July 07, 2015 19 Comments
As we're all waiting for the new Aeotec MultiSensor 6 to be officially added to the list of supported devices by all major Z-Wave gateways, I have been testing and researching a way to properly include the device to my VeraEdge. I was finally able to configure 4 basic child sensors a couple of days ago. It looks like another few weeks before we see the UV and vibration sensors on Vera's interface but all other 4 are functional after a quick manual fix.
Here are the steps to set up the ZW100-A MultiSensor with a VeraEdge. Make sure you have the latest version of UI7 firmware installed on your hub. If not, click here to perform the update first. If you're planning to use the sensor on batteries, the manufacturer recommends pairing it with the sensor running on batteries, not connected to the USB port.
1. Bring the MultiSensor close to your hub and add it to your Vera choosing the 4-in-1 sensor as device type and single-clicking on the action button. It will come up as a "D_GenericIO1" device. You may have to exclude it first (simply send an unpairing command from your Vera and click on the MultiSensor’s action button - read more here).
2. Once the device is included, please wait for all children nodes to show up. Then press the action button quickly 3 times to put the device in the wake up mode. DO NOT hold the action button. The LED indicator on the sensor should blink - do not press anything else on the sensor at this point.
3. Select the new device, then click on Advanced.
4. Go to the Params tab and make the following changes:
- device_type: urn:schemas-micasaverde-com:device:MotionSensor:1
- device_file: D_MotionSensor1.xml
- device_json: D_MotionSensor1.json
5. Wait for the led indicator on the MultiSensor to stop blinking. Do not press anything on the device until the process is completed.
6. Put the sensor in the wake-up mode again and send the “Configure Node Now” command from your Vera.
7. Once the device is configured (the LED indicator will stop blinking), restart your Vera.
Let me know if you find a shorter way to set it up or if I've missed something!
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May 05, 2022
Insteon just became another smart home company to shut down their services. Overnight, the platform’s servers were disconnected, leaving their customers without a functional smart home. SmartLabs, Insteon’s mother company, claims to have sold over 5 million connected devices; that’s a lot of sensors, switches, and controllers that became orphaned. Does it mean that all of this hardware is now completely useless?
It turns out that there are ways to salvage your Insteon products and continue using them, at least to some extent, on other platforms who stepped up and provided integration for this protocol. However, these workarounds are less than user-friendly and will require more time and possible frustration around a system that’s no longer backed by any official support. What’s the alternative and is it even worth it to have a connected house these days?
August 06, 2020
If you already have Amazon Echo set up, you know how convenient it can be. There’s nothing like walking out the front door with full hands and telling Alexa to turn off your lights last minute. But these smart lights and plugs can be slow to react as you keep adding more smart home devices and clogging your network.
Alexa only “speaks” WiFi (and ZigBee if you have the EchoPlus). It currently doesn’t support Z-Wave, the protocol of choice for home automation thanks to its high speed and low interference with other connected devices in your home. That means you can’t have a Z-Wave switch or plug speak directly to your Echo. BUT you can use a smart home hub as a bridge between your Z-Wave devices and Amazon Alexa. Now that’s a whole other level of functionality to unlock!
And if you already have a Z-Wave hub but no smart speaker, you might be thinking how cool it would be to have voice control for your automations and smart home devices. It’s a step towards a more integrated, easy-to-use smart home with improved security, comfort, and convenience.
May 10, 2020 12 Comments
Starting May 13, 2020, Wink will be charging its users a $4.99 monthly subscription fee. If you don’t pay, you’ll lose your automations, smart rules, and access to voice control. [Update 5/30/20: Wink has since backed out of the decision, at least for now. Update 7/27/20: The subscription service for Wink is finally in effect.]
So is it worth paying $5 a month for Wink’s service? The platform hasn’t been adding new features or expanding its list of supported devices for a while now. The announcement introducing the subscription model didn’t include any details on when and how the system would start updating again. They also failed to give users at least 30 days notice to consider how to move forward. If you’re thinking about switching to another platform, we can’t blame you.
Here are a few alternatives for reliable smart home solutions that are most popular among our customers and the team here at The Smartest House. They’re all one-time investments without monthly fees. You’ll find a list of benefits and limitations with each platform, but if you have any questions about specific features we didn’t cover here, get in touch or post in the comment section below.