Manual Routing and Listed Neighbors

I’m preparing for an install of about 80 devices in a building with concrete floors and regular stud-ed walls. The vera2 will be situated in the basement. Sets of thermostats, motion detectors, and door sensors will be distributed thoughout the 2 story building. Before commiting to the project I assumed that this wouldn’t be a problem because I had conducted a “RF Range” test. I placed the vera2 in the basement and a themostat on the first and second floor above the vera2. As long as the vera2 and themosts were basically aligned over the same rooms, there was no problem with sending commands. I also tested range with in each floor and had no problems.

The other day read that zwave has 4 hop routing limit. That means I’ll be my 3rd of 4th hop depending on the range of the powered thermostats and sensors on the second floor. To make sure the deployment will go well I started experimenting with manual routing at my office. It works well but there seems to be a odd caveat. My testing indicates that manual routing only works if it uses the neighbors listed in the neighbors variable. That makes sense but only works if I do a “Update Neighbor Nodes” on the device. If I add the list of neighbors manually it makes the device unusable until I remove the manual route and manually added neighbors. Is the neighbor variable only setable by vera? Or is there some other variable that has to updated along with it?

Being able to statically set everything up before the install will make my life much easier. I’d much rather test the routes in the office before trying to debug at the client site.