Z-wave: question to managing devices / inbox


i have a question regarding the management of devices in the z-wave network and/or the inbox. My inbox is kind of a mess and i cant add some devices anymore.

I switched to using my aeotec stick in an opanhabian pi a few month ago, running the latest OH. It works perfect for the devices i have included. I have problems adding new devices though.

I have a quite crowded inbox with a mix of unknown devices and devices i already added. There is for example a FT130 four-button switch showing up, which i have already added as thing and is working fine (i never owned more than this one switch of that kind). I also have two fibaro wall plugs showing up with nodes i already added and use. I checked this by adding those as well and the items i generate from those “new” things control the plugs i already had. I also have six z-wave nodes showing up with no identified device, but i never added something to my network that isnt recognized properly (=no reason for unknown devices IMHO).

Now i want to add two more fibaro wall plugs, but they don’t show up in the inbox at all. I tried to add some of the unknown devices, but they remain unknown with no channels after adding.
I also removed the new plugs again from the network using the method of my usb stick. Removing and adding was always ackknowledged by the correct flash of LEDs on the stick and the device.

I also tried removing the douplicate entrys from the inbox, but with the next scan they show up again.

I could, however, add a fibaro WALLI switch, a device of a type i didn’t have before. It showed up in the inbox, i added it and it works fine.

So my question is: what can i do to clean up my inbox and properly add my new devices (fibaro wall plugs)? Is this a problem of the stick, or are the entrys in my inbox some artifacts in OH?

Thanks alot for any input on where to look :slight_smile:

Florian, you gave us no background information, e.g. OH version used etc. To give the people here a chance to provide helpful answers, please give us a bit more information.
Thank you :+1:

I thought i included those informations in my post. I am running 3.1.0 on a pi with an aeotec usb stick. I didnt mess with plugin-versions, so that should be standard. What more is needed?

IMHO if you are going to have a zwave network you need to have the Simplicity Studio from Silabs installed, specifically the PC controller application. It is PC based and has several useful features. It is the easiest way to remove zombie (nodes from past device inclusions) nodes. (Search the forum for the process)

My other suggestion is that devices need to be added with the Zstick running in OH and not include a device unless it has been excluded by the controller, again while plugged into OH. Using the zstick with the button is why you have problems and you need to get rid of everything you can’t identify.


So you are running a stable release. “Running the latest OH” could have been a milestone release as well (with specific issues), therefore I was asking for clarification :wink:

I see two possible areas where you might want to look:

The first one is the area of Z-Wave inclusion of devices. Only when a device has been included in the Z-Wave network, it will show up in the INBOX and can be added as a thing to OH.

In case a device has been included in the past, has been reset to factory settings without being EXcluded beforehand and is included again, it will be assigned a new node id. Leaving the node id of the previous inclusion behind as a zombie device. That will clutter your Inbox and, more importantly, it might cause routing trouble in your Z-Wave network. That’s what apella12 advised about.

The second area might be a bug or maybe file permission issues within the configuration of OH. I do not know how or where the information repesenting the Inbox is held. Never had a reason to investigate that as it works fine in my installation (also a 3.1 stable release). When I added a new thing, it always vanished from the Inbox. I only have two entries left in Inbox that I banned from being shown by clicking the ignore button.
IF there is some caching done for the Inbox (which I do not know!), you have an option to shut down your OH and clear the cache (maybe you want to ensure proper file permissions as well while OH is down) and restart it again. Starting up OH after clearing the cache takes more time than usual, so be patient. Maybe you need to restart OH a second time for everything to work properly again, I found myself in that situation one or two times. Although I cannot remember if this was still the case with OH 3.x.

I am not using openHABian and cannot advise whether there is an option for clearing the cache and cleanup file permissions. If there is, use it. Otherwise you can do it with the following commands in a shell:

sudo openhab-cli clean-cache
sudo openhab-cli reset-ownership

Now i get you Stefan, “latest release” was indeed misleading :slight_smile:

Simplicity Studio seems to be, unlike the name, a rather complex solution to develop applications :wink: Is it possible to use it for debugging and managing z-wave without buying a kit or something? I will search the forum here as advised, too.

One important fact was missing in my description: i moved the z-wave stick from 2.x to 3.x and didn’t exclude all devices beforehand from the stick. I just plugged it into the fresh install of OH3. Can this cause some of the problems i have?

Thanks alot for the quick replies, i will dig into that. Is there a way to completely remove items from the inbox? The “remove” button only removes them until the next scan, then everything reappears.

I just found out that if i select my z-wave controller in OH, i can see different nodes on the network: under “view network map” i can see all the nodes/devices i expect to find, all the stuff i use. Under “information → zwave_neighbours” i have a list of nodes which contains alot more nodes as neighbours, including those showing up as unidentified nodes in my inbox. Is this referring to the same source the inbox “looks” for new devices when scanning? I should try to clear that up, then - but i don’t know where those neighbours come from and how i can access them (maybe with simplicity studio?).

This I cannot answer. I had to remove a few zombie nodes myself, but that was long ago and I don’t recall the name of the software I used. But it could be downloaded for free back then.

That should not cause any issues as far as I know: the inclusion process “paires” the controller and the devices. This is independent from OH, the data is stored on the controller itself. (The key used for secure inclusion though is NOT stored on the controller, this key is stored within the local installation of OH).

The “unidentified nodes” are most likely zombie nodes. Old entries of devices that the controller was paired with previously, but cannot be “seen” in the network as it exists today. These are the nodes you want to get rid of. Check carefully, which nodes are active and are working and which ones are not. Note that down so you can delete the right ones from the controller because the node id will be your only information to determine which nodes to delete.

PC Controller is free as long as you register. Try here.


I think there are more details on the forum, but the basic procedure (One the PC Controller is up and running) is to click on “Network Management”. (use the setting wheel (top right) if your Zstick is not picked up right away). Once there, the nodes are listed on the left. Click on a zombie. Click on the “Check if failed”. Node should turn red. The click on “Remove failed”. Repeat as necessary.

The app can also backup your Zstick to a file on the PC, Check out the actual routes the messages are taking (The network map in OH3 just shows neighbors, not how the messages get from the controller to the node (or the speed). It can also evaluate the powered nodes for network health, another useful tool if things seem slow.

If you have a spare static controller you can convert it to a Zniffer using the app and see the actual routes in real time. However, that is probably down the road :wink:


After some adding and removing i was finally able to add new wall plugs. I did not succeed in removing dead nodes though - they appear to be happily alive :woozy_face:
I double-checked the node-ids, and i am sure that i don’t have any z-wave devices in my house that could possibly have these ids. I tried managing the controller with zensys-tools, and that tool marks all nodes as alive. I was not able to mark them as failed yet and remove them. I will continue and report back, and i will also try it with simplicity studio as well.