Moving to Vera Plus

I have a 8 year old Vera lite that has served me well but its time to move on. I have stayed on UI5 1.5.622 for many years as UI7 seemed very buggy the first year or two. I am hoping to learn UI7 is now quite stable. I ordered a Vera Plus as a new controller.

As I have been gradually adding devices to my network, the newer ones are all ZWave Plus. I think my Vera Lite was limited to ZWave and didn’t support ZWave plus.

I have 67 devices on my network mostly Zwave lighting control, one deadbolt, alarm interface, a few hand held remotes (Zwave), power meter, and 7 WiFi cameras.

A few questions:

  1. Co-mingling Zwave and Zwave Plus devices. I assume this it OK and Vera will talk ZWave to older devices and ZWave Plus to newer devices?

  2. Is there a way I can copy the ZWave network over from Vera Lite or do I have to enroll device by device?

  3. Similar to #2 can I copy over all my scenes, LUUP code stubs, triggers, schedules and the like?

  4. One of my complaints of the Vera Lite was poor support of IP Cameras (Mostly Foscam, a couple DLink). I have a mixture of SD, HD, PT and PTZ cameras. I am hoping UI7 has improved on this front?

  5. I have a couple switches that apparently don’t support instant status. They therefore depend on a poll of the ZWave network. I think due to the size of my network, polling never seems to happen or if it happens it takes hours. Hoping to hear UI7 coupled with ZWave Plus and more memory/CPU this will not be a problem anymore. Will polling performance be better with UI7 and Vera Plus?

Not a problem at all. They are not different protocols. zwave plus just adds a few command classes and has different power management and signal strength.

Yes, the easiest/official way is to make a backup and then restore that old backup on the new unit.

Yes likewise. The backup/restore should work.

No, Unfortunately. It hasn’t gotten any better. For one the video streaming through the vera is poor and it shouldn’t be used for it. It just doesn’t have the horsepower to do it. You should use a dedicated NVR for it. As for control of PTZ, there are plugins which can do it. I use one for amcrest cameras but can’t rely on it for anything else.

Sorry these are some very long posts but I think they should be helpful to answer this question:

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Thanks rafale77!

Just to be clear would a backup on a Vera Lite in UI5 be importable by a Vera Plus on UI7?

I would have thought the UI5 to UI7 would break the ability to restore from backup files…

I’m pretty sure I did this and it was an abject disaster. I was then told by support that it was never going to work.

I might have been on UI7 but that seems unlikely. In any event, I’m not wanting to contradict Rafale, but certainly when I upgraded from a Lite to a Plus it was a car crash :frowning:
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Thanks Catman, I guess I could try to migrate my Vera Lite to UI7 first then back it up… and then use that backup file to migrate to VeraPlus but with each need variable/step the chance of success seems diminished.

I think I am starting to remember why I stayed on UI5 so long…

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In theory it should work for the most part. If it was up to me, I would not use the automated system and would transfer things manually… meaning I would transfer the dongle data first. I think I posted how to do that somewhere and see how it goes and then the user-data. I would not take down my UI5 unit until I have tested the transfer. It is a bit more advanced but… doable. Many things can indeed go wrong… That being said, the lack of ability to migrate, to me would have meant to start from scratch not with vera… So there should be strongly vested interest in making this transfer smooth. I think there has been a number of thread on the old forum discussing this. I still have my old vera light…

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Sorry what did you mean by the dongle data? Is there a ZWave usb dongle inside my Vera Lite?

Yes, the veras all have a dongle. It is communicating through a serial port. It can be external (USB stands for universal serial bus) or internal through a GPIO or hardwired which is the case for all the current veras. Anyway… in your /etc/cmh folder you should have the last 5 or 6 backups of your dongle data.
When you run a backup of your zwave network, this is where the vera saves the network information from your zwave chip. The luup engine does a rotation of these files so the dongle.dump.0 is your latest backup.
These files along with the user-data.json.lzo files are your core user data which are backed up.

You can restore these files onto the new vera. The dongle binary however… may require conversion from one zwave firmware SDK to another and it actually does it! It’s pretty sophisticated if you ask me. I am probably wandering a little too deep into the vera and certainly support usually are the ones doing this for you if you ask them. Maybe open a ticket and have them do it for you. If you really want to do it yourself I can probably help but know that support reserve their rights on the warranty…

Although you can use a backup, support will suggest that a clean install would be better.
I went through all of this some years ago and decided to leave UI5 running the way it was (and still does, not missing a beat) and start a new UI7 system with whatever you decide on, in my case a EDGE was sufficient.
A point that haven’t been covered, there was/is some differences in UI5 - UI7 Plug Ins.
Not a good idea to use your UI5 PI’s in UI7, it won’t work in some cases. PLEG doesn’t if your an old hand and use it. You need the UI7 version.
I’d suggest you use Blue Iris for CCTV, Vera handles CCTV poorly.

OK just thought I would report back. I am migrated to a new Vera Plus and onto UI7. I manually migrated all my devices which was a bit of a chore but not terrible.

I was able to migrate DSC/Aeon (DSC26103) switches without opening the electrical box to depress the pairing key on the module. Since I have 10 or so of these that was a big advantage. The steps are just try to pair and wait for the 60 seconds to timeout. Then Vera goes into exclude mode. I just repeatedly switched the switch toggle back and forth while it was in exclude mode and eventually it received the exclude and went to back to include and flipping switch handle while it was in include mode it would register every time. I was dreading opening all the boxes to press the button on the Aeon module.

Still having trouble getting all my cameras working but I guess Vera is pretty weak with camera plug ins still. I was hoping to see an improvement there but not really much progress. I should have printed out all the advanced settings I experimented to find on Vera Lite years ago to get them all working.

One pleasant finding is how much faster ZWave is with VeraPlus vs Vera Lite. I presume it is do to ZWave Plus engine. All off and All on scenes are much faster and a few newer switches (ZWave Plus) include without the exceptions I was having with Vera Lite.

Have most of my scenes ported over. Just a couple related to deadbolt keypad triggering welcome scene day vs night.

So overall pretty happy with things.

I went BlueIris for camera years ago. Another “plus” for Zwave Plus and VeraPlus is the ability to include devices more than 3’ away from the Vera. Works most of the time for simple devices like Jasco switches and dimmers.

I ended up making a little plug with Romex on the end to temporarily power up powered devices next to the Vera to help inclusion. Only needed it once.

Premature celebration… now my CA3500s go MIA when they get power cycled…

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