Setup no longer for sale, WAF depleted but given final chance


(Matt) #1

Edit1, grammar
Edit2, no longer for sale, community convinced me to renegotiate with wife and will be trying 2.0 setup
Edit3, re-add picture


(www.rboyapps.com - Make your home your butler!) #2

Wow talk about a deal.

ST is like a BMW, has a lot of promise of fun but once the trouble starts it depreciates in value real quick.

EDIT: to be honest we still buy another BMW. So where will you go after this? I don’t think I would be “satisfied” after life in the ST world where things are taken care of.


#3

Yeah, my wife has been patient with me; but she really has become use to all the automations we’ve done (265 devices make up my HA ecosystem), she uses the app more than I ever expected, and she actually had me put minimotes in all our rooms. Now she wants to replace those with Amazon Dots if I can find them. I should have bought more when I could.

FWIW, my ST environment has been rock solid for quite some time, with very little of my time being spent tracking down problems. From the looks of what you have in that image, you have nothing acting as a repeater for your zwave or zigbee devices. Perhaps you have things spread around too far away from the hub and/or have an interference problem with other stuff in your home? I have everything you do, except I have many repeaters, and all that stuff works great.


(Bobby) #4

Your approach is all wrong. You don’t sellout you upsell. “Honey, the more we add the stronger, more reliable our system becomes. I ordered these new outlets that repeat both zigbee and zwave. Wait till you see how well SmartThings will work”. How do you think we reached hundreds of devices. Not sure what happens when we reach the maximum. Actually I know. “honey, we need to split the system is too big. I am getting another hubWait till you see how well SmartThings will work”.

It’s unfortunate that ST is losing yet another member. Good luck to you!


(Matt) #5

I like the way you think. Talked with the wife, got base use case of dumb security system and small budget for repeaters. Sorry to those that have PM’d but I’m going to give it another shot and see if I can climb the uphill slope to WAF NPS 0.

What repeaters should I be looking at based on what I have? Hue bulbs/outlets/combo?


(Bobby) #6

If you insist on using the GE bulbs, your WAF is guaranteed to remain under water. Get rid of them and get yourself some zwave dimmers. As for repeaters, I recommend the Iris outlets, they repeat both zigbee and zwave. But I have to warn you, they are a royal PIA to pair and get them started.


#7

Since there’s no longer a picture in your first post, I’m not sure exactly what you have. But if you have Hue bulbs connected to a Hue bridge you don’t need any other repeater for them, they will repeat for each other. So you just need them to be within about 40 feet of the next bulb.

If you have GE bulbs, I’d get rid of them. I use hue whites which are $15 at Best Buy and very good quality. There are other good brands as well. The GE bulbs have a firmware problem which is the reason they are not on the official compatibility list for SmartThings.

Pretty much any mains powered device except smoke alarms can act as a repeater. Remember that zwave repeats only for Z wave and zigbee repeats only for zigbee, so just think of your devices as two different networks when you plan where to put repeaters. Battery powered devices do not repeat.

The most popular repeaters are pocket sockets ( no wiring required), plug in motion sensors, light switches, and in wall relays.

You want one zigbee or classic zwave repeater about every 40 feet in a typical U.S. House. zwave plus repeaters can be farther apart, 60 feet is usually safe although you may get even farther coverage.

More here:

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=Repeaters


#8

Per @SBDOBRESCU’s comment, get the Lowes Iris Smart Plugs. I have tons of them, but I only enable the zigbee repeater because I have GE wall switches/dimmers everywhere acting as zwave repeaters. It’s also a lot simpler not having to worry about the zwave set up process in my opinion. You still can’t go wrong with these things, they’re awesome little guys.

Don’t use GE bulbs for a while. Get use to using other devices first. They can be finicky. My GE’s work great (daylight version has never had a problem with ST), but I just use them in lamps AND we control them with Aeon Minimotes or Alexa. In fact, I can’t remember the last time we used the lamp’s physical swtich!

So, get a few Iris plugs and get some zwave switches/dimmers for your repeaters if you can. Let us know how things go, and use the Community for help. There are a ton of discussions that go from helping you cure your addition to adding devices to some pretty cool and innovative solutions to automating what you never thought could be automated.


(John C) #9

A big thing here that tipped WAF strongly positive was adding Alexa. Now it is, “Alexa! Turn off all lights!” as we turn in for the night. No futzing with an app…


(Matt) #10

Will hold off on Alexa for a bit, in-laws just got it and she’s skeptical.

Added picture back.

Will grab a couple of the smart plugs, an in-wall switch or two and plan on repositioning the hub to a more central location this weekend. Hopeful that it improves system reliability.


#11

Once you get everything into its permanent location, you need to tell each device to update it’s neighbor tables so it knows who the closest repeaters are.

Here are the instructions for Z wave

For zigbee, it’s even easier. Just unplug the hub and take out batteries if it has them. Leave all of your other zigbee devices on power. Leave the hub off power for at least 15 minutes. Then when you put the back on power all the others zigbee devices will automatically update their neighbor tables.

It can take a while before every device gets its own neighbor tables updated so you may not see improvements until the next day.


(Bobby) #12

Welcome back. Like @johnconstantelo said, don’t be shy to yell, someone in the community will see you and help. That’s what sets ST apart from many other systems.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #13

Pick a room… Preferably one the wife uses a lot. Keep the hub close by that room. Set up your devices and automations.

This is what I did to get my wife’s to at least approve…

Find out what she wants, what her preferences are, what she likes or dislikes.

My wife likes the light bright. No changes unless commanded. So no auto dimming at the mode change. Auto on and auto off are ok, but if she walks into a room and the lights turn on at 60%, and she sets then to 100%, they had better stay there.

So, program your automations to get liking. Get get approval. Then make suttle changes to get it your way, but build in overrides to get it back quick for when she notices. Blame it on ST screwing it up and build get confidence inn your tech ability by fixing it instantly!


(Matt) #14

Ended up talking with her, got base requirements and should be easy enough to achieve. I’m moving her office downstairs this weekend and have to run CAT6/COAX drops to the room. I’ll likely put the hub in the old office which is directly above the new one.

I plan to get 4 GE Zwave switches for repeaters and two IRIS plugs for zigbee repeaters to get better coverage in the house (2900 sq/ft). Will uninstall all devices, pair the repeaters then wait a bit to let them get settled before I start pairing all of the other equipment.

Thanks again for everyone’s suggestions on this! Sorry for the tease for those that were interested in buying some of the equipment but hopefully I can get it all up and running or there might be even more for sale in the coming months o_0


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #15

When you do this part… Start with the device closest to the hub and work your way out. Run a zwave repair about every ten devices.

Do one mesh first and then the other one. Just makes things easier.

I recommend you do the zigbee first. When you get everything setup unplug the hub, with the batteries out, for at least 20 minutes. This week cause the zigbee devices to rebuild the mesh when it reboots.

Then do the zwave mesh,.

And… For future convenience sake, but a minimote. They are wonderful for excluding zwave devices…works much better than having to factory reset every device.


(Ben W) #16

Should also look at getting some zigbee motions (like iris). The ecobees and clones are fine for security but are slow for automation turning on/off lights.

Wife let me start on this as a hobby, now she expects everything to turn on automatically around the house.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #17

I agree with this completely. I have these all over the place. I discovered I have only one left in the garage, so I am going to buy some more tomorrow… Not sure what I’ll do with them yet but my goal is to set them up to cover every square foot of the house…
… I have some crazy ideas that I’m wanting to try with Alexa and the askAlexa app.


(Benji) #18

[quote=“SBDOBRESCU, post:6, topic:56058”]
If you insist on using the GE bulbs, your WAF is guaranteed to remain under water. Get rid of them and get yourself some zwave dimmers.[/quote]

This! A THOUSAND TIMES THIS.

Seriously, I have 20 GE Link bulbs, they very nearly ended my desire to continue with my home automation hobby, twice.


(Jason "The Enabler" as deemed so by @Smart) #19

I found three in the garage earlier… I’m obviously not using them… For a small shipping and handling fee I’ll send them to you.


(Benji) #20

[quote=“bamarayne, post:19, topic:56058, full:true”]I found three in the garage earlier… I’m obviously not using them… For a small shipping and handling fee I’ll send them to you.
[/quote]

Some people just want to watch the world burn :smile: