Newbie Experience: Z-Wave, pairing excluding

So, I had a Smartthings hub that died on me. What to do? A replacement looked like Aeotec. Samsung seemed to be sticking to the software end. I wanted something to get the 6 recessed smart bulbs going in my bedroom. I removed the wall switches, because other family members would shut them off. I had a mixture of Sengled and Smartthings bulbs. Long story short, I got 6 Smartthings bulbs working with a Echo Dot with Zigbee.

I had been messing with ubuntu on a mini PC experimenting with WireGuard, but decided to blow the OS away, and configure Debian 12, HA, and the first thing was the WireGuard add on, and Samba - that I only turn on to see the WireGuard files when needed.

I paid for a SkyConnect USB two weeks ago, but that is off in September. A few days ago I bought a Zooz 700 Series Z-Wave Plus S2. Got it installed, and then the frustration began.

Ultimately after lots of looking here, Google searches, and YouTube videos, I did find a successful conclusion. A small point that was not so cut-and-dry from everything I read.

  1. My Samsung Smartthings Hub was dead
  2. Three Kwikset door locks, two First Alert Smoke and CO2 detectors, one GE Outdoor Power Plug were paired with the dead system.
  3. It was confusing finding info on how to pair, not having any guides anymore.

So:
4. I learned that the Smarthings app has good info on unpairing
5. AND THE KEY: Use the current Z-Wave Hub to do the unpairing using delete device
6. THE BIG KEY: While running this, that is when you follow the excluding for the device in question

5 & 6 we the ah-ha moment. Samsung has lots of devices in it’s app the describe excluding.
The final pairing part was trouble-free.

So I have a VPN to my server, I have Teminus app to get a console to the server, XRDP to remote connect graphically from my Windows box (So no keyboard, mouse or monitor on the server). I also signed up for Nabu Casa, and Alexa can control the devices. I turned off voice commands for the locks, so nobody can say “Alexa, unlock the office”.

Things are exciting. Now I need to get dashboards with limitations that will allow other family members access to features. I can also see my HP printer and how much ink is left. Also, … I have a DTE Energy Bridge, but it refuses to bind to the smart meter (I’ll be calling). And yes, I’ve just added a mic, and speaker to the server and hope I can get it doing Alexa style actions :slight_smile:

Thanks for listening. Hopefully the 5 & 6 stumbling block helps someone. I plan to try and make time here to read, and read, and read; so that I can build better a knowledge foundation, and create a useful home system. Some things don’t need automation - like occupancy switches in two bathrooms, and the stairs to the basement.

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I made the same journey myself about 3 years ago and have not looked back. Once you get your head around it, HA is so much more powerful, especially for automations and dashboards. The Mushroom cards in particular make it much easier to create slick dashboards.

For Z-wave, the issue most people come across when having issues including devices is that you can’t include a device that already thinks its part of a network. It needs to be excluded first and If you can’t exclude it form your old system, a full reset of the device usually does the trick.

Enjoy!

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