As we all know, it seems the 700-series controllers aren’t fully baked. Blame whomever you want, that’s not my goal here. I’m interested in fixing what’s broken here so I can move on with life.
I’ve got some door locks (August) that I’d really like to have joined via S2 for a variety of reasons. (Battery life, I’m a security nerd working in IT, etc). So, naturally, I figured this was great timing to upgrade. Not because I’m enthusiastic about the C7 or Hubitat, but because on paper it looked like the option that sucked the least (ZWave plus v2, certification, etc etc).
I’m using MakerAPI to get my Hubitat devices into Home Assistant, running on an RPi 4, which also has an Aeotec ZWave stick hanging off of it. I’ve joined said stick to the C7’s network, and indeed it functions like a half-assed secondary controller (as seems the ZWave specs allow).
I’ve also got the C5 hub I just migrated off of (more like nuke everything and start over) now just chilling and functioning as a 2-3 watt space heater.
I’ve also got a ton of Zooz devices that apparently can’t handle S2 on the Hubitat hub all that well. I just went through the process of ripping out a bunch of Lutron switches because of some interesting challenges with the house (light switch locations that make no dang sense, etc).
What I’m trying to accomplish:
- Direct associations between the Zooz dimmers so the physical paddles in certain locations line up with which lights make sense for that switch (basically, imagine standing in the living room, but the switches operate stuff in the kitchen or dining room instead of the light you’re standing under). The Lutron can’t do this, the buttons on a switch always control that physical switch, and they have no concept of a micro dimmer type device).
- Hopefully have some sort of automation that can function without the “IT closet” having power. I.e light switch direct association, etc. If my Unifi PoE switch goes down, that stuff ain’t coming back up for a few days at least. (I’d be out of switch ports). Also, that gear doesn’t like the nature of running the house on generator power.
- A secure, solid zwave mesh to include all S2 devices with. So far, that’s my door locks, but I’m sure that will grow over time.
- Decoupling functionality as much as I can. Hubitat does zwave, HASS does HomeKit presentation, but “pretty” or nice-to-have stuff (graphs, extensive logging, fancy dashboards) will run in a VM or FreeBSD jail on the Dell r730xd
Anyways, onto some of my potential solutions for this S2 stuff:
- Join damn near everything to the C-7 as non-S2. I’ve figured out how to “persuade” it to work:
- Start inclusion process like normal.
- Uncheck all security boxes, then hit cancel on next device verification dialog.
- Quickly restart inclusion on the device.
Obviously this is a sketchy hack, and I imagine it’s a bug that will be caught and fixed at some point, because I can’t imagine that this is how the zwave spec would allow something to work. (Hubitat folks: please don’t fix this bug!)
give my C5 something to do in the house, giving it all non-S2 devices. For building the repeaters necessary for the S2 stuff, I was thinking of maybe getting the Aeotec 700-series repeater? Definitely needed here to get all the locks included. Downside to this: I was going to put the C-5 out in the garage to maybe start automating some stuff like my wood boiler pumps, garage door, etc. I could always pick up another hub though
Use Home Assistant for the non-S2 stuff with zwave2mqtt or some such nonsense. I’ve already tried this once, and it’s got a few issues:
- It requires an unencrypted, open to the network MQTT broker, either embedded in HASS as a docker-based add-on or elsewhere on another system. Using SSL is unsupported by the zwave gateway software. Not so attractive for me, since I have set up the IoT network as a place for a bunch of untrusted devices.
- Device driver support is...not great. Honestly, that’s probably the biggest asset for Hubitat for me: less terrible support for other devices.
All these things ran pretty well on the C-5, so I very well might end up going the route of using two hubs to run a pair of zwave networks: secure and insecure.
What are y’all’s mitigation strategies for all of this?