It’s like cars: some people need a pick up truck, some people need a jaguar, some people don’t need either but want both!
If what you have is working acceptably for you, you don’t need to worry about anything else. If what you have is driving you crazy, there are other choices to consider although every system has its own pluses and minuses.
I have a friend who works at a border collie rescue in farm country. A lot of working ranches. They get many dogs surrendered right around the 18 month mark. Farmers with working farms will bring in a dog that’s just too low energy, great personality but can’t keep up with the work. Families from the more suburban areas will bring in a dog who is driving them crazy Because he so high-energy and trying to herd everything in sight. Both great dogs, just not good matches to the families up they’re with. And, yes, on more than one occasion families have ended up swapping dogs with good results for everybody.
There IS app notification in Vera. In fact, I was a bit aggressive setting mine up, and I keep getting spammed every time someone walks into my home office (motion sensor.)
If you edit a Vera “device”, and scroll down, you should see sections (more or less) for “settings”, “advanced”, “Device options”, “Logs”, “Notifications”, and “Scenes.” Click on “notifications”, and make a selection. You also have to go into “Users and Account Info” → “User Info”, and check the box for “Send me push notifications.” Also take a look at “notifications settings” to turn on some generic notifications for things like “Low Battery”, “Network Error”, etc.
In migrating devices off of ST to Vera plus, so far I’ve found 4 devices that ST apparently lost contact with some time in the past, but that I (and ST) never noticed. In all cases, these were light switches (GE or Linear) that are almost always operated manually.
I understand that this is one of the pitfalls of z-wave. Whenever I’d notice this in the past, I’d just use the ST general exclusion, tell the switch it was excluded, and then “replace” the device in ST and re-include the same switch. (This time, I just used the general exclusion and didn’t bother to replace it.) (A couple years ago, before “replace” was added, I had to exclude the device, force delete it, and then add it anew.)
The problem is that ST does nothing to monitor when this happens and/or inform the user that it’s lost contact with a device. You could go days, weeks, even years not having a clue that your fancy z-wave device has lost it’s z-wave connection to the hub. THIS IS A BAD THING.
Would it really take that much effort for ST to verify it’s “heard from” each z-wave device in the past 12 hours, and if it hasn’t, to send some (any) z-wave “get status” type message? Then if it hasn’t seen the device in the past 24 hours, it can alert the user.
Comparing to Vera (just to keep this post on topic): Vera does appear to monitor the connection with devices and alerts when something isn’t responding. I haven’t had occassion to actually see this in action, however, to know for a fact that it works. I’m sure one of my GE switches will “drop off” within a month or two and I’ll be able to see what happens. (I might also pull the air gap switch on one of them to see how long it takes Vera to notice.)
(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart)
Your post is very insightful. I have some devices that are almost never used and I wonder if they are still on the mesh.
Not to beat a dead horse, but ST has established a clear pattern of “don’t believe anything until after it happens.” I’ve seen announcements of “actively working on” for local processing for user DTs/Apps, for a v1->v2 migration tool, updated documentation, etc, etc.
I wouldn’t be here if there was another system that I thought showed the same promise. I’ve cop’d to this repeatedly. It probably gets drowned out by my totally awesome call outs about failures.
But, again… if I didn’t want ST to succeed by delivering the system they aspire to be, I’d be gone. Remember, I never once said I was going to another system. There are others that have left. There are others that have said they were then backed out. I am not one of them. There is nothing wrong with doing so, don’t get me wrong, but I still don’t see enough somewhere else to justify it yet. The day may come though.
For now, at the least, I’ve invested a ton in ST. No, not the 75 hub… time, commitment, etc… and I’ve done so twice. ST completely nuked any value in my system after months of programming, and so I re-did everything which took at least a month to do. I won’t rebuild like that again however. I’ll just go without until something else shows promise.
I use Simple Device Viewer also. The problem is if it’s a light switch or something you manually operate, it actually doesn’t generate events and gets flagged as not communicating. It still helps me monitor the devices I use frequently and care about the most.
Loool nothing wrong with testing the water…I am actually thinking again if I should try out Vera before I migrate to a new ST v2 hub that’s being delivered…It will be the perfect opportunity, wouldn’t it?!