Do Gen 2 links work *well* with Gen 1 kit

LightwaveRF Community: Welcome Forums General LightwaveRF Discussion Do Gen 2 links work *well* with Gen 1 kit

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This topic contains 16 replies, has 5 voices, and was last updated by  btidey 3 weeks ago.

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  • #25138
     Johnny T says:

    Johnny T
    Participant

    Hi all,
    I know the blurb says that a Gen 2 link will work with Gen 1 switches, thermostat etc but I just wondered if anyone has tried this in practice and can say whether it actually works well or not?

    I’ve got a lot of lightwave switches / dimmers etc and I’m getting increasingly frustrated of having to turn things on 5 times on the app for them to work! (Or use the alternative Delta app to get things running).

    I like the idea of the link sending a signal and not stopping until it gets a confirmation signal back.

    But then I know how unreliable Lightwave products are so I’m also torn between just upgrading to a completely different home automation system and ditching LW completely.

    Anyone gone down the ‘upgrade’ road who can reassure me (or warn me off!).

    Thanks

    John :)

    #25139
     btidey says:

    btidey
    Participant

    Note that the 2 way communication is a feature of Gen 2 devices. Using a Gen 2 link is not magically going to turn Gen 1 devices into getting status and confirmation. If anything it might make it worse as there are reports that the 433MHz (Gen1) transmit power may not be as good on the new Link.

    Normally Gen 1 transmissions should be reliable over the typical distances found in most properties. It can help if you can position the Link in a central location. There can be an art to using the Lightwave app as I find it is doesn’t always respond to casual button presses. I think it can misinterpret them as slide operations. I use Alexa most of the time so that doesn’t affect that.

    #25141
     Johnny T says:

    Johnny T
    Participant

    Hi btidey

    Thanks for getting back to me.

    I was more concerned as to whether buying a Gen 2 link would degrade the signal for Gen 1 devices and it seems that is the case.

    What about having a Gen 1 *and* Gen 2 wifi link working together? Does that work? Is it possible? Or would they both need to be on different lightwave accounts?

    I’ve had more success with the Delta app for controlling Lightwave rather than their own. Their own app is extremely flaky!

    Thanks for the help :)

    #25142
     h3mp says:

    h3mp
    Participant

    No, gen2 link is fairly unreliable with gen1 kit as they have implemented the software badly.
    - The app has a single button for on/off (instead of separate on and off buttons for gen1 devices)
    - this approach works swimmingly with gen2 light switches
    - this approach is fundamentally flawed for gen1 devices

    The app has no idea if you have manually turned a gen1 light on or off.
    So in the app it just remembers what it was last set to via the app.
    So often it thinks it is on when it is off and vice versa.
    The result of this mis-implementation is:
    - you often have to press the button twice to change the state once
    - this also screws up automations
    - this also screws up Alexa from getting it right..

    Hope that helps

    #25143
     Johnny T says:

    Johnny T
    Participant

    Hi h3mp,

    Thanks for the info. Very handy.

    Is it a completely different app for Gen 2? i.e. Is it possible to use the Gen 1 app when messing around with Gen 1 stuff and Gen 2 app with the new stuff?

    Also, do you know whether it’s possible to have a Gen 1 Wifi Link AND a Gen 2 Wifi Link working together on the same network etc without any hassle?

    I have some devices that are hit and miss with the range and I’m wondering about buying a Gen 2 wifi link and then using my Gen 1 wifi link in another area and having it double as a signal booster??

    Thanks for all the great advice

    John :)

    #25144
     h3mp says:

    h3mp
    Participant

    Yes, separate apps for gen1 and gen2.
    I currently have gen1 and gen2 links both working using same account – I hoped to use just gen2 link while slowly upgrading house to gen2.. but due to the reasons explained above, the best option was to use two links and two apps for the moment!

    #25145
     Johnny T says:

    Johnny T
    Participant

    Thanks for the info H3mp. It’s much appreciated.

    I think that’s the route I’ll end up going down with two wifi links. It just seems extremely expensive to upgrade and I’m really concerned about some of the quality issues around lightwave (both with their app and their equipment).

    Are you finding the Gen 2 kit much better?

    #25146
     Automation says:

    Automation
    Participant

    I have a large system using Gen 1 kit. Over time it has become stable and rarely now has problems. I control 4 sets of curtains, many plug in sockets (for electric heaters and desk lights), several of the 3 way relays (to operate a CCTV switching system), 2 energy monitors, and a couple of light switch dimmers. I use modified versions of the battery window open units to feed in commands to the LWRF units from existing conventional plug in electronic timers (25 ON’s 25 OFF’s). The location of the modem was not that critical to get full coverage of a 4 bed house. I use it a lot when away from the house. I also have some WEMO units to give diversity to some key functions.

    I have recently purchased a Gen 2 modem and a Gen 2 double socket. These work as advertised together, the socket is in a pattress box so can be easily moved around the house.
    All was well until I started to add Gen 1 units to the Gen 2 modem and app. The coverage was poor compared with the Gen 1 modem, otherwise things worked. I wanted to have a diversity between the two systems, so tried to locate the new modem on a different branch of my ethernet, and a different section of my house mains supply. The coverage restricted this, so I investigated further.
    I tried tho use my RFX unit attached to a PC to monitor the signals (it is fixed on 433.920), only occassionally getting a result. I then used a amateur radio handheld, and found that the Gen 1 signals were on 433.920 as expected, but the Gen2 signals were on 43.930, but were of a louder strength. So the response of the Gen 1 units is dependant on their frequency accuracy, some work well at a distance some do not. It may be that I have a rogue Gen 2 unit, but would be interested to hear if anyone else has checked the frequency.
    I used 2 new Gen 1 Energy monitors for the Gen 2 modem as it seemed not to be possible to link a energy monitor to the two modems at same time.

    Any further purchases of Gen 2 will be dependant on resolving the coverage issue.

    #25147
     Johnny T says:

    Johnny T
    Participant

    Hi Automation,

    That’s really interesting! It seems like I’m best holding off buying the Gen 2 kit for now.

    The only thing that really needs the two-way switching is a heater in my summerhouse. In the winter I like to switch it on from the house half an hour before I go out there and then it’s warm when I get out to it. However, sometimes I go out there and the signal hasn’t been received so the summerhouse is freezing (first world problems eh?!?!?!).

    The two way switching would be good that I could actually ‘see’ that the heater was on or off.

    However, it’s certainly not worth the extra cost and (it seems) extra hassle!! I’ll just buy a hat :)

    Thanks for all your advice :)

    #25148
     Automation says:

    Automation
    Participant

    I have emailed LWRF twice about the frequency discrepancy, the following is an edited extract:

    You make no comment on the wrong frequency, or that its signals are not received by my RFXCom unit unless it is VERY near and then only spasmodically. Any reception is caused by the AVC of the RFXCom, or LWRF units operating on the sidebands of the off frequency signal.

    As it is at present the new unit has a poor coverage within my house, whereas the old one is comprehensive.
    I hope you have not changed to using 433.930 for the Gen 2, as that would make it not interoperable with the Gen 1 units.

    I received the following reply:

    With regards to the 433MHz question the generation 1 & generation 2 links utilise the bandwidth protocols slightly differently, unfortunately this is not a subject I can go in to detail in due to company policy.
    All of our generation 2 devices work on an 868MHz basis and the 434MHz is primarily for the generation 1 products.

    Lightwave Technical Support

    I have redacted any personal information.

    I think there is a problem with using the Gen 2 modem with Gen 1 units due to the wrong frequency being used by the Gen 2 modem. If not why did they not just tell me I was mistaken, or that I may have a faulty unit?

    I must make clear that these are my personal technical observations and views on them.

    Please can someone measure the transmit frequency of the Gen 2 modem…….

    Regards

    Automation.

    #25152
     btidey says:

    btidey
    Participant

    If you have a USB DVB-T TV tuner stick then that can be used as a spectrum analyser (rtl-sdr) to see what frequency is used.

    I don’t have any Gen2 kit (and no intention of getting a Link 2).

    Note that most receivers used in this type of gear are not very selective. It would need to be off by several MHz. It could be transmit power that is the issue. This is more tricky to measure.

    #25156
     Johnny T says:

    Johnny T
    Participant

    Certainly sounds like you’re right on the money Automation!

    #25162
     ddicom says:

    ddicom
    Participant

    I don’t often use this forum so apologies if I’ve used the wrong place for my comments. This is where I am:-
    I have recently taken the gen 2 plunge and have a socket and two switches together with a link plus to go with my old gen 1 setup.
    Gen 2 is a pretty big improvement over the gen 1. To me gen2 seems more robust and reliable. I find on/off state reporting very useful and really appreciate the loads less hassle of finding LED bulbs that work well. So, although the product range is very limited (especially the decorative finish options) right now i’m more confident that Lightwave have a future (touch wood!)
    For me the problems started when pairing gen1 devices within the gen2 app. It was a world of frustration, for some reason the two apps are very different so it takes a little getting used to. I was never able to get most gen 1′s working reliably so had to go back and re-pair the gen1 stuff back to the old link hub and keep the old app. So I have two hubs and two apps on one account
    Gen 2, apart from the limited choice, has no web interface (so forget controlling things from your PC) and wont work with Amazon Alexa and, although it lists devices, Google home is a bit hit and miss too, finally Apple home link seems to work (Siri is getting better).
    I have also played with a device called Athom Homey that is fairly good attempt at bringing all the home automation stuff under one roof but at the moment doesn’t work with gen2
    I have a lot of home automation kit and think I’ll be using Lightwave, Philips Hue (when i want colour), and Nest for heating, security and safety (smoke/co2) going forward.
    Garage door automation is separate although I have experimented with a LW relay (not great).
    Finally, reliable wireless is a must. I have installed BT whole home disks (mesh technology) around my house and have found them to be a big improvement over my old single router and wireless repeaters setup.
    I hope my experience with gen 2 will help someone – I think it will only get better

    #25163
     Johnny T says:

    Johnny T
    Participant

    Thanks for the info.

    I installed the Google Wifi mesh network and found that a large improvement in WiFi coverage myself. I think the “mesh” system is the way to go!

    Interesting to hear your thoughts on Gen 2. Thanks for taking the time to reply :)

    #25218
     Automation says:

    Automation
    Participant

    I have waited one week since my correspondence ended with LightwaveRF. I was attempting to get an answer my basic question. “Does Gen 2 work correctly with Gen 1 kit”.

    I wrote:-
    Either the Gen 2 modem sends the correct protocols (the same as a Gen 1 modem or a handheld device) for the Gen 1 units on the same frequency 433.920 Mhz or it does not.
    A simple question, requiring a Yes or No answer.
    If Yes then I may have a faulty unit that is working off its correct frequency.
    If No then the Link Plus is not compatible with the old Gen 1 units.
    I await a reply with interest.

    LWRF reply:-
    Unfortunately I would not be able to answer this question for you further. We do believe that there may be an issue with the RF board reading the 433HMz signal so we would like for you to send the link to ourselves so we can test this for you. Please could you send the link plus to the following address;

    I wrote:-
    I do not understand why you cannot answer the question I put, even with caveats. However I respect there may be some confidential reasons you are not able to divulge.
    So is there someone else in the Lightwave Company who can answer the question?
    It tends to makes me think that there is something you wish to keep from the customers.

    So in an attempt to move this forward, here is a simpler question:- “Is this product fit for the use it is intended for (including Gen 1 units) or not?”

    LWRF Wrote:-
    If you would like to email apps@lightwaverf.com posing your findings and questions someone from the development team may be able to give you a more in-depth answer to your questions.

    This I did and have only received an automated reply.

    Does anyone else have any ideas on what is happening?
    Has anyone else had problems linking with Gen 1 kit from Gen 2 modem?
    Has anyone else done any tests?
    Or do I have a faulty modem?

    If I get no replies to these questions, or from LWRF, I will assume that noone else on this forum cares whether the Gen 2 modem has a problem. I will cease pursuing the issue and make my plans accordingly, thank you.

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