Jasco/GE/Honeywell Z-Wave Outlet Dimming problem + resolution

Hi All,
I have several GE 28166-2 (ZW3104) (Identified by OpenHAB as GE 28167 ZW3104) dimmer outlet plugs that have always had an annoyance where instead of fading between dim levels, they jump immediately to whatever level you sent. They do fade correctly when sent the on/off commands, and the configurable parameters (dim rate/time) only apply when the switch is sent an On or Off command, they do not apply when the dimmer is sent a numeric value. Eventually I moved those dimmers somewhere less prominent in my house and promptly forgot why I disliked them. I needed some dimmers for holiday lights so I bought some Honeywell 39339 (ZW3107) dimmers, and immediately remembered why I hate Jasco dimmers. Instant level changes are incredibly ugly especially when you have scenes that involve a number of dimmers.

After significant research I was able to find a forum post that mentioned an undocumented parameter in Jasco’s newer (>2017) dimmers that feature the instant dim level change feature. Config parameter 6 toggles between instant level changes and smooth level changes.

This is the post that gave me the info I needed, it looks like this information may apply to a number of made by Jasco dimmers: http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,50391.msg332062.html#msg332062

Dim Up/Down rate
Parameter Number: 6
Size: 1 Byte
Valid Values:
0 (Default): New Required Behavior (Instantly move to level)
1: Ramp up and down slowly (3.0d and previous versions behavior)

In order to test this I edited the XML files for my GE dimmers (28167_0_0.xml) and Honeywell Dimmers (39339_0_0.xml), I inserted the following lines between parameter 3 and 7 in those files:

      <parameter name="config_6_1" type="integer" groupName="configuration" min="0" max="1">
        <label>6: Undocumented Feature, Controls whether to fade to next light level or jump straight there</label>
        <description>0= Instant Level Changes, 1= Smooth Level Changes</description>

I can confirm this works properly on both model dimmers I have. I suspect this may work on a number of Made-by-Jasco devices, I can find other people complaining about this behavior both here as well as other forums (SmartThings, Hubitat, Reddit etc) but this is the first time I’ve come across a resolution.

I can add this to the database (I’ll improve the verbiage a bit first) once my access is approved again and I review the process for making changes on the new site, but I wanted to open a topic here rather than just quietly editing the two devices I own because I have spent so much time trying to figure this out and I know there are others that have this same issue with other model Jasco/GE/Honeywell dimmers.

That feature was likely added to newer firmware versions. If you know when that was added you can create a new database entry with that parameter added but restricted to the newer firmware.

According to the info from Jasco (on the other forum I linked to in the original post) when they introduced the instant level change behavior in 2017 they added Config Paramater 6 at the same time. If that’s accurate that should mean any dimmer that has the ugly instant level change behavior should also have Config Parameter 6, of course I have no way to verify that since I’ve only got two variants of dimmer outlets to play with.

I pulled the dimmers and located the exact listings for each one on Z-Wave Alliance:

My GE 28166-2 (ZW3104) (Documented Config Params) Dimmer Outlets report zwave_version 5.21 in OpenHAB. The physical devices say “Ver 5.0b” on the back and have a date code of 1644

My new Honeywell 39339-1 (ZW3107) (Documented Config Params) Dimmer Outlets report zwave_version 5.21 in OpenHAB. The physical devices say “ver 5.0b” on the back and have a date code of 1805

So v5.21 seems to have Config Paramater 6 even though it isn’t documented.

I looked through Z-Wavealliance.org and found that v5.24 of the Honeywell 39443/ZW3104 actually has parameter 6 included in the documentation: https://products.z-wavealliance.org/products/3743/configs

So maybe we should say v5.21 and newer of these two devices have config param 6 until someone with an earlier version of the dimmer comes along and can test it?

Is it common to run into undocumented config parameters on Z-Wave devices? This is the first time I’ve run into it, although I’ve only been working with Z-Wave for a couple of years.

It is quite common to have new features added. That is one reason why I like Zooz. Their support is very helpful in getting changes supported in openHAB