openLuup & (not) vera

Having tried many, I have settled to stay with the vera for now. The new firmware and all my mods combined has enabled me to have a luup reload only every 10-16days is satisfying. I could have easily ported bridged hubitat with their API as well but opted not to proceed as I didn’t deem it necessary and would have involved another learning curve. I still wish openluup would embed openzwave somehow but I also realize that it is a lot of work.

Did you shared your mods somewhere on the forum? :wink:

Let’s see how long this one lasts.
:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye::grin:

@rafale77 Just checking about this thread… the thing I don’t like with Vera, it’s here and there, some devices stop working properly.

Are you having the same kind of issue ?

Can you share all the mods you made with your Vera? :wink:

@DesT

This is my old post summarizing my mods:

Long story short there are three areas of weakness:

  1. Memory both DRAM and NAND flash. DRAM is you have a lot of plugins -> use openluup
    NAND flash… bad partitioning -> extroot
  2. mios server stability -> Take it off the server and mod the vera scripts to disable all the various tunnels and services which depend on the servers
  3. network/internet monitor. Related but not quite to 2. I disabled the network monitor which serves to reload luup whenever the network interface drops which is completely unnecessary with the version of openWRT it is currently running. I believe this is a legacy program.

All of these made huge improvements to my system. I am not seeing devices stop working or dropping off my network. I now have two very solid networks: Zigbee and ZWave. I believe a lot of the stop working are due to unwanted luup reloads which is vera’s automated response to almost anything. It breaks more things than it fixes and must be prevented at all cost and this is valid for the full power cycle as well to a lesser extent. It can cause a number of data corruption. Now back on your device issues… they maybe zwave network issues, device issues or vera corruption related… On the network side, I found that vera on a large network polls way too often and unnecessarily for the network’s health and I have also completely disabled auto polling. I am also using USB sticks for both zwave and zigbee seeing that the antenna on the vera is extremely weak.

Cross posting from another thread here to answer a question I got also from in a few PMs as it was getting off topic.

It will be for me a slow step by step process because the vera has become more stable over the past year with 7.30 and 7.31. If this wasn’t the case, I think I would have migrated sooner. I do not intend to migrate the whole system. Only the part which is problematic which is the vera. I have neutered the vera so much that it is only a zwave+zigbee to IP controller for openluup. It appears to me that only the zwave portion is flawed.
For Z-wave the choices I have been considering are Homeseer and Z-way. There is also hubitat and all the openzwave based controlllers (HA, OpenHab, Domoticz) but they do not support S2 security. If I am going to make spend the time and energy, I might as well get something extra for it right? @akbooer has a “test” version of a bridge to Z-way which I have been playing with and I am pretty close. Creating a Homeseer bridge is also a possibility but I still dislike the VB, Windows base core. I have a free version I could use but I am taking the z-way shortcut for now.
If this is succesful, I am likely then going to move the handful of zigbee devices to HA and bridge them in through @rigpapa’s sitesensor and get rid of the vera completely.

I will be more than happy too, to move from Vera to zway just for the Z-wave and keep openLuup for all my scene and plug-in…

@rafale77 are you having a custom zway plugin or the one from @akbooer?

Yes, I have been exchanging with AK over the past few days and suggested some fixes for a few devices not being ported correctly. My zway is on the same network as the vera so openluup now sees everything double. :slight_smile:. I think I am close. Maybe another couple of weeks to get me even more comfortable with zway and I will start migrating by swapping the controller ids.

“swapping controller IDs”…

Is this how you plan to migrate your devices to a new ZWave controller? I too feel the gravitational pull from Vera’s traditional controller to their new cloud-based platform. As such, I’ve been hunting for a new place to lay my head. It saddens me but I feel like we’re being left behind a bit.

Two things are holding me back:

  1. My never-ending trust/faith in humans/companies. They won’t REALLY do that (desert us), will they? (wink)
  2. Over 100+ Zwave devices that I would have to exclude/include and migrate logic. (not to mention MySensors, and other integrations)

Just curious if there’s a more elegant solution to move ZWave devices…

That’s the beauty of zwave. It actually gives me goose bumps when I hear people taking the route of excluding/including when they have a device problem. It often is not helpful and lays in the same tone of “I don’t know what is going on, let’s just start from scratch” mentality similar to the abusive luup reload plaguing the vera. No I have no intention of migrating by excluding/including.
Zwave networks have the advantage over zigbee to be able to have multiple controllers. You can read up on it. I posted about this also elsewhere on this forum. I technically had up to 5 controllers on my network at one point testing simultaneously HA, vera, Hubitat, z-way and homeseer. You should be able to have one true primary with all others being secondary. For me swapping the controller ID is for those devices which only accept 1 controller in their lifeline association group and I have quite a few. It means that these devices either do not report instant status or wakeup or send their mainstream data to more than one controller and often that controller ID needs to be node 1. Newer devices allow for multiple lifeline controller association. You can also backup your zwave dongle and copy it over to another dongle. I even tested having two controllers with the same node id 1 (this makes a mess don’t do it).

So yeah I plan on cloning my vera zwave dongle onto my z-way dongle and vice versa… That would be the end of my migration. I had initially cloned the internal zwave data from my vera to a USB stick… so I am actually already running the vera on a USB dongle but short of doing that, one could play musical chair by shifting and excluding controllers alternatively until reaching the node id 1 for the dongle you want and then set that dongle to be SUC/SIS or true primary.

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I run homeseer on linux and its solid. There are some 3rd party plugins that don’t work but nothing I have really missed from windows, other than fully local voice recognition. And maybe being able to run blue iris on the same box when I pull the trigger on more than on IP cam.

I find the plugin cost to be overblown/ overwrought. There are plenty of free plugins and unless you just like having a painfully heterogeneous system, most users only need a few plugins. I run half as many plugins on HS as I did on vera because the core platform is better.

I do think with the pi4 that they need to loosen the plugin restriction on HSpi (and I live under that threshold even thoug my system supports nigh unlimited plugins). And hopefully the HS4 zigbee support is better than ezlo/veras but I dont think that module is out until summer.

Note that I don’t care for plugins since I am only looking for a zwave controller with an external API.
So far just looking at the engine itself the pros and cons between zway and homeseer are:

HomeSeer has a better forum and better support. It has arguably slightly better device support and development. I ran it on the pi and it was free so cost is not an issue. It can run on any hardware. I do not like its UI.

zway has its software licence in the uzb key which means you cannot use any hardware. The uzb is cheap enough but this far the firmware upgrade has been painful. The expert UI is very intuitive and is conducive to very good understanding of the zwave network. Above it all, it already has a bridge for openluup making migration much easier. For my application though, it comes out to be more expensive than HomeSeer due to the cost of the license.

If I am not fully satisfied with Z-Way, I will definitely consider putting together a HomeSeer bridge.

So far with zway, I have found 3 device functions I would lose vs the vera:

  1. My Leviton 4 button scene controllers lose the ability to change their LED colors. I use this as a visual house mode indicator…
  2. I cannot reset the HEM counter through the bridge. The function in zway is available from the expert level API but not from the virtual device level which the bridge uses.
  3. Maybe an artifact of me not having switched the controller ids yet but I cannot complete the interview of my thermostat so I am missing the fan control and the mode control is only partial. Oddly I can control all these from the expert level. Not at the virtual device level… So maybe it will be a limitation of dealing with the higher level API.

I may be wrong, but it should not be too difficult to use the ‘expert’ API for controlling specific ZWay devices. The complexity mostly arises from the device status and configuration side of the interface.

If you can find an HTTP request that the advanced interfaces uses, then the plugin should be able to use it.

The issue is to find that http request. Do you know how I would get to that?

Create it or read it?

C

Create it, It is likely in the API documentation… I am just not familiar with it.

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Use your browser developer tools to look at the traffic generated by the advanced interface when you use that to do the action. I’m slowly working through the advanced API docs and trying to reconcile what it does with the way that the virtual device interface presents things. Nightmare.

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@rafale77

I think I will do the jump too. The easy way should be to install a new little box with Zway, put this controller into the “same” zwave network as vera and all my device should appear in zway and still have vera working properly ?

I was suspecting something like that. I will try this when I get home. Thank you!

In short yes. Put the vera in inclusion mode and the zway controller in learn mode. The zway will get itself added to the network and will acquire the security key from the vera (secure key exchange). It took me a couple of trial and error to get the security key to exchange properly but this was back when the vera was very chatty with insane overhead. This should enable your zway to control all you devices but not all sensors will report back to zway yet. You can then run the equivalent to the vera configuration by interviewing all the nodes.
As I said some devices will not like accept more than 1 lifeline associations and some nodes will not like having anything but node 1 as its lifeline associations. This will depend on your devices and if you have devices like these, you will have to swap node ids between your controllers. I have done this a few times in the past…

An application that’s 20 years old running on the .Net Framework and is still full of memory leaks. I doubt the HS4 will improve matters either.

Surely something like Home Assistant, OpenHAB or Domoticz would be a better route to go Linux wise. No fees and healthy community input too.

Do you really want to go the commercial route where profit is the only driver of the application unless you are willing do write your own plugins.