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Starting from semi-scratch - stick with HS3 or upgrade to HS4?

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    Starting from semi-scratch - stick with HS3 or upgrade to HS4?

    We had a third party set up our home automation stuff a couple years ago using an HS3 Pi to handle light switches, locks, garage door, Alexa integration etc. Z-Wave is heavily involved, at least for the switches, though I'm still picking through this setup to see what all is going on.

    The third party sorta disappeared on us during the pandemic, so I'm ramping up to understanding all of this myself (from zero knowledge) so I can maintain and extend the system going forward. Of immediate concern is a plan to install eight RGBW ZWave bulbs and make Alexa-enabled scenes etc.

    So the gist of the question is, given I'm starting from scratch either way, is it better to stick with the existing HS3 scheme and learn stuff I might unlearn later if I upgrade, or go ahead and wrangle the upgrade to HS4 to get all caught up before digging in? Googling this question has given me a lot of info for people who know HS3 already and are trying to decide about upgrading, but nothing for the complete neophyte with an existing HS3 install.

    I realize that (a) this is probably a subjective call, and (b) there are probably other bits of information that would help clarify. I'm happy to hear any and all input and give any further info that might impact the answers. Thanks in advance!

    #2
    I have a pretty complex setup and I upgraded from HS3 to HS4 just to try Node Red. As it turns out, I ended up not using Node Red and probably could have stayed with HS3.

    If it was me taking over a configuration and starting as a newbie, I would probably stick with HS3 for now.

    Regardless of which route you choose, the most important advice I would offer is: I highly recommend BACKING UP YOUR SETUP before tinkering. If you search the forum, you will find lots of people who learned that the hard way.

    Comment


      #3
      Seems like, in reality, you're not starting from scratch... you might be learning HS for the first time but you already have an existing (working properly?) Homeseer setup. If that is the case, until you learn Homeseer... stay on HS3.

      HS4 is nearly identical, except with some GUI changes (many think for the worse) and additional headaches since there are many bugs and they are still changing things. I see very, very few advantages to HS4 and the headaches far out weight those. It will only create problems for you.

      I've been using Homeseer since v1.7. I skipped v2 since the move from v1.x to v2 was major problems. HS4 is this way for many people and its not worth the potential extra headaches until you really, really, really understand HS3.

      Comment


        #4
        emerson Highly recommend you make the jump to HS4 and start there. That is where all of our development effort is and where the future development will happen. For Z-Wave users, there hasn't been a lot of benefit to the upgrade yet because we've been using the Legacy Z-Wave plugin in HS4. By the end of this year, we'll be transitioning to a full HS4 version of the plugin. At that point, the legacy plugin will be deprecated and no additional development will be done on it.Support for future Z-Wave interfaces and products will go into the HS4 version only.

        Bottom line: If you're basically starting from scratch, I would recommend starting with the most up to date platform.
        Learn About HomeSeer

        Comment


          #5
          Here the two HS4 boxes are new and multitasking Linux boxes running a base Linux OS and a virtual Windows embedded OS.

          I am in a learning mode still today with HS4...going baby steps...

          Keeping the old Microsoft SAPI (multiple voices and multiple voice fonts) and new Amazon TTS and control of Amazon devices.

          I am mixing the audio from speaker dot exe (multiple instances) with an Amazon Dot for whole house audio thru Russound and TTS to individual Amazon devices (now a few Show devices).

          Doing more MQTT stuff on the HS4 boxes. Today then still running X10, UPB, ZWave and Zigbee plus new Tasmota WiFi modded devices. Note more to tinker with new stuff.

          This and still using my Leviton HAI OmniPro 2 panel to do the heart beat of the home automation...(IE: using hard wired sensors to the panel and basic automation).


          - Pete

          Auto mator
          Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb
          Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro
          HS4 Lite - Ubuntu 20.04 / VB W7e Jetway JBC420U591
          Fanless Intel® Celeron N3160 SoC 8Gb
          HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 20.04/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb
          HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets

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

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by macromark View Post
            emerson Highly recommend you make the jump to HS4 and start there. That is where all of our development effort is and where the future development will happen. For Z-Wave users, there hasn't been a lot of benefit to the upgrade yet because we've been using the Legacy Z-Wave plugin in HS4. By the end of this year, we'll be transitioning to a full HS4 version of the plugin. .
            Hasn't HST learned to not promise release dates of new features or plugins yet? As they track record of actually hitting any announced (which you just did) or targeted dates is pretty abysmal. Besides, I'd like to see an HS4 native plugin that isn't just a wrapper for the HS3 base core code. As Rich will tell you, Z-Wave is not child's play.

            Comment


              #7
              I'm not sure what benefit that was to the OP

              emerson,

              I would suggest making the jump to HS4 for the following reasons...
              • It's not an application with no major future updates.
              • Why learn the old version to only have to re-learn the advanced features again in the future?
              • The developers will be targeting HS4 with their new features.
              • HST is constantly bringing out new features and improving existing ones of HS4 regardless of the time-frame of which some users like to complain about.
              • HS4 as it currently exists has the power and flexibility to do anything that you can possibly think of.
              • The new G2 version for the Pi is not limited to 5 plug-ins.
              • The helpful users of the future will be of more help to you on HS4 than HS3 because that will be the version that they have cut their teeth on.
              My recommendations would be to...
              1. Remove the SD card of your Pi and store it in a safe place for future reference.
              2. Purchase two new 128GB or larger high endurance SD cards. Suggest Samsung, SanDisk or Kingston
              3. 128 is much larger than you currently need but for the cost there is no good reason not to as larger cards last longer than smaller cards do.
              4. Purchase a SD to USB adapter to be able to read/write to your cards from any computer.
              5. Contact HST about upgrading your existing HS3 license to HS4-Pi G2 at an affordable price point.
              6. Install the OS+HS4 image onto the new card
              7. Place the card into you Raspberry Pi and boot it up
              8. Register the new version.
              9. Place the 2nd card in the USB adapter and plug it into the Pi
              10. Mount the drive and redirect the backup option to this 2nd card.
              11. Start enjoying your new HomeSeer.
              12. Come back to the Forum with any questions to be answered by the many friendly folks here.
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              Roger D

              Comment


                #8
                I'm torn in my response, HS3 worked, HS4 is buggy and for me has a major virtual device / event engine problem.

                That said, it's a lot of work setting up a system, no sense in doing all that work in a dead, albeit working version.

                RJ_Make On YouTube

                Comment


                  #9
                  If you have to start over start with the latest and greatest. You'll be starting fresh with no wondering what may or may not have been upgraded. You also have to learn it so why learn a legacy product only to have to relearn something new when you upgrade?

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have 2 computers running HS3 in production and have no issues at this time. Testing two new computers running HS4 and still learning such that they are partial production.

                    Trying to do only MQTT on new HS4 computers.

                    I am using Jon00 links plugin which helps me a great deal with the HS4 interface which I do not like.

                    Maybe because I am older these days. I had no issues migrating from Homeseer 2 to Homeseer 3 years ago.

                    I am having issues adjusting to the HS4 interface.
                    - Pete

                    Auto mator
                    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e 64 bit Intel Haswell CPU 16Gb
                    Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.548 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04/W7e - CherryTrail x5-Z8350 BeeLink 4Gb BT3 Pro
                    HS4 Lite - Ubuntu 20.04 / VB W7e Jetway JBC420U591
                    Fanless Intel® Celeron N3160 SoC 8Gb
                    HS4 Pro - V4.1.18.1 - Ubuntu 20.04/VB W7e 64 bit Intel Kaby Lake CPU - 32Gb
                    HSTouch on Intel tabletop tablets

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

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by macromark View Post
                      [USER="140519"]Bottom line: If you're basically starting from scratch, I would recommend starting with the most up to date platform.
                      He's said he has an existing, working, HS3 system... thus, not starting from scratch.

                      emerson HS3 and HS4 are nearly, if not 100%, identical functionality in the way automation is created... no? YES!
                      So why struggle with all the changes ongoing (and many bugs) in HS4 when you already have HS3 running and learning that will be 99% the same as learning HS4.

                      Most of the people replying to you are either very new to HS, or very longtime HS fans that forgot how large the learning curve is to HS's many, many "eccentricities". I would not suggest a person, especially a non-uber-techie, take that on with the bugs/changes HS4 has going on.

                      I only have a 33 year background in both hardware and software engineering... so maybe it might be easier for others. ;-)

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thanks for the excellent input, everyone! I'm leaning toward upgrading at this point, though I'm still a little nervous about that process.

                        I am indeed planning to back up the system before I start actually making any changes, upgrade or not. Found these instructions, seems simple enough:

                        https://docs.homeseer.com/pages/view...ageId=26476913

                        Then if I go to upgrade, I'd just:

                        https://docs.homeseer.com/display/HS...Troller+Zee+S2

                        Yes? 😊


                        I've also been mulling Roger D 's detailed advice, which seems clean and future-proof (I like the notion getting a big fresh solid SD card and keeping the existing one as archive) -- ostensibly I could restore my backup at the end of that and be back up and running, knock wood?

                        Thanks in advance.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          After a couple of false starts, I now have my HomeSeer running on HS4, everything apparently working as intended. Thanks everyone for your input; I'm sure I'll have more questions later.

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