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[Tutorial] Z-wave diagnostics with PC Controller and Zniffer


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On 20.04.2018 at 12:26 PM, tinman said:

HCL with 4.501 works with no issues.

Yes, today I got my UZB sticks. Tested on HCL 4.150 - the PC controller works fine. Atleast now can see what happened between nodes.

Thanks for a complete manual!

 

Sniffer also tested, works fine. One thing I recomend to add in the manual:

Install ZW050x_USB_Programming_Driver

 

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Today is great day for z-wave community, the whole SDK for Devices and Gateways, and complete Z-Wave documentation can be free downloaded from silabs.com website (all you need is to create an account

i think this is part of the "move to 700 series" path. One can get all older files from support, but if you don't have customer id, here the direct external (public) link to them:   Zniffer

Define "everything"   As I said:     And:   EDIT: by flashing "serialapi_controller_static_ZW050x_USBVCP_EU.hex" found in the SDK I was able to put back my stick

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1 hour ago, jack.daniels said:

Sniffer also tested, works fine. One thing I recomend to add in the manual:

Install ZW050x_USB_Programming_Driver

 

done - that indeed important step, forgot that completely (as i have already all drivers installed)

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On 21.04.2018 at 12:25 PM, tinman said:

I got as well questions what about flashing Fibaro HC2 firmware into any zwave stick - well, it has been designed for HC2 and zw300 chip, so it will not work on any zw500 zwave sticks (yes, one can take DSA02203 stick and burn Fibaro firmware to it, but believe me, nobody need it, unless you wish to build your own HC2), and it does supports lot of special implementations for Fibaro HC2 (like S2 or manufacturer specific commands), and you will have no use for it:

 

I am dreaming to run HC2 on some Intel NUC or QNAP or any other powerfull hardware like ODROID. Wold be awesome to get such kind of zw500 firmware from FIbaro (old USB sticks can't buy here)

But we all see the "low pulse" of support here. So I am not expecting for a mirracle at all.

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11 hours ago, jack.daniels said:

Atleast now can see what happened between nodes.

Great to have you on board of the "geek stuff" and "sniffer club"!

 

Depends on where you put the sniffer, as @tinman and I pointed out... the antenna's aren't very good, it does not always "hear" the packets. I am repeating this, because you might "jump to conclusions"... I do not want to underestimate you at all!

 

On 4/20/2018 at 11:26 AM, tinman said:

Regarding CRC errors, as @A.Socha said, this can be everything but not necessary real CRC issue. The antenna is e.g. in original zniffer not the best, zwave.me stick have exact the same, so one need to be careful with received data (or replace antenna). Here in Germany we are affected as well with LTE uplink from Telekom a bit, so placing gateway or zniffer near LTE Hybrid box is bad idea as well and does produce CRC errors.

Thanks for the warning.

 

I have added a bit of shielded cable + piece of wire to my Z-Stick and now I can hear the "ACK" packets I was missing in my first post. I have no tools to tune this setup, it is just trial and error :-D . I have read a few times a badly tuned antenna could damage the TX. Theory obviously explains why, it is like operating an amplifier on a short circuit. I don't know, I never saw reports of it, but then who uses his module without antenna? BTW sniffing does not use TX, does it?

 

EDIT: for those, that do not understand what I am trying to say... If you modify your antenna and it destroys your device: I warned you!

 

Regarding interference... I still use my "Software Defined Radio" aka DVB-T dongle aka RTL2832U with SDR# https://airspy.com/download/ to check, purely analog, for sources of noise or interference. I have none! I think this is still a valuable tool to detect this kind of issues, because neither a suphacap nor this official Z-Sniffer are good at that. They might show excessive CRC or bad RSSI values, or maybe nothing... There has to be a "background noise" measurement somewhere, I have seen it on the Z-Way controller. That might replace my SDR (and save $5 :P). And of course the "connection test" is interesting, but then you have to flash the UZB with the other firmware (I think)... At the moment, I do have one 868 MHz device (an RFM95 LORA radio), so I could test the effect, but I have not yet connected it :-D ...

 

Edited by petergebruers
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12 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

Great to have you on board

Thanks :D

12 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

the antenna's aren't very good

I have one unused HCL antenna. Need to get the SMA socket and solder on the UZB for best expirience, and yes, also can use longer usb wire to place it in the right place

 

12 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

Regarding interference... I still use my "Software Defined Radio" aka DVB-T dongle

 Have it also, but no idea how u dont miss the small peaks of transmission. May be u can show\teach how to?

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Interesting post. Silabs did a good job there.

 

A couple of questions there:

  • Which model of USB has the longest range? The small one from zwave.me, the one from Sigma or the Aeotec?
  • Is mandatory to add the USB to the network to test or is it possible to read all the frames in promiscuous mode? I'd like to read frames from two networks at the same time.

Thank you!

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3 minutes ago, APica said:

is it possible to read all the frames in promiscuous mode?

Yes, it uses "promiscuous" mode. No need to "include" the sniffer (in fact: not even possible to include it - it does not act as a controller).

 

4 minutes ago, APica said:

zwave.me, the one from Sigma or the Aeotec?

You read my post about the external antenna on the Aeotec? It helps a lot, but it still does not have the reach of a "Home Controller". That is probably because I have no tools to tune the antenna, nor tools to tune the antenna filter on the board. I own a first generation "razberry" = small board = even worse. That board got a redesign with bigger antenna, separated from the ground plane.

 

I bet all dongles (UZB) are a bit lacking because the antenna is a bit close to the ground plane...

 

But @tinman might have some real data, not just an opinion like me... 

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Thank you for the reply.

 

9 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

Yes, it uses "promiscuous" mode. No need to "include" the sniffer (in fact: not even possible to include it - it does not act as a controller).

 

Perfect!

 

10 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

You read my post about the external antenna on the Aeotec? It helps a lot, but it still does not have the reach of a "Home Controller". That is probably because I have no tools to tune the antenna, nor tools to tune the antenna filter on the board. I own a first generation "razberry" = small board = even worse. That board got a redesign with bigger antenna, separated from the ground plane.

 

I bet all dongles (UZB) are a bit lacking because the antenna is a bit close to the ground plane...

 

But @tinman might have some real data, not just an opinion like me... 

 

Good reply. I'll search your post (I'm new here). I've found the tune of the Sigma USB, but I don't really know how good/feasible is that solution.

 

Let's see what @tinman can say about that.

 

Thank you

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technically spoken, promiscuous mode can be done as well with Z-Wave Alliance CIT or Z-Wave Products Toolbox, where the zniffer have, let call it, "promiscuous mode +".

 

Regarding zwave.me stick, yes, the small one UZB (take the cheapest version, as you don't need zway license on it)

 

image.png.f25b5a66ace31dea62b5e80a820f37f1.png

 

You can buy as well these from Sigma Deigns, e.g.

Digikey 703-1127-ND or 703-1111-ND (which is obsolete, but it will works as well)

For non EU region of course the matching regional version.

 

All of them (and the original zniffer as well) are using the same antenna design, so no differences.

 

 

1 minute ago, APica said:

I've found the tune of the Sigma USB, but I don't really know how good/feasible is that solution.

 

ahh indeed, drzwave posted once on ZTS that information :) 

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2 minutes ago, tinman said:

technically spoken, promiscuous mode can be done as well with Z-Wave Alliance CIT or Z-Wave Products Toolbox, where the zniffer have, let call it, "promiscuous mode +".

 

"Promiscuous mode +"? Is there a difference with that? I might be missing something.

 

10 minutes ago, tinman said:

All of them (and the original zniffer as well) are using the same antenna design, so no differences.

 

Then I'll stick with the small one (and maybe the Sigma too to play with the antenna :))

 

Thank you!

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33 minutes ago, APica said:

"Promiscuous mode +"? Is there a difference with that? I might be missing something.

 

Promiscuous mode done by Toolbox or CIT are filtered, so you can see only own network (the actually SDK support that mode now out of the box), 

where promiscuous mode done by the zniffer firmware will show yo everything, FLiRS beams from neighbours, what so every z-wave there.
This is special firmware, which has been not published ever as source and can be used only as precompiled version provided by (now) Silabs.
In the future, Toolbox and CIT will get extra usb stick, with zniffer firmware, to allow installers to use the real promiscuous mode.

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1 hour ago, APica said:

I've found the tune of the Sigma USB, but I don't really know how good/feasible is that solution.

 

An external antenna gives me several dB extra, so maybe 5-10 m extra range. So, less "CRC" errors, like the author says in that article. It is worth it, but it requires some surgery.

 

If you "brick" your dongle, you might have to solder wires on very fine pitch chip + buy CP2102 serial adapter (a few $). See antenna + wires below (Aeotec Z-Stick):

 

IMG_20180423_164739.jpg.1e1e6cd0a5beffdfeb8136cb1867f9da.jpg

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1 hour ago, tinman said:

Promiscuous mode done by Toolbox or CIT are filtered, so you can see only own network (the actually SDK support that mode now out of the box), 

where promiscuous mode done by the zniffer firmware will show yo everything, FLiRS beams from neighbours, what so every z-wave there.
This is special firmware, which has been not published ever as source and can be used only as precompiled version provided by (now) Silabs.
In the future, Toolbox and CIT will get extra usb stick, with zniffer firmware, to allow installers to use the real promiscuous mode.

 

Thank you! More clear now :)

 

46 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

If you "brick" your dongle, you might have to solder wires on very fine pitch chip + buy CP2102 serial adapter (a few $). See antenna + wires below (Aeotec Z-Stick):

 

Is CP2102 necessary? I though it only involves changing the antenna.

 

I'll receive the USB tomorrow and check the coverage. The scenario has 20m long, and 1 slim wall in the worse case. Let's see if the tunning is necessary,

 

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7 minutes ago, APica said:

Is CP2102 necessary? I though it only involves changing the antenna

No, CP2102 is not necessary, the first time you can write firmware via USB. But if that (new) firmware does not include USB (VCP) then you are stuck... Then you have to use either a dedicated programmer (for SPI, pins on the PCB) or a CP2102 + solder wires. So a mistake can make recovery difficult...

 

Before you try anything, I recommend you read this topic from the start... And also this topic:

 

 

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Hello,

 

When i want read out the NVR from the stick its saying "sigma designs programing interface not found"

Do I missing anything?

 

Thanks!

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6 minutes ago, kalmanv said:

Do I missing anything?

 

This means you have no programming interface port (this is other driver), try this:

 

On 22.04.2018 at 11:32 PM, jack.daniels said:

Install ZW050x_USB_Programming_Driver

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  • 2 months later...
On 4/20/2018 at 10:01 AM, petergebruers said:

 

Define "everything" :-D

 

As I said:

 

 

And:

 

EDIT: by flashing "serialapi_controller_static_ZW050x_USBVCP_EU.hex" found in the SDK I was able to put back my stick in "controller" mode.

EDIT2: warning ,after all this, your stick will no longer be a real "Aeotec Sticjk", because we cannot but back the original firmware! If you want to use this stick as an AEOn device, please do not flash it. Buy A Z-Wave.me UZB (that one cannot be turned back into a Z-Wave.me UZB!)

Anything special you did to add the stick as a device in the HC2? The software runs fine, but when in learning mode, the HC2 does not want to add if. Even after a reboot and reset of the stick. 

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15 minutes ago, Comfortica said:

 Anything special you did to add the stick as a device in the HC2?

I do not understand your question, because I changed my stick to a "Z-Wave sniffer", then I use the windows software to sniff... The Z-sniffer works without "including it" (to be precise: you cannot include it!). So you bought a Aeotec stick. Then, what did you do? Flash the sniffer software? What do you want to do with your stick?

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6 minutes ago, petergebruers said:

I do not understand your question, because I changed my stick to a "Z-Wave sniffer", then I use the windows software to sniff... The Z-sniffer works without "including it" (to be precise: you cannot include it!). So you bought a Aeotec stick. Then, what did you do? Flash the sniffer software? What do you want to do with your stick?

You stated that you included your aeotec stick as a secondary controller to your hc2 (or at least, that is what I understand :) ) ... I want to diagnose network problems and view the zwave network map in the windows software first. Then, I will flash the stick to create a sniffer 

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