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Zwave network problems

I’ve been having problem with my zwave network for some time. I have 20+ devices of different brands, some are main powered and some are battery powered. Lately no switches (out of 3) in my kitchen work, they are grouped with associations and that work but they are not possible to control from the heart. I have a battery powered pir sensor in the kitchen and it sends data to the heart. I started looking into the zwave group command “network list” but it was not easy to get an overview of the system. So I wrote a script rendering a graph of the network. It did not make me feel any better. The meshing seems really bad, it is often changing but it is always full of problems.

I have tried the zwave command:
cmd 1 COMMAND_CLASS_NETWORK_MANAGEMENT_INCLUSION NODE_NEIGHBOR_UPDATE_REQUEST.NODE_NEIGHBOR_UPDATE_STATUS 0x01 <nodeid>
But it has not showed any problems.

Is there anyone else having similar problems? Any solutions? Is there anyone else scripting against the console? Has enyone tried parsing the zwave command “logs”?

Here are two examples of my graph:


The red arrows are routes which are not in the nodes neighbor list (which I guess is bad). One problem with my graph is that there is no time stamps in network list so I do not know how old the different parts of the data is.

I will not be able to help you, but have to say that your diagrams are awesome. What have you used to create it?

3 Likes

Hi there,

I’m afraid I can’t help, but some things you say sound quite familiar to me.
I use 8 mains powered and 12 battery powered devices, 5 of them are FLiRS.
Also I run a Z-Way Server as a secondary controller.

After associating an Oomi bulb to Z-Way additionally to the Heart, the switch on/off function was completely gone for the Heart, dimming and color still worked.
After removing the association everything was fine again.

Z-Way has a visual route map, which seemed to show that some devices have no route to the Heart at all.
This seems to apply only to mains powered devices and FLiRS

I don’t know if all of this is meaningful, but I think the similarities are worth to be mentioned.

Also I would be interested in how you created those diagrams!

2 Likes

I have been using Domoticz as a secondary controller. It has a graphical user interface for setting associations and also shows a graphical neighbor list. I also feel that some of my battery powered devices work better than the mains powered. I guess they are not statically meshed in the same way but instead uses whatever way is possible when they wake up. It is a petty there is no way to manually set the routing table or at least disable meshing for testing purposes.

My graphs are created with a perl script and graphviz. I run it on a raspberry-pi. It connects to the console of the Heart and fetches the “network list” and renders the graph from that and some hard coded information about the nodes (since the command in the console for listing the nodes does not work).

I wish the Z-Wave Toolbox was sold for the European market. I think it is exactly what is missing. In the US Z-Wave uses another frequency and so most functions of the US version will probably not work in the EU. It seems like Z-Wave are used more professionally in the US and that is probably why they have a lot more diagnostics tools there. I think it would be a nightmare to try to have a big scale network of hundreds of nodes with the system we use. There is a Certified Installer Toolkit for the European market but it is quite expensive and only sold to members of the Z-Wave Alliance.

An alternative to the Z Wave Toolbox is the Silicon Labs SDK and Zniffer. Has anyone tried it?

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I have to admit that I don’t have any idea of scripting. :confused:

I’ve read about the Z-Wave-Toolbox before, other people had the same concerns that it wouldn’ t work in Europe.

The Z-Way Server has the Zniffer onboard, but I had to find out, that only the traffic from and to the server is monitored and not the traffic between the Heart and the nodes.
Do you think this would work when using the UZB-Dongle and the software from Silabs?

Yes but it will only show the traffic it can hear and that can definitely differ from the traffic the Heart hears. So it will not show a 100% accurate view. I guess best results are achieved by placing the Zniffer as close to the Heart as possible. Since most networks are horizontally spread I would place it on top of the Heart or 35cm (one wavelength) over/below the Heart.

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Ah, I remember calculating wavelengths when I was an apprentice. :upside_down_face:

I read that the Z-Stick works in promiscuous mode, as far as I understood ´this means, that it can monitor the traffic of the entire network, or did I get this wrong?

So I wonder what would be the best alignment of the Heart for best range, horizontally or vertically?

1 Like

Yes I also think that promiscuous mode suggests it can listen to all traffic, not only the one addressed for it.

Yes that is a good question, one should probably open up the Heart and check how many antennas there are and what orientation they have. I will probably do just that some time in the future…

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If you do, post pictures of the carnage? :nerd_face: