To Protect and Conserve: Catch the Z-Wave - Page 2 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #31 of 31 Old 06-18-2013, 04:52 PM
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You can have advanced control over Z-Wave. I and a few guys developed an opensource z-wave driver for free a automation program called Motorola Premise, so I've had years of experience with Z-Wave and over all I like it. The Leviton VRC0P I use is basically just an RS232 bridge between the proprietary Zensys Z-Wave protocol used on the Z-Wave network and your PC, and of course, Leviton publishes most of the protocol you need to work with all kinds of Z-Wave devices. For the unpublished stuff, I usually scour the net looking at examples. Almost everything you need protocol wise can be "found"...

A few things I don't like about Z-Wave are all the different marketing terms each company uses, lack of clarity as to which z-wave classes are supported, and the fact that most dimmers lose power when the bulb burns out. This causes havoc on a mesh network. I'm assuming RadioRa2 and others have similar issues with dimmer power unless you rewire your house, so there you go...

Other than the above I'm happy and have seen less than 1/1000 commands fail (my software tracks failures and alerts the user). Not bad for any wireless lighting technology that's 100% DIY. Best of all though is since I'm using an opensource driver, I can add new types of devices very easily and don't have to wait for Vera or whoever to update things for me.

My packet failure rate is so low because I don't use battery powered devices on my main network, and I mostly stick with Leviton, using a VRC0P for control via RS232. I specifically put my locks and secure devices on their own separate Z-Wave network and VRC0Pv3 as they send too many encrypted packets which would delay my lights from responding in less than a few hundred milliseconds.

I've heard too horror stories about Crestron dealers holding programming code hostage so you can never switch to a new dealer. Further, what if your Crestron dealer goes under? You'll have to pay someone from scratch to code your system. Being a DIY'er who wants things heavily customized, I quickly realized my PC can do anything a Crestron or Control4 controller can do, and for a much lower price and in a much more versatile fashion.

Please be sure to update your post so advanced users can learn more. There is no reason Z-Wave can't be integrated into what you are calling an "in-depth" system with RS232 Z-Wave controllers like the VRC0P.
Originally Posted by VinnyS View Post

People who are more technical and wish to have more control over their system such as using RS232 protocols, I can understand Z-wave being a little more limited. Z-wave requires little-to-no programming because of it's simplicity. There are many solutions out there and I strongly recommend doing some research on the forum because their are many knowledgable people.
Originally Posted by VinnyS View Post

This was more of an introductory piece to show awareness of Z-wave and it's capabilities. Again, this is a more basic system at a cost effective solution. Anyone who wishes to do more in-depth programming and such, Lutron, Crestron, Control4 systems and more should be considered.

Premise, a FREE home automation program. Open-source Z-Wave Premise Module found here.
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