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aroberti
Sarcastic? Me? Never
Premium
join:2000-12-21
Norwalk, CT
reply to alfnoid

Re: Best home automation standard...

said by alfnoid:

said by djrobx:

Zwave is a mesh protocol. You shouldn't need to mess with the antenna, just add another z-wave device along the route.

This is what I thought initially when I started researching zwave and came across vera, but the more time I spend in their forums the less I believe that. Lots of people saying that devices that are less than 10 feet from vera don't respond. Glad to see your experience is different, but I question if it is robust enough for me personally...or rather the wife.

It is true, but there are a few caveats:

•Not all devices act as repeaters. Anything that operates on batteries, for example, does not.

•Some devices require something called beaming. Not all repeaters support beaming, and as such, things like door locks that require it may need to be closer to your controller if there are no beaming-enabled devices in between.

•Your z-wave network must be healthy (optimized). This is how devices learn with which other devices the can communicate with. Disconnecting a device without properly removing it from the system can have detrimental effects, as other devices believe it's there as a repeater even if it isn't.

That's all that comes to mind at the moment, but there may be more.


djrobx
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My Z-wave door lock is 75 feet from my Vera.

Maybe people are referring to the fact that many devices require you to be in close proximity of the controller when you add the device to the network.

On my Vera 1, the Z-wave controller is a removable dongle that I can take to the device. With newer Veras you have to "bring the mountain to mohammed" if the device isn't close enough, which is why they include a battery pack.

I do know that Vera 1's Z-wave dongle has some sort of routing bug, which is probably why I have issues when I remove the holiday lights. This was supposedly corrected by the time Vera 2/3 came out.

I'd worry less about Z-wave reliablility (really, it's very solid if you leave it alone once working), and focus more on the quality and prices of the light switches you're going to replace. I bought the cheapest ones I could find (lots of Radio shack GE stuff). Some of the appliance (non-dimmer) switches are getting tired after 4 years. Getting good quality light switches was an issue with X10 back in the day as well.

Another fun subject is getting dimmers that work well with dimmable CFL or LED lighting. Some of my LEDs flicker at certain brightness levels.
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