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Looking to install a Z-Wave system.. MicasaVerde or Homeseer?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
I just purchased a SchlageLink set to replace my old Schlage Keypad Door lock, because I wanted to be able to control my entry remotely.

After reading some horrible reviews of SchlageLink's Bridge compatibility with other devices, I think the best plan of action for me would be to go with a Solid Z-Wave system that has the ability to use a variety of features. I don't want to be locked into buying ONLY SchlageLink branded Cameras, Sensors, Thermostats, etc.

In my research, I think I came to the Conclusion that either the Homeseer Hometroller SE-PRO or the MiCasaVerde Verde 3.

Does anyone have any input as to why one would be better than the other?

I want to have full control of my house with iDevices, but I'm not sure of the compatibility with Verde 3. Plus the cost differential of $500 is a big difference.

Any Input would be GREATLY appreciated!
post #2 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by nfmmalice View Post

I just purchased a SchlageLink set to replace my old Schlage Keypad Door lock, because I wanted to be able to control my entry remotely.

After reading some horrible reviews of SchlageLink's Bridge compatibility with other devices, I think the best plan of action for me would be to go with a Solid Z-Wave system that has the ability to use a variety of features. I don't want to be locked into buying ONLY SchlageLink branded Cameras, Sensors, Thermostats, etc.

In my research, I think I came to the Conclusion that either the Homeseer Hometroller SE-PRO or the MiCasaVerde Verde 3.

Does anyone have any input as to why one would be better than the other?

I want to have full control of my house with iDevices, but I'm not sure of the compatibility with Verde 3. Plus the cost differential of $500 is a big difference.

Any Input would be GREATLY appreciated!

I will be going to the CES and visiting with each of these. I will try to give you a review upon my return or if you want live info, you can follow me on twitter at @mlknez
post #3 of 19
Thread Starter 
Thank you.. I will definitely keep an eye out for your reviews.
post #4 of 19
Functionally, the Vera box is closest to the non-PRO version (HomeTroller-SE).. which is only $499.. so the difference in cost is a lot less. There are quite a few differences between these systems; feel free to phone us directly if you'd like to go over these. Or, you can contact us via email if that's more convenient: the contact form is here: http://www.homeseer.com/company/contact_us.htm
post #5 of 19
Looking at the official forum for a particular product allows you to get not only a good feel for issues that the product may have- but also lets you gauge the level of support one should expect for that product.

With that in mind- here's the micasaverde forum for the Vera controller:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php

Take a good look around.....
post #6 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by replayrob View Post

Looking at the official forum for a particular product allows you to get not only a good feel for issues that the product may have- but also lets you gauge the level of support one should expect for that product.

With that in mind- here's the micasaverde forum for the Vera controller:
http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php

Take a good look around.....

Good point. Forgot to mention ours as well: http://board.homeseer.com

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post #7 of 19
MiCasaVerde has offered to send me an eval unit. I will be writing up my review both on here and on my blogs. Homeseer... where are you?
post #8 of 19
Thus MiCasaVerde support Insteon Dimmers like the..
http://www.smarthome.com/2476S/Switc...g-White/p.aspx
Or similar dimmers?
post #9 of 19
I have been using the Vera fo a few years. working fine, have no problems with the Zwave Devices, using 2 Asante wireless IP Cameras.
post #10 of 19
While my Verde 2 has been stable, the ability to reliably control Kwikset locks is just NOT there. I have installed about 10 outlets that install beaming to insure I have a clear path between where the Vera is and one of the locks. The other lock is within 10 feet. Neither report status reliably and often do not respond to commands. I have spent probably 80 hours on trying to debug, rebuild the ZWave network, etc and have engaged Micasa support all to no avail.

I will say their support forum and their support have both tried to be very helpful.

Bryan
post #11 of 19
Which one support remote garage open/close?
post #12 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by smilepak View Post

Which one support remote garage open/close?

Intermatics makes a Garage Door Opener receiver that forwards on signals to your Z-Wave network. I use the three buttons on my Homelink panel (built in to the rear view mirror). One to open and close the door, one as an "Drive Away scene for Vera," and one as a "Drive Arrive scene for Vera." You can use sunrise and sunset validation to determine whether lights come on or not, etc.

It DOES NOT allow you to open or close the door using VERA. There may be another device that I don't know of that does this.

An alternative solution for controlling the door via VERA is to use a Z-Wave contact relay. For this to be useful though, you would need position indicators of some sort so you know if you've actually opened or closed that door. A ghetto work-around is a wireless camera to visually check but that is a pain in neck.
post #13 of 19
We have a "How To" for controlling garage doors with HomeSeer at this link:
http://board.homeseer.com/showthread.php?t=153372

The wiring diagram looks something like this:
post #14 of 19
Is the LFM-20 unit unique to Homeseer or can it be used with VERA?
post #15 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mammalian04 View Post

Is the LFM-20 unit unique to Homeseer or can it be used with VERA?

It is not unique to HomeSeer. Most systems should be able to control it since it's a basic Z-Wave binary device.

FYI - HomeSeer can be used with other contact closure options for those folks looking for a non-Z-Wave solution. Any of these could be substituted for the LFM-20 and can control garage doors in the same fashion:

WGL Relay 8 (Serial interface)
Global Cache IP2CC (Ethernet interface)
Global Cache WF2CC (WiFi interface)
Smarthome 2450 (Insteon interface)
post #16 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mammalian04 View Post

Is the LFM-20 unit unique to Homeseer or can it be used with VERA?

Yes, the LFM-20 can be used with Vera. Similar to HomeSeer diagram above the LFM-20 is installed parallel to the door switch, and can be activated via smart phone, main control, sub-controller, etc.
* * * * WARNINGS * * * * Be careful you understand this device before installing it!!
-- Warning #1 -- Remote = Danger: Remotely controlling a garage door can be a safety risk. As with all such devices, be careful not to override any safety devices like door motion reverse; bump reverse; line of sight sensor or other safety triggers. You don't want to trigger the door from 100 miles away, only to find out that Gramma or little Joey was walking under it taking out the trash and you remotely hit them on the head.
-- Warning #2 -- Ensure Device = PushButton: Take care to install a SCENE EVENT to activate/deactivate the door controller rather than expecting to control it via the LFM-20 device ON/OFF directly. Otherwise, if you end up with the LFM-20 left ON inadvertently, it can hold down the garage push button and can disable other garage push buttons, so could lock you out of your garage!!!! Not good.

Assuming you're comfortable with the risks, let's get on with doing this.

Let's now add the Scene we'll use as push button controller for LFM-20 and a state-sensing event trigger:

- Create a new Scene
o Call it DOOR.Button (or something similar)
o Add to room GARAGE (or whatever your Vera "Room" section is called)
o Click on the COMMANDS tab
o Room: GARAGE (or wherever you put it)
o When you click the Room, you should see your Device
o Choose and Check your device from the list
o Choose ON from the state drop-down
o Change the "And leave it" to "AFTER 5 SECONDS" a new drop down appears
o Choose "OFF" (you want a hard OFF here; not just go back to previous)

This forces the switch OFF anytime it is turned on by anything, including manual, console, remote, smart phone, etc.

Then it would be a good idea to add a second scene to force the "Off after 5 Seconds" in case someone forgets and triggers directly.

- Create another new Scene
o Call it DeActivate.after.5.Secs (or something similar)
o Add to room GARAGE (or whatever your Vera "Room" section is called)
o Click EVENT tab on the DOOR.Button Scene
o Click "Add Event" button
o Choose Device (Look for device you added for LFM-20. If it was the last device you added, it will be at the bottom. Hopefully you called it LFM-20 or Garage Door or something useful so you can find it here)
o Type of Event - "Device is Turned On or Off"
o Name for this Event: "Garage Door PB ON"
o Which Mode? "ON"
o ( Optional alerting on this mode... let's leave this off for now, unless you want an email every time the event triggers )
o Click Save

This scene will function as a sensor to turn OFF the device anytime it's turned on, like the "PushButton" scene does. Anytime the LFM-20 device is turned on, it will be turned OFF after 5 secs (i.e. like a pushbutton) When the scene is used on the controller module wired parallel to a door opener (or any other momentary contact type switch) it functions as a replacement for that push button.

-JS
post #17 of 19
I recently decided to install some Z Wave automation and looked into it. I saw this video on the Homeseer website that stated their controller uses a proprietary adapter that plugs into a DB-9 (Serial) port on your computer. I'm not sure whether this means the computer has to be left on or not but if this is so, it's not very energy efficient. Secondly, DB-9 is old technology. Many computers don't even have Serial ports anymore since DB-9 is very slow and those devices are now USB-compatible. I did see they offered converters / adapters for other ports - including USB, however they appeared to be quite expensive. The proprietary adapter for a USB connection was an added $95 over/above the cost of the controller.

I also looked into home monitoring services like Schlage LINK, Vizia+, Verizon Home, etc. But I couldn't justify paying $9.99/month. The services are good for people who need strong customer services. However, I work in the computer industry and can often fix problems / issues myself.

I see your original post is about a year old. I see other's replies are as well. I can assume the Casa Verde controllers they used were either 1st generation (requiring the memory stick) or 2nd generation. I installed the Casa Verde 3 (most recently generation) without any issues. I decided on this controller vs. the Homeseer because it is fully ethernet "10/100 Base T" compatible with my existing network. I don't need to leave a computer on. In order to access the home devices remotely, you do need a internet connection. If you internet service provider did not come with a router to plug your device into (using CAT-5, RS-232s), the Casa Verde can act as a Ethernet router as well as a Z Wave controller. Finally, every device I hooked up to my Casa Verde 3 controller has worked without any issues whatsoever. I can assume that Z Wave being such a new technology that the industry needed time to adopt and comply with a standard. If others had problems, I think whatever bugs/incompatibilities they were experiencing with earlier models has probably been resolved. The only drawback to using the Casa Verde 3 was that if/when you have to add a device, you have to bring the device to the controller or (in some cases - like a thermostat), take the controller to the device. They controller comes with a battery for those time when you have to take the controller to the device. However, make sure the battery is charged or you'll take the AC adapter and looking for a electric outlet within a meter of the device.

I'm glad I chose the Verde 3 and if you went that route, I hope you are as well.
post #18 of 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jerral View Post


Yes, the LFM-20 can be used with Vera. Similar to HomeSeer diagram above the LFM-20 is installed parallel to the door switch, and can be activated via smart phone, main control, sub-controller, etc.

* * * * WARNINGS * * * * Be careful you understand this device before installing it!!

-- Warning #1 -- Remote = Danger: Remotely controlling a garage door can be a safety risk. As with all such devices, be careful not to override any safety devices like door motion reverse; bump reverse; line of sight sensor or other safety triggers. You don't want to trigger the door from 100 miles away, only to find out that Gramma or little Joey was walking under it taking out the trash and you remotely hit them on the head.

-- Warning #2 -- Ensure Device = PushButton: Take care to install a SCENE EVENT to activate/deactivate the door controller rather than expecting to control it via the LFM-20 device ON/OFF directly. Otherwise, if you end up with the LFM-20 left ON inadvertently, it can hold down the garage push button and can disable other garage push buttons, so could lock you out of your garage!!!! Not good.


Assuming you're comfortable with the risks, let's get on with doing this.


Let's now add the Scene we'll use as push button controller for LFM-20 and a state-sensing event trigger:


- Create a new Scene

o Call it DOOR.Button (or something similar)

o Add to room GARAGE (or whatever your Vera "Room" section is called)

o Click on the COMMANDS tab

o Room: GARAGE (or wherever you put it)

o When you click the Room, you should see your Device

o Choose and Check your device from the list

o Choose ON from the state drop-down

o Change the "And leave it" to "AFTER 5 SECONDS" a new drop down appears

o Choose "OFF" (you want a hard OFF here; not just go back to previous)


This forces the switch OFF anytime it is turned on by anything, including manual, console, remote, smart phone, etc.


Then it would be a good idea to add a second scene to force the "Off after 5 Seconds" in case someone forgets and triggers directly.


- Create another new Scene

o Call it DeActivate.after.5.Secs (or something similar)

o Add to room GARAGE (or whatever your Vera "Room" section is called)

o Click EVENT tab on the DOOR.Button Scene

o Click "Add Event" button

o Choose Device (Look for device you added for LFM-20. If it was the last device you added, it will be at the bottom. Hopefully you called it LFM-20 or Garage Door or something useful so you can find it here)

o Type of Event - "Device is Turned On or Off"

o Name for this Event: "Garage Door PB ON"

o Which Mode? "ON"

o ( Optional alerting on this mode... let's leave this off for now, unless you want an email every time the event triggers )

o Click Save


This scene will function as a sensor to turn OFF the device anytime it's turned on, like the "PushButton" scene does. Anytime the LFM-20 device is turned on, it will be turned OFF after 5 secs (i.e. like a pushbutton) When the scene is used on the controller module wired parallel to a door opener (or any other momentary contact type switch) it functions as a replacement for that push button.


-JS

Thanks i am using vera 3. And was looking for a solution for garage doors
post #19 of 19
I am seriously thinking of going to Vera 3 instead of homeseer because of cost alone. I found a used pro 100, and got a good deal on it. After talking to homeseer support I would have to pay about $600 to have the license put in my name. And the new hs3 is coming out soon which will cost hundreds more. Not to mention even their $2999 model doesn't have built in zwave or anything. And knowing that the guy I bought it from already paid them $2999 plus tax and shipping and now they want over $600 from me is outrageous. I really do like homeseers devices and they seem to be top dog but I can't understand why they charge so much for everything.
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