Another Ghost Node complaint

This is beyond frustrating. I recently added three new zooz switches, a zooz rgb dimmer, and a couple remote paddle switches to my Z-Wave Network. Everything was going perfectly fine until the final switch. It failed after my first pairing attempt after entering s2 authentication. (Mind you, I had just added 2 other switches less than 5 feet away.)

Out of an abundance of caution, after the switch failed to pair, I excluded it from the hub, factory reset the switch, and attempted to install it again. Once again, it failed at the s2 authentication pairing step. I excluded it, factory reset it, and attempted again.

This time it paired almost right away. However, now I have two lovely ghost nodes that I have no way of getting rid of. To add insult to injury, the final device has seemingly caused half of my network to stop working.

I have spent dozens and dozens of hours setting up my network. I had this happen a few months ago, and the only solution I found was to Nuke the network completely and start over. I really don't want to do that again and add 50 devices because of one failed device.

I ordered a Zooz USB Z-Wave stick. I have read that you can delete ghost nodes from a computer.

If you can do it from a computer (stick will be here tomorrow, so I am not sure if this will even work), why can you not do it directly from the hub that hosts the Z-Wave Network?

All the other devices paired fine, but did I do something wrong with the last switch? Also, am I on the right track for the most efficient fix?

Yes.

1 Like

There are two 'problem' situations to deal with... we have specific names for each... "Ghost" and "Orphan"

The screen shot shows devices that have not initialized.. no in: or out: these devices are known to both the hub and to the ZWave radio DB. They are Ghosts. you would click Refresh, wait, and then click Remove. Clicking Refresh causes the radio to mark the device as "Failed" then when you click Remove, the radio will again try to reach the device, fail and remove it from its DB, and signal back to the hub that it did so. The problem is that the radio may need 2-3 tries to determine that the device is failed. Additionally, the Replace action also tests for failed... which has to actually fail. In other words there's an intentional predisposition to prevent Removals of live devices. The Exclude process is used for that :slight_smile:

When the device does not show in the Hubitat list BUT does appear in the ZWave radio DB, we use the word 'orphan'. You can't see those from within Hubitat (obviously.) The hub tries to eliminate thes in each overnight maintenance run. It can run into the same failed but not failed phenomena and give up.. to try again the next overnight. You need a secondary controller and the PC Controller software... You find them by Joining the Zstick to the Hub and comparing the list of devices. Those that exist in PC Controller but not in the ZWave Details list are orphans and the process to remove them is the same.. but done from PC Controller. You click "Is Failed" and the device will show in red. Then you click 'Remove Failed' and away it goes. Again, the same requirements apply.. it may take 2-3 attempts to get 'Is Failed' to result in a device that is red, and 'Remove Failed' may also stumble on detecting a failed node.

Once you have the secondary ZStick, you can use it for both Ghosts and Orphans.

5 Likes

Only if the hub can’t ping the device (even though it’s at a different node). Remove power to the switch that caused the ghost, then you should get a Failed indication, and can do the remove.

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So how do you know if you have any "orphans" without using a secondary controller and the PC controller software? Would they show up in logs from the overnight maintenance?

You're correct, you cannot know.

As far as I know, Hubitat does not tell us that the overnight maintenance failed to clear a suspected orphan. It's a catch-22. If the hub suspects there's an Orphan, and then Remove fails, it's because the device is presumed to have responded. If it is responding, then it's wrong to try and remove it and adding it back into the Hub's DB would result in a Ghost.

We're not better off as a result BUT, to your point (I think), it would at least give us something to pursue. It's a conundrum that perhaps @bcopeland wants to express an opinion on...

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Ha.. Well C7 you will always see these in Z-Wave details.. They were not visible on C5 and below..

Not much I can offer on opinion here as all we can do is request the SDK do a removal.. We are 100% at the mercy of the SDK..

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I pose the same question. I had some stubborn ghost devices which clicking refresh and/or remove over and over again again from the hub did nothing. As soon as I got the stick and hooked it up, two clicks and the ghosts were gone. You can do lots of other cool poking of the devices with the SiLabs software as well so its handy to have.

I also have had the same issue with some switches, they get stuck during the pairing and create ghosts. Not sure if it was the hub or the switch. Once I got everything paired and ghosts removed its been pretty solid now, even with pairing new devices now.

I roughly followed this guide to get the stick up and running:

Well, I am happy to report that the Z-Wave USB stick did the trick. :slight_smile:

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Download the Hubitat app