I recently picked up this device on sale for $20 at Z-Wave Products. I wasn’t sure whether it would work with my current home automation (SmartThings Hub v2, about a hundred Z-Wave and Zigbee devices), but at that price I was willing to take a gamble and not feel too disappointed if it only worked as a learning IR/AV remote. If I could make the same device also interact with my home automation, that would just be a bonus.
When I looked at the manual (available at the above link), I discovered that it–unlike a bunch of other Z-Wave buttons and remotes I have–expected to be a controller of the system, rather than just one more device that you can program an independent hub to respond to. But in fact, the manual goes into great detail about how to connect Z-Wave devices to the remote without any reference to an independent hub.
So it seems like the remote neither needs nor supports talking to a hub and I’m hardly going to replace a relatively intelligent device like a SmartThings hub with a stupid remote. The sole glimmer of hope offered by the manual is the discussion about how to use it as a “secondary controller.” Apparently if you have multiple remotes of this type, they can coexist and control the same devices.
So is there any way to use this remote, for example with a special driver, with my existing system? Or even to convince it to be the secondary controller to the existing SmartThings hub? Or, as I suspect, will I just have to give up on this device’s Z-Wave features if I want to continue using my hub?
Given how cheap this device is and how convenient it would be to have a combined IR and Z-Wave remote (yes, I do know about Harmony Hubs, I have a couple, and they are good), I am surprised that my diligent googling didn’t yield somebody else asking this question earlier, but here we are. If there is no answer, at least google will be able to find this discussion and be able to save future tinkerers some trouble.