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Contemplating switch from Smartthings. How is the HomeSeer hub support?

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    Contemplating switch from Smartthings. How is the HomeSeer hub support?

    A year and a couple months ago I decided to buy a Smartthings ADT Hub. The ADT support was ending, but it was on sale, and I needed a zwave hub to use the Homeseer switches that I was set on getting, along with my zwave schlage door lock. I got a few things working with plans to do more later. Even bought an extra hub for my office to use later.

    Fast forward to today when I find out that Samsung is discontinuing support and bricking the ADT Hubs. They were first released in 2017. Not a very long life span. Starting next month I will have no zwave support, and a bunch of bricked sensors.

    Main question is: How long have people owned their homeseer z wave hubs? Are there any discontinued hubs? Do the discontinued hubs still work? Why do people upgrade their homeseer hubs? Better and faster, or are some forced to upgrade. Are there other Z wave hubs that people here are using?

    How is the alexa integration with homeseer hubs, and also integration with the z-wave schlage connect lock? I expect that it would be easier to do routines with the homeseer light switches at least. It took a lot of work to get them to work with smartthings (at one point double tapping turned on all the lights at once). A few months ago that stopped working though, might have something to do with them completely retiring to old smartthings app.

    I actually just spent a number of hours yesterday to set up a routine to use a soon to be defunct ADT sensor to do an alexa routine. Worked great. I also set up the switches to run with voice commands and integrate with alexa. Worked great again. Next month nothing will work at all. My blank face of disappointment can not be overexaggerated.

    #2
    HS has two different types of z-wave interface. One is the z-wave stick and one is the z-net device. The z-wave stick is a USB device that you plug into your computer. The z-net device is an Ethernet device. The advantage of the z-net is that you can install it at the most ideal/central position in the house and you can also use multiple z-nets. Also if you have a detached house it helps. I use the z-wave stick and have it on an approx 5' USB extension cable so I can get it away from the desktop and other equipment. I just purchased their new z-wave stick which was on sale yesterday ($10 off). The only reason I purchased it was because it has the 700 series chipset instead of the 500 series chipset. I am planning to add a few wireless devices and the ones based on the 700 series chipset supposedly last much longer on a set of batteries. Plus a bug in the HS system deleted all my z-wave devices so I have to redo everything anyways. Besides of loosing all my z-wave devices at one point and losing all my events at another point (after upgrading to HS4) things were running pretty good. Integration with Alexa is ok. I have an Echo in each room, corridor, garage, etc. I wish it would be better but I think the problem is more on the side of Amazon and not HS. The nicest thing would be if the Echo's are aware of the location so you don't have to say "Turn on office fan" but just "Turn on fan". I am not sure about the long term viability of HS. They seem to kind of fall behind lately but otherwise it is a great system. Upfront cost is a bit high but there are no monthly fees and it does not depend on the internet (two of my biggest criteria).

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      #3
      Originally posted by Graeme_C View Post
      A year and a couple months ago I decided to buy a Smartthings ADT Hub. The ADT support was ending, but it was on sale, and I needed a zwave hub to use the Homeseer switches that I was set on getting, along with my zwave schlage door lock. I got a few things working with plans to do more later. Even bought an extra hub for my office to use later.

      Fast forward to today when I find out that Samsung is discontinuing support and bricking the ADT Hubs. They were first released in 2017. Not a very long life span. Starting next month I will have no zwave support, and a bunch of bricked sensors.

      Main question is: How long have people owned their homeseer z wave hubs? Are there any discontinued hubs? Do the discontinued hubs still work? Why do people upgrade their homeseer hubs? Better and faster, or are some forced to upgrade. Are there other Z wave hubs that people here are using?
      I don't know that Homeseer has ever formally terminated one of their "hubs". It is worth noting that HS is really a software product, and their hubs are just prepackaged computers bundled with a zwave chip and their software. They are not appliances like Smartthings, Vera, or such. If you simply buy a zwave stick and a Homeseer license you can run it perpetually on whatever PC or Linux hardware you'd like. As for versions, I still use HS3 on my two main installs, and have only one raspberry pi with HS4 on it. HS3 still works great. I would bet that some people are still using HS2 because it's been configured and works fine.

      I don't know that you'd need to upgrade the hub hardware unless it reached its natural end of life or if you somehow exceeded its stated capacity. For example, the small linux hub has some capacity limits that you might exceed, so as you grow you'd upgrade to a bigger one. Otherwise, you run it till it dies.

      You'll have no problem integrating your lock, or Alexa.






      Comment


        #4
        It would not surprise me if there are still active HS1 installations. if Homeseer shuttered their doors tomorrow, your HS software would continue to work with all currently supported zwave devices until your death. The myhs service is convenient but not required for HS to work. I had a 5 year old Hometroller S6 running WinXP. The hometrollers are based on shuttle pc's. Just like any pc, points of failure can include any of it's hardware, memory, ssd, motherboard. But also like any pc you can replace parts or the entire unit. A couple of years after I purchased the S6 I had to replace the cmos battery. Recently the S6 started having some boot up errors where it would randomly hang on restart; I suspect it's memory was going bad. One of these days I'll buy some new memory for it and see if I can restore it for use as a backup for it's replacement. I ported the system to a new shuttle computer with Win10. The Znets are based on raspberry pi's Their main point of failure is their memory card. My znet's original memory card lasted 5 years. It's highly recommended that you make a copy of the card so you can just pop your copy in when the old one fails. And of course as with all software backup everything, HS software and znet.
        HS4 Pro on Shuttle NC10U, Win10; Z-NET
        Number of Devices: 449
        Number of Events: 210

        Plug-Ins: Arduino, BLLock, DirecTv, EasyTrigger, Honeywell WiFi Thermostat, MeiHarmonyHub, PHLocation2, Pushover 3P, UltraM1G3, WeatherXML, Worx Landroid, Z-Wave

        External applications: Homebridge-homeseer, Geofency, EgiGeoZone.

        Comment


          #5
          Thanks for the replies, I have been reading and processing. I kind of knew that they had software but didn't 100% how it works, but I think I get it now. Essentially the hubs are just computers that can run the software that I could also run with just a computer.

          Is it cool that it can't be bricked.. which I have learned is a problem with cloud dependent services. I have been looking into things a bit, it looks like the software can also be used in separate locations? Can I control or link devices at my work from home? Part of the reason I bought the homeseer lights was to make it change color if my door at work is unlocked or if a certain smart device is left on there.

          Ideally I could use a computer which is always on at work and a hub at home. One question more though.. now that I am looking things over.. Assuming it is possible to connect devices from two locations (work and home) with homeseer software (and maybe it isn't without extra work arounds?) Do they need to be running the same version of homeseer? Because there is a pi, a standard and a pro version.. And I will apparently need to research the differences now..

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by Graeme_C View Post
            Thanks for the replies, I have been reading and processing. I kind of knew that they had software but didn't 100% how it works, but I think I get it now. Essentially the hubs are just computers that can run the software that I could also run with just a computer.

            Is it cool that it can't be bricked.. which I have learned is a problem with cloud dependent services. I have been looking into things a bit, it looks like the software can also be used in separate locations? Can I control or link devices at my work from home? Part of the reason I bought the homeseer lights was to make it change color if my door at work is unlocked or if a certain smart device is left on there.

            Ideally I could use a computer which is always on at work and a hub at home. One question more though.. now that I am looking things over.. Assuming it is possible to connect devices from two locations (work and home) with homeseer software (and maybe it isn't without extra work arounds?) Do they need to be running the same version of homeseer? Because there is a pi, a standard and a pro version.. And I will apparently need to research the differences now..
            Yes you can control devices remotely as well as set up events to update a status light in your home setup if your work setups shows a device on or door unlocked. You would not need to have the same version of homeseer in both places.
            HS4 Pro on Shuttle NC10U, Win10; Z-NET
            Number of Devices: 449
            Number of Events: 210

            Plug-Ins: Arduino, BLLock, DirecTv, EasyTrigger, Honeywell WiFi Thermostat, MeiHarmonyHub, PHLocation2, Pushover 3P, UltraM1G3, WeatherXML, Worx Landroid, Z-Wave

            External applications: Homebridge-homeseer, Geofency, EgiGeoZone.

            Comment


              #7
              I converted to HS in 2003 in the X10 days. I started converting to Z-WAVE in 2015 using a Z-NET. Upgraded the Z-Net in 2020 because it was blue and on sale. I use the original as a backup. Everything still functions well.
              .

              Comment


                #8
                I don't have decades of HS1/2/3/4 experience that many on this forum have, but I've been playing with HA since 2003ish.

                I started with X-10 and used an MX-3000 remote for my customized GUI with an RF->IR bridge to connect the two.

                I've been on HS3, and now HS4, for about 2 years. Even with the quirks (there's a bunch), I'm so glad I made that decision and will not be changing in the foreseeable future. Here's why in no particular order:
                • Software solution - as stated earlier in this thread, HS does not rely on any particular hardware platform. If your hardware dies or is discontinued, just move HS to the next rig of choice.
                • No monthly fee - that was one of my requirements. Even if fees were to be implemented in the future, if your setup works now, you could decide to stop upgrading and simply continue using what you have.
                • Other product integration - HS works with tons of products. If you find one that doesn't integrate natively, there's probably a plug-in that will get you there. If there's no plug-in, there is likely a DIY solution if you are willing to get your hands dirty, and have the skill set to get to make it happen.
                • HSTouch - this is what cemented going to HS for me. The WAF (wife acceptance factor) is key in my situation. Without that, all of this is simply a non-starter. HSTouch allows us to set the GUI up however we want/need. If my wife wants a Mickey Mouse themed interface - thankfully she does not - it can be done. Sure, HSTouch has quirks and is easy to complain about (it has a lot, and I have often), but the fact remains that with a little imagination, work, and patience... you'll end up with a really nice looking - and functional GUI that your friends & family will be amazed by and jealous of! If HS goes away tomorrow, HSTouch will still function, and we can still develop cool & utile GUIs.
                • No internet required - that should speak for itself, but if you want to connect remotely, or use internet based products - Alexa is a great example - you can easily integrate them.
                • Support - HS has been really good for me, although as of this writing, they are struggling with what life has thrown at all of us. Hopefully this will clear up.
                • This forum - if those unplanned life-challenges do not clear up, or if HS does go away... 1) we'll still have a working product, and 2) the people on this forum are great! They are willing to help and the combined experience and knowledge is simply staggering.
                I don't think there's a perfect solution out there, but I believe that HS is as close as it gets for those of us who wants to be able to create their own custom HA system.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Graeme_C View Post
                  A year and a couple months ago I decided to buy a Smartthings ADT Hub. The ADT support was ending, but it was on sale, and I needed a zwave hub to use the Homeseer switches that I was set on getting, along with my zwave schlage door lock. I got a few things working with plans to do more later. Even bought an extra hub for my office to use later.

                  Fast forward to today when I find out that Samsung is discontinuing support and bricking the ADT Hubs. They were first released in 2017. Not a very long life span. Starting next month I will have no zwave support, and a bunch of bricked sensors.

                  Main question is: How long have people owned their homeseer z wave hubs? Are there any discontinued hubs? Do the discontinued hubs still work? Why do people upgrade their homeseer hubs? Better and faster, or are some forced to upgrade. Are there other Z wave hubs that people here are using?

                  How is the alexa integration with homeseer hubs, and also integration with the z-wave schlage connect lock? I expect that it would be easier to do routines with the homeseer light switches at least. It took a lot of work to get them to work with smartthings (at one point double tapping turned on all the lights at once). A few months ago that stopped working though, might have something to do with them completely retiring to old smartthings app.

                  I actually just spent a number of hours yesterday to set up a routine to use a soon to be defunct ADT sensor to do an alexa routine. Worked great. I also set up the switches to run with voice commands and integrate with alexa. Worked great again. Next month nothing will work at all. My blank face of disappointment can not be overexaggerated.
                  You have an interesting/different situation with ADT, compared to mine: I have an ADT Pulse system, which uses a proprietary gateway box made by Netgear. The gateway interfaces with the ADT panel, and it provides IP-based alarm monitoring (instead of the old-school dial-up POTS method), and it supports Z-Wave switches and ADT WiFi cameras. It does not support and Z-Wave sensors.

                  The Z-Wave support is so limited on the gateway that I use a Homeseer hub for all my Z-Wave devices. ADT hasn't indicated any plans (yet!) to discontinue my gateway. Thankfully, the lack of ADT support for Z-Wave sensors on my system resulted in my exclusive use of Honeywell/Ademco sensors (door and window switches, motion and fire/CO sensors). If you have a Honeywell/Ademco panel, that's the preferred way to go.

                  ADT did just drop their support for Alexa, leaving only Google Home. Homeseer's implementation of Google Home's interface is currently FUBAR, and I would definitely not recommend trying to waste any time HS4 to work with Google. HS4<-->Alexa works fine, after some problems that were solved a month or two ago.

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