Vera 3 + Leviton Installer Tool ... config & best practices?

Q: What is the most practical configuration for running a network of Leviton devices/controllers & Vera 3?

DETAIL

I have a network of Leviton devices & controllers in my house.
I have struggled over the years and found that, for me, ControlThink was the best available solution for configuring it.
Vera 2 never worked well as the primary controller with my Leviton devices. However, I was able to get it to partially function as a secondary controller and I was able to live with that. The last time I touched the network configuration was probably Summer 2011.

When Vera 3 became available earlier this year, I upgraded immediately, but I only recently worked up the courage to try again.

I tried setting up the network with Vera 3 as the master. This was still a relatively painful process and the end result didn’t work very well. Much better than with the last time I tried … 18+ months ago. But, still some issues with delays & indicator lites not working properly.

Therefore, I bought the Viza RF+ Installer Tool usb controller, As other postings have said, this is a significant improvement. Using the Leviton Installer Tool software I was able to rebuild my zwave network and have it work well. I was, frankly, pleasantly surprised that I was able to rebuild the network and have it function properly with minimal frustration.

The final step was to take a deep breath and try to include my Vera 3 into the network. However, I have not been successful with this. I able to figure out how to include Vera 3 as a controller into the Installer Tool network. I can’t get the two to establish communication.

Here is a random list of questions on this complex topic:

Q: Is there a way/trick for including Vera 3 into a network that is configured with the Leviton Installer Tool?

Q: Should I try to set up the network by building the network with Vera 3 as the master, then including the Leviton Installer Tool as a controller? (please say no)

Q: Once the network is configured (if I ever get there), Should Vera 3 be the primary or a secondary network controller?

Q: Please confirm that I should use the checkbox “By default Vera should automatically configure devices” to prevent Vera 3 from overwriting the vendor-specific direct associations (terminology?) between the Leviton devices & controllers.

Q: Do I want to throw a Leviton VRCPG-0SG button controller into the maelstrom?

Thanks in advance!
Michael

Might want to post in the thread below and see if some of the others using it can help:

http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,11014.0.html

I am a real believer in using the complete Leviton set of components and then setting up Vera as a secondary. I have tryed it both ways…back in forth hoping the Vera delay issues would go away but they never did for me. I am using the Leviton stick with their free software for setting things up and like you said it is PAINLESS and easy to repeat! I use a Leviton handheld remote to compliment the system which is so easy to setup as a secondary using the same software. It is tricky to get the Vera to take the secondary role but it has been outlined very well in the other thread…ZWave for Installers…I don’t have the Vera 3 so lets let someone else define the process to setup Vera as a secondary. The bottom line is that the Leviton products work flawless with each other and have no time delays unless a node has become unavailable. Scenes can still be created using the Vera but the Scene Controllers work best for ME if they are setup on the controller the way Leviton designed them to work.
I hope that helps!
Regards
Tim Alls
AllSeas Yachts

Q: Is there a way/trick for including Vera 3 into a network that is configured with the Leviton Installer Tool?
There is for Vera 2, you can include Vera 2 as a secondary controller. The process is a bit tricky:

"How to make Vera the secondary controller to Leviton Vizia RF+ (VRCPG)?

To do this you will need to follow these steps:

  1. First you will need to change the Z-Wave firmware to 2.78:
    Setup -> Z-Wave Settings -> Options -> uncheck the option ‘Use Z-Wave version 3.20 instead of 2.78’ and Save.
  2. After you check that the version is 2.78 and not 3.20, you will need to change the Vera unit to be secondary. To do this bring the Leviton controller near the Vera unit, less than 5 feet and on the Vera unit go to:
    Setup -> Z-Wave Settings -> Advanced -> click Go next to ‘Copy Z-Wave network from a master controller’
  3. Then, on the remote controller you must go to:
    ‘Menu - System Setup - Advanced - Yes - Network - Primary utils - Send primary data’
    Instead of this , I did an “include node”

Q: Should I try to set up the network by building the network with Vera 3 as the master, then including the Leviton Installer Tool as a controller? (please say no)
Personally, I’d set it up with the Installer Tool first, then Shift Primary control to Vera 3 if you choose to

Q: Once the network is configured (if I ever get there), Should Vera 3 be the primary or a secondary network controller?
I don’t think this really matters. It’s preference really. That being said, Leviton controllers do not support Z-wave locks. If you want a lock in your system, then Vera must be primary

Q: Please confirm that I should use the checkbox “By default Vera should automatically configure devices” to prevent Vera 3 from overwriting the vendor-specific direct associations (terminology?) between the Leviton devices & controllers.

If you program Leviton Zone or Scene controller buttons in Vera to turn scenes on or off, then check the box. If you have Leviton Zone or Scene controllers, and you program them with the Leviton software or VRCPG then, when the Vera unit is secondary, you will need to go to:
Setup -> Z-Wave Settings -> Options -> uncheck the options ‘By default Vera should automatically configure devices’ and ‘Use Vera routing instead of Z-Wave (requires 4.5)’."

Q: Do I want to throw a Leviton VRCPG-0SG button controller into the maelstrom?

TimAlls, Oti@, etc have been doing this for longer than me. I’ve gleaned a lot from their posts to the forum and personal help (Cheers guys!! ;D). I’m not 100% that any of the above advice is worthwhile. Fair warning.

Good Luck!!
If you want (I have one), but if you have the VRUSB and a portable laptop, it may not be necessary

One more thing…I’m not sure what you mean by “establishing communication” between Vera and the Installer Tool.
If that means sharing device names, room, etc, then I think you are out of luck. If you have included Vera in the Installer Tool, you can switch primary roles between the two (which is helpful). The devices will show up and function, but you have to rename and reorganize them in Vera from the defaults anytime you switch roles :frowning:

At least you don’t have to go around and “include” all your devices again.

For me having Vera in the network allows me to use Z-wave locks, and use an iphone app to interface with my network (iVera). It also allows me to run scenes like turning my Christmas lights on at sunset, and off again at midnight. (as a matter of fact, they just flipped on ;D).

Just a quick note…
You will lose all naming when you transfer over to the Vera…but renaming is quick and easy since you do not have to include the nodes.
If you leave Vera as a secondary you can still have custom scenes (just like the one mentioned above), custom code, etc. but you will lose the ability to configure the device through the Vera. It sounds like you will not have door locks as well…I don’t use them so that never came up…good to know!
I use Vera as a lighting controller and that’s it for me…for my needs Leviton Installer Stick as the primary and Leviton Remote and Vera as a secondary gave me what I needed…instant response every time on my 4 button controllers!
Good luck.
Regards
Tim Alls

[quote=“Urodoc, post:4, topic:173366”]1) First you will need to change the Z-Wave firmware to 2.78:
Setup -> Z-Wave Settings -> Options -> uncheck the option ‘Use Z-Wave version 3.20 instead of 2.78’ and Save.
2) After you check that the version is 2.78 and not 3.20, you will need to change the Vera unit to be secondary. To do this bring the Leviton controller near the Vera unit, less than 5 feet and on the Vera unit go to:
Setup -> Z-Wave Settings -> Advanced -> click Go next to ‘Copy Z-Wave network from a master controller’[/quote]

These two worked for me.

[quote=“Urodoc, post:4, topic:173366”]3) Then, on the remote controller you must go to:
‘Menu - System Setup - Advanced - Yes - Network - Primary utils - Send primary data’
Instead of this , I did an “include node”[/color][/quote]

These instructions would be correct if using the Leviton VRCPG hand-held remote.

In my case, using the Leviton Vizia RF + Installer Tool with VRUSB-1US, I clicked on Include Device

This worked fine … Vera 3 included with no problems.

On my previous attempts to do this I had not downgraded to Z-Wave version 2.78

[quote=“Urodoc, post:4, topic:173366”]Q: Should I try to set up the network by building the network with Vera 3 as the master, then including the Leviton Installer Tool as a controller? (please say no)
Personally, I’d set it up with the Installer Tool first, then Shift Primary control to Vera 3 if you choose to[/quote]

Using Vera 3 with UI5 I have not been able to figure out how to do a controller shift so that Vera 3 gets promoted to Primary.
The Leviton Installer Tool has a menu entry under VR Remote -> Transfer Primary Role …
Vera 3 UI5 has Setup -> Z-Wave Settings -> Advanced -> Controller shift but no action takes place and the Installer Tool times out. I wonder if Controller shift on Vera 3 means “Downgrade to Secondary” as opposed to “Upgrade to Primary”. I have not investigated this yet on the forums.

Michael

I made a big mistake when I included Vera 3 as a secondary master controller in my Leviton Installer Tool network.

I failed to uncheck the box Vera 3 UI5: Setup -> Z-Wave Settings -> Options -> By default Vera should automatically configure devices

As a result, all of the direct associations (?) between my Leviton wall-mounted controllers & Leviton devices were lost. Not sure if my terminology is correct … but the end result was that none of my buttons worked.

Basically, some time later I went to turn on a light and nothing happened. I then tried several others and got the same lack of response.

After moaning a bit I remembered the “Vera should automatically configure” option. I unchecked the box and assumed that I could just use the Leviton Installer Tool software to easily reprogram the network.

Unfortunately, it proved not to be that easy. The Leviton Installer Tool software assumes that nobody has been screwing with the configuration that it has put in place. The Program Entire Network button wouldn’t do anything because it wasn’t aware of any changes. I was unable to find a mechanism to force reprogramming of all controller button associations. After some experimentation I found that I had to make a change to the button definition in order to get it to work. I ended up having set every button to “No area”, use Program Entire Network, redefine each button for its intended use, then Program Entire Network again. For a 4-zone controller I had to redefine all 4 buttons, since each controller button is treated separately. Trial-and-error lead me to go through this process for each button individually, one at a time. When I tried to do several buttons at a time things would fail … it could not see a device and would offer to retry … retry would seem to succeed, but then one or more buttons wouldn’t work properly. I fell back to going through the process one button at a time, to avoid “retries” and to ensure that each button worked properly before moving on.

Lesson learned:
Be absolutely certain to uncheck
Vera 3 UI5: Setup -> Z-Wave Settings -> Options -> By default Vera should automatically configure devices
before including Vera in your Leviton-configured Z-Wave network.

I made a big mistake when I included Vera 3 as a secondary master controller in my Leviton Installer Tool network.
I did the same thing....it seems strange that Vera, when set as a secondary, would make ANY changes to the system....after all it is a SECONDARY! That's the way it is though.....when I did it I reset the network and let Leviton rebuild it.... Tim

Now I have a bigger problem

[quote=“Urodoc, post:4, topic:173366”]Q: Once the network is configured (if I ever get there), Should Vera 3 be the primary or a secondary network controller?
I don’t think this really matters. It’s preference really. That being said, Leviton controllers do not support Z-wave locks. If you want a lock in your system, then Vera must be primary[/quote]

Yes, I have a Schlage lock … so I decided to take the step to make Vera 3 the primary master and demote my Leviton Installer Tool VRUSB-1US to a secondary master.

I followed the instructions under http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,11014.msg91171.html

[quote=“oTi@, post:19, topic:171921”]To shift primary role to Vera:
Vera: [tt]Setup[/tt] > [tt]Z-Wave Settings[/tt] > [tt]Advanced[/tt] > [tt]Copy Z-Wave network from a master controller[/tt]
IT: [tt]Transfer Primary Role[/tt][/quote]

I did this … and it only took half way.

The Leviton Installer Tool now thinks that it is not primary … but Vera doesn’t think it is primary either.

Neither side is willing to initiate the transfer since neither side thinks it is primary.

gulp … HELP!?

Suggestions appreciated.

Michael

Q: How did you “reset the network” ? Did you mean Leviton Installer Tool: Network -> Reset RF Installer USB Stick ?

I’ve done this before, and oddly enough, after letting both devices sit for a while, I reopened a backup version of my network file on the Leviton, did a repair on it, and it got better - but I still had to go around and re-include many of my devices. The key was having a backup copy - if you don’t have that, my only suggestion would be to write down your Home ID, create a new network file, and use the “recover network” option on the Leviton. It doesn’t work very well (it’ll show a list of things like “Slave Device 3” instead of the actual device names), but at that point, you at least have it in primary mode, and can attempt to transfer the actual configuration over from the Vera again.

[quote=“michaelthoward, post:10, topic:173366”]The Leviton Installer Tool now thinks that it is not primary … but Vera doesn’t think it is primary either.
Neither side is willing to initiate the transfer since neither side thinks it is primary.
gulp … HELP!?
Suggestions appreciated.[/quote]
ThinkEssentials will allow you to force primary; can’t remember if IT has that option. On Vera, if running Z-Wave 3.20, hitting the ‘Hack to convert 2.78 to 3.20’ is known to put Vera back in the primary role.

I was at one click to buy leviton dimmers because it appears have good quality.
but for me the more important capacity is be 100% vera3 compatible.

I’m sorry because I can not find any product similar like VRCZ4-M0Z to use like scene controller.

if someone knows or can say VRCZ4-M0Z can be installed in vera3 without problems I thanks !

[quote=“Piwtorak, post:14, topic:173366”]if someone knows or can say VRCZ4-M0Z can be installed in vera3 without problems I thanks ![/quote]I am using at least 4 VRCZ4-M0Z without issue. I also have 1 VRCZ4-MRZ also without any issues.

Thanks for information Purdueguy !

Anyone here have a usb stick or leviton remote they would sell? I will pay top $$$, I would really like to get my 4-scene buttons dialed-in with dimmers, switchs and plug-ins

Thanks much