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Zee S2 went offline

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    Zee S2 went offline

    Last year I was still using HS2 on a Thinkpad PC and all X10 modules to control many lights around the house. I went away for a month and 3 days into my trip there was a power failure that drained the UPS and when power was restored the UPS did not turn on so all lights were stuck on in night mode for the remainder of my trip.

    Fast forward to now. I replaced all but a few X10 with 20 Insteon modules and a couple Z-Wave light modules, and now use a HomeSeer HomeTroller ZeeS2 controller with HS3 and Mark’s Insteon plugin. I got rid of the UPS. I’m on another month long trip and 18 days away from home the controller is offline and all lights are stuck on in night mode!! How reliable is that Zee controller? In my experience it is totally unreliable. So much so that when I get back I am going to put the Zee and the PLM on a TP-Link HS110 wifi controlled power outlet so I can remotely power down/up the whole shebang the next time this happens.

    I have also observed since I bought the Zee that the Z-Wave plugin just quit working two different times for no reason that I could see. I had to unplug and plug in the unit to restart ZW.

    Can anyone else tell me about the reliability of the Zee S2?

    I recall some kind of timed restart line in the HS3 setup that reboots the unit every so often. Is that worth using?
    EDIT: this was the HSSentry checkbox in Setup. It only works on PC versions, not on the ZeeS2.

    Not impressed with the Zee S2 as a replacement for the PC so far.

    I contacted HS Support about Zee S2V2 HS3 getting hung up after 10 - 18 days. They said S2V5 does not hang and that I should upgrade to a newer image. They provided that image download in an email. You have to backup your system, then put that image on a microSD and swap out the card on the Zee S2. Then restore from the backup. I did all that and am now running S2V5 and am on day 2. We will see how long it runs without failure. If it hangs, I will add an Event to reboot once a week.


      Hi Allenc3,

      I was having similar problems a few months back, to the point that I was almost sure I was going to scrap HS altogether, but so far HS3 S2 V5 seems stable for me. That said, I achieved that running ONLY the Z-wave plugin enabled. Doing that, I achieved about six weeks of no problems (so I had control and monitoring of door sensors, temp sensors and leak detectors, plus a thermostat and a few appliance links). Like you, it seems, reliability is my #1 priority as this property is located in a remote location in Maine, 500 miles from me for weeks at a time, and with only satellite or slow Verizon connectivity. My one neighbor there is far from technically competent, so things need to "just work".

      Because I wanted to add some control based on outside temperature (I have a Davis Pro weather station there that reports to Weather Underground), I enabled the weatherXML plugin and within 3 days, the system locked up and I had to reboot remotely (more on that in a moment). So, I uninstalled that plugin and sure enough, things seemed stable again. Just yesterday, I downloaded and installed/enabled the UltraWU3 weather plugin, based on past experience with Ultra's work on a Windows machine (his work is excellent). But, it's been only 12 hours since I did that, so time will tell. I'll try to report back with updates, or feel free to PM me from time to time to see how it's going.

      My solution for remote, "hard reset" reboots is a Leviton wifi switch, recommended by another HS board member. So far it has been perfect (I installed it back when I was having more problems, before installing this version). I've been able to access it through their free app/service and just turn off the Zee, then restart it about 30 seconds later. However, many here have noted that this can be very hard on a micro SD card, eventually corrupting it. So, it's a last resort.

      Personally, I've found the most reliable home automation device to be an ISY-994, from Universal Devices. It's rock solid reliable, but it's NOT for the "non-geek", and I find myself often wanting more from it but lacking the technical skills to achieve that. They're also now adding functionality by having people do things on connected Raspberry Pis, etc., and I just don't have the time to deal with much of that. And frankly, I don't feel overly welcome on their forum, probably because I've complained so much about their user interface, continued reliance on java, etc. Then again, I'm no longer a real "member" of the more hard core "community" here, either.

      Perhaps like you, I just want a home automation system that works. I'd like to be able to buy and install some switches and sensors, turn things on and off with them and based on them, and monitor and control the stuff from my phone when I'm traveling and away from the system reliably. I'd like that control to be local, not cloud-dependent. And I sure as heck don't want to have to worry about it, or ask my wife, or an employee, or a neighbor, to go reset things. We have multiple properties, so I need to do that in multiple states. I don't think that's too much to ask. But sometimes you'd think this is like asking for a miracle. Good luck to you, and please feel free to keep me posted on your success, as well.

      This would be a lot easier if I knew what I was doing...


        Originally posted by Madcodger View Post
        Hi Allenc3,
        I was having similar problems a few months back, to the point that I was almost sure I was going to scrap HS altogether, but so far HS3 S2 V5 seems stable for me.
        I sure hope HomeSeer management reads this forum.

        You post a lot of interesting info that addresses my concerns about reliability. I had not considered plugins as a possible cause for HS3 getting hung up but that makes sense. I would imagine plugin programmers are more likely to have coding issues than HomeSeer programmers. I never had problems with HS2 and X10 on my PC. I ran that system for 15 years and it never crashed or hung. This Zee HS3 thing gets hung routinely, but now I wonder if it is a plugin that gets stuck or the main HS3 app? I have seen the Z-Wave plugin quit twice for no reason that I can see, and I only have two ZW modules in my system. So far I'm only six days into running S2V5 but another user posted to me that he runs S2V5 and it hangs too. We have confirmed that it is HS3 and its web server that hangs and not the Linux OS because when the system hangs I can logon to the Zee via PuTTY and do commands to see what processes are running. I was running 3 plugins, Z-Wave, Insteon, and TP-Link. Right now I am not running TP-Link as I don't really need it and if I had to suspect a plugin of being a problem it would be that one based on nothing in particular. I mentioned I have a HS110 wifi remote power plug I will deploy before my next big trip IF the HS3 continues to get hung up.

        My wish list for improved reliability in order:
        - HomeSeer makes their HS3 and HS4 code totally reliable, no memory leaks, etc. HS3/4 should be able to run for years without a reboot (like an industrial PLC).
        - HomeSeer implements a plugin code reliability analysis program to help coders write plugins that will not hang the system.
        - HomeSeer implements a sandbox environment for plugin execution so no plugin can take down HS3/4. At least that way we could use web control to reboot system.
        - HomeSeer implements an HSSentry option (software watchdog) for the ZeeS2 like they did for the PC versions. This would reboot system when detects HS3/4 is unresponsive.
        - HomeSeer provide log file that persists through reboots that logs HS3/4 hang cause.
        - HomeSeer provide a Linux CRON based weekly reboot function that can be enabled.

        There is hope among users that the almost released HS4, being written in a different code base will be more reliable, but if in fact the lack of reliability comes from plugins, then we will still have a problem.


          What can I say except, "Amen,"?

          This would be a lot easier if I knew what I was doing...


            It has been 30 days since I had to restart my Zee S2 HomeTroller to reset HS3. This is after upgrading to S2V5 and there have been no HS3 lockups during that period. That is as long as HS3 has run trouble free since I turned it on the for the first time last year. Maybe it is a coincidence, or maybe it is true that S2V5 is more stable. I'll report back if HS3 hangs.