First Impressions of the VeraLite

Well - had a lot of trouble. Had to hack it to force a reset. Eventually managed a firmware reflash using a horrible windows XP tool that was very cranky about running on VMWare on linux.

However, now it is stable (seemingly).

I have to admit the ZWave stuff is not bad. Got a power socket switch with power meter plus the Aeon 4in1 sensor. I see mileage in this.

Not happy with the reliance on Vera’s portal nor the lack of local security in the device. The latter could be solved by putting it behind a web proxy with ssl and HTTP Auth. The former - not sure… Seems to be necessary to access the device from a mobile when out and about. I’d prefer just having it exposed to the Internet with appropriate security shielding.

If you have trouble, my conclusion is: if you can hack on OpenWRT, you’ll manage. Vera’s support is as far as I can see, non existence. Zero response to a support email I sent in yesterday.

Long term, I’m the sort of person who’d be happier with a RaspberryPI + Zwave module with a nice JSON API.

However, right now I could do with a “just works” black box that can run a few timing schedules, let me remote interrogate stuff and maybe send me some email alerts. VeraLite seems to be offering that - but I’m not getting a great feeling about its stability nor its reliance on the manufacturer’s web services. Time will tell - I may be pre judging Vera here.

I usually get a response from support within a couple days, they are not a huge company give it a little time. You’re not required to use their web portal at all. As you said you can open the ports or reverse proxy it through your firewall, the choice is yours.

Don’t get me wrong the Vera definitely has it’s shortcomings, but for the price I think its the best thing on the market right now.

Agreed - the price makes it worth a punt if it basically works.

I’m slightly more inspired as it’s been feeding me power data from a power monitoring switched 13A socket adaptor - and some temp/humidity data from my shed.

The switching schedule stuff looks quite flexible - I will get some more socket-switches to control my heaters.

The only thing I’m confused about is the fact that for some operations (look at alerts for example) I get punted off to the portal to login.

Whereas I can control devices without… It seems a bit mish-mashed?

Honestly, the built-in schedules and scenes are at best OK. What you will realize if you stay with Vera very long, is that it real power is based in the LUA programming language. And not necessarily writing your own LUA code - it is all about user developed plug-ins.

Read up on the PLEG plug-in. That will allow you to go from a basic remote control system, to actual home automation, at a fraction of the price of traditional home automation systems…

Thank you - I will :slight_smile:

Actually - I am missing something with plugins. I am having trouble getting any plugin to work.

eg eMail Notification (to use my own SMTP server) installs OK. But the docs say it should appear as a control-device that I can use in any scene.

Simply - it doesn’t. All the docs in the wiki I can find concerning apps/plugins have screenshots that look nothing like my VeraLite’s - notably the wiki screen shots show the menu along the top of the browser, and current Vera firmware has a left side vertical menu.

Is there something I have to do to make a plugin active?

Or are some juts incompatible with some firmware?

Cheers

Tim

PS yes I’ll learn the LUA script…

For the information provided, I gather you are using ui7. It would assist others to help you if they had more specific information rather then a generalisation. Deal with answer the firmware version and break it down to an individual issue rather then disparate multiple problems.

For UI7 see

http://support.getvera.com

They have also created youtube training videos which may also assist you

https://www.youtube.com/user/veratraining

This. There’s a bloody great long thread which you can search for that lists which plugins are compatible with UI7. I’d be surprised to find the Alternate Notification plugin on it.

The situation that you’ve walked in on is one where UI5 had been out and stable for years, and a number of plugins were developed by interested users over that time. UI7 is new enough that not all of the developers have updated their plugins. Some won’t ever be updated because the developer has moved on.

Try a couple more plugins and see if they install any better.

I have FW version 1.7.388.

I assume “UI7” is drawn from the first minor version aka x.7.r above?

Futzle, you mean this (http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,26438.0.html) thread? 8) and yes, no one has apparently tested that plugin on UI7 and reported back on the outcome

Thanks for the confirmation re plugins that don’t work.

I naively assumed that as I was installing plugins via the Vera’s web interface, that it would fail to install any that were not marked as UI7 compatible?

Cheers,

Tim

Another generic question: What does UI7 give me over UI5? And will the VeraLite downgrade to UI5?

Serious question - I do not run several thing sat work on the “latest and greatest” for exactly this reason :slight_smile:

A headache and yes. :slight_smile:

Those of us who had Vera for a while are happily running on UI5. As others have said and I concur. Who cares about a prettier dashboard, 99% of my interaction with Vera is via the (free) AuthomationHD app on my various Android devices. The only time I use the dashboard is when I need to configure something.

I’m not sure of the exact procedure to ‘upgrade’ Ui7 to UI5 but I know it is possible. You may want to send an email to Vera Support and ask them to assist in case your unit is marked in their database to be auto updated to Ui7.

Thanks you kind sir…

I think I’m getting the picture now… U17 is pretty-pretty.

Or roughly translated, “immature, pile of API changes with no thought for backwards compatibility for the plugin API and the interface is slow”.

OK - I’ll start a new thread in the correct place if I cannot find a procedure to downgrade and a link to the latest U15. As I have 2 devices on it, now is the time :slight_smile:

I assume I want U15 and not U16? All i find on U16 is a load of people trying to downgrade. Was that even a real release or was is a dev/alpha version?

UI6 is a pre release version of Ui7. And in effect an even bigger headache. :slight_smile:

Try here for starters: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,26766.0.html

[quote=“TimJWatts, post:13, topic:183848”]I think I’m getting the picture now… U17 is pretty-pretty.

Or roughly translated, “immature, pile of API changes with no thought for backwards compatibility for the plugin API and the interface is slow”.[/quote]

I believe we have a winner… ;D

[quote=“TC1, post:15, topic:183848”][quote=“TimJWatts, post:13, topic:183848”]I think I’m getting the picture now… U17 is pretty-pretty.

Or roughly translated, “immature, pile of API changes with no thought for backwards compatibility for the plugin API and the interface is slow”.[/quote]

I believe we have a winner… ;D[/quote]

Mines a “P” please Bob :slight_smile:

OK - I get it - and thank you BOFH for the link - I think I have convinced myself without any doubt to take this thing back to UI5!

I wonder how long it’s going to take for an pure opensource firmware to turn up for this unit. The hardware is nice enough… Except for the lack of a UK 13A PSU from my vendor. No, supplying a 2 pin EU/Shucko PSU with a piss poor 13A adaptor that replicates the “RAM pack wobble” of a ZX81 is not a good idea! Luckily I have 12V PSUs by the dozen :slight_smile:

“RAM pack wobble” of a ZX81? Someone is showing their age referencing Sir Clive’s 2nd invention. ;D
The Vera oart is basically built atop a OpenWRT router OS with a Zwave chip daughter board.
As far as Open Source, work has been in progress on OpenHAB and using Vera as a Zwave controller only.

Don’t hold your breath. The parts of the Vera OS that make it Vera rather than generic OpenWrt are all in the /mios mount, and they include the all-important LuaUPnP binary. That monolithic executable is responsible for communicating with Z-Wave devices (so it’s under an NDA), for listening on port 3480 to implement the sort-of-RESTful HTTP interface that UI7 communicates with over Ajax, and for hosting Lua plugins that users write. LuaUPnP hasn’t changed significantly since UI2, and it’s actually fairly well designed. But it’s absolutely owned by the Vera company and will never be open-sourced. You could try to re-implement code to the same interface but the Z-Wave bits are going to be difficult.

Digression: You should definitely be keeping an eye on this thread. I think it’s right down your alley.