Aeon Labs Z-Stick?



  • As noted in the Vera sub-forum, I'm pretty disappointed so far in my VeraLite. It's been very frustrating, and even with the one device I've managed to get installed, it's quite slow.

    I'm thinking about trying the Aeon Labs Z-Stick. As I understand it, this will appear on the host computer as a serial device, allowing me to send & receive data to connected Z-Wave devices directly.

    To bring MySensors into it, I guess I would build a gateway as another serial device, and attach that to the same computer.

    I would then end up writing my own controller software, but as a software engineer, that's the part that doesn't worry me too much (provided I can find details for all the APIs I would need to use).

    My chief concern is response time: when I smack a Z-Wave or MySensors switch, the corresponding lights or whatever need to toggle within a second or less. So far, Vera's not doing that (though it could be I don't yet have it configured correctly).

    What do you think? Is a home-brew controller built around the Z-Stick a reasonable option to try?


  • Hero Member

    @JoeStrout I can't comment on the Vera as I've never used it, but I do use z-wave extensively and my performance is fine (i.e. a light will turn on within a second of walking into a bathroom - triggered by an X-10 RF motion sensor and translated by my HomeSeer 3 system into a z-wave action). There are many commercial and open-source HA systems on the market these days, so personally I wouldn't go through the pain of building my own. Even if API's are published, that doesn't mean that they are correct and they likely will have bugs, so there will be many frustrating moments... On the z-stick, I wouldn't use it as the next generation z-wave+ interfaces are now available, so if you do decide to start from scratch (or purchase it for use with another HA system), I would purchase the newer version. Z-wave+ is backwards compatible so you can use it with whatever z-wave devices you have.

    Cheers
    Al



  • Thanks Al, it sounds like your setup is what I want. It's great to hear that it's possible. I'll also take a look at HomeSeer. Not being tied into a particular controller is a big part of why I chose Z-Wave over some of the alternatives.

    I'll also read up on z-wave+, which I know nothing about at the moment.



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  • Hero Member

    @JoeStrout I know there are a few others on this board that have switched from Vera to HomeSeer, but just to forewarn you, HS is not without its frustrations either. I've been using it for over 15 years (versions 1 ,2 and 3), and there are many things I like about it, and some things I don't. Aeotec does have a new version of the z-stick which is z-wave+. There are some others on the market as well. You can find them with the search tool on the z-wave alliance web-site: http://www.z-wave.com/find_products/usb. There's a checkbox to only search for z-wave+ products.

    Cheers
    Al



  • Thanks again, I appreciate the insight.

    And I realize now that I wouldn't have to write my own HA software with the Z-stick... apparently it works with OpenHAB, HomeGenie, and probably others. So that's something... and for $43, it may be worth a try!


  • Mod

    I use the Z-Stick together with a MySensors serial gateway on a Mac Mini.
    The controller software is Indigo.
    Works nicely together!



  • As I have a couple of old Mac Minis lying around feeling unloved, this is exactly the sort of setup I am now pondering.

    Thanks for the encouragement!


  • Hero Member

    @JoeStrout I tried several home automation systems with zwave. Mist failed miserably, especially with aeon labs 4 in one device. The only one that worked "out of the box" was domoticz. Give it a try....


 

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