I wanted to start a topic here that was generalized for people who have spent significant time with Vera and are not familiar with the "language" and "methods" of HE, especially since many HE users have come from SmartThings, upon which HE seems to be based. I see there are, at the time I write this, a couple of other topics about specific Vera user experiences, and thought that a single topic might be best going forward.
I know that I have had several questions about how I would accomplish something here on HE that I am currently doing on Vera. I understand this is a new system, and development will be occurring over time. Somethings that can be done on Vera presently may not yet be capable of being done here, but with a centralized discussion thread, we can keep up to date with a minimum amount of searching around elsewhere.
I'll get the ball rolling with the following question, although it is a little bit beyond the basics. On Vera, I make use of the Deus Ex Machina II app which turns on and off light in various rooms to simulate occupancy while a house is unoccupied, during hours the user specifies. A search of the forums reveals a ST process which apparently does the same sort of thing, but the user here was unable to get it to work on HE. Is anyone aware of a working method to accomplish something similar to Vera's Deus Ex Machina II?
I know about Dues EX and a while ago I even tried it on my Vera. As it turned out, it was flakey at best, and made my Vera even more unstable (luup restarts,etc). Forums reported it bogged Vera down with logs and too many device calls, In the end I got rid of it and took another approach in Vera. I used PLEG creating repeating scheds to trigger lights. This PLEG was only activated when I was in away mode. This worked great for me, and Vera didn't seem to mind.
So in a nutshell, I can't really help to port anything to HE. I'm still waiting for mine to arrive. My HA system is completly dead after my 2nd Vera got bricked from the last FW update. That's why I'm here now hoping to learn how to get this HE up and running from scratch.
I'm happy to see this thread started and hope more ex-Vera people join in as well.
My 1st concern would be to have HE comm with my Elk security panel. Many of my HA automation depends on my Elk sensors (Occupancy sensors, Motions, door contacts). Or will I even need a driver for the Elk LAN interface? Maybe it's already in there.
Anyway until I get my HE, I can only guess. Good luck all.......
I wish you good luck with getting the Elk integrated. As far as Deus Ex goes, I brought it up mainly just to get discussions started.
On a more basic level, I employ older Eaton/cooper aspire dimmers and switches, as well as some old evolve dimmers in 3 and 4 way set ups. These operate on wireless communication between the master and accessory switches. None of these areZ wave Plus switches . The problem: association between master and accessory switches must be programmed, so to speak. This can be done with an Aeon mini-mote. However, that is a discontinued item (those that are still around have batteries issues), and associations involving the newer z wave plus are handled differently I am told so a replacement for the minimote is unlikely. In Vera, this is NOT a problem, because associations can be set manually from within the UI, under the advanced setting I believe, of each master and accessory. With HE, you don’t seem to have the same access to the configuration of z wave devices and setting groups and associations doesn’t seem possible. As such, I appear to be left with a choice of replacement which would be somewhat costly but more so disruptive and time consuming as I would have to remove and replace many switches or settle for partial solutions that I have been able to work out with rule machine.
It's 2018 and Association is still an option because ZWave has good backwards compatibility. However, since ZWave Plus, the old style of Association has been "enhanced/replaced"
An all local hub like Hubitat should be able to mimic the functionality of old style association, even on Eaton/Cooper. You're likely to have a pretty non-chatty ZWave network with the older devices and thus the doubling of packets to mimic old association may not be detectable. (Old = packet from trigger to target; Today = packet from trigger to hub and then hub to target.)
So, my experience with Vera is limited to trying it for a few days before ditching it and deciding on Home Assistant instead (I came from SmartThings and VeraPlus didn't work with most of my ZigBee devices; Home Assistant didn't either, but it worked with more of them)--and then moving to Hubitat when it came along just weeks later (and it works with all of these devices). As such, I'm not familiar with Deus Ex Machina II.
I'm guessing what you found for ST users was the Vacation Light Director SmartApp, either the stock one built into the app or a community one here. I haven't tried to use it on Hubitat, but I also did see a forum post where someone said they tried to port the code and they said it didn't work. Hubitat did a great job of creating a similar dev environment, so that's kind of surprising, and the app doesn't look like it does anything crazy, but I haven't tried it myself and don't know.
I've never tried Rule Machine for this (and am still learning RM myself, having used webCoRE on ST--and still on Hubitat). It does appear to be able to turn switches off after a random delay, so that might work for you; not sure if you're able to turn them on randomly as well. I can definitely say that webCoRE would work for this if you're able to create a "piston" (rule) that does what you want, but if you're totally new to both Hubitat and webCoRE, setting up webCoRE can be a lot of work (and isn't officially supported on Hubitat but community modifications have made it work well for most people). I've heard people compare it to PLEG on Vera, but I tried PLEG might be more like RM, and I couldn't figure out PLEG for the life of me (but know webCoRE pretty well and have at least figured out how to do a lot of things I want in RM).
Not sure if either of these is helpful--someone should probably port the Vacation Light Director app. I might look myself. You can also use the stock Simple Lighting app to turn lights on/off at specific times (absolute times or based on sunrise/sunset), but that might be too simple for what you want.
Thank you for your reply. Yes you are correct, I am referring to vacation lighting and the one post where someone said they tried but failed to port it over. I should note that for me personally, I have limited abilities with “writing code” so to speak. I can follow directions and use samples as a template, but more than that gets to be hit or miss at best. vacation lighting is not a make or break thing for me, but it is a nice tool to have. In the Vera system it was one of the items I found simply by searching through their “official” list of user created plug in/ apps. I posted in another topic here how it would be nice to have a wiki or maintained list of non-company created/ user-dev apps for people to look through and say to themselves, “ Hey, that’s something I would like to do” and be able to incorporate it by using the information linked from that page.
I was involved in the topic you referenced. I forgot about the z wave tweeker. AsI recall that was something developed for ST, and may or may not be able to be ported over to HE. At this point I would not know how to port it myself, but would seem Ike a good tool to have, especially is HE wishes to lure over others who have been on other systems for 5+ years and have older devices.
I would have to respectfully but profoundly disagree with this statement. That's just not how it all works. Older devices can be just as "chatty" as newer ones, and much depends on the rules that have been set up.
Association was introduced in those early generations for a reason. It's not a new feature. It's a feature that changed significantly with series 500, but it existed in the older generations because the hub did not mimic what it did, local or not.
I've PM'd @JDRoberts so as to not hijack this Vera conversation with exquisitely detailed technical discussions
At no point did I see a question about how Association works, and didn't try and address that.. my response was: Minimote is dead, RIP Minimote, It's no longer needed because that style of Association isn't being promoted anymore. An "all local" hub like Hubitat can probably mimic, to a human's perception, that a "direct from device X to device Y" action occurred. It doens't technically, It's two conversations instead of one. But whooeee, it's fast
I guess my first response is that association is needed more than ever because it was dramatically expanded for Z wave plus. Every device which is certified for Z wave plus must support lifeline association for group one. And many now take advantage of multiple Association groups.
For example, the Recently introduced Fibaro keyfob supports 13 different association groups.
Central scene commands are great (and are the most likely way for a hub to mimic the same outcome) , and the Fibaro device does those as well, but the use of direct association has been expanding since Z wave plus, in part because it will likely be noticeably faster to human perception. Maybe not by more than 400 or 500 ms, but not imperceptible. For a handheld button controller, though, that half a second may make a big difference in the perception of quality of service.
The more complex the controller devices get, the more complex association has gotten in order to support them.
The minimote isn't a lot of help with this type of device because it never could associate more than one group anyway. So in that sense, you were absolutely right: RIP minimote. That type of association use case doesn't really fit the newest generation of Z wave plus devices.
But the fundamental association use case of reducing the time from trigger event to target event remains, and in fact has gotten more widely used with the newest devices.
Interesting thread though I am not committed to migrate to hubitat at this point. The lack control over the zwave network, inability to set a user secure class key and lack of an open API are preventing me from migrating. I am currently running a 4 controller network: Vera being the main device hub and controlled by openLuup. Zway used as a tool to assign SUC/SIS and have troubleshooting tool, HUSBZB on openZwave/Homeassistant being my primary zwave controller and experimental hub. It is primary because I have not been able to make it accept being a secondary, and finally just added an Aeon Z-stick using Zensys as a tool to do remote (secure) inclusions. I managed to shift primary around to only have one primary controller...
Migrated. Well I’ve had my Hubitat for about a week. I don’t have a huge number of automated devices. ( 25 ) and nothing too complex as far as scheduled events, but my Vera and Wink transition is done. I’ve built 18 rules and a few dashboards. What I really like is the “Modes” customization. I created Summer and Winter modes while building my HVAC rules. Now changing from AC to Heat will be a simple mode change vice the enabling and disabling the scenes in Vera. For the “transition” time when we get two weeks of winter followed by a week of summer temps in October I won’t have to hear the wife complain about its “too hot or “too “cold while the weather settles into its correct season. I based all my exterior lighting rules on SR/SS to both keep it simple and consistent. And all the interior lights on SS and off time. Both my Vera and Wink hubs left with the trash this morning along with all the replaced devices. I did purchase all new ZOOZ 4 in 1 sensors to replace all the older sensors. That seemed to be win - win as it was easy and added more capability than the old motion sensors. So far I’m very glad I waited ( and didn’t purchase ST or a newer Vera or other hub ). So thanks everyone for all the info here. I read every single post in all the sections and it helped me immensely to transition quickly and with only a few hiccups and head scratchers. I’m finally all on one system that’s doing what I want done.
I had this same dilemma. I am now able to have my thermostat auto changeover based on the current temperature range using a few RM Rules for each of my two thermostats. No mode change is necessary. Now I just put my thermostat in "Auto" mode or "Off" depending on what house mode I am in and it changes to the correct mode.
I see I could do that. But as we transition from S-W and W-S we get about a month of 72 + degree days and nights that sometimes dip into the 40s. The house is well insulated and it maintains well. But during these times we can often leave the windows open for extended periods. It was always a struggle with Vera as I would have to enable or disable every scene twice a year. ( and always forgot something ) but now I’m happy with modes Winter, Summer and NO HVAC. Which allows me on the dashboard to just “ change mode” and all my day / night / weekend HVAC preferences. The summer mode also blocks use of the gas fireplaces so I don’t have to worry about the rec room one being used in the summer.
Just a quick "hey all, how's the water over here?" Noob recovering from a vera infection....
I've been with Vera for a couple years which I would characterize as:
painful, frustrating, and less satisfying than commuter traffic. Basically two scoops of poop-sandwich, didn't even get sprinkles!
My hopes are high for the hubitat device being more. (already ordered) The bar is very low...
My questions relate to my vera experience (edge plus).
I have a few PLEG's running (badly, but running) on the Edge that after a couple years no longer remember why it's the way it is, just that it's painful enough to make changes I've just walked away. They are fairly involved with a lot of if/then and such. I'd be very surprised if there was any support for migrating that code over, but thought I'd throw that question out here as well as ask if the migration (other than PLEG) is reasonably smooth using the automated tools vs one device at a time? I'm at about 50+/- devices so manual effort will take some time... and whisky,.. I don't mind, just sayin'.
I don't want to migrate Vera problems... like some sort of STD so if that's likely I'd rather learn the new ecosystem and wonder if anyone has thoughts on wrapping my head around the transition and that particular choice... migrate or rebuild?
In an effort to move from Vera (cause I hate it if you can't tell) I tried Samsung's steamer. It's better than Vera cept for the internet requirement. Left it SLOW as our internet link is mostly maxed out with other data. A deal breaker for me. But I was able to make some progress on their programming application (forgot what it's called and found it very confusing to use, but powerful and a lot easier when I could get there).
Last question - I have a number of headless switches and had to create HUGE code to get the zwave switch in the wall to control the switch device... should be simple, if this on, make that on, if this off, make that off.... but vera managed to complicate that to the point I never could get dimming to work (dim a switch on the wall (that's not hooked up to anything but power so there's a 'scene controller' at the 'normal' place, and have it control a different zwave dimming outlet. Got into all sorts of loop issues related to which changed when, in which order,etc Smartthings did it better, but still got confused and started turning things off/on in an endless cycle... fun for bit, but then..... Should be simple master/slave relationship but for some reason beyond the capability of both those systems (with dimmers). Anybody have experience setting such logic up and have any advice (other than more whisky)?
I was hoping one of the other Vera users were going to answer.. since I have zero experience with Vera.
There are quite a few native (built in) apps for managing automation, depending on your viewpoint. There's a Mode Manager, if you use Modes (Day, night, away)
There's Simple Lighting for.. well simple lighting automations. Movement, turn on a light, door open turn on a light, etc.
There's a bunch of integrations, Hue, Ecobee, Alexa, etc. The one I use everyday all day is the Lutron one. I only use it for integrating Pico Remotes. Once a Pico is paired, it's just a set of buttons and each button can do just about anything. An ordinary Pico will have 5 physical buttons but the integration on Hubitat gives you at least two logical buttons per. Quick press turns on a bunch of lights to the one "mood" and then a press and hold of the same button will do something else. It's so quick you have to keep telling yourself it's wireless.
The native tool for automations is Rule Machine and you probably will use that for your "headless" requirement. The most fundamental element is determining if the devices you actually have, return status. Anything ZWave Plus will, but older ones might not. When instant status is not supplied, you can use Rule Machine to poll the specific devices you need. Once you get the state of a device into Hubitat, and Rule Engine, your requirement sure appears to be quite simple. It may fit within Simple Lighting, as a matter of fact.
Welcome, enjoy, and ask specific questions with lots of detail, and you'll get lots of answers.
What csteele said. I only used Vera for a couple weeks before returning it (I came from SmartThings), so I don't know it very well, but people tend to compare PLEG (which I could not figure out) to webCoRE and its older distant cousin in spirit, Rule Machine. Rule Machine, as pointed out above, is native to Hubitat and lets you create automations when no "app" exists for it (or you just don't want to use one). I again didn't use Vera for long but don't think it really had the concept of "apps," which are basically pre-configured automation "templates" with a UI where you can plug in devices and other parameters like time of day or hub "mode" to make it do things (e.g., the built-in Simple Lighting app will let you turn on lights/switches of your choosing when a motion sensor of your choosing detects motion and off after a certain number of minutes when motion stops, among many similar possibilities and with a few more customizations possible, and there are a few other stock lighting apps as well). SmartThings doesn't have a rule engine built in, so you either need to find a SmartApp that does what you want, write a custom SmartApp, or use the popular third-party tool webCoRE (of which a fork also exists that works on Hubitat--and I still have some automations on it but recommend you try fully native possibilities on Hubitat first, given that previous updates have accidentally temporarily broken it and it's [literally just] a fraction of a second slower to run given its nature).
I can't say I had time to carefully understand all aspects of the complicated scenarios you provided above, but it sounds like they should be possible from a casual reading. (You can definitely make one switch/dimmer mirror another, for example--I'd use Rule Machine, but I think there are also custom apps, or at least there were on ST that can be easily ported if they haven't been already--that can do this.) Hubitat allows you to create arbitrarily complex automations via Rule Machine, (unofficially) webCoRE, or (a bit more difficult but very customizable) your own apps, so anything you can do on Vera you should be able to do on Hubitat. The real limit, I'd say, is whether Hubitat supports the device, since you can't control something Hubitat doesn't know about. Luckily, Hubitat supports pretty much any Z-Wave device and probably every ZigBee device the Vera Plus does (plus a lot more--and any standard Z-Wave or ZigBee HA device via custom drivers in the event a native one doesn't work), so you're probably good there (there may be some LAN devices that might have an official Vera integration Hubitat doesn't currently have, like Ring, though I don't think Vera did when I tried either).
I am a veteran Vera user for 8 years. Been through several Veras and had it jammed. My HA is over 100 devices. I've used most Vera plugins and ran 4 PLEG's for my automation. I'm no PLEG expert, but I did massive stuff with it. I did some LUUP coding as well.
Veraplus was the end for me. I chucked it all out the window and moved to Hubitat. Fantastic! Difference is night and day.
Migrating my devices went well enough. I have everything up and running smooth with the exception of my Elk security system. I am working on that now with a fellow in the UK writing a DTH for it. Along with the driver, you need a NodeMcu ESP8266 which connects to the Elk and serves Elk data via Hubitat driver so I can create all my Elk devices. The ESP works perfect, however the driver is still under construction. Should be ready soon.
My advice is to jump in with Hubitat and get your hands wet. It will work, Only a slight learning curve since they are different to each other, but nothing you can't do. You don't need to be a coder and plenty of support with Hubitat is available. This HE just works. I switched about 2 months ago and it is rock solid and so fast. Also LOCAL! No more cloud, internet BS. Gone! You have 100% control over your system. Even Hubitat updates are not forced on you. It is all under your control.
You won't be sorry.