Need Help Controlling GE Wireless Outdoor Lighting Module


(Scottpsu) #1

I purchased a GE ZWave wireless switch (this one: https://shop.smartthings.com/#/products/ge-outdoor-plug-in-module) to remotely control a fan that is used to cool home theater equipment in my basement. I was able to successfully pair it to my SmartThings Hub, but for the life of me have not been able to control it with the SmartThings app on my iPhone. I can not turn it on or off remotely (although I can turn the fan on or off using the button on the top of the unit itself).

When I initially set it up (and I don’t know if this matters), I plugged in the device, paired it, and then had to unplug it so I could plug in the fan to the other end. I then plugged the device back into the wall socket. I tried the button on the top and it turned the fan on and off as it is supposed to.

When the SmartThings app would not control it, I contacted SmartThings Support and have been working with them all week to try to get this thing to work correctly. We have removed the device and re-added it, rebooted the Hub, pushed new firmware to it, disconnected power and ethernet, power cycled my router, and logged out of the SmartThings app (and logged back in, of course). None of those attempts have fixed this issue.

If there is someone out there who can help me resolve this issue, I would be most appreciative. I have one other ZWave device connected to the Hub - an in-wall duplex receptacle controlling a light in the living room - and for the most part this device has functioned correctly.

Thanks in advance for the assist!

Regards,

Scott


(Chrisb) #2

That’s pretty odd… just out of curiosity, does the status of the device update when you physically turn it on or off? Do you have other Z-wave device that work correctly?


(Scottpsu) #3
That’s pretty odd… just out of curiosity, does the status of the device update when you physically turn it on or off? Do you have other Z-wave device that work correctly?

Thanks for your post. As I went to my basement to get an answer to my question, I inadvertently stumbled onto the issue. Turns out the switch is located out of the wireless range of my hub (doh!). I moved the switch closer to the hub and bam - it works perfectly every time.

Looks like I need to add a ZWave device or two. Are all ZWave devices repeaters? Even those that use batteries?

Regards,

Scott


(Carl Aydelotte) #4

I do not believe that the devices that run on batteries are repeaters so you may want to stick with light switches and electric outlets, or even the Fortrezz siren since it plugs in. You can place it anywhere and move it at anytime.


(Chrisb) #5

I agree with Carl. I think most battery powered items are NOT repeaters.

Also, a special note on the GE/Jasco 45612. This dimmer switch doesn’t use a neutral and so it does NOT act as a repeater when the switch is off. It does repeat when on, but of course if it’s only repeating sometimes then that’s not a big help.


(Scottpsu) #6

Will do. Thanks guys!

Regards,

Scott


(Paul K) #7

Ya, i have the same issue. I have two outdoor modules. One, which is right by my house and one across the yard (perhaps 30ft of free space). I can get the closest to work, but apparently 30ft of free air is too far or the outdoor module isn’t a repeater…

I didn’t know the Jasco dimmer was only a repeater when on, I wonder what else has similar performance…


(Chrisb) #8

@bleifrei,

There’s a very specific reason that the 45612 dimmer is not a repeater when on: It doesn’t use a neutral. Unlike a “dumb switch” a z-wave switch is always using a little power to run the radio and (if applicable) to act as a repeater. In order to do this it has to have a close circuit. This is why most Z-wave switches and dimmers use a neutral. Without it the switch can’t repeat and can’t listen for the hub sending commands to it.

But wait! you say, the 45612 doesn’t use a neutral! How does this work then?

So glad you asked! The 45612 let’s a little trickle of power through the line->load circuit when off. It never completely stops sending power to your lights. For incandescent lights this generally isn’t a problem. The trickle of power is so low that it doesn’t light them up. Some LEDs might light up if the wattage on them is low enough, though you may get away with it.

This trickle of power is enough to let the radio in the dimmer stay on so it can receive commands from the hub. But it isn’t enough to allow the radio to send commands. It needs more power for that… too much power that it would start to light up the lights connected to the dimmer. That’s why it can’t repeat commands.

Now when the switch it turned on and sending power to the lights, then it can repeat because obviously it’s getting more than enough power through the circuit.

But of course the large question is: What other device don’t act as repeaters? I believe just about any z-wave device that is plugged in or wired directly to power lines had has a neutral will act as a repeater. I might be wrong here and I would definitely confirm before spending money, but I think most will repeat.


(Duncan) #9

@chrisb where did you hear that the 45612 isn’t a repeater when switched off? It seems like as long as it’s a listening device it should act as a repeater. It can certainly send messages like state reports when it’s off.

I just did a test and observed one repeating when off, though I did have some trouble with it’s repeating abilities when both on and off.


(Chrisb) #10

@duncan,

I read it here: http://store.homeseer.com/store/HomeSeer-Z-Wave-Dimming-Wall-Switch-Comparison-W16C64.aspx

Now, re-reading the information in the chart there I wonder if I mistook what it was trying to say. They have a row on that sheet that says:

“Works as Repeater with no Load Connected” The column for the 45612 says “no.” I assumed this meant that it would not work as a repeater if it wasn’t sending full power through the load. I guess I made this change in my head because to it seems silly to just say it doesn’t work as a repeater with no load. It doesn’t received, repeat, or do anything when not connected to a load.

However, based on your information and looking again at the working, I suspect they were trying to communicate to individuals who were getting switches just because they wanted them to be repeaters without ever connecting them to turn anything on or off. Seems kinda dumb that someone would do that (much cheaper alternatives that don’t require hard-wiring), but I dunno why else it would be worded in that way.


(Duncan) #11

Maybe they were trying to make it clear that if your light bulb burns out it can take down any other devices that were relying on the dimmer for routing.


(Chrisb) #12

That’s certainly a good possibility. Either way, based on your results I’ve been spewing dirty lies for the past month+ !! :slight_smile:


(Andrew Urman) #13

I’m on to you @chrisb no one fools THE KEYMASTER and gets away with it

NO ONE


(stu) #14

Most devices have a distance limit. on outdoor devices the distance is usually considerably shorter and you often need line of site depending on the device. Z-wave needs line of sight.