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Controlling Your Vera System: Settings Tab

Last Updated: Sep 14, 2018 05:05AM PDT

Controlling Your Vera System: Settings Tab

 

The Settings tab comes with a collection of dedicated features for changing the settings on the Vera controller and system. 
 

VeraSettingsMenu.png

 

This guide will teach you how to:
 

  • Modify the existing information, for instance your location or phone number
  • Upgrade the firmware installed on your Vera controller
  • Restore a previous version of your system settings

 

"Rooms" Menu

Rooms can be used to group or sort devices - after being paired with your Vera controller, devices are not assigned to any room. In order to learn how to do that and how to create and manage rooms, please refer to the article Getting to know your Vera rooms.
 

RoomsLeftMenu.png
 

CreateRoom.png

"Customer Care" Menu

The Customer Care screen facilitates the process of contacting our support team and keeping track of any issues you might encounter with the product. In case you need technical assistance with your Vera controller, click on "Contact Customer Care"
 

ContactCustomerCare.png


and send an email with the description of your problem.
 

For better results, the support team may ask you to enable technical support from Remote Access and to attach the serial code to the ticket. This way, the support department will be able to connect to your Vera controller via the portal.
 

EnableRemoteAccess.png


See How to contact and enable Customer Care article for a few more Tips & Tricks.
 

"Location" Menu

 

The "Location" screen allows editing information like: "Country", "Region", "City" and "Timezone". The Latitude and Longitude are automatically calculated in order to display the local time and weather conditions in the upper right corner of the Dashboard.
 

LocationTab.png


"Net & Wi-fi" Menu

 

The way the "Net & Wi-Fi" tab looks depends on the controller model. The screen-shot below is from a VeraSecure controller.
 

NetWiFiTab.png

 

  • "Internet access" Section

The "Internet access" section displays the current status of your Internet connection.

 

  • "Auto detect devices on my home network" Section

If the option "Auto detect devices on my home network" is enabled, Vera will detect all the IP devices on the network and will automatically add all supported IP cameras on the interface. 

In case the Internet connection fails, you can plug in a 3G dongle as a back-up and click on "Refresh". The controller will detect the USB 3G modem and will configure this type of connection.

 

  • "Enable Wi-Fi / WPS" Section

On VeraPlus and VeraSecure controllers you have the option to enable Wi-fi / WPS, meaning the Wi-Fi Protected Setup. This lets you automatically configure your wireless network, add new devices and enable wireless security. One of the advantages is that you don't have to know the network name or security keys to join a wireless network.

 
  • "How does Vera connect to the Internet?" Section


The section has three options:
 


2. Static IP - allows the user to choose the IP address that the controller will use to connect to the main router. In this case, make sure the IP address is reserved for the controller on the main router.
 

StaticIPConnectionTypes.png


3. PPPoE - allows the user to connect the controller with a username and a password.
 

PPPoEConnectionTypes.png

  • Automatically configure - automatically set the default network configuration on the controller. This option should be checked when the controller is connected to a modem or a router.
  • Manually configure - allows the user to choose from 3 types of connections which are using the WAN port:

    DHCPConnectionTypes2.png


    The Wireless section allows to configure the wireless connection settings:
     

    1. DHCP - will automatically receive an IP address from the router it is connected to.DHCPConnectionTypes1.png
      • Wi-Fi on or off
      • Channel - refers to the wireless channel used by the controller 
      • SSID - allows editing the name of the default wireless network
      • Broadcast SSID - disabling this option will stop displaying the wireless network but the user will still be able to manually connect to it
      • Encryption - the encryption type of the wireless network:
        • None
        • WEP
        • WPA (PSK)
        • WPA2 (PSK)
        • WPA + WPA2 (PSK)
        • WPA (Radius)
        • WPA2 (Radius)
        • WPA + WPA2 (Radius)
  • Through a wi-fi Access Point - allows the user to connect to a visible SSID with the following encryption types: WPA, WPA2 or NONE.SSIDAccessPoint.png



In order to test the status if your Internet connection and receive a detailed report, click on "Troubleshoot Network".


"Backup" Menu

The "Backup" screen provides 4 main features:
 

  • create a backup copy containing all the settings modified by the user and the devices paired with the controller - this is only necessary in case you installed a new piece of equipment and the UI doesn't behave as expected anymore.
  • restore an existing backup file with the additional option to restore the Z-Wave network - this can be very useful when upgrading to a new controller, as you can take a backup created for the old controller, copy it into the backup log for the new controller and then perform a restore on the new controller.
  • restore only the Z-Wave network - only if you are experiencing problems communicating with one or more Z-Wave devices. For example, if a Door/Window sensor is no longer showing up in your system even though the battery is in good condition and it was working fine just before you made some changes to your system, then in all likelihood the Z-Wave network needs to be restored.
  • reset the entire system to factory default - this will not downgrade the controller to the factory firmware as it will keep the installed version.

BackupTab1.png

BackupTab2.png


Vera automatically creates a backup on a daily basis so, normally you shouldn't worry about this. If you wish to create a controller backup anyway (which is recommended if you plan to make major changes in the system), click on "+ Create backup": you can save it on your computer or upload them on our cloud servers. As indicated on the screen, it is recommended to make a Z-Wave network backup before creating a controller backup.
 

To do so, click on "Backup Z-Wave Network", the system will keep you informed in real time of the process.
 

BackupZWaveNetwork.png


As soon as the "Backup" indicator is at 100%, click on "Create backup" in order to make a copy of your controller settings and of the installed devices.
 

Restore the Z-Wave Network

 

Z-Wave is a "mesh network" technology that uses the AC plug-in Devices in your system, such as Lamp Dimmers and Smart Switches, as "repeaters" to relay the signals from battery-powered devices to your controller. The system is completely automatic when you first set things up, figuring the best path for each device's signal to take to the controller. But after you move some Devices around, such as if you unplug a Lamp Dimmer and move it somewhere, problems may arise because a device that was previously being used as a repeater is no longer in the right position. In this case, you should use the "Restore Z-Wave network" feature.

 

"Logs" Menu

The "Logs" screen allows you to choose the types of logs generated by the controller and the location where they should be saved.
 

LogsTab.png

Options:
 

  • Show polling activity - enables the display of all the polling activity for each of the Z-Wave devices.
  • Show individual jobs - display job details.
  • Verbose logging - generate detailed logs for all devices. If enabled, this option will remain active for 3 days.
  • Lock log levels - force the "Verbose logging" to remain active. Enabling this option is not recommended unless you need to debug something, because it will generate large amounts of unnecessary logs.
  • Archive old logs on MiOS - if enabled, an automated process will upload logs to our servers every day. Also, when the user is calling Customer Care, the team will be able to access the logs and look for possible errors.
  • Store logs on a USB device - in case the controller has a large number of Z-Wave devices, it might be necessary to move the controller logs to an external storage in order to free up space and ensure the controller is running correctly. Therefore, users can choose to attach a standard USB drive to serve this purpose. Note that once you enable this option, the USB drive will be erased and you will have to wait around 20 minutes for the logs to be transferred.


"Z-Wave Settings" Menu

 

The Z-Wave Settings section allows the user to access and modify advanced controller settings and comes with 2 dedicated tabs: Options and Advanced.

 

"Options" Tab

The "Options" tab allows the user to access a list of details about the Z-Wave chip and the settings that can be modified:
 

ZWaveSettingsOptions.png

  • Version - the current Z-Wave version installed on the controller.
  • Locale - the frequency of the Z-Wave chip which can be:
    • EU - 868.42 MHz
    • US - 908.42 MHz
    • AU - 921.42 MHz
    • RU - 869.0 MHz
    • IN - 865.2 MHZ
    • JP - 922-926 MHz
    • IL - 916 MHz
  • HouseID / Node - displays the current Z-Wave network ID and whether it is a primary or a secondary Z-Wave network.
  • Role - the role of the Z-Wave network:
    • if it is a primary node, the role can be
      • for version 2.78 : Master SIS:YES PRI:YES
      • for version 3.20 : Master SIS:NO PRI:YES
    • if it is a secondary node, the role is Master SIS:NO PRI:NO
  • Last Update: the date of the last update of the Z-Wave chip.
  • Last Z-Wave Network Backup
  • Port - the port used by the controller to access the Z-Wave chip which can be:
    • /dev/ttyS0 for an internal chip
    • /dev/ttyUSB0 for a connected USB Z-Wave Dongle
  • By default Vera should automatically configure devices - allow the controller to automatically reconfigure the user's Z-Wave devices when running a healing session.
  • Poll Nodes - the controller will poll all the Z-Wave nodes of the Z-Wave network. If enabled, the user can also configure the following parameters:
    • Number of seconds to wait to start polling - it defaults to 20 seconds.
    • Only poll a node if the Z-Wave network is idle at least [X] seconds - it defaults to 10 seconds.
    • Unless specified otherwise, poll each node at most once every [X] seconds - it defaults to 60 seconds.
    • Poll a node every [X] seconds - it defaults to 30 seconds.


"Advanced" Tab

 

The "Advanced" tab allows to execute 7 administration actions:
 

  • Reset Z-Wave Network - this action will reset the Z-Wave chip of the controller and will modify the "HouseID" parameter of the Z-Wave Network. It is advised not to use this option unless it is absolutely necessary, because it will delete the Z-Wave network and all the previously paired Z-Wave devices.
  • Copy Z-Wave network from a primary controller - copy the Z-Wave network from a Master Z-Wave controller, thus making the current controller a Secondary Z-Wave controller.
  • Controller shift - transfer the state of the controller from primary to secondary to a different Z-Wave controller.
  • Reset Z-Wave chip - reset the controller's Z-Wave chip.
  • Get network update from SUC/SIS - if Vera is a secondary controller and there is a SUC/SIS (Static Update Controller / SUC ID Server) on the network, this will update the device list.
  • Backup Z-Wave network
  • Reload Engine
  • Update Neighbor Nodes - updates the current Z-Wave routing for the device and overrides the current settings.


ZWaveAdvancedSettings.png


"ZigBee Settings" Menu

 

In case you have a VeraPlus or a VeraSecure controller which are compatible with ZigBee devices, you will notice an extra option under the Vera side menu - "ZigBee Settings". Similarly to the "Z-Wave Settings" screen, you will see 2 tabs: 
 

  • "Status" displays some useful details about the ZigBee network like:
  1. Vera MAC address
  2. ZigBee Stack Version
  3. PAN ID - ZigBee nodes can only send data requests to other nodes on the same network and a single ZigBee network is called a Personal Area Network or PAN. 
  4. Extended PAN ID - a 64-bit value network parameter that can be thought of as an extension of the basic, 16-bit PAN. 
  5. Network Channel - ZigBee uses the 2.4 GHz band and these channels are numbered 11 through 26. 
  6. Communication Port


ZigBeeStatusTab.png

  • "Advanced actions" contains 3 action buttons so that you can:
  1. Reset the ZigBee network and establish new channel, Pan ID and extended Pan ID.
  2. Clear the pending for remove (devices that didn't acknowledge to a delete message) and unknown devices (devices that are not in the user data but are reporting to the Vera), both operations used for debug purposes.


ZigBeeAdvancedTab.png


"Firmware" Menu

 

The Firmware screen allows to easily upgrade or downgrade your controller firmware or even to use a customized version. 
 

FirmwareUpgradeTab.png


In case you provide an URL for a custom Vera firmware, right after you click on "Download" you will be prompted to save a backup or to restore the controller to factory settings before proceeding with the firmware flash step.
 

The upgrade can be done automatically (without the user intervention) based on the controller serial number or with user intervention. Otherwise, the user receives a prompt being asked to upgrade and has the option to accept or to refuse. 
 

Updating the firmware is an advanced operation that non-experienced users should only undertake when instructed by Vera Customer Care.
 

"Setup Wizard" Menu

 

The initial setup wizard screen is the first one you see after logging in to your Vera controller and its role is to guide you through the process of setting up basic information in order to:
 

  • check your user and account details
  • validate your email address and phone number (useful in case you wish to receive notifications)
  • personalize your controller details 


To access the Setup Wizard, click on "Settings" in the panel on the left, then on "Setup Wizard".
 

SetupWizardPanel.png


and hit "Next".
 

SetupWizard1.png

 

On the "Confirm Your Information" screen, you can verify the existing details and add more data like the first and last name, country, city, timezone (automatically set based on the country, region and city) and mobile provider.
 

ValidateUserInformation.png

 


In case you have already validated your email as explained in the previous section, you will see the screen below.
 

EmailValidated2.png


Otherwise, check your email inbox for an email from Vera with the subject "Please confirm new account info ". and validate it by clicking on the validation button.

 

validate_email1.PNG

 


Next, enter the 4-digit code sent by SMS in order to confirm your phone number (if the phone number is filled in) and click on "Submit Validation Code".
 

SubmitSMSValidationCode.png

 


Finally, choose a name for your Vera controller and click "Next".
 

NameVeraUnit.png


You can now start to add devices, as indicated by the wizard.
 

StartAddingDevices.png


What can you do next?

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