hopefully you can learn from my mistakes that caused countless hours of debug

Hi all,

I had constant problems with Vera3 dropping nodes and producing “can’t detect device” errors. These were not even battery operated nodes, just regular name-brand late-model switches like GE and Leviton.

My system is, I guess, medium in size. It’s a two story 3200sq ft home with ~60 nodes. I would wake up every morning and find a random switch unreachable as evidenced by the dashboard or simply trying to use the node.

I tried adding repeaters, moving nodes around, repositioning nodes to face different directions, etc. I read every forum message, I almost gave up.

I learned two incredibly valuable things that, together, changed the reliability of my system. Your mileage may vary and some may say the guidance below isn’t needed… maybe so, but I can assure you that these two things worked for me and nothing else did.

  1. when you add a node, vera needs to be literally right next to the node… not “within 6 feet” as stated, it needs to be within inches. In many cases, this doesn’t matter, but in some, it appears to, so my rule is to pair all devices with the vera literally next to the node. Some devices have such low transmit power, it seems that this causes flakiness later. I don’t fully understand how it initially pairs " ok " but then becomes flaky later, but it seems to be the case and there are some discussions about the low power on this forum. When I initially added a leviton in-wall switch, the vera was about 5 or so feet away yet within line of sight. It paired ok, but, starting the next day I had trouble communicating with it. I unpaired and paired again… reset stuff, moved stuff… etc… nothing worked until I did the pair with the vera within inches of the switch. The same problem happened to me with a GE in-wall switch. I had 4 problems I traced back to this, eventually.

  2. under no circumstances should you have an old Intermatic node that’s not located at an obvious end point of the network. In other words, if you put an old intermatic switch in a location where it will be needed to hop a signal to another device even if that device is also an intermatic (or not)… you’re asking for problems with that portion of the network. By problems, I mean “can’t detect device” errors on devices that rely on that node as a repeater, erratic ping times, long delays, etc. I moved all old (circa 2007/8) Intermatic nodes to locations “far” away from other nodes and at points where there’s no way they would be needed by vera in a route and everything started working better.

#2 was my first discovery and fixed a lot of the issues, but it wasn’t until I did both #1 and #2 that I got 100% operation for weeks at a time.

I hope this helps others.

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