GE/Jasco 45631 Keypad/Controller

Issues despite following the steps in the manual ?
Mine was really str8forward

just figured out how to pair, found an amazon review. .I read your instructions and press the off which too me is the right side of each rocker…but it’s the left side of each of the 4 rockers and it is now paired with smarthings

now to figure out how it will control in wall relays i have

The remote actually works independently of ST, so you will have to add the devices you want to control to the groups.

hit group, add, [button 1-4 ON side], then toggle to power to the zwave device you want to control. repeat for all devices. if you hit scene instead you can set lights to a dimmer level, then the add process should save that state.

This is what I don’t understand. Why can’t the ST Hub pick up the zwave remote buttons that are pushed and let you tie them to a routine in ST? Does it take a genius to write the code to do that or what? It seems like a reasonable expectation to me, especially if you’re like me and don’t lug your exploding smartphone around with you every step through the house.

I just purchased the ST Hub because I’m getting ready to rewire the house so I’ll finally have some neutral wires. I was hoping that when I put the zwave switches and outlets in that I would be able to control these through the Zwave remotes by setting them up through the ST Hub.

You’re absolutely right. It’s a very reasonable expectation. Unfortunately, SmartThings does not see it that way. I guess that’s why they were acquired by Samsung, not Apple. :wink:

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This is one that we cannot blame the SmartThings architecture for. This has to do with the Z wave standard.

Z wave has a device class called scene controllers, and this is one of them.

These devices intentionally do not tell the Z wave primary controller (in this case, SmartThings) what they are doing. They were designed to be panel controllers that sat on a wall and would directly control a few lamps within one hop of that controller. That’s it. The GE device does not tell the SmartThings hub when a button has been pressed so there’s nothing SmartThings can do about it.

This is a generation three design for zwave, and we’re now in generation five. The devices are still available for sale, but nobody designing new Z wave devices would do it this way. Because now everybody has a smart phone or tablet and wants to see the status of their lights on that connected device. They want the button controllers to talk to the hub so the hub can keep track of everything.

Instead, Starting with generation 4, Z wave introduced “central scene” commands. With these devices, The button controller sends a scene number to the hub and the hub then sends it out to the end devices.

This gives you a ton of advantages over the old-style scene controllers. The hub always knows the status of the individual devices. You can include devices in the scene which are more than one hop away from the button controller. And in the case of SmartThings, which is a multi platform design, you can also include some zigbee devices or Wi-Fi devices in the scene.

So while this particular button controller has a nice look to it, it’s obsolete technology and it doesn’t fit the way we now use home automation. We don’t limit scenes to the lamps in a single room. And SmartThings doesn’t limit them to a single protocol.

The new homeseer switches which allow for double and triple tap on a single switch are using the new central scene commands. In Europe, the DeVolo and Popp scene controllers are using them as well. I’m sure we’ll see more of these on the market in the next year or so.

Meanwhile, there are some alternatives, both battery operated and mains powered. Although it only has four buttons, the Leviton VRCS4 is mains powered and a number of community members are using it. It fits in a single gang box.

The Remotec ZRC90 is battery-operated, also single gang size, available in both the US and Europe Z wave frequencies, and has eight buttons each of which has single tap, double tap, and held for a total of 24 possible scenes.

You can find more information about both of these and other options in the remotes and buttons FAQ:

So to network engineers, asking why SmartThings doesn’t support third generation Z wave scene controllers is kind of like asking why laptops don’t have floppy disk drives. We just don’t do it that way anymore. I know it was cheap and convenient, but technology moves on and now there are other ways of solving the same problem that give you more features.

So on this one, I give SmartThings a pass.

JMO

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BTW, if you want to fault SmartThings for not having newer technology button controllers on the official compatibility list, I’m with you. Adding the Leviton, the SmartenIt, the remotec, the Devolo for Europe, and a couple of others to the official compatibility list and then just explaining that SmartThings needs the newer technology in order to support multiple protocols would go a long way towards reducing community frustration. People shouldn’t have to come to the forums for this information.

Again, JMO. :sunglasses:

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Thanks JDRoberts, you’ve made everything very clear.

So my next question is, when I use a zwave switch to toggle a light on and off, does anything get sent back to the ST Hub? For example, If I have backyard Lights A, B, and C outside of each door/switch A, B and C respectively. If I toggle the switch at Door B, I want lights A and C to also be turned on/off along with Light B.

Hopefully, I don’t have to wait another year to buy switches along with controllers.

TK

PS, I think developers should be forced to use the technology they are responsible for developing :slight_smile:

It depends on the individual device, but certainly there are many switches that do communicate to the hub.

It’s definitely possible to have one switch follow another so that they act as a group if that’s what you want. But you do have to select specific models that have that capability.

Just as one example, if you buy the Z wave GE switches that have a master and an auxiliary for a “three-way” set up, the master switch talks to the hub, but the auxiliaries actually talk only to their own master. So you can’t have a GE auxiliary switch also trigger another switch on another circuit. But if you used the Leviton switches you could have the auxiliary also trigger other events. So you have to check each model for the use cases you intend to use it for. :sunglasses:

With all due respect, there’s no problem with Z-Wave standard. SmartThins could have implement the required Controller Replication command class, but chose not to. It’s no one else’s fault, but theirs. Whatever their reason is, it doesn’t mean jack to an everage consumer who relies on Z-Wave branding (or any other branding for that matter) and expect stuff to “just work”. :sunglasses:

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Controller replication just changes how the local scenes get loaded into the GE device. It doesn’t cause the GE button presses to get reported to the primary controller.

Controller replication would make it easier to use the GE device for those who just want to use it to control Z wave devices within one hop and aren’t worried about the status showing up in their SmartThings mobile app or on SmartTiles. It’s still a third-generation device.

I agree absolutely that it would be nice if SmartThings supported controller replication and controller shift, if only to assist in migration. But it wouldn’t solve most of the issues with the GE scene controllers.

More helpful would be if GE/Jasco updated the devices to use association. But I suspect that would require a chip upgrade not just firmware.

edited to update: @geko rightly points out below that once you have controller replication you can use it to include the primary controller as a controlled device in the scene at the time of replication so you can fool the scene controller into thinking it’s controlling the scenes when it’s actually just sending an indication to the hub. But as he also mentioned you need controller replication to do that, which SmartThings currently does not have.

Yes, it does. That’s how Vera can use it as a “button controller”, by adding itself to each scene. However, with this older command class this can only be done during replication, which is of course a limitation, but it would not be that difficult to implement if they want to.

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If you could set up “fake” devices on the hub and then find some way configure the controller’s buttons with those devices, then a button press could be used to kick off a routine when the hub get’s notified that the fake device is activated.

I’m guessing the issue is that it’s not possible to configure the controller with the fake devices ID/address or whatever it is.

Good point. Yes, you could do it that way. It’s not the intended design of the device, but it doesn’t hurt anything.

I’d like to see controller replication added anyway. If you could use that to make this device work, that’s a bonus. :sunglasses:

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Karl,
Sorry to trouble you but I’m having a hell of a time trying to get the unit to work for me. I’ve seen so many different suggestions and thoughts and none of them seem to work for me. Is it possible you could let me know what it took for you to get it to work? Thank you so much!

Thanks Doggy, this was the information I needed to make my GE Controller work with all my Z-Wave devices. Your instructions were perfect to help me figure out how to connect the controller with SmartThings!

Can I ask what you did to make it work? I still can’t get anything to work and I feel like i’ve tried most things. Thanks for your time!

Hi Patrick:

Here is what I did using an Android phone as the primary controller, the GE
Keypad Controller as the secondary controller and the SmartThings hub.

To use the GE Keypad Controller as a secondary controller you just add it
to your SmartThings by Searching for New Things. You search AFTER you
initiate the GE Controller by using these steps (from the instruction
manual available on line at: (


)

Follow Steps 3 through 6 (from the manual above):
3. Press and hold the Add and Remove buttons at the same time until the
orange LED blinks twice.
4. Press and release the OFF side of Group/Scene buttons 1,2,3,4 in
sequence (left side of buttons).
5. The Orange LED will start blinking.
6. When the Orange LED stops blinking and the Green LED blinks twice, you
have successfully transferred information to the keypad controller

Then on my Android Phone in my SmartThings Account, I searched for NEW
THINGS. It found the “Z-Wave Controller”. I then proceeded to add
individual lights to use the GE Controller bedside by following, again
using the manual to add Things to a Group:

… but it can add a network device to a Group. The network information
must be copied to this device before trying to create or modify a Group
(Steps 3-6 above).

  1. Press and hold the Add and Remove buttons at the same time until the
    Orange LED blinks twice, then release.
  2. Press and release the Add button.
  3. Press and release the Group button.
  4. Press and release the right side (ON) of the Group/Scene button (1, 2, 3
    or 4) that you wish to assign the device to. The Orange LED will start
    blinking.
  5. Press and release the button on the device you wish to add. 6. The
    Orange LED will stop blinking and the Green LED will blink twice to show
    that you have successfully Added the device to a Group.

It now controls 4 different Z-wave devices from my bedside. This is what I
wanted. There are options to add scenes and groups but I think you need
the GE Remote to make that happen which is not really what I wanted, I just
wanted a simple controller bedside to turn on and off a few of the Z-wave
devices.

Good luck!

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I honestly really appreciate you taking the time to send all of that to me. I will do exactly that when I get home. Means a lot sir! All the best.