Unable to extend Z-Wave Network to Door Locks

Hello, everyone. Just joined the community today, first post. I spent some time searching and reading. Please help, as I’m new to Z-Wave.

I don’t use Z-Wave or Vera 3 for any purpose other than controlling a couple Kwikset and Yale Z-Wave locks. For two years, the Vera 3 was within 15 feet of the locks and they all worked flawlessly.

I have moved and Vera 3 cannot be close enough to all four Z-Wave locks. I had no other Z-Wave devices to propagate a network, so I added two GE 45605 Z-Wave outlets (I read that they support beaming). I added the outlets to Vera, went to Setup>Z-Wave Settings>Repair, unchecked the “Re-configure all the devices when done” checkbox and clicked go and allowed the process to complete. The GE 45605’s are about twenty feet apart from each other and Vera and 10 feet to the locks. Could not reach the locks.

Forum searches had indicated positive results using the Aeon Labs DSD37 Z-Wave extenders, so I added two of those, did a network heal, and still cannot reach the locks.

During the network heal I noticed a number of “0 good routes out of 0” messages in the status bar, so I checked the Restore Z-Wave Network checkbox and restored to a known good time a week ago. Removed then re-added the Aeon DSD37s and still cannot reach the locks.

Since I don’t use Z-Wave for any other purpose, I don’t have a builtin infrastructure for propagation… just looking for the most reliable way to extend the network from Vera 3 to a number of exterior doors in a larger home.

Until a few days ago this Vera 3 unit was operating four Z-Wave locks within about 18 feet flawlessly. I happen to have a second unused Vera 3 unit in a box… I could try setting up that unit instead with the Aeon Extenders.

Any suggestions for me? Thanks!

Have you thought about adding an external antenna on the vera for the z-wave network to get better coverage?
[url=http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=11276.0]http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php?topic=11276.0[/url]

Hi, aPL, thanks for the link. I’ll keep it in mind, to extend Vera’s wireless range but for most of my applications I would not want to void the factory warranty and the exterior doors on people’s homes are just too far apart.

I believe I read in this forum that the maximum number of Z-Wave network hops is four. If I’m unable to extend a Z-Wave network far and reliably, my next thought was to extend the Z-Wave network by ethernet (or possibly WiFI) and add additional Veras as needed in bridge mode, such that each Z-Wave lock communicates directly with its own Vera. I realize this is not the least expensive solution but I goal is reliability and remote serviceability. I might be “remote advance deploying” some of these solutions, where I pair Z-Wave locks to Veras and ship all parts for installation.

Can someone tell me: if I use multiple Veras in bridge mode in the same installation-- is this reliable, any reason other than expense NOT to do this? When I log in with a remote client like HomeWave on iOS, will I see all the homes’ locks on one single control page or would there be multiple separate logins to reach the additional Veras’ devices?

Many thanks.

things to try:

  1. make sure your GE outlet supports beaming (I recall certain older GE versions didn’t support beaming),
  2. The “info viewer” plugin gives you more info on devices, routes, and support for beaming,
  3. I’d suggest you do a heal without unchecking “Re-configure all devices”, sometimes reconfiguration is needed to update routes
  4. you can try to use manual routing (search, there are more than one thread on how to do that)
  5. try to exclude and re-include the problematic locks after adding the new outlets.

yes, that should work, but it sounds like an overkill in your case…

I have several i my house, but there is a good reason for this nonsense.

1: My first unit was a Vera lite and I installed in our house mainly to control the thermostats, but went on to get into lighting and it never stops.

2: Unattached guesthouse. While I did wire CAT6 to the guesthouse, I was unable to get any decent zwave connectivity to the main house. So added a Lite to do that.

3: Upgraded to Vera 3 in the main house because I was in need of more memory. At this point, because I have an unusual shaped house with concrete construction and mainly steel studs, I moved my original unit to a data closet and it solved my connectivity problems with the other end of the house.

4: (now it is out of hand) I put a lite in the cabana/playhouse which is next to our pool/spa equipment, had an AC unit that I couldn’t reach otherwise with the other units and it happens to be where I power the landscape lighting from. Also the kids use those room and seldom would they turn down the /C or turn off the lights…

So I have four. Three are all bridged to my main. I can see any and all devices attached to the bridged units on the main (with the exception of scenes) which works. I can make scenes, use PLEG or otherwise control with Lua any device on the network.

I can say that I have great things to say about using Bridged devices. And I don’t have any zwve network issues. I was unable to bridge them on my own, however and had to have MCV set that up.

@convint - Try performing the heal without unchecking “Re-configure all the devices when done”. Vera needs to reconfigure your network and your devices. This will likely solve your problem.

IN the Vera UI, click your 45605 wrench → Settings tab. Look at the Capabilities field. If there is a B in the string, then it supports Beaming. The distances you describe should usually work, but it is impossible to know your specific environment.

I’m trying to understand how, if you can’t locate your Vera near the locks, you plan to locate an additional Vera near the locks?

[quote=“Z-Waver, post:6, topic:180156”]@convint - Try performing the heal without unchecking “Re-configure all the devices when done”. Vera needs to reconfigure your network and your devices. This will likely solve your problem.

IN the Vera UI, click your 45605 wrench → Settings tab. Look at the Capabilities field. If there is a B in the string, then it supports Beaming. The distances you describe should usually work, but it is impossible to know your specific environment.[/quote]

I’m not sure that is entirely true? I’m pretty sure Leviton dimmers don’t support beaming, yet here is the capabilities string from mine: 211,156,0,4,17,4,L,R,B,RS,|38:1,39,43,44,114,115,119,133,134,145,

???

Some Leviton devices support beaming. I know that these two do:
Leviton VRP03-1LW 300W Scene Capable Plug-In Lamp Dimming Module.
Leviton VRC0P-1LW Plug-In Serial Interface Module.

Apparently your dimmer does as well.

http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/ZWave_Command_Classes

It’s a VRI06-1LZ, and according to everything I had researched, beaming wasn’t a feature (hence why I use it on the 2nd floor of my house). I’m not complaining if it does, it’s just troubling if the information that is out there is not reliable.

I’m reasonably certain that the capabilities string is derived from polling the device itself. So, yours does appear to support beaming. I’d guess that it is a newer model. What version does Vera report for your dimmer?

The most recently announce Leviton stuff is using Z-Wave 4.5.4 and I suspect that they will all support beaming(unconfirmed).

[quote=“Z-Waver, post:10, topic:180156”]I’m reasonably certain that the capabilities string is derived from polling the device itself. So, yours does appear to support beaming. I’d guess that it is a newer model. What version does Vera report for your dimmer?

The most recently announce Leviton stuff is using Z-Wave 4.5.4 and I suspect that they will all support beaming(unconfirmed).[/quote]

Agreed on your thoughts on the newer models, but this dimmer is at least 4 months old.

When you say “version” do you mean the manufacturer’s firmware version or the Z-wave library version?

I was thinking manufacturer’s firmware version, when I wrote that, but now I’m thinking that it would still be meaning less without other version data for comparison.

Yup. I’m not sure if getting the Z-wave version is supported in the protocol, do you know?

Hello, everyone. Thank you very much for your help!

@capjay- as per Z-Waver’s suggestion below, in the Vera UI, I clicked the GE45605 outlet wrench>Settings tab, and the Capabilities field does list a B, so it seems Beaming is supported in the device. I also did a network heal without unchecking the “Re-configure all devices.” At completion, of the four Z-Wave locks all three failed to configure except for the one lock within native range of the Vera. Re-configuring the locks would require me moving the Vera back close by to each lock and they’re a bit of pain to enroll, so I ended up rolling back to a previous network configuration.

@Bulldoglowell- thanks a million for sharing your experience. A number of people I’m working with have large homes and outbuildings and I could imagine extending Z-Wave far and wide by CAT6 and placing additional Veras in bridge mode. Glad to know that from the main Vera control page you can see the devices from all other bridged Veras, that’s critical.

Again, one of the possible goals I have is to pair Z-Wave locks with Veras in my office, label the equipment, then ship it for remote installation. I wonder if the bridging administration requires setting up static IP addresses of the final installation?

@Z-Waver- as mentioned above, the result of network heal with a checked box for “Re-configure all the devices when done” was all three Z-Wave locks outside the native range of the Vera failed to configure. To reconfigure devices, would I need to bring the Vera or the GE 45605 outlet or Aeon DSD37 extender within 3 feet of the lock to enroll it? Thanks for your apt question, " if you can’t locate your Vera near the locks, [how do] you plan to locate an additional Vera near the locks?" I wasn’t clear, the issue is not that I can’t get Vera near the locks, I just can’t get one single Vera near all locks. I’m planning a widespread deployment right now and trying to figure the best way to get locks 200 or 300 feet apart to work.

In recap of all this discussion, it appears my GE45605s and Aeon DSD37s all support beaming and this OUGHT to work. The salient tip seems to be I need to reconfigure devices at the network heal-- is re-configure the same thing as the original enrollment and do I need to bring the Vera or the repeater device to within three feet of each lock? (As I said, when I checked the Re-configure box last time, all locks failed to configure except one that was about ten feet away from Vera.)

I’ve read several articles on the subject of bridging Vera but has anyone had good luck administering the bridging of multiple Veras together or this something that MCV really needs to do?

Any other thoughts on the feasibility of pairing locks to Veras in one location and shipping them for remote administration? Someone is asking for this. Again, many thanks everyone.

[quote=“convint, post:14, topic:180156”]@Bulldoglowell- thanks a million for sharing your experience. A number of people I’m working with have large homes and outbuildings and I could imagine extending Z-Wave far and wide by CAT6 and placing additional Veras in bridge mode. Glad to know that from the main Vera control page you can see the devices from all other bridged Veras, that’s critical.

Again, one of the possible goals I have is to pair Z-Wave locks with Veras in my office, label the equipment, then ship it for remote installation. I wonder if the bridging administration requires setting up static IP addresses of the final installation?[/quote]

you should check with MCV if you can bridge over the WAN

I don’t know. I’m pretty sure it can be done via LUA and Z-Wave command_class, but I’d have to look it up.

If you have reachable Beaming nodes within 10 to 15 feet of the lock, multiple heals might get you going. An exclude/include of the lock might speed this process up a bit. If you can get a beaming node within range of the lock, multiple Veras should not be required.

Locks must be included in situ. This is generally true for most battery operated devices. They need to know about their neigbors in the network. And they need a successful configure to make them operational.

Including locks offsite and then sending them to another location will not work.

[quote=“Z-Waver, post:16, topic:180156”]Locks must be included in situ. This is generally true for most battery operated devices. They need to know about their neigbors in the network. And they need a successful configure to make them operational.

Including locks offsite and then sending them to another location will not work.[/quote]

Thanks for clarifying about the need to know about network neighbors, etc.

Since my goal is to extend Z-Wave great distances AND remote deployment is sometimes helpful, I am leaning towards using Veras exclusively for Z-Wave propagation, no neighbors. Pair the Z-Wave locks here at my office, each to the unique individual Vera unit which will ultimately be installed within 20 feet of that lock when placed in client home. Ship three locks and three Veras and theoretically you should be able to just connect Veras by ethernet and it should work. Bridge Veras 2 and 3 to 1 for unified control from iOS.

I realize I’m a guest in a forum of enthusiasts experienced in the rich capabilities of Z-Wave throughout the entire home. And this must seem like a strange scenario… thinking about how to deploy remotely controlled locks across a large area with no Z-Wave backbone, that’s it. Thanks for the input!

I’ll follow up to this post in case my experience might assist someone else. I’m not sure if this is what’s meant by “bridging” multiple Veras in a single installation, but I found it incredibly easy to add the Devices from one Vera to another Vera.

For the sake of discussion I’ll call my multiple Veras Master and Slaves. At the Master Vera UI, I went to Devices>Add Devices>UPNP> and clicked the box for “Scan for UPnP devices,” then waited ten minutes. The Slave Vera showed up and I had the option to add all of that Slave’s Devices. So now on my Master Vera, I see and control my Z-Wave locks totally across the house but within Z-Wave reach of the distant Slave Vera. All this via LAN (ethernet + WiFi), no Z-Wave network in the house. BTW, I logged into the Master Vera from iOS with HomeWave and all devices are there and they seem to operate fine.

BTW, my router is a late 2013 Apple Time Capsule, and I wasn’t aware that UPnP played well with Apple routers, but I made no change to the router’s settings and this seemed to work fine.

Based on my prior configurations, my Master Vera is Setup>Net & WiFi> Automatically configure and my Slave Vera is set to connect via WiFi with a static IP. Not sure if static IPs might be helpful to the durability of this configuration or indeed if all Veras had their network settings to Automatically configure, why this scenario would not be easy to deploy remotely.