Eternal problems of the Vera app

FYI, it’s possible to use your Vera device as a ZWave interface for at least one “other platform”, in this case Home Assistant. So there’s an option to try another platform using your existing equipment. This essentially uses your existing Vera only as an interface to ZWave devices, with all automations done in HA. Unfortunately I didn’t find this “integration” until after I had gotten an Aeotec stick to use as the ZWave interface. Personally I have found it easy to use NodeRed for all of my automations. It’s a very nice “logic engine”. See:

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That sucks.

I get the 2 week sprints, I have lived that life for years. The trick is to identify priorities and communicate them. With infrastructure problems, they should be spending sprints there, but there should be a general idea of how many sprints that will take to start tackling new features.

With multiple fronts of problems, that’s either a lack of system integration (where the issues are the interface between subsystems) or core engineering (meaning each subsystem is janky). During new development you expect some wobbliness but it comes down to ability to deliver.

The question remains, barely, if there will be a developer community by the time they can shore up the wobbliness and deliver features.

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Returning to the subject of the post:
Can anyone on ios, be using wifi, disconnect and the app continue to work with 4G? Can anyone open the app in 4g in 3 seconds? My videos are with the iphone 11, I already tried several vera systems on several ios smartphones and I never got the speeds that Team Leader showed in her videos.
@adina.porea, the speed at which your app opens is not normal.

Hello,
Your post really upset me. I do not have any intentions to deceive you.
When you are at home(connected to WiFi) the app communicates directly to your controller, in the same network.
When you are using 4G, the app is communicating with the relay servers and the servers are communicating with your controller.
I think there is a problem with the relay servers configuration on your account. It can be a really easy fix, like changing the server your controller is talking to with another one that is closer.
This is why I asked you to contact customer care.
They will go with you trough all the steps on finding out what is going on. And if in the end, the Vera App is the one broken, a ticket will be opened on development department.
Adina

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Well I gave up when I got the ezlo plus Prototype since it felt like anything you tried had problems . (yes its a prototyp but it was enough!). The Vera Plus has been running för 5 years and it felt like it had come to its end station.
I went to Hubitat to try it out… It didn’t start so good with the c7 and zwave 700 chip,first 4 weeks was horrible but the devs where very fast and skilled so the fixed the most except som problems with all fibaro device that they claim is a fibaro problem… Anyway i tried with Shellys and it works great. Superfast and No popcorneffect. The RULE ENGINE is very good but not as easy as Reactor to learn and see how things work . (ps the vera still gets som job done by rfxtrx 433mhz devices done by Hubitathub…

I hope I will meet you again in some other forum/hub/Brand @rigpapa… You made Vera! Thanx a lot for all your hours you have put in and all the support you have given to all reactorusers!

/Mattias Sweden

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On my iPhone 11 the app starts in 2-3 seconds but it takes another 3 before actions are executed. That’s fair on 4G and going through relay servers IMO.

On the other hand I have the same problem if I open it connected to WiFi and switching to 4G, I get nothing but spinning wheels.

@Crille, good afternoon. 3 + 3 gives 6 seconds with 4G. from opening the app to updating the status. in the @adina.porea video he does it in 3 seconds, it’s half the time. it’s a big difference. I know that in this case the smartphone has an influence, because I’ve had several and the times are different, but 3 seconds on iOS with 4g, I don’t know how. in relation to switching from Wi-Fi to 4G and respond as the @adina.porea shows in her video, I didn’t. See what the technical support has to say to me.

To be more accurate I timed it with a stop watch this time :slightly_smiling_face:
If app is killed it took 4,5 seconds to get correct device status. Just reopening the app took under 2,5 seconds to get correct status. All tests over 4G.

Doing more tests with switching WiFi on and off, I’m having no issues this time, working as expected. So it’s not a consistent behavior.

I’m not saying anyone of you is right or wrong, just providing my test results :slightly_smiling_face:

As @adina.porea mentioned, connection through relay depends a lot on the assigned relay.
Even though we are trying to increase the relay servers count over the globe, for some of you the closest relay might be far anyway, and the cell provider might not route you to the fastest path.

General hint:
Try a mtr (winmtr or any other flavor) to the servers:

The one with the best time is the closest to you and I would advice you to use that.

Advice:
Open a tech support ticket, so this gets to be a permanent change in our servers.

Seems like the App itself could periodically run down said list of relays, determine the average ping on its own, and update its internal pointers accordingly, no?? I vote that as a new feature!

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It also has to be done firmware wise.

Took the liberty to check which relay you are connecting to, and indeed you were connecting to the US.
I changed your device to connect to our German endpoints, which seem to be the closest to you.

Confirm if better, it already moved.

EDIT:
I did not connect to the device itself, I just updated some entries in the database, and when the unit saw the change it applied it into the configs and reinitialized the tunnel.

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good afternoon. it’s much better. thanks for the quick fix. how do I change where I’m connected? is it worth it to try others to see if it gets even better?

This might not be the right forum but I figured I will weight in on earlier comments

I have used vera for many years and as stated , I would not be on this platform without the developers and their contributions for which I am most grateful.

After many let downs and lack of functionality for integrating new IOT devices I own, my view on home automation has greatly changed , key thing being vera is simply just an interface for me , I do not care what the app looks like or whether or not its polished , like the pictures that were shown some time back when vera was first acquired.I mean , I cannot even have my 4k cameras on vera so what’s the point ?

Home automation should be for the part automated meaning minimal interactions , and I have been able to achieve that via wonderful apps like delay timer/ reactor many thanks to @rigpapa and others.
Any other interaction does not require me opening an app , its 100 time more convenient doing that via native functionality in my phone ( siri voice commands/ alexa or the homekit app ) that I have all my devices integrated to via the other open source platform that cannot be named.

That said , Vera is a zwave interface for me, and does a great job at that, I also have scenes which have run fine for years so I did not port them over . Anything else I am doing via homekit, its literally a swipe down or a voice command away. With ios 14 you can even double tab or triple tab the back of your phone to set something off so why do you need an app?

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I’ve had VeraPlus for about 2 years now and here is my $0.02 on the problems with Home Automation:

At the root of it is the cost of sensors. When I first bought my VeraPlus I figured that as HA got more popular, cost of sensors and remotes would drop due to economies of scale. I also figured that because Zwave is obviously superior (since it is a lower Mhz frequency thus will easily go through walls and such) it would be like the VHS / Betamax wars and Zigbee and wifi peripherals would die out as people began to realize their superiority.

This never happened. Instead the additional people who have gotten into HA are stone stupid when it comes to engineering. Someone complaining about a 4K camera not being processed on a vera? Are you out of your mind? Do you know the volume of data that comes from a 4K camera and how much processing is done on it? I run motion on a PC with 2 cameras and CPU utilization is 65% and that’s with an average of 6fps recording on motion-trigger. The math to process a single frame for motion detection is mind-boggling.

People buy wifi sensors and stick them in a home then fill up the forums bitching about the crummy sensor that keeps disconnecting when there’s a concrete wall between the wifi transmitter and the sensor. It’s like - zwave dude look it up -

And overall the mainline manufacturers of peripherals, Honeywell with thermostats, Leviton with light switches, etc. - are either scared to death of getting into HA or they look at it like a frigging cash cow. This has greatly retarded HA integration. HVAC is probably the single largest cost saver low-hanging fruit for a HA system to integrate and one of the easiest - you just control a thermostat, that’s it - but you go to the HVAC forums and NONE of the professional HVAC installers will touch a thermostat that isn’t Honeywell. And Leviton - a single throw Zwave light switch from them that is only suitable for a light duty lighting load costs $40. FOR A STUPID LIGHT SWITCH. That is just $38 to Leviton of pure gravy. And, why did it cost me $100 for a zwave thermostat that can switch on and off a baseboard heater? Answer because nobody is buying them and only 1 company makes them and they are a monopoly.

Ezlo’s response to this has been to try to build a hub that is ultra-cheap. I’m not sure but it’s like they want to make them something that can be sold for $5 as an impulse buy at the checkout stand at Fry’s. Then once they got the hub in your hands they suck you into the HA field. But this ignores that nobody’s buying impulse buy tech at Fry’s checkout stands anymore. Now people are buying off Amazon and they research stuff and quite quickly with HA hubs they realize it’s the tip of an iceberg into an ecosystem that requires considerable time commitment.

Can I honestly say that for all the time I’ve put into HA on our remote house that it’s paid for itself in utility bill savings?

Have I paid for the cost of setting up the lawn sprinklers for remote control so I can shut them off when the soil sensors say the lawn doesn’t need it in utility water costs?

Have I paid for the cost of setting up all the HVAC in the house so if someone leaves the furnace on that I can turn it off with savings on electricity?

NOT after only 2 years. Absolutely not. But after 10 years - absolutely yes. So I am in HA for the long haul. If Ezlo decides to change things as often as people change their underwear then it ends the ROI of time and money on setting something up because I have to scotch everything and start over.

An Ezlo hub needs to be as reliable as the engine computer in your car’s car engine. You can NEVER get that for $5. You can only get it for $100 if you are selling a million units a month. They need to be selling a hardware hub for $500 that will be as reliable as a rock for 20 years. Just like a TV set.

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Z-Wave is superior and you get what you pay for.

However most folks want to buy any old shit that’s just cheaper.

You need to edit a config file, /etc/cmh/servers.conf.

I do not think it is worth it as I chose the server that is the least far from you - Frankfurt, rtt 50ms.

OT but there are options besides leviton for switches. Check out zooz or innovelli; they have 3/4way options that don’t need specialized add-on switches which lowers the overall cost of a circuit. Heck, sometimes monoprice carries wall switches.

So, we can just ping the list you posted and change the config file? Thanks.

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Neither of those companies make UL-listed switches capable of switching a high-load like 220v @ 50A connected to an electric range or a water heater.

More importantly many professional electricians won’t touch stuff like that for in-wall mounting. There is a liability factor. Do not forget that to this day they are still putting electrical inside of steel mounting boxes. You can have a professional chemist argue all day long about plastic mounting boxes being equivalent in protection to steel but would you rather have a loose connection arcing away inside a plastic box or a steel one? The only place they use plastic is race-to-the-bottom home construction, a commercial electrician with a decent reputation won’t touch it (and neither will I in my own home, when I do rewiring jobs) Leviton has been making light switches for a century and is an American manufacturer although they do have a lot of their plastic injection molding done in Asia. Steel City has been making steel junction boxes for a century and is also an American manufacturer. Both Leviton and Steel City ordinary switches and junction boxes cost no more than a few dollars so don’t give me the baloney that an American manufacturer can’t make things as cheap as the Chinese.

Zooz started operations 5 years ago and all their stuff is made in China. And they deliberately chose a name that is the same name as a payment processor so it’s impossible to find out any corporate info about them. Innovelli is even younger than zooz and it’s the same story - 100% manufacturing in Asia. Commercial electricians are a very conservative bunch (and mostly unionized as well) and have little interest and patience for Chinese-made stuff.

And lastly, the zooz and innovelli stuff isn’t much cheaper than the Leviton and GE stuff. $30 vs $40. And you are going to save $10 on something you are going to mount in a plastic junction box in the wall of your home where there is enough energy being switched on a 120v 15A circuit to arc like the dickens and burn your place down?

The vast majority of homeowners out there won’t touch their own electrical (or plumbing) Yes the DIY crowd goes gaga over the dribblings from zooz and so on and cannot understand why the average homeowner feels compelled to call an electrician to replace a light switch. But they do and HA needs to face that fact.

However, $30 to $40 for a light switch is price-gouging whether Leviton or Zooz is doing it. Since HA switches are such a young industry any designer who wants to make a buck can buy an Autocad subscription and design a light switch using an off the shelf relay and zwave chip and have it contract manufactured in China in small batches. As a result the small market that is there has been split up among a whole lot of small companies, so manufacturing economies of scale don’t exist

If there were only 2 large manufactures of zwave light switches, Leviton and GE, and there was no zigbee and no wifi light switches, then manufacturing economies of scale would come into play and zwave switches would be in the $10 range. And they would be good ones, from manufacturers who had huge reputations to uphold. That would benefit the consumer and drop prices and deployment would jump and that would benefit the HA market. And it would make it easier for programming hubs.

Ultimately the HA market will get there and manufacturers like zooz will be acquired by the large companies but until it does companies like Ezlo are going to be wasting a lot of time supporting a billion different sensors, and sensor cost will be out of sight.

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