Vera Control, Ltd.

User Guides

Devices Tab (pt.2): Add Devices

Last Updated: Sep 26, 2014 03:27AM PDT
 
Each Device must first be added to your Vera System for it to be recognized and controlled. This process is what is meant by "Adding Devices." Technically, when you add a Device you are establishing a communications link between the Device and your Vera Controller. Vera can use different methods of communicating between the Controller and the Devices (including,  most commonly, Z-Wave, Ethernet and Wi-Fi). The process is similar, but slightly different for each. 
 
Device Wizards
Vera UI7 makes adding Devices very easy by providing a Device Wizard to guide you through this process. The Device Wizard provides step-by-step onscreen instructions for each Device that can be added to your system.
 
The Device Wizard is different for each particular model of each Device that can be added, so it is important that you choose the exact model you are installing.
 
To launch the Device Wizard:
 
First click the Devices tab, then click on the gray "+ Add Device" button to bring new Devices into your system, as shown here:
 


If you next click on "Additional Devices" you'll see a list of Device categories, such as for Dimmers and Lights, Thermostats, Sensors, etc. as shown below. 


The next steps, covered in more detail in the thermostat installation example below, will be to choose the category and then click on the specific Device you are installing to begin the pairing process. But first let's discuss what's going on during this setup procedure in a bit more detail.

Pairing/Including Your Devices
A bit of tech background info here might be helpful: Each Device in your Vera system must communicate wirelessly with the Vera Controller, which acts as a central hub. Before this communication can occur, the Device must be setup to "speak" with the Controller, so the devices can recognize each other using wireless signals.  Each and every Device in your system must first go through this process.
 
Most of the Devices you will add to your system use Z-Wave for wireless communications. (Cameras and some other devices use other communication systems, including Wi-Fi.)  With Z-Wave, the process of setting up a link is called "pairing" or "including."  

O
ne thing you need to know about Z-Wave is that the range for pairing new Devices is sometimes deliberately limited to about 3-feet (1-meter) between the Device and the Controller. This is done for security. Most Devices can be paired from much further away, depending on the Device. After pairing, the actual working range for all Z-Wave Devices will be about 30-feet, depending on obstructions. But during the pairing process you sometimes must bring the Device to within 3-feet of the Controller. (If this is not possible, such as for a door lock that has already been installed in the door, then you'll need to move the Controller to within 3-feet of the Device. All Vera Controllers offer battery operation or add-on battery packs to make this easier.) You can also easily extend the range, when needed, by adding a "repeater" (explained later.)
 
Adding Devices From Your Vera Solution
If your system was purchased as a kit or Vera Solution that included a number of Devices along with the Controller, then the initial Setup Wizard should populate the list of Devices to add with those items that came included with your kit, as shown below (this is an example only -- each kit has different components):
 


If you purchased your system as a kit then you have probably already gone through this setup process, or at least part of it, during the initial Setup Wizard.
 
If you didn't complete this process for all Devices in the kit during the Setup Wizard, then each time you return to this Add Device screen you will see a list of the remaining items in your kit that need to be added.
 
Note: You do NOT need to go through this list in sequence, and it is OK to skip some Devices now and do them later. You may even add another, new Device before you complete the setup for all the Devices in the kit. Of course, if you leave Devices uninstalled then you won't have the benefit of using them.
 
Example: Add A New Thermostat
When adding a new Device that was not included in a package or kit, the first step is to select the type of device you want to add.  For this example, we'll use a Z-Wave controllable thermostat. Since thermostats (and all other electronic things!) need power, load the smart thermostat with its supplied batteries. 
 
Click Devices, then Add Device.  Next select Additional Devices, as shown below.
 

 
You'll next find the Device you're adding from the list of compatible Devices. Select the category the Device is in, which in this case is Thermostats.
 
 
Click on the + button next to Thermostats, and you'll see a list of thermostat models that looks like this:


Scroll down the list to select the specific model you are installing. For this example, we'll install the Remotec ZTS-100 thermostat. Click on it, and you'll see specific instructions for that particular thermostat model.
 
Follow the Device Wizard instructions for putting the thermostat into "Pairing" or "Include" mode. 

For example, here's the Device Wizard sequence you would see for the Remotec ZTS-100 programmable thermostat model (this is an example only -- actual Device Wizard instructions will vary from model to model.)
 
           
If you were installing this thermostat and click Next, here's what you'd see:


And the here's the last step in our thermostat example:



Each time you successfully pair a device, you will see a confirmation message like the one below:
 
 

Selecting a Name and Room for the new Device
Next you will name the Device. Think of a name that will identify this Device in the future, when there may be several of the same type of Device in the same room. So choosing descriptive names like "Sensor on Left Window" or "Dimmer for Couch Lamp" will help you control your system more easily.

Next select which Room the Device is located in. If the the Room does not already exist in the available choices, create a New Room and then assign the Device to it.

When you are finished adding new Devices, go back to your list of Devices on the
Dashboard.  The new Device (in this example, a thermostat) now shows up as a Climate device.
 
thermostat.png
That's really all there is to it as far as adding new devices into your system. You pair them using the Device Wizard, they show up in your Dashboard and now you can monitor and control their activity -- from anywhere!
           
(Note to Experienced Users: The Add Device Wizard automatically puts the Controller in learning mode; if you've done pairing previously with earlier software versions you'll see the familiar slow blinking light on the Controller as you run the Wizard. With the Add Device Wizards you do NOT push any buttons on the Controller. You only push buttons on the Device being paired.)

Installing Cameras
Another example of this process is shown in the Cameras article. Although similar, the procedure is slightly different because cameras connect to your Vera Controller using wired Ethernet or wireless Wi-Fi, rather than the Z-Wave system most other Devices use. See Cameras Tab.

Selecting Generic Device
Vera updates the available Device Wizards to keep up with the constantly expanding universe of compatible home automation, security and smart home Devices that can work with your Vera System. If you can't find your particular model on the list of available Device Wizards, then choose the "Generic Z-Wave Device" option at the bottom of the category list.

Next: Cameras Tab
 

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