[SOLVED] is ThinkEssentials well.... Essential

Forum to discuss Lightswitch/ZWave Commander iPhone/iPod/iPad/Android home automation application

[SOLVED] is ThinkEssentials well.... Essential

Postby Cajun » Sun Jan 10, 2010 11:55 am

Newbie here and just getting started with zwave. I had a small zwave network in my media room for sconces lights as well as lighting around a raised seating step in my media room for about 6 months so I'm not total new. These devices are controlled via a harmony 890. I was going to expand my network them quickly learned the harmony does not play well with other controllers. So I am starting a new network for the rest of the house and will leave the media room on its own.

The rest of the house will start with the following
2 dimmers (HA06C)
2 lamp modules (HA03)
1 appliance module (HA02)
1 remote (HA07)

I came across the zwave commander and since the wife and I both have iphones I figured this would be perfect. It looks like I can just use the USB ThinkStick with a windows laptop and add this to my setup and be off and running. One thing I noticed is the ThinkStick comes with or without the ThinkEssentials software.

Will I need the ThinkEssentials software to use the zwave commander?
If the ThinkEssentials is optional is there an advantage of having the software in conjunction with Zwave commander?
Also what would be the best device to make the primary remote the ThinkStick or my (HA07)?
Lastly will all my devices work with the Zwave commander?

TIA
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Re: is ThinkEssentials well.... Essential

Postby Melloware » Sun Jan 10, 2010 12:52 pm

Cajun wrote:Will I need the ThinkEssentials software to use the zwave commander?


ThinkEssentials is NOT optional becuase you need it to set up your network and also diagnose problems with your ThinkStick in the future! It is only 9$ extra so I suggest the splurge. It used to just come for free with the ThinkStick when it was 50$ but now they broke it out into 38$ for a thinkstick and 9$ for ThinkEssentials with the Thinkstick. I guess people wanted to be able to buy THinkStick without ThinkEssentials but I don't recommend it!

Cajun wrote:If the ThinkEssentials is optional is there an advantage of having the software in conjunction with Zwave commander?


Same as above, it is great at setting up zwave network and diagnosing network problems.

Cajun wrote:Also what would be the best device to make the primary remote the ThinkStick or my (HA07)?


Up to you. The ControlThink forums have good explanations on how to make your ThinkStick either the primary or secondary controller. Zwave Commander will work once you have your ThinkStick setup on a Zwave network it doesn't care if it is Primary or Secondary.

Cajun wrote:Lastly will all my devices work with the Zwave commander?


Absolutely. So far the only device I know of that doesn't work with Zwave Commander is the Schlage Front Door locks.
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Re: is ThinkEssentials well.... Essential

Postby Cajun » Sun Jan 10, 2010 1:18 pm

Thanks for the quick reply.
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Re: is ThinkEssentials well.... Essential

Postby fsullivan3 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:39 am

Melloware wrote:
Cajun wrote:Will I need the ThinkEssentials software to use the zwave commander?


ThinkEssentials is NOT optional becuase you need it to set up your network and also diagnose problems with your ThinkStick in the future! It is only 9$ extra so I suggest the splurge. It used to just come for free with the ThinkStick when it was 50$ but now they broke it out into 38$ for a thinkstick and 9$ for ThinkEssentials with the Thinkstick. I guess people wanted to be able to buy THinkStick without ThinkEssentials but I don't recommend it!

Mello,

I'm trying to decide on whether to purchase your nifty program, along with ThinkEssentials. Looking at the ControlThink site, ThinkEssentials Pro supposedly does the diagnostics on your z-wave network, and is like $50. The standard edition is like $9, but I'm not sure what it does that z-wave commander doesn't. I would buy the pro version if I knew they were either going to incorporate your protocol or open up their database so Commander could control scenes for non scene-cable devices.

Have you heard anything lately from them regarding opening up their database?

Would your software potentially include the ability to use a motion detector as a trigger event to turn on z-wave lights?
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Re: is ThinkEssentials well.... Essential

Postby Melloware » Thu Feb 18, 2010 10:54 am

fsullivan3 wrote:Mello,

I'm trying to decide on whether to purchase your nifty program, along with ThinkEssentials. Looking at the ControlThink site, ThinkEssentials Pro supposedly does the diagnostics on your z-wave network, and is like $50. The standard edition is like $9, but I'm not sure what it does that z-wave commander doesn't. I would buy the pro version if I knew they were either going to incorporate your protocol or open up their database so Commander could control scenes for non scene-cable devices.

Have you heard anything lately from them regarding opening up their database?

Would your software potentially include the ability to use a motion detector as a trigger event to turn on z-wave lights?


So let me answer your questions.

1. I don't think the 50$ thinkessentials is worth it compared to the 9$ version. The only thing the 50$ version does is show you signal strengths between devices for diagnosing problems. I have managed to live with the 9$ version for setting up my network just fine.

2. I have heard NOTHING from ControlThink since they contacted me in November. Not a peep.

3. No Zwave Commander would not allow you to trigger and event based on a motion detector. Zwave Commander is purely meant for controlling your devices remotely from iPhone/iPad/iTouch while in your house or away from home.
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Re: is ThinkEssentials well.... Essential

Postby fsullivan3 » Thu Feb 18, 2010 11:14 am

Thank you for your quick reply. I'll be buying your software, plus ThinkEssentials Standard and the stick.

If I had a motion detector on my network, which obviously sends out a signal when motion is detected, would I be able to receive a notification in Commander?

Does ThinkEssentials allow a motion detector to trigger the activation of a z-wave light?
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Re: is ThinkEssentials well.... Essential

Postby Melloware » Thu Feb 18, 2010 12:13 pm

fsullivan3 wrote:Thank you for your quick reply. I'll be buying your software, plus ThinkEssentials Standard and the stick.

If I had a motion detector on my network, which obviously sends out a signal when motion is detected, would I be able to receive a notification in Commander?

Does ThinkEssentials allow a motion detector to trigger the activation of a z-wave light?


I don't own any motion detectors so I am not sure how they work exactly in Zwave. Maybe post this on the TE forums to see if anyone there knows?
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