New vera plus and older leviton lighting

for @rigpapa and everyone else:

i have to rebuild my whole home. my old vera 2 died finally.

all of the model leviton lighting dimmers and switches i am using are not in their list.

  1. so does this mean i have to use the generic device choice?
  2. does that also mean i have ot walk the vera around my house with me? what about the internet connection? i forgot how we did this years ago wit hthe old vera’s do i need to make a long cat5 cord? or can the vera be seen wirelessly?

my old decives are:

vrmx1 the univeral 1000w dimmers
vrm10 the old magnetic only dimmers
vrs05 switch
vrf01 fan
vr106 old 600 w dimmers
vrcs4 scene controller

thaks,
jim

I generally use the generic Z-Wave device because the sorting of the devices list makes me mutter and curse. :smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

Seriously, though… yes, I have tons of these, and no trouble including them as Generic Z-Wave.

Generally, walking the Vera to the device is the best answer, IMO. I keep a long Ethernet cable for just this purpose. Another option is to use a wifi client adapter, like the TP-Link TL-WR702N (multiple modes, but client is one of them). You can also go in and out of inclusion mode via the buttons on the Vera itself (on Plus, press SELECT until Z-Wave is blinking, then hold SYNC for 3 secondspress SYNC briefly to enter inclusion on the Vera, start inclusion on the device, etc.). No matter what, when you come out of inclusion, wait a good bit for the Vera to settle down before you unplug it and move on to the next device. And that’s why I strongly recommend using an Ethernet cable and the GUI–you can see if it’s ready and settled down before moving on.

No matter how, take it slowly. One step at a time. Don’t rush anything. And every once in a while, back up the Z-Wave dongle and then back up the Vera, so if something gets roached, you only have to go back to the most recent good backup.

Edit: corrected button procedure

thanks for the help so far.

so to follow up. i have to walk the vera around with a cat5 and do it the old way when using a generic zwave device? i can’t keep the vera parked in its home and include devices like i did with the new leviton dimmers that are in thier list. i did a bunch for a vera plus i have in my pool house. these are all new leviton dimmers and listed in lighting. it made it really easy.

when i make the generic device on the vera walking it around hooked up to the internet. . . do i have to use the sync button on the vera or just put the vera in inclusion mode via the web interface? you lost me there. i thought when i select the generic device it starts a count down clock and that means the unit is in paring mode?

on the leviton side now:
the older zwave decives don’t actually have a button push to put them in pairing mode right? you just air gap them and then turn the light on with the push button when the VERA IS IN PAIRING MODE THOUGH?

i know scene controllers have a pairing sequence, but in the old instructions i pulled there was no mention of device pairing to include. just put controller in learing mode and turn light on.

thanks so much so far. i’m pretty worried about this for the main reason my whole kitchen is controlled via scene controllers. all the dimmers are hidden. ya bad move on my part when building.

The older devices aren’t so friendly with the new long-range inclusion. My experience has been that they start, but don’t always finish. If I’m within 4-5m of the device, though, it always works on the first try, with the exception of two really stubborn VRI06’s that insist I pretty much press the Vera up against the wall (only slightly exaggerating there).

No, those are two different processes…

  1. Use the UI and eventually get to the countdown when it’s in inclusion mode; put the device in its inclusion mode and cross fingers; when it find the device, name it, and then either finish or do another device.

OR

  1. Press SELECT until Z-Wave light is blinking slowly, press SYNC briefly to enter inclusion mode on Plus; put device in inclusion mode (usually a brief very rapid blink when that happens), then the next device, then the next, and the next, until finally it either times out after 5 minutes or you press SYNC again.

…and in either case, wait several minutes after to allow the Vera to settle down, save everything, and maybe even reload once or twice again as it configures the device. Patience is key. Unplug too early and you can really botch things up.

IIRC, for the switches and dimmers, you are best off resetting them first, which is: air gap, then press/hold until locator light turns red, then release. Then to pair, since they are reset, you can often just tap them once or twice and everybody gets the message. Alternately, you can air gap, then press/hold until the locator light turns yellow (I find doing this before putting Vera in inclusion mode often works well–sometimes doing it after you put Vera in inclusion mode really screws it up and you end up with two devices, one dead).

For the scene controllers, again, first reset the device: press and hold buttons 1 and 3 until the lights turn solid red, then release. To include, press and hold 1 and 3 until the lights turn amber.

In both cases, the amber comes before the red, so just be aware when resetting the device (trying to get red) that it’s going to go amber first–keep holding down the buttons until you get red. When including, release as soon as you get amber (or you’re going to get red again).

FWIW, I’ve long used an unpublished plugin I wrote some time ago called SceneSlayer to make the buttons and LEDs on the scene controllers work the way I want. If you like, I’ll send you a copy (it supports Leviton, Evolve, and ZRC-90). I’m not sure if @gengen 's new scene controller plugin supports the Leviton devices, but I’d be happy to collaborate on getting support into that published work for everyone’s benefit. I think mine also supports a couple of features that may be interesting to cross-port.

Wow. Ok follow up questions.

Thanks again so much.

So my 2 ways to include a device is use the countdown in the web interface or the sync button.

  1. If I have to use the sync button it lasts 5 mins. Should I just take it in and out of sync each time I go to a new device to make sure I don’t mess things up or do as many as I can and when it stops blinking reset the sync.

To add to this if I use the physical buttons vs the web interface I don’t select add Device right? I just put bet in sync mode and go. They will appear as I add? I don’t do the add device in the web interface?

  1. Scene controller. I remember u us that plugin. But let’s get things working old way first. My scene controllers will work right? But how Vera support told me the bottom dim up and down won’t work. I just can make scenes and associate the scene to one of the 4 buttons right?

Thanks again. I just hope this all works. Vera is telling me all my devices that are old that I wrote above aren’t supported. I know you said they work. Are you running all the models I have listed above?

Thanks again so much.

Hopefully it doesn’t snow tomorrow so I can get up to my distribution house I buy from to grab the new one.

I’d do a handful, maybe 3-4, then take it out of inclusion, let it settle down, move it if you have to, and resume.

Correct. You can use the buttons with no UI at all, so no Ethernet connection is necessary, you just go. When you eventually get it back connected to your network, you’ll see all the devices you included with generic names and you’ll have to name them, put them in the right rooms, etc.

All correct.

Last question. After I include all devices I have to do a heal correct cause all the devices aren’t meshed properly since I was walking the unit around. Once I put the unit back in its place I have to do a heal? But there is no heal anymore so do I just poll each device from close to farthest? Anything else?

For my few 3-4 way lights. Do the remote devices get included? I forgot. On instruction there is no reset or include? R they just dummies meaning no device or polling?

Thanks again. I think I understand everything so I don’t mess up.

Nah. The nightly heal is enabled by default. So just let everything simmer overnight. When you include everything in place, you’re starting off with the mesh in good shape to begin with (hopefully–at least the neighbors are known). Now you can turn the nightly heal off (as of 7.30), which helps stability in the long run, but for now, leave it to do its thing.

If the remote devices have been wired by a traveler, probably not–they talk to the master on the traveler and neutral, typically. If they are pure remotes (no wires other than hot, neutral and ground), I’d say generally yes, because those work either by an association or as Z-Wave scene controllers. But it really depends on the device. This you will have to know/figure out.

Since I already have a Vera in my home. It’s for my pool house outside do I Use same user name and password forcthe new Vera but obviously give the new unit it’s own name? I want to be able to see both units when I logged into the app. What I would really like it did not have the switch in between unit and do a master slave configuration but for now I just want to get everything up and running so being able to see the two controllers separate in the app is my main goal for now so do I use the same username and password like I said or do I make a second user name and password up?

Moving along. Taking my time. Only issue so far is after I include 3-4 devices I can’t include anymore. I don’t get Any errors or anything. The time just runs out and nothing. So as of now I just unplug and reboot and then it works.

I was told if this happens again to do an exclude vs factory reset or retry which I didn’t know. Figured if it wasn’t included how can you exclude it and try again.

This is how zwave works. You can exclude a device which is not on the same network.
When a controller is in exclude mode, it responds to any device waking up and sends it a homeid reset frame.
Whether it is on the same network is determined by the homeid. So this specific exclude command ignores the homeid. On the other hand the inclusion only occurs only when the controller is in include mode and a device with no homeid wakes up. If it already has a homeid set, it will not include itself.

Ok thanks for that!

1.I’m into scene controllers right now. I have some real wonky thing going on woth one of my kitchen scene controllers. I can get scenes on all buttons except button 1. I know the button isn’t broke. It was working just this morning and for 9 years. The other 3 buttons work fine.

All other scene controller buttons and scenes work perfect!

Any ideas?

  1. So when I log onto app I see both controllers. I can bounce between the 2 of them. . . but is thier a way to see both at the same time? I would really liek to be able ot make scenes for the summer when we use the pool house and blend there and my house especially my back porch and kitchen together for entertaining.

I can’t thank the community, especially @rigpapa for answering my 100 questions.

My next steps are to figure out what is up with my top button on that kitchen scene controller and then over xmas I want to finally get smart thermostats. I’ll post over in that area though.

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@rigpapa

I got a question. My 2 scene controllers in my kitchen are toast. The buttons are cracked and u have to push the buttons very very hard so I ordered 2 new ones.

Question. Should I just delete the scene controllers from my builder before I replace them with new ones or should I exclude them from the devices? They r being thrown away.

Thanks!

It’s better to exclude them if you can.

Agree with @rigpapa. Short of that you would have to delete the device from the vera and then do a factory reset on the device. (This is equivalent to an exclusion in reverse order) but if you have a hard time pushing buttons to wake it up, I can’t see a factory reset being easier to accomplish.

Sorry I missed your post from the previous week.
For that one button which stopped working, could you try to do a re configuration with maybe a direct association to the device you want it to control?

A question for you experts. Given the OP is binning the devices, what’s the benefit to excluding vs deleting? In fact why even bother with a factory reset if the devices are going to the trash?

Genuine question :wink:

Cheers

C

Ohh that’s because I was not assuming it was going to the trash but that it could one day be powered on and make a mess on your network, popping up as a ghost device… Always safer to reset it.

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Belt and braces. I can relate to that :slight_smile:
C

Yup, and I find that about 50% of the time, I actually can’t delete the device and have it go away. It will stick until the mesh notices its absence (it stays on the device list but vanishes overnight). This is in part coupled to the nightly heal, which can now be disabled as of 7.30 and will likely be a popular mod to make, but it’s effect on this delete behavior is, I believe, untested. If it can be excluded, the mesh is happy right away, heal doesn’t matter, and Luup makes it vanish right away as well.

1 Like

All good stuf, thanks!

C

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