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Subject Topic: Getting a Z-Wave Thermostat to Work Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Joined: November 01 2009
Location: United States
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Posts: 72
Posted: October 19 2023 at 14:25 | IP Logged Quote renard

I have been using a Venstar T-1900 thermostat with the little Insteon adapter for more than a decade. It works fairly well reading and changing parameters but has issues. For example, when I query a parameter such as the current Cool Setpoint, I needed to develop about a page of PH code to ensure the returned value is reasonable. The code queries that parameter three times until it comes back with the same value every time and then the returned value is tested with 'guardrail code' that ensures the result is within defined upper and lower bounds. This deals with the occasional return of setpoints such as -13 -13 -13 which does happen perhaps 2-3 times a week.

In light of this I decided to move to a 2GIG (brand) Z-Wave Plus Thermostat. I had already gotten the Z-Wave hat on a Raspberry-Pi connection to PH working. In good engineering practice, I started with two simple plugin lighting adapters, of two different brands. PH ran the 'inclusion' process (Z-Wave talk for finding them) with no difficulty. They were assigned Node Numbers 2 and 3.

I used the Devices tab of the Z-Wave Explorer to add them as devices. Note that these simple devices were assigned Z-Wave Command Class 32 (Basic) and PH provided on the PH Control/Device Status page the usual dimmer options of Off, On, and 21 dimming levels from 0% to 100% in steps of 5%. These devices worked perfectly.

I think it is fair to say that the Z-Wave documentation in the PH 2.2 Users Manual is, 'sparse'. For example when I 'included' the two dimmer plugins using the Z-Wave Explorer Setup tab, the Nodes tab, Node Config tab, and Routes tab were empty. I was able to fill in the Z-Wave Explorer/Devices table and that allowed the dimmers to work. There is no documentation for the Nodes and Nodes Config tab although there are numerous columns defined. The Z-Way Tree tab is filled in with a great deal of information that clearly indicates the level of sophistication of Z-Wave. I do suspect that the Nodes and Node Config are important but I have no idea what should be there.

While the two dimmers worked fine. There are much more extensive options available for a thermostat (Command Classes in Z-Wave speak) which require much more table maintenance in PH. There are a couple of sentences in the PH 2.2 Documentation that provide little/no information.

I have no idea how to translate the T-Stat Fan Mode (68), T-Stat Fan State (69), T-Stat Mode (64), T-Stat Oper State (66), and T-Stat Setpoint (67) Command Classes that are shown as options on the Z-Wave Explorer/Devices/Command Class on option list to read/set options in the PH Control/Device Status page.

This is not intended as a criticism of Dave and/or whomever developed the fabulous PH 2.2 Documentation but I believe Z-Wave has an important future for PH users, even given the revival of Insteon. There more than 5,000 devices that use the Z-Wave Plus protocol and I believe it is important that PH users are able to take advantage of its superior performance. Given the 'sparse' and basically unintelligible documentation for Z-Wave device implementation, I am stuck with my POS Venstar Thermostat until more documentation or information on the PH Forum provides a roadmap.

I apologize for the tone of this message but I think we as a community need to make Z-Wave work.

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