Trials and Tribulations with Bridging Veras - MultiSwitch?

For some time now I have been fighting the problem of creating bridged Veras. Last week I finally got Tech Support to work with me in trying to resolve the problem and found something interesting.

First a recap of the configuration:
Primary Vera:

  • DSC Alarm Panel
  • Blue Iris Unofficial Plug In (11 cameras)
  • Arduino MySensors Subsystem
  • iPhone Locator
  • ImperiHome (3 panels)
  • GCal 3 sensor
  • Day/Night sensor
  • Vera Alerts
  • PLEG
  • AutoVera
  • MultiSwitch

Secondary Vera:

  • ALL ZWave devices, sensor, lights, outlets, etc.
  • AutoVera
  • PLEG
  • Day/Night sensor
  • GCal 3 Sensor
  • Vera Alerts
  • ImperiHome (3 panels)
  • MultiSwitch

When the bridge is created all of the Secondary Vera items are replicated on the Primary Vera as intended. However, NONE of the items have any properties, controls, etc. and cannot control the respective ZWave devices or reflect the current status of them

Working with Tech Support we began removing plug ins from the Secondary device until the replicated devices appeared correctly and would allow local control of the actual device on the Secondary. When we removed the MultiSwitch Plug In everything on the Primary started working correctly.

To prove this we broke the bridge and restored the Secondary from the current backup and resumed normal unbridged operation on both Veras. We then recreated the bridge which resulted in the earlier condition of everything replicated but non-functional.

We then removed the REPLICATED MultiSwitch devices and the other devices immediately appeared and functioned correctly. However, at the next restart of EITHER Vera the replicated MultiSwitches were recreated and all the other devices reverted to their inoperative condition.

IN THIS CASE the culprit appears to be the Multiswitch Plug In. But if I’ve learned anything in experimenting with Vera Bridging it is that you cannot assume that what is a problem in one configuration will be a problem in all configurations.

I’ve had an email conversation with Richard Schaefer because Tech support originally thought the problem was due to the PLEG Plug In; which subsequent testing showed not to be IN THIS CASE. Richard suggested that the problem MIGHT be that the Secondary MultiSwitch button labels have been customized and that this might be causing the problem when the plug in was replicated. I haven’t had a chance to test this but even if it is and it replicates correctly unaltered the question then appears to be what happens if one does modify the Secondary buttons after the bridge is created— will the next restart result in a replication of the newly modifies MultiSwitch and interfere with the other devices yet again.

So now i’m working on how to lose the MultiSwitch Plug In from the Secondary before proceeding with bridging again.

In the course of the conversation with Richard one useful idea did arise … that of having a replicate/no-replicate “switch” in each plug-in so that the user could decide which plug-ins not to transfer to the Primary. For the most part the replicated Plug-ins serve little useful purpose so not bringing them over would probably be a good idea anyway.

I removed the MultiSwitch Plugin and indeed the bridge appears to build correctly. All the various devices from the now-Secondary Vera appear correctly in the now-Primary Vera. I am able to turn lights On/Off using the replicated device on the Primary so at least half of the objective is obtained.

However most of the replicated devices do NOT correctly track the status of the actual device on the Secondary, i.e. a light ON on the Secondary will not necessarily show as ON, nor does its internal device property reflect the ON state so there is no way for the Primary to know that the Secondary received and executed the command.

Back to Tech Support.

Very useful write-up. I was thinking of getting a Vera Edge in addition to my Vera 3 (UI5), and bridging them. I wanted to use the new Edge to learn and play with UI7, as well as move all my TRV’s over. But as I am heavily relying on multi switches, I might postpone that. And if I do not get the correct state of devices on both Vera’s, that is not particularly brilliant either… please keep posting your experiences

Well, as of today, after removing Multiswitch and Variable Container, everything has come over. I can control everything on the Secondary Vera (has all the Z-Wave devices) from the Primary but only about half of the devices report their conditions. It APPEARS that the state of the devices. sensors,lingts, etc is correctly available to a PLEG on the Primary so its just that the panes don’t depict the state.

I have SysLog running on both Primary and Secondary and again it APPEARS the every event on the ZWave Vera is replicated on the Primary. However sometimes the event is replicated in a few seconds, other times as much as 5-10 MINUTES after the event.

All in all somewhat disappointing, especially as I suspect others with Bridged Veras have been far more successful than my excursion. :0