It appears that the Aeotec minimote is being discontinued in favor of their new nanomote (not yet released). The minimote seems to be sold out just about everywhere in the US, although it’s still in stock in some of the switch packages. And it’s no longer listed on the official products page at the manufacturer. ( it does still seem to be available on the UK frequency)
Yes, the Minimote has been discontinued and hasn’t been manufactured for a while now. Aeotec will be releasing their new KeyFobs in the coming months (no details yet), we’ll also carry 2 new remotes from Hank which will probably be an affordable alternative to the Aeotec.
My concern is that the minimote had additional administrator functionality, and was the easiest way on the SmartThings platform to set up direct associations for battery powered devices, like a zwave motion sensor to turn on a Z wave switch.
The zwave Tweaker works well for mains powered devices, but it doesn’t work with battery powered ones.
It doesn’t look like the new Nanomote will have the extra administrator buttons needed for this functionality ( The ones hidden inside the case of the minimote).
It may be that with zwave plus this functionality was less useful with the minimote as well, as as more and more devices need to be associated across multiple groups, but still I think it’s going to leave a gap.
Since we don’t have any details about the NanoMotes, it’s hard to say if they’ll have any of these features, but as we mentioned before, you can use the Nodon remotes just like your MiniMote, they can be used to easily add and remove devices from your ST hub, and they can also be used to associate devices from the remote, just like the Minimote did. The Soft Remote comes in a variety of cool colors and is magnetic so it will stick to a metal surface, and the Octan has a magnetic base that can be mounted on a wall like a light switch.
If you’d like to give them a try, we issued a special code for ST users, enter NODONST at check-out to get 10% off.
Click here for the custom handler for the Soft remote. Click here for the custom handler for the Octan remote.
UPDATE: We just verified that functionality with the manufacturer and it turns out the Nodon remotes can only associate devices in the standalone mode but will not do that in the gateway mode (so if being used with a host hub like SmartThings). We requested from Nodon that this feature would be added in the future but have not yet received a confirmation.
It doesn’t look like there’s currently a remote that would send the Association command to the network the way the MiniMote did. The NanoMotes don’t seem to have that functionality anymore either. We’ll keep looking though!
The only change with Z-Wave Plus was to require reporting of lifeline events to the nodes in Association Group 1, and that all controllers must SUPPORT and CONTROL associations. The only thing preventing a node (whether it be controller or device) from being able to set up associations is whether it CONTROLS the Association Command Class. Neither the Soft Remote or the OCTAN remote by Nodon controls association, but they do Central Scene and Scene Activation which is a more powerful thing for use with newer controllers. Most of the newer products are going to support Central Scene now instead of associations, but that is not anything to do with Z-Wave Plus requirements; it is because Central Scene allows the main gateway controller to do the heavy lifting - with associations, a device has to know all of the command classes for the devices it could control, otherwise it has to use the BASIC command class which can - as the name implies - get the job done but without all of the bells and whistles that may be in the command class.
For example, a remote sends a Central Scene frame to a central gateway letting it know that button 3 was pressed. The gateway can then be told to turn on 3 other devices and unlock the front door, and one of those devices raise the light level over a period of 60 seconds. If the remote used associations, then it could only control the door lock if it was also added to the network securely, and it could not tell a light to turn on over a period of 60 seconds unless it supported the Scene Activation command class or the advanced features of the Switch Multilevel command class.
So Central Scene does a better job of reporting to the main (central) gateway which button was pressed (because you do not always get that detail with associations) and it allows for more complex things to happen by the gateway than what the device could normally do.
It’s a very good point. There’s no question that central scenes are much more powerful than direct association, and we are seeing more and more devices using those command sets.
However, there is still one thing that direct association can do that central scenes cannot, and that’s make sure that the desired linkage still works even if the hub is not working.
That can be particularly useful for a virtual three-way with light switches. It’s not something you would ever want to suspend, so you don’t need the extra features of central scene management, But it does mean the auxiliary switch will continue to trigger the master switch even if the hub is unavailable.
Smartthings has had an Outage at least once a month for each of the last 18 months except, I think, January 2017. In addition, they can and do push out maintenance updates typically a couple of times a month, which customers can neither refuse nor delay. These take the hub off-line, sometimes only for a couple of minutes, but sometimes for several hours. So many people do use direct association as part of their outage planning, particularly for virtual three-way lighting set ups. So the feature remains relevant.
Just verified with Aeon labs, the Minimote is End-of-life and there is no existing or planned direct replacement for it.
I guess I will have to cherish my V.1, because it is the only device that lets me program a virtual 3-way switch without relying on my hub. I need the switches in my house to work, even if Smartthings is offline.
You can use the zwave tweaker device type handler to set associations on any mains powered Z wave device. In fact it lets you do much more than the minimote since you can also set parameter values. Just temporarily change the DTH for the device to the tweaker, make the changes you want including setting association groups, then change back to your everyday DTH. It works very well.
You won’t have to use association, you can use the built-in smartthings features to have one switch mirror another if you would rather do that. That way when the auxiliary switch is turned on, the master switch will follow it and turn on as well, which is what turns on the fixture.
The only reason to use direct association is if you want to be sure that the auxiliary switches will work even if your smartthings hub is not working. So up to you, but actually most people don’t use association.
So you can stick with just the official features and still set up three-way switches.
If you do want to use association, the Z wave tweaker is certainly as safe as any other custom code provided by another community member. It’s listed publicly, and lots of people are looking at it. And there’s not much it can do anyway.
As far as how to use custom code, essentially you’re just going to copy and paste it into your account. Then assign it to the device you want to have use it. Once you have the association set up, you can assign the device back to the original DTH.
Here’s the FAQ on how to use custom code: ( The topic title is a clickable link)
But again, if it makes you nervous, you don’t have to do that. Just use the official features to have one switch follow the other.
I could give that a shot, but I’m really looking for the path of least resistance, for it to be minimally invasive and not take a lot of time. But I hear you. I’ll have to commit more time to learning tweaker.
These switches are outside 3 bedrooms and they light a hall so they still need to function like manual 3 ways. I can’t do that right now. I only can use Alexa.
As long as all three switches are seen as devices in your SmartThings account, you can just have one mirror another by setting up an automation in the smartthings app. This works regardless of the protocol that the individual switches are using or the brand and model. It’s just “if switch A turns on, turn on switch B.” Works fine as long as smartthings is working.