Help Configuring Z-wave Switches

Hello all. I’m trying to get my OH2 system up and running. This is all fairly new to me as I switch away from SmartThings.

I have my Z-wave switches set up in the PaperUI just fine. I’m working on setting up the sitemap as well. If I go through the paperUI to the control page, I can control the switches just fine, so it seems like they’re installed and connected properly. However by setting up the items and sitemap I get no control of the switches.

My Item configuration:

Switch KitchenCan_Toggle “Kitchen Can Lights” (gKitchen) ( {channel=“zwave:device:ffe78969:node11:switch_dimmer”}
Switch KitchenAccent_Toggle “Kitchen Accent Lights” (gKitchen) {channel=“zwave:device:ffe78969:node13:switch_dimmer”}

Frame label=“Kitchen” {
Switch item=KitchenCan_Toggle
Switch item=KitchenAcent_Toggle

This is with Z-Wave 2.2 binding on a raspberry pi.
The switches info from paperUI

Kitchen Accent Lights
ZW3003, GE 12724 In-Wall Dimmer
In-Wall Dimmer
Also goes by GE / Jasco catalog number 12724.
Status: ONLINE

Any ideas what I can try?

Quick update: If I copy the item information from Habmin and place it directly into the sitemap, it works. However it copies it with the arguments separated out with an underscore.

Switch item=zwave_device_ffe78969_node13_switch_dimmer

If I put this reference into the file “switch.items” it will not work.
If I put this reference into another item file I already have running (lights.items) it will work (if I change the underscore to a colon)

Any reason for this to happen? I thought all the item files were refreshed together so I didn’t have to put everything into one file?

So far I see an unnecessary extra “(” which is likely breaking the rest of your .items file. take it out and save your file and try again

Have you investigated HABPanel? This is by far a superior interface, and is much easier to use. It has a steep learning curve on working in the UI, but once you learn the secrets it’s very easy and much simpler, and looks better!

Yes I have. I do plan to use it but, as you said the learning curve is steep especially for someone with limited programming language. I’m doing the sitemap work more as a way to learn how things work in OH. After I have all my devices running in sitemap I’ll start working on rule files and then I’ll start on the HABPanel - it’s the ultimate reason I got interested in OH.

Yes I removed this already.

But I think I found the problem. I was using # for commenting in that file. Now I feel pretty stupid. Thanks python!

Ok, fair enough. If I may give you some guidance from a multi year user of OpenHAB. I’ll be blunt, walk away from Sitemaps now. Sitemaps were one of the original UIs back in the day. Other than some labeling and some very complex Item management they do nothing more than teach you the old Table and Row concepts of web development. If you want to learn OH, then immerse yourself in Rules.

Now back to where you should be concentrating, HABPanel! This really is the best guidance I can give you. You see immediate rewards for your hard work and it takes your smart home development to the next level. I was wondering if there were any good up to date YouTube videos of HABPanel that might help you get to working quickly. I found Kai’s video on setting up OpenHAB via the UIs. Skip to 6:55 in the video. This is where he opens a blank HABPanel and begins to show where to click to get started, that’s all I meant by secrets. How to create a dashboard, where to click to get into edit mode. Silly stuff.

I’m really serious, there is way too much old not usable learning in Sitemaps. Go learn HABPanel, you won’t be sorry.

Good luck with your development! We’re here to help if you need it.


Mostly agreed on Habpanel, that’s what really makes openhab shine (visually). i use the sitemap quite a lot for loads of quick information, don’t underestimate its usefulness (IMO).

good luck!

Thanks for the advice! I’m going to be focusing on HABPanel ASAP.

1 Like

As you get into HABPanel you will learn that the configuration can be Local (in your Browser’s cache), or on the Server. You will want to do some initial setup, and then save that to a Server configuration. Then you can use all other devices to retrieve that Server configuration. HP supports multiple configurations on the server.

Another thing that wasn’t immediately apparent to me is the Dashboard layout is HIGHLY configurable. What I mean is early in my design I made this awesome Dashboard for my tablet. Then I went to my mobile and opened it and Yuk! It didn’t size or do any of the UI rendering I expected. That is because of the default number of grid columns and the row heights. Each dashboard has it’s own number of default columns (the snap to grid effect of resizing a widget). If you’re going to create a mobile dashboard reduce the column width to something down like 6 or so. Then the layout will get much more elegant.

Also a last tip/trick for now. When you create a widget like a Switch, or a Dummy (used to present Numbers, Temps, Humidity), Don’t make new ones all the time. In the edit 3 dot area of a widget, use Copy to Same Dashboard. Then just go edit the Thing that it’s associated to. Bam! You have created 5 widget in seconds. Easy, easy, easy! Also use the Copy to other dashboard to create different layouts quickly, especially if you want a subset for a mobile (smaller layout).

One last super cool teaser. You can use a Rule to Switch the Dashboard that is being displayed. I have a Dashboard with a Clock, Countdown Timer, Drive Time to School, and an iframe with a Waze Live Map all that render as my kids are getting ready for school. No longer do I have to remind them they are leaving in 10 minutes. There are some cool audio snipits that play 15 minutes until we leave for school, 10, 5, grab your shoes and coats.

OpenHAB is awesome, and HABPanel is the Best UI to complement it!



1 Like

i think i just saw your post about waze live map in another thread (or someone else’s post, w/e) and i think that’s definitely something i’m going to add to mine. the audio prompts sound kind of neat, i haven’t played with any of that stuff yet.

@DWildemuth all very good tips, listen to this guy ^^^^^^^^

Yanick’s, he’s awesome! And the developer of HABPanel.