Fan + Light ever implement Long Range?

I’m certainly intrigued by HA. But could you (or multiple people :-)) address:

  1. Perhaps my biggest issue with Hubitat is that I periodically get a mysterious 20-30 or more second delay for one or more automations. Sometimes I think it is buttons I haven’t pushed in a while (does Hubitat index by most frequently/most recently used?) or if it is late-ish at night (11-12 at night) and Hubitat/Z-Wave is doing internal maintenance?) Some switches seem to experience it more than others, even ones I use all the time and during “normal” hours. So my theories only go so far.

I’ve posted several times about that, but literally no one has ever given me an explanation of why that happens. The only response I ever get is to reboot the hub. In fact, I’ve seen posts about people who schedule a re-boot every night. I don’t really want to go that route. Does HA have a similar problem? (BTW, except for 2 Hue Motion Sensors and 2 of their light bulbs all 49 of my other devices are Z-Wave Plus).

  1. Should I/could I use my iMac for HA or get a dedicated machine? If so, should it be a Raspberry Pi, and if so, which one, and which configuration of disk space, ram, etc.?

I see this is still an issue with the newer hardware too. lol I was one of them who had to automate nightly reboots of the hub just to keep the delays a reasonable length. It’s these delays and the need to constantly reboot the hub that leads me to believe the hardware just isn’t powerful enough. In theory it should be, but in real life there’s way too many cases of exactly this issue. You’ll also find offloading automations to other hardware (like HA, node-red, etc…) pretty much solves this issue. So that pretty much rules out the radios as a culprit.

To dip your toes in the water, I’d use your iMac for now. Mac instructions are here. You’ll also want to check out the Hubitat Custom Component. This will let you control all of your Hubitat devices on HA locally. So you can set it up, play with it, and not have to touch a single thing on your Hubitat installation. This way if you decide it’s not for you, you just delete HA and you don’t have to setup your Hubitat again.

If you decide you do like it, definitely get dedicated hardware for it. Moving your setup is easy with backup/restore. Even easier if you use Google Drive or OneDrive backup addons. With the price and especially availability of Pi’s with a proper SSD setup, you can pick up a decent refurb i5 Dell Optiplex Micro Form Factor or other similar micro pc which should outperform the Pi for a similar price.

So going back to the YouTubes I see that I can install it on a Synology NAS via a VMM or Docker. I have a DS220+ which has 2 bays, but right now I only have 1 12TB WD Red in it. It seems I could use that. I tried to look for videos on VMM vs. Docker but couldn’t really get the gist of which would be better for me.

Do you have an opinion of which way to go, VMM vs. Docker?

I know this is getting too far ahead, but where does the Hubitat Custom Component get installed that would let me get rid of Home Assistant?

The only way to go is VMM on the Synology, with the full Home Assistant Operating system (HAOS, formerly HASSIO). It will install/manage the HA Core Docker, and one or more other Dockers for other features that you add. HACS (third-party package library and installer) is a nice thing to add, and is only easily installed using HAOS.

VMM creates a virtual hard disk as a file on your NAS’ disk when you create a VM on Synology, so there’s no reason to add any more disks to run a VM.

I believe that I used the HAOS VMware .ova package when I did my Synology install two years ago.

Two gotchas with HAOS on Synology:

  1. I remember there being some problems with certain USB devices and DSM 7.x, that I don’t know if they have been fixed yet. I run my DS918+ on DSM 6.x.

  2. You need to manually re-attach any USB devices to a VMM VM whenever the NAS reboots. A minor annoyance when running a Z-Wave stick.

The Hubitat package you linked above is a HACS package. HACS (third-party package manager) is easy to add to a full HAOS install…

The Hubitat Custom Component is a part of -an integration within- Home Assistant. If you get rid of Home Assistant, you have to get rid of Hubitat Custom Component.

I believe the point they were trying to get across is you can leave your current Hubitat installation as-is, including the natively-connected devices, and install Home Assistant along with the Hubitat Custom Component in order to give HA a ‘trial-run’ with HA controlling the devices on Hubitat. If you decided HA wasn’t for you, you could then easily go back to just using Hubitat and not have to move devices back-and-forth.

I run the container version, I wouldn’t run HAOS again. The only thing you lose is the add-ons which are run as other containers in HAOS and I simply also run them as stand alone containers. HACS works, backups works.

^^^^^ This logic is why HA has a reputation as a maintenance nightmare, since the installation/maintenance/updating of all the different containers falls on the you. When running HAOS, it handles everything more or less just as turn-key as Hubitat…

^^^ I can’t agree with this more!
One of the best things about where HA has gone is that it really fits the needs of the very basic consumer all the way up to the power user. So while you can run it in a container and run a whole bunch of containers beside it and get very granular with your setup, you can also just run HAOS and let it manage it all for you.

While I consider myself a power user, I much prefer HAOS. I still have the unsupported portainer addon in case I need to get into one of the containers, but for the most part I let my addons auto-update themselves since they’re all pretty stable.

I had my HAOS install I was running break enough times I won’t run it that way again. I have no problems at all maintaining it now. unRAID makes it stupidly easy to update the containers, but even running it on a different platform it’s not hard to update containers.

But then, running it as a virtual machine has got to be better than their rPi on a SD card recommendation.

Before I go and do a whole Home Assistant setup, am I right that with the node-red-contrib-hubitat add-in to Hubitat I could have Node Red do the automations instead of Hubitat and that may cure the periodic lag problem? (I am checking out this link to see if it answers my question/explains it better).


The one thing I still don’t get about either using the Hubitat add-in or HA is, assuming I set up either, wouldn’t I have to “turn off” the automations that run by pushing switches in Hubitat so they are run on HA only or through Node Red only? (And by “turn off” I believe that would require that I put in my dummy virtual switch (that does nothing) into each rule to act as a place holder so I could remove the real switch from it and still keep the rule in place in case I want to go back to it.

I very, very, rarely use a dashboard to control anything (although I do have a dashboard set for just about every room). That would be a lot of work for my 49 Z-Wave devices.

Yes and no. Yes you are right that that you can run node-red as a stand alone application that may cure your periodic lag problem with Hubitat, but no it is not an add-in to Hubitat itself. So you still need separate hardware to run node-red.

Yes you would need to disable the rule in HE. I feel like they had a built-in method to do this. I believe it was considered “Paused”. Creating a virtual switch and using that switch being on/off as a condition would also work.

I never “paused” or “stopped” a rule before. Here is a screen shot for a Basic rule I created. I assume you are talking about the Pause and Stop buttons (since I think I have a keen grasp of the obvious. :-))

Assuming that is so, what is the real difference between Pause and Stop?

(I did read the below but I’m not sure what they mean for stop and the “subscriptions” are removed.
With Pause, all of the rule’s subscriptions and schedules remain intact . When a trigger fires or a scheduled event happens, the rule discovers that it is paused, and exits. The rule can be resumed by another rule or through the UI for the rule. With Stop, all of the rule’s subscriptions and schedules are removed.

I think this translates to:

Stop: Rule is inactive (cannot be triggered)
Pause: Rule is active, but when triggered, sees it is paused and exits without running any of the actions

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So it seems that if I try Node Red I would want to “stop” those rules in Hubitat, correct?

Yes, that would be a good approach.

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