Vera Edge and the newer Gen5 devices from Aeon Labs, the SS6, MS6 and RGBW

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VeraEdge Z-Wave Home Controller

VeraEdge Z-Wave Plus Home Controller

Aeon Labs SS6 packaging 1000x1000

Aeon Labs Z-Wave Plus Smart Switch 6 – Model ZW096-ZWUS

Aeon Labs MS6 packaging 1000x1000

Aeon Labs Z-Wave Plus MultiSensor 6 – Model ZW100-ZWUS

aeon labs led bulb zw098 packaging 1000x1000

Aeon Labs Z-Wave Plus RGBW LED Bulb 9W (70W) Model ZW098-ZWUS

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have been working with Aeon Labs and Vera Controls for the past few weeks to figure out why the Aeon Labs Multisensor6, the Smart Switch 6 and the RGBW LED bulbs are having so many problems working with the VeraEdge, a Zwave Plus controller with the same series 500 chip as all Gen5 devices.

Yesterday, Vera Controls revealed that VeraEdge is not yet compatible with any of the new Gen5 devices from Aeon Labs, the aforementioned 3 products.  They are aware of the problem and are working on a new firmware update which is supposed to solve the problems.  We wanted to give all you Vera users a heads up in case you were also having issues as well.

We have tested all 3 Aeon Labs products on Fibaro HCLite, ISY994iZW/PRO IR, CastleOS, Gateway 3.0 from IpDatatel to date, and no issues whatsoever so it is clearly a Vera problem, not the devices.

Anyways, just wanted you all to know!  We will update this post as we get more info on the firmware upgrade, but please also check your Vera’s for it as well.

Have a great day, and thanks for letting us “automate YOUR world!”

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

Home Automation Systems with Joe Dada CEO of Insteon

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Home automation systems, does Joe Dada of Insteon know much about it? You bet he does. Listen to him talk with Grant Imahara and Mouser about how he makes smart homes even smarter with automation technology that works with dual mesh networking. Insteon advanced automation even supports the Apple Wa

Read the full version from the author’s website…

Fibaro Motion Sensor – Advanced LED configuration (and more…) on VeraEdge

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Adding Aeon Labs Gen5 Z-Wave Plus devices (SS6 & HD Switch) to Vera UI5 controllers, VeraLite/Vera3

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Aeon Labs Z-Wave Plus Smart Switch 6 - Model ZW096-ZWUS

Aeon Labs Z-Wave Plus Smart Switch 6 – Model ZW096-ZWUS

Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Z-Wave Home Controller

Mi Casa Verde VeraLite Z-Wave Home Controller

If any of you have been having trouble adding Gen 5 (aka Z-Wave Plus Series 500 chips) devices to their Veralite or Vera3 Controllers running UI5, we discovered a workaround that we hope you will find useful!

This method “should” work for many Gen5 devices, it is purported to work with the Aeon Labs Heavy Duty Switch according to Vesternet, although we only tested it out specifically for the Aeon Labs Smart Switch 6, Model ZW096.  We are currently testing a Gen5 Recessed door sensor as well, but since z-wave sensors are a different class of device, we will deal with them in a future post.

So here is a step-by-step procedure to get the SS6 working in your VeraLite (should work for a Vera3 as long as you have UI5);

  1. Check that you have the upgraded firmware, which should be V1.5.622 according to the VeraLite GUI.  Go to “SETUP” < “Firmware” to find your version, give it a bit of time it takes a few minutes for it to come up.  When it does, you should have that version, if you don’t – upgrade it automatically and go to Step 2.  Always remember to back up first prior to a firmware upgrade!
  2. Now that you are up -to-date, you have to download and install yet another, different, later version of firmware, V1.5.672.  That version, as I understand it, was implemented by Vera to work for the newer Z-Wave devices coming out with Z-wave Plus.  It is unsupported as UI5 is actually dead but regardless, you need V1.5.672 in order to proceed.  Download it here or simply copy the URL, http://download.mios.com/rt3662_betafirmware/rt3662_Luup_ui5-1.5.672-en-mios.squashfs, into the form in your “Firmware” page and download it.  Follow the instructions and once its complete, carry on to Step 3.
  3. Include the device, it should come up in the GUI as an appliance module.  At this point, providing it was included properly, nothing will work – yet.  You can toggle the control on and off within Vera and the icon will show lighting up or not, but the load won’t come on.  Thats what has to be fixed in the following steps.
  4. Next  you have to create a scene in order to control it from within Vera.
    • I am not going to go into the details as to why this is, but it does work!
    • So, create a new scene for the SS6, but you are not going to create the trigger the normal way.  You will be using the “LUUP Tab” to enter in some Lua code as your trigger.  Carry on with Step 5.
  5. Copy and paste the following line of code into the Luup box in the “LUUP Tab”…
    • luup.call_action(‘urn:micasaverde-com:serviceId:ZWaveNetwork1′,’SendData’,{Node=’88’,Data=’37 1 255′},1)
    • Note the following in the curly brackets at the end…Node refers to the Node ID which you need to get from the “Settings” tab of the SS6 device window – not the Device # but the ID number shown below the “Variables” section.  The other variables – leave them alone, again I am not going to explain further in the interests of simplicity.
  6. Save the lua code, confirm changes and Save.
  7. Next you need an “Off” scene, so repeat steps 4 & 5, but you need a different script for the Off scene, here it is…
    • luup.call_action(‘urn:micasaverde-com:serviceId:ZWaveNetwork1′,’SendData’,{Node=’88’,Data=’37 1 0′},1).  Remember to change the node ID to your devices ID.
  8. Once Vera has finished and all is good test the scenes to make sure they work.  The scenes should now give you manual control of your SS6from within Vera.
  9. There you go, a fairly straight forward workaround using scenes and triggers as opposed to direct command control.

That should be it.  Hope this has helped you!  Credit goes to Vesternet and to the Vera Forums for the technical Z-Wave configuration and the Luaa code, I simply wanted to clarify and consolidate the entire process for anyone with this issue, as I had quite a time trying to find this information, so here it is in one simplified place.  For more specific info, here are the links we used…

http://www.vesternet.com/resources/application-notes/apnt-89

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,28692.0.html

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=27870.0

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=14492.0

Have a great day, and thanks for letting us “automate YOUR world!”

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

HA World Testing Department – Home Automation Hub & Device Compatibility

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Did you know that HA World has a dedicated testing department that actually installs and uses many of the Z-Wave, Insteon, Lutron Caseta & Pico, X-10 and Zigbee devices that we sell in our store with some of the most popular HA hubs and gateways?

Here is a list of the hubs we currently have up and running for testing…

Wink Hub by Quirky/Wink (We just became a Quirky/Wink dealer)

VeraEdge and VeraLite from Vera Controls, Inc.

Fibaro Home Center Lite

Universal Devices Z-Wave/Insteon Controller ISY994I ZW/PRO IR

Universal devices newly released Z-wave compatible ISY994iZW/IR PRO

From Insteon, both the older X-10 compatible Insteon Hub as well as the new 2014 version Insteon Hub 2

IP Datatel Gateway 2.0

Homeseer HS3 Home Automation Software

ActiveHome Pro and various X-10 Controllers/Interfaces (CM15A)

Coming soon – Lutron Bridge, Staples Connect, IRIS hubs and more…

We test these popular hubs with many different home automation products that we sell including brands and manufacturers such as Linear Corp (now Nortek Security & Control), GE Jasco, Vera Controls, Leviton, Cooper Aspire, Honeywell, Kwikset, Aeon Labs, Fibaro Home Intelligence, Insteon, X-10 Pro USA, Evolve Guest Controls, Awox Bluetooth, Wink/Quirky, Lutron Caseta/Pico Clear Connect, Centralite, Enerwave and more.

We consider this type of direct product testing a very important value added feature of the services and products we provide to our customers.  We hope you appreciate it as well.

Don’t forget to subscribe to our Blog mailing list or RSS feed for up to date information on whats happening in the company as well as breaking news and new product information in the world of HA.

We also have a free, live chat line for technical support on our home page and in our online store if you need help or have some questions.  It’s open every day we are from 8:30am to 4:30pm MST.

Or you can call us Toll Free at 1-800-920-9804

 

Thanks for letting us “automate YOUR world”!

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

 

Just got the Wink Hub in for testing!

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ha world online header

HA World recently became a Wink/Quirky+GEwink hub 1280x999 dealer, and today we received our Wink Hub.  Very excited to start testing it with our new line of Lutron Clear Connect (Caseta and Pico) Wireless products, and of course Z-Wave!  Will keep you all informed as soon as we have time to get it connected and up and running, we consider this type of direct product testing a very important value added feature of the services and products we provide to our valued customers.  We hope you appreciate it as well.

 

As always, thanks for letting us “automate YOUR world”!

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

Wiring a 4-way circuit using Z-Wave switches from GE/Jasco (Model 45609/45612 Primary & 2-45610 Auxiliaries)

GE Jasco Z-Wave Switches
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OK, here is an oldy but a goody – as they say – How do I wire a 4-way circuit using Ge or Jasco Z-Wave switches? I get this one alot so thought I would get a post about it up on the blog to see if this will help some of you stuck on how to wire these in properly. Here we go…

You need one master (45609 or 45612) and two slaves (45610) to control a circuit with one light at three switches. This is called a 4-way circuit.

You start by determining which switch box has the load in it – that will be where you wire in your Primary or Master switch (either a 45609 or a 45612), and will also need to have a neutral present if you are using a 45609, but not for a 45612 as it doesn’t need one. You also need a Line wire, a Load and a Traveler as well.

At each slave box, where the 45610 goes, you only need a traveler wire going back to the 45609/45612 and a neutral. The line wire is not required at the slave box locations so you can usually cap it off unless it is in the middle of a circuit and is needed for continuity.

That’s it for the wiring. Now just make sure everything works locally, and then you can continue with adding the master or primary to your z-wave network (aka “including” them or completing the “inclusion” process). Only the master switch needs to be included as the 45610’s do not have a z-wave radio in them, all commands are received by the master and sent over the travelers.

Multi-ways are tricky so the biggest piece of advice I can give you is to use a tester and identify every wire’s purpose in every box BEFORE you even begin. You only need specific wires at each box as above, NOT as we used to wire 3-ways with standard switches in the past. To reiterate…

  1. The Master Switch
    1. For a dimming 4-way circuit using a 45612 as your Master –
      1. You need a Line, Load & Traveler at the primary box where the master 45612 is installed.
    2.  For a non-dimming, on/off (relay) switch using a 45609 as your Master –
      1. You need a Line, Load, Neutral & Traveler at the primary box where the master 45609 is installed.
  2. The Slave Switches
    1. The 2 other switch boxes are the slave switches where you install the 45610’s, you ONLY need a traveler and a Neutral. NO LINE, NO LOAD.

Wire colors are not dependable – they are quite often at the sole discretion of the previous electrician or “handyman” who last worked on your wiring.  For this reason, I do not refer to the colors, and neither should you, except as a starting point. I am not saying that you should ignore the colors altogether because if you’re looking for a neutral wire and there is a white wire bundled with one or two others and shoved into the back of the box, chances are pretty good that those are neutrals, and I am sure you will be fine to pigtail another chunk of white wire into that bundle and off you go.

But, if you test first and find that one of the black wires (or pink ones! Oh No, now what! to make my point about colors) does not seem to have 120 Volts running through it, you can still adjust what the “actual” purpose of that wire is (its probably a load wire in this scenario) and save yourself some time and aggravation by not frying the switch, or even worse, electrocuting yourself.

Multi-way circuits can be difficult to get your head around, although HA multi-way circuits are easier to do, imo, then the old ones, but if you follow my advice as above, I hope it will help you make this important jump in changing your mindset when wiring 3-ways, 4-ways, or 20-ways!  And, remember…

IF ANY OF THIS SCARES YOU, OR YOU THINK IT MAY BE A BIT OVERWHELMING, THEN PLEASE CALL AN ELECTRICIAN!

Thank you for letting us, “automate YOUR world”!

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

Using Z-Wave to control curtains, blind and shades

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We have been getting quite a few questions lately about integrating and controlling curtains and blinds with existing z-wave networks so today I decided to post an article I recently wrote for AVS Forums in response to a fellows questions about a z-wave solution to control his curtains using his Harmony 890 universal remote.

If I could digress just for a moment and talk briefly about Logitech and some of the recent happenings with them in the field…Logitech actually no longer makes the Harmony 890 remote however they recently announced that they are getting back into the home automation space with their new line of remotes and an HA hub which will once again allow us to use their Universal IR remotes to control many other devices, including Z-Wave.  Here is the Gigaom article on that initial announcement last week, and a more detailed article on Digital Trends, and finally some more info regarding Logitech’s new partnership with Zuli.

Now back to z-wave curtains, here is some more info on z-wave curtain controls for you…

1. Aeon Labs has their Micro Motor Controller which is a low cost Z-Wave motor controller to control window covering motors. You just wire this into an existing motor (which you can get almost anywhere) and it will allow you to control it via your z-wave controller/system. These are only about $50-$60.

2. Add-A-Motor, Inc has a product that uses any plug-in module as a power supply so you can just buy a z-wave appliance module which will allow for z-wave remote control and then the add-a-motor plugs into that for direct control of your curtains. This would work for ANY HA module such as X-10, or Insteon as well. Note this only works with vertical drapes and blinds, rotating vertical blinds. They do have a more expensive controller for larger curtains, here is a link to that as well.

3. Enerwave has an motor controller which has z-wave built-in, here is a link to their site, but not much info I’m afraid.

4. ESI sells an AC and a DC z-wave motor controller plus a remote, the motors sell for between $250 & $300. Link to the AC motor and the DC motor.

5. Somfy has probably the best shade and curtain controls out there (in competition with Lutron, which I know very little about) in their Z-Wave to Motor Interface – ZDMI and the Z-Wave to RTS Interface – ZRTSI, both of which are excellent products. I would highly recommend Somfy for your shade/curtain/blind control needs.

If anybody has anything to add regarding Z-Wave curtain controls, or if I missed an important solution, please feel free to add your comments!

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

Using Linear Z-Wave dimmer switches with dimmable LED’s

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Everybody these days is concerned about energy conservation, not only for a green planet but also in their own homes.  One of the easiest things you can do to conserve energy in your home, is convert your existing light bulbs from the horribly inefficient incandescent light bulbs to LED’s or CFL’s.

I have been getting a lot of questions lately regarding the use of LED bulbs with Z-Wave dimmer switches, so I wanted to post some of the results of some tests that I completed recently in my office to help those of you with questions on where to start and what type of bulb and switches to use.  I will expand more in future posts on additional bulbs and switches, but for now I am posting the results of my tests using three common brands of dimmable LED’s (yes you DO need to use “dimmable” LED’s) wired into circuits being controlled by a Z-Wave dimmer switch, Model WD500Z-1 by Linear Corp.

Here are the results of my tests…

1) Cree 6W Dimmable LED (450 Lumens)

– Dimming steps good.

– Dims full on/off (0-100%) nice and smooth

– Resume dim good.

– no discernible noise

– no flicker but hard to control on lower spectrum of wattage (close to off or 5-10%)

2) Philips 8W Dimmable LED (470 Lumens)

– Dimming steps good.

– Dims full on/off (0-100%) nice and smooth

– Resume dim good.

– no discernible noise

– no flicker

– Good control at all dim levels.

3) EcoSmart 9W Dimmable LED (650 Lumens)

– Dimming steps good.

– Dims full on/off (0-100%) nice and smooth

– Resume dim good.

– no discernible noise

– no flicker

– Good control at all dim levels.

Now there is no guarantee that buying these brand of bulbs and these switches will absolutely work for you in your environment, as every home is wired differently and may have other mitigating circumstances, but at least this is something for you to start with. I would recommend that you get one switch and one LED dimmable bulb and hook everything up properly then test to see if it works for you in your home environment and that you are happy with how the bulb and switch work together and with their performance.

These tests were done on my test bench in my office under perfect conditions, I did not do anything but wire up the switches and screw in the LED’s. I have a VeraLite controller as well as HomeSeer but did not set them up within either controller as I wanted an unrestricted unbiased test using a standard GE Z-Wave remote controller and/or and Aeon Labs Minimote, so those were what I used for my tests. That’s not to say you couldn’t improve the step rates and presets with Vera or another controller to improve the performance even more, as I am sure you could.  Also, the more load you add to your final circuit – ie: the more LED bulbs – the better the performance will most likely be as I only used one bulb as noted in each test above to ensure I was giving you tests based upon the worst case scenario. More often than not, multiple bulbs with a total higher load (usually above 40 Watts) than what I used will afford better results and improved dimming than a lower load like I used.  Again, please follow my advice and conduct some tests on your own before going out and buying dozens of bulbs and a bunch of switches only to find out later that they do not work very well in your home.

Good luck on your fight to save the planet and stay tuned for more test results in future posts!  Thanks for letting us “automate YOUR world”!

Kelly R. Foster – HA World

 

Using Vera to control X-10 Wireless RF, Blind & Shade Controllers for Vera using X-10

vera3 veralite x10
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The title of today’s post is really two separate subjects but because they were both intermingled together with what I was doing at the time, I am presenting them in one post, as thats how this whole issue came together for me.

 

The first part of the title, “Using Vera to control X-10 Wireless RF”, was the result of some research I had been doing to help out a fellow redditor on the subreddit I am a moderator on, the Home Automation Sub on Reddit.com.  He had a few X-10 door and window sensors in his home but did not use powerline X-10 devices so was limited to X-10 Wireless RF signals.  He bought a VeraLite and was hoping to use Vera to control his X-10 via a CM15A Transceiver/Controller. The Mi Casa Verde Forums had a number of threads relating to this issue such as Plugin for cm15a/cm19a X10 Controllers, and X10 RF devices? but really no standup solution, hence he turned to the Home Automation Sub-Reddit hoping for some answers.  After a week or so, I came to the following conclusions;

 

My research tells me that either the EZX10RF from Smartenit for about $120 or the RFXCOM RFXtrx315 USB 315MHz Transceiver  for about $165 USD would seem to be the way to go for getting Vera to accept and understand X-10 RF signals.  There was some information, as per the links above regarding plug-ins for Vera on the MCV forums, but unless you know something about Linux OS (which I do not) there doesn’t seem to be an alternative to what they are suggesting with either the CM15/CM19 and linux or pogoplug, other than the EZX10RF or the RFXCOM units.  The CM15A/CM19A plug-in would probably be the cheapest but to me not the easiest nor the cleanest if you need to run Linux to do it.

 

Now the second part of the title, “Blind & Shade Controllers for Vera using X-10” came about as I was researching the first part.  I came across a company that I had heard of in the past but had forgotten about called RollerTrol, and I thought some of you Vera users might find some interest in them and their products. They have some unique products, specifically geared to shade motors and blinds and they are where I first came across the X-10 transceiver from RFXCOM that allows you to use X-10 RF directly with Vera via a plug-in. I am not totally familiar with it yet but would be interested to know if anyone else is, and what their experience is with any of the RollerTrol products.

 

They also have a really great webpage on their site, called “Vera And VeraLite Are Powerful Controllers For Blinds & Shades”  that is a series of articles or step-by-step procedures on how to use their shade and blind motors with the RFXCOM transceiver and then hook it all up to a Vera Controller.  Seems like there may be a lot of potential for some of their devices.

 

Let me know what you think. Btw, we sell Vera for a lot cheaper than RollerTrol does!  We have them on sale for 10% off right now, here is a coupon if you need one.

 

Kelly R. Foster – HA World