, but coming from and outgrowing other controllers makes you really appreciate Homeseer more and although it is priced higher than the others, I feel like it was money well spent.