New User - how to setup Aeotec z-stick get 5 as a secondary controller?

Hi,
I have been using SmartThings for past few years but with the latest app upgrade, it didn't migrate everything properly after spending few days, I gave up and decided to look for alternatives and landed upon Hubitat. Got the C-7 and migrated most of my switches. However, I found out its very hard to get things excluded with Hubitat than SmartThings. Also, it seems far away devices have a hard time time joining Hubitat than SmartThings. Reading the forums, I thought getting a usb wave stick will help and so got Aeotec Z-stick Gen 5. However, I'm now struggling to figure out how to set it as a secondary controller using a Mac. Is there any pointers I can use to get this setup? I do have Indigo installed on my Mac if that can be used.

Thanks
-R'twick

What is your goal? It sounds like you're trying to add range. In that case, I don't think adding a secondary controller will work for that purpose. If you still wanted to try, with any Z-Wave stick (that the software supports), you could use Z-Wave PC Controller on a PC to add the stick to your Hubitat network. Put Hubitat in regular Z-Wave inclusion mode, then do a "Classic learn mode" (or "Classic inclusion" or whatever it's called) in the PC Controller software with the stick plugged in. Since you have a Z-Stick, you could actually probably skip the PC Controller part entirely since the Z-Stick can be put in inclusion mode with its button instead. I've never tested that method (I like to use the software to be more sure of what I'm doing and what has actually happened), but I don't see a reason why it wouldn't work that way, too. Since it sounds like you only have a Mac, I suppose you could try it and see what happens (but I can tell you you could use VirtualBox and a Windows trial along with the USB "passthrough" feature from VirtualBox to get the Z-Stick into the Windows VM if needed, at least as long as we have Intel Macs).

That being said: if you're just trying to extend the range of your Z-Wave network, I think you'll have an easier time with an actual repeater. You don't need the dedicated "repeater" (repeater-only) devices on the market, though they would work and may be more appealing to you for any reason (e.g., the Ring has battery backup, the Dome has USB options for power, and the Aeon is...I guess one is 700-series and doesn't need a C-7 like the Ring one?). Any mains-powered Z-Wave device should work as a repeater, like a switch/dimmer, smart plug or outlet, or one of the few Z-Wave smart bulbs on the market.

But since you already have the stick, I guess it can't hurt to try. :slight_smile:

I’m not really looking into extending range as almost all my switches are z-wave plus (zooz zen 22/24/30) and are spread around in each room/floor(hubitat is in basement but i think there is atleast one z-wave plus switch every 7-8 ft away across a wall or ceilling). With ST, I never had an issue with inclusion/exclusion of any of these but while migrating to hubitat, i’m finding it takes quite few tries to get a switch included and i can never exclude a device using hubitat from first or second floor. That’s the whole reason I’m looking into setting up the z-stick as a secondary controller, go around the house and get everything included faster. Will look into using pc controller as i do have windows via parallels on one of my macs.

Thanks for the tip.

It is not necessary for the z-stick to be a secondary controller to use it for the purpose of excluding devices.

What about including? One of the problem I’m facing is inclusion also. It takes quite few attempts to include and on the process creating ghost devices in hubitat.

use a long ethernet cable for the hub with a battery pack, to get closer to the device to be included. You should run a z-wave repair after including those remote switches, so the mesh can heal after.
The HE antennas are weaker than ST or wink or. well you get it.

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used pc controller under windows and setup the z-stick as secondary controller. now exclusion and inclusion is a breeze! managed to get everything included but I still have some ghost devices from failed inclusion (I guess) that I couldn't remove using pc controller. I may just some day redo everything again to get rid of them but for now everything working nicely so not bothering about it.

Thanks for the help.

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Hello, could you point me in the direction on some user manual that I can use to do this for Aeotec Z-stick? For eample, when I search windows for "PC Controller" there is no such thing on my computer.

PC Controller is part of the SiLabs Simplicity Studio software (used to be able to get it standalone but no longer).

Thanks. Getting this set up was not straight forward and I had to do some digging to figure out exactly how to make it work. I came across a great how to guide in this post if anyone else runs into the same issue:

Download the Hubitat app