On-going zwave issues

Openhabian, OH 3.2.0

My zwave network has never been perfect with some powered devices not responding at times - no pattern observed. Most devices ae powered and are plugin types plus a battery thermostat.
I’ve assumed the problem was with a old windows server i was running, however that got replaced by a RPi a year or more ago. next i assumed it was a dodgy zstick controller - so swapped that last year…my problems remain and seems to be getting worse.
Over the past few years I’ve had various devise fail and I’ve replaced with non-zwave tech.

I wonder though if there’s action i should be taking against a failed device other than just removing from my .things/itmes files? Would the controller continue to try and contact failed nodes a long since binned, causing extra network congestion on the mesh network?

I’m now logging zwave to a separate file, when i upload this into the log-viewer i see 22 nodes whereas i only have 15 configured in OH.

Could these other 7 nodes/devices that dont exists be causing me issues


Using the zensys PC Controller, it thinks my devices are present and working. they are not.
The tool will not allow me to make as failed or remove them.

In short, yes.
I think “zombie nodes” is a good search term here.

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Z-wave has always been flaky for me as well. I stopped buying new units and went WiFi + 433 instead for my new house construction. Can’t keep adding on if the foundation is already creaking.

But, for removing old Z-wave nodes, I myself use the Z-Wave PC Controller software. Link in this old thread: [SOLVED] New UZB dongle, Z-Wave PC controller immediately exits (or crashes) with no error message - #11 by leif
This may or may not work with your dongle too. Probably will since all Z-wave chips are made by the same company.

I can’t tell from the PC Controller log if you are first clicking the (check) If Failed, then the Remove Failed but that is the order to remove a Node. Also, although I can’t say how, but possibly the same device is under two different node numbers. Can you look at the network section (with the node listing) and look through the properties?

Lastly with the ratio of zombies to working, a possible (but Nuclear) course of action. Exclude all the devices that you have working using the UI Controller page to “Exclude devices”. Reset the Zstick to factory defaults (to clear the 7 zombies) and start afresh. With mainly powered nodes reinitialization should go quickly. I do recognize that electrical wall plates might have to be removed to press an “action” button to both exclude and include again.

I actually find zwave and the binding quite stable (50 nodes, 13 battery), but also have a zniffer so can see routing problems right away. Your problem is routing, not the binding.


edit: Forgot to include important information. Prior to excluding unlink all the channels, but do not delete the items. That way you can link them back when the node is reinitialized and not have to change any rules, graphs, label cards, etc.

Thanks for the info. Is zniffer free?

The software is part of the free silabs Simplicity studio (you do have to register). I can’t tell if you have it already (PC Controller) is also part. What you need is to flash a second zstick (so you might have to buy that).

The directions and other Zwave zombie/performance tips is contained in this post


apella12 helped me a lot with zniffer a while back. Well worth having on hand although it can be a little frustrating to get the pieces and software.

I will add that I definitely have issues any time a device goes zombie. I had a nice zooz switch randomly drop out of the network. The controller thought it was still there but it thought it was excluded. Not sure how it happened.

Using the silabs controller and a laptop it was pretty easy to include it over the failed node but until I did, devices were VERY slow to respond around the whole network. Once repaired, right back to smooth network.

I purposefully do not use battery zwave devices as they have always been troublesome.

i have a spare z-stick gen5, could i use that?

Yes, I believe so.

Also I haven’t done this, my understanding is that it can be flashed back to a static controller if you decide to stop zniffing.


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Yes you definitely can. I had a ticket with Aeotec and they offered to provide the necessary firmware to turn a z-stick into a zniffer.

I didn’t have the spare z-stick and they cost more than the silabs stick so I just bought the silabs one.

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I went nuclear! It was quickest and easiest option to fix, which meant brownie points at home :slight_smile:

With the ratio of working to non-working that was a good option. Also the nodes should now be consecutive. :smiley:

In the future to properly remove a node use the Exclude Devices on the UI controller page and press the “action” button on the device per the manual for exclusion. There should be a message on the UI page for the device “Node excluded for Network” (or something like that). Then you can delete the “Thing”.

I only ever want to Exclude a device once it has hardware failure - so that option isnt available. How do you go about removing a node when it just doesn’t operate at all?

Read this thread


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