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Getting started in Z-wave
#1
I have CQC, ISY and ELK-M1.

I think I have 3 paths to Z-wave using CQC as the interface:

Elk option:
LEV-VRC0P-1LW from ELK (serial interface for ZWave) and VRC0P +3

ISY option:
Add the ISY Z-wave "dongle" to my ISY

CQC-only option:
This is what I'm not sure of. Pretty sure I need one of the VRCOP +3 device; anything else?

Locks (Yale probably) are primary interest now but other devices may be useful in the future. Probably not lighting as I use Insteon via ISY. I realize I'll need to have a few devices to make a mesh.

Does anyone have a handle on the pros/cons of each method? I would like V2 compatibility as I'm moving in that direction.

Thanks!
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#2
All of those scenarios (once I get the ISY driver V2'd) would get you V2 compatibility.

With CQC direct access you would use the VRCOP as the 'on ramp' to let CQC access the system. It may get you access to more of the ancillary functionality than the Elk, but I'm not sure what all they expose (e.g. battery levels and power consumption type stuff that are not the primary value of the device but just side stuff made available.)

Whatever you buy in terms of modules, make sure that they are either mains powered or they support beaming, so that even if battery powered they are always available. I would say be sure they support async reporting of status, but that's pretty much a given with any new stuff. But still, be sure of it.

The locks will likely be beaming and security devices. Any other modules you get will have to provide this functionality (even if they don't use it themselves) in order to pass along those types of commands. Otherwise, you can have a good density of modules but the locks (which are typically on the periphery of the home) may still be struggling to communicate with the VRCOP.
Dean Roddey
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#3
In order to add Z-wave I believe I need this:

VRC0P

http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-VRC0P-1LW-...iton+vrc0p

Do I also need this? Or anything else?

http://www.amazon.com/Leviton-VRUSB-1US-...r+Tool+USB

thanks
Mark
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#4
Make sure the VRC0P is a +3 version. Make sure any modules you buy support 'associations', and if they are battery powered that they support 'beaming'. That will make for the most functional system.
Dean Roddey
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#5
I've been going through this and based on my experiences I would suggest the VRC0P direct from CQC. IMO, the fewer layers in the path, the better. The most direct approach is going to be the most trouble free.

The other thing I have learned is that it's worth the cost to use the better modules. For me, that is Leviton RF+ and Cooper Aspire. Cheaper stuff will work, but not as completely. There may be other top brands, but those are the two I happen to have experience with. My GE/Jasco are in the landfill.
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#6
Thanks Deane, I've been following your experience and I'm in a similiar situation. Long time PCS customer; I have been pretty successful upgrading gradually to ISY/Insteon FWIW. The 2-way aspect is nice to have after all these years of 1-way.

ISY/Insteon has been generally reliable here although I'm at less than 20 Insteon switches at this point.

In addition to the UI capabilities, I was sold on CQC with the support from Dean and the CQC community. Having been in the software business for many years it is unprecedented and makes a difference.

Anyway, I'm wanting to add Z-Wave for Yale locks so that's the project this weekend; thanks for the advice.

I also received the Philips Hue starter kit today in advance of a holiday party; it looks like it will work well with CQC. Best Buy and maybe others are giving away a free bulb with starter kits if anyone else is interested. I've been working all afternoon with a nice blue effect in my home office that is very easy on the eyes.

Mark
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#7
Bear in mind that locks require beaming support, so it helps if non-lock modules you use also support beaming, otherwise they cannot pass along commands to locks. Since locks tend to be towards the farthest edges of the home, they can sometimes be iffy for a straight shot from the VRC0P, and may need help from other modules. If those others aren't beaming capable, they won't help the locks.
Dean Roddey
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#8
Thanks Dean,

In anticipation of this issue I ordered a couple of these:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0013V1...UTF8&psc=1

20' max distance I'm guessing between any of them.

Beaming?

Mark
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#9
Are you sure it supports beaming? I don't see any details there. And, given that it's GE, it probably won't support associations unless you have specific information to the contrary. If you are going to throw in any extra modules, might as well get some that will provide good two way control.

There may not be many inwall receptacle type units that are beaming and support associations, but the Cooper ASPIRE RFTR9505-T is one.
Dean Roddey
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#10
at $121 and change vs $39.68 for a single outlet, Insteon is looking great. I cannot see using Z-Wave for anything but locks and I guess that is uncertain at the moment.

I'll check into a Z-wave extender. I don't even need/want an outlet; just seems necessary to be part of a mesh over a distance from what I read if one doesn't need anything else.

so much for this comment in the Q&A section

Q: Does this device work as a zwave signal repeater also?

A: 2 people say Yes

Cannot anyone get this right? I'd like home automation, not a science experiment!
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