Honeywell VAM integration with Smartthings

project_security

(jessica) #1

My current setup is built around my honewell alarm and their Vista Automation Module (VAM). VAM is a zwave controller and works pretty well but the interface is slow and a little clunky. I am wondering if the SmartThings Hub will integrate with the VAM and allow for control of my existing alarm and zwave devices.


(Todd) #2

Surprised no one has replied yet. I, too, would like know.


#3

The VAM has the ability to become a secondary controller to the Smartthings hub. You can setup some automation from the VAM interface.

However, I am looking for the Smartthings hub to control the VAM. The VAM has an API, but I am not familiar with coding the Smarthings hub to take advantage of the API.


(Damian) #4

I would love to see the VAM intergration as well. I bought the ST hub and the VAM together for hopes that I could get it to work with my already installed vista security system but no such luck right now they operate independently. If in an alarm event would like to turn my lights on.


#5

Same here. I was expecting full VAM/ST Hub integration, but not the case. The Honeywell alarm system is covering my home and exterior buildings in a very secure manner that is not offered via current home automation systems. I have 4 cameras integrated into the Honeywell system as well. ->->Oh Well! Hopefully the future will bring real integration!


(Joe) #6

Any update on this? I have the VAM and ST i can not figure out how to get VAM as secondary to ST.
Thanks


(jessica) #7

I have a VAM and I think I’ve gotten my smarthings hub to be a secondary device. I can’t seem to get any of the devices on the VAM to show up in smarthings. I cant get anything to show up in smarthings at this point, even when I’ve removed them from the VAM and tried to repair them to my smarthings hub.
I’ve tried adding the custom code for the Total Connect 2.0 stuff but it doesn’t seem to be working either.


(Edward Francisco) #8

Those of you interested in integrating the Honeywell VAM and a Smartthings hub, I can tell you it does work.

Here are the particulars.

Like, some of you here I wanted to be able to control many of my z-wave devices via my alarm system. As you know, the VAM supports a limited version of home automation but not enough to allow the VAM to act as a whole house home automation controller. There are also proxy nodes that will allow Smartthings to talk to your alarm system but that was too involved for what I wanted to do. This was my solution.

I use the Smartthings hub as my primary controller. Smartthings integrates with Amazon Echo. Giving me voice control over my Home Automation devices. The VAM does not integrate with the Echo. I change the VAM to run as a secondary controller, then pair it with the Smartthings hub.

Paring:

This is important. When you pair the two controllers be patient. Start “Add Device” on both controllers (remember to set the VAM to a secondary controller first) then wait. It may take a couple of minutes for the two hubs complete their pairing. During the pairing process the first thing that happens is all of your devices on your Smartthings hub are downloaded to the VAN hub. How long that takes depends on home many devices you have. The two hubs may not show as being paired until the device download is complete.

Once the download is complete, wait. Give the VAM time to synchronize with the newly found devices. This may take 10 min or more, depending on the number of devices.

Devices:

When the devices are discovered they show of with generic names, “Multilevel Switch”, “Garage Door”, “Binary Switch”, etc and not the names you assigned in Smartthings. So you will have to add the names of the devices in the VAM manually. This is a drag. Mainly because, if you add a device to Smartthings you have to re-pair the two hubs to update the VAM.

Adding a new device after paring:

If you add a new device to the Smartthings hub after you have paired it with the VAM, the VAM will not pick it up automatically. To add the device to the VAM you have to un-pair the two hubs then pair them up again. To un-pair you have to default the settings on the VAM. This will remove all devices and set the hub back to primary controller. On the Smartthings hub you have to remove the VAM controller using the Smartthings website, not the Smartthings hub. After the hubs have been unpaired, pair them again to add the new device.

This seems like a lot of hassle. Is all of this hassle worth it? For me, yes. With this setup I can lock all doors automatically after the alarm is armed. Something I sometimes forget to do. The alarm system also closes the garage door if I forget. Which also happens on occasion.


(jessica) #9

I have my Vam set up as a secondary as well. It recognizes most of my devices but I dont see where it polls or updates the alarm status in smartthings. I’m trying to work out getting my gate sensors to notify me if they are opened when the alarm is set or I am not home. How did you get smartthings to poll when the alarm is set or not.


(Eric Plett) #10

Hi EHFrancisco,

I’m about to set up the same as you described and for many of the same reasons. I do have one question though. When you have the VAM configured as the secondary controller, can you see the honeywell door/window opening sensor events, occupancy sensor events, etc from smartthings?

Essentially I’d like to use my VAM as a pass through for all of the events coming out of my Vista panel to smartthings so I can use the much better smartthings interface.

Thank you in advance for your help!


(Edward Francisco) #11

" I’m trying to work out getting my gate sensors to notify me if they are opened when the alarm is set or I am not home. "

I use the VAM for this. All of my devices are paired with the SmartThings hub. The VAM picks up those devices when it is paired as a secondary controller to the SmartThings hub.

Example:

I have a VAM Scene Setup that:

Notifies me whenever the garage door is opened.
Another that turns down the thermostat whenever the alarm is set to Away.
Another that locks all doors when the alarm is set to Stay or Away (2 separate scenes)
And another that closes the garage door when the system changes into Armed mode. (Again, 2 separate scenes. One for Away and one for Stay.)

Set your VAM scene to “Trigger” on the Gate Sensor with the “Action” to email to an email address and/or email a text to your cellphone. I have mine set up to do both.

Additional Info: Partially because of how the VAM and SmartThings integrate (SmartThings cant see whats going on with the VAM) and partially for security reasons (I don’t want SmartThings to control my alarm system) I have the security functions and home automation functions separated between the VAM (security) and SmartThings controller (home automation).


(Edward Francisco) #12

You won’t be able to see the alarm activity (Zone and alarm status, etc) from the SmartThings hub. There are ways to make this happen (you add a communications bridge). I found this to be to cumbersome to implement. Plus, I believe allowing SmartThings to control the alarm system to be a security risk.


(Rob Reff) #13

I’m thinking about implementing this approach (VAM) + Total Connect + SmartThings. This is super helpful!

I’m wondering…can I setup virtual switch in SmartThings that can be seen by VAM/Honeywell. Or does it only go one way…


(Nick) #14

Rob,

In an earlier post, someone stated that they use smart things for automation and the VAM for security. That is exactly the correct approach. Because the VAM only supports 10 scenes, I reserve them for security and emergency related events (plus I have a number of scenes remotely defined in TC20, again, strictly for security related events).

I use the ST hub for scenes relating to “convenience” such as turning on lots of lamps in the evening ( good riddance to 10 timers spread all over the house). I also have two remote 240V contactors, for external lighting, and auxiliary kitchen heat. Again, convenience…

Also, very importantly, the VAM cannot run as a secondary controller if you use it with TC20. So, set up the ST hub as secondary and let it learn from the VAM.

I am getting ready to purchase an Amazon Echo and pair it with the ST hub for convenience. However, I don’t believe you can manage your Vista system via the Echo/ST hub. E.G, “Alexa… Arm alarm system night-stay”. I don’t know for sure but it doesn’t seem there is tight integration here. It might be possible with gerryrigging and special intrim devices but that’s too much trouble for me.

Good luck!


(Jake) #15

Try as I might, I cannot pair the VAM as secondary to ST. VAM is definitely in secondary controller mode. Tried both ST and ST Classic apps. VAM times out, ST never sees the VAM. Could I ask the favor of a play by play with the versions of VAM/ST apps used? THANKS !!


(Edward Francisco) #16

Hi,

VAM and ST intagration IS problematic. The VAM my be giving you the impression it has not paired when it actually has.

I am using ST Classic and VAM Ver. 6.2.10.

A question before we begin. Did ST ever recognize the VAM? If it did you may have to clear it from the ST website.

https://graph.api.smartthings.com

Periodically, the VAM will lose connection to some of the devices and I have to re-pair the ST and VAM to restore the VAM device connections. You will want to check that by logging on to the ST website and deleting the VAM if it’s there. It will show up as a “Z-Wave Controller”. I always have to delete the VAM from the website when I want to do a re-pair.

You should also perform a “Z-Wave Default” on the VAM and confirm the VAM is set to be a “Primary Controller” You will change that later but you want to start this process with the VAM having a clean slate.

The paring is as follows:

  • Set the VAM to be a “Secondary Controller.”
  • Start the “Add Device” process on the ST via the ST app.
  • Start the “Add Device” process on the VAM.
  • Then wait. It may take a few minutes for this process to start and a few minutes more to complete.

You may not see the VAM register on the ST until the VAM has completed downloading devices. If the pairing is successful you will see the status change on the VAM Add screen. On the VAM, the top status will change and show “Downloading Device List”. That may not be the exact wording. It will appear to the right of the Home icon, just above the column headings.

The delay in the start up of the download process on the VAM fooled me for the longest time. I expected it to be like adding a switch or outlet. So, I would restart the add process before the download process on the VAM had begun. Because of the number of devices I have installed, it takes about 5 minutes for the device download process to complete.

Try that, and be patient. Like I said, it takes a few minutes for the VAM to start the download process. If it doesn’t begin after about ten mim. you may have a bad VAM.

Let me know if that works for you.


(Jake) #17

Wow, many thanks for a near instant and technically precise response!

VAM not present in ST, which is a great tip – I am days not weeks into ST as well as VAM.

I do have 30+ smart things in ST (been busy) and 30+ Honeywell sensors on VAM.

Alas, no joy. I think yours is the procedure I tried before, and it is so helpful to know for sure. Also very helpful to know your app versions (mine same). After a 5-7 minutes the VAM displays “Timed out, abort operating” from the initial “Preparing for device adding. Please wait” that appears after "“Add Device” is selected on VAM. I have tried your procedure starting from scratch 5 times now. I left it in this “Abort” stage just in case it was secretly busy. No change.

Wondering if I have the energy to strip down my ST to make it “easier” to pair but this seems a lot more hope than plan.

Will keep working it. Other insights welcome, you have already been very helpful, thanks again!


(Edward Francisco) #18

Sorry to hear that didn’t work out. The VAM can be real finicky. I’ve never been real happy with it.

You may have already tried this or it may not be an issue. Have you moved the ST controller close to the VAM while pairing the two controllers? Distance and interference can be an issue during setup.


(Jake) #19

No, that is a good idea. Will do. I also ordered a Z-Wave outlet, if I can pair the outlet I know if it is VAM or not. I am with you on VAM, finicky is a good description, but still worthwhile considering the extensive Honeywell sensor network and P20 that came with house.

Will try later this week.

Many thanks for your patient assistance!


(Jake) #20

Success! Always the simple things. They were too far apart. Edward, your help kept me on the right track and ultimately gave me the right answer, humble thanks.