SmartThings Community

2018 - Current: Custom Graber Virtual Cord Z-wave+ Shades & Bali Autoview Z-wave+ Shades


(Chad D) #301

Came here because I purchased two Virtual Cord Z-Wave LightWeaves Blackout Roller Shades from Zebrablinds and installed them yesterday.

I was able to pair within Smart things and adjust the up/down max range thanks to the videos. However, the one problem I am having is with getting voice control through Alexa. I stumbled upon this form trying to find a solution and in the process came across the talk of a firmware update addressing battery drain.


Edit:: update to things working with Alexa

This fixed it. ( I was so close… :smiley: )

I need some help. First, how can I get things working with Alexa? I have SmartThings classic installed on my Android and have the smart things skill installed on my Alexa app, but my shades don’t show up within Alexa Smart Home section after scanning for a device.

Second, what is the best rechargeable batteries you would recommend and third, should I fill out this google form mentioned so that I can receive this firmware update when it is stable?


(Neal ( / #302

For the firmware update, only signup if you are having the issue with the shades stopping while responding to a command.

Are you experiencing battery drain? Or are you worried you might experience it in the future? Most motors since earlier this year should have any battery drain issues resolved. If you experience battery drain first thing is to contact support so we can open a case with Graber and troubleshoot first.

In terms of rechargeable batteries I’ll let the community provide feedback on that. I know @neod192 considered using rechargeable batteries, but not a 100% sure if he did.

(Chad D) #303

My battery percentage within ST shows 90%, then again, I am using Duracell batteries? So I am not sure if I am experiencing battery drainage, I am more concerned that I will be. Thanks for the quick reply.

(Neal ( / #304

It will most likely report that and then go straight to zero after a few months. Battery reporting just isn’t that great on z-wave devices and is usually just levels and not the exact percentage. Also, if you are using regular 1.5v Alkalines then it rarely every shows 100%.


Looking forward to the email and will be happy to help test! For whatever reason I am encountering this more frequently among a random subset of all of my motorized shades when operating in groups.

I think I recall you mentioning that some non-Smartthings device will be required to push the firmware. Is this something that some of us should be looking to pick up sooner than later in order to help test?

(Neal ( / #306

Details to follow, but, the initial trial will only be for a few who have the necessary hardware to attempt the OTA without us shipping it. Something like the homeseer z-flash kit or even a sigma UZB stick.


I use the IKEA LADDA 2450 mAh. rechargeables. I believe these are rebranded Panasonic eneloops, but at a much lower price ($6.99 for 4). They’re slightly thicker than regular AAs and they’re tight in the battery case, so I would recommend regular eneloops instead.

I haven’t really used my 2100 mAh eneloops with the shades, but they should be a good choice as well.

A fully charged battery shows 1.46 - 1.48 V on my charger and the battery in ST will show about 70% full. I actually have the battery drain issue with my shades, so I have some shades where I have to recharge these things every 2 weeks and some that last for a few months. Due to the battery drain issue I’m constantly charging the batteries, but they have a fix for it (testing it now).

(Chad D) #308

This just happened today. Told the blinds to close through Alexa… They stoped at about 10% closed and no longer would respond to alexa or smarthings app… They did respond via the remote control.

Should I sign up for the firmware update?

(Eric) #309

Happy to test firmware update. Willing to buy whatever I need to accomplish it. PM me details.

(Neal ( / #310

@chaderick9 Yes, sign up.

I would hold off on the purchase though. I’ll update on here when to do it. I already have a few volunteers with the z-flash who I would like to try it with first.

(JAY) #311

so i got 29 blinds (bali). added to smart things. 1/2 the time they dont work! also some times i went online and it showed up as offline.

All the remotes are working perfectly (took forever to figure it all out this thread is great!)

So for the ones that go offline whats the solution?> Should i buy Wink or Iris by lowes? Wil that make it perfect.

I need to have it work with alexa. i set this up but half of them dont work

(Neal ( / #312

If they’re showing up as offline, that means they’re not getting a signal. You probably need to do a z-wave repair or add repeaters in between and run a z-wave repair.

(JAY) #313

most times it shows online and when i try on the samsung app or alexa nothing happens.

The trick seems to be move the blind with the remote up and down and then it will (sometimes) work.

Is the iris or wink better for this? Again for me 100% use would be alexa i need that working.

also i need to order 10 more blinds. i think i may go with zebra as you guys seem to have the best customer support. but i need these working before i invest anymore money!

(JAY) #314

also have a blind literally next to smart things and just went offline per the desktop login to smartthings. so seems like problem people having.

also i have the v2 of hub. should i get the v3 hub? or throw away and get iris?

(Vince) #315

I had a similar problem with two of my shades. My hub was sitting within 2 feet of my wireless router. I moved the hub about 6 feet away and haven’t had any issues. I don’t know if this will resolve your problem, but it’s worth a try. I also have zwave devices 25 feet past the shades that never had an issue. It’s frustrating because it’s a guessing game.

(JAY) #316

so now what happens is when alexa doesnt work the remote stops working too. could it be a motor issue? Man this is frustrating. few times it shopped and red light came on

(JAY) #317

has anyone tried another adapter?

(Nathan Curtis) #318

Jay - I doubt its the hub - you probably have one or more of the following:

  1. Possible range issue: Do zwave repair, and see what the log says. Rerun until it comes back clean. If you dont have a repeating ZWave device within 10’ of the blinds, add one (Lowes Iris 3210-L is a great device for this, because it will repeat BOTH ZWave and Zigbee) I doubt it’s range, because you said the hub is right next door - but you may still have some ZW routing issues. Do the repair.

  2. The behavior you describe

where they stop then restart if you use the remote, you MAY have the issue Neil describes that we are all expecting a firmware update for soon - Zebra says testers get it ‘very soon.’ If it’s that - sit back and wait a few more weeks.

In either case - switching hubs to v3, wink or Iris wont fix it- it’ll just give you a different headache.

(JAY) #319

so when i do the repair i get an error of the ones not communicating. i move the remote and redo repair then its fine

but 1-3 hours later some work some dont. if hub wont fix it bali should give us a refund for selling unfinish product.

how come zebra was saying this is only with smartthings and with wink and others its fine?

(Neal ( / #320

I would appreciate it if you don’t jump to conclusions on what the issue is especially considering these have all been going strong for well over 2 years. It is a finished product by any means, albeit, with occasional needs for a firmware update.

Now on to your issue specifically:

  1. What type of shade is it? Roller, cellular, pleated, sheer, roman?
  2. The issue which is related to the firmware update, and devices showing up as offline are 2 completely separate issues. Devices showing up as offline means that once they went to sleep, they haven’t been receiving a strong enough signal to keep the connection alive and therefore have dropped out of the network. That is why they start working again when you move them with the remote, they are fully awake at that point.
  3. Did you try fully resetting the motors and connecting them to smartthings again one by one? And do a z-wave repair each time after putting the shade in it’s final position?
  4. How are they powered?