Z-wave Locks
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8 posts in this topic

I have read through a bunch of threads over on the HE forums, but I wondered if you guys had any experience with Z-wave locks on HE. Below is what I posted over in a HE forum thread

The forum is so busy and so much info to go through I thought I would ask over here since you guys have been using HE for awhile now.  Did you guys have issues with your Z-wave locks, maybe you didn't have any. Unfortunately all of mine are, one train of thought over on the HE forum is to switch to zigbee locks, but that will get expensive.   A couple of my Schlages are pretty old but they have worked reliably on ST for quite some time now.  I just added my ST hub into HubConnect, and tomorrow I think I am just going to remove the locks from HE and add them back to ST, except maybe for the two that are close to a hub.  They seem to work pretty well. 

 

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Doesn't seem like much has changed. I started moving from ST to HE over the last week or so, and everything has gone fairly smoothly. There was an issue with some Iris V1 devices but that is a tale for another thread. I have 5 locks 3 of the BE469s, an FE599, and a Kwickset 910. One of the BE469s and the FE599 work well. Both of those locks are basically in the same room as a hub. The other three, two BE469s and the Kwickset 910 will not stay connected. I have many Z-wave repeaters from right next to hub to right next to the device.

I did have to bring the hub next to two of the three to get them to pair. The one that I got to pair without moving the hub, would not load all my codes at first. I moved an Iris 3210-L repeater I had close to the device and I was then able to get it to load the codes. I ordered a Aeotec repeater to put out by the lock but it hasn't arrived yet. I moved the repeater I used to get the codes loaded back to it's original location.

The other two locks, a BE469 and the Kwikset have GE Z-wave plus smart switches right next to them. I guess I am going to have to put them back on ST and just use Hubconnect to control them. They all worked great with ST. I don't really use many automations with locks. I mainly just want them to lock if we forget to lock them and leave. Right now I am not confident that will happen as I can't manually lock and unlock them reliably from the HE portal or app.

I just updated to the latest firmware today. I read through the release notes and there were mentions of Z-wave updates. I had hoped that might help but it did not.

 

 

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Schlage Z-wave locks can be a bit finicky.  The Hubitat team recommends pairing the locks in place, but I could never get them to work right by doing this.  The only way I could get them to except the lock codes was to pair them in close proximity to the hub.  Once you get them paired and the codes working you can reinstall the lock and then run a Z-wave repair.  There are a few other things I have found to keep them working reliably.  First is to keep the battery level up,  I'm not exactly sure what the minimal level is but I change mine out once they fall below 70%.  Another nuance is for whatever reason the locks have to be refreshed periodically or the loose connectivity.  One thing to keep in mind is that refreshing the lock basically wakes them up so this does have an affect battery life.  I have RM rules setup to refresh them on a regular basis.  You'll also want to make sure you don't try refreshing multiple locks at the same time. 

Here's a couple of examples of my rules:

Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 6.36.46 AM.png

Screen Shot 2020-06-07 at 6.38.32 AM.png

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Thanks for the advice.  As I mentioned I was thinking of moving them back to ST but if I do that I will probably have to add a couple of the other Z-wave Iris 3210-l repeaters back to ST as well.  As two of the locks are on the opposite end of the house from the ST HUB, So once I move all my other Z-wave devices on to HE I won't have any repeaters for ST.

Something I found, is if you do a get codes to any of the three that have issues they will do about 5 or 6 slots and then just stop.  I then have to pull the battery to get them to talk again.  

The FE5999, which is a much newer lock,  will run through all 30 slots in a just a minute or so every time.  It's also in the same room as my main hub.  Although one of my oldest BE469s down in my shop is also in the same room as my remote hub and it works flawlessly as well.  So it does seem to be something in the Z-wave signal strength.  I have a bunch of Z-wave repeaters.  Almost every room has two GE Z-wave switches in them, some are Z-wave and some are Z-wave plus.  I also have 5 of the 3210-L Iris Z-wave smart plugs and I got all of the Z-wave repeaters to pair. I loaded shackrats Z-wave repeater driver and they all test good.

I will give your method a try for a few days and see how that works.

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In my experience, the original Schlage locks (e.g. the BE469) aren't very reliable. In my Arcus test environment, I have a BE469 a few feet away from the hub and it's almost flawless, but if you take it say 25ft away, you'd be lucky to get events about the door being unlocked or locked. You can try all sorts of range extenders (I personally use the Ring Range Extender with Arcus, as it has a built in backup battery, but really any mains powered Z-Wave device will work), but I've not had great luck with those and the BE469. Upgrading to the BE469ZP (Z-Wave Plus model) fixes all the issues I've seen with these locks. If you don't want to spend a bunch of money, you can watch eBay for partial / broken locks, and switch out the circuit board.

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These Schlage locks are pretty old, it's probably time to start swapping them out.

Z-wave in general seems less robust than what I got with ST.  Several devices that are the furthest away from the HE hub would not pair until I brought the HE Hub close.  I did not have to do that with ST.  I started adding devices close to the Hub and moving away from it so as to keep minimal distances between z-wave repeaters.  

I just added in an Inovelli dimmer yesterday that paired fine in it's current location with ST, but I had to move the HE hub in the same room.  The Inovelli has a test you can do to determine if it's in range of a good Z-wave signal and it said it was.  Of coarse it could have been picking up the ST signal as I have both hubs running.  There were two GE Z-wave switches both paired to HE one within about 3' and the other about 6' of the device.  I may have to move the HE hub to a more central location in my house.  It's in the same room as my ST hub which seem to be fine.  The location is on one end of my House and the devices that need the hub moved to them are on the other.  Still testing though.

Getting all my devices and getting the automatons moved over to He from ST is taking a lot longer than I thought.  At least I will now have a backup of my system with HE.

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On 6/7/2020 at 11:24 PM, AndrewX192 said:

In my experience, the original Schlage locks (e.g. the BE469) aren't very reliable. In my Arcus test environment

For me in the original Iris environment they were reliably unresponsive.  I never got them to work reliably period and I had 6 of them.  That was over $1200.00 invested.  I worked with the developers off an on for years and it was a losing effort.  When I sold that house, I left all of them with the house and never looked back.  One of the best decisions that I ever made.  I am now using Kwikset Zigbee locks and I also have two Kwikset Z-Wave plus locks and they are 100% rock solid,

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"These Schlage locks are pretty old, it's probably time to start swapping them out."

 

Funny, if they were the old 'dumb' locks they would last forever just about, but now that they are 21st century tech they are cr@p in only a couple years.

 

Makes me wonder if we are really moving forward or just found a way to empty our wallets faster thanks to engineered-in obsolesce .

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Nothing has really changed or degraded with these Z-Wave locks. What's more likely is that you or your neighbors have added more devices, and as the Z-Wave spectrum becomes increasingly congested, you'll need improvements in the Z-Wave protocol and radios to compensate. The BE469 works fine if you keep it close to a hub; in my testing environment I've had no issues with 15-25ft away from the hub.

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