Prefered way to update firmware?

What is the prefered way to update the firmware?

1- Z-Stick with Z-Wave PC Controller from Silicon Labs
2- bcopeland Z-Wave Firmware updater

I’m about to embark in a firmware update spree (20ish devices) and i currently have both options available, as i orderered a Aeotec z-stick a few day before bcopeland release his first version of firmware updater.

So in your opinion what is the safest or simple way to update?

I prefer the method to included the Z-Stick into Hubitat as a secondary controller and then walk around with a laptop near to each switch and flash via the stick…

This. I highly recommend using it as a Secondary Controller and walk near by the switch itself. The difference between 3-4 mins each device vs. 20-30 mins firmware updates via multiple hops…

I prefer the USB Stick paired as a secondary controller.

I actually have a Windows VM on a server in the basement and pass the usb device to the vm. It works very well! I RDP into the VM, fire up the software, click on the zwave device, and update the firmware. Depending on the hops, it can be anywhere from 3 min to 10 min to update the device. I don’t mind the slower update though as I just let it run and then come back to it, then update target 1, and then on to the next one. I do my updates as more of a background task throughout my day rather than making it a focused task.

I’m in the camp of method 2 listed (bcopeland’s firmware updater). I’ve tried a seperate z-wave stick as a secondary controller and got mixed results.

Currently, I only have a few minutes here and there to work on updates. So starting an update and coming back later to start the next seems to work best for me anyway. I find that these are completed within 10 -20 minutes each…

Wonder if the new C7 hub, giving a longer reach, with fewer hops, will speed this process up?

@Ma2J, What kind of mixed results?

So far i think i’ll try the z-wave stick (i need to justify that purchase) as a secondary controller too see how implicated that update is.

Thanks everyone.

I was hoping to snag one of the newer C7 models just to see if the 700 series chip fixes some of the longer hops that my rules control (e.g. shed light sometimes doesn’t get turned on).

I was successful in adding my Z-Wave stick to my network however, I tried to update a couple of switches, granted I wasn’t right next to them, and ended up locking up (i.e. they wouldn’t respond to mechanical or network input) a LZW-30 and LZW-31SN. I had to pull the air gap to get them out of whatever state they were in.

Another device, further away, I was able to update it. But it was slow…

So since I didn’t want to snag my daughters’ laptop and stand by each switch, I just excluded the Z-Wave stick from my network and went to bcopeland’s method. Since I don’t have a lot of concentrated time right now, this method worked best for me.

Yea, I have some of the same issues with external gate sensors. I just pulled the trigger on mine today. My house will be a two hub family :slight_smile:

I know I have had several of the switches freeze up during a flash. Both with the Hubitat “bcopeland” method and get the sleepy device error or with a z-stick/pc software. The fix in both case was timing the flash shortly after rebooting the switch with the air gap… Found it much easier to trouble shoot this with the z-stick…

I used bcopeland method with no issues. I also wasn’t experiencing anywhere near 20 minutes to do so. Some were as quick as 5 minutes. I also did devices a decent few hops away also. I was about to pull the trigger on the z-stick but found this the day before I ordered and gave it shot. It works perfectly and therefore I don’t need to justify the purchase. I need to deal with the sleepy device thing, but I’ll just air gap real quick and kick it off via my phone as I have done with includes.

Until it doesn’t work, I’ll stick with the app deploy ment as it’s super easy.

I’ve done it both ways and don’t mind the Hubitat tool, but even though it sounds easier (just temporarily switch the driver), sometimes the PC Controller software is nice — mostly, as above, I’ve noticed it tends to be faster. If I had to summarize:

Hubitat Tool

  • Pros:
    • easy to use: no need to download/install software or use external hardware
    • fairly safe if you use the “classic” (non-binary) version given the multiple checks it preforms
  • Cons:
    • “classic” (non-binary) version won’t update the .BIN portion (target 1) of the LZW31/31-SN dimmers or 700-series devices like the LZW36 fan/light device (with a .GBL file)
    • may be slower than other methods, likely related to distance from hub to device
    • some users occasionally run into problems, like an LZW30-SN reporting back that it is sleeping when it is not (these are powered devices), preventing the update from starting; this doesn’t cause any problems other than the fact that you won’t be able to update this device with this tool

Z-Wave PC Controller

  • Pros:
    • possibly faster than other methods (especially if you use a laptop and are near the switch/dimmer)
    • has long worked with text or binary update files, but this is no longer a problem for Hubitat, either
  • Cons:
    • will probably let you flash the wrong firmware to a device (e.g, switch to dimmer) if you’re not careful, but still pretty safe if you know what you’re doing
    • requires additional hardware (Z-Wave stick), download of software from SiLabs (account/login required), and a Windows device to run it on
    • lots of instructions assume you use said Z-Wave stick to create its own network, remove the device from the hub, add it to this network to update, then add it back to the hub and recreate apps/rules that used it; this is not necessary since the stick can be joined as a secondary controller (or be your controller if you’re on a C-3/C-4 or if you happen to have chosen the external route on a C-5 anyway), but it might be harder to find instructions for this easier (IMHO) method

If you’ve found one that works well for you, no need to change! But if you’ve got a Windows PC, I’d say join that Z-Stick as a secondary to Hubitat and see if you like that way better. :slight_smile:

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I just ordered a second one too now I know it’s orderable online. Wish it was the old price though.

My guess is they’ll have one of their holiday sales at some point, maybe as soon as Labor Day in the US if their inventory is stable by then (probably the reason it’s closer to list price now — lots of pent-up demand). But that could just be me thinking wishfully.