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Help understanding difference between the software and the hardware controlers

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    Help understanding difference between the software and the hardware controlers

    I am getting ready to take the dive into home automation. I have narrowed my search down to either the Universal Devices ISY994Zw series or Homeseer. My main question is; What is the difference between the Hometroller hardware devices and the HS3 software? I have a dedicated home server so could this replace the need for a hometroller and just use the software? If so, do I need some sort of USB dongle to interface with the zwave devices? Do the hometrollers not use this software already? Is there an advantage of one method over the other?

    #2
    I just replaced my system and upgraded to HS3 so I was wondering the same thing recently. What I found from my research is that the Hometroller is for people who want the basics without much maintenance or special setup.

    With a PC and the HS software you can integrate different products with Homeseer that you might not be able to do with the Hometroller (I could not find out if the programs I wanted to run would work on those systems after calling Homeseer so that was a factor). I am currently struggling with a windows login issue so that sort of stuff comes with a PC and the Hometroller should be more plug and play out of the box. If you use a server you will be limited to things that run with the OS (Linux?)...

    Some people run Homeseer software on their server using the Linux version. You can try a copy free for 30 days if you want to test it before deciding. You would need a z-wave controller to communicate with z-wave devices in this case. Some of the Hometrollers have a built in z-wave controller while others do not.

    Another item to consider is the drivers (plugins) available for each type of system.
    Last edited by Planetview; October 1, 2015, 09:05 PM. Reason: Clarity

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      #3
      I also did not like that the number of plugins that you can use with HomeTroller-Zee-S2 is limited to 5. I don't know if there are limitations on the other Hometroller hardware options but it may be a factor in your decision.

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        #4
        HomeTroller comes in 3 flavors...

        HomeTroller Zee S2: Linux version that runs on Pi. Small, lowest cost, lowest powered, limited to 5 running plugins (no 3rd party). Edit: That's a mistake, it can run any linux-compatible, including 3rd party plugins.

        HomeTroller SEL: Linux version,decent hw capacity, but some 3rd party plugin does not fully support Linux.

        HomeTroller S6: Windows version, decent hw capacity, handles all available HS3 plugins. It should have the power to handle most installations well, except for really big ones (>1000 devices?).

        Personally I'm running a medium sized install w/ Avoton C2550 (4 core atom, passmark around 2500) w/ about 700 devices and 25 plugins and the system idles at 15%ish most of the time.
        Last edited by LeoS; January 22, 2016, 01:14 AM.
        HW: HS3 w/ Win8.1 on ASRock C2550d4i. Digi AnywhereUSB, Hubport, Edgeport, UZB, Z-trollers, PLCBUS, SONOS, GC-100, iTach IP2SL, WF2IR, IP2IR, RFXtrx433, Harmony Hubs, Hue, Ademco Vista 128BP, NetAtmo, NetAtmo Welcome

        Google Search for HomeSeer Forum

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          #5
          My setup has HS3 running on a windows 7 computer that is primarily my media centre. It was always on anyway... It runs all without a lag. No need for a hometroller if you have an always on machine.
          I use the Znet for zwave.
          Jim
          ----
          Plugins:Z Wave 3.0.1.55, HS3 Pro 3.0.0.208, HS3Touch, HS3Touch IOS, Z-Net, SceneMaster, XBMC, Sonos, Media Controller, Envisalink (52 Virtual nodes), JowiHue, EasyTrigger, Liftmaster MyQ, BLBackup, BLLAN, BLRadar, Pushover

          Devices:Cooper RF9540, Cooper Scene, Yale Locks, Sonos, Phillips Hue and Lux, DSC, Somfy Blinds

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            #6
            Originally posted by NotCaffeineFree View Post
            if so, do I need some sort of USB dongle to interface with the zwave devices? Do the hometrollers not use this software already? Is there an advantage of one method over the other?
            Yes you need an z-wave interface. Two good options are smartstick (usb) or the z-net (lan or wifi). I would recommend the z-net for speed and range. It's an amazing device. I upgraded from a Aeon labs z-stick(usb).
            Also if you have plans to do security, sprinklers, cameras, etc( basically expand beyond the basics) then go with a Windows version of HS and your own computer or windows based hometroller



            Sent from my iPhone
            Tom
            baby steps...starting again with HS3
            HS3Pro: Z-NET & 80 Z wave Devices,
            HSTouch: 4 Joggler (Android Kitkat), 2 iPhone, 3 iPads
            Whole House Audio: 5 SqueezePlay Jogglers w Bose Speakers
            In The Works: 10 Cameras Geovision, new Adecmo/Envisalink Alarm, Arduinos
            System: XP on Fanless Mini-ITX w/ SSD

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              #7
              Originally posted by LeoS View Post
              HomeTroller Zee S2: Linux version that runs on Pi. Small, lowest cost, lowest powered, limited to 5 running plugins (no 3rd party).
              Are you sure that 3rd party plugin can't be run on a Zee S2? I thought it could run any Linux plugin (3rd party or not)

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                #8
                It's worth noting that the Zee S2 comes with the Z-Wave controller built-in. No need for a Z-Net like the other controllers.
                HS4Pro Running on a Raspberry Pi4
                68 Z-Wave Nodes, 175 Events, 359 Devices
                UPB modules via OMNI plugin/panel
                Plugins: Z-Wave, OMNI, HSTouch, weatherXML, EasyTrigger
                HSTouch Clients: 3 Android, 1 Joggler

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by spud View Post
                  Are you sure that 3rd party plugin can't be run on a Zee S2? I thought it could run any Linux plugin (3rd party or not)
                  I'm probably mistaken, my apologies.

                  Originally posted by rmasonjr View Post
                  It's worth noting that the Zee S2 comes with the Z-Wave controller built-in. No need for a Z-Net like the other controllers.
                  Considering a Z-NET controller by itself sells for $149, the Zee S2 at $199 is such a steal...
                  HW: HS3 w/ Win8.1 on ASRock C2550d4i. Digi AnywhereUSB, Hubport, Edgeport, UZB, Z-trollers, PLCBUS, SONOS, GC-100, iTach IP2SL, WF2IR, IP2IR, RFXtrx433, Harmony Hubs, Hue, Ademco Vista 128BP, NetAtmo, NetAtmo Welcome

                  Google Search for HomeSeer Forum

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I'm a huge fan of the HomeTrollers -- particularly the Zee2, which I would've purchased instead of an SEL if it were available at the time.

                    I am guessing that a good majority of people don't need to run more than a handful of plugins, and the Zee2 comes with the Z-Wave interface built-in as well as the software. I had an older Zee, and in terms of running HS3, it had no problems. It was just slower than my SEL in booting up. Upgraded only because I needed a couple of plugins.

                    The Hometroller solution is so much more plug and play than the Windows solution. Unless there's a good reason why you want to go that route, in terms of, say, a Vera competitor, the Zee2 is totally the way to go.

                    Frankly, if the HomeSeer folks would do a little spit and polish to HSTouch (default installation) and the documentation, they would completely trounce the existing home automation solutions.

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