Configuration Parameters

Configuration Parameters

In this article, we ran through the process of adding ‘Configuration Parameters’ to devices in Fibaro, Vera and Homey systems.

But what exactly are ‘Configuration Parameters’? And why are they important?

In a nutshell, Configuration Parameters (or variables if you're using Vera) refer to the number of tweakable settings that determine how a Z-Wave device functions. Depending on your device, you can adjust switch type, to LED colour, wake-up time, sensor reporting time, associations (and many more) through its corresponding parameter.

And while each Z-Wave device has its own unique set of configuration parameters (its own fingerprint), similar devices will share parameters that control the same function. The below images show the 'no motion' time parameter for a Fibaro Motion Sensor and a Aeotec MultiSensor 6.

Fibaro Parameter

Fibaro 'no motion' parameter.

Aeotec Parameter

Aeotec 'no motion' parameter.

Note: The above 'no motion' parameter for the Fibaro and Aeotec motion sensors has a different parameter number and description. Also note that in Fibaro, Vera and Homey systems, the same parameter may be represented by different names and descriptions.

It's also worth mentioning that the location of the parameter list varies according to the devices manufacturer. For example: Parameter lists for Fibaro devices are found in the user-guide whereas parameter lists for Aeotec devices are found in the engineering spec sheet.

Understanding what these parameters are, where to find them, their functions and when/how to adjust them will enable you to get the most out of each of our devices in all applications. A full list of tweakable 'Configuration Parameters' for a given device can typically be found in the devices user-manual, or through a quick Google search. You can find your device's manual through this link-library.

Thankfully, changing the configuration parameters within all Z-Wave systems is usually a relatively simple process, consisting of the below 5 steps.

  1. Locate the 'configuration parameters' section in the hub/controller application.
  2. Understand the parameter you wish to modify (the user-manual is useful here)
  3. Adjust the parameter value to the desired value.
  4. Save the changes.
  5. Test the device.

Tip: As each hub/controller works a little differently, the exact process for changing the configuration parameters is specific to the hub/controller you're working with.

Sometimes however, our device's 'Configuration Parameters' will not show up on our hub/controller application, which brings us to the concept of the ‘Templated Device’ and the ‘Generic Device’.

Note: It is your hub/controller that determines whether or not you will be working with a ‘templated’ or ‘generic’ device, as the templates are controller specific. Some devices may have templates on one system but not on another.

Understanding Device Types: Templated Device vs Generic Device

When you first add a new device to your controller, it will either be included with a template (templated device) or without (generic device).

Devices that have a 'template' are recognised by your hub/controller, meaning you'll have immediate access to your device's tweakable parameters. If the template happens to be missing a parameter, you can always add in additional parameters manually.

Fibaro Template

Templated Device in Home Center - Has list of Configuration Parameters

On the other hand, if your hub/controller doesn't recognise your new device (as it does not have a template), your device will be seen as 'generic' and you will not have immediate access to your device's configuration parameters. Instead, you must add in each one you wish to configure manually.

Fibaro Generic

Generic Device in Home Center - Does not have list of Configuration Parameters

In Closing

Configuration parameters enable us to fine-tune the way our devices operate. The key thing to keep in mind when working with these parameters is whether or not your controller has a template for your device, or doesn’t.

If it does, you can simply tweak available settings displayed on the screen. If it doesn’t, you’re still able to tweak them, but you’ll first have to add them in manually.

If you have any tips or tricks you’d like to share, or if you have any questions, drop a comment below. We’re always happy to help!

Best of luck tweaking your parameters.