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Z-Wave troubleshooting devices (CIT or Toolbox) -- anybody own one?

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  • Z-Wave troubleshooting devices (CIT or Toolbox) -- anybody own one?

    I've always had a knack for diagnosing issues, but sometimes it requires expensive tools to do so. To diagnose WiFi issues it helps that I can rely on a Fluke AirCheck WiFi tester, but don't have anything alike for Z-Wave.

    The Z-Wave Alliance has a tool called the "CIT" that might be perfect @ https://z-wavealliance.org/cit/

    But costs $299 and requires $250 membership fee to qualify for purchase.

    Expensive 'toy' obviously, but it might pay for itself, so was hoping there to be at least one HomeSeer forum user that owns one and can extol on the pleasures of owning one to make Z-Wave troubleshooting an easy matter versus hair-pulling one.

    Just reminded myself that ZWaveProducts where I've bought many of my devices from also offers a diagnostic tool, called the "Z-Wave ToolBox", that happens to be on sale now for $149, so going to call them to find out more about them and their longevity in support with 700-series devices around the corner. Would love to hear feedback from owners on those as well.

  • #2
    Originally posted by RoChess View Post
    Just reminded myself that ZWaveProducts where I've bought many of my devices from also offers a diagnostic tool, called the "Z-Wave ToolBox", that happens to be on sale now for $149, so going to call them to find out more about them and their longevity in support with 700-series devices around the corner. Would love to hear feedback from owners on those as well.
    I would be interested to hear what you find out on this. I've been thinking about buying one of them and that's a great price, but a good chance that it's on sale because it is being replaced by something sooner. Having said that, I likely won't be buying many 700 series devices any time soon, so I can probably live with something that's a bit out-dated.

    Cheers
    Al
    HS 3.0.0.548: 1976 Devices 1156 Events
    Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 123 Nodes on one Z-Net

    Comment


    • #3
      Depending on what you want to do with it ... I would probably pass on the CIT. I saw both the CIT and (what I think has become the) Z-wave toolbox at CES a couple of years ago, and I thought the CIT looked to be the best with the most features and it was offered by the zwave alliance. So I joined the alliance and bought one and have played with it on my home network (about 50 zwave devices). My biggest complaint with the CIT is unless you have a network that has the newer zwave-plus devices (with many new protocol features), I found its usefulness limited. My second complaint is that there haven't been any new software updates. (i am running v2.3.6.1 and even though the change log claims a v2.3.8, the latest available is 2.3.6.1. (I haven't looked at this again since May, and at that time they said 2.3.6.1 was the latest version). To have a product that hasn't had a new release for over a year (and perhaps two years) tells me this product is either not being supported or used or both. No product is that good out of the box that it doesn't need some bug fixes or feature enhancements.

      I am very familiar with wireless protocol analyzers for debugging WiFi and cellular protocols (yes, I am an engineer who works with protocols for a living), and I was hoping for something similar with the CIT. My expectations were likely a bit out of line with reality -- expecting a protocol analyzer for a few hundred dollars to compare with a very expensive cellular analyzer was not fair. And open source analyzers like Wireshark (mostly for ethernet) with so many features is also not a fair comparison. Having said that, the CIT does do quite a few things, but I found that the features were limited to unless you have your network built with mostly new z-wave devices. Unfortunately, my network contains mostly older generation zwave devices that provide limited information (as compared to the newer devices). Having said that, I found the CIT most useful to monitor RF signal strengths and background noise. One can also send zwave commands with it to devices -- the CIT actually joins the network as a secondary controller. The network and neighbor map feature is insightful. The documentation is pretty good. In general it was a good toy to play with and learn the protocol and some features. However it was an expensive toy and I am not sure I would splurge on it again. ;-)

      Comment


      • #4
        erniefrey if it didn't require membership to purchase I would have waited, but it makes the CIT expensive as a gadget. However, after transpiring a bunch of sweat doing yard-work removing those damn pine-needles and leaves from driveway decided to treat myself to a cool drink and read your response (got a ton of old devices still) so ended up purchasing the ToolBox

        sparkman expect to get device around Tuesday, and not sure I'll immediately have time to play with it, but will update this thread with my findings.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by RoChess View Post
          expect to get device around Tuesday, and not sure I'll immediately have time to play with it, but will update this thread with my findings.
          Thanks, I ended up buying one already too, although it will likely be a bit longer before I receive mine. Didn't want to risk the sale being over, or have them run out of stock.

          Cheers
          Al
          HS 3.0.0.548: 1976 Devices 1156 Events
          Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 123 Nodes on one Z-Net

          Comment


          • #6
            Found this thread with some experience from others on the forum: https://forums.homeseer.com/forum/lighting-primary-technology-plug-ins/lighting-primary-technology-discussion/99506-new-z-wave-toolbox
            HS 3.0.0.548: 1976 Devices 1156 Events
            Z-Wave 3.0.1.262: 123 Nodes on one Z-Net

            Comment


            • #7
              sparkman nice thread seems there are quite a bit of HomeSeer forum users who own the unit, and wonder if MDavisZWP still reads their e-mail for notifications as they were involved in the development.

              Like you I was freaking out that I would miss out on the sale if I waited till Monday to get my questioned answered.

              Comment


              • #8
                What the heck. Ordered one. $200 Canadian with free shipping. A far cry from the $399 + shipping Aartech wants.
                Real courage is not securing your Wi-Fi network.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by sparkman View Post
                  Hah! Thanks sparkman - that thread jarred my memory, I had bought one a while back. I'll be using it soon hopefully to figure out why my Z-Wave network has become worse over time.

                  At the time, I paid 189.00 for it (Z-Wave products.com)

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Did some distance testing on my Z-Wave network last night finally, and furthest point on other side could not include a node. Moved it closer to a repeater switch that does work, included it, and moved it to final destination. Took about 10x switch cycle to settle in, but response time was surprisingly quick and Z-Wave node info showed that last working route was indeed via that repeater node nearby.

                    Is the last working route info only memorized by HomeSeer, or is the device itself also remembering it for notifications?

                    Reminded me of the 'Set Route' box next to it, and would that be a way to manually force it to *only* go via node 20?

                    Is the format/syntax the same as info for multiple nodes, as in "4, 20" for two? And could I force priority by entering it as "20, 4" instead?

                    Plan to use the Z-Wave ToolBox as well to see if it can help on this, but I'm fully aware of its limitations after reading manual back and forth.

                    What was funny is that my 5.0/2.4GHz WiFi router is about 5 feet away from temporary HomeSeer PC with SmartStick+, and that the range of that furthest direct connected repeater-node is a little bit more then what 5.0GHz network reaches, but that I barely got 2.4GHz signal at the far end and constantly had to adjust pointing the phone to view HomeSeer GUI. Haven't measured distance in detail yet, but we're talking at least 150' so Z-Wave keeps surprising me.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Z-WaveProducts responded, and the $149 is the regular price for it now, but that they wanted to show off the price difference versus when it was introduced years ago.

                      Guess they succeeded in tricking me thinking it was a temporary sale, because I had not kept track on pricing for it, and keepa.com doesn't work for their site.

                      It is still fully supported, and a new firmware update was recently released, and more are planned.

                      UPS should deliver mine on Thursday (Columbus Day delay), so looking forward to play with it.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RoChess View Post

                        It is still fully supported, and a new firmware update was recently released, and more are planned.
                        Thanks for the firmware mention - I used the built-in link and it claimed there was none!

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I've been slow to update sometimes, and then found out that I missed a firmware update that was aware of new URLs. Once original URL stopped working the old firmware kept saying "no updates available", and wasn't until I manually updated that it all started working again. Not sure if that was the case for you Monk, but seems plausible.

                          Actually reading their updated manual that appears to be exactly what happened:

                          A few months into deployment of the Z-Wave ToolBox, we changed the server where the firmware updates reside. If you are having trouble updating your ToolBox firmware(404 errors, time-outs, etc.) please check the Current Server in the Server Selector dialog box.
                          Open the Server Selector

                          1. Click on the Wrench (or Gear) Icon in the upper left corner of Firmware Update panel
                          2. Change URL: Click on the Change URL button
                          3. New target URL: Enter the new target URL in the Current Server space @ http://zwpsupport.com/firmwareupdate/latest/
                          4. Save and Retry Update: Click the Save icon, then follow Upgrading the ToolBox Firmware Update on page 33

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