Greetings Hubitat Community. I'm a new hubitat elevation C-8 owner and while I've been taking in the communinty advice found here, I have zero home automation and z-wave experience, which also means zero technical debt to consider. I have a few questions that I'm hoping point me to the right resources. This is question 1 of 3:
I see from this posting that z-wave devices don't like to be moved after setup. My plan was to configure a HE in the comforts of my home, then once I've worked any kinks out, move it to the remote site about 150km distant (which has starlink) as its permanent location. Is this advisable?
I think it depends on several factors, including building size (will any z-wave hops be required?) and whether you are going to be using the Starlink router or a third party router to which you have access at your home, before you leave for the remote location. I understand the desire to do as much as you can before arriving at a location where time may be limited, such as a weekend stay at a vacation property, but I tend to prefer doing everything onsite, at the location where you will be installing all of it.
Some setup certainly could be done ahead of time, but additional setup will likely be needed on-site as well; how much depends on the type of installation and devices and automations you are implementing.
If you can provide some additional details about the device types and counts you are going to be using, and your primary automation use cases, it may help the community understand your situation better.
Thanks its good to know another owner's preference. I was planning on using the starlink router, and I don't have enough experience with z-wave yet to calculate hops. I can work remotely, so I have enough time to configure if I need it. What makes me want to configure from home is the missus, and Amazon deliveries for those things I should have thought through and planned for!
You could always add your z-wave devices to the hub while still at home rather than adding them once they are installed at their final location at the remote property. Just be patient for a few days in case the hub needs to reconfigure routing using hops. It could be several days of frustration while that happens. You will need to reconfigure the hub to work with the Starlink router once onsite, as you'll be utilizing your home router initially.
also caution that if you are adding primarily battery-powered z-wave sensors initially you might be very disappointed once onsite, if you don't have enough AC-powered devices to set up a decent network of repeating devices (those hops I keep referencing), then you're not going to have a very good system. Frankly, that's what concerns me most about your approach, as it's often the automation devices (e.g., switches) that form the network backbone that enables battery-powered devices such as sensors. Just guessing of course, but that's the concern I'd have with your approach.
Finally, please understand that Hubitat is not a security device. It's not designed to the same standards and specs as a dedicated security device, and should not be relied upon as one. Many people use them for that, but I would not, and don't. If you want a DIY security device, I'd look at Simplisafe. While I use a hard-wired security system at home, we use Simplisafe in another property we own and it has been very reliable. You can do video monitoring with it as well, Hubitat is not a great video device, either.
If your setups are identical, such as an apartment building in which every apartment has a similar floor plan, then you can probably use the same setup for multiple hubs. If the floor plans of two areas are not the same, you might be better setting them up individual as placement of devices in a space can change the mesh.