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    HS3, HS4 and Home Assistant

    I’ve been using HS3-Pi on the HomeSeer Zee S2 for around 5 years now, and I’m concerned about the longevity and future stability/reliability of the old Zee S2, especially since it uses a Raspberry Pi 2 with a microSD card. I have about 35 Z-Wave devices on my Zee S2.

    HS3-Pi has largely been reliable and stable for me the past 5 years (barring some teething issues along the way), but to ensure long term stability and reliability of my home automation network, I’ve purchased an Intel NUC and Aeotec Gen5+ Z stick to use as my home automation hub.

    I was initially planning on running Home Assistant on the Intel NUC, but there are a lot of reports online about how HomeSeer is more stable and reliable for operating a Z-Wave network than Home Assistant (though with Home Assistant’s shiny new Z-Wave JS integration, it’s unclear if things will change moving forward).

    So before I undertake the painful process of migrating my Z-Wave devices from my Zee S2 to the Aeotec Z stick, I was hoping to solicit views on whether I should run HS4 or Home Assistant on my new Intel NUC/Aeotec Z stick.

    I already had previously purchased the HS3-Pi to HS4-Pi upgrade in late 2019, but never upgraded because of fears with stability issues. If I am to understand it correctly, running HS4 on my new Intel NUC would require me to purchase a new HS4 licence?

    My considerations are as follows:
    - My apartment is small (about 850 square feet) and I have a relatively small number of Z-Wave devices (at most 35 nodes). Stability and speed of the Z-Wave network on Home Assistant/Z-Wave JS should be ok in this case?
    - It would be costly for me to have to purchase a new HS4 Licence, especially since I already bought the HS3-Pi to HS4-Pi upgrade
    - Continuing to use my Zee S2 is certainly an option (it’s rock solid and I love it), but if it were to crap out on me one day randomly (because of the microSD card) the results would be devastating
    ​​​​​​- I mainly use Apple devices and HomeKit now, and I’ve been using HOOBS/HomeBridge on a separate Raspberry Pi 3 (also running on a microSD card) to control my smart home remotely/away from switches. Home Assistant has a direct HomeKit integration, and removes the risk that my Raspberry Pi 3 would suddenly fail too.
    - If I were to install HS4 on my Intel NUC, I would also have to figure out installing HomeBridge on the same Intel NUC to achieve my desired aim of long term stability and reliability
    - Home Assistant and Z-Wave JS are new and scary to me too - having to use a completely new software with no assurances as to reliability has me concerned (whether validly or not)

    I would be happy to hear your views, especially if you’ve used/are using Z-Wave JS and Home Assistant. Thank you!

    #2
    If you are afraid of your SD card "carping out" you should make a backup. It is easy to clone the card with and number of different utilities.

    Comment


      #3
      Thanks for the suggestion. As far as my limited technical abilities are concerned, I’m only able to clone my SD card by removing it from the Zee S2 and by using a card reader. This is troublesome, results in downtime for my system, and may not be effective - for example, if I carry out this manual backup process monthly, it may not be frequent enough. If I do it weekly, it’s a lot of maintenance.

      I was hoping that I could create a more reliable system on an Intel NUC. But thanks for the helpful response.

      Comment


        #4
        Re HS3/4 vs HA - I haven't toyed with HA in a few years - it was a mess when I last looked at it, and chose HS3. As you know, HS is very reliable.

        For the backup - I have a number of rpi's I use for a few purposes, and I found a script I modified which does a full image backup to a mount every night. I use a NAS, but you can do the same with a simple USB drive. If you have command line access to the Zee S2, you can probably make this work.

        Instructions here https://florianmuller.com/automatic-...logy-nfs-share

        Comment


          #5
          Here have the same RPi2 as installed over 5 years ago configured as a ZNet device with a 32Gb microSD card. I have had no issues with it. It is in the attic and not really that easy to get to. I have used the same SD card to update it to RPi Stretch. I only saw microSD card problems many many years ago. Today run 3 Kodi Boxes on Ubuntu microSD cards on little Android TV boxes and have no issues with them on 24/7 running Ubuntu Linux.

          I did make an copy of this SD card before installation and keep it taped to the RPi just in case.

          ICS-ZNet:~# lsb_release -a
          No LSB modules are available.
          Distributor ID: Raspbian
          Description: Raspbian GNU/Linux 9.13 (stretch)
          Release: 9.13
          Codename: stretch


          I did move Zee HS3 (Homeseer Lite) to a micro intel (BeeLink BT3 Pro) a few years ago. It is also running Home Assistant in Docker. It runs on the built in eMMC on the device and runs Ubuntu 18.04 on 4 Gb of RAM. This micro computer came with Windows 10 and I wiped it to install Ubuntu.

          BTPro_HS3Lite:~# lsb_release -a
          No LSB modules are available.
          Distributor ID: Ubuntu
          Description: Ubuntu 18.04.5 LTS
          Release: 18.04
          Codename: bionic


          - Pete

          Auto mator
          Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
          Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
          HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 20.04/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
          6.12.0.122
          HS4 Lite -

          X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

          Comment


            #6
            Personally if I were you and wanted to upgrade the hardware, I would get a Raspberry Pi 4 and do an install of the OS onto a Solid State Drive (SSD) as the biggest issue with Raspberry's is that the SD card becomes corrupt. I know next to nothing about using the Raspberry Pi's and setting them up, and just followed some online instructions. I did a quick search and did not find the specific instructions I followed, but here are some which appear similar at a quick glance, as well as these. I did this to set up Node Red and Mosquitto (MQTT Broker). Would probably be less money than upgrading HomeSeer, puts you on a new device, gets you the reliability of running on an SSD. It is not available now, but I used this external SSD on both Raspberry Pi's I set up this way.

            If you have a compelling reason to run the full version, I would contact HomeSeer Sales and see if there is an upgrade path available. I THOUGHT there was but do not see one on their site. I would not, however, get the Pro version.

            Karl S
            HS4Pro on Windows 10
            242 Devices
            56 Z-Wave Nodes
            37 Events
            HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 iOS
            Google Home: 3 Mini units 1 display

            Comment


              #7
              I run my home assistant on Pi4 with SSD via USB interface. It is amazing and has so many intergration. I have done lot of things that is not possible in HS4. I have already decomissioned my hs4.

              Comment


                #8
                Originally posted by wanaka View Post
                I run my home assistant on Pi4 with SSD via USB interface. It is amazing and has so many intergration. I have done lot of things that is not possible in HS4. I have already decomissioned my hs4.
                Very curious on this. I've had HS4 for over a year now (HS3 for years prior) and it seems that it has become stagnant, no real updates in months. I've been looking for a solution that can provide modern dashboards that I can put around the house on Fire tablets. I have not seen anything from HS4 that can provide that. The stuff I've seen from what the HA community is doing with Lovelace is amazing!!!

                I recently started looking into HA to see if it was a viable option to HS4, especially with Z-Wave and it seems that the new Z-Wave JS seems promising. I could still leverage my RPi ZNet (via Ser2Net) and still retain my HS4 ZWave nodes.

                So the question is ultimately, what am I gaining in staying with HS4 that I cannot get with HA?

                Comment


                  #9
                  You will find that a lot of people here who are stuck with HomeSeer are old school and we have grown to love and live with it. Another is cost... there are those who spend a fortune on vintage cars because they love them (i guess it's taste)... There are other systems out there that are easier to use like Homekit but then again when you think about the Apple ecosystem you are about to get yourself into, to some your heart stops and wonder if it's even worth it. A good a example of the new stuff on the market like Ubiquiti UniFi, they get you hooked on spending money every time.

                  You can throw anything at the HomeSeer system and it will take it and once they hooked it up to Node-RED, it's very hard to convince an old man like me to look elsewhere.
                  So to put it another way is, most youngsters are hooked on the the graphics and playing with their devices (iPhones or the like) to control their systems which also is taste but a well designed system (automated) is not about over-touch control but fire and forget!... I know you can convince me that you can edit the Yamls and reach great heights but to some old man like I, you will be teaching an old dog new tricks...I guess you get the idea.
                  About 2years now I bought the Athom Homey which is also centred on good looks and also playing with your devices (iPhone or the likes) but it still sits in its box untouched but will introduce it to the family when am done tinkering... because no one can get to the level of tinkering I have done with the HomeSeer system.

                  It's on an industrial scale!... HomeSeeer acts as the master event engine then ioBroker, JeeDOM, Node-RED with MQTT cross-linked with it to offer any plug-in you can think of...in other words there is nothing you can't throw at it!

                  I have designed remotes in HStouch and Home Remote (they have always been work in progress mode) but like I said there is little or no time to even touch them because everything except the odd few like media need direct input

                  That's my take on that...


                  Eman.
                  TinkerLand : Life's Choices,"No One Size Fits All"

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I looked at Home Assistant. I did not like that it wants to be installed as it's own OS and anything different, such as on a Raspberry Pi with other applications, is difficult at best to get working. I could not get it to integrate with the same Node Red instance which HomeSeer just connected to. On top of that: YAML. I am a self taught programmer and YAML another thing I do not meed to learn. And don't get me started about their Kludge Node Red integration. I can't believe the user community is accepting that mess.

                    As for their z-wave integration, remember, it is still reverse engineered. So while their new integration sounds promising, and all the Home Assistant users are excited about it, from the Discord servers and message boards I have seen, it still doesn't work with a few things. Let alone all the other work arounds I have seen people mention to get other things working.

                    All that said, I have been using HomeSeer since version 2, so, yes, an old time user. But anything you can do in Home Assistant, I am sure I could handle with HomeSeer.

                    The ONLY thing I see Home assistant having over HomeSeer is a larger programmer base. That said, it is inconsistent and things are dropped. Overall, from what I have seen, you get what you pay for.
                    Karl S
                    HS4Pro on Windows 10
                    242 Devices
                    56 Z-Wave Nodes
                    37 Events
                    HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 iOS
                    Google Home: 3 Mini units 1 display

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Yes here have HASSIO (self contained OS) running in Ubuntu 20.04. Mostly use it for MQTT these days. HASSIO runs in docker and uses Python. Originally installed and ran HA in docker on the HS3 box. I am not doing ZWave on the HS4 box. Still using UPB for my in wall switches and the OmniPro 2 panel. New adding WiFi devices modded with Tasmota.

                      Still have multiple Z-Wave controllers running (I was able to sync the Leviton VRCOP ZWave controller to the ZNet controller), Zigbee, X10 and UPB.

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	HA-1.jpg Views:	0 Size:	44.1 KB ID:	1479797

                      Click image for larger version  Name:	HS4.jpg Views:	0 Size:	17.0 KB ID:	1479798

                      Everything plays fine together. Also on the same box running a micro versions of Windows server in an Oracle Virtual box for SAPI speech and Way2Call use.

                      IE: doing SAPI TTS multiple instances / multiple voice fonts to Russound zoned audio system. I have one DOT audio out connected and mixed in with the HS 4 audio out and do TTS to Amazon Alexa this way.

                      Did have Node Red running on same box but not using it much these days.

                      - Pete

                      Auto mator
                      Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb- Mono 6.12.X - HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets
                      Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro - Mono 6.12.X
                      HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 20.04/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb - Mono
                      6.12.0.122
                      HS4 Lite -

                      X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation-Tasmota-Espurna. OmniPro 2, Russound zoned audio, Smartthings hub, Hubitat Hub, and Home Assistant

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks, all, for sharing your helpful experiences and advice.

                        I’ve installed Home Assistant on my Intel NUC with an Aeotec Z-Stick Gen5+, and migrated about half of Z-Wave devices from HS3 (on my Zee S2) to Home Assistant. With Z-Wave JS, on my relatively small and closely located Z-Wave network, Z-Wave spec compliant devices work like a dream and I’ve had no issues.

                        On the other hand, battery-operated Z-Wave devices (like the Fibaro motion sensor FGMS-001) or Z-Wave devices that aren’t completely Z-Wave spec compliant (like the Fibaro FGRGBWM-441 controller) are finicky, and require a bit of extra re-interviewing etc. to get them to work as expected. Until now, the Fibaro RGBW controller doesn’t expose an entity to set the color of the LED strip using a color wheel. That said, I only use a single color LED strip so this isn’t a problem for me personally. It seems the HomeSeer team had put in a lot of good work over the years to create workarounds so that non-compliant Z-Wave devices continue to work with HomeSeer.

                        To sum up on the Z-Wave aspect, so far Z-Wave on Home Assistant using Z-Wave JS is working fine, and I’ve had no issues using it (on my small Z-Wave network it’s as responsive and reliable as HS3 so far), after some initial trouble with including and configuring the Z-Wave devices (particularly battery operated or non-compliant devices). Your mileage may vary if you have a bigger network with more devices, and have devices far away from the primary Z-Wave controller.

                        On the other hand, I love the power that Home Assistant gives me - using templates on HA allows me to easily create virtual devices that work brilliantly. I can create virtual devices to be exposed to HomeKit to work exactly as intended with no compromises (the virtual device can reflect the status of multiple Z-Wave devices easily, including the dim level of the lights for example), whereas virtual devices on HS3 gave me less flexibility and required creating events for automation or scripting as workarounds (my virtual devices ended up as simple binary on/off switches without being able to easily reflect the status of my Z-wave devices).

                        Moving forward, if Z-Wave JS starts throwing up problems or showing unreliability, I think I’ll move back to HS4 by installing it on my Intel NUC. I’m using Home Assistant OS now though, so I’ll probably have to do a fresh install on Debian 10, then install Home Assistant supervised and HS4-Pi (it seems this is possible? Looks like Pete was able to install HS3-Pi on Ubuntu on a BeeLink BT3 Pro) on Debian. I’ll still need Home Assistant even if I migrate my Z-Wave network over to HS4. The integrations in Home Assistant are far too valuable to me (especially the HomeKit integration - this eliminates my need to use either HSTouch (which I bought previously) or even the Lovelace dashboard). So I’ll probably have to install Marthoc’s integration to create entities in Home Assistant that will link to the Z-Wave devices on HS4.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          I have been a Homeseer user since 2.X days as well. I stayed with HS3 until this year, and went to HS4 to try and resolve issues with Google Home integration. The UI wasn't great, but I don't really use the UI that much - it's mostly about the event logic for me and having the system "do" things and control by voice rather than acting as a master remote control on a WebUI.

                          However after all the GH changes that were unreliable, I ended filing a ticket, but was then told that I was running on an unsupported OS (windows server 2019) in an unsupported mode (as a guest VM using vmware), and never really got past those issues to get support debugging things. The forum here was much more useful. I did get it reasonably stable, but the status in GH still often shows offline, and sometimes this seems to generate errors from the GH's even though the commands executed fine. This confuses my wife and family, and that got me to start looking at Home Assistant.

                          I have been surprised at all the integrations, and and how they seem to be very good. For example, the Lutron RA2 and QS support in the builtin HA integration is just as good as Donmor's excellent plugin. Hubitat and others all had issues dealing with the Lutron systems, but HA has excellent support for it. The Elk M1 support was great, support for deconz (I was already using Wim's excellent zigbee (jowihue) plugin) meant I didn't have to migrate any zigbee devices - I could run them in parallel. Cast support is better in HA, and the androidTV support was truly excellent compared to baseline cast - I can fire up apps, as well as get screen shots of what's on the TV. Denon support, and AV support in general is quite excellent, and my Harmony remote hubs, and Rachios and solaredge inverters are supported. No extra cost for any of this.

                          On top of all that, it also had integrations for my nuheat thermostats, Juicenet car charger, my Pentair screenlogic pool interface (which meant I didn't need to deal with the complexity of the nodejs poolcontroller software), my Thermador appliances through the Home connect support, my honeywell thermostats, and the LG appliances as well. I had decent BlueIris support in HS, but the plugin doesn't seem to be supported anymore. But in HA Blue-Iris is a first class citizen. And it has Nest support, and even integrates my Brother printers and tells me paper and toner usage so I won't run dry without warning. Integration with ESP home gives my excellent ESP8266 and arduino support, and now even supports programming through a web browser on my windows machine very nice. And the app support on iOS and android is great - full functionality with the web interface.

                          Speaking of iOS, the builtin Homekit support is a game changer, and it also has native airplay to Chromecast bridging, so the women in the family (who are all iOS users) now have native interfaces for music etc... with just a single check box. The Google Home integration is excellent. I pay the $5/month for the Nabu Casa integration, and it makes secure remote access easy (the equivalent of MyHS service, but more generalized), and easy GH integration, with full status updating and sync, so builtin android controls work just like the homekit controls.

                          Support is also excellent - there is a discord channel with some of the developers usually online (very helpful to me), and the forums are very active with lots of sharing of scripts, etc... And the lovelace UI enables truly beautiful customized displays, but as I said before, I don't use my system like a big remote control.

                          On the downside, the harmony support is not as good as the MeiHarmony plugin, and it doesn't support multiple network interfaces, at least in the core version, though vlan support seems to be coming along. Automation and scripting is not that hard, but a bit different than HS. It has a lot of different ways of doing things, and it's just different in model from HS. Maybe if I had no HS experience HA would feel more natural.

                          There is the yaml interface, which for some things I needed to do (not all integrations are available yet through the primary UI), but most things I can do with the visual interface. It was a bit of a learning curve, and the documentation is not really aimed at beginners, though because the user base is so huge, there are a lot of tutorials around to help. Some of the plugins don't work very well - Samsung TV's come to mind, but in general the support for devices is MUCH better. In HS, sound card support is the baseline, but in HA, GH and Alexa support for announcements is the core way they are used.

                          Zwave support seems to be Ok, but I have yet to migrate my devices just yet. They are still on homeseer. But I except to make that happen in the next month or using a hubitat hub for the zigbee radio. I do have the Homeseer 700 series Zwave stick, but don't know if that will work in HA.

                          HA is certainly a lot cheaper, not just the core software but also the plugins really add up in HS as the core functionality is very limited. Support seems better for HA even though it's an open source project. I think having a live discord server with HS devs participating or support people being able to interact in public sessions that everyone can see would be really useful for HS.

                          HA has made huge strides in the last year. Some more polish and it will be an amazing product. It certainly has the momentum compared with HS. HS has been really good to me until lately. But excellent GH and Alexa is really a requirement and needs full support if it wasn't to be a contender.

                          thx
                          mike

                          Comment


                            #14
                            With No Coding At All To the "Average Joe"... ioBroker was Accidentally designed to work with HomeSeer! You can do all the above with no stress and then some...

                            The below is just a snip of two way hands off automation...You dream it, and it's all there!


                            Click image for larger version  Name:	ioBroker Image.png Views:	0 Size:	322.0 KB ID:	1481400


                            And some nuggets...


                            Click image for larger version  Name:	Emby.png Views:	0 Size:	88.7 KB ID:	1481401







                            Need we say more?



                            Eman.
                            TinkerLand : Life's Choices,"No One Size Fits All"

                            Comment


                              #15
                              This package looks like it's built around node-red, which HA also can use, but doesn't require. It does work with HS like HA can work with homeseer, by exposing devices etc... But if you are moving the core automation logic out of HS to iobroker, why not move all the devices there too and be done with it? Same for HA. It doesn'tlook like is has esp good GH or Homekit integration, so I don't know why you would choose it over HA.

                              I actually think HS's event logic is pretty decent and pretty straightforward, though the HA trace function is surprisingly useful for debugging automations easily...

                              Comment

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