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Z-Wave Switch Question
#1
It seems that polling causes problems on the Z-Wave networks.

Are the Leviton switches the only ones available that report a change in their status automatically?

All of the other switches seem to require polling, I am just curious if anyone else knows of any other switches are available that auto report changes.

Thanks
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#2
There are various others that don't require it. Though, as usual, getting good information on the capabilities of Z-Wave devices can sometimes be like pulling teeth. If they support group associations, then they support reporting their value automatically, since that's what groups are for. You add unit A to a group in unit B, and then B will send A notifications of some type based on which group.
Dean Roddey
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#3
Wow this stuff gets deep fast!

I am deep into researching and learning how all of this stuff works.

It seems that Leviton & Cooper Lighting are the only ones that support Group Associations.

I am trying to work through the best layout of the network in my head and I have a few ideas that I would love some feedback on.

It seems that the biggest drawback with Z-Wave is that larger networks seem to have issues with collisions/delays due to polling traffic and routing problems on the large networks.

I was going to just go with Leviton switches to eliminate polling but then realized that they do not support beaming so they would not work with my Z-Wave locks.

I am trying to see if you guys think the following would work.

Create 2 Z-Wave networks.

Network A would use the VRC0P+3 driver and would have locks, thermostats, and strategically placed GE outlets/receptacles that support beaming for the locks. Polling shouldn't be an issue because this network would only have 3 locks, 2 thermostats and 5 or 6 receptacles/outlets.

Network B would be made up of all Leviton light switches and dimmers and would use the CQC Native Z-Wave Driver and a USB Stick controller. This way all lighting changes would be reported by the switches instantly and polling would not be needed. From reading the documentation on the Native Z-Wave Driver polling can be disabled where the VRC0P driver it cannot be disabled.

My questions are:

1. Any specific feedback or ideas on this potential setup?

2. From my reading here it seems the native Z-Wave driver may not be developed in the future and that CQC may push Z-Wave development towards VRC0P in the future. Should I avoid the Native Z-Wave Driver?

3. If I just create one huge network and mix the devices mentioned above could I just mark the Leviton switches as battery powered async devices to trick CQC/VRC0P into not polling them? If I did that could I still send commands to them or would VRC0P only listen for information from those devices?

4. I have a 6,600 SQFT 2 story home with a basement and have been reading horror stories about large Z-Wave networks crawling from too much polling traffic and routing issues...... Would I be better off putting a VRC0P on each level and treating each level as it's own Z-Wave network?

The ultimate goal would be to 100% disable polling on specific devices that report async to avoid overwhelming the network.....my house has over 90 switches in it not including the 2 thermostats, outlets/receptacles, temperature sensors, motion detectors, lamp modules etc..... so I would think polling all of them would be a drag on the network.

I know an installation this size is probably better wired, but retrofitting a hardwired system is just too difficult.

Any feedback is appreciated regarding Multiple Z-Wave Networks/The Native Z-Wave Driver/Polling etc.....

Thanks
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#4
Basically the VRCOP is already pretty much the only option. Most of the locks support async notifications, since they are typically battery powered and so they can't do anything else. Some, though battery powered, do stay on all the time, but most will just wake up and send status changes.

Definitely wouldn't go with two separate networks. I don't think it would buy you anything, and probably cost you on performance. They'd still be fighting each other for 'air time' I would think.
Dean Roddey
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#5
I know the VRC0p is the only option that supports locks, but are you saying the Native Z-Wave driver will not currently work for standard Z-Wave light switches?

My concern isn't really about the locks but more having 90 light switches polling even at long polling intervals it would be a lot of traffic which from my research will cause delays in commands being sent out.

Any chance of being able to disable polling on specific device(s) with the VRC0P driver?

I was only considering separating the networks because the Native Z-Wave driver allowed polling to be disabled. And maybe I am wrong but I don't think separate networks would fight over airtime as they would have different network ID's.....while on the same frequency I believe they would ignore each other. I think the unique network ID's allow the different nodes of one network to identify each other and to exclude messages from other radio sources.
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#6
The native driver will work, but it's now basically just there to keep from breaking any existing users. It won't support locks, and not even a lot of other stuff.

You should be able to find modules that support async notifications, for almost everything you want. For those that don't, just set the poll to the longest time, which is like 2 minutes, which is really just to check once in a while if they are alive. For those that are marked as providing async notifications, they will only be polled if they are not battery powered, and if they haven't provided a change notification in 2 minutes.

So the amount of polling in a system that is almost all async based, and where the non-async ones are basically treated like write only modules, i.e. the poll is at maximum length just a make sure it's alive, you shouldn't have any issues I don't think.

I don't think they could ignore each other if they are on the same frequency. Well, they could ignore packets from the other network. But they can't talk at the same time if they are on the same frequency, I wouldn't think, since they would interfere with each other. I would think that they would both have to be constantly backing off and retrying in order to avoid stepping on each other's toes. Even though it's radio waves, if they are on the same frequency it's just like two things on a wire. If they transmit at the same time, their signals interfere with each other. TCP/IP works the same way. Everything's on the same wire, and if two transmit at the same time, they both see their own msg come back garbled and they have to back off and tray again.

At least it seems to me how it would be. If so, then if you have enough traffic that one is straining, then two would strain just as much, since it's all competing for the same wiggling electromagnetic field space, possibly more since they would be completely uncoordinated relative to each other.

Of course I could be wrong. It's late and I've been working a long time and my caffeine levels are under normal operating levels...
Dean Roddey
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