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Topic # 204594 8-Oct-2016 17:56
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I looking at making a start on the whole smart home thing, and since the Smartthings is not available with the AU/NZ z-wave frequencies yet I did a bit of Googling and came across the VeraEdge Controller.

 

Does anyone here have one and can comment on it ?


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  Reply # 1650242 13-Oct-2016 11:45
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Yep ... I have one (and had the older Vera 3) ... I was doing a major renovation to my house when I bought it and wanted to add some smarts ...

 

It's very reliable and I have camera's, locks , blinds, lights, sensors, heat pump etc connected to it. I also use it to control a couple of WEMO devices (rather than have to use a seperate app), there are a lot of integrations.

 

With setup you can go simple with the web interface and apps (there are quite a few apps, I mostly use VeraMate) and just use control or setup scenes, or add PLEG from Rts-services ($5 US I think) for more options.

 

The only problem with going Z-wave is the price of the devices which sit around the $100NZ mark (which starts to add up!)... but you can also use Arduino products from mysensors.org (I've bought some but haven't got to them yet!)

 

The other thing I will say is that the support here is excellent, I had trouble with my Vera 3 and the guy's in the US dialled in (when I let them) and fixed it for me .... the local guy's (Active Automation) are very good too.

 

 


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  Reply # 1650256 13-Oct-2016 11:53
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old house had zwave everywhere, using openHAB.  found it painfully slow at times, might have been openhab, might have been zwave.   pushing a virtual button could take 30 seconds or more for it to send the command (think it was due to another command queued before it before it could send which would fail).  could of been the aoetec zwave modules.  i dont know.

 

 

 

new house I put Wemo light switches everywhere instead, instant on/off, works via wifi so no issue of network reaching entire house, and I'm just running wemoserver.jar on a raspberrypi so I can create more advanced rules for it (double push a light switch to activate a different command, e.g. double click upstairs light to turn all things off downstairs and vice versa).  at $65-$90 a switch, they add up, but they look nice and work well.

 

 

 

EDIT: oh I also have a vera lite, this works ok, but the rules are pretty basic.  I still use zwave for a few things, mostly I have zwave deadbolts (yale ones) and fibaro eye motion sensors.  


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1650266 13-Oct-2016 12:00
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Hi guys and gals (are there any here?) 

 

anyway, I am moving into my new (pre-existing) home in a week and already have an Amazon Echo and Sonos Play1 ready.

 

I am looking into a home controller and have had a look online at reviews of:

 

Samsung SmartThings Hub

 

Vera HomeController

 

HomeSeer

 

Wink

 

I have heard only good things about Homeseer but I am looking for firsthand experience on any of those. 

 

What I'd like to control is through Alexa, are:

 

Lights (adding lights with time as they cost a fair bit - might start with 1 room or 2 for now (media room and Bedroom). Would also like to have a way of changing colors of the lights through Alexa (yonomi?)

 

Garage Door

 

Play Music (Sonos integration to Echo is coming) 

 

Thermostat (still undecided if to go with the Ecobee 3)

 

Doorbell (later on)

 

 

 

Any thoughts? Cheers, e.


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  Reply # 1650366 13-Oct-2016 13:15
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reven:

 

old house had zwave everywhere, using openHAB.  found it painfully slow at times, might have been openhab, might have been zwave.   pushing a virtual button could take 30 seconds or more for it to send the command (think it was due to another command queued before it before it could send which would fail).  could of been the aoetec zwave modules.  i dont know.

 

 

What were you running openHAB on? I have never seen anything more than a second in delays from pressing a button on the openHAB app to a light turning on (via Z-Wave). The only times there are any delays are around 2am-3am when openHAB is running the Z-Wave network heals etc. 

 

I don't know if it is your Z-Wave controller/network or the rules engine in openHAB that would be causing the delays but I find the same architecture very reliable and quick. I am running OH on a virtual container running Debian 8 with 2GB RAM. I also upgraded to the new Gen5 Z-Stick which perhaps makes a difference?

 

But I guess it is all by-the-by now you have moved to WIFI controlled devices? Are there in-wall relays in that range as well?


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  Reply # 1650368 13-Oct-2016 13:22
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Just make sure that whatever you do buy uses the AU/NZ Z-wave frequency 921.42MHz if you are going to use Z-wave....


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  Reply # 1650385 13-Oct-2016 13:41
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SumnerBoy:

 

reven:

 

old house had zwave everywhere, using openHAB.  found it painfully slow at times, might have been openhab, might have been zwave.   pushing a virtual button could take 30 seconds or more for it to send the command (think it was due to another command queued before it before it could send which would fail).  could of been the aoetec zwave modules.  i dont know.

 

 

What were you running openHAB on? I have never seen anything more than a second in delays from pressing a button on the openHAB app to a light turning on (via Z-Wave). The only times there are any delays are around 2am-3am when openHAB is running the Z-Wave network heals etc. 

 

I don't know if it is your Z-Wave controller/network or the rules engine in openHAB that would be causing the delays but I find the same architecture very reliable and quick. I am running OH on a virtual container running Debian 8 with 2GB RAM. I also upgraded to the new Gen5 Z-Stick which perhaps makes a difference?

 

But I guess it is all by-the-by now you have moved to WIFI controlled devices? Are there in-wall relays in that range as well?

 

 

oh1 was on a pi3, looking at the logs something was trying and failing to broadcast which I suspected was causing the deals.   now im using wemos, oh2, wemoserver (android app to do rules, wemoserver.jar on pi3 as engine).   wemoserver is mostly used so I can use the wemos with a 3 way switch (so when one wemo turns on, the other one is set an on command and vice versa).  the wemo maker is really nice too.  I wish they all had a REST API baked into them, but there is a pretty full UPNP API people are using.


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  Reply # 1650392 13-Oct-2016 13:57
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Kiwi0ne:

 

I am looking into a home controller and have had a look online at reviews of:

 

Samsung SmartThings Hub

 

Vera HomeController

 

HomeSeer

 

Wink

 

 

I'm using a Vera2 with an Amazon Echo Dot via ha-bridge. So today you'd use a Vera Edge with various NZ/AU based Z-wave devices. While the interface is a little clunky, it just works and there are a fair amount of NZ/AU Z-wave devices available. You can forget Samsung and Wink as their frequencies are not supported in NZ. I emailed Wink and they have no intentions to expand outside their current regions. I've dabbled in OpenHAB and am now heavily invested in Home Assistant due to it's supported integrations and customisation capabilities, both of which are growing on a weekly basis. Both OpenHAB and Home Assistant have a very steep learning curve though and that's coming from someone who's been in electronics for 30+ years. You really need to know how to code if you're going down that path and have lots of free time! tongue-out

 

Vera is pretty easy to program and it just works. If you want to integrate with Echo, ha-bridge running on a Raspberry Pi (<$60) will expose all of your devices and scenes on Vera to Echo. So at the moment I can say "Alexa, turn on back sprinklers" and ha-bridge will send that command to Vera instantly invoking the scene I have set up to water the back garden for 20 minutes. I can also say "Alexa, turn on garage door" and they garage door opens (or closes) before Alexa even has a chance to say "OK". The advantage of using ha-bridge to emulate a Hue Bridge is that you can also control a Harmony Hub with it, something I also have. So when I head down to the lounge at night, I say "Alexa, turn on Kodi" and my amp, TV and media player all come on. When leaving, I say "Alexa, turn 'everything' off" and all appliances are turned off. ha-bridge can also send API calls to control other devices and I've tested this with Home Assistant but again, you really need to know a bit of coding if you're going to go there. Happy for a PM if you want to discuss in more depth.


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  Reply # 1650397 13-Oct-2016 14:05
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I'm using Home Assistant for the last few weeks. Very active community; just working on my first development contribution to it to add control of the programmable outputs on my alarm via Envisalink board. Once my IntesisHome FJ-RC-WIFI-1 arrives I'll work on developing a Home Assistant integration for that. Steep learning curve though for configuring though!


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  Reply # 1650399 13-Oct-2016 14:07
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For those who have tried both openHAB and Home Assistant - what the main differences and why would you pick one over the other?


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  Reply # 1650491 13-Oct-2016 15:27
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Thank you for the suggestions xbmcnut,

 

so basically here we are tied to Z-Wave? 

 

I thought Samsung SmartThings would control devices via IP? 

 

 

 

Cheers,

 

e


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  Reply # 1650506 13-Oct-2016 15:36
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Kiwi0ne:

 

I thought Samsung SmartThings would control devices via IP?

 

 

Your could try your luck importing SmartThings but as they don't yet make a hub for the NZ/AU frequencies, your expandability would be limited in the future. https://community.smartthings.com/t/zwave-frequency/1628/9.

 

Personally, I'm migrating to MQTT and all my new devices based on ESP8266 are WiFi based and low cost but this is only because I'm a nutter! A more sane person would just pay the money and stick with off the shelf hardware, particularly when it comes to support and electrical safety.


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  Reply # 1650526 13-Oct-2016 16:04
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Understand, thank you. 
The expansion would be limited for Z-Wave devices only I would presume? Any other TCP based device would still be able to work?


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  Reply # 1650529 13-Oct-2016 16:09
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Kiwi0ne:

 

The expansion would be limited for Z-Wave devices only I would presume? Any other TCP based device would still be able to work?

 

 

I'm assuming that most things that 'talk' to SS Hub are Z-wave and that seems to be the dominant protocol so as the hub uses a US frequency, you'd be very limited. Anything using Zigbee, you should be fine. If you search TradeMe for both Z-wave and Zigbee though, you'll see your problem.


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