Use Cooper RFWC5 as a multi button switch?

I have a Cooper Aspire RF - RFWC5 and would like to use it to mimic the Aeon Minimote. Basically, I want to transfer the button use on the Minimote to the Aspire scene controller. Anyone have an idea on how to make this work? Many thanks.


You might be able to adapt this.

Or just get yourself a zwn-sc7. Works great.

1 Like

I definitely have an “idea”.

We can work on this together, if you like, but … you’d have to buy me one to test with :-). Feel welcome to private message me or continue the discussion here.*

I think that SmartThings has Z-Wave methods available to query the device and find out the various response data that comes from the buttons; and, indeed, these would likely fit into the code for existing multi-button remote Device Types like the Aeon Minimote and/or Enerwave 7 Button.

…CP / Terry.

1 Like

That is a neat switch. I have the ZWN-SC7 and got it working last month, it was one of my first purchases months ago when I started my HA journey. I’d agree with @tgauchat that device would probably work but it takes some work to get it all going. BTW I just installed my ZWN-SC7 tonight I already don’t know how I ever did without it.

Did you ever get this working? Or anything with the Cooper scene controller? I have a couple…

The Minimote and the Cooper are two different zwave device classes. The minimote is a portable remote and the Cooper is a portable scene controller. (Which in this context means lighting scenes.)

They support different command classes. The minimote is a multilevel switch controller.

So I think it likely it will need a different smart device type.

Honestly I just want it working in any capacity! I am transitioning from Home Seer (supports everything in the world… but windows phone, and I am loyal to the MS camp.) I have another post going with the same question, but basically I cant find any raw events posting back to the controller. Thanks!

1 Like

DId you ever get the Cooper RFWC5 switch working?

I have one that I somehow had working previously, but now is completely non-functional. (Somehow, I had managed to set scenes on a Cooper controller and assign those scenes to the individual buttons. But I started from scratch when I upgraded to the v2 hub and now the Cooper controller won’t let me copy scenes over to the RFWC5.)

So now the 5-button switch just sits there in my wall, mocking me.

Just bumping this hoping someone has had success with the RFWC5.

1 Like

@gmschwartz If it’s all white (White Satin, was it?), would you sell it so I could try at writing a DTH for it? :slight_smile:

It actually started working after SmartThings did some minor update.

So it works exactly as expected now. It doesn’t really interact with SmartThings, but it can turn on/off all the lights in scenes that have light that are also in my SmartThings network.

(I think the SmartThings update changed something so that the Cooper Aspire controller could still actually interact with the devices directly instead of being blocked by a devices previous inclusion in a SmartThings network.)

So if I have two Hue bulbs, connected via the Hue Bridge and want the “scenes” to do the following:

Scene 1: Both bulbs soft white, 1% dimmed
Scene 2: Both bulbs soft white, 50% dimmed
Scene 3: Both bulbs soft white, 100% dimmed
Scene 4: Both bulbs cool white, 100% dimmed
Scene 5: Both bulbs color, controlled by ST (color changing every 30s)

On/Off button turns the two bulbs on/off.

Could I do that? The bulbs are connected to ST via Hue’s bridge.

1 Like

As far as I’ve been able to get things to work, the quick answer is no.

While the are some SmartApps for SmartThings that are supposed to work with assorted “things with buttons” but I didn’t have any luck getting them to work.

I had a Cooper Aspire controller. I set up the scenes in the Aspire controller and then transferred the scenes to button I wanted on the 5-button switch. I couldn’t have gotten it to work without the Cooper controller.

I don’t have any Hue bulbs, so I don’t know if I could program them in the Cooper controller to do what you want. IF the Cooper controller could be programmed that way, then you could transfer them to the switch. You’d need to find someone with a Cooper controller and Hue bulbs to try that out.

1 Like

Absolutely not possible if you’re planning to use the native scene controller capabilities of the Cooper device, because those are zwave commands and they will only work with other Z wave devices that are within one hop of the Cooper device.

Hue bulbs are zigbee, the Hue bridge is using LAN, neither can accept a zwave command of any type.

If someone has set up the Cooper device to act as what SmartThings calls a “button controller” which means that every press of a button on the Cooper device sends a message to the smartthings hub, then you can use it just like any other button controller such as a minimote or a SmartenIT 3 toggle or an enerwave SC7. So you press the button on the device, it sends a message to the hub, and you have a smartapp which then sends a message to whatever your end device is.

One of the biggest strengths that SmartThings has is that it is a multiprotocol platform. That’s what let you mix-and-match a Z wave switch with a zigbee lightbulb. But all of that work takes place in smart things, not in the switch.

Zwave Scene Controllers Bypass the Hub–so they only work with other Zwave Devices

Zwave devices which are “scene controllers” have the ability to send zwave command directly to another Z wave device without talking to the hub. But if they don’t talk to the hub, then they have no way at all to talk to non-Z wave devices. And because they don’t talk to the hub, the statuses never get updated in SmartThings.

The Alternative is using the hub as a middleman, which is what button controllers do

The Enerwave SC7 is a very popular multibutton device which works well as a wallmount button controller.

The problem with the Cooper is that it’s designed to use scene control. That is to talk directly to another Z wave device, not to talk to the hub and use it to pass messages.

It also supports Association, so it may be possible to build a device handler for it that will make it function as a smartThings “button controller” but the fact that no one has done it yet indicates that there may be a barrier. it’s an old device that has been around longer than SmartThings, so I’m sure people have tried.

If you want to mix protocols, you need to go through the hub

But the main point of this post is to underscore that if you want a Z wave device to trigger events on a zigbee device or vice a versa, you have to go through the smartthings hub. And any Z wave device which is using the “scene control” command sets is not designed to go through the hub for those commands.

Creating the Scenes in the First Plaxe

We should also note that many Z wave scene controllers assume that the primary controller will set up the scenes and just pass them the scene numbers. Smartthings doesn’t do this. So you will occasionally read forum posts where people have used a non-smartthings primary controller to create the scenes initially, loaded them into a scene controller, and then added that soon controller to SmartThings. It’s ugly, but it can work as long as the only device is included in the scenes are Z wave devices. As soon as you want to mix protocols you cannot use the native Z wave scene control commands.

This is also why you’ll see posts were people say that a scene controller worked fine for a while and then something happened and it stopped working and they couldn’t get it to work again. In most of those cases you’ll see that they Artie had the scene controller working with a non-smart things controller, like Vera. Then they moved it over to smart things and it worked because the scenes had been pre-loaded by the previous controller. But the first time they reset anything, they lost the scenes, and since SmartThings doesn’t create zwave scenes they were stuck.

So if you do you want to use a Z wave scene controller just to control some other zwave devices, you don’t care that the statuses never get updated in SmartThings, and you never want to mix in any devices of other protocols, you’ll still likely need another device to create the scenes.

1 Like

Thank you. While I am aware of the z-wave/zigbee incompatibility, I was (vaguely) asking whether ST can in fact sense pushed buttons on it, therefore acting as the middle man in this whole business. I can take it from there, but it appears it works with its own controller and does not allow low-level button control to ST. Was hoping I can use that in lieu of a ZWN-SC7 which I honestly dislike because of its appearance. Just looks ugly to me. The RFWC5 on the other hand…

It’s very expensive, but the Leviton VRCS4 Will work as a button controller with smartthings. You might like the aesthetics better. It’s definitely higher quality engineering than the Enerwave.

1 Like

Yeah, don’t like that one either, too bulky and the buttons come out too much. I liked the Cooper, flat(ter) looks. I have two kitchen island overhead Hue bulbs that I am currently controlling with a 12724 GE dimmer that’s not really connected to the LEDs (they’re hard wired to line) but uses ST to sync the LED switch/level to the dimmer’s switch/level. But WAF is damaged because she wants to be able to go to soft white, sometimes dimmed soft white, sometimes full blown cool white (most perceived light), while I like them in color. When you come home, they turn a random color along with the philips hue lightstrip that’s spanning across the belly of the three overhanging cabinet sections. Pretty cool. But she still wants them dimmed soft white at any other time. Go figure…

1 Like

Understood. Coopers are my favorite zwave switches, I like both the aesthetics and the engineering. It’s just this particular device doesn’t fit the ST architecture well.


Do you experience any lag using the 12724 GE to dim lights through the hub? I was doing this, but there is some lag on the dimming which makes dimming problematic. Even if the lag is only a second, how do you know when to stop dimming up on the physical switch since the bulbs will not come up until after you let the switch go?

I do. Which is why I’ll give up dimming buttons, looking for a scene controller that has pre-programmed color and dim levels. I’ll reuse the GE dimmer elsewhere, physically connected to a bulb this time. This was just a temporary solution until I get a scene controller. Before having the GE dimmer, I had a dumb Lutron dimmer (replaced the bulbs but never the dimmer) - and funny enough, the Hue bulbs were working with the Lutron dimmer regardless of where the dimmer level position was. Rush currents, maybe, otherwise I can’t explain why it worked. But it wasn’t supposed to be that way…