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Old February 29th, 2012, 09:25 PM
pete@malibubeach.com pete@malibubeach.com is offline
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Is UPB dying?

I have had UPD devices (about 100 of them) in my house for a number of years now (I don't even remember when I put them in). Every now and then one of them dies --- is UPB still a reasonable choice or should I start a migration to ZWave?

UPB works reasonably well for me but there are some units that seem to have a hard time communicating. Also, I have several that are 50 to 100 feet from their nearest neighbor (and they work great): I assume those would be hard to do with zWave, wouldn't they?

I want to add enough zWave that I can at least have some Zwave locks and thermostats and the HS temp/humidity/brightness modules. Just wondering is I should start a wholesale miogration? Or simply add enough zWave to create a viable network throughout the house. If the latter, what do I need? A module every 15 feet or so? (the 4500 square foot house is spread out over about 100 feet long and 30 feet wide with a second story over about half of it, so I think it will take a bunch of zWave devices to cover it, won't it?)

Thanks for any help!

Pete
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Old February 29th, 2012, 09:33 PM
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I would keep your UPB as this is a very good protocol and add Z-Wave to your current setup. HomeSeer was designed to use these protocols and others at the same time.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 12:26 AM
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rmorton27 rmorton27 is offline
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My experience with zwave is about 18 months or so. Mostly I like it more than the X10 I have replaced. To your distance question my single story house is about 60x50 and I get decent coverage with a single ztroller that is located in the basement wiring closet. HS Pro can support multiple ztroller's and that is one way to manage distance. In my opinion it’s always better to have nodes talk directly to the controller opposed to relaying on neighbor nodes. You can use a serial to IP serial gizmo to locate the ztroller pretty much anywhere. I have a mix of about 30 zwave devices mostly receptacles to form the mesh if a direct route isn't possible.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 08:15 AM
nightwalker nightwalker is offline
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UPB is still going strong and still being updated and developed. At 4500sf you may need to add at a minimum a phase coupler, if you don't have one, or more likely a repeater. No reason you shouldn't get full communication with all devices all the time.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 11:18 AM
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I personally purchased a UPB phase coupler when I noticed dips in the UPB signal not really related to distance but rather time of the day. I assumed that the neighbors pool pump might have been generating some noise? I could never really figure out though why my signals would dip. The UPB light switches continued to work just fine though.

That said. My Z-Wave "experiment" put the now legacy Leviton Z-Wave PIM next to the fuse panel and in between conduit. The serial PIM is attached to my HAI OPII panel. I do not have eyes into communications / diagnostics of the PIM though.

I installed Z-Wave light and appliance modules furthest from the basement and even outside to the landscaping burms and they worked fine.
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Old March 1st, 2012, 01:15 PM
pete@malibubeach.com pete@malibubeach.com is offline
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THanks to all for the advice---I have a phase coupler and that solved all my distance problems (several years ago). I have one switch that is about 200 feet away and never have a problem. I think my problems are with individual devices---for example, I have one that occassionally will not turn off locally. But if I send a link command (obviously to a link it is programmed to honor), it turns off and then works fine for awhile (a week, a month or sometimes longer). I have another which, sometimes doesn't respond (but this one may be a phase coupler issue as the switch sending the link command and the switch that doesn't always hear it are on different electrical subpanels --- perhaps I need a second phase coupler on the subpanel.

So I'm convinced: I'll stick with UPB and perhaps install a parallel Z-Wave for things like door locks, thermostats and temp/humidity.

Pete
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Old March 1st, 2012, 02:01 PM
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Pete,

Try a UPB signal repeater instead of a UPB phase coupler.

Personally never really paid attention to the UPB signals as everything worked.

One day though decided to just monitor via Upstart and that was when I noticed odd drop in signal strengths on one phase with the phase coupler in place at various times of the day. I had no clue why though other than the neighbors having recently installed an inground pool / pool pump. So I purchased and installed a UPB signal repeater and that fixed the odd timed lower signal strengths on one phase (never saw any noise though).

Last edited by Pete; March 2nd, 2012 at 08:00 AM.
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