ZWave controller recommendations - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 02-20-2014, 07:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Ready to pull the trigger. Already know what switches/outlets/sensors I want to get for my initial round of home automation (plan on building this out over time).

I have decided to go with ZWave over Insteon or others for openness and future stability of the technology. Would anyone say this is a bad decision? The Insteon stuff does look great, but it's all from SmartHome.com I believe.

So going ZWave... what controller. I have found lacking of reviews and recommendations. Just need to decide on something. my case verde #3 seems very good, price is great, seems to have advanced programability which is truly what I want - to create complex rules. Any other suggestions or alternatives? I see posts about their Vera 3 going back 2 years - is a Vera 4 on the short-term horizon? Has someone come out with a better one?

I'm a software engineer - my ability to dig deep in this is something I strongly desire. 2gig was also pointed out to me, I can't determine if this is a full-fledged system or not.

Looking for guidance. Right now - lights/controls/sensors - long-term future, home theater integration, but i don't see that being necessary really. i do want to integrate 2 outdoor cameras in to this and I *require* Android support from outside of the house.

Thoughts?

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post #2 of 21 Old 02-20-2014, 08:03 AM - Thread Starter
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I need to add, I wasn't impressed with the Lowe's Iris system, seems less than what the Vera 3 has to offer - need to pay $10/mo to get "advanced programming."

I just got off the phone with HomeSeer and their system appears to be incredible! It's quite pricey, but incredible. Still looking for advice and would love to purchase something this week to get started next on the installation. Hoping you guys are of great assistance.

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post #3 of 21 Old 02-20-2014, 11:31 AM
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I am a Vera User. Not a power user, but I really like it. Check out their forums!

forum.micasaverde.com/index.php
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post #4 of 21 Old 02-20-2014, 11:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Posting questions to that forums required herculean effort. My post is finally up, but "awaiting moderation."

I am now considering forgoing a controller entirely and simply using my PC and a USB stick. It's expensive, but thinking about the HomeSeer app. Does anyone have any other app-based suggestions to go along with any controller-based ones?

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post #5 of 21 Old 02-20-2014, 01:00 PM
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Yeah it's a real PITA to post there. I think they drop all the BS after 5 posts. Or something like that. rolleyes.gif
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post #6 of 21 Old 02-22-2014, 10:06 PM
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I have a vera, but I only have one zwave device. Soon enough I'll be replacing all of my light switches, exterior locks, and thermostats.
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post #7 of 21 Old 02-23-2014, 07:17 AM
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I've been using Vera II for a couple of years now- It's very solid now that I've found a good central spot to locate the gateway as to make direct communication with all my devices without hops through other devices. One thing to keep in mind- although it's advertised as "mash network" most people have issues with battery powered devices (door locks, temp sensors) that have to use other devices to bridge the gap between themselves and the gateway. In the planning stage try to put the gateway (Vera II or Vera III) within direct reach of your battery powered devices.
I've got:
2- door locks
3- thermostats
4- wall light switches
2- duplex outlets
a few outdoor modules used for holiday lighting, residential lighting when we're on vacation, etc

"If we ain't outta here in ten minutes, we won't need no rocket to fly through space."
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post #8 of 21 Old 02-23-2014, 04:01 PM
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Have you considered a system that works with Zwave and other types of systems? This would give you more options instead of limiting you to just Zwave devices.

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post #9 of 21 Old 02-25-2014, 12:52 PM
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Have you checked out www.homeseer.com? I am currently using their Hometroller Zee for a few things so far.
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post #10 of 21 Old 02-26-2014, 07:36 AM
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^ How do you like the Zee so far? Is it reliable?
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post #11 of 21 Old 02-26-2014, 08:12 AM
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I bought a ZWave controller for the NEST thermostat app:

use it with an RTI control system which has a two way driver for ZWave: it works OK: would rather have a direct driver for NEST once they open up the API...
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-07-2014, 10:10 AM
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Nest has opened their API.

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post #13 of 21 Old 03-29-2014, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe277 View Post

Nest has opened their API.

yes but see this:

http://www.cepro.com/article/be_wary_of_unsanctioned_nest_integration/
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-29-2014, 01:31 PM
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To the OP - Vera is a great way to go and you really do get the best of both worlds if you go with them, either a Veralite or a vera3 becasue it is z-wave out of the box but once you get the Insteon Modem then you will also be able to control Insteon and X-10.

Your comments re Insteon is only for sale by Smarthome has for the most part always been true but they are opening up their distribution. HA World is now an Insteon retailer as well as of last week. We don't yet have any Insteon devices for sale but will in a week or two.

Also, as far as Nest integration goes, there is a Nest plug-in available for Vera for control of the Nest too.
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post #15 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 06:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post
I bought a ZWave controller for the NEST thermostat app:

use it with an RTI control system which has a two way driver for ZWave: it works OK: would rather have a direct driver for NEST once they open up the API...
Hi Mark

Could you point me int he direction of the RTI Z-wave controller/driver. I'm considering switching to RTI, but have many z-wave lights so want full control and status of these

Thanks

Mark
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post #16 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 07:36 AM
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^^^^

here is the description for the Vera driver:

This driver is for the Vera3/VeraLite Smart Home Control system used for interfacing with Z-Wave Dimmers, Switches, Thermostats, Door Locks, Sensors, and Power Meters from various manufacturers. Version 1.01 fixes initial feedback issue when using Toggle Lock State command. Version 1.02 fixes initial feedback issue with locks when they fail to operate, adds Lock Fault events, and adjustments to code for allowing command execution within system macros. Version 1.03 fixes visibility issue with scene driver commands. Version 1.04 fixes issue where user interfaces do not always initialize properly with driver and adds 45, 50, 55, and 60 second refresh rate selections. Version 1.05 fixes an issue where the driver would stop sending requests if disconnected while using Static IP setting.


you need a dealer to obtain access to it

I used it only for the Nest driver and gave up after a while: the RTI Nest driver is about to be released and I am waiting for it
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post #17 of 21 Old 08-21-2014, 10:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markrubin View Post
^^^^

here is the description for the Vera driver:

This driver is for the Vera3/VeraLite Smart Home Control system used for interfacing with Z-Wave Dimmers, Switches, Thermostats, Door Locks, Sensors, and Power Meters from various manufacturers. Version 1.01 fixes initial feedback issue when using Toggle Lock State command. Version 1.02 fixes initial feedback issue with locks when they fail to operate, adds Lock Fault events, and adjustments to code for allowing command execution within system macros. Version 1.03 fixes visibility issue with scene driver commands. Version 1.04 fixes issue where user interfaces do not always initialize properly with driver and adds 45, 50, 55, and 60 second refresh rate selections. Version 1.05 fixes an issue where the driver would stop sending requests if disconnected while using Static IP setting.


you need a dealer to obtain access to it

I used it only for the Nest driver and gave up after a while: the RTI Nest driver is about to be released and I am waiting for it
Thanks Mark. i'm considering becoming an RTI dealer but I and existing clients have z-wave switches. At home I have HomeSeer and URC and wrote an interface similar to the driver above so that I can control z-wave lights (and any other HomeSeer event) from URC remotes.
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post #18 of 21 Old 08-27-2014, 03:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PittCaleb View Post

I just got off the phone with HomeSeer and their system appears to be incredible! It's quite pricey, but incredible. ...

PittCaleb
I've been running a very complex HomeSeer setup for the last coupe years, and find the platform incredibly powerful for someone technical (like yourself) but a bit flaky i terms of release quality. One quickly learns to download a version, but then wait a few weeks to see if its bowing up other peoples setups or is stable.
After using HouseBot for a decade (really good quality engineering on that one), HomeSeer was a bit of shock, so just be prepared and do lots of backups.

But for power and flexibility, nothing beats it. I run a medium-complexity rig with over 100 devices across z-wave, zigbee (Hue lights) and IR/IP. and it performs quite well. The HSTouch solution work well enough and if you are techy and can mess with the layouts and graphics, it can even look pretty nice.

All in all, well worth the price of admission if this is what you going to run your house on.
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post #19 of 21 Old 08-27-2014, 04:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JonFo View Post
I've been running a very complex HomeSeer setup for the last coupe years, and find the platform incredibly powerful for someone technical (like yourself) but a bit flaky i terms of release quality. One quickly learns to download a version, but then wait a few weeks to see if its bowing up other peoples setups or is stable.
After using HouseBot for a decade (really good quality engineering on that one), HomeSeer was a bit of shock, so just be prepared and do lots of backups.

But for power and flexibility, nothing beats it. I run a medium-complexity rig with over 100 devices across z-wave, zigbee (Hue lights) and IR/IP. and it performs quite well. The HSTouch solution work well enough and if you are techy and can mess with the layouts and graphics, it can even look pretty nice.

All in all, well worth the price of admission if this is what you going to run your house on.
Just chiming in here, I had about 100 or so devices in one of my previous homes running HS2, in which I totally agree, very flaky and not a great UI but could pretty much do anything! I bought one of the first HS versions when it came out 15 years ago and ran it for over 10 years controlling everything with X-10, then added Insteon and IR, even Voice Control going back to 2001 or 2. HS2 has been replaced now with HS3 I think about a year ago and I have it as well, but have never installed it as I am using a Vera for my office and home X-10, Insteon and Z-Wave devices right now. Is HS3 as improved as it was supposed to be? Or are you still running HS2?
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post #20 of 21 Old 08-27-2014, 05:01 PM
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Not to toot our own horn, but if you are looking for something with the power but without the flakiness, CQC is certainly a good option. If anything, I'd say it's even more powerful, and certainly highly customizable for the more technical folks.

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post #21 of 21 Old 08-28-2014, 04:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haworld View Post
... Is HS3 as improved as it was supposed to be? Or are you still running HS2?
I started right at the dawn of HS3, so I first got a minimal HS2 setup going just to test device and interface connectivity, but have been running HS3 for over a year now.

HS3 is much improved over HS2 in terms of setup and use. Still no paragon of UX design, but for what it is (a tool for geeks), quite serviceable.

BTW- since the thread is also about ZWave controllers/interfaces, the old HomeSeer ZTroller is the bomb, and a new version is coming out in another month or so with USB connectivity and ZWave+ support. Whatever they cost, those are the best interfaces I've ever seen, and many others report it's the only interface to deal with a complex network. HS is one of the few (only?) platforms that knows how to effectively optimize a big ZWave network.
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