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Need basic understanding of Z-Wave protocol

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  • Guest
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by langenet View Post
    Gprev My guess is that the USB stick was likely picking up noise from either the PC or power supply. Seen this sort of thing all too often with RF devices.
    Had a similar issue using USB stick directly plugged into the PC. But in the end I went with a Z-Net and all fine!

    Sent from my Pixel 6 Pro using Tapatalk

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  • langenet
    replied
    Gprev My guess is that the USB stick was likely picking up noise from either the PC or power supply. Seen this sort of thing all too often with RF devices.

    Leave a comment:


  • George
    replied
    Glad you got it sorted.

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  • Gprev
    replied
    Just to wrap up this debacle: I had a USB extension cord and per George's comment, I plugged the USB stick into that. I restarted my computer (Windows 10 + HS4) and... it worked. The z-wave switch now responds to HS commands no matter where I put it in the house.

    I have no idea what was wrong. But I can now understand why you all were so incredulous that I was having the issues I described. So, in the end, all is good. Thanks so much for taking the time to help. Especially, George who gave me so much useful information.

    Have a great New Year, everybody!

    Leave a comment:


  • George
    replied
    Originally posted by Krumpy View Post

    You said that HomeSeer data elements are potentially wiped out. I would think that Rich is able to save the data and then give the option to add it back. With HomeSeer data elements I mean the following. Maybe I misunderstood but Rich definitely has control over the data elements as far as status graphics and values in the status tab. These are HomeSeer - not zwave - data elements. Sounds to me that he is just resetting the HomeSeer device values back to default which it subjectively should not if a user changed the grafic, etc. At least give the option. Of course, programmatically it is just easier for the developer to wipe everything back to defaults rather than save some of the customizations that a user potentially spent a lot of time custom configuring:
    Yes, that is my experience. When you do a Rescan, try it on one of your ZWave devices that you haven't heavily modified, you'll see that the graphics, and also that status pairs (at least on my HS3 system, I don't know if you have HS4 but it would be a good test) are reset back to what they were when the device was originally added. Also, if you manually deleted some child devices from a multi-child device, they will magically reappear as well. Looks like a Rescan just does what an inclusion does without assigning a new node id. Also if you deleted any of the pairs or single controls (like 255 LAST) if you didn't want it, 255 comes back from the grave!

    You can try it yourself and let us know what you're experience might be?

    And, as I'm on HS3, I'm not holding any of my breath that an update might be able to save the status and graphic paths and restore them.

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  • Krumpy
    replied
    Originally posted by George View Post

    No we don't agree, Unless Rich rjh says it may be a software issue, which I have personally not heard of on a Nortek, then no, I personally do not agree.
    You said that HomeSeer data elements are potentially wiped out. I would think that Rich is able to save the data and then give the option to add it back. With HomeSeer data elements I mean the following. Maybe I misunderstood but Rich definitely has control over the data elements as far as status graphics and values in the status tab. These are HomeSeer - not zwave - data elements. Sounds to me that he is just resetting the HomeSeer device values back to default which it subjectively should not if a user changed the grafic, etc. At least give the option. Of course, programmatically it is just easier for the developer to wipe everything back to defaults rather than save some of the customizations that a user potentially spent a lot of time custom configuring:

    And BTW, if you happen to edit any of the Status graphics or values in the Status Tab, Doing a Rescan in the Z-Wave tab will gnarffle any changes or customization you've you've done in the tab including wiping out any custom graphics you've defines or control ranges.

    Leave a comment:


  • George
    replied
    Originally posted by Krumpy View Post

    I think that we can agree that this is a software issue, correct? If so, why do people put up with this behavior? Why has this not been fixed/ Argh - Thanks for posting!
    No we don't agree, Unless Rich rjh says it may be a software issue, which I have personally not heard of on a Nortek, then no, I personally do not agree.

    Leave a comment:


  • George
    replied
    Originally posted by Gprev View Post

    I came to that conclusion because: 1) z-wave devices have repeaters built into them for just that reason, and 2) I could see no other way for me to get a device to respond if it was more than 10’ from the hub/server.

    Only devices marked Z-Wave Plus have repeaters but they are used only when a path cannot be resolved to an end device by discovery. And also, only devices (Z-Wave Plus or not) that don't require a neutral can't repeat Z-Wave as they neutral is required to energize the transceiver for it to transmit status or restransmit.

    Try it on a no neutral device and try local control. Won't reflect back to HS it's status. The 2 wire ones are sort of like X-10 but Z-Wave. Receive only and it's up to HS and the plugin to manage and keep track of the status. When 2 wire devices are added they are added as a simple switch or dimmer and not a multi-level device. So there is a trade-off if you try to go cheap with a 2 wire device or only have a box that doesn't have a neutral.


    Perhaps the problem is with my USB stick hub (Nortek). Maybe its radio is just too weak to reach outside the room it is in. Perhaps, I should have started my question from that angle: What is the standard one-hop range for a z-wave USB stick hub?

    I've not heard of any Nortek issues with the radio being weak. Maybe you can tell us exactly where it's located?

    I did have some luck, as my server is in my basement, getting a 6 ft USB extension cable and plugging the stick into it, hanging the stick from the rafters so that it's up against the basement ceiling and right under the floorboards. Whether it helped or not, or if because I started adding many more devices, it can't hurt if you want to relocate the stick somewhere closer to the center of the home. With good quality USB 3 extenders (even though the stick only uses USB 2) you can probably get 12-18 feet easily with the USB 3 extenders. USB 3 has much better shielding and multi-path lines to carry the higher bandwidth which translates to less impedance of the USB 2 signal.


    I will look into the ZNet interface although I was hoping to test z-wave more without spending too much.

    Again, I wouldn't recommend going whole hog into another technology until you really determine that you have to move your computer / add more devices to create a backbone, etc. Adding a ZNet adds another layer of abstraction and another processing device that moves away from local USB control to having to deal with IP address schemes.


    Also, on a different note, I was only looking for some guidance here. I had assumed the issues I was having were related to my inexperience and ignorance with z-wave. I’m not sure why a couple of the posts above had to be passive aggressive and condescending. I’ve had HA as a hobby since 2004. I know generally what I’m doing. I just haven’t worked with z-wave before, and I was surprised that the results I encountered were so different from other HA technologies I’ve used. If you find my questions insultingly basic, or you’re offended that someone would question the z-wave design and implementation, I apologize.

    No need to apologize that's the way that a lot of people are short with people. I have to admit, that on bad days, I've been known to also be a total butthead but on topics that particularly irk me. That's the way on the Internet. No one knows if you're a dog! People love to hide behind the anonymity of a board 'handle". I shared my real name/address/phone with people that I've helped and have helped me and also traded with a lot of people here.
    And yes, rjh Rich can tell you my real name is George and loving it! LOL

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  • George
    replied
    Originally posted by drhtmal View Post

    This is not accurate. I am not sure how you came to this conclusion. There is a lot of info on z-wave and radio communication in general on the Internet.

    I have a single z-wave radio (z-net)n that covers my entire house 1800 sq. ft. house. Most of my devices (about 90% of the devices) are one hop away from my z-wave hub, so they are in direct communication with the z-wave hub and don't rely on the mesh . If you are only getting connectivity within a 10 foot range there is something seriously wrong with your z-wave network. Exactly what is wrong is difficult to diagnose from the limited info we can gather from the info in this post.
    I did not see anywhere that the OP has a Z-Net. So centrally locating it, as I'm sure you did with yours might not be an option. Like with me, his computer that he has his stick plugged into may not be in any optimal place. So until we get all the information, I suggest we don't come to any hasty conclusions like it's software. Let him try some basic troubleshooting first. No one has complained about range of the Nortek stick or the Z-Wave plugin.

    Leave a comment:


  • Krumpy
    replied
    Originally posted by George View Post
    Just be warned, you get to do 'ONE' full optimize per customer.

    And BTW, if you happen to edit any of the Status graphics or values in the Status Tab, Doing a Rescan in the Z-Wave tab will gnarffle any changes or customization you've you've done in the tab including wiping out any custom graphics you've defines or control ranges.
    I think that we can agree that this is a software issue, correct? If so, why do people put up with this behavior? Why has this not been fixed/ Argh - Thanks for posting!

    Leave a comment:


  • Gprev
    replied
    Originally posted by drhtmal View Post

    This is not accurate. I am not sure how you came to this conclusion. There is a lot of info on z-wave and radio communication in general on the Internet.

    I have a single z-wave radio (z-net)n that covers my entire house 1800 sq. ft. house. Most of my devices (about 90% of the devices) are one hop away from my z-wave hub, so they are in direct communication with the z-wave hub and don't rely on the mesh . If you are only getting connectivity within a 10 foot range there is something seriously wrong with your z-wave network. Exactly what is wrong is difficult to diagnose from the limited info we can gather from the info in this post.
    I came to that conclusion because: 1) z-wave devices have repeaters built into them for just that reason, and 2) I could see no other way for me to get a device to respond if it was more than 10’ from the hub/server.

    Perhaps the problem is with my USB stick hub (Nortek). Maybe its radio is just too weak to reach outside the room it is in. Perhaps, I should have started my question from that angle: What is the standard one-hop range for a z-wave USB stick hub?

    I will look into the ZNet interface although I was hoping to test z-wave more without spending too much.

    Also, on a different note, I was only looking for some guidance here. I had assumed the issues I was having were related to my inexperience and ignorance with z-wave. I’m not sure why a couple of the posts above had to be passive aggressive and condescending. I’ve had HA as a hobby since 2004. I know generally what I’m doing. I just haven’t worked with z-wave before, and I was surprised that the results I encountered were so different from other HA technologies I’ve used. If you find my questions insultingly basic, or you’re offended that someone would question the z-wave design and implementation, I apologize.

    Leave a comment:


  • drhtmal
    replied
    Originally posted by Gprev View Post
    Thanks much for the responses and insights, but my concerns remain. What I gather is:[LIST=1][*]You really can't have a reliable z-wave setup without multiple devices to create the mesh 908.42 mhz network. So, unless I really want to invest in a lot of z-wave devices, I'm left with the option to only control devices that are in the same room as my HS server.
    This is not accurate. I am not sure how you came to this conclusion. There is a lot of info on z-wave and radio communication in general on the Internet.

    I have a single z-wave radio (z-net)n that covers my entire house 1800 sq. ft. house. Most of my devices (about 90% of the devices) are one hop away from my z-wave hub, so they are in direct communication with the z-wave hub and don't rely on the mesh . If you are only getting connectivity within a 10 foot range there is something seriously wrong with your z-wave network. Exactly what is wrong is difficult to diagnose from the limited info we can gather from the info in this post.

    Leave a comment:


  • langenet
    replied
    One other item to consider is that if you use a Z-Net, since it's hardwired via eithernet, an option is to centrally locate it which may bring it to your devices.

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  • Gprev
    replied
    George, thank you so much for all the great information. Immensely valuable and I appreciate you taking the time to help. I will use this as my guide going forward. Have a great New Year!

    -George (also)

    Leave a comment:


  • George
    replied
    Originally posted by Gprev View Post
    Thanks much for the responses and insights, but my concerns remain. What I gather is:
    1. You really can't have a reliable z-wave setup without multiple devices to create the mesh 908.42 mhz network. So, unless I really want to invest in a lot of z-wave devices, I'm left with the option to only control devices that are in the same room as my HS server.

      Yes, with only one device there is no network to optimize, so if you move it too far way there is no routing it can take to get back to the controller or for the controller to find it. Just add a couple more plugs and place them each about 100 or so feet farther from each other or on different floors. That should at least establish a backbone network where other devices can couple to. As you add even more the higher speed devices (there are 3 speeds) will take presidence over the older lower speed devices.
    2. When you move a device, it can take a bit for the network to calibrate. Good to know. How long should I give it? Minutes? Hours?

      An hours should be sufficient, but you have to understand that for it to work, there needs to be traffic on the network so each device can be controlled or reached for it to find it's best path. If you have an idle network then there is no reason for the devices to try to get a better path. Make sense?
    3. I did try the optimize option (thanks for the heads-up regarding the ramifications, George). But at the moment, I only have one z-wave device (outlet). So, referring back to #1 above, there isn't anything to optimize really.

      Yup, as in Number 1, there was really nothing to optimize. Try what I said above. In my case, my 1st device was my basement ceiling lights, in which the in-wall switch is a WS-200 HST switch and about 20 feet from the controller. The 2nd, I think, was a wall dimmer for my hallway which is right up the stairs from the basement. The 3rd was somewhere in the Family Room.. You get the drift. The 2nd either found the stick or, for sure, found the WS-200 and then determined if the WS-200 was better than the stick and set it's route. Same for the thirds and so on.

      So if you have other outlets, which a much easier than wiring live wires in a wall box (I'm a little nuts and wire hot, lots of electrical zzzzzz experience! LOL Then it should be really simple to do the hop scotch approach I detailed above and establish a rudimentary backbone. When you get to 10-20 devices, then you can feel safe to do a Full Optimize to let HS and the Z-Wave plugin make it's own decision on each device being it already has a path to each device.
    4. I misspoke when I said z-wave is a ' de facto standard.' What I meant was, it's way more ubiquitous than other options (e.g., Insteon). It is what you find in the big box stores. It is what Homeseer seems to want us to use. It's like the old Betamax vs. VHS deal. I know which one I prefer, but in the end I just want to invest in the one that will be around longer and have the most support.

      Until something better comes up, Z-Wave is the standard for high power (120-220V) control IMHO. Zigbee is great for sensors, reporting devices and other uses. Insteon is also pretty good as it also provides a bridge from X-10. But the future of Insteon is iffy as the only company making it has put itself up for sale and may go TU at any time. Z-Wave was a PITA until a few years ago when they made the proprietary protocol and licensing open so that many, many manufacturers can create a lot of creative Z-Wave toys. And the good thing, every device still requires Z-Wave certification so it's pretty much assured to work!

    Insteon worked from day one. I installed one outlet on the other side of the house and it worked perfectly. No need for multiple devices or signal repeaters, etc. Also, there are several Insteon devices I rely on and for which there seems to be no Z-wave equivalent. Regardless, if Insteon is waning, I need to move toward another option. But, right off the bat, z-wave seems like a less reliable, and less functional option.

    The reason that Insteon probably worked is that if it could not reach the PLM, it probably defaulted to X-10 to communicate which can do it throughout your home even tho it's as slow as molassas. But @Michael, the Insteon author would know a whole bunch more about it than I would.

    But yes, slow and steady with Z-Wave, and a thought out plan, wins the race.
    ...

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