Use Cooper RFWC5 as a multi button switch?

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…

My Vera Lite bit the dust a few months ago (battery leakage) and I switched to SmartThings because of its good reputation for integrations (IFTTT, Lexa etc.) I have 3 Cooper RFWC5 Scene Controllers installed around the house. I realize that ST doesn’t support Z-Wave scenes - but I would very much like to be able to get some value out of the devices passing button-pushes back to the ST hub. I’ve seen several other posts asking about this… has anyone gotten it to work? - Matt

I’m working on a solution for the RFWC5. I hope it will be ready use in a few weeks.

1 Like

How is that solution coming? I am very interested to use this to trigger scenes in smarthings or stringify…

Couple impending factors delaying it. One I’m having issues with the getting the controller to config properly. Two, I’m not that skilled at programming. Three the weather is getting nicer up here in Wisconsin and outdoor projects are under way.

Right now I have the DH updating attributes that match the indicators on the RFWC5. Much of the issue revolves around the controller not doing much of anything until it is configured and associated properly to the hub. So I need to get that worked out.

Have you had a chance to look at the new Z wave Tweaker? It’s very cool. :sunglasses: You assign your zwave device to it temporarily, use the tweaker to set associations and parameters, then change it back to the every day DTH. Saves a lot of time.

I have it loaded up right now with the RFWC but I have not messed with it much. One thing I noticed is that it is reporting the configuration parameters differently than I have been seeing them. the configuration report my DH give shows size as FF but the tweaker shows 00 and the FF is part of the value. Both are wrong as the only 1,2, or 4 are valid for size but I’m interested to see if there is a clue to what’s going on. Its raining here today so I spend some time on it tonight.

1 Like

Definitely would love to see this work. I too moved from Vera to ST and have one RFWC I’d love to continue to use. From what I’ve read this won’t work with ST given it communicated directly with the devices and doesn’t communicate with the hub. Would be great if you could figure it out though!

Let me know if I can help out at all.

Below is a link to the beta release for the Cooper scene controller DH.