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About ITguy

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    Z-Wave Enthusiast

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  • Location Jamestown, NC
  1. play audio file?

    I haven't used Tasker, but I think it would do what you want by using it on an inexpensive Android tablet [doesn't require a smartphone!] Check out this post from the Homeseer Tasker thread: If that doesn't do it for you, I would suggest posting over in the Tasker thread at the Homeseer forum.
  2. play audio file?

    OK.  You can do what you want, but not with z-wave.  Z-wave is a control protocol only.  If your Zee is close enough to where you want the sound played, you could use a bluetooth speaker and have Homeseer "speak" the sound file to that speaker when a HS event detects that the doorbell rings.  Another choice would be to use a Homeseer HSTouch client in that location and have HS speak to just that client when the doorbell rings.  There are probably more choices, but those two came immediately to mind.  You might want to post over on the Homeseer forum for ideas from the real HS "gurus"!
  3. play audio file?

    Is that a Homeseer Hometroller?
  4. I would suggest you also check out Homeseer.  Also, go to the Vera forums and look for posts from unhappy users!  I use z-wave with Homeseer software running on a dedicated older PC and have been very happy.  Z-wave isn't perfect, but it's still much, much better than x10.  Sorry, I don't have any experience with the Dome or Aeotec devices you mention.
  5. Three Way Dimmer Switch

    Is the living room light already wired as a 3-way using regular switches?  If so, then you'll need one z-wave switch and one matching [same manufacturer] "companion" switch [also called "add-on" or "accessory" switch].  You should inspect how your existing 3-way switches are wired before you select your z-wave switches!   Different manufacturers have different wiring requirements.  You'll probably have to download the installation instructions for the various switches in order to find the wiring diagrams showing their requirements. 
  6. New Install in New Home

    Well, I didn't word that part about the Linux boxes quite properly.  The smaller HomeTroller boxes run Linux, the larger ones run Windows embedded.  It will tell you in their website text which is which.  What I'm saying is that if you choose one of the smaller boxes that run Linux, then you have an extra "emulation" layer between the operating system and the Homeseer software.  This can lead to additional problems.  Read the HS forum thread about version for examples.  Also, there are restrictions on the number of plug-ins that will run on the smaller boxes.  Some plug-ins will not run at all on the Linux boxes.  `I'd suggest posting on the HS forum to get more info from folks that are actually running the HS controllers.
  7. New Install in New Home

    A few thoughts: 1.  Signup for the HomeSeer forums right away.  There's lots of smart, experienced people there to help you. 2.  Consider running HomeSeer on a dedicated, always-on PC instead of one of the HS boxes.  HS does their development in Windows .Net, then uses Mono to run it on their Linux-based controllers.  This adds another level of complexity and can make upgrading the hardware tough.  Also, consider the HomeSeer Z-net for your z-wave interface.  It plugs into your ethernet network to attach to your PC instead of having to be close enough to the PC to use USB.  You'll want the flexibility this gives you in locating the controller centrally in the house.  Along that topic, run some ethernet into centrally-located closets so you'll have something there if you want a Z-net in that location. 3.  Have your contractor use the deepest j-boxes and switch-boxes that will fit in your walls!!!  You'll appreciate the extra room when you go back to add micro-controllers later! Hope that helps.
  8. Exterior Security Lights

    The Aeotec In-wall micro controller might work for this as long as you have a neutral wire available.
  9. They will remember their configuration.  In over four years of z-wave use, I've only had one case where a device forgot it's config, and that was due to a power surge after an outage.  Even then, that was only a single device out of the whole network.
  10. This will probably do it: 1.  Put your Z-stick in EXCLUDE mode, then press "On" on the device.  [You do this because a new device will often have been included with a test network at the factory and must be excluded before it can be included to a new network.] 2.  Now put Z-stick in INCLUDE mode and press "On" on the device.
  11. In looking at the install instructions for that switch  it looks like the add-on switch might load. It also appears to need wires that run from the primary z-wave switch over to the add-on.   On the other hand, the drawing shows the load wire (T1) going to the load without a connection to the add-on, and just a "traveler" going to the add-on.  In addition, there's no mention of how to use this add-on in a 4-way circuit.  I agree 100% that figuring this stuff out is way more difficult than it should be!  You might want to try Jasco Support and see if they have an idea of the best add-on for your situation.
  12. I know Linear has one called the WT00Z-1. Cooper has one also called the "Anywhere Switch" - RFAS40DW.  These are mains-powered j-box units that look like a paddle switch but are really z-wave secondary controllers that you program to control another z-wave switch.  An Amazon search on either of those will get you the basic info.  I'm sure they're also available from other dealers. . 
  13. You have two different ways to solve this.   (1) Replace the existing 3-way switches with a z-wave switch and matching add-on switch, then use something like this  to add control from the new door.  This method requires no new wiring!  Do a Google search for "installing z wave 3 way switch" for instructions, but pay attention to the instructions for whatever switch you buy, as some do not use conventional 3-way configurations!  If you decide to use GE/Jasco switches, there's a pretty good video at under the "Support" tab. (2) Run new wiring to the location of the new door and use a z-wave switch and two matching add-on switches wired in a 4-way config.  Unless you're really experienced in doing your own wiring, you'll need an electrician for this method.
  14. This GE switch will work with almost any type of light.  Buried at the end of the Product Info section is this line: "Compatible with incandescent, fluorescent, compact fluorescent, xenon, halogen and LED lighting up to 960 watts". The Auxiliary Switch is used if you want hard-wired connections between the main switch and others (kind of like a conventional-wired 3-way or 4-way setup, but it's wired differently).  Instead, you could use a single z-wave switch to control each load, then use as many of these as you want  to control the z-wave switches from multiple locations.   These are battery powered and require no wiring at all.  Some other manufacturers make j-box mounted controllers that get their power from the AC, but use z-wave to control the devices.  I know Linear has one as well as Cooper.  I have no experience using these, so do your research before you go down that path!    
  15. Hello from PA

    Yes, that's exactly what I meant.  The ability to support all kinds of different protocols is a big plus.  I wouldn't be too concerned about the plug-ins.  The z-wave one is included in the base product.  The others would only be necessary if you wanted the expanded capabilities they offer.   Regarding the telephone stuff.  It requires the purchase of additional hardware - a Way2Call Hi-Phone Desktop USB unit.  You can find them on eBay at a reasonable price ($100 or so) if you're willing to keep watching until one appears.  New ones are expensive - $399!  Also, they are analog devices, so won't work directly with your fios.  I don't know enough about fios to know whether there's an analog output interface once it gets into your house.  If so, then it might work.  The W2C uses a "PTSN: Loop Start Analog" interface.  And yes, the Way2Call requires drivers that are Windows-only. You can download a free 30-day trial of HomeSeer.  You might want to experiment with that a little before you make your decision.  If you have an old laptop or desktop PC (Windows XP is OK), you could also install it on that.  The software-only version requires an "always on" PC and a hardware z-wave interface, so you wouldn't be able to actually control z-wave devices, but you could get a feel for the user interface, etc.