SmartThings Community

Converting from Vera to ST v2...Advice requested

#1

I am close to moving over from Vera (2) to ST v2. I have been combing the forums for information and I think I have a handle on what ST v2 can do. Local control is key for me which is why I didn’t buy V1. With that said I have the following devices with my Vera

  1. GE Link Lights (and Wink Hub) (zigbee)
  2. GE Jasco in wall switch (zwave)
  3. Several Zwave door sensors
  4. GE Outdoor Plug (zwave)
  5. Foscam Cams SD and HD (wifi)
  6. Garage sensor (zwave)
  7. Astak Mole Camera
  8. Wemo Motion Sensor
  9. Wemo Switches

I am sure most of the devices are compatible via the market (except for Astak Mole). What I do not know is what is the range on the Smartthings zwave and zigbee radios. I ask this because I have an outdoor light that is more than 30 ft from Vera and vera cannot communicate with it even though I have a mesh device between it. Will I have the same issue?

The other question I had was integrating the cameras with dropbox or a similar service. There is a plugin that saves all photos and videos from the cameras from vera to dropbox. This allows me to store the images in my account and view them if I need to. Also, it is set off with motion sensors in the camera. Does ST have anything similar?

Thank you in advance.

#2

Range is the same as any other zwave plus controller. This is part of the spec, you shouldn’t find variation from one brand to another.

You said you had another mesh device between that light and the controller. Are you sure that device is a repeater? Only mains-powered devices repeat, a battery-powered device will not. Also, have you tried a Zwave repair? That often helps. However, if the problematic device is outdoors, it may be that there’s a local architecture issue like brick or concrete or some kind of insulation or tinted glass. If there’s a window near the outdoor light and you can position a repeater device so you could bounce signal out through the window, That might help.

Meanwhile, if local control is important to you, it is unlikely that SmartThings V2 will meet your requirements at the present time. See:

(Brad) #3

JD. I have a Veralite that I have been using for years. Is there a way to transfer my included devices in Vera, and “move” them into ST.? I just got my STv2 yesterday and it seems to be working with my zig be devices, which my vera lite would not. But my concern is that the STv2 needs to be plugged into an ethernet connection to add devices, which is going to make it hard for me to add things on other floors of my home that are too far away.

#4

Yes it is a powered device and I have done several heals. The farthest device will not configure. The updated neighbors didn’t help either.

#5

Unfortunately, no. SmartThings does not at present support the “controller replication” zwave command set. You just have to move the zwave devices one at at time using exclude/include.

If you have an Aeon Minimote, that can help a lot. The only thing it cannot do is include a high security device like a doorlock. You still have to exclude and include each device individually, but the Minimote is a lot easier to carry around. :sunglasses:

#6

It could be that the outdoor device is bad. Or that it wasn’t properly included. Or it could be an architectural interference issue.

If it was me, I would start by trying to exclude the outdoor light, then include it again, then do a zwave heal.

Do you have an Aeon Minimote? That can be really useful for doing an exclude or include on a remote device. If the Minimote is able to include it to your network, then you know the problem is likely architectural. If the minimote can’t include it, then it’s probably a bad device.

(Brad) #7

Just saw this on another thread, your thoughts?

Richardo, you can use the SmartThings Dashboard to simply clone your existing Z-Wave network and switch controllers. Note this is a z-wave standard function and you can do the same to go from SmartThings to Vera or other.

To do so from the Dashboard

Click the 3 bars (top left)
Click the Gear icon
Scroll to where it says Hubs, and select the right arrow
Select Z-wave Utilities
Select Join or Leave Existing Z-Wave Network
Select Join
Note it may not always work the first time and you should ensure you are fully committed to the swap before proceeding. I’d also backup your existing VERA config prior to swapping.

I was able to do this before Christmas with no issues, but you will probably also have to run a Repair Z-Wave Network function.

Don’t be afraid to e-mail support for more info on how to do this right.

When you are done, you can reset your VERA if desired and continue to use it, but only as a secondary controller.

(Geko) #8

You do realize that V2 “local control” is very limited. As of today, only a single app (Smart Lights) has been cleared t run locally and only if all devices it controls also run locally on the hub, i.e. not third-party or custom device handlers.

There is a plugin that saves all photos and videos from the cameras from vera to dropbox.

While SmartThings can fetch still images from many IP cameras (using custom device handlers), the images are stored in the Amazon S3 “bucket” and cannot be sent to the third-party services, as far as I know.

Also to keep in mind, unlike Vera, SmartThings hub can only talk to LAN (WiFi) device using HTTP. It cannot communicate using simple TCP or UDP sockets. This precludes direct integration with many devices, particularly alarm panels.

1 Like
#9

My understanding is that people have used that to go from smartthings to Vera, but not the other way around.

The SmartThings hub can definitely join a different network as a secondary Z wave controller. So I think that’s what that post refers to. If you would give the link for the post it would help a lot.

I don’t know: you can talk to support@smartthings.com. Maybe it is possible to have SmartThings join your Vera network as a secondary and pick up the devices that way, but then I’m just not sure that there’s any way for Vera to then transfer primary controller status over to SmartThings. So I think that method get you partway there, but not all the way. But maybe I’m wrong. It would be nice if I was.

(Brad) #10

enter link description here

#11

Right…l saw in that thread that one community member said they were able to transfer their zwave devices from Vera to smartthings using the secondary controller step, but then when another community member asked how to then make SmartThings the primary, that first person never answered them and neither did anyone else.

So again, I would be delighted if I’m wrong on this. :sunglasses: Talk to support, and let us know what they say. If you can actually transfer primary control from Vera to SmartThings, that would certainly be a much easier way to go.

#12

I do not have a minimote. Isn’t the issue that the Vera has to be close to the device? How would the minimote help?

I will exclude and include again but I have to drag out a long Ethernet cord as the wifi setup on Vera always breaks the Vera.

#13

No as I am new to ST I am learning as I read. This is why I posed this thread and question.

#14

Hmm I’m surprised it defaults to AS3. Especially since Samsung owns it.

IFTTT doesn’t have a recipe to access Amazon Cloud to DB. Hmm that isn’t good.

#15

The minimote is a tiny Z wave handheld remote that can act as a secondary controller for either vera or for SmartThings.

So instead of having to drag the primary controller over to the outside light, you can just use the minimote remote to either include or exclude to your network.

If you did the original include on the outside light before you added the other repeater device, include might have failed to complete successfully. Now you have another device, the repeater, which should help. Which is why It’s often a good idea to just exclude the light and then include it again.

Because you can carry the minimote out right next to the device, it makes include and exclude easier.

Then you run a Z wave heal, and hopefully the network gets set up so the repeater is also used, and the signal has an easier time getting to the outside light.

#16

So this is what I’ll need. If it does what you say it will help Aeon Labs DSA03202 v1 - Z-Wave Minimote https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00KU7ERAW/ref=cm_sw_r_awd_y5B.vb9FKQ5H3

#17

Yes, that’s it. It’s a nice little button remote as well. :sunglasses:

You should be able to find lots of information about it in the vera docs.

1 Like
#18

Vera docs are a mess lol

#19

It is a distance issue but the odd thing is that the GE outdoor module is within range and the module to the lights is like 10 feet. I did take Vera to the light and it configured the light right away. I ran a heal. Then I put my vera back in place, and ran a heal but the lights now say Unable to get any information on node. So it is a distance issue but I dont really see why. The module is fine. its just the module to the light that is not meshing.

#20

Do you have the steps for making ST secondary? I think I would like to try the Zwave in ST before totally abandoning Vera.