Zwave questions

So I have a few questions about Z-wave devices. Maybe not that HG specific, but we need more action and discussions on the forum so I ask them anyway.

I’m planning do use Mysensors for most of my sensors. But when it comes to controlling light and 230V I would like to use a commercial product for better safety. And Z-wave seems to be the one that most people like, even if it is a bit expensive.

But we can start with the HG question. How good is the support for Z-wave in HG? I’ve just read a little bit on the old forum about some pepper database no longer available. And some questions on this forum where devices don’t work like they should.

But in general, how good is HG with Z-wave devices? And maybe also compared to other controllers? Is it the lack of development in HG that is the problem, if there is a problem? Or is it just that Z-wave is not a open protocol and therefore hard to make good support?

Anyway, suppose that Z-wave works without problems. What is possible to achieve with those devices?

Like I’m thinking that the most of my Z-wave devices will be dimmers. But I haven’t found good explanations on how the work with existing manual dimmers that I have.

Today I have dimmers with a knob that you turn to increase or decrease the light. And you push the knob to turn on/off.

Is there any in wall Z-wave dimmer that allows me to continue to use the manual knob for all functions and in addition be able to controll the light through a controller?
Of course I understand that the manual dimmer value can’t be adjusted with the Z-wave, but is the other way around possible? And maybe need to turn the manual knob all the way down or up to align the dimmer level. But that would be acceptable.

Otherwise, if the above doesn’t work, is the only way to get dim function to use a on/off button that flex back? So you press for on, and press for off, and need to hold the button pressed to change dimmer value? And the dimmer will cycle through all values as long as the button is pressed.

If we move away from changing the dimmer from a button, would this scenario be possible. Suppose that it is night, and when you press the button the light would only turn on 50%, but if you press one more time it would go to 100%, and the last press would turn off. Can this behaviour be programmed with a controller, like HG?

A lot of questions and maybe not that HG specific. But maybe someone have some knowledge to share.

Hi Raptor,

From my experience, HG is ok with older Z-wave devices in the sense that those can be included in the network and controlled. Newer devices (see my thread on newer Fibaro dimmers and some Aeon sensors) cannot be included and this seems to be caused due to missing implementation of specific control classes. Btw, I am running HG on RPI with A Raspberry daughter board for Z-wave control.

If you want to upgrade existing in wall switches, you will need to have in wall Z-wave switches that you place behind the wall switch. Typically there is (limited) room to do so but installation can be difficult due to limited space available. The Z-wave in wall switches allow you to control the device manually by pressing the switch or remotely by using HG.

Most Z-wave switches work with 2 types of wall switches, push button (push to open or close) or rocker switches (one side on, other side off). Typically you can program the Z-wave switch for a specific wall switch.

I think what you describe in terms of functionality should be possible. I have some lights that are controlled by a sensor and switch on when motion is detected and it is dark.However, by pressing the push button switch quickly 2 times in a row, this behavior is disabled and the light stays on or off.

Hope this helps.

Thank you. Unfortunately it will be newer devices I have to buy.
Once again it is sad to see that see that HG fall behind. I know that Bounz knows a lot about HG and he seems to know equally much about Zwave. But he is pretty alone and can’t fix everything.
I wish I could do more, but my girfriend think I put to much time already =(

It’s good enough and many users are quite happy with it. Problems go with some modern devices which use newest security protocol. But I think it’s solvable problems.
About Pepper1 device database. It’s needed to users to set up their devices through the user interface. Each device has a number of configuration parameters defined by the manufacturer. They usually are described in user’s manual. But this information is not exposed by the device itself, so home automation controllers don’t know which parameters these devices have. And here we have the device database, that contains info about different devices and their capabilities and configurable parameters.
So after closing the Pepper1 DB the only place with information about devices is, but sometimes it lacks some information or even devices.

Z-Wave is not an open protocol, but Sigma Design published some information about command classes. But this is not a full specification of protocol and some parts (like inclusion, discovering) are not publicly documented.

I don’t think there are Z-Wave powered dimmers with a potentiometer on the market. I use Fibaro Dimmer, it’s small enough to be placed behind the wall switch and I can control it either with push-buttons on the switch or use HG.

Yes, I have something like that, but I’m programmatically limit the maximum level of dimmer during the night.

Thank you for the reply. You are really a great contributor and big help for HG users.

Does HG use the OpenZwave source or its own implementation? Does OpenZwave also suffer from the closedown of the pepper1 database?

I don’t have any Zwave decice yet so I don’t know how good it is, but I also use Domoticz a little bit and it’s a popular controller that uses OpenZwave.

Not that I’m anywhere near to do anything about it, but using a common Zwave implementation would probably benefit HG. If it doesn’t already use it.

And so that is clear, I prefer HG before Domoticz, but a big forum with a lot of users is good to have when you test new things. So I test in Domiticz and then try to get it to work in HG.

Thank you for the kind words.

HG uses its own implementation written in C# because all other parts of HG are also written using C#. And OpenZWave is written using C++. It’s technically possible to use the OpenZWave library, but there would be a lot of problems with the portability of HG.

The OpenZWave project has some kind of device database, but it looks that it’s broken now:

I think that more interesting question is which device database is used in Domoticz, for example (and in other home automation projects).

Yes maybe it is the database that is the most important thing? Rest of the implementation is maybe not that complicated when you get it working?

All open source controllers would benefit from using a common database. The power with open source increase with many users.

HI, I am a user of the old forum and have been away awhile. My installation is entirely X10 + Alexa but I am not wanting to slowly convert to something else… I guess ZWAVE?

Do any of you fine folks have a step by step guide to installing and bringing up ZWAVE with HG?

I wrote a doc for HomeGenie and X10 some time ago if anyone has a need for that. It is probably still on the old forum or I am happy to share … it is a HG for Dummies type of doc… but it may be outdated now too.

Anyway- now I am interested in ZWAVE or something more modern…

1 Like

Welcome back!

Since it not possible to search in the old forum I think it would be good if old guides were added to this forum. Just start a new thread so new users will be able to find it when searching.

1 Like

My perfectly working Zwave system controlled by HomeGenie on RPi_3.
Mixture between standard Zwave and Zwave-Pro from various vendors.

Zwave works perfectly well with HomeGenie.

HI Enterprised, any chance you would be willing to give me a bit of advice ? I am having trouble at the very beginning!-- I dont think that HG is recognizing my ZWAVE stick…

I too am running on rpi so setup should be similar. Do you have any hints to get the AEON to get recognized?

What version of RPi and Raspbian are you using?

I’m running Rpi3 with Raspbian Jessie and the latest version of HomeGenie.
Raspbian fully up to date to the latest with sudo apt-get update
The Zwave stick is the only USB device plugged in to my RPi

Device port is /dev/ttyUSB0 — see picture below

This plus discovery was all I had to do to have zwave running properly

I did have a glitz in the past which forced me to plug the zwave stick into another USB port on the RPi to get it recognized.

Would be great if the X10 doc could be reposted here.

How do I upload a doc file as an attachment on this thing? Can’t attach a .doc or a .pdf?

will try a .zip of the .doc

Hopefully it helps someone… HomeGenie for Dummies centered on X10 :slight_smile: (1.7 MB)

1 Like

The doc is very helpful. Thanks

OK I am trying to get my ZSTICK to get recognized now by HG.

In the ports- I dont see USB I just see /dev/ttyACM1 or /dev/tty/AMA0

If I type lsusb on the pi- I believe I see the ZSTICK listed there… but it is not clear that HG knows about it. Thoughts?

Update, I think I’ve determined that my ZSTICK is on ACM1. So I’ve tried discovery and add but have not been able to get anything to happen when I push the wave transmitter as per its instructions… any ideas welcome.

do you have other USB devices plugged in to your RPi?

Do you have /dev/ttyusb0 — see picture below (this is if the zwave stick is the only USB device)