Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Discussions about Z-Way software and Z-Wave technology in general
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Tom_S
Posts: 8
Joined: 08 Aug 2015 23:05

Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Post by Tom_S » 09 Aug 2015 00:26

I am a very seasoned software developer and network administrator and designer, but I just can't get a stupid switch roll down a blind... :oops: (The device are all included and work properly using the JSON-URL commands.)

I have understood that I need to associate two devices (switch and blinds) to each other, but can't figure out how to do that. Is there some kind of manual or tutorial to explain the concepts of z_way v2.0.1 using some hands-on examples using the GUI of my Razberry/z_way, i.e. how all those different apps come into place, how they can be combined and made to work?

Thanks a lot for some pointers - I can not believe that there's nothing out there describing the (current v2) z_way environment.

one desperate newbie... :cry:
Tom

toomuo
Posts: 23
Joined: 01 Jan 2015 20:14

Re: Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Post by toomuo » 11 Aug 2015 07:48

Software developer here too.
Yes, you get thrown in the deep end with Z-way, and the documentation is usually for an older version, and the naming and vocabulary has changed a couple of times.

I've been using this system since V1.7 something, but decided I needed to take it real slow because the underlying stuff keeps get changing around. (who cares about HomeKit yet?) It hasn't been stable for me.
As of now, I have one simple thing working - turn an outside light on when it gets dark, and turn it off about 11pm when I don't expect to be outside any more.

Raspberry Pi is set up to SMB share the Z-Way Automation directories so I can add and edit files from a comfortable
environment.

app: Daylight (+ settings for my area) - creates a sensor (downloaded from this forum and installed via SMB)
app: Light Scene - one switch, the one that controls my outside light. Two scenes, one for ON, one for OFF.
app: Logical Rule - List of scenes = the previous scene.
Boolean = and
first condition = Boolean, Daylight, off
no other conditions.
Actions : no other actions.
Start scene on any change - Yes.

This turns on the light when the daylight virtual sensor goes OFF.

App: Scheduled Scene, choose the OFF scene, and an appropriate time.

To do what you're asking, a simple binding of one sensor to the switch is also possible. That's done with the If-Then app (used to be called bind). But this one only targets switches, and ties ON to ON, OFF to OFF, and can't target a scene instead. I think the Logical rule is the one to rely on for most of your combinations.

Tom_S
Posts: 8
Joined: 08 Aug 2015 23:05

Re: Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Post by Tom_S » 11 Aug 2015 08:18

Thank you, toomuo, for the helpful reply. Yes, all docs I found are for v1.x and the GUI seems to have changed quite a bit that I can't relate the instructions and screenshots to the new GUI...

I have understood what you told me, but I have two questions (at this point):
1: How exactly do I create a scene in the first place? I find no menu or command dealing with scenes...
2: Isn't the If-Then-Relation-App just another app running on the z_way controller? If so, it wouldn't be processed if the controller was down for some reason. I have read (and it makes sense) to bind the critical actors and sensors directly to each other on a device-level, so that you can at least turn the lights on and off when the controller is unavailable. If my understanding of the If-Then-Relation-App is correct, then there must be another way to associate actors and sensors on a device-level.

Thanks again for your time
Tom

pz1
Posts: 2053
Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

Re: Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Post by pz1 » 11 Aug 2015 10:23

Tom_S wrote: Yes, all docs I found are for v1.x
Did you look at the documentation pages? (http://razberry.zwave.me/index.php?id=24) The developers documentation there is for version 2.0.1

Tom_S
Posts: 8
Joined: 08 Aug 2015 23:05

Re: Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Post by Tom_S » 11 Aug 2015 12:08

Yes, I did look at http://razberry.z-wave.me/docs/zwayDev.pdf and http://razberry.z-wave.me/docs/RaZberry ... nual20.pdf. Neither of the two describes how to create scenes. As a matter of fact, neither really describes how to use to GUI to set up a home control system. Searching the two PDFs for scene or apps did not turn up any pointer on how to apply these concepts. The book that is being referred to dates back to 2013... not really useful when looking at the z_way v2 GUI.

If you feel I'm mistaken (I whish I was!), please point me to any document out there that describes apps and scenes (and how to create the latter in the v2 GUI - I have meanwhile understood how to use apps, although I haven't yet found information on how to install new apps, like the Daylight app).

pz1
Posts: 2053
Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

Re: Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Post by pz1 » 11 Aug 2015 12:32

ref: Q&A

I fully agree and sympatise with you about the lack of low-entry documentation. So, I'll try to get you started.
  • If you are new, at this very moment v2.0.2-rc1 is the best to start with. It actually is a final v2.0.1. Newer versions are not meant for end users.
  • The installation of e.g. Daylight app is quite simple. Extract the ZIP to folder /opt/z-way-server/automation/userModules on your Raspberry Pi. Best is to reboot the Pi.
  • Click the tools icon in the top right corner of the smart home screen and select apps
    tools.png
    tools.png (5.63 KiB) Viewed 7950 times
  • The apps window has two sub windows. One where you can select and configure new apps (you will find Daylight there amongst others). The other sub window named Active lists the already installed modules.
  • In the apps window you will also find the Scenes app. In the scene you set the state of switches, dimmers, or other scenes. So you could have a scene to switch things on in the morning, and an other scene to switch things off at night.
Hope this helps to get started

Edit: what I described are scenes at the home automation level. Within the bare Z-Wave protocol there also is a notion of scenes, but the two are unrelated. The direct connections you mentioned are achieved by associations, that you can specify using the Expert interface via Configuration-Association

Tom_S
Posts: 8
Joined: 08 Aug 2015 23:05

Re: Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Post by Tom_S » 11 Aug 2015 12:50

PZ1, thanks for your help! I fully understand installing new apps now. As far as the scenes is concerned... There is no "scenes" app on my Razberry, but a "Light Scene" (and "Scheduled Scene") (I'm not picky here, don't get me wrong, just trying to make sure I follow your thoughts correctly).

With your explanation on mind, I think I understand now what confused me in the beginning: I had, of course, looked at that app before and stumbled over the last option "list of scenes to activate", which was empty. I now realize that this last option refers to other "Light Scenes" to daisy-chain such scenes together. Now it's clear why this is empty in the beginning. My fault was to look for another option to create scenes that would then need to be selected in this pull-down.

Testing this, I think I found two bugs in v2.0.1 that I'm using: Creating a scene with a dimmer (a blind in this case) and giving it Name, Description and Level. Editing that scene again has the Level field empty, i.e. it's marked in red as "this field is not optional". Also, the scene is only identified as "Light Scene 6" (6 in my case) in other fields where scenes can be selected - the Name is not visible there, making it a bit difficult to identify, especially in more complex scenarios. But I'd say that I should file a bug report for that one (or check if it isn't already in the bug-list).

Thank you both for your assistance - I think that got me started pretty nicely!

(Still, if anyone ever finds a full user manual / tutorial for this, don't hesitate do update this thread :) )
Last edited by Tom_S on 11 Aug 2015 14:15, edited 1 time in total.

pz1
Posts: 2053
Joined: 08 Apr 2012 13:44

Re: Bloody z-way beginner needs a hand

Post by pz1 » 11 Aug 2015 13:41

Where I said Scene, I should indeed have said Light Scene. I would prefer they rather used the name Scene since you can do many things with it. In my case for example switching the operation mode of my thermostats.

By the way, please note that at the bottom of the APPS page you can select apps by category

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