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PepsiMac

Fibaro HC3 - Is It Worthwhile?

Question

Anyone got any detail on release date and features for the HC3?

 

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/monthly_2020_01/HC3.png.72d342f12816006f1555e39aa1762655.png" />

 

So far ....

 

  • Processor: Quad-core Arm Cortex A53 (1.2 GHz)
  • RAM: 2 GB
  • HDD: 8 GB
  • Power supply: 12V DC
  • Dimensions: 220x140x35 mm 
  • Z-Wave (500): 868.0-868.6 MHz 869.7-870.0 MHz
  • 433MHz (OOK, FSK, GFSK): 433.54-433.92 MHz
  • 868 MHz (OOK, FSK, GFSK): 868.3-868.94 MHz
  • ZigBee 2405-2480MHz
  • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n/a/ac) 2400-2483MHz 5150-5350MHz
  • Bluetooth Low Energy 2402-2480MHz

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  • It looks about 3 times the width of the HCL

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    Edited by PepsiMac

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  • 4 hours ago, PepsiMac said:
    • 433MHz (OOK, FSK, GFSK): 433.54-433.92 MHz
    • 868 MHz (OOK, FSK, GFSK): 868.3-868.94 MHz
    • ZigBee 2405-2480MHz
    • Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g/n/a/ac) 2400-2483MHz 5150-5350MHz
    • Bluetooth Low Energy 2402-2480MHz

     

    If these ones are as advertised, it can control almost any home automation device. If the back up is only by server etc, then that is a concerning.

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    13 minutes ago, PepsiMac said:

     

    If these ones are as advertised, it can control almost any home automation device. If the back up is only by server etc, then that is a concerning.

     

    Fur sure! With ZigBee and 868 MHz I can finally add a decent multi wall switch/transmitter which fully fit with the rest of my house. Would also be nice to see a integration of Honeywell EvoHome...

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  • And there we have it. I was wondering what the catch was. Sadly, the HC3 delivers old z-wave 500 technology when the 700 platform has so many advantages. Essentially, it seems as if the HC3 is about 3 years too late.

     

    The link below details the features of the 700

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    and this link is aeotec labs showing a comparison of the two. For €599 for 500, I may wait for a 700 gateway which is future-proofed rather than buy an "already superseded" product.

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  • Understand no wifi6, home kit, ability to design own layouts, no reduction in energy consumption (of HC) or and battery life (of devices) and 7 year old z-wave chip.

     

    NOT GETTING A FEELING OF FUTURE-PROOFING AND INDICATING FIBARO 7 YEARS BEHIND THE CURVE WITH Z-WAVE.

     

    The z-wave chipset comparisons are:

     

     Z-Wave Series Comparison Chart  300 series 500 series 700 series
    Hardware Platform      
    CPU / MCU Optimized 8051 CPU Core Optimized 8051 CPU Core ARM® Cortex M4
    CPU / MCU Speed 16 MHz 32 MHz 39 MHz
    Memory 2 kB 16 kB 64 kB
    Flash Memory 32 kB 128 kB 512 kB
    Gecko No No Yes
    SAW Filter No Optional Inbuilt
    Number of GPIO pins 10 14 32
    Operating ambient temperature -15 to 85°C -10 to 85°C -40 to 85°C
    Chipset dimensions (mm) 12.5 x 13.6 x 2.4 13.6 x 12.5 x 1.9 9 x 9 x 1.21
    Power Use      
    Active power consumption 36 mA 35 mA 12.5 mA
    Sleep-mode power consumption 2.5 uA 1 uA 1 uA
    Security energy use - - 50% less
    Coin cell compatible No No Yes
    Maximum battery life 1 year 1.5 years 10 years
    Wireless Security      
    Network key Optional Yes Yes
    AES-128 bit encryption No Optional Always
    ECDH No Optional Always

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    No Optional Always

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    No Optional Always
    Man in the middle attack prevention No Optional Always
    Wireless Performance      
    Output power DBM (TX) -2.5 dBm 300 series +2.5dBM up to +13 dBm
    Range sensitivity (RX) -102 dBm / -98 dBm down to -103 dBm with saw filter -97.5 dBm
    Wireless speed 9.6 / 40 kbit/s 9.6 / 40 / 100 kbit/s 9.6 / 40 /100 kbit/s
    Maximum wireless range outdoors (Direct) up to 100 metres up to 150 metres more than 200 meters
    Maximum wireless range outdoors (Max Hop/Repeat) up to 400 metres up to 600 metres more than 800 meters
    Maximum wireless range indoors (Direct) more than 30 metres up to 75 metres up to 100 meters
    Maximum wireless range indoors (Max Hop/Repeat) more than 120 metres up to 300 metres up to 400 meters
    Z-Wave Specific Features      
    Included in N/A Gen5

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    Z-Wave Plus No Yes Yes
    Backwards compatibility Yes, with 100 series Yes, 100 to 300 series. Yes, 100 to 500 series.
    Network Wide Inclusion No Optional Yes
    Explorer Frames No Yes Yes
    Advanced route diversity calculation No Yes Yes
    Flirs (Beaming wakeup) Optional Optional Always
    OTA Z-Wave firmware updates No Optional Always
    Released May 2005 March 2013 April 2019
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    6 hours ago, D-Vine said:

    @K.Drozynski @T.Konopka
    What is the reason the new HC3 wil come with a old Z-Wave 500 series chip and not the new by far better 700 series chip?

     

    i think i already answered this here

     

    for sure Fibaro could implement it, and fight with all the issues behind 700 series on Gateways (just check z-wave Alliance page how many manufacturers already implemented 700 in thier Gateways before you comment / ask why). Z-Wave is now open to other manufacturers, Silabs is working on real multiprotocol chip, which will get next year public (beta) - or not - all depends on their plans and on how many manufacturers decide to produce / integrate z-wave. The 700 series is not easy from Gateway point of view (actually very easy if one take Silabs example - but that means you have to start from scratch, which is why most manufacturers do test now, but not release serious Gateways. I have two competitor beta products on my desk, they are just "cheap" made, no compare to even HCL functionality). 

    For sensors, 700 is best you can get, for actors still good idea (when you plan to implement everything on z-wave chip, and not in additional controller, like most complex z-wave products has been made for years). That's my two cents, maybe Fibaro simply decided to use 500 as still EE is using them for gateways - stable, known, easier to get certified and available ~1year ago (don't forget, development take months, certification additional months). For Fibaro will be probably not big deal to switch to 700 or 800 in a year, or maybe there is 700 OnBoard (as someone already said hehe). Anyway, for us - installers and users - is important to have latest stable z-wave SDK on it, with all the "optional" point mentioned in the z-wave comparision chart (the "magic" behind zw100, 300 and 500 was always the available memory vs. optional features enabled, which is not an issue on Gateway). 

     

    Btw., don't think that i try to protect Fibaro, i always hoped to see 700 on HC3, and 500 on HC2a/HCLa, but that's only because i like new things (even if they don't work properly). From installer / trainer point of view, i however prefer stable products. 

     

    @A.Socha any comment on that?

     

    Edited by tinman
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    9 hours ago, tinman said:

     

    i think i already answered this here

     

     

    @A.Socha any comment on that?

     

     

     

    Thanks, make some sense.

    I realy curious now Z-Wave protocol comes open and free will bring us in the future.

    For the HC3 I defenetly will wait for a year hoe things will develop, been stable before I will concider a switch.

     

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  • 23 hours ago, tinman said:

    Btw., don't think that i try to protect Fibaro, i always hoped to see 700 on HC3, and 500 on HC2a/HCLa, but that's only because i like new things (even if they don't work properly). From installer / trainer point of view, i however prefer stable products. 

     

    I do not attack or defend Fibaro but just look at the practical issues. For example, for me, significantly reduced power consumption is a big deal and as someone who has two RGBWs that keep disconnecting and are only 10m from the base, this is frustrating. I am careful with Fibaro because I recall the promises made with the HCL (back up power and gsm connectivity) and find it hard to trust Fibaro, without detailed research, on their products. I have also been told that the current CO2 sensor I bought needs to be posted back to Poland as it fails certification and when they receive it, they will send a new one. Who should trust who in this situation, the customer that bought a dud or the company who should want to apologise. When I had a recall of other such product, I was sent the replacement, so my downtime was minimised, and the package contained a pre-printed, post paid envelope to return the defective part. Each CO2 Sensor has its own serial number, why can't Fibaro show that courtesy?

    Edited by PepsiMac

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  • 15 hours ago, djashjones said:

    Is the zigbee 3.0?

     

    Interestingly, it appears that the HC3 has not yet passed certification by the z-wave alliance so hard to tell about zigbee specs

     

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    1 hour ago, PepsiMac said:

    Interestingly, it appears that the HC3 has not yet passed certification by the z-wave alliance 

     

    the visibility on the z-wave alliance page does not have anything to do with certification, one can hide certified products for months

     

    2 hours ago, PepsiMac said:

    For example, for me, significantly reduced power consumption is a big deal

     

    ehm, we talking about always-on chip in a Gateway, your Computer did consumed more energy while you wrote your answer as the yearly difference between always-on 500 and 700 z-wave SoC.

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  • 3 hours ago, tinman said:

    the visibility on the z-wave alliance page does not have anything to do with certification, one can hide certified products for months

     

    Not quite sure about Fibaro but if it is sold within Europe, there will be several compliance process to go through including z-wave certification on which the EU CE will confirm that it is z-wave complaint. Without this, insurance and other risks are not valid. Furthermore, if a product is undergoing the certification process for its various radios and other components, then details may well be hidden. If it has cleared the process and has completed certification, this must be displayed by law on the z-wave alliance its in order to cover any performance issues that may arise. Having worked with some major tech players, I am painfully aware that compliance, certification and patents can take as much time as designing the products.

     

    Perhaps this tweet is an indication of the HC3 release criteria still being in process.

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    Having received this message from Fibaro recently, I believe they are sensitive to certification standards.

    Your FIBARO CO Sensor may not meet certification standards

    For the sake of your safety, please contact our Customer Care department (

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    ). We would like to inform you that one or more FIBARO CO Sensors added to your gateway HC2-XXXXXX may not meet certification standards. A notification containing the serial number of this device is available in the configuration interface.

    Our consultant will guide you through the service procedure, as a result of which the device will be replaced free of charge with a new one. You can also get additional information from your certified FIBARO Installer or Distributor.

    Sorry for any inconvenience.

     

    Edited by PepsiMac
    Update ...

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  • 3 hours ago, tinman said:

    ehm, we talking about always-on chip in a Gateway, your Computer did consumed more energy while you wrote your answer as the yearly difference between always-on 500 and 700 z-wave SoC

     

    I have some involvement in the energy sector and one of the issues we consider is power consumption in mA on the renewable energy and storage side. As a cumulative effect, savings made play significantly on battery capacity and the lower consumption of batteries speaks to cost and maintenance schedules. I see 35mA to 12.5mA as an over 70% reduction in consumption of the unit, not in comparison to the consumption of a computer, one of the reasons to not run a computer based home automation system.

     

    Interestingly, the question is "Is it worthwhile" and just sharing views and thoughts with other so appreciate your comparison comments. Not sure about others but I want a system that I can learn, use and rely on, not spend the rest of my life tweaking like a beta tester.

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    6 hours ago, PepsiMac said:

     

    Not quite sure about Fibaro but if it is sold within Europe, there will be several compliance process to go through including z-wave certification on which the EU CE will confirm that it is z-wave complaint. Without this, insurance and other risks are not valid. Furthermore, if a product is undergoing the certification process for its various radios and other components, then details may well be hidden. If it has cleared the process and has completed certification, this must be displayed by law on the z-wave alliance its in order to cover any performance issues that may arise. Having worked with some major tech players, I am painfully aware that compliance, certification and patents can take as much time as designing the products.

     

    so let me explain you once again, as z-wave manuafacturer you have the right to decide WHEN the product will get displayed and listed as certifeid - that's all.

    HC3 has been not yet released to public, and if you would READ - which you don't, certification process Definition, you would know all you Need to know, without such useless discussion.

     

     

     

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    6 hours ago, PepsiMac said:

     

    I have some involvement in the energy sector and one of the issues we consider is power consumption in mA on the renewable energy and storage side. As a cumulative effect, savings made play significantly on battery capacity and the lower consumption of batteries speaks to cost and maintenance schedules. I see 35mA to 12.5mA as an over 70% reduction in consumption of the unit, not in comparison to the consumption of a computer, one of the reasons to not run a computer based home automation system.

     

    Interestingly, the question is "Is it worthwhile" and just sharing views and thoughts with other so appreciate your comparison comments. Not sure about others but I want a system that I can learn, use and rely on, not spend the rest of my life tweaking like a beta tester.

     

    z-wave SoC is not always sending, read the frequency specs, so the real max difference we talk is 50mW. Fibaro HC3 is mains powered - it is computer based system - always on - consuming 20-30W all the time, and you talk about renewable energy. With 700series, this would be not 70% of consumption reduction, but only 0,2%

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    If I can not transfer my scenes and devices to the HC3 through downloading a backup from HC2 I’m not going to buy it. That is for sure. 

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