My guess is that this feature will not be available on any Z wave plus devices because of the changes Zwave plus made in how association works and the new requirement of the lifeline group.
That would make sense, we’ll reach out to Z-Wave Alliance to verify this!
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.
I bought 3 NuTone switches only to find out that I need to associate them to get them to work in 3way.
Could you provide step by step instructions on how to “temporarily” change device handlers? I’m sending these switches back if I can’t get them to handshake.
Also how I can be sure using tweaker is safe?
Does anyone have a minimote they want to sell or loan?
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.
The automation isn’t working. Do I need 6 different automations for 3 switches? 1 each for on and 1 each for off?
if they mirror each other they will turn on together and off together.
Which app are you using?
I have the newer version. I tried on rules and off rules for each switch. It doesn’t work. Each automation will only turn off one one other switch, not both, even though both are set to be turned off. In each case if I try to turn it off from the add on switches, only the main switch turns off and that add on switch. It does turn the light off, but I can’t use that switch to turn it back on. if I try to flip the switch that didn’t turn, it times out.
Only the main switch turns the light on and ff successfully. However, it doesn’t change the status of the other two switches.
Also only the main switch can be used to turn the lights back on if I used one of the add ons to turn it off. I believe this has something to do with the other add on not being toggled correctly.
I’m not as familiar with the new app, so I suggest you make a new post in the following part of the forum and just ask how to set up the rules. I’m quite certain it can be done, I just don’t know the exact specifics.
Title your thread “How do I create a virtual 4 way setup in the new V3 app?” And I’ll make sure somebody answers it there.
Also, we’ll need the exact model numbers of the switches.
I plan on rebuilding my zwave network and was surprised to see this thread as I hoped that the minimote would help me streamline things. Is there not a suitable replacement for it yet? I have a ton of devices and would hate to have to move my hub closer to devices.
Zwave association changed significantly with zwave plus, so you can’t really do things the way the original Minimote did them, which is probably why it was discontinued.
However, Z wave plus devices are capable of being added in place where is zwave classic were not, so you don’t typically need one for newer devices as long as you build out a backbone physically from the hub using Z wave plus devices that are capable of repeating.
If you are rebuilding a network of older devices, then it’s trickier. Usually the best thing is just to get a Wi-Fi access point with an ethernet port on the side and take that and the hub around with you as you re-add wired devices like Z wave classic light switches. You can typically get one of these for $30 or less, it’s just a bit more awkward than the minimote.
Thanks. I ended up rebuilding my zWave mesh and Smartthings environment without the Minimote and with the except of a few stubborn devices, it went well. The minimote arrived yesterday and I haven’t even paired it yet. Not sure it can really benefit me in anyway?
It’s still useful as a handheld button controller.
Yup. I have 7 of them in almost daily use.
I have 4 Logitech Harmony remotes with 4 buttons each on them. I also tend to use Alexa, motion sensors and scheduling to control most of my devices. I’ll keep the minimote handy as I am sure one day, I will have a need for it, especially with range.