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homewizard replacement project

Martinus Maximus shared this idea 6 years ago
Under Consideration

Hi all,

Tomorrow the Zipato base hardware kit is going to be delivered which will be used to phase out the HomeWizard installation which comprises of KAKU (Klik Aan Klik Uit) switches, relays etc. a Logitech Harmony 1100 with an IR to KAKU bridge and a PS III with an IR head. As HomeWizard came late with the announcement of the 'smart' radiator valves another product was already installed being the honeywell evohome - hence another independent component. at this stage some components might not be listed though will be discussed later in the follow up posts of this project.

Now why would you start replacing a working system? Well, the HomeWizard is very basic and therefore a great entry level product for those out there that have limited knowledge of home automation and Domotica. Some more advanced users will list obvious reasons not to move towards HomeWizard with KAKU like uni-directional communication (it can only send or receive signals though there is no communication between the devices or confirmation message of a state change. Also querying devices of KAKU with the HomeWizard is not supported hence the state shown in HomeWizard might not be the actual state of your environment.)

Reasons for us the phase out home Wizard is the lack of support, the poor communication of the company with respect to release cycles and the platform hasn't been replaced for over 5 years which clear shows that HomeWizard is not capable of innovating their core component. Visiting the seminars of HomeWizard also didn't yield any results when asking for a roadmap of components being released. HomeWizard just doesn't know themselves and shut you down by stating that 'Scrum' is being used as a development methodology so there is no 1 year or 2 year future plan! Well that does it for me! No strategic plan to improve their core component and just keep fiddling with adding new vendors to an already outdated platform was for me reason enough to change.

Below a small list of issues observed with HomeWizard over the past 5 years we used it:

1. Limited range (even with the tweak of adding a wire antenna)

2. Limited amount of devices (don't go beyond 50 - 100 as the device will not be able to cope with these numbers)

3. State of the actuators is not correctly displayed; a light is still on whereas HomeWizard tells it is "off"

4. Poor wireless integration; Still it is running on 2.4 Ghz and when running multiple access points in your environment it is just not stable. Hard resets are sometimes needed

5. Online services are disrupted regularly

6. rules created are executing on the box or on servers of HomeWizard which makes responses slow

7. a doorbell triggered sometimes generate a popup in the app, sometimes the doorbell rings though no popup or worse case off all - Nothing happens (damn that was the mail-man with my Zipato!)

okay - enough reasons not to go with HomeWizard for a large project.

Will Zipato step up to the plate and be able to outperform HomeWizard with KAKU?

Will Zipato be able to integrate better in the environment?

What challenges will we face and how are they overcome?

those topics will be described in future posts once the hardware gets delivered. Stuff like unboxing, mechanical and electrical installations, configuration etc. will be discussed in future posts with references to youtube to complement it all with video footage.

Stay tuned as this will be a real live example which might benefit you later to make the right decisions (and prevent a divestment down the line).

Quick overview of what will be discussed in future posts:

1. Base build and configuration of Zipato

2. Configure Zipato to replace HomeWizard leaving KAKU in place

3. replacing KAKU components with z-wave bit by bit (money tree on my back never developed :-) )

4. Improve on the level of integration

5. follow the adaptation levels of the family members...

residence overview:

3 floor levels (each 100m2 meter)

3rd floor 4 rooms

2nd floor bedroom, bathroom, toilet, office, reception area

1st floor living room, utilities room, kitchen, dining room, hall and entrance.

not to forget the garage which is currently our or range of the HomeWizard though need to be onboarded.

hardware overview:

2x doorbells

9x motion

5x contact sensors

2x heat sensors

1x power monitor (smart meters gas and electrical)

34x actuators (switched or dimmed)

30+ switches

Geofence enabled

9x security cameras

1x IrDA bridge to KAKU

15x zones for thermal control (EvoHome)

20x scenes

damn - this is going to be a lot of work!



Replies (6)


People might be questioning why this thread is started and not using a blog for this stuff; well the answer is quite simple: there seems to be no blogs available on the Zipato website nor are there good blogs about the Zipato implementation over all. Though the expectation is that problems will arise while implementing the Zipato environment and also some very useful use case cases and lessons learned will be highlighted.

For the first element, being the problems / challenges with the integration, the expectation is that help from this community is useful to ensure a smooth transition from HomeWizard and KAKU to the Zipato platform with z-wave components.

As a start the following components are ordered:


1x ZIP_STARTER-ZIP_Zipabox-G1-ZIP_zbm433-ZIP_zbmbackup 343,-- euro (RobShop)

6x AEO_DSE010 129,-- euro

6x AEO_EZW100 360,-- euro

6x QUB_ZMNHBD1 360,-- euro

Total investment 1.192,-- euro till date.

All sites with domotica is stating that the system will ensure a lower power consumption and imply that there is a return on investment soon. Looking at the investment the system need to save already 6 MW to be break even (0.20 ct. per Kwh). Now not sure how this will turn out though whereas the objective is to see if we can lower the power consumption and then perform a ROI (Return On Investment) calculation down the line.

To put things into perspective a Led light consumes 4 watt per hour. this means that a Led light can be used for 1.49 Mln hours before the ROI is met. Now lets assume there are 30 lights in a residence then this would compute to 49.666 hours = 5.6 years of continues burning of a 30x 4 watt Led light. Question is; is domotica realy for saving money or is investing in Led lights a better strategy?



both I think. With light you will not safe money by using a home automation system. But with heating! I safed my investment nearly in one year related to safe gas in my house by controlling which room needs at what time which temperature...... And yes, such systems are like a miniature railway. They are never ready. Allways something to do. And if it done, it makes happy and you looking for a new project......



absolutely, i can't agree more. Domotica is also to implement an element of comfort walking around in the house turning on lights as you go and turn them automatically of when you are no longer there. :-)


agreed, if you are looking purely at a ROI, you are not enjoying the full benefits of home automation. It is also increase in physical and mental well being. An increase in comfort levels and simple value addition to your home.

I look forward to your "blog". Perhaps you can start a Zipato blog for this development of yours. Have reference back to this forum too, as you can see, it is not the ideal place to blog your progress. To much scrolling. Segmented topics and device trees would be a good start for information searching if you wish to start such a page. I am sure you would have a lot of input from this community.

Also if you need information, HeroS, has a good blog for additional information, and your place of purchase is also very good for help and information, RobbShop.

Looking forward to you videos and hope to help you upon you future endeavours also, good luck


Today the door bell luckily did work and the Zipato base, 433MHz and battery module is delivered. Once the hardware was installed the serial number would give access to the website where access to the device is obtained. Great! enrolment worked like a charm using the iPhone app and the power module is shown though a downside is that there is nowhere the 433 Mhz module is visible / showing as connected.

It starts creating doubt and when checking if it is connected correctly, power cycling the device and browsing the application on iOS and on the conclusion was that this is not included in the GUI or web interface. Only option left is to see if a KAKU device can be added to the Zipabox and see if a standard switch can be used to turn on a light and off again.


Adding a device using the "add device" menu item creates an overview of all the vendors that are supported. Here the first bugs were showing up as not all menu items (dropdown lists) were named; Some of them were just blank though had devices underneath when the dropdown is expanded.


Not okay, though is something that can be lived with... lets move on to adding a KAKU device.

So browsing the list of devices didn't include a section called KAKU hence back to google which showed that the devices are categorized under the element "COCO" which seems to be the correct name for the KAKU business (COCO International B.V. /

Now which SKU to select for which device that is installed is the next challenge as there are no product details visible once the KAKU device is mounted to the wall or build in a wall socket etc. Solution is to browse the web shop of KAKU and basically match the pictures of the components in house and find the SKU details. (

So what is used in the environment:

AWST-8800 (single switch)

AWST-8802 (double switch)

AWST-6000 (motion sensor)

AMST-606 (magnet contact)

AWS-3500 (on/off relays)

ACM-3500-3 (3x on/off relays in one device)

AILS-3500 (on/off relays)

and some others which will be addressed in future posts.

So for the POC (Proof of Concept) the fist step is to learn the system one of the wall mounted switches. The AWST-8800 was the simplest to start with as it is a single switch. In the web interface the "add device" is selected -> Coco -> AWST-8800 and next the device is waiting for a signal to be received once the switch is pressed. Completing this step allows to change things like the name and description of the device added and create a 'new room'.

The newly learned switch is called "Switch Office Right". Great! my first device is added - now lets add the actuator to the system being a ACM-3500-3. O dear, this is not in the list. Now because the system is already used for 5 years it is known to us that there is no difference in the way an ACM-1000 works compared to an ACM-3500-3 because the 3500-3 is comparable with 3x and ACM-1000 in a single device. Though this means that adding a ACM-3500-3 requires to repeat the "add device" process 3x times for each relays.

Following the same process as when adding the switch an additional step comes into the picture as this device need to learn the unique identification code from the zipato device which is generated during enrolment. Hence the wizard requests to set the ACM-3500-3 in learning mode which is done by pushing the button on the device.

Now be careful!!!! When you are not alone at home and other people are moving around while you have infra-red motion detectors might lead to an address being learned of a motion sensor. Therefore it is better to either do this when you are alone, immobilize your family or take the motion / door sensors offline!

After the device is set into learning mode and continuing with the wizard will cause the COCO/KAKU device to cycle the relays 2 times which can be noticed by a click-clack-click-clack sound. This means that the new code is learned. As the KAKU/COCO devices have unidirectional communication there is no confirmation send to to zipabox and here a new bug was discovered.

Enrolling this device resulted several times into the message that the enrolment was not successful because the device was not recognized!? What!? The Zipabox has to send out the unique code, the KAKU/COCO will learn it and done - there is no confirmation to be received back.

It went downhill from here; as clicking the "back" button will bring the interface back to the "devices" overview and to my surprise it was listed...?! So, the message it failed was a false positive and actually it did get added!

Okay, weird though glad it was visible.

Opening the settings would allow for the actuator to be renamed and the result is that a switch and actuator is now learned.

super! now lets see if the light can be turned on and off using the web GUI and iOS application. First it was observed that the iOS application was not showing any new devices being added. So pushing the "synchronize" button should resolve this issue and the system responds with the message that the sync is completed. Opened the iOS application and still nothing visible... Hmmm, not as straight forward is was expected.

Going back to the device overview and opening the settings of the switch and actuator there is a small tick box on the bottom which says: Show as device. Selecting this option and resynchronizing the configuration still didn't result in the devices becoming visible.

Last option; log out of the iOS app and close it forcefully (swipe up) followed by opening the app and login resolved the problem where the devices are not shown.

Now how to power on / off the light!? Till now this is still unknown though time to conclude this is more complex than homewizard which you can install without reading the manual. It seems Zipato is not that simple hence lets read the manuals first before continuing my next post...

At this moment it is already clear that there are still quite some bugs even after just adding 2 devices - it might be an operator error (RTFM issue) starting with the Zipabox and just not knowing the sequencing of adding devices and how to address them, though it is clear it is not straight forward...


Last comment: The web UI shows that pressing the button would toggle the state of the actuator though nothing happens:


also when clicking the item doesn't make it change from colour or anything that would indicate if the light is on or off. off-course the actual state might be different as highlighted in the previous post, though it would be nice to see something changing indicating that the system accepted the request and the command is send out.


my only recommendation, is to update your system to z-wave and/or zigbee asap. I understand finance is a restraint, but does provide far superior range, security and speed. And connectivity is usually easier.

If you run into major issues, remember to email support, or better yet issue a ticket at support with your email address and serial number.


Hello all,

it has been some time though a lot of things has changed over the past 5 months. P1 modules added, 2 floor levels rebuild and rolled out Z-Wave plus devices in every room. Though it hasn't been without it challenges and hence i use this comment to highlight issues i discovered during the integration of the system.

First issue encountered is with the rules in combination with the Aeotec multisensor 6. the sensor sends data to the zipabox like humidity, lumination and other values whereas when used in the rules they are just a dud. Nothing happens and when reading the parameter by creating an HTTP switch and sending an e-mail with the value of the lumination ends with an empty e-mails meaning that the key-value pair just isn't available to the rules.

This is bad as there is then no way to detect if it is dark or light and if the lights should go on due to the environment being dark.

P1 module for reading the Smart Meter is just not working and the case is still open with Zipato. Reason to move to the Zipato P1 module is that the BeNext p1 module wasn't stable. The BeNext would read the data for a day / a couple of days and then just "hangs" on a value, reporting it to the zipabox. Disconnecting and reconnecting the BeNext resolved this issue though it shouldn't be needed. So bought the P1 of Zipato in the hope that the integration would be better and to my surprise it didn't work at all!!!

Had the electrical company change the Smart Meter for a new one just in case that was the issue (900,-- euro :-( ) and still the same issues with the BeNext and nothing on the P1 module from Zipato. Is now with Zipato for some time and done some troubleshooting though it is not resolved yet.

Last issue the Scene Switch ZME_WALLC-S also a zwave plus device. It is a double switch of which only the top two buttons are working (Normally to switch something on - like a regular analogue wall switch) and the bottom two are not working at all.

Well...., the last statement is not correct as when you configure the rules wizard to accept "any" command from the wall switch and you push the bottom button the rule is triggered. Though when it is configured with "Pressed" or "released" button 3 or 4 nothing happens. Damn - i wish i could debug this better so i could point Zipato support in the right direction as i have the feeling that some of these issues are difficult for them to reproduce.

Overall it has been an experience to integrate Zipato with Z-Wave. Good thing is that the range of the actuators and other devices is great and the mesh network allows communication much further then using KAKU. So overall the experience is not bad.

Clustering; DON'T try it as it is to immature. Had several session with support to get the zipatile and zipabox reset to standalone as in the cluster it became a big problem with strange behaviour and many issues.

Hence i made a decision to first stabilise the platform and make everything work before moving on to clustering. The family is having already enough difficulties adjusting to all the changes as not everything is working as expected. Wife was really happy that analogue switches were returning in the house hold, whereas the objective was to get rid of them.

Now these analogue switches are used to trigger the Qubino relays in case the sensor (Aeotec), rules or iPhone are again not doing what they should be doing.

My recommendation; DON'T remove the wiring from the old analogue switches and place the relays inline with the existing electrical system where possible.

What i'm looking for is some help in recommendations for wall switches that do work - out of the box - without issues. Please don't tell me "analogue switches" because my wife reminds me of that every day! ;-)

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