Help In Selecting Replacement Dimmer for multi location applications

Hi All! I’ve used Vera for several years to control a big number of Eaton RF 9540 master dimmers and Eaton RF 9501 virtual slave dimmers. They’ve worked great with no issues forever. I recently moved to a new house and decided to use Eaton devices again since I was familiar with them. Eaton has a new line of zwave plus dimmers available so I went with the Eaton RF 9640 master dimmer and the RF 9642 virtual accessory dimmer assuming it would all work with Vera. Costly mistake. I can get all the devices included in the zwave network and I can control the Master dimmers through Vera with no issues. However when I try to associate devices, the association groups have all changed from the old models and nothing works properly. It “sorta” works but not consistently. Eaton will not help me with this and says I need to use their controller to associate and Vera can’t figure out the issue.

After weeks of battling with this I’ve decided to replace the devices that are multi location and the virtual accessory switch with some other product. I wanted to see if any of ya’ll could give me recommendations of 3 way/multilocation dimmers and virtual accessory switches that you’ve had good luck with. I looked at Leviton but their accessory switch doesn’t appear to be a virtual switch but is wired similar to the old non zwave switches. I could revert back to the old Eaton switches but I’m a bit burned by anything Eaton…

Thanks all!
Charlie

I replaced all my Eaton (aka Coopers) with the Homeseer 200 switches and dimmers.
Note: If the location for a 3 way has a traveler, just use their cheaper accessory (doesn’t use direct association to do the job, works great). If no traveler wire, than get a second 200 and use direct association to do the job.

Downside, only the latest firmware on the Homeseer supports director association, either call Homeseer and make sure you are getting switches with the latest firmware, otherwise you have to buy a z-flash kit to update the firmware on the switches.

If you install the controller plug in from this forum New Scene Controller Plugin, you can also get double, tripple, quad tap and status lights working as well.

Have you looked at dimmer inserts, (aeitec,fibero,Qubino). With these you only need one insert per group of wired 2 way switches(uk term for multiple switches on one light). You can then use any standard switches(toggle or momentary).

Thanks for responding! I haven’t looked at these mainly because I wasn’t sure of how complex they were to wire into the box. I wish I had done a bit more research on these before I bought all the Eaton switches.

Thanks for the info! I assume the travelers are still there even though they were disconnected when the virtual switch was installed. This would certainly be a cheaper alternative. Thanks again!

They are faily easy to install and can be install in light fitting as well as switch box as most need a neutral wire.

I bought a bunch of the new Eaton Z-wave but haven’t installed them. From what I understand, they follow the new z-wave plus standard where group 1 is the controller association. This used to be group 255 and group 1 was the on-off association on the 95xx series. From, what I understand group 2 is the on-off now and group 3 is the dimmer. This may be reversed but I am positive that you will get mixed results on group 1 associations if you are making them to a slave switch.

Again, I haven’t had time to install them and try it out. I hope I can still love the Eaton switches.

Hi! I wish you’d install yours so you could figure out what I’m doing wrong haha! There are 3 association groups. Group 1 is called lifeline, Group 2 is on/off and Group 3 is dimup/dimdown. I tried first associating the accessory to the master with Group 1, didn’t work. Then tried Group 3, didn’t work. I did, however, get the accessory to sorta work when I used group 2 to associate the master. However, the master doesn’t update the status on the accessory dimmer. If I use the accessory to try to control the light, you have to push the device once (if the light shows on) to turn off and then another time to turn on the light or dim/brighten it. This happens on every one of my master and accessory pairs. On another note, just an FYI, I have issues when scenes run that a couple of times a week a few of the RF 9540 freeze up and become unresponsive. The only way to unfreeze is to pull out the tab on the device and push it back in. I was gone a month and half my lights were on when I got back home!

Yeah associating group 1 to the accessory will definitely not work. In fact you should probably have group 1 associated with Vera and group 3 associated with the accessory. Perhaps you need all 3. I have not have any issues with the 9540s and I have about 20 of them. Nary a hiccup. I used to have that unresponsive issue with a GE switch. I would find my dock lights on only to find out I couldn’t do anything with it. I have since replaced it. What was odd was that when that was happening, the switch itself was unresponsive but I could control it from the app.

The out-of-sync with the accessory sounds like you may need all 3 associations to be set up. Also check to see if there is are any parameters that need to be enabled. There probably is a solution and I’ll bet that the folks you talked to at Eaton have no idea being front line help desk. Their answer was to get you out of their call log.

I’m going to try adding group 3 along with the current group 2. When you say associate group 1 to Vera, the only option of “devices” I see that isn’t one of my installed devices is “ZWave”. Is that Vera??

I had around 30 9540s and some associated accessories in my old place and never ever had an issue. Again thanks for some ideas to try!

Yes ZWave is what I mean’t. It really is kinda dumb that the zwave alliance didn’t choose 255 as the hub association. Maybe there was a device in the past before zwave plus that used 1 as the hub association but I haven’t seen it.

Hello @WERCARHOU

Mostly likely you are not sure what association group you have to use to achieve your purpose.

On the accessory dimmer (RF9642-Z) you need to set group 3 association and select the master dimmer (RF9640-N).

Excerpt from the device manual:

imming Level Adjustment (RF9640-N only)
For maximum compatibility with different load types, RF9640-N allows the user to set the minimum dim level or low end trim.
Dimming Level Adjustment (RF9640-N only)
For maximum compatibility with different load types, RF9640-N allows the user to set the minimum dim level or low end trim.
Also to save on power consumption RF9640-N allows the user to set the maximum dim level or high end trim.
• After adding the dimmer to a network, press ON/OFF button to turn ON the overhead light.
• Press and hold ON/OFF button for five seconds until the blue indicator LEDs begin to cycle rapidly (Notice - After two seconds blue indicator LEDs
will start to flash indicating activation of the ‘delayed OFF’ feature. Continue to hold the ON/OFF button for three additional seconds
until the blue indicator LEDs begin to cycle rapidly.)
• Once the indicator LEDs start cycling, release the ON/OFF button. Dimmer will set the light to the previously saved minimum level. During initial setup, the light will set to the factory minimum default.
• Press either the dim UP or DOWN buttons to change the minimum level until the light output is acceptable.
• Once light output is acceptable, press ON/OFF button once. Blue indicator LEDs will start to cycle rapidly again and the dimmer light will go to previously saved maximum level.
• Press either the dim UP or DOWN buttons to change the maximum level until the light output is acceptable.
• Press ON/OFF button once, LED will flash indicating completion of programming.
Note - User could ignore setting max or min while programming by pressing ON/OFF button without changing the light level

For on/off it needs to be associated on group 2.
basically you need to set two associations on the accessory switch to the master, on groups 2 and 3. The procedure on the master is the same on as described above. I hope it helps.

@Sorin @rstrouse Thanks to you both for your help! I spent most of yesterday using your suggestions and for the most part have all my master dimmers and the accessory dimmers working and associated. I associated the accessory on both group 2 and group 3 as suggested to the master dimmer. This works but the status of the accessory is not updated if the master dimmer is used, basically no instant status. So then I associated the master dimmer back to the accessory on group 2 and 3. Voila! It worked and now when I press and dim the master switch it automatically updates the accessory so if I use the accessory I don’t have to press multiple times to get in sync.

My only issue, which I can live with but is a little annoying, is when I have scenes run that control and set lights, the accessories all get out of sync and you have to press them several times to get back in sync. I tried associating the accessory on group 1 to the zwave device but it didn’t seem to do anything. You can’t control the accessories from the app or web either, only the masters.

But thanks again for the help. I’m not quite ready to rip these out of the wall yet and go back to the old models. Some of the devices still get “stuck” for some reason and I have to reset them. Hopefully I can find a fix for this.

1 Like

Try setting Parameter 10 using 1 Byte hex and set to 1 on the master.
This use to work on the older switches to tell them to use the association update even when invoked from a scene. If that doesn’t work see my post here:


On how to use some LUA code to keep things up todate between the switch and accessory.

@shallowearth Hi there. Your post back then really helped me with all my old RF 95xx devices! Unfortunately setting this parameter for the new ones doesn’t seem to work. I did this when I first installed and the switch had to be set back to factory default. I did finally get everything working (except when invoked from a scene) but that didn’t last long. Some of the switches seem to have reverted back to being inoperable. I think I’m about ready to through in the towel and either replace with the older Eaton switches or go with the Leviton combinations. Eaton is totally unresponsive as far as assistance.

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