Vera and 2GIG

DIY Home Security Forums Technical Support 2GIG Vera and 2GIG

This topic contains 44 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  Warren 1 year ago.

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  • #1209

    Randal
    Participant

    I have read many discussions on various forums about Vera and 2GIG interoperability. I have a VeraLite unit setup and working well. I just installed my 2GIG unit that I bought from you and made it a secondary controller. This worked well, mostly.

    The one issue is with locks between two controllers. I understand the main issue to be how the encryption is shared between device and only one controller. I actually got lucky when I first paired the 2GIG and made it a secondary controller. It recognized and was able to control the lock while the VeraLite was still the primary in control of the lock. More info if you want to read (http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,5800.msg137177.html#msg137177). I ran into problems and had to reset and re-scan and the lock wouldn’t re-establish. Guess the first time was an odd fluke.

    In the end I would like to be able to control the lock from 2GIG and also some light automation but have the VeraLite unit control everything but the locks. It appears this is not possible but I wanted to ask since you are closer to the sources than I am.

    Would welcome any thoughts. I think the 2GIG is a great unit and ADC automation is almost perfect except it doesn’t show real-time (or near) status of the lights/devices.

    Thanks,
    Scott

    #1212
    Jason
    Jason
    Surety

    This issue is near and dear to me, as I have been working on this exact integration for our full service customers (as well as including an additional third party control app) and I can tell you that this integration works through both Vera and ADC, but the initial set-up is definitely a pain if you don’t follow specific steps.

    The trick is in pairing the devices. It’s a frustrating process, and there’s almost no documentation for it.

    You say that you ran into problems and had to re-scan. Does that mean you used the Repair function of the Vera user interface to reconfigure the lock? Or did you completely remove and re-add the lock to Vera? Also, are you trying to add the device to the 2Gig panel first, or the Vera?

    The issue here could be many things, but given the description I’d guess one of two.

    If you used the repair function, unfortunately due to the nature of battery operated z-wave devices, unless the Vera is within just a few feet of the lock, the reconfiguration will not go smoothly. When learning devices into the Vera or re-configuring nodes, you’ll either need to bring the Vera to the device or vice-versa. Reconfiguration is a multi-step information transfer. You can follow the progress by watching the lock’s device icon in the Vera user interface. Be sure that the configuration was completed successfully, otherwise the lock will not accept commands properly.

    If, on the other hand, you removed and re-added the lock to the Vera controller, you must reset and then re-learn the 2Gig controller as the secondary controller. It’s frustrating, but Vera will not automatically update the 2Gig panel on new devices that have been added after the 2gig panel that I have seen, nor have I had any luck forcing this update. Whether this is a limitation of Vera or 2Gig I am uncertain. However, to ensure that everything is integrated properly, all z-wave devices must be added to Vera prior to assigning the 2Gig panel as the secondary controller. No z-wave nodes are to be individually added to the 2Gig.

    Under the advanced tools section in the 2Gig z-wave menu you’ll find the option to reset the controller right next to the button used to learn the 2Gig into the Vera Lite. Reset the controller to delete all devices on the 2gig panel, verify your z-wave devices function through Vera, then re-learn the 2Gig panel as the secondary controller as you had done before. The most important part here is to mind the location of the Vera Lite in relation to the 2Gig panel. The Vera must be within just a few feet of the 2Gig panel to ensure information for all devices is properly shared. I have personally seen devices missed by the 2Gig panel simply because the Vera was 13 feet away instead of 3. I recommend unplugging the Vera Lite, running off of battery, and just using the physical “+” button while standing next to your 2Gig panel in order to re-learn.

    So, steps to take in order to control the lock via ADC and Vera (not considering other nodes):

    1. Unplug the Vera Lite and hold down the battery button on top of the unit for a few seconds to start up in battery mode.
    2. Bring the Vera within 3 feet of the lock.
    3. It is important you completely remove the lock first, so press the physical “-” button on the Vera to remove a device, then remove the lock from any and all networks by initiating network discovery (for example, if using a Yale lock, press master code, #, 7, #, (1 or 3 depending on the lock), #.)
    4. Once removed, press the “+” button on the top of the Vera to initiate adding the device, then the same sequence on the lock(for Yale: master code, #, 7, #, 1, #.)
    5. Wait 90 seconds to ensure information transfer, then bring the Vera within 3 feet of the 2Gig Control Panel.
    6. Press “Reset Controller” in the 2Gig Control Panel’s Z-wave toolbox.
    7. Press the “+” button on top of Vera.
    8. Press the “Learn Controller” button in your 2Gig’s Z-wave toolbox.
    9. Remain within 3 feet of the panel, your 2Gig panel will immediately perform a network check which can take a few minutes.
    10. Access the Z-wave device list on the 2Gig panel and ensure all devices were shared.
    11. Name devices in ADC and test.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Jason Jason.
    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by Jason Jason.
    #1216

    Randal
    Participant

    Wow. Thanks for the detailed response. Excellent!

    I actually went through the exclusion process on the Vera and it was removed from the system entirely. I then re-added it. I always unplug the Vera and take it near any new device for adding. Like you say, it just won’t work well otherwise. After excluding the lock from the Vera I removed the 2Gig as the secondary controller and relearned it. Weird that it won’t pick up new devices if you don’t do this. Also a pain because if you renamed any of the devices on the 2Gig, you lose that when removing/relearning.

    I did a similar process to what you described but I must’ve missed something. After I relearned the controller the lock didn’t show up in the 2Gig at all but it did show on ADC; however it also showed an error message:

    A secure connection was not established during the enrollment of the following lock(s): …

    I doubt this is a proximity problem but do you think it would help to run the 2Gig on battery power and get it close to the lock and the Vera when relearning? This lock is a Kwikset but I just ordered a Yale from you guys and I’ll have it by the weekend, so I’ll try this process on both locks.

    On a separate but somewhat related note, there is one light switch that the 2Gig routinely complains about not being able to control, but the ADC app can turn on/off the device anyway. It is the farthest switch, probably about 70 feet away and through a couple walls but I thought the mesh network of other devices would bump the signal good enough. The TS1 is 10 feet from that switch as well (in the same room).

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  Randal.
    #1218
    Jason
    Jason
    Surety

    Moving the 2Gig panel near the lock and Vera is unimportant, because the 2Gig panel only receives the lock’s node information from Vera, not the lock itself. Vera is sharing what is in its device list essentially. That said. The Vera *must* be close to the 2Gig panel in order to learn the 2Gig as a secondary controller after all z-wave devices are learned. And you’ll want to keep it next to the panel until the whole process is complete.

    The error you saw on ADC is likely a result of a failed pairing. Rather, the 2Gig panel failing to retrieve the lock’s info from Vera. I’ve seen the same issue myself.

    Also remember, once you have the devices all learned in and the Vera back to its position in your home and plugged into the network, you should log into the Vera user interface and perform a network rediscovery/repair. Moving your Vera has changed node positions, and it will need to recalculate those routes.

    Under the setup tab, choose “Z-Wave Settings” and navigate to “Repair.”

    **Be certain that you un-check the box next to “Reconfigure all devices when done,” because that will overwrite the configuration you just completed by walking up to the lock and adding it, and unless your Vera is plugged into your network within a few feet of the lock, the process will fail and you’ll have to start all over again.**
    (I made this mistake once.)

    As long as that box is unchecked, Vera will simply update routes.

    “there is one light switch that the 2Gig routinely complains about not being able to control, but the ADC app can turn on/off the device anyway”

    That’s a common issue with distant nodes in any network. Remember that there is a maximum number of “jumps” that a signal will make on its way to the intended node. Generally speaking, the more z-wave devices either plugged in or wired into 120VAC, the stronger the network. If you are having trouble reaching individual nodes, I suggest trying a few dedicated beaming repeaters. Aeon Labs makes an effective and inexpensive beaming option.

    #1219

    Randal
    Participant

    Ah ha! I can see where I didn’t do the process right. I don’t think I kept the Vera near the 2Gig long enough and I know I didn’t do the repair after. I wasn’t aware of that process but it makes perfect sense. Excellent information. Can’t wait to try it again.

    I will look into that repeater. I bet that will help. Thanks so much for your help!

    #1278

    AlarminglyAwesome
    Participant

    What are the benefits of Vera over Alarm.com? I have looked into Vera, but unsure if $250 is worth it and if I need the added complexities. My system seems to work well, but I do see some limitations of the current Alarm.com interface.

    #1287

    Randal
    Participant

    I have the VeraLite, which can be bought for $175. It’s pretty much the same as the Vera 3 except without WiFi and network ports and I believe it has more memory. The capabilities are virtually the same, so your investment could be smaller than $250.

    Regarding benefits: The Vera unit has a lot more capabilities and functionality than you can get through ADC. Whether or not that matters is a personal preference. I’m fairly new to ADC but it seems to have only basic automation and scene support. The Vera is pretty wide open, especially if you like to tinker with code since you can write your own scripts. That being said, even though I could, I really don’t want to be customizing with my own code. These days I prefer to stay within the bounds of the product and the many supported add-ins for the Vera. The Vera can do some pretty sophisticated scenes out of the box.

    Another benefit is automation with cameras. With ADC you have to pay extra just to be able to include any sort of cameras into the network. Not only that, you have to use “approved” ADC cameras. With the Vera you have many options. I have a few cameras I bought on Amazon that easily connect and work out of the box.

    The deal-breaker for me is that ADC doesn’t report the current condition of devices, specifically lights/outlets and locks. You can control them just fine but they don’t report their current state. With a variety of mobile apps available for the Vera (some free, some pay) they all tell me the current state at a glance. May not be important to some but it is for me.

    I really would like for one security and home automation solution but it’s not there for me just yet. For some it may be good, though.

    [edit] I should add that the Vera was pretty easy to get setup and working and adding devices and setting up automation is easy and it just works. Not a flaky machine. Not perfect but really, really good.

    • This reply was modified 5 years, 1 month ago by  Randal.
    #1292

    AlarminglyAwesome
    Participant

    Hey Randal, thanks for your input. 🙂 Your post helped me see that at this time I’m fine with ADC, but if I ever needed more then it wouldn’t be that difficult. I like the all-in-one with ADC. To me it is kind of the Apple of automation, does enough to satisfy most and then there is Linux/Windows or Android if you need more. 🙂

    #1299
    Ryan
    Ryan
    Surety

    Alarm.com does show you the current status of door locks and thermostats, just not light switches. Agreed, I find it annoying that ADC doesn’t show the status of light switches but I do know they’re adding that feature soon. That’s the beauty of doing it in the cloud or “software as a service”, the product evolves and you don’t have to do anything to get the new features.

    We use Vera when we’re doing more in-depth home automation systems because of the flexibility and ability to script and customize. We use Alarm.com far more than Vera though because it’s more reliable, easier to maintain and support, and it seamlessly incorporates security. Alarm.com is like using gmail while Vera is like running your own email server. You can do more with your own server but for most people gmail is the way to go. Vera is a great product though, I’m a big fan.

    #1588

    Russel
    Participant

    I hope you don’t mind me adding to this thread as I am debating on adding Vera to my new 2Gig system. Currently I have only a couple of “appliance and lamp” modules and a Kwikset deadbolt on my 2Gig Zwave, however I am looking to simplify lighting in various rooms using scenes and am having a difficult time seeing how I would manage this on the 2gig panel.

    My hope is to have a “scene controller” switch that can be used to change between a few different scenes for our family room. The family room is currently a bit of a lighting nightmare as the previous owners split the lighting across 6 dimmer switches…in 3 locations (no exaggeration!) for one room. As you can imagine it is a bit of a pain to walk between all 3 sets of switches to adjust the brightness of lighting for different uses, e.g. watching TV vs movie vs playing a board game vs reading a book.

    My thought was to install a Zwave dimmer switch in place of all 6 switches and have a scene control switch to simply trigger different scenes. So far the 2Gig control of scenes seems very limited, I can schedule switches to turn off/on via Alarm.com but I am not seeing too many options to remotely trigger scenes. Perhaps if I add a Zwave switch as a scene control panel I would get options to tie triggers to scenes? I also haven’t seen ways of having alarm items trigger scenes yet, e.g. having a motion sensor trigger turning a light on for X minutes or something.

    Thoughts? Is what I am hoping to do possible with just the 2Gig panel or am I really better off by moving Zwave devices to be controlled by Vera (Lite)? Can I leave the lock connected directly to the 2gig panel while having everything else shifted to the Vera or is it all or nothing? Do I lose anything if Vera does control the locks and the 2gig is a secondary control?

    #1589
    Ryan
    Ryan
    Surety

    With 2GIG & Alarm.com you have to choose who will be in charge of your automation – 2GIG or Alarm.com. By default we put Alarm.com in charge by setting Q79 to (3) enabled on panel; rules disabled, remote access enabled. You can put 2GIG in charge by going to Installer Toolbox -> System Configuration and setting Q79 to (2) enabled on panel, remote access disabled. Alarm.com currently does not have any support for scenes. If you want scene automation on 2GIG then you have to put 2GIG in charge of your automation. We can do that for you remotely if you like but it’s faster if you do it yourself.

    Leaving Alarm.com in charge of your automation:
    Pro – Your automation is in the cloud and programmed through Alarm.com.
    Con – Scenes do not exist in Alarm.com. Boo!

    Putting 2GIG in charge of your automation:
    Pro – 2GIG supports scenes. Yes, you can trigger scenes when an alarm occurs etc…
    Con – You have to program all your automation on the 2GIG panel. The Alarm.com emPower Rules page becomes useless. Programming rules on the 2GIG panel is more annoying and cumbersome than programming rules through Alarm.com. You also lose some Alarm.com automation features such as sunrise/sunset, random security lighting, geo-fences, etc…

    The solution? Help us get Alarm.com to start doing scenes by contacting them directly and telling them you’re a paying customer and you want scenes. I tell them every chance I get but it means a lot when it comes from you, the end user. Log into your Alarm.com account with a web browser, in the upper-right click “Support Center” and create a new ticket requesting that Alarm.com start supporting home automation scenes and explain why you want/need scenes. We’ll get that ticket and forward it to Alarm.com as a request from a paying customer.

    Adding Vera into the mix and using it as a master controller for scenes is a good alternative but this wouldn’t be necessary if Alarm.com would just do scenes.

    #1616

    aldenes
    Participant

    Scott,

    I will be ordering and installing a system. Right now I am in the planning phase and read a lot on the forums to understand the functionality and what do I need to keep in mind. I will install the 2gig panel and use it as a secondary controller with Vera as a primary controller.
    In this post, the same scenario is discussed and I found your answers to be exceptional. You stated “No z-wave nodes are to be individually added to the 2Gig”. Does that include the super switches that convert the wired sensors to wireless? Or the security cameras or any of the other security related sensors?
    If you could please clarify, which sensors of the following categories need to be paired with which controllers:
    – light switches
    – locks
    – security cameras
    – garage door openers
    – super switches
    – thermostats, and btw, would the system integrate with Nest thermostats?
    – daylight sensors, curtain motors, etc
    Thank you very much!

    #1620

    Randal
    Participant

    Hi. Hopefully Ryan or Jason will chime in to correct me where I’m wrong but here goes.

    I’m only vaguely familiar with the super switches but I don’t believe they are z-wave. Instead they probably use the 2GIG base protocol, which I think is based off Honeywell or some other manufacturer. Could be wrong on that, though, but regardless you should be able to install without regard to the z-wave setup.

    I don’t think there are z-wave security cameras. My experience has been that most (for these types of systems) are IP-based and either WiFi or Ethernet. The security systems integrate with the cameras using HTTP over IP. I currently have 4 cameras integrated with my Vera and Blue Iris. I use BI for most of the work (alerting, recording, etc.). Vera is good for snapshots, especially remotely using HomeWave. The BI iOS app is awesome, though, and I use it for live feeds other tasks. One nice thing is that some cameras have integrated sensors, such as Foscam brand, which are picked up by Vera so you can add to your automation.

    I think to integrate with Alarm.com you have to use their specific supported cameras and of course pay for the camera plan.

    – light switches – z-wave
    – locks – z-wave
    – security cameras – IP but can easily integrate with z-wave but need specific cams for ADC
    – garage door openers – not totally sure about this. I know there are various approaches in z-wave but not sure it is natively supported.
    – super switches – 2GIG
    – thermostats, and btw, would the system integrate with Nest thermostats? – z-wave or WiFi. I use a Honeywell z-wave t-stat. Has worked flawlessly so far. I chose this over the Nest due to the fact that (according to my research) the Nest takes a bit too much control for my liking and limits specific programming. Their is apparently a very good plugin for the Vera to support the Nest, so you would be able to easily integrated it. That’s one thing very nice about the Vera is that there are a lot of third party plugins (many free) for non-z-wave devices. Philips Hue lights is a good example that I’ve integrated. Super easy.
    – daylight sensors, curtain motors, etc – z-wave and 2GIG. depends on what you want. Curtain motors would be z-wave but other accessories could be specific to the 2GIG. Look at the store on SuretyCam’s site. They have a nice selection with pretty good pricing. A note since you mentioned daylight sensors. Another example where Vera shines is the programming capabilities. Vera understands the concept of sunrise and sunset and it adjusts over time automatically, so for example I have lights that automatically come on at night and off a daybreak. I don’t have to fiddle with specific time schedules.

    I really would like to do everything through ADC but it’s just not flexible enough for my needs. I’m sure it works for many people. At this point I’ve semi-abandoned it as a secondary controller until I get my z-wave network completed. I still have a few devices to add. When you add a device to your Vera, you have to clear the 2GIG as the secondary and re-add it. You lose anything you previously customized. It’s a royal pain. For example, you get generic names on the ADC site for the devices. You can rename them but lose the names when you have to refresh the 2GIG.

    One big gap is integrating the 2GIG with Vera. It’s not possible right now because 2GIG does not provide an API or open framework. I am researching an approach using ADC to send an email when the system is alarmed and disarmed and then somehow get the Vera to capture that. I have some ideas but it’s going to take some work. Also looking at IFTTT for part of it. Unfortunately IFTTT doesn’t directly integrate with ADC or Vera yet but there may be ways with email and file triggers to hack it.

    Another thing I will add is that the 2GIG has otherwise worked perfectly. The ADC app is very nice for the security access. Ordering and installing from SuretyDIY was super easy and everyone I’ve dealt with has been great.

    Sorry this is so long. I’m certainly no expert. I’ve just done a ton of research and tinkering with my own system. The message board at http://forum.micasaverde.com/ is very helpful for all things Vera. Also, cam-it.org has a Blue Iris board.

    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  Randal.
    • This reply was modified 5 years ago by  Randal.
    #1626
    Jason
    Jason
    Surety

    Randal is pretty much on the money. Super Switch is learned in as other alarm sensors would be. It is not ZWave. Switches, Locks, and ZWave Thermostat, if using Vera and the Go!Control Panel, you would learn into Vera, then assign the 2Gig panel as secondary controller to Vera. Garage Control is available through Liftmaster and integrates with Alarm.com directly through your internet. It is not Zwave and is not directly controlled by either Vera or 2Gig. There is also the option of using the 2Gig universal garage controller in conjunction with a 2Gig Keyfob, which is directly learned into 2Gig Control Panel, but this limits you to localized control via the keyfob. And to integrate cameras with Alarm.com, you need to use Alarm.com cameras or an Alarm.com encoder.

    #4881

    davidsimmonds
    Participant

    I understand that I can configure all of my zwave devices into the Vera and then set the 2gig panel as a secondary controller. I have 2gig motions and 2gig door sensors. Will the Vera know about the sensors through the 2gig panel? I also have KwikSet locks. Currently when a code is entered at the lock the 2gig will disarm the security and the door will unlock. If I assign the locks to the Vera will this functionality still be possible?

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