Simple question: Is the minimote still required?

(Bryan) #1

Planning on doing a 3±way switch setup and in the past my understanding was that the minimote was needed to include the Aux switches. Is that still the case with the v2 hub?

(The fish is still dead.) #2

I’ve got several auxiliary switches (GE/Jasco brand) and I’ve never needed a minimote to include them.

The aux switches aren’t even z-wave. They just use the traveler wire to signal the master.


The minimote is needed to form a direct association between 2 zwave devices because there’s no way to do that with the hub. But most people with smartthings installations don’t use that feature. You can certainly set up a three way light switch without it. (The exact method varies by brand of switch.)

If you want instant update status and you are using the Leviton Vizia series or the cooper aspire series you might need the minimote to get things set up right. But that would be about it.

You can put devices into an association group using just the smartthings hub, that’s a different feature. Direct association is used for when you want to the wave devices to talk to each other without going through the hub. But then the hub doesn’t know the status, so we don’t usually use that with SmartThings.

(Bryan) #4

Thanks everyone!

@JDRoberts, I don’t fully understand when a “direct association” would be used. Could you explain to me what the end user scenario would be?


Used to be used in lighting-only Z wave installations when you wanted to remove as much lag as possible. It was typically Leviton trying to compete with Lutron.

The classic use case example was an upstairs bedroom closet where you wanted the light to come on as soon as you open the door. So you put a contact sensor on the door and used direct Z wave association to the light switch. Boom! As soon as a contact opened the basic message was sent directly to the switch (did not have to go to the hub first, did not have to go anywhere else,) the light came on.

It was also used for virtual three-way set ups, again typically on the edge of range of the residential installation, say a converted attic that was now a playroom. Switch at the bottom of the stairs, switch at the top of the stairs. Maybe the switch at the top of the stairs is one of the Cooper battery powered ones. Direct association between the two switches. Hit the auxiliary, The master goes on almost immediately. Never goes to the hub at all.

(Chrisb) #6

Am I correct in my understand that this is only possible with those switches that have instant report? Therefore, GE/Jasco can’t do the direct association?


No, they are two completely independent features. Instant status update is specific to lighting, while association can apply to any zwave device.

Instant report (“instant status update”) has to do with a light switch talking to the hub to tell the hub its status after it has been locally actuated.

Direct association has to do with zwave devices requesting action from each other without going through the hub.

GE master switches can and do typically support association. Again, A typical use would be that closet light where you associate a contact sensor to the GE switch.

(GE add on switches cannot support association but that’s because they’re not zwave devices to begin with. They’re just wired remotes for the master. )

The more expensive switches, notably Leviton and Cooper, typically have the most features, but it’s not because one feature is required for the other.

If you check the “conformance statement” for any Z wave certified device on the official zwave alliance products website, it will tell you if it supports association.

Instant status capability will probably show on the conformance statement as “hail,” although that one is a little more complicated because it involves a patent license. Technically a device could have ability to do the hail feature without having turned it on because they hadn’t paid the license fee, so it’s harder to tell just from the conformance statement.

(Chrisb) #8

Hmm… interesting.

Sorry to keep bugging you with questions, but if I do setup two switch with direct association, can they still be used in the Hub? That is, can I see turn them on/off via ST? I understand that ST won’t see when the associated device is turned on until it’s polled later, but I can still turn 'em on off, can’t I?

The situations I’m considering is where I used to have a three-way setup I ended up putting two independent Z-wave switches. I have 'em tied together via a Smart Lighting app that turns the one on if the other is turned on and vis versa, but this can sometimes lag 2 or 3 seconds and always seems to lag at least .5 a second, even with it be a locally run app.

If I can associate 'em to automatically turn on/off direct that would conceivable be faster.


Yes, they are still “owned” by the SmartThings hub, everything else is the same. Direct association just allows two of the Z wave devices on your network that support association to talk to each other directly without having to talk to the hub first. But everything else is the same for all the other messages. :sunglasses:

(Todd Whitehead) #10

I also find this interesting! In my kitchen I have a three way circuit and a single pole circuit the control the lights. They overlap such that it is pointless to turn one on (or off) without the other.

I’m using big switch but the delay is annoying.

I’m using linear switched and I associated the 3-way slave to the main 3-way switch. Is it possible to associate linear switches? If so, can they be associated both ways so that triggering either one triggers the other?

And if all of that is possible, how do I do it?




Tagging @jody.albritton on Linear associations

(Jody) #12

Depends on the model but yes it’s possible.

You will need to use an aeon minimote, GE Z-wave remote

Aeon Labs Minimote - Included a WD500Z and a WT00Z to network, include the WD500 1st, the WT 2nd. Associate each in the same order.

(Todd Whitehead) #13

Can I link 2 WD500Z’s together so that when A turns on or off B turns on or off and when B turns on or off, A turns on or off?


(Jody) #14

Yes. That is the virtual 3 way setup. A on will send the on command to B. B off will send the off command to A.


My bad, I meant to tag @codytruscott on the Linear’s. (I’m tired, and that was a voice error. “Cody” and “Jody.”)

this thread will show why.

(Todd Whitehead) #16

Thank you for the reply, but I’m a little confused by your answer. I have two switches, each controlling a load, each with a WD500 attached. One of the WD’s already has a WT. I want to also associate the two WD’s together.

Basically, I want all three switches when pressed to turn on or off both loads controlled by the two WD’s and one WT.


(Jody) #17

I don’t have them to test, but it should work. Further reading suggests that the Linear WD500Z only associates with the WT00Z as in a virtual 3-way circuit. Is it absolutely critical that this be done in z-wave? This would be very easy to do with a smartapp

(Todd Whitehead) #18

Yep. I’m doing it with a smart app. It works great except for the 5- to 30-second delay between the two lights coming on.

It’s not terrible, it’s just not great.

I’ll try it tonight and see if it works, but it sounds like it’s not going to.



Short answer: linear put out instruction manuals that said their model supported association. Then when they got to the production run they yanked the association feature. So if you check the official zwave alliance product site you’ll see they don’t support association. A lot of people got burned by this including some who bought a lot of switches. Cody has been in touch with linear over the issue and can say more.

(Todd Whitehead) #20

Alright. Thanks for the answer. Are there reasonably priced switches that WOULD allow this association? (load to slave to another load all linked as a single big switch using Z-wave, rather than smart app…)