SmartThings Community

ZWAVE TOOLBOX: third party diagnostic tool


(Alex) #1


December 2018/January 2019: Zwave Toolbox $149
Battery operated Zwave vs hardwired Zwave
FAQ: Is there a way to see the Zwave mesh network map?
(Realy Living Dream) #2

For those actually interested here’s the link
https://www.zwaveproducts.com/z-wave-toolbox


#3

For those who aren’t sure what this is, it’s a network diagnostic tool intended for professional installers.

The Z-Wave Toolbox allows Z-Wave network installers to troubleshoot common issues such as interference, range issues, weak links and connected-device placement. The Z-Wave Toolbox also allows stress testing of Z-Wave networks in residential and commercial environments and produces colored Network Health Symbols (NHS) that indicate current performance.

A flexible and inexpensive web-based device, the self-contained Z-Wave Toolbox will work with any operating system in addition to smart phones and tablets. The Z-Wave Toolbox contains three major applications:
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The Network Health Tester: Determines link stability, quality of service, latencies and helps troubleshoot, optimize and deploy Z-Wave networks.
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The Z-Wave Packet Analyzer: Allows dealers to see Z-Wave traffic, and it helps troubleshoot connections, while identifying abnormal device operation, and it pinpoints weak spots.
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The Spectrum Analyzer: Scans frequencies close to Z-Wave frequencies to check for any interference.

It’s not intended for individual users, but if you willing to pay the price, there’s a lot of information there. :sunglasses:


(Alex) #4

Thanks @RLDreams and @JDRoberts for filling in the blanks in my very excited post :slight_smile:

I have been wanting one for a while but not willing to spend $249 but at $189 I pulled the trigger in a matter of minutes. We’ll see if I can figure out what causes my network to go in total upheaval every so often with this tool in my arsenal.


#5

Several people asked me what the set up requirements are for this. I would suggest reading the user manual, but the essential idea is that this is a small box which includes a Z wave radio, Wi-Fi radio And ethernet connection. Some of the advanced features are only available when it is using the wired ethernet connection.

You will connect it to its own Wi-Fi and to your own Z wave controller wirelessly.

Ideally you also connect it to your ethernet by cable.

And you need to have a “monitoring device,“ typically a laptop on the same ethernet network that you cabled the toolbox to, but if you’re only using the Wi-Fi features it can be anything that has a web browser, including a phone or a tablet.

So once it’s connected to everything, the toolbox has access to your zwave network and its own Wi-Fi network.

You will run the utilities and see the results on your own “monitoring device.“

Monitoring Device
This could be any device (smart phone, tablet, laptop, etc) that you use to connect to the ToolBox. The ToolBox is web-based so it will work with any internet browser. Your connection is via WiFi or a CAT5 Ethernet cable

User manual:

https://www.zwaveproducts.com/_literature_174029/ZWaveProducts_ToolBox_User’s_Manual


(ZWaveProductsHelp) #6

Thanks for the clarification JDRoberts;

I’m from ZWaveProducts, and I’m here if you want me to answer any questions.

Essentially, the Z-Wave ToolBox has internal WiFi. You find the SSID of the ToolBox on your tablet (monitoring device) and connect. Trigger an generic Z-Wave inclusion from the Z-Wave Controller or Panel you want to troubleshoot, and the ToolBox will list the devices, allowing you to test them.

We made the ToolBox to run on our WiFi, which is self-contained (so you can go to a job site and not worry about client’s WiFi).

Ethernet connections are mostly to update firmware.

For those considering the purchase, read the User Manual, check out the videos on our site (more coming) and let us know if you have any more questions.

Thanks again JDRoberts. I hope this helps get some questions off your lap.


#7

Thanks for the correction! I’ve updated my post above. :sunglasses:


(zeen) #8

@JDRoberts, are you aware of any alternatives to the Z-Wave ToolBox for troubleshooting Smartthings network issues and/or viewing topology?


#9

Not for the DIY market. There are other installer tools, but they’re usually part of a total kit which is much more expensive and complex.

If all you want is to view topology, you can just add a zstick as a secondary:


(Alex) #10

Zwave Toolbox down to $189 again!


(Daniel Siegel) #11

I just purchased the Z-Wave Toolbox, but seem to be missing a (probably simple) step to get it working.
I will provide a brief overview of my home network to clarify a few of my issues.

My home network is an internal 192.168.1.x network created by my ASUS router, connected to an Arris cable modem. Oddly enough, my cable modem is accessible from a web browser at 192.168.100.1 (a different subnet, and coincidentally the same default IP address used by the Z-Wave Toolbox).

So, when I installed the Z-Wave Toolbox (wired Ethernet), I decided to change its IP from 192.168.100.1 to 192.168.100.2 (just to be safe, even though it appears that this is a WiFi-only IP address?). In any event, I am able to access the Z-Wave Toolbox web interface, both by typing in z-wavetoolbox[6-digit serial].local into a web browser, or by connecting to it via WiFi and then typing in 192.168.100.2 into the web browser.

So, that part works fine, though at this point it doesnt seem to be able to see my SmartThings Hub (on the 192.168.1.x subnet) or any of my z-wave devices on my hub. My router does not appear to be aware of the Z-Wave Toolbox, though I can access it via my web browser.

So, my confusion appears to stem from the use of a separate “monitoring” device, which I assume could be a laptop. Since my desktop machine (an iMac) is very close to the SmartThings hub (less than 30 feet away), and has both wired Ethernet and WiFi connectivity, I am wondering if I can use the WiFi connection as the monitoring device.

In either event (whether using a laptop or the WiFi connection on my desktop), I dont know how to “connect” the Z-Wave Toolbox (at 192.168.100.2) to see my SmartThings Hub (which is on my 192.168.1.x subnet). I’m guessing this is a smple step, but I dont know how these 2 different subnets can connect (since I hope/assume I dont need to change the SmartThings Hub to a different subnet - eg, 192.168.100.x).

Could definitely use a little help here.

PS
I also have one related question once this is up and running (possibly relating to the Packet Analyzer feature).
Will the Z-Wave Toolbox enable me to see the dynamic path used by a device when it sends a message to another device? For example, if Device A sends a message to Device D (eg, one light switch turning on another light switch when it is pressed), the path might be from Device A to Device B to Hub to Device C to Device D. Is that something the Z-Wave Toolbox can “monitor” (like an IP traceroute), even though the Z-Wave Toolbox is not part of that entire path?


#12

Did you read post 6 above? The toolbox has its own Wi-Fi; it’s not going to run on yours.

Essentially, the Z-Wave ToolBox has internal WiFi. You find the SSID of the ToolBox on your tablet (monitoring device) and connect. Trigger an generic Z-Wave inclusion from the Z-Wave Controller or Panel you want to troubleshoot, and the ToolBox will list the devices, allowing you to test them.
.
We made the ToolBox to run on our WiFi, which is self-contained (so you can go to a job site and not worry about client’s WiFi).

And it’s not going to use Wi-Fi to communicate with your hub, only Z wave. You’re just going to add it as a new device to your smartthings zwave network. (You may need to be using the smartthings classic app for that, i’m just not sure.)

I’d suggest getting in touch with their support, they should be able to walk you through the setup. :sunglasses:

https://www.zwaveproducts.com/z-wave-toolbox


(Alex) #13

@DanielSiegel - Even though the manufacturer says to connect to the ZWAVE Toolbox via Wifi, I leave mine connected to ethernet and access it via that connection. I can’t recall how I configured its network settings at that is likely because I use DHCP to set a static IP on all my equipment. I have never used ZWTB’s wifi connection but there are instances where it is critical as for example when you need to move it around to measure signals close to devices.

The ZWTB does not need to “see” the ST hub via ethernet. What you need to do is include the ZWTB to your ST’s zwave mesh network. It will show up as “Z-Wave Controller” and does not require any special DTH.

To put the ZWTB in include mode, just press this when the ST hub is ready:

You will see devices populate. Please note that the devices will be numbered using decimal values while ST uses HEX so you will need to convert between the two… super annoying but easy.

I use this:

https://www.binaryhexconverter.com/decimal-to-hex-converter

At times I just export the data (copy and paste) into excel and convert the entire column there, add ST device names, etc just so I can make sense of what the ZWTX shows.

This is what it looks like after you included the ZWTB:

EDIT: I was a bit confused on why you would put the ZWTB on a different subnet. I would put it on the same subnet as all your devices. It is common for the cable modem to have its own IP off of the main subnet of your router. I have an ARRIS too configured as passthrough so that all the routing is done by my router of choice. My cable modem is on a 172.x.x.x subnet while the rest of my equipment is on 192.x.x.x

EDIT2: As @JDRoberts said, the wifi connection is there so you can access the web GUI of the ZWTB at a customer site (or a friend’s house) without needing to hook up the ZWTB and your client to their network, but when you use it at home that is not an issue.


(Daniel Siegel) #14

Now I see.
Everything else I was doing (connecting to the ZWTB via Ethernet or via its WiFi) was fine.
That got me to the ZWTB web interface.

What I was missing was the fact that I needed to add the ZWTB as a device on my ST Hub zwave network. Seems obvious now. More specifically, I needed to click “Connect to Network” in the ZWTB web interface (which I did many times - and it simply timed out). But, after I clicked “Connect to Network” I needed to add the device via my ST Hub.

Worked like a charm, but I feel stupid now that I didnt realize I needed to add the ZWTB as “just another device” to my ST Hub.

Thanks for all your help.


(Fernando Fuentes) #15

How do you like it so far?

I am thinking of buying one.


(Daniel Siegel) #16

Too early to tell. After connecting the ZWTB to my ST Hub, I was able to see my devices (about 35 installed so far – mostly Fibaro light switches). I could see all of my devices, and save nicknames for them via the Control Panel (and even run some tests using the Network Health Tool and Simple Connection Tester).

For some reason, I could not control them (turn them on/off) via the Control Panel even though all of the other tests reported that they were there and working fine. I could only control 1 device (an Aeotec Smart Dimmer) from the Control Panel. This worked even after I removed the ZWTB from my ST Hub. But I could not control any of the 3 dozen Fibaro switches, whether or not the ZWTB was added to my ST Hub. Big mystery for now.

My primary goal is to use the Packet Analyzer to get the equivalent of a dynamic “traceroute” when I initiate a command (eg, turn on a physical light switch) from the ST app. I believe it is possible, but I’m still not quite sure how to do this. Not exactly straightforward, and I’m still waiting for a callback from Zwave folks.


(Alex) #17

I have never used my ZWTB to control things so I cannot comment on that, however take a look at Zwave Packet Analyzer and look at the Route column. Isn’t that what you are looking for?


(Daniel Siegel) #18

It may well be, though I have only spent a few minutes using the Packet Analyzer.

I see that I can start, pause and stop it, but dont know how I can use it with respect to a specific command. For example, when I started it, it just seemed to generate a large number of events (presumably z-wave “background” status checks, acknowledgements, etc).

But, I dont yet see how I can turn it on, issue a command (eg, by invoking a command or scene from the app, physically pressing a light switch to trigger an automation, etc) and see the results of that command (including the route(s) used to implement that command).

Do I just turn it on, invoke the event and then examine the large number of events to determine which relate to my desired event? Or is there a way to isolate the Packet Analyzer’s function to a specific event?


(Alex) #19

The packet analyzer, as far as I know, looks at all the zwave traffic whether it is on your mesh network or not. If it is on your network it will provide node information along with commands, if not, I believe it shows as a CRC error. You can check a checkbox to exclude traffic from nearby networks but keep in mind they may be what is causing you an issue (interference). Click the ? to get tips and use the Search option to narrow down the log.


(Daniel Siegel) #20

Thanks. I will take a look.
There is no other zwave traffic on my network other than the 3 dozen or so devices I connected to my ST Hub. It sounds like I just need to start the Packet Analyzer, invoke my events and turn it off or pause it, and then find the commands related to my events.

On my first effort, I didnt see any commands relating to my specific events (eg, pressing a light switch, initiating a scene, etc). But, I probably need to do more careful testing.

Does that sound like the right approach?