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HomeSeer HS-WD200+ Dimmer for 240v users.

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  • HomeSeer HS-WD200+ Dimmer for 240v users.

    Important Edit: I was (unknowingly) using a 24V AC/AC adapter, not AC/DC, please refer to my reply further in the thread.

    Hi everyone,

    This post serves as an FYI for people outside the US who live in countries with 240VAC power grids.

    The HS-WD200+ is a fantastic piece of z-wave equipment. The standouts for me are the programmable status RGB LEDs and the 14 trigger scene controller capability. I haven't yet found another device that provides this level of control from a single paddle.

    The HS-WD200+ is however a 110VAC device, intended for use within the US. I emailed and asked support whether the devices could support 110-240V, they replied and said no.

    It is important to note that I can be equal parts stupid and stubborn. I didn't want to believe, that in this day and age of global manufacturing, that a digital device would be manufactured for a limited geographical market. So I purchased one anyway.

    Now the disclaimer, I've done some very stupid things over the last couple of days and it should go without saying that all liability lies on me for my own actions and on you should you repeat anything I've done. We are well outside homeseers supported scenarios.

    First of all, do NOT plug it into 240V, it WILL go bang (softly). Immediately the load output was rendered inoperable. Multimeter confirmed no voltage or current present out of the Load terminal when switched on. Prying the device open revealed a blackened shattered component ( I honestly couldn't tell from the remains what it was, resistor etc)

    Now the interesting news, it still works. Well, the scene controller I mean. With the load output not providing a load, obviously you can't say in full honesty that the switch component works. However the switch device status still turns on and off when activated remotely or via the paddle.

    You tap the paddle, status leds still come on, was able to associate the device into my network and use the scene controller to trigger other devices.

    At this point my line of thinking was "OK, Z-wave is intended as an ultra low power technology, the digital control component (working) is separate to the analog switch component (blown)". "The digital component sips off a tiny amount of wattage from the available source to power itself, so how low can that available wattage go?"

    I then started connecting some spare DC adapters I had, and found the following:

    24V 1 AMP adapter: Works.
    5V 2 Amp adapter: Did not work
    12V 0.5 Amp adapter: Did not work
    12V 1 Amp adapter: Did not work

    So my conclusion is that I can make use of these wonderful scene controllers in a slightly limited capacity. Mount the device in a wall, connect power to a 24V AC/DC adapter. Do not connect the load or traveller terminals to anything. Associate the device with something like an Aeotec nano dimmer for control of the lighting in that room, then enjoy the benefits of 12 other scene triggers.

    Yes I know the Aeotec wallmote also makes for a good wall mounted scene controller, however it is A) More expensive B) battery dependant and C) The 12 triggers available on a quad are achieved with a tap/vertical swipe/horizontal swipe on each of the 4 buttons. I much prefer the multi-tap of a HomeSeer paddle switch to a swipe action. But that's just opinion.
    Last edited by Fellhahn; June 3rd, 2018, 04:26 AM. Reason: misinformation

  • #2
    Randy Prade
    Aurora, CO
    Prades.net

    PHLocation - Pushover - EasyTrigger - UltraECM3 - Ultra1Wire3 - Arduino

    Comment


    • #3
      I got one 200+ series switch and a 200+ series dimmer on it's way as I type this.

      I would also be interested in using them on a 220V scenario. Reading this confirms I shall NOT connect those to the 220V mains.

      Do you think that, preemptive replacement of the varistor, with a 340V one, would be enough to allow for 100-240v usage?

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not an engineer nor an electrician. I'm just an IT sysadmin. I would never be suited to make suggestions about altering the internal components of a device like this.

        I simply plan to use it as a scene controller, and to associate it with another z-wave dimming module for overhead lighting control (second unit currently on its way).

        I will warn you that you will have a hell of a time getting it apart. I ended up hacking it apart with cutters to get a look inside the final casing. The varistor is positioned between two PCBs making it difficult to assess or replace. The two PCBs are connected by a pair of thick electrical contacts that will have to desolder to get the PCBs separated.

        Basically, it will be difficult and I wouldn't recommend.

        Comment


        • #5
          Thanks for your reply.

          I'm also not qualified to do the mod myself. I was planning on taking it to an electrical engineer who is a friend of mine for disassembly.
          I have looked at the FCC internal photos for both the 200+ series dimmer and switch. I have noticed exactly what you describe on your last post... Two PCBs interconnected by some 3 to 6 pins (not really clear by looking at the photos).

          One question: were you able to put it together after you tore it apart?

          The switch seems easier to modify, which could be a proof of concept for the mod. I could not make out the values printed on the switch's varistor, because the photos are from the wrong angle. By examining the photos of the dimmer, it seems to be 240V. Mains here provide 220V/60Hz, so, in theory it should be able to work, although without sufficient range to handle the eventual spike and I would not risk ruining the thing before the mod anyway.

          The relay value on the other hand are only clear from the switch photos, and it clearly shows 277VAC, which should be enough.

          Once I get them delivered, I intend to pry the switch open immediately. Once I have new info, I will post here.

          Comment


          • #6
            How is this working in Australia when you use a different Z-Wave frequency to USA etc?
            Jon

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            • #7
              Originally posted by jon00 View Post
              How is this working in Australia when you use a different Z-Wave frequency to USA etc?
              Brazil and Australia SHOULD use the same z-wave frequency, which indeed differ from the 908Mhz used in the US. I don't know about Australia, but here z-wave products are REALLY difficult to find, not t mention their prices. Since z-wave is low energy, my house is made of concrete and brick walls, and sits far from the neighbours, I don't think my setup can cause any problem by going with the US frequency on my home automation project. If the regulatory agency asks me to quit using them, I will, but I don't think that will ever happen. I know this is not ideal, but sometimes you have to improvise just because your market is not mature enough.

              Comment


              • #8
                Plenty of product available, you shouldn't be using other frequencies as they most likely will interfere with other devices/products that use that frequency.
                Other than it being illegal, I'd rather not have to worry about MIB driving around looking for illegals....

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by cesarvog View Post
                  Brazil and Australia SHOULD use the same z-wave frequency, which indeed differ from the 908Mhz used in the US. I don't know about Australia, but here z-wave products are REALLY difficult to find, not t mention their prices. Since z-wave is low energy, my house is made of concrete and brick walls, and sits far from the neighbours, I don't think my setup can cause any problem by going with the US frequency on my home automation project. If the regulatory agency asks me to quit using them, I will, but I don't think that will ever happen. I know this is not ideal, but sometimes you have to improvise just because your market is not mature enough.
                  Exactly this, of all the z-wave products that are released for the US and EU markets, only a small number ever gets converted for the AU frequency and released here. So if you tie yourself to an AU frequency your range of available products will be very limited.
                  On top of this is the Australia Tax, which despite Amazon's retail launch down under, still isn't going away. Devices which cost $50 USD (~$67 AUD after exchange rates) from US retailers will cost anywhere from $80-$100 AUD from local retailers.
                  The far smarter alternative is to buy a US frequency z-stick and run a US network.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    The killer is shipping, it cost nearly as much to ship devices to AUS as the device costs.
                    The price is really competitive with OS however, so I wouldn't be complaining to much about it. Same as the range of product, what do you see as missing apart from the HS products?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Fellhahn View Post
                      Exactly this, of all the z-wave products that are released for the US and EU markets, only a small number ever gets converted for the AU frequency and released here. So if you tie yourself to an AU frequency your range of available products will be very limited.
                      On top of this is the Australia Tax, which despite Amazon's retail launch down under, still isn't going away. Devices which cost $50 USD (~$67 AUD after exchange rates) from US retailers will cost anywhere from $80-$100 AUD from local retailers.
                      The far smarter alternative is to buy a US frequency z-stick and run a US network.
                      Makes sense. I just did not want people in the EU etc (who also use 220-240V) to purchase one as a scene controller, only to find it would not work due to the Z-Wave frequency differences.
                      Jon

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I need to make an important redaction here.

                        I apologise but during my initial testing I made a significant mistake, the 24V adaptor that I thought was AC/DC, was in fact an AC/AC adapter. (It came off an old, dumb irrigation controller, never would have thought).

                        I only realised this today when connecting to a new 24V AC/DC power supply for testing. After a lot of confused prodding with a multimeter, I finally noticed the AC/AC marking on the plug. Switched the multimeter and confirmed it, the adapter I had been using for the last week was providing a 28V AC potential across the contacts.

                        This likely invalidates my earlier claims that 12V and 5V were insufficient. If I had a 12 or 5V AC/AC adapter, who knows.

                        I apologise to anyone who feels I've misinformed them.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Another update for anyone that surfaces this thread through search.

                          Testing with AC/AC step down transformers.

                          I purchased two centre tap AC/AC transformers, a 6.3-0-6.3 and a 12-0-12. Both 150mA.

                          Using 6.3V from the first, device would not power on at all.
                          Combining the two 6.3s into 12.6, device would power on but frequently restart, several times a minute.

                          Using a single 12v from the second transformer, same result. Device powers up, but loses power and cycles several times a minute.

                          Combine the two 12V outputs for 24V, device powers on, is stable and operates normally (excluding powering a direct attached load of course).

                          So it seems 24V is indeed the magic number, just AC, not DC. The transformers cost me about $9AUD each or ~$7USD.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            It works!

                            As mentioned before, I had both a switch and a dimmer coming. Those arrived over the last week and I finally got the time to pry them open.

                            Those who read my previous posts will remember that I was eager to verify if the WS200+ and/or the WD200+ could be made auto-volt.

                            Upon close examination of both the dimmer and the switch, I was able to verify that all the analog board components (relay, capacitors, etc), with the exception of single VARISTOR in each board, seemed to be able to go all the way to 250VAC.

                            Today I was able to replace the stock 14D241K varistor (max AC voltage of 150V) in the HS-WS200+ wall switch, with a 14D391K varistor (max AC voltage of 250V).

                            I'm glad to inform that replacing the 14D241K with a 14D391K varistor, does INDEED make it capable of operating in the 100-240VAC range.

                            With the switch, it was easy enough to de-solder the two legs coming out of the stock varistor, remove it, insert the two legs of the new varistor and resolder. I was able to do it myself. Only two solder points.

                            Now, regarding the HS-WD200+ waiting for the conversion, that will have to wait until I think it more carefully, mainly because the varistor in the dimmer is located in a much harder place to reach. In the dimmer it sits between the analog board and the digital board, which are interconnected by a 3x2 pin header, soldered to both boards. Additionally, there are two other solder points keeping both boards away from each other, which also provide some structure to the electronic assembly. Those seemed very high risk to try to desolder myself...

                            I was also able to add the modified switch to my z-wave network and everything seem to be working as expected.

                            I would like to thank Mr. Randy Prade for the insight on the varistor thing, which allowed me to go the extra mile!

                            I would also like to suggest Homeseer to change the stock varistor on a future revision, because it makes no sense to cripple a perfectly working design with a less than one dollar component, even though I do understand, that both products are for the US frequency, and that the US is 110V only... Maybe Homeseer should follow on AEOTEC footsteps, as most of their products, even though labeled to be 110V, are in fact auto-volt.
                            Last edited by cesarvog; June 10th, 2018, 07:21 PM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              That is awesome to hear, great work

                              Any pictures available of the process you followed with the WS200? Also how much difficulty did you have opening the unit?

                              So you believe the two large prongs separating the digital and analog board are for structure only? When I first saw them I assumed they were conductors.

                              Originally posted by cesarvog View Post
                              As mentioned before, I had both a switch and a dimmer coming. Those arrived over the last week and I finally got the time to pry them open.

                              Those who read my previous posts will remember that I was eager to verify if the WS200+ and/or the WD200+ could be made auto-volt.

                              Upon close examination of both the dimmer and the switch, I was able to verify that all the analog board components (relay, capacitors, etc), with the exception of single VARISTOR in each board, seemed to be able to go all the way to 250VAC.

                              Today I was able to replace the stock 14D241K varistor (max AC voltage of 150V) in the HS-WS200+ wall switch, with a 14D391K varistor (max AC voltage of 250V).

                              I'm glad to inform that replacing the 14D241K with a 14D391K varistor, does INDEED make it capable of operating in the 100-240VAC range.

                              With the switch, it was easy enough to de-solder the two legs coming out of the stock varistor, remove it, insert the two legs of the new varistor and resolder. I was able to do it myself. Only two solder points.

                              Now, regarding the HS-WD200+ waiting for the conversion, that will have to wait until I think it more carefully, mainly because the varistor in the dimmer is located in a much harder place to reach. In the dimmer it sits between the analog board and the digital board, which are interconnected by a 6 prong connector. Besides this connector, there are two other solder points keeping both boards away from each other, which also provide some structure to the electronic assembly. Those seemed very high risk to try to desolder myself...

                              I was also able to add the modified switch to my z-wave network and everything seem to be working as expected.

                              I would like to thank Mr. Randy Prade for the insight on the varistor thing, which allowed me to go the extra mile!

                              I would also like to suggest Homeseer to change the stock varistor on a future revision, because it makes no sense to cripple a perfectly working design with a less the one dollar component.

                              Comment

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