Zwave frustrations

So I’ve been migrating from Smartthings to HA, so far so good, up to the point I started trying to migrate zwave devices (locks and switches)

I have the nortek zigbee/zwave stick, and I installed zwave JS to MQTT, and I’m having a hard time adding devices.

So far I’ve tried with three, a outdoor plug, a yale lock, and a jasco switch. The lock will add, and immediately become unavailable, I’ve not been able to operate it at all. The out door plug adds, but it forever hangs in “interviewing device” and its listed, but with no options. Finally, the jasco switch, that one wont even add.

I’m running HA on a raspberry pi 4 which is located right next to the smartthigns hub, so range shouldnt be the issue. All of the mentioned devices add just fine to smartrthings.

I ordered a zoos zwave stick to rule out hardware issues, also, if all else fails, I “could” keep smartthings exclusively to act as a zwave bridge and do all my automations in HA, but that would defeat half the reason of moving to HA. Any help is appreciated.

Are you excluding the devices from ST before adding them to HA?

Additionally, you have to build out a good mesh - out of those three devices named, I’d definitely start with the Jasco. How far away is it from the stick?

You’re rebuilding the mesh from scratch - it will start weak. Range matters - a LOT.

Yes, I am excluding from ST before moving on.

Also Yes. I just learned the mesh part…

just for the heck of it, I plugged the outdoor plug 2ft from where the HA box is, and it added beautifully and i’m able to control it without issues… then I started moving it around and I very quickly lose it, as in I cant connect to it anymore.

One thought that popped in my mind is that my existing zwave network (the one ran by smartthings) is interfering with the creation of the new one and that’s why new devices have to be so close?

NO your existing network is NOT interfering - Zwave can handle that…

You aren’t building the mesh properly. ZWave SPEC says you should get ~100’ line of sight (give or take double that for ZWPlus) Guess what Walls are a thing - cut it in half. I plan my nodes no farther than 50’ (~15M) apart and honestly half of that for redundancy.

When you’re building, that matters - you have to start from your coordinator and build out from center.

So you can’t put in the coordinator then jump halfway across the house to install the back lock if it’s farther than your range - you have to build your mesh out in that direction FIRST.

AAAAND doing so - you’re going to knock the legs out of your ST mesh and it will destabilize. (edit: because you’re simultaneously unjoining the devices that make up the backbone of your ST repeater mesh and joining them to HA) So get ready to move in a hurry.

Also known fact is, use a extension cable for the Zwave stick in your Pi, plugging it directly in the USB port is known for having interference issues.

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so I followed the from the box-> out pattern and so far so good, every couple of devices i heal the network. I guess I’ll have to return the zoos stick now.

Z-Wave was designed to minimize traffic for very small battery-powered devices. The device and the controller both learn the path to each other and save it. They won’t relearn it until a periodic rescan of the z-wave network adjusts the paths.

In most situations they should learn the new path after some failed attempts, it will usually fix itself within minutes when you move devices. But it’s not instant. And if you moved it to where there is no routed path back via a mains-powered device then you’re actually off the network. Battery-powered devices won’t relay traffic for you.

The zoos stick is significantly newer chip and uses 700 chipset and S2 security. I have that stick and love it. I’d return the Nortek.

one more “thing” sofar so good with migrating stuff out of ST into HA. The only device that’s giving me trouble is a yale lock, it’ll pair and be recognizexd, and I get controls to lock/unlock, but it becomes non-reponsive within an hour or so of pairing. Any ideas?

I ended up keeping the nortek Stick since it’s also my zigbee controller, but i was wondering if this issue could be related to the security capabilities of the nortek?

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SOUNDS like some kind of range issue, but locks need a little more nuance. SO -

What model Yale? (EXACT MODEL please)
Where is it (physically, range) in relation to your stick and the nearest beaming capable hard wired repeating device? (Pretty much any Line powered ZWave device in the last two years, but)
What security level is it joined at?
Does a ping or a device heal bring the lock back?
What does the ZWJS2mqtt map say about its upstream connections?

In order:

Model number: Yale Security YRD226-ZW2-619 YRD226ZW2619

It is, 3-5 ft from a hardwired switch

Heal/re-interview does nothing, although they both give successful messages

Security is S0 legacy

I don’t have mqtt, for some reason it was crashing the whole thing so I ended up removing it and I haven’t seen a system crash since.

That Yale lock should support S2 security so I would not run it at S0. S0 is less secure. In my experience S0 is also less reliable as it needs to send way more data.

And did you follow the advice to use a USB extension cord for the z-wave stick? I’d also use a USB2 port if you can, as USB3 can cause interference…

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I’ll remove and re-add, I may have knocked the security down when I added it, not 100% sure at this point. This whole week I’ve had the HA box sitting at my desk, which is 4ft line of sight from that lock. Once I move the box back into the closet I’ll add the extension cable

Until then expect to experience the USB interference and unreliable operation.

I use an old Raspberry Pi 3 with extension cables to hose my zwave and zigbee sticks in an area that gives good coverage to the house but far from the server in the basement where HA runs. The Pi 3 doesn’t have USB3 which generates a lot of interference, and is overkill for these devices anyway.

so i removed/re-added it, and all of the sudden I’m seeing a few more entities than previously, including battery level. so far I’m able to lock./unlock I’ll check again in a couple of houirs.

The interesting thing is that I did have the device inclusion on ZWave JS to “secure if possible” and it’s still connecting as S0 Legacy, and no option to change that

If this is your lock, it does not support S2. The YRD226-ZW3 supports S2, not the ZW2.

yup, that’s the one

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then if you got your extra entities, it’ll probably work correctly now. If it fails, try (in this order) re-interview, heal device, re-add.