Hi guys. I have gotten my VeraLite up and running, added devices, and also even configured a GE 45600 remote to work, so not doing too bad.
I have been an X-10 user for literally decades, and finally needed to upgrade the system as the old parts were dying. I have lurked around here and others, and finally made the plunge.
But now in acquisition mode (i.e. buying modules, etc.) there seems to be a lot smaller number of manufacturers and vendors selling Z-Wave components than I remember, especially the low end plug-in modules.
Is Z-Wave dying? Did I make a mistake? Where do you guys get your stuff?
Hi Bob. I’m right there with you, replacing a whole house packed with X-10… old stuff that dates back to the DAK catalogs and RadioShack.
I bought some Z-Wave stuff (Sylvania, ACT) back in 2004, but it wasn’t ready for prime-time yet. Now there are affordable in-wall switches from GE, Leviton, and others. I’d say it’s gotten much better.
The down side is that it’s still terribly complicated… the whole include/exclude process is needlessly difficult. Scenes are a disaster, compared even to what we enjoyed on X10. There doesn’t seem to be a remote that truely operates like a dumb set of buttons for Vera to trigger from… it’s all some degree of hackery. Devices still need to be polled for status, stuff like that.
I’m going to miss the cheap RF sensors on X10… the Hawkeye motion detectors, keyfobs, button panels, etc. This stuff is very expensive on Z-Wave.
On the upside, maybe my lights won’t turn on spontaneously every few days, and I’ll be able to tell when someone has left the closet light on.
Thanks Strangely. But even looking at ASIHOME, there are only 3 or so vendors of plug-in modules. Well, I will keep looking around but am able to get what I need for now. And, yes, I am US - we Yanks tend to have blinders on.
Hi GroundLoop - another noob! Yeah, I go back to the CP-290 days and actually had programmed my own code to run it as I recall. And, yes, stuff was cheaper but certainly far less reliable.
I too am a bit hard pressed to understand Scenes in this new world. It would seem to me that a Scene is a single thing, specifying the (desired) state of one or more devices. Once the scene is defined, it should be able to be invoked by trigger, time, whatever. For example, I have some living room lights that I want in a certain state at dusk and have a scheduled scene for that. But I also want to trigger that same scene from the GE Remote. I should have to define a new Scene for the trigger.
But once set up, the “program” shouldn’t need much maintenance.
I also had homebrew software based on Misterhouse, and got very used to treating all inputs as triggers – every button on every remote. All signals came to software to have their outcome decided. (Star topology, if you will)
Now, on Z-Wave, all the handheld remotes seem far too smart for their own good. Instead of eight ON buttons and eight OFF buttons, you get eight Scene Select buttons and one Scene 0 button replicated on all the Off buttons… that makes no sense to me, but seems to be universal. Each controller is also its own command transmitter (mesh programming). I haven’t figured it all out yet.
ASI may not have everything, but they have a good selection at reasonable prices. As far as the amount of vendors goes, there are far more than 3, and you get what you pay for!
If you want the best with the best feature set, then go with Leviton since they are able to report status without being polled. For other modules that don’t report status, you can thank Lutron and their patent dispute for that and the lack of it!
Now while some of these items may not be available, here as a fairly good list of US based lighting and power devices:
[quote=“beachboync, post:4, topic:173505”]I too am a bit hard pressed to understand Scenes in this new world. It would seem to me that a Scene is a single thing, specifying the (desired) state of one or more devices. Once the scene is defined, it should be able to be invoked by trigger, time, whatever. For example, I have some living room lights that I want in a certain state at dusk and have a scheduled scene for that. But I also want to trigger that same scene from the GE Remote. I should have to define a new Scene for the trigger.
I must be mis understanding you. You can actually assign a scene to the GE remote. There is an issue with the 41600 remote not working depending on version/firmware but the 41601 works fine for both devices and scenes.
Go to the GE41601 device on your dashboard and click the wrench.
Go to the scenes tab (second from the right) and add an existing scene to the button
You can also trigger scenes from eg a switch. My outdoor light switch has an on and an off scene that, based on the status of that switch, controls the status of 2 difference sets of out door lights. I can run that same scene from the dashboard or an app on my tablet/smart phone.
To those of you starting the replacement of X10 with ZWave, I can promise it’s worth it. It took me quite some time to get used to the differences, but I would never go back. I started with X10 in 2000 and loved it, but ZWave has far more advantages and a small number of disadvantages, but I’m sure you guys realize that.
The primary area I’ll agree where I’ll agree with you is with the remotes. It boggles my mind that ZWave wasn’t built with much thought to the simple control of devices on the network. The GE/Jasco remotes should operate far better than they do (lots of wasted potential there, but maybe MCV can help improve that somehow?).
For now, here’s the skinny:
45600 - the basic GE remote (no LCD): these can easily be used to control scenes, but only through triggers, which is somewhat annoying but I’ll live with it considering you can find these for $6 on Amazon, which is about what an X10 pad would have cost. I think I’ve seen someone claim they’ve been able to get the control of single devices on these remotes, but I haven’t.
45601 - the advanced GE remote (with LCD): these are far easier to use (though could still use work). Adding scenes is as easy as BOFH said. You just choose the scene from the dropdown for each of the 9 buttons. I don’t believe the shift button works, so you’re limited to 9 scenes instead of the 18 you’d get from the remote on its own. The 45601 is also able to add individual devices to its buttons, but the process is tedious and requires going to each individual light, one at a time, and going through the “add to a button” procedure every time. If you want another remote controlling the same devices, you have to repeat all that work. Too bad there isn’t just some way to do this in the dashboard.
Stick with ZWave. It may cost over five times what X10 does, but it’s so much more reliable (despite what I indicate in some of my recent posts) and from what I’ve seen you can do so much more with it. Plus, as someone said, you can still use some X10 stuff
ps- one thing I don’t miss about the particular X10 switches I had before: they didn’t have a ground wire connection. WTF?
Thanks BOFH. I think I understand better now. My question was not about the remote specifically, I was just under the impression that you couldn’t assign BOTH a trigger and a schedule to a scene. I guess I wasn’t very articulate!
Anyhow, I see where I can do that now, so no issue.
So as of yesterday I have completed by changeover from X-10 to Vera/Z-Wave. For those of us who treat our electronics as friends, it was a bit sad as I have had X-10 in my house since the mid-80s. Now I have a couple of gallon plastic bags full of leftover X-10 stuff, which will probably sit on the shelf forever.
One nice thing is that I can remove the X-10 signal bridge that is occupying two circuit breaker slots and free them up for more important stuff!
I am impressed by the VeraLite and Z-Wave signal reliability - so far, so good!
I’m right there with you, beachboync… I’m staring at two crates of disconnected X-10 devices!
About two dozen top-shelf PCS and Levitron switches, at least 100 plug-in devices of various generations with labels that go back to BSR.
Some heavyweight stuff – dual-circuit X10 amplifiers, X10 oscillator monitoring taps, signal strength meters, illegal couplers and filters in the power panel. All the things an X-10 user needs to keep the system running with 90% reliability.
I won’t miss any of it.
Except maybe the hawkeye motion detectors – for the price, they were pretty good even if you had throw out one in four.
Has anyone made a plug-in for the X-10 RF sensors via W800? That would be a great way to keep all these cheap RF sensors on the Vera network until something affordable with Z-Wave comes along: http://www.wgldesigns.com/w800.html
[quote=“GroundLoop, post:15, topic:173505”]Has anyone made a plug-in for the X-10 RF sensors via W800? That would be a great way to keep all these cheap RF sensors on the Vera network until something affordable with Z-Wave comes along: http://www.wgldesigns.com/w800.html[/quote]
I should imagine the RF sensors work with the RFXtrx to which there is already a plugin.
[quote=“strangely, post:16, topic:173505”][quote=“GroundLoop, post:15, topic:173505”]Has anyone made a plug-in for the X-10 RF sensors via W800? That would be a great way to keep all these cheap RF sensors on the Vera network until something affordable with Z-Wave comes along: http://www.wgldesigns.com/w800.html[/quote]
I should imagine this works with the RFXtrx[/quote]
I think if I was looking at this I would would look at RFXtrx315 USB 315MHz Transceiver as a competing product. I see this offer also a 433.92MHZ version which would also be competing with the RFXtrx433 USB 433.92MHz Transceiver. I think the diffence is the other function compatiablity the RFXCOM devices offer.