1.1.7 Polling

Continuing the discussion from Hub Update 1.1.7:

@mike.maxwell I have a few non-Plus GE fan controllers. Could you please add polling to the GE Smart Fan Control driver too? I would assume you will need two separate drivers, one “smart” one for Plus and another for non-Plus?

I would suggest ability to restrict polling to specific modes. Don't need to poll when away or asleep.

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x2 I tried changing my 8 fan controls to Generic Z-Wave Dimmer and they accepted commands correctly but would not update when added to the polling app.

my question is, I poll my devices every 20 min, I do not have any timing intensive needs . Is there a reason for me to go to the new polling, or am I better with my low frequency polling?

It sounds like a standardized protocol - anything implementing the poll command can optionally implement pollingInterval, which HE would use - would genericize well.

I don't find poll is called reliably in my DTH, even though the capability is reported. Am I unusual in this? I use a custom app to control polling to make sure it happens.

I stand corrected on this. I changed a GE Smart Fan Control to a Generic Z-Wave Dimmer driver, added it to Z-Wave Poller app, stopped and restarted polling and now it's updating. ST recognizes these devices as dimmers rather than fan controls, so unless support says not to do this I think it's a workable solution.

**Edit - now have done this with all 8 of my fan controls and they all seem to be updating correctly

I've always used Generic Z-Wave Dimmer driver for my fans, and haven't had any problems doing that. Rule Machine has a fan adjust action (lo --> med --> hi --> off --> etc), as does Button Controller. That action assumes dimmer for the fan. Z-Wave Poller is fine to use with these also.

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Is there a reason that a separate app is needed to poll devices with the polling capability and it’s not done automatically?

I think so, yes.

Let's imagine a ZWave "transaction" takes 40-50ms each. (Remember, some older ZWave devices only work at 9600 baud. ZWave Plus is 40k baud.)

10seconds divided by 40ms = 250 "transactions." Why consume ANY for polling if you have a 100% ZWave Plus house? And how will the Hub know that you have a ZWave Plus device behind that ZWave driver you are using?

It is only "needed" in the intersection of these two conditions: an older Z-Wave device (not Z-Wave Plus) that does not report physical events, and those physical events are important to an automation or viewing the correct status of the device. There were many such devices on the market a few years ago, and some of these are still in service. Without polling them, they simply don't report events. This explains the need to poll.

Now, as for why an app: because it takes time to poll, and it eats up available Z-Wave bandwidth. So, rather than poll every older Z-Wave device, we think it is better to only poll those where it is important to do so. In my system, I have about 40 of these older devices, and I only need to poll 5 of them. It is only these 5 where I care about the physical events and they are used in automations. So I sure don't want to have the system poll the other 35. Only I know which ones are important enough to poll. ST, on the other hand, would poll all 40 of them, plus another dozen that wouldn't even need to be polled, because their polling is done in relatively low level firmware. And, they give me no choice as to whether or not to poll.

As a general rule, polling of devices is bad. Best to avoid it. Best to use devices that don't need to be polled.


Oh believe me if I could get away from this pool controller I would. It seems like there are a lot of older zwave devices out there, though.

Thanks for the answer.

Bruce, Thank you for adding this feature. Much better than a rule performing this action. Have you considered adding restrictions to this app? I’d love to only poll devices during certain modes as an example.

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@bravenel Another interesting use case/enhancement would be to have this new polling mechanism available in RM as an action. I have older switches on my outdoor patio lights. It would be awesome to setup a rule to only poll these devices after 5 minutes of opening one of my doors leading to the patio as an example. This way I don’t impact my mesh. I have this setup today in RM using the old method that polls all devices at once.

This is a good suggestion. It will be in the next release. Also addresses restrictions, although those won't be the way to curtail the polling. RM will start or stop the polling, so a restriction would just keep it from starting or stopping, nothing more. But, that should get you what you need.

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Might I suggest some child app polling so I can set different rates of polling with different devices?
I have a pool controller that 2 per hour needs to be checked. Bathroom fans that every 5 min would be fine, light switches I want to know right now etc. I have several different rule machine pollers for this now, but if the new poller is more efficient, I'd like to use it.

New poller will be much more efficient and friendly to your Z-Wave network. It's got a baked in poll rate of 10 seconds. However, you will be able to turn it on and off with RM. You could, for example, have a trigger with Periodic, that runs every 30 minutes. It starts the poll, and stops it a minute later. Something like that will be easy to do. There will be a delay option on Stop Polling for just this sort of use, all from a single trigger.

Can I have multiple pollers for different groups of devices?

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Sort of, yes. They will all end up on the same list of devices to be polled, with a max poll rate of one device per second. The whole idea here is to manage traffic on the Z-Wave network, so there has to be a central poller list to manage that.

Using RM you will be able to have different lists of devices that maybe only get polled infrequently, on a basis you decide, be it rule or periodic trigger. For example, you could poll some devices every 30 minutes for 1 minute. Using rule logic you can decide what gets polled when.

In each case, all polled devices end up on the master list, and each device is polled at most once every 10 seconds. If you have more than 10 devices, that rate will fall accordingly. It will poll one device each second, going round and round the list. Each of these poll requests will be a low-priority Z-Wave message, so as not to interfere with normal Z-Wave traffic.


Ok, that should work.