Setup question

Hi all! Here’s my story:

I have a cortexa unit that’s on the fritz and I’m on the fence about using Vera to replace it. I have a whole house Insteon installation which I understand Vera can handle now. My question is can Vera also interface with my thermostats and my security system.

I have two HAI Omnistat 2’s as well as a GE Networx security system (via a virtual RS232 keypad).

Does anyone know if I can use my stats and security system with Vera?


Hi Mark,

Welcome to the forum!

I can’t give you any feedback with Insteon and Vera interfacing, since I have a complete Z-wave setup up currently; or on Omnistat2 compatibility.

Out of the box, Vera does not currently integrate with any security systems, other than using z-wave enabled motion detectors as triggers. However, you are not alone in thinking it would be great to get Vera integrated with existing security systems.

I have been in contact with the developer of Vera (MiCasaVerde, or “MCV” for short) about getting Vera to work with my GE/Caddx NX-8 security system. They contacted me, here on the forum, and said they would like to support this security system and would be willing to write the code for the plug-in if I would agree to be a beta tester. I’m waiting for one more piece of hardware to connect my NX-584 (RS232 serial Home Automation Interface board) to Vera via WiFi, and then I hope MCV will begin work on this plug-in soon. I plan to post the development progress of the plug-in to the forum while I am testing.

On another front, there has been a lot of work done by “guessed” (another forum member) to create a custom Vera plug-in for a Paradox security system he has installed. It’s not available to other community members currently, but I think he plans to release it at some point. (Any thoughts guessed?)

Just a few of my observations as a Vera user about the platform as a whole:

It seems as though MCV has been very focused on getting IR control baked into Vera in the most recent Beta firmware. This seems to be their big push at the moment since it has been a requirement from MCV’s iPhone app developer/partner. In all, I would have to say that the development of Vera by MCV has been pretty aggressive even with the hardware issues they have been plagued with from their z-wave dongle manufacturer. That being said, Vera continues to be evolving at a pretty fast pace. I don’t think you can find another product currently on the market that can boast as much compatibility for the price. I have been very happy with my purchase, however, I think there are some issues that will arise due to the enormous amount of code being developed to support more and more types of Home Automation technologies that a user will need to work through as Vera’s code becomes more “fully-baked.”

Hope this helps… a simple search of the forums will reveal the details of the security system integration efforts guessed and myself have put forth thus far…

Jacobly -

Thanks for the input. Seems like MCV is coming right along. I actually purchased one of the early units when they first came out and, frankly, haven’t even plugged it in! The Cortexa unit has been functioning just fine, but recently it has gone South propelling me into either using MCV for my home automation needs.

That said, I can’t give up my thermostats or security integration. I have both a NX-590E IP based interface for the Networkx/Caddx system as well as a NX-587E serial interface for it. I’m a .NET programmer (a dying breed apparently) and could whip up a plug-in real quick, but I’m afraid I have no idea how to start writing code for Linux.

I’d be willing to beta test any plug-in that anyone produces. The thermostats are also serial and well documented, so hopefully someone will write for those as well.


Just a small clarification - Vera uses Lua interpretation language for plug-ins and other extensibility options. So, in order to write plug-ins, you don’t need to know anything about Linux.

If you can write .NET stuff, you’ll be fine with Lua, it’s crazy simple to learn if you have any form of scripting (or programming) background. Think “Basic” crossed with Javascript, and if you get nuts, you can do things more like C++ but most will never see that.

There’s only a limited set of Linux commands (“tail”, “cd”, “pwd”, “grep” and a few others) needed whilst developing the script since you’ll likely want to go through the logs to diagnose stuff for a complex component like an Alarm Panel.

First you’ll want to get a grip on the Protocol for the Serial interface or Network interface to your alarm. Mine can be Network attached also, but the command syntax only works through the Direct Serial interface (odd, but whatever)

If you go Serial, avoid the hastle and pick one of the “known” USB-Serial cables from the Wiki. Anything off the beaten path here will require more Linux knowledge to debug (and some time and patience)

I started first by sending (typing) commands to my Alarm using a Winhoze box over Serial (using a terminal emulator like Hyperterm). Once I got familiar with that, I moved on to connecting it to Vera and building out the guts. I haven’t posted it yet, because MCV’s team is still working with me to get the UI elements working correctly, and I’m stabilizing it at the same time (along with a complete Alarm Zone failure that I had the vendor fix)

Thanks for all the helpful information everyone! I’m going to have to dig into Lua and see what I can do to get the ball rolling. I’m sure I’ll be asking more questions soon!

If you want to become familiar with the language then any of the examples posted here by folks will get you most of that. You can also get the Lua interpreter on Windows/Mac/Linux if you want to do something more complex.

The generic Lua Tut’s over at are helpful also since they ramp from very simple to crazy-complex: