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Cheap Z-Wave devices


cag014
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9 hours ago, petergebruers said:

 

But it does not meet ...

 

thanks for pictures, you got just one from latest Fibaro wallplug (to have fair comparison, as you made pictures of older wallplug with ZW300 chip and not ZW500 like neo cam is using).

 

What neo cams does not meet are other things as well, but it's your topic :) 

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22 minutes ago, robmac said:

Not sure I would understand if any of the components were incorrectly sized unless they had a big 10A labels on them when rated at 3000W at 230v :?:  on the packaging,

 

I do not need permission to say this: the Neo has no markings except the brand name... All Fibaro modules contain relevant markings and their manuals contain references to the regulations they meet...

 

8 minutes ago, tinman said:

What neo cams does not meet are other things as well, but it's your topic :) 

 

I am sure we can discuss this after I get permission.

 

I have not asked why they need to think about this permission.

 

But let me give you a few reasons why I asked for permission:

 

  • Both Fibaro and Neo might object against publishing photo's of the internals... And users might interprete my advice as a buying advice. I do not want some lawyers to tell me that I cause damage to the public image of either brand.
  • Both Fibaro and Neo might object against me, a "passionate amateur with an engineering degree", posting some personal opinion regarding the build quality of their device. I can prepend every sentence with: "I think ..." or " My opinion" but still...
  • Although I can measure things, like the distance between the earth strips, this does not make me an authority and it certainly does not make me a certified body that can check if a device meets or does not meet specifications.
  • I regard myself as a responsable person. I would be very unhappy if someone makes bad decisions because of what I said on a public forum. Also, in Belgium, an engineer is considered to be more expert and this has legal consequences. It means, in court, someone could say I caused damage because of my advice, and that would make me (more) responsable, no matter what I say...

I hope you understand that I have to think twice about what I say in public...

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Same sort of reasons that I do not name the company that claimed 3000w from 10A. 

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2 minutes ago, robmac said:

Same sort of reasons that I do not name the company that claimed 3000w from 10A. 

Well this could be if you get 300V L-N ;)

 

Just kidding, that is a dangerous claim to make. People will place them self in harms way if the device is not protected...

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16 hours ago, robmac said:

 

I bought some cheap Schucko so I could use Fibaro wall plugs in uk and damaged a Fibaro wall plug with them. Fibaro was correct cheap plug pins were too small.

 

Out of curiosity... does this no-brand "schuko" adapter have a 13A fuse? If it does not it is illegal and a bit dangerous. For non-UK users this may seem odd but it is not once you consider a UK socket can supply 32 A. And an EU cord is only rated at 16 A... If you use it with a Fibaro (newest generation) it is still illegal, but not as dangerous because the Fibaro plug turns off above 13 A and that limit has no override. BTW nominal voltage in the UK is 230 V and 13 A is 3000 W nominal. A EU plug might say 16 A 250 V wich does mean that 4000 W is a valid load at 250 V. But not at 230 V nominal. But.… is it possible to have 250 V?

 

What does "nominal" mean? UK voltage  is 240VAC + 6% and - 10% and European voltage is 220VAC +10% and -6%  (thereby creating a manageable overlap) and that is called "230 V". Because the transformer near my house is fairly new, and I live in the city, mains voltage is quite close to 230 V. If you are in the UK, it is possible and acceptable to have 250 V. You would still call it "230 V nominal". Designers have to take into account this variation.

 

So you all get out your power meters and tell me what that water kettle actually measures and compare that with the number on the appliance and the maximum (not nominal) rating on the plug...

 

Edit: Also the "13 A" on the UK fuse is nominal... A BS1362 13 A fuse is guaranteed NOT to blow below 13 * 1.66 = about 21 A... Check the time versus current graph... A typical UK plug fuse can pass 25 A for about 30 minutes before it blows.

Edited by petergebruers
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  • @petergebruers

    Thank you for  a great and comprehensive response.

    So all of us understand that this "no brand" wall plug has an issue with maximum power consumption, but probably a good choice (price-wise) to use it for low power consumers.. like TV,  room air conditioners, ventilation and multimedia appliance.

    For heavy consumers will be better to use Aeon Labs wall plugs.

    By the way on vendor  Neo Coolcam site

    Please login or register to see this link.

     ) you can see certifications compliance.

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

     

    Again thank you for your time and efforts to make sure  that we're using right devices...

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    7 hours ago, petergebruers said:

     

    . But not at 230 V nominal. But.… is it possible to have 250 V?

     

     

    in the Netherlands the voltage goes from 225 to 250 volt

    see picture

     

     

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

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    2 minutes ago, akatar said:

    in the Netherlands the voltage goes from 225 to 250 volt

    see picture

     

    Thank you for joining this topic. Interesting data.

     

    Assuming you have an accurate meter, with enough noise immunity, and that you live in a city in the Netherlands, I find the numbers a bit surprising... I would expect less variation. But let us assume the measurements are accurate. In that case I'd like to stress everything is in spec! "230 V nominal" is anything between 206,8 V and 254,4 V... So it is certainly possible!

     

    Do you have a multimeter, to verify the reporting of that device?

     

    30 minutes ago, cag014 said:

    So all of us understand that this "no brand" wall plug has an issue with maximum power consumption, but probably a good choice (price-wise) to use it for low power consumers.. like TV,  room air conditioners, ventilation and multimedia appliance.

     

    I'd like to stress that I have not made any suggestion regarding the quality of the plug and its use I have only pointed out the lack of markings on the plug.

     

    The only thing I have said up to now  is that it has very, very little "certification" and reference to normative documents or testing faciities. To my knowledge the "CE" logo means, "I, the manufacturer, certify that the product meets the requirements of the EU". As far as I understand it, it is not completely pointless, because any EU citizen can file a complaint if he/she suspects this is a fraudulent claim. On the other hand, if the manufacturer only stamps "CE" on the box and does not detail "I have submitted this product with this or that certification body to make certain it meets EU directive  X, Y and Z" then it is down to trust...  A "UL" label = "Underwriters Laboratories" would mean a lot more because they really test stuff. But that is a USA thing...

     

    Fibaro also "declares" conformity, please have a look at how they do that and tell me what you think with respect to the declaration of Neo...

     

    Please login or register to see this image.

    Now you mentioned Aeon Labs... I made a modest attempt at finding their certification and I can find, for example, this in the ETL database:

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    So they say the "Smart Switch Gen5, Model No. ZW075-A02" meets UL-244A... Whatever that may be, I have to look it up, ... but at least it is a real test!

     

    If you want to make certain that UL or ETL markings are valid, you can try to find them in their database...

     

     

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  • 46 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

    1) Do you have a multimeter, to verify the reporting of that device?

    2)I'd like to stress that I have not made any suggestion regarding the quality of the plug and its use I have only pointed out the lack of markings on the plug.

     

     

     

    1). I did measure the voltage and report is accurate only ± 6.5 VAC deviation (3-4%).  I have Aeon LAB  Gen5 wall plug  with same accuracy .

    2). I didn't refer that it's your suggestion. But since all forum members are busy to investigate the quality/accuracy of maximum load, I think it will be wise to be on safe side and to use this plug for switching low power devices.

    Edited by cag014
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    51 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

     

    Thank you for joining this topic. Interesting data.

     

    Assuming you have an accurate meter, with enough noise immunity, and that you live in a city in the Netherlands, I find the numbers a bit surprising... I would expect less variation. But let us assume the measurements are accurate. In that case I'd like to stress everything is in spec! "230 V nominal" is anything between 206,8 V and 254,4 V... So it is certainly possible!

     

    Do you have a multimeter, to verify the reporting of that device?

     

     

     

     

     

    I just tried, when my apc ups reported 229 volt i used my yearly callibrated fluke to check

     

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

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    45 minutes ago, cag014 said:

    I didn't refer that it's your suggestion. But since all forum members are busy to investigate the quality/accuracy of maximum load, I think it will be wise to be on safe side and to use this plug for switching low power devices.

     

    Thank you for stating that it was your opinion, not mine. I hope you don't mind... but don't you think electrical safety is a lot more than power handling capability?

     

    40 minutes ago, akatar said:

    I just tried, when my apc ups reported 229 volt i used my yearly callibrated fluke to check

     

     

    Oh, I'm sorry! On my phone I did not notice that this was logging from an APC UPS. Yeah, yeah, I trust that data logging, and your Fluke confirms it (spec: ± (2 % of reading + 0.2 V). I can understand that you want an UPS on that circuit...

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  • 20 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

     

    Thank you for stating that it was your opinion, not mine. I hope you don't mind... but don't you think electrical safety is a lot more than power handling capability?

    Yes, I do care about electrical safety, but if we'll deal with low power the safety/capability is not a big issue (maximum the wall plug will damaged).

    As I mentioned before, have two fibaro switches burnt out by switching low power LED lights (25 W only) and this is a "brand" device. With all respect to certifications and lab tests, the inrush current kills them one by one.... and the price for that is too high.

    Meanwhile have two "no brand" wall plugs and door sensors for several months... no issues so far and at less than half a price. 

    Have ordered additional wall plug and motion sensor... let's see.

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    This thread is a good read.

     

    10 hours ago, petergebruers said:

    Out of curiosity... does this no-brand "schuko" adapter have a 13A fuse? If it does not it is illegal and a bit dangerous. For non-UK users this may seem odd but it is not once you consider a UK socket can supply 32 A. And an EU cord is only rated at 16 A... If you use it with a Fibaro (newest generation) it is still illegal, but not as dangerous because the Fibaro plug turns off above 13 A and that limit has no override. BTW nominal voltage in the UK is 230 V and 13 A is 3000 W nominal. A EU plug might say 16 A 250 V wich does mean that 4000 W is a valid load at 250 V. But not at 230 V nominal. But.… is it possible to have 250 V?

     

    Hi Peter,

     

    The adapters I bought were fine as were the cables I bought.

     

    It was some cheap plugs to fit to cables on devices that where not easily exchanged for schuko cables. And yes I am sure they were not legal. The adapter had a 3A fuse fitted so as you can tell not a lot of load as this would have blown. Luckily I have 32 Amp 30mA RCBO on the circuit and that tripped so I went looking for issues.

     

    Not to say that these devices are not perfectly safe. It is so hard to tell even if things have all of the markings.

     

     

     

    12 minutes ago, cag014 said:

    As I mentioned before, have two fibaro switches burnt out by switching low power LED lights (25 W only) and this is a "brand" device. With all respect to certifications and lab tests, the inrush current kills them one by one.... and the price for that is too high.

     

    By any chance were these cheap led units. It might be these that are not worth the cost or the risk. BBC’s Fake Britain tv program reported about some of these things you can pick up cheaply. Agree inrush is a posability but I have a few Fibaro plugs switching LED ( respected brand) with no issues and these were bought the month the fibaro plugs were release int he UK.

     

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  • At least in this case I have bought two OSRAM LED panels for a kitchen.  I think OSRAM is a respectable vendor.

    About two weeks ago have replaced Fibaro by  ZIPATO - Z-Wave Plus Micro Dual Relay Switch 2x1,5kw, PAN04.

    According to ZIPATO  they do have inrush current protection... so far the device works fine.

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    11 hours ago, robmac said:

    Agree inrush is a posability but I have a few Fibaro plugs switching LED ( respected brand) with no issues and these were bought the month the fibaro plugs were release int he UK.

     

    The relay in the Fibaro Wall Plug is much, much bigger than the one in the FGS-212 and it does not have issues.

     

    BTW I am sure it is inrush current that causes them to get stuck (please note the date of the topic: December 2013, I think it was my first big topic on this forum):

     

     

    @cag014 I understand that you are disappointed, because a product stopped working! It is indeed unfortunate that regulations and certifications do not test (much) functionality and mostly concern safety (burning down your house, causing injury or death). Can you please check regulations in your country? In Belgium, it is illegal to sell/use a device that does not have the CE logo, does not have a "statement of conformity" (see my previous post). The Ministry of Economy can ban sales and remove the product from the market. The same thing can happen if the statement is fraudulent or if the product does not meet the requirements. I have tried to find this information and failed. Please correct me if I did not search well enough... So, unfortunately, in Belgium, the question whether this product works well and is safe is rather academic, unless someone finds the documents... I am sorry , I cannot talk about quality of the plug(s) because I do not have permission and also because of a few reasons listed a some posts back...

     

    TO ALL FORUM MEMBERS: Please tell me what the law in your country says about this! And can you please try to find the CE logo on your plug, and the statement of conformity of that device? Also, if you think it is wrong of me to pay so much attention to this regulation stuff, please tell me why I am wrong about it... If you do not live in the EU, you will have to find out what is required.

     

    For all Fibaro devices, you can download this information from

    Please login or register to see this link.

     

    Please watch this Australian guy...

     

     

     

    Edited by petergebruers
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    Hi Peter,

     

    In my testing I found that inrush was greater from cheaper products. I have thrown away a lot of cheap products as it does appear that good products take some measure against huge in rush.

     

    Soft start on the device appears to help. Would that make sense.

     

    On the latter question.

     

    Definitely illegal in UK but trading standards can not catch everything.

     

    They have not spotted various issues that have made the news and the stuff that the BBC program found is probably the tip of an iceberg. 

     

    Also a lot of Chinese stuff has certs but would you trust the test house. Possibly the test house does not even exist and they open a word processor and create the certs themselves. Same as they print CE on the box without worrying the product is dangerous. 

     

     

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  • @petergebruers

    Since I'm purchasing Z-wave devices from internet (eBay, GearBest and etc.) the country regulation has nothing to do with that. (I believe this true for majority of the users.)

    The only way to avoid these situations is to share our experience and knowledge, as we're doing now. 

    You and few other users are an excellent source for that and this is the major factor behind this topic.

     

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    On 10/9/2017 at 7:09 PM, cag014 said:

    @petergebruers

    Since I'm purchasing Z-wave devices from internet (eBay, GearBest and etc.) the country regulation has nothing to do with that. (I believe this true for majority of the users.)

    The only way to avoid these situations is to share our experience and knowledge, as we're doing now. 

    You and few other users are an excellent source for that and this is the major factor behind this topic.

     

     

    I'm not sure about international law. Think globally, act locally my wife always reminds me. She is a teacher. In Belgium, customs might intercept your parcel and destroy it or even send you a fine on top of that, although I think that mostly applies to counterfeit products. Like that $ 20 Vuiton you ordered on AliExpress :-)

    Chances of that happening are slim, a guy from Brussels Airport Customs said they handle between 30 000 and 40 000 parcels each day.

     

    Thank you for the compliment. And I have good news, I am allowed to talk about this NEO Wall Plug. But as @tinman already pointed out, I should really compare with Fibaro V2, not V1 as I have done now. So more testing ahead...

     

    On 10/9/2017 at 1:09 PM, robmac said:

    In my testing I found that inrush was greater from cheaper products. I have thrown away a lot of cheap products as it does appear that good products take some measure against huge in rush. (....)

    [Regarding legality of import] Definitely illegal in UK but trading standards can not catch everything.

    (...)

    Also a lot of Chinese stuff has certs but would you trust the test house. Possibly the test house does not even exist and they open a word processor and create the certs themselves. Same as they print CE on the box without worrying the product is dangerous. 

     

    It is difficult to measure inrush current. It might be possible to predict it if you have the schematics. Without going in to detail... Usually a low (bad) "Power Factor" can be indication of a simple supply design that might cause inrush current. Good lamps have good PF. A large capacitive load is often the cause of the problems. Plug in your notebook adapter. Does it spark? A "Dimmer 2" can work around that problem, because it supports turning on at zero voltage crossing. A relay switches on randomly, and if you happen to do that at the peak of mains voltage, a large capacitance causes high current.

     

    Ah! Do we trust certificates? Do they make things up? I agree... such fraudulent behaviours happen... Like, 18650 Lithium Cells rated at 10 000 mAh do not exist, but they are for sale ;-)

     

    On 10/8/2017 at 5:16 PM, akatar said:

    in the Netherlands the voltage goes from 225 to 250 volt

    see picture

     

     

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

     

    @akatar Your post inspired me to measure how steady my supply is... So I sampled it about every 7.5 seconds between 12:50 and 23:00, accuracy +/- 0.4 V TRMS.

     

    The histogram shows I can say voltage is between 230 and 236. I'm a lucky guy...

     

     

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

     

    If you look at it over time, you can see when power consumption is high (people cooking a nice meal)...

     

    Please login or register to see this attachment.

     

     

     

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