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petergebruers

Geek stuff: Z-Wave Routing, Packets and Serial API

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I'm trying to get in touch with people who have (deep) understanding of Z-Wave and want do discuss this with me.

 

Background: I have tried, and I am still trying to help people experiencing delays. Those problems are not necessarily Z-Wave related, but it certainly can be a part of their issues.

 

Because I enjoy tinkering with the protocols I decided to dig deeper into the manuals and write some code.

 

I think, at the moment, there is no very clear description of the routing protocol. I might be wrong. So I had to experiment.

 

I decided to write my own (Python) program to send NOPS on a test network, to one or two devices, and analyse the result.

 

For instance, while I am typing this on my MAC (with UZB1 dongle), I am testing a Fibaro Wall Plug first generation:

 

Please login or register to see this code.

I'm trying to get in touch with people who either understand what that data means, or at least want to find out for themselves.

 

I understand most of it, but at the moment I hesitate to explain things in detail, in this post because I have this feeling... that it is not going to be of interest to most users.

 

But a quick explanation: status is OK, the time between TX and ACK was 20 ms which is as good as it gets. No repeaters involved, good! But RSSI at -85 is weak, my tests tell me at -90 connection gets flakey and -95 is about the limit.

 

Let's move my MAC a bit further away...

Please login or register to see this code.

The last packet struggled... TX is 90 ms.

 

Let's change the orientation of the antenna about 90°:

Please login or register to see this code.

All direct connection attempts failed, and my controller switched to a routed packet (#rep is 1 instead of zero). Repeating node is number 4. That is to be expected because the network only has one other device, an FGR223, that is mains operated...

 

Because the FGR can cover my whole house, I can now walk around and keep connected... through that repeater:

Please login or register to see this code.

The price you pay is latency, TX to ACK increased to 50 ms - but that is still very good IMHO.

 

If I knew where to go from here, I would not have written this post :)

 

In case you understand what this is about, and want to chat with me, challenge me, or have something interesting to say, please share. If you don't understand... Don't worry, you won't need it.

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Hi Peter,

 

interesting. I will read here, but won´t help to much.

Did you ever see the different speed in communication, like 100k. I know that controller change this dynamic. And I can see it in my Z-Way history.

and also in Z-Wave Sniffer. (but I don´t sniffer while having no problems :-)

CU

 

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  • 1 hour ago, enbemokel said:

    I will read here, but won´t help to much.

    Thank you for joining...

     

    1 hour ago, enbemokel said:

    Did you ever see the different speed in communication, like 100k. I know that controller change this dynamic.

    Yes, for compatibility it has to accommodate 9.6/40/100 kbits/seconds.

     

    The Wall Plug is a series 300 device and is limited to 40 k.

     

    The FGR in my test network is Z-Wave Plus, based on series 500. And so is the UZB1 controller.

     

    Here is an example of "normal" communication between 100k devices:

    Please login or register to see this code.

    And if I fiddle with the antenna and move stuff around, I can force it to miss a few attempts and then it does 40k, and switches back to 100 when I do the next NOP test:

    Please login or register to see this code.

    You'll also notice it switches radio channels (ACKCha and LTXCha) - AFAIK in EU there are 2 channels, and certain rates belong to certain channels.

     

    1 hour ago, enbemokel said:

    but I don´t sniffer while having no problems :-)

     

    :)

     

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  • I am trying to help a guy with 10 - 20 nodes, mostly Qubino and Fibaro stuff. His controller is a UZB1. He gets poor performance, not many of the nodes seem to have the controller as neighbor and log files indicate RTT is sometimes as expected but often shoots up in the seconds range.

     

    I wanted to check the range of some of my devices anyway.

     

    Having a portable controller station (My MAC or a Lenovo laptop + UZB1) running my Python NOP test enabled me to map range and indicate weak spots. I might post some data later.

     

    But then I forgot... RF is almost like voodoo... I am an engineer and I toyed with FM radio transmitters when I was young.

     

    I might be able to explain why this users' range is not good and might be able to fix it.

     

    I have tested the range of the UZB1 on my Macbook Pro and it is OK. It depends on the other device as well and a Wall Plug Gen1 is not as good as a Roller Shtter 3 = Z-Wave Plus.

    Then I used my Lenovo Laptop, to see if the results were consistent.

     

    Range on my Lenovo was reduced by 50 % compared with my Mac and an extension cord improved things a bit but it was still bad

     

    My suspicion is, not only the fact that the Mac is a large slab of aluminium gives it a good range... But it might have less noisy USB ports (supply).

     

    Then I put a small, unpowered USB hub (4-port) between UZB1 and Lenovo laptop and the result was that the range got almost as good as on my Macbook

    This got me thinking... Why?

     

    I added a function to my test-python-script to get the "Background Noise" between NOP test.

     

    Dongle plugged directly into the laptop:

        Noise: Ch0:  -80 Ch1:  -85
        Noise: Ch0:  -68 Ch1:  -77
        Noise: Ch0:  -80 Ch1:  -74
        Noise: Ch0:  -74 Ch1:  -79

     

    Dongle plugged into the USB hub:

        Noise: Ch0:  -89 Ch1:  -91
        Noise: Ch0:  -82 Ch1:  -89
        Noise: Ch0:  -85 Ch1:  -94
        Noise: Ch0:  -79 Ch1:  -88

     

    Without the hub the noise is 5 to 10 dB higher, and this is what kills the range.

    My theory is that the extra capacitors in the hub filter the supply voltage to the UZB1. But that is hard to prove right now.

     

    For sake of completeness... The docs say:

        The rssi level is defined as the RSSI measured at the antenna when no Z-Wave traffic is present.
        The dynamic range of rssi measurements on a 500-series Z-Wave chip is from -94 dBm to -32 dBm. The
        precision of the measurement is +/- 2 dBm. The returned values assume a path loss of ~7 dBm from chip
        input to antenna.

     

    To put that in perspective, where I am sitting now here is a representative NOP stat:

        Status            TX ms #rep RSSI ACKCha LTXCha Routing Scheme     Repeaters      Speed Tries Fail_from_to
        OK                   30    0  -88      1      1 DIRECT               0   0   0   0  40k     1   0   0

     

    So RSSI of -88 for this node is clearly close to the background noise level of the UZB1 plugged into the hub. I am sitting at the edge of the range of my Wall Plug. If I were to plug in the UZB1 directly, the noise would overwhelm the signal and I get 0% ACK... It is still OK for my MAC (but not great and it will switch to routing mode if it gets a bit noisier).


    Figures on my Mac, UZB1 plugged in directly:

        Noise: Ch0:  -94 Ch1:  -94
        Noise: Ch0:  -92 Ch1: <MIN
        Noise: Ch0:  -94 Ch1:  -94
        Noise: Ch0: <MIN Ch1: <MIN

     

    That <MIN means "lower than measurement floor" so less noise than -95 dB. A few dB better than my Lenovo I think...

     

    Note: users of eg Z-Way can find background noise in "Expert User Interface".

     


     

     

     

     

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  • I forgot to test MAC + USB hub + dongle. Surprise... It makes things worse... Apparently the same hub now increase the noise floor...

        Noise: Ch0:  -75 Ch1:  -79

     

    Doh! Voodoo!

     

     

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  • Being able to send NOP packets and measuring RTT, status, routing attempts and more I could finally do something I've wanted to do: draw a map of the practical range of a device. I selected a Wall Plug FGWPE/F-001 as an older device, and a "Roller Shutter 3" = FGR-223 as a Z-Wave Plus device with recent design and firmware.

     

    I used 

    Please login or register to see this link.

     to draw a floor plan of my house, print it and walk around with my laptop and script

     

    Here are the results. Caution: these are the results in my house, you might have more or less noise, thicker walls, so please do not jump to conclusions. Also, I only tested one device of each type so that is not statistically valid.

     

    Please click on the spoiler to see the pictures:

     

    Please login or register to see this spoiler.

     

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    So let me jump. New technology is better, as to range. I would expect quite a leap in mesh network capability as well. In theory a z-wave network should become better with more nodes. We have experienced however that the three digits node networks are apparently pressed for air time. Most of us today probably have a mixed z-wave mesh of old standard and new z-wave plus devices/nodes. So range and routing issues in a real world z-wave mesh quickly becomes complex...   Any thoughts on implications from your findings from your point of view?

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  • 1 minute ago, 1152 said:

    So let me jump.

    If you jump, I'll catch you :)

     

    Thank you for joining the discussion!

    2 minutes ago, 1152 said:

    New technology is better, as to range.

    Correct, the brochures of the chips used say it has improved TX/RX (series 500 versus series 300)

     

    3 minutes ago, 1152 said:

    I would expect quite a leap in mesh network capability as well.

    That is what I try to find out. At the moment I would say the latest addition to mesh networking was "explorer frames" and that must have been quite a while ago. Both devices support sending explorer frames. I have very limited test data, but that data tells me routing behaviour is pretty consistent. Maybe there are "mesh improvements" and it's just me, not looking at the right data. Conclusion: I am not sure about those leeps, I need more data

     

    7 minutes ago, 1152 said:

    In theory a z-wave network should become better with more nodes.

    Not really, "(good) enough is good enough". Those 2 devices (see previous post) are sufficient to cover my house. May seem strange, but it is true, because the FGR can repeat messages from/to the wall plug wherever I put my controller (Macbook).

     

    But... Suppose I install a source of interference like a cordless headphone on 868 MHz (not sure if they still make them) then I might need more of them to get around that source.  At the moment, as a rule of thumb, if a device has 3 neighbors than it should be OK. Of course, if a node detects only 3 neighbors while you have 10 mains nodes in the "green" area then that is weird, all of those devices should be neighbors. I solved one particular case of interference by looking at such anomalies and a floor plan. I said: you've got something in that area and it interferes...

     

    15 minutes ago, 1152 said:

    So range and routing issues in a real world z-wave mesh quickly becomes complex...

    A real routing problem requires a Z-Wave sniffer and understanding of the protocol, or at least access to detailed logging on the controller (but that still does hide some details).

    You can also test the network by using the IMA tool (do they still sell this box?) or use the free Silabs PC controller to send nops.

    Or you can write your own tool like I did... But you have to be careful that the antenna of the external tool(s) is not the same antenna as the device or controller.

    Some controllers display metrics. HC2 logs are not user accessible. I think that is a downside but on the other hand, you would need assistance to understand the logs...

     

    If you suspect issues on this level... There probably are official installers with sufficient knowledge and tools to help you. I don't know much about the installer network, I am a DIY man...

     

    Yesterday, I was checking bad performance of a non-fibaro user, with some Fibaro modules. I asked him to run my NOP checker and something interesting came up:

     

    Please login or register to see this code.

    Those stats look good. Status is OK, TX ms and RSSI are OK too. But there is a problem: this is a Fibaro Switch 2, and that is a 100k device... Why is this direct connection 40k?

     

    Let's look at the background noise:

     

    Please login or register to see this code.

    Channel 0 is bad, very bad and ch1 is virtually noise-free (<MIN means lower than what can be measured). Channel 0 is used for 100k. BTW I dont’t know why the “old” channel is called ch1 = 868.4 and then “new” is ch 0 = 869.8… You'll find those frequencies in the manual. The controller or the device very likely decided it was not possible to use 100k for this node... But I would need a Zniffer and reset both devices to confirm this. In that case, I expect to find that they try 100 k and give up after a while, then switch to other channel. But I cannot test this, this is not in my house. And I cannot simulate or make a noise source on that frequency.

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  • Ever wondered what frequency a packet uses? That depends on data rate and region. It is handled by the firmware on the device and the silicon, as a programmer you do not have to worry about this... Unless you are analyzing "routing" because then you'll have to deal with different rates of devices.

     

    To understand data rates and radio frequency channels, you have to read 2 documents:

     

        T-REC-G.9959-201501-I!!PDF-E.pdf

        ZAD12837-8 frequencies.pdf

     

    In my NOP tester output you'll see  Channel 1 = low frequency = 40 and 9.6k and Channel 0 = higher frequency and 100 kbits/second

     

    That feels kind of backwards, does it not?  It took some detective work to piece those 2 documents together.

     

    ITU-T Recommendation G.9959 specifies transceiver operation in license-free RF bands including bands designated for ISM (industrial, scientific and medical) applications. But that document does not list the actual frequencies.

     

    But it does tell there are 2 frequencies in EU and Z-Wave supports 3 data rates... You'll see these abbreviations throughout the documents:

     

        R1 = 9.6 kbit/s
        R2 = 40 kbit/s
        R3 = 100 kbit/s

     

    In fact... my explanation is a bit of a simplification because G.9959 in fact defines "profiles" and also "FLiRS" have got something to do with this. Forget about that for now.

     

    Document ZAD12837-8.pdf (Silabs) defines all frequencies world wide… It says…

     

        fEU1= 869.85 for R3
        fEU2= 868.40 for R1 and R2

     

    Go check a manual of a recent device... You'll see those 2 frequencies listed.

     

    I think this explains why channel 0 is fEU1 = the 100 k channel, and 1 is fEU2 and used for the other rates. In EU we do not have a 3d channel.

     

    I am particularly interested in R3 - not because of its speed, but because it has CRC 16 and some other improvements (see G.9959 spec).

     

    Fun facts…

     

        Hong Kong (China) has only 1 channel so all 3 rates on 1 radio channel.

     

        But Taiwan (China) uses Korean frequency and they have 3 channels but only R3 = 100k.

        This means… I think… They have no weak CRC and slower data rates.

     

        China... actually uses 3 rates on fEU2 but they call it fCN1

     

        Singapore started with EU frequency, but that band was sold and newer devices use the 3 Korean frequencies and R3...

     

    A few times people have asked if they can switch frequencies and that is sometimes possible, sometimes totally impossible. It depends on the group... To improve the rejection of signals outside the frequency band, manufacturers put an antenna filter in front of the SOC. There are three variants: E (for Europe), U (USA) and H (possibly for Hong-Kong - I am not sure) and the difference between them is too big to switch frequencies outside that group.

     

    This table lists some more worldwide Z-Wave related facts:

     

    Please login or register to see this link.

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    I´m not sure I follow you on this: "Ever wondered what frequency a packet uses? That depends on data rate and region." Sure, but the freq is to me not that important, what is, is how they are used (and how many/variants are available in the network). 

    Edited by 1152

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  • 9 minutes ago, 1152 said:

    Sure, but the freq is to me not that important

    I understand. It does matter occasionally though, if you want to find out "interference".

     

    For example, here is the background RSSI of a user with Z-Wave trouble:

     

    Noise: Ch0: -68 Ch1: -94

     

    This means, he cannot use CH0 because it is so bad and as a consequence he cannot do R3 = 100 k. Only 40k and 9.6 k work for him.

     

    13 minutes ago, 1152 said:

    how they are used (and how many/variants are available in the network).

     

    I think the ZW300 series was introduced around 2006 and it does 9.6 k and 40 k. I think most users can forget about older devices.

     

    Wikipedia says ZW500 was around 2013 and adds 100 k capability

     

    The HC is ZW300 so limited to 9.6 and 40k.

     

    You won't see a difference in operation because of compatibility mechanisms.

     

    The ZW500 does concurrent listening on 9.6/40kbps and 100kbps channels, as well as concurrently listening on three 100kbps channels, depending on the region.

     

    That is one of the reasons, why I test with a UZB1.

     

    ZW500 = "Z-Wave Plus"

     

    Does this answer your question? Or, do you have any particular issue or question?

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    Yes and no. Your initial posting(s) were based on measurements, while your last response is (apparently) based primarily on published/design criteria. My question(s) are targeted at if these assumptions holds true in the real world. And as you pointed out initially, the implementation by one manufacture, may differ (substantially) from another manufacturer. There may as well be differences from one serie of devices (or fw) to another. (And of course there could be individual faults as well).

     

    In short the issue in a large real world hybrid z-wave and z-wave plus mesh networks appears to be to complex to handle (at the moment) to get a stable and reliable net (and "system"), at least for Fibaro, (even in a pure Fibaro net). But I may be barking up the wrong tree...

     

    I guess i drifted somewhat off topic for your post, sorry

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  • 13 hours ago, 1152 said:

    Yes and no. Your initial posting(s) were based on measurements, while your last response is (apparently) based primarily on published/design criteria. My question(s) are targeted at if these assumptions holds true in the real world.

    I see!

     

    Excellent question!

     

    I will answer in more detail later, this simple explanation however might help though. The firmware designer (of a device, like the Wall Plug) and de gateway software writer (like the stuff running on your HC2 or OpenZWave) do not have control over rate or frequency (at least, I did not find it in the docs). They do have control over some routing aspects . For instance, they can decide to send some packets with "explorer frame option or not".

     

    As you can see, when I send a NOP to a device, the controller can tell me (after the transmission) what speed and what channel it used (ACKCha, LTXCha, Speed):

    Please login or register to see this code.

     

    13 hours ago, 1152 said:

    In short the issue in a large real world hybrid z-wave and z-wave plus mesh networks appears to be to complex to handle (at the moment) to get a stable and reliable net (and "system"), at least for Fibaro, (even in a pure Fibaro net). But I may be barking up the wrong tree...

     

    There is a lot of information in that sentence, I hope I can answer all aspects...

    • Z-Wave technology standardizes about everything from frequencies to the application, it sure is "complex". I think any technology aiming at IoT is complex. Your Smartphone is "complex". As a daily user we do not handle the complexity.
    • For about 99 to 99.5 % of all Z-Wave users, mesh and routing work and they do not have to know anything about it. This post is for those 0.5 - 1.0 % of unlucky users, who wish to understand what or for interested users without problems. Those 99% with no problems and no interest won't enjoy this topic...
    • I intend to post Zniffer captures and dissect them. I'll talk about frames, timing and routing. It will get very complex.
    • From time to time, a practical conclusion will "pop up". Like those 2 pictures showing the usable range of those 2 nodes in my House. You might already have deduced from the stats, that TX-ACK takes at least 20 ms so Z-Wave cannot do more than 50 data packets per second. And if it involves one repeater, that increases to 50 ms so 20 data packets per second. This has practical implications. For instance, you might have thought: "why is OTA firmware update so slow?"
    • These posts will be largely about Z-Wave, not about Fibaro, because as you point out it is a multi-vendor system. Fibaro devices will be used, because they are popular, I have them, and this is the Fibaro forum. I test with an old Minimote, a ZRC-90 and I might add a Z-Uno. It is also gateway agnostic, I run my own code, or look at OZW logs... I don't look at HC2 logs because they are not user-accessible. Maybe that is because 99% of the users don't have issues and don't need access... But that is speculation.
    • I follow other forums and they have similar issues. That is another reason for me to look at Z-Wave in general and not Fibaro in particular.
    • Z-Wave is an evolving standard and you probably detected a significant change with the introduction of Z-Wave Plus. That is correct. But several users like me own 50-100 node networks mainly based on pre-Z-Wave Plus devices! So no 100k bitrate for them... And it did and does work, though not for everyone. If you look at the range, "newer is better" but there is a catch... about 10 years ago device's were not that complex, either a simple switch or a single sensor. They did not report actual power consumption for instance. Newer devices can "talk a lot more". And we want to do more with them.
    • Size of a network is important, meaning number of nodes and coverage. I guess HC2 networks tend to be bigger than HCL networks. I have worked with about 20 users and I am still in touch with some of them to improve performance (reduce delays). They are all HC2 users, not HCL users. They all have > 50 nodes.

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    Thanks for a comprehensive post. Picking one of the issues you point out - the amount of traffic generated in bigger networks - and the profound increase in traffic produced by newer (z-wave  plus) devices. You also, I believe rightly, point out that this forum is a Fibaro forum and likely most of the readers are HC2 (old chip) users. Quite a few are likely also early z-wave birds with quite a few other old/std z-wave devices and possibly a wide portfolio. So what do all this sum up to? My concern and interpretation is that many of us, (readers of this forum), likely are setting up for failure. That is ending up expecting/asking more (new/Z-wave plus level), then the hybrid system (eg down graded/std z-wave level) can (reliably) deliver. I'm not saying there's not other reliability issues out there, but it is quite common to see some problems when you stretch/stress a system like I believe quite a few of us already do and more of us are likely to as our HA systems develop. 

     

    Have you looked into, or stumbled across, the (possibly detrimental) effect of having a fair size and heavy traffic pure Z-wave plus network, and then change a few of the devices  to old/std z-wave? If so what effect(s) did you find?

     

    Sideview 1: Quite interesting to see how Asus is struggling with their AImesh both performance and stability as the users mix and match...

     

    Sideview 2: I own a Danfoss/Thermia Link system based on old chip their proprietary z-wave that controls my house heating. The fw of the controller updates itself and I have had it for years. Of course the network is homogeneous/all Danfoss, and the traffic is low - but I never had a room running wild or dropping out/going dead.

     

    Edited by 1152

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    2 hours ago, petergebruers said:

    I see!

     

    Excellent question!

     

    I will answer in more detail later, this simple explanation however might help though. The firmware designer (of a device, like the Wall Plug) and de gateway software writer (like the stuff running on your HC2 or OpenZWave) do not have control over rate or frequency (at least, I did not find it in the docs). They do have control over some routing aspects . For instance, they can decide to send some packets with "explorer frame option or not".

     

    As you can see, when I send a NOP to a device, the controller can tell me (after the transmission) what speed and what channel it used (ACKCha, LTXCha, Speed):

    Please login or register to see this code.

     

     

    There is a lot of information in that sentence, I hope I can answer all aspects...

    • Z-Wave technology standardizes about everything from frequencies to the application, it sure is "complex". I think any technology aiming at IoT is complex. Your Smartphone is "complex". As a daily user we do not handle the complexity.
    • For about 99 to 99.5 % of all Z-Wave users, mesh and routing work and they do not have to know anything about it. This post is for those 0.5 - 1.0 % of unlucky users, who wish to understand what or for interested users without problems. Those 99% with no problems and no interest won't enjoy this topic...
    • I intend to post Zniffer captures and dissect them. I'll talk about frames, timing and routing. It will get very complex.
    • From time to time, a practical conclusion will "pop up". Like those 2 pictures showing the usable range of those 2 nodes in my House. You might already have deduced from the stats, that TX-ACK takes at least 20 ms so Z-Wave cannot do more than 50 data packets per second. And if it involves one repeater, that increases to 50 ms so 20 data packets per second. This has practical implications. For instance, you might have thought: "why is OTA firmware update so slow?"
    • These posts will be largely about Z-Wave, not about Fibaro, because as you point out it is a multi-vendor system. Fibaro devices will be used, because they are popular, I have them, and this is the Fibaro forum. I test with an old Minimote, a ZRC-90 and I might add a Z-Uno. It is also gateway agnostic, I run my own code, or look at OZW logs... I don't look at HC2 logs because they are not user-accessible. Maybe that is because 99% of the users don't have issues and don't need access... But that is speculation.
    • I follow other forums and they have similar issues. That is another reason for me to look at Z-Wave in general and not Fibaro in particular.
    • Z-Wave is an evolving standard and you probably detected a significant change with the introduction of Z-Wave Plus. That is correct. But several users like me own 50-100 node networks mainly based on pre-Z-Wave Plus devices! So no 100k bitrate for them... And it did and does work, though not for everyone. If you look at the range, "newer is better" but there is a catch... about 10 years ago device's were not that complex, either a simple switch or a single sensor. They did not report actual power consumption for instance. Newer devices can "talk a lot more". And we want to do more with them.
    • Size of a network is important, meaning number of nodes and coverage. I guess HC2 networks tend to be bigger than HCL networks. I have worked with about 20 users and I am still in touch with some of them to improve performance (reduce delays). They are all HC2 users, not HCL users. They all have > 50 nodes.

     Здравствуйте Питер.

    Я один из тех 1 %.

    У меня порядка 120 устройств. НС2. Ваша статья меня весьма заинтересовала так как я её читаю через транслит, есть несколько вопросов на которые может дадите мне ответ , что с моей сеткой?  Весьма заинтересовала сканер сети, у меня есть такое устройство UZB1, как можно просканировать мою сетку например Шумов. 

     На вас обратить внимание мне посоветовал 10der ( Украина)

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  • Hi @Aleksandr Meinson - thank's for  chiming in!

     

    Can you do me 2 small favors and edit your post... Sorry if I sound like a (boring) teacher...

    • Please do not quote full posts (that is actually a forum rule) because it makes the topic less readable. You can select a sentence, then a button "quote" appears so you only get that sentence repeated.
    • Please run your reply through google translate to get (an approximation of) English. Don't get me wrong, I can do that and I *love* the Cyrillic alphabet! Ask @10der - he will confirm that I am not joking!

    To reply to your post...

    • I am sorry to hear you are one of the 1%. Yes, with 120 nodes you are "far in the danger zone"...
    • The scanner I wrote can only test devices included on the UZB1, so it can not test your HC2 network. Sorry to have to disappoint you.

    I guess many users will ask "But what else can I do" and at the moment it is a bit hard to say... Although I have worked on many cases, I do not have a document and approach that works for everyone. There are just so many aspects!

     

    There is a lot of good advice on this forum, but it is "scattered" and hard to find. I have thought many times about writing some kind of summary, but never did because I thought "I do not understand Z-Wave basics (enough)". That is why I am digging into the protocol(s) and not writing any kind of guide... Yet.

     

    The best universal advice is: lower the traffic. This means: do not send anything if it is not necessary. And lower "reporting" of devices. This tool written by @cag014 might help you:

     

     

     

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  • Forgot to mention, if you want to diagnose your Z-Wave network and are willing to learn about Z-Wave, please read this topic and try the "Zniffer" and "PC Controller"...

     

    If you own a Zniffer, you will understand why I started this "geek topic" about "Z-Wave Routing, Packets and Serial API"

     

    You will inevitably ask the same questions, because the Zniffer presents you with a lot of data, but what does it all mean? Then you'll start reading, and reading, and testing...

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    CAD014 i use
    very good stuff.
    When I had 20 devices (2 years ago), problems started with the hang of the network, now there is a network of 120 devices.
    I had such problems, and these are devices from the first:
    Fibaro dual relay with Energy meter FGS-223, version 3.3, Z-Wave + I launch the "update meszh network" it does not respond.

    In addition, the same device has stopped sending energy readings, always shows 0.00W (load 45W)

    Settings did not change.

    ( translate) :)

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  • 1 hour ago, 1152 said:

    Picking one of the issues you point out - the amount of traffic generated in bigger networks - and the profound increase in traffic produced by newer (z-wave  plus) devices. You also, I believe rightly, point out that this forum is a Fibaro forum and likely most of the readers are HC2 (old chip) users. Quite a few are likely also early z-wave birds with quite a few other old/std z-wave devices and possibly a wide portfolio. So what do all this sum up to? My concern and interpretation is that many of us, (readers of this forum), likely are setting up for failure.

    I largely agree with what you say. I have the same "feeling" based on posts. I would not say this is a "fact". If you define "Home Automation" as "Everything is an IoT" then you'll likely end up with 100 or more nodes...

     

    In my Z-Wave rules of thumb I say: "Between 50 and 100 devices real "weirdness" starts and communication gets "fragile". Above 100 make sure you have the tools to diagnose network issues (ie sniffer, you can make one yourself) or get in touch with a good certified installer to support you (I am and end user, not an installer). Know about CPU and memory usage. Follow this forum."

     

    1 hour ago, 1152 said:

    Have you looked into, or stumbled across, the (possibly detrimental) effect of having a fair size and heavy traffic pure Z-wave plus network, and then change a few of the devices  to old/std z-wave? If so what effect(s) did you find?

    I do not have enough data to make bold statements. I do have detailed setups of about 10 users. They usually have a mix of devices. Dividing the network in 2 categories like "Z-Wave" versus "Z-Wave Plus" is also a bit misleading... To give you an example, the Wall Plug does power reporting and has explorer frames, yet pre-dates Z-Wave Plus.

     

    1 hour ago, 1152 said:

    Sideview 1: Quite interesting to see how Asus is struggling with their AImesh both performance and stability as the users mix and match...

    Interesting... Yes, competing technologies all introduce the word "mesh" (BT/BLE/WiFi)

    That would make another great "geek stuff" post :)

    I have 2 compal broadband networks Wifi APs - supplied by my internet provider. This gives me full WiFi coverage (see previous posts to compare with Z-Wave) with 2 hard wired devices.

     

    2 hours ago, 1152 said:

    I own a Danfoss/Thermia Link system based on old chip their proprietary z-wave that controls my house heating. The fw of the controller updates itself and I have had it for years. Of course the network is homogeneous/all Danfoss, and the traffic is low - but I never had a room running wild or dropping out/going dead.

    Interesting! I've read about this many times. Danfoss has manufacturer ID 2, this is just an example of how close they are (were?) to Z-Wave... I never actually seen one (Danfoss Link), but even in 2019 this still causes some confusion... Ah, yes, low traffic is probably one of the main characteristics...

     

    12 minutes ago, Aleksandr Meinson said:

    Fibaro dual relay with Energy meter FGS-223, version 3.3, Z-Wave + I launch the "update meszh network" it does not respond.

     

    I might have an answer to that, either it is in secure mode or you might have to exclude and include again. Please start reading here...

     

     

    16 minutes ago, Aleksandr Meinson said:

    ( translate) :)

    Excellent!

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