Cooper Aspire RF syncing master and auxiliary switches

Thank you as always!

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So I started a thread on a similar topic and have been referred back here. However, I still haven’t seen an answer to getting full local control with the 9540/9542 pair, including dimmer control, and ST.

Has anyone figured this out yet?

For the sake of keeping things a bit less confusing with my other thread and keeping discussion here, I’ll copypasta my original thread body here:

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After exhaustive research, I settled on the Cooper Aspire 9540 & 9542 dimmer switches as I want/need full direct control at each three-way switch as well as voice control via Alexa. However, it appears that I get either one or the other and not both.

I have multiple sets of three-way switches set up with the 9540 Master and 9542-Z Accessory dimmer, and in every case I can’t get the accessory to work as intended. I’ll use my Kitchen setup as the example, but all of three-way switches appear to (not) function the same way.

I have a 9540 Master that works correctly. The on/off and dimming functions work as intended, as well as with ST and by extension, Alexa. The problems come into play with the 9542 accessory switch. I can’t get it to work reliably, and the dimmer function doesn’t appear to work at all.

I have used Smart Lighting, with the following settings:

Which lights do you want to control?
Kitchen 9540
What do you want to do?
Turn on & set level
Dimmer Level 90%
Select trigger:
Switch
Which switch?
Kitchen 9542
Turn on & set level lights when:
Turned On
Turn off as well: Set to ‘on’

However, when utilizing this setup, here is what happens:
Start with lights off (both Kitchen 9540 & Kitchen 9542)

Press Kitchen 9542 once and lights dim ‘up’ to 90%. ST reports both 9542 & 9540 are ‘on’.
Press 2nd time and 9542 & 9540 still report on, and the lights dim up again.
Press 3rd time and nothing happens. LED’s on the dimmer count up to the ‘on’ position. 9542 & 9540 are reported ‘on’ via ST.
Press 4th time and 9542 LED’s dim ‘up’ and is reported ‘on’ via ST, but lights do not turn on and 9540 still reported as ‘off’.
Press 5th time, adn LED’s on the 9542 dim ‘up’, but are dim as though the switch is off. The lights turn on and the 9540 & 9542 on ST are both repoorted as ‘on’.
Press 6th time and 9542 LED’s dim 'up, and appear to be on, booth 9542 & 9540 are reported on via ST, and the lights remain on.
Press 7th time, and switch LED’s dim ‘up’, appear that switch is off, lights in the room dim ‘up’ from the on position back to 90%, and both 9542 & 9540 are reported ‘on’ in ST.

At this point the last two actions simply repeat and there is no way to turn off the lights in the room from the accessory switch. At no time does the dimmer function ever actually work from the accessory, either.

I’ve tried all different settings I can think of via Smart Lighting app, but this is as close as I can get to actually working, but obviously it is not acceptable.

Any ideas?

I came across a YouTube video last night that I thought would be worth sharing. It quickly shows how to associate two Aspire devices (in this case, one is a dimmer and one is an outlet) using a Minimote.

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Okay - confused as hell…

I have a Cooper 9540 on one end of the room and a 9542 on the other. I got the minimote and did the bi-directional association. They worked perfectly synchronizing both the on state as well as the dim setting no matter which switch I operated. I was thinking I could then remove them from the minimote and then add the master to my ST hub, however, removing them from the remote also removed the associations!!!

Every thread discussing these has been inconclusive… or maybe I just missed the conclusion… so WHAT’S THE ANSWER? It seems the solution is to ignore associations altogether and communicate via hub only. If that’s the case, will someone please walk me through how to set it up?

I tried a “Synchronized Dimming” app I found, but that caused my switches to start ping-ponging.

Thanks

You have to add all three devices to the SmartThings network first: the master switch, the auxiliary switch, and the minimote.

At that point, the minimote is a secondary to the smartthings hub, but it can still perform association.

Now Follow the instructions to associate the two devices bidirectionally using the minimote. Everything will still be on the SmartThings network when you’re finished, and the associations will be in place. :sunglasses:

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Followed your advice and that works pretty well. Unfortunately, turning the lights on and off within the ST app gets them out of sync again.

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I have to admit that I have experienced the same thing with my 9542 accessory dimmers getting out of sync with the master. It’s a bit irritating to have to toggle the accessory dimmers twice in order to get them to respond. In my situation, I use the master more often than the two accessory dimmers so I just live with it. The master always works without having to double tap the switch panel. The lights respond correctly to all my automations so I rarely touch the switches now anyway.

I programmed my minimote to be the on/off light switch for those lights as well. It works pretty good for that.

Would this setup work if you only paired the master switch after association? I don’t see why I’d need ST to ever control an auxiliary switch.

Hi, I have the rf9540 with 2 rf9542 dimmers trying to make a virtual 4 way, but i’m having issues as soon as the Smartthing hub is part of the picture. I’m not even talking about ST controlling the switches yet, just trying to get the dimmers to associated to each other.

If i only use the Minimote to join the 3 switches together (Without ST)
I can make the A->B, B->A, A->C,C->A,B->C,C->B associations and all switches communicate fine with each other.

When i add in the SmartThings hub, i can’t make all 6 of those associations.

Below are the steps I take:

First I join the minimote to SmartThings as a secondary controller.
Then I add each of the 3 dimmers to ST.
Then i use the minimote to create the 6 associations.

Even without using the ST to control anything, i’m just trying to get the switches associated. Of those 6 associations, i can make 5, but the 6th one (Whichever one I try to do last) won’t take. I’ve tried different orders of associations, and it’s always the last one that won’t take.

A->B Works
B->A Works
A->C Works
C->A Works
B->C Works
C->B Not Work C button presses updates A, but not B. B Button presses do update C though.

Any idea why I would have this issue?

I’ve tried to the the C->B associations many times…and even the other way…and then re-do all associations…but still have issues. I’ve excluded everything, cleared everything, started over…multiple times…and it’s still not working. I can only get all 6 associations, when i skip ST.

Thanks.

I second everything JDRoberts said about not bothering to associate switches over z-wave if you want any control by ST that doesn’t result in syncing issues. I would add that if you want an always-on circuit for something like Hue bulbs, then you don’t want an actual switch (like the RF9540-N) to control them. You should just bypass the switches in your walls so that the circuit is always on and then use virtual switches (such as battery powered stick on anywhere switches, motion sensors, etc.) to control them. The RF9542-ZAW is one such switch and is just like the battery operated version except that 1) it installs inside an existing switch electrical box, and 2) it taps the wired power within that electrical box so it doesn’t need a battery.

So…here’s my current understanding of the Cooper Aspire RF master/auxiliary situation (based on all of the foregoing):

  • Two-way Z-Wave association between the master (RF9540) and auxiliary (RF9542) requires a Z-Wave controller from Aeon (Minimote), Cooper (only the tabletop is still available), or Leviton

  • There’s no fully functional “ST only” way to set up this two-way association. (Dim With Me by @twack appears to be uni-directional, while Synchronized Dimming by @quantiletree appears to have unresolved ping-ponging issues, and Dim and Dimmer actually seems to do something different)

  • @bravenel described a Rule Engine approach that has won some fans, but Rule Engine is no longer available (having been supplanted by Web CoRE, which people also seem to like for this sort of thing), although this sort of rules-based integration seems heavier-weight than either native Z-Wave association or DTH/smartApp groovy code

  • There is an advanced Z-Wave Dimmer DTH from @lgkahn that might serve as a basis for further modification or integration with a smartApp like Dim With Me to provide bi-directional association

Is all of this correct?

I’m inclined to go with two-way Z-Wave association, which seems the most efficient and, if I understand correctly, should solve all problems except for failure to sync dimming levels while off (and I suspect this is unavoidable). A purely ST/DTH/smartApp approach would be OK too.

My network has four VCRZ4-M0Zs (now all working properly) and five RF9540s (so far), of which three are actually controlling loads, and two are effectively “virtual RF9542s”. I have one RF9540 associated with one of the buttons on a VRCZ4, and these work perfectly together for on/off and dimmer tracking across the two (though in fairness, only the RF9540 has to follow the VRCZ4 for dimming, since the VRCZ4 doesn’t have a “dimmer level” display that needs to be synchronized to the RF9540).

I also have a Leviton Vizia RF + Installer Tool and VRUSB – but I can’t seem to get it to program associations between the RF9540s/RF9542s. Can anyone (maybe @ash?) confirm that the Leviton tool can actually do this? (I’ve so far been joining the VRUSB to the extant ST network, which may be limiting its functionality somewhat.)

Meanwhile, it’s not even clear to me how I’d assign a non-load RF9542 to dim a non Z-Wave load (like a Hue bulb) through ST, either. (Have I missed some existing smartApp for this?)

Finally, I’d consider buying a Minimote (assuming the Leviton is not adequate), but they don’t seem to be sold anymore. The only link I could find was for a 2GIG Z-Wave MiniMote Controller – does anyone know if this is the same thing (and compatible with the later-versioned units that seem to be required)?

True with the tools that you described and true for battery operated devices, but for mains powered devices you can just use the Z wave tweaker DTH. This can handle any associations that the device can handle. You just temporarily assign a device to that DTH, make all your associations, then set it back to your every day DTH.

Meanwhile, it’s not even clear to me how I’d assign a non-load RF9542 to dim a non Z-Wave load (like a Hue bulb) through ST, either. (Have I missed some existing smartApp for this?)

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Since the RF 9542 does have a Z wave radio, it will be recognized by SmartThings as an individual device. Then if you are using the “SmartThings classic“ version of the mobile app, you can just use the smart lighting feature to have the devices mirror each other.

I believe the same feature is also available in the new SmartThings Samsung connect app, but the rules engines are different in the two apps and I don’t have the new one. So someone else will have to verify that. If @prjct92eh2 is online, he can respond, as he uses both apps.

As for the minimote, see the following thread (this is a clickable link). In particular, see posts eight through 10 in that thread.

(One very important point: you gave two different model numbers, the 9542 and the RF 9542. The 9542 was a dumb device without a radio, so you can’t use that one for association. But based on the rest of your post, I’m assuming that all of your auxiliaries are RF 9542 ? )

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This is brilliant, JD – thanks so much! In fact, I already have the Z-Wave Tweaker (as I was mucking about with it early in my VRCZ4 adventures), but I didn’t realize (or remember?) that it could do this. I’ll have a look straight away!

I believe the SmartLighting feature does only on/off, but not (full) dimming.

Quite right – I’d meant to refer to the RF9542 throughout (and didn’t even realize there was a “non-RF” 9542 without radio); I’ll correct my earlier post accordingly. (Interesting sidebar: I found that RF9542s were not cheaper than RF9450s, so I ended up buying only three of the former and 12 of the latter)

Yeah, If you reference forum posts from 2016, you may find they no longer apply. Or from early 2017 for that matter. :wink: “ mirror behavior “ was an option added for dimmers to the official SmartLights feature late in 2017.

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I’ll be damned – I could’ve sworn I’d checked this out for myself in the SmartThings Classic app…but indeed, there it is!

I wonder if I can apply this bi-directionally without causing ping-ponging or other feedback effects between two dimmers? (I’ll try it and post back here)

Quick FYI: I just tried SmartLighting “mirror behavior” between one RF9542 (really, an RF9540 with no load wired) and a Hue bulb, and while it does track both on/off and dimming, the dim level doesn’t update to the Hue bulb until you let go of the dimmer control on the RF9540.

More FYI: You can indeed set two-way mirroring between an RF9540 and an RF9542, with no ill effects from feedback (ping-ponging, reversion, etc).

You’re still limited by the dim-level-updates-only-upon-release behavior, unfortunately (which only really matters in the RF9542-to-RF9540 direction)…and the on/off replication is somewhat slow (> 1 sec), as I’d noticed for the RF9542/Hue scenario as well.

One more FYI: I’ve just set a two-way SmartLighting “mirror behavior” between an RF9542 and a couple of Hue bulbs which are also controlled by one of my VRCZ4s. (I need the two-way mirroring in case the Hue bulbs are controlled via app, etc.) In this case, there is some unsightly “wavering” when I dim from the VRCZ4 (which is continuous), as the RF9542 keeps reacting to the (continuous) dim-level changes from the VRCZ4 (really, the resulting continuous level changes in the Hue buibs themselves).

It’s weird, but so far it seems like it eventually “settles” on the desired level. And I’ve tried having the VRCZ4 button control both the actual Hue bulbs and the RF9542, or just the RF9542 instead of the Hue bulbs – this is a problem regardless (though it seems even worse in these latter cases). I’ll have to look at this some more.

(Not a problem when I use the Hue app, BTW – presumably because it, too, only updates the dimming level when you “let go” of the on-screen slider.)

Do you actually need the RF9542 RF version? Couldn’t you just use the RF942 NON-RF version with the regular 3-way wiring? Somebody said the RF9542 RF version is really just a (really expensive) wireless z-wave remote powered by 120V. I would prefer the RF9542 non-rf and use 3-way wiring because that’s more reliable, doesn’t require association, etc. Can this be done while still having automated control and status updates?