Moving from GE remote 45601 to Aeotec hub

Been using zwave with GE 45601 for lights and thermostat for about eight years but things have started going more wonky than usual. Now, cannot connect with thermostat which is deal breaker. It is just not connecting, can’t be deleted on Trane thermostat end and GE can’t connect. Aeotec hub on the way. Lots of questions but primary is:
Will I have to dismantle old ‘network’ i.e. delete all devices from GE remote to add them to Aeotec?
Tried various hubs in the past but abandoned them all (vera, casa) because they just did not work. House has a lot of metal lathing under the plaster so that causes some difficulties but the zwave and GE have worked well at times so I know it’s possible. Hoping the technology is better.

Each of the devices will need to be excluded from the GE remote’s network before it can be added to the ST network. If you’re having trouble getting that to work with the remote, you can put the ST hub in general exclusion mode, which will reset devices that are joined to other networks.

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Zwave is still zwave, although the Aeotec hub by itself will be capable of somewhat longer range.

That said, Z wave is a mesh network where Main‘s power devices pass along messages from other devices on the same network.

Since it sounds like all of your existing devices are pretty old, adding a new hub doesn’t change the range of those individual devices or their capabilities. So if the devices were not previously working well because of architectural issues you will probably run into the exact same issues if all you do is swap out the hub.

To get real improvement you will need either add more mains power devices to act as repeaters along the message paths or update the individual devices. (Zwave allows for up to four “hops“ per message, which is six participating devices: the originating device, four pass along devices, and then the hub.)

I’m sure that’s not what you wanted to hear, but I just wanted to make sure you set your expectations appropriately. The Aeotec hub is definitely newer and better technology than the remote you were using, but that may not be enough for you to see a real difference in the performance of the network as a whole. :thinking:

Thank you, philh30. No problem “finding” devices that have been excluded? Seems I have had problems in past deletions with having to use a hammer to get devices found again.

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There’s no way around needing to exclude first. A device won’t join a different network until you’ve cleared the old one first. If they’re older (non-zwave plus) devices, you’ll need to do the dance of getting the hub within a few inches of each one to pair.

Definitely good advice from @JDRoberts about strengthening your mesh. If all of your switches are older devices you may want to look at adding some newer z-wave plus ones to the mix. They have better range and will probably deal with the interference better.

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Thank you, JDRoberts. I do want to hear what I need to hear, no fears. I am replacing the thermostat the failure of which has prompted all these changes. It will have wifi capability. I’ve got eighteen zwave devices, switches and outlets, spread out around the house so they do manage to talk to each other. It’s always seemed to me the GE remote was the problem. Once you have a timer functioning, it’s the very devil to alter it, as in changing start time, without deleting and starting over. Even then, it is sometimes stuck in memory and requires multiple deletions then leave idle for a week before adding new timer.

Entering timers is also difficult on remote. I hope it will be easier in an app.

I also have items that connect to wifi and am hoping I will have one spot for all, or most. They include:
garage door opener, robotic vacuum, one AC, solar array monitor, CatGenie pan, Ring cameras.

Again, thank you.

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That should definitely be easier with the SmartThings app. :sunglasses:

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Have received Aeotec Smart Hub and installed a Honeywell thermostat I think will hook up eventually but not concerned if it doesn’t. Question about dismantling old zwave network. Do devices have to be deleted from Groups before deleting from network or can I just delete from network. I only have 18 devices and am concerned about using the general exclusion.

Thanks again, this has all been very helpful. I also bought two plus wall switches as recommended to strengthen network, but not sure where I’m going to install them yet.

It varies by device brand/model, but the exclude process often resets the device completely. Assuming you mean association groups, they’ll probably be cleared out by general exclusion (and if they’re not, they wouldn’t work right anyways since all of your z-wave node IDs will be different after you rebuild the network).

Go ahead with general exclusion - try it on a single device first if you’re concerned. The only potential issue I see would be if you’re hoping to continue using the GE remote in the future then you’ll need to figure out how to clear the devices off of it.

Also, after you’ve added everything to the Aeotec hub and have the hub in its permanent location, you should run a z-wave repair so your devices learn their best routes to communicate with the hub.

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Thank you JDRoberts and philh30! Exclusion worked beautifully to reset existing devices. There was one outlet, farthest away from others and hub, that had some difficulties turning off. But I did add a plus switch nearby and that seems to have fixed the issue. I do have a few plus outlets on the way so that should strengthen the whole network. You guys were invaluable.

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