The Fibaro FGMS-001 on RaZberry and Z-Wave, The Interoperable Standard ?

Well, maybe the fact that the Z-Wave logo can only be found at the bottom of the package of the FGMS-001 was an omen for another story about bad luck. Here it goes.

Fibaro FGMS-001After successfully binding to events in the Z-Way API and getting the required information into my home-brew Home Automation system, I focused on the FGMS-001.

It’s a real beauty; small, flexible, you could almost say that Fibaro reinvented the motion sensor and even managed to fit some additional sensors into the ‘ball’ which are useful @ lots of places in the house.

So I was very excited to see this sensor working. Inclusion went fine, but then the trouble started. My binding worked fine, but no sign of Temp & Lux values? I also saw an error in the z-way-server.log:

Packet CC::MULTI_CHANNEL_CMD_ENCAP_V2 is too short: required at least 5 bytes, got 3
Error returned from _zway_cc_call_handler(zway, command, controller->id, 0, data[4], &data[5]): Wrong packet from Z-Wave network or Discovery got bad data (stick communication failed) (-9)

That doesn’t look good, so I searched for the error message; according to this seems I need a better/newer XML file, so I did. Motion was working, but Temp & Lux weren’t being updated. After a while I found out that this doesn’t happen by design – you have to change some parameters in the configuration. OK, did that. Wrong – you can’t use the RaZberry Expert UI to change those values, cause it messes up the entered values – enter “10” but this is changed to “32769” once you tab your way to the next textbox. Imagine what happens after applying such a value – temperature measurement every 9 hours.

So to finally get things going, I had to do it myself from a command prompt (setting Temperature interval to 600 seconds):


Yep, by the time I got this far the device counter had already reached 7, with just 2 sensors. And the battery is at 88% now, after almost 3 days – what was it, 2 years battery life? I’ll believe it when I see it. The FGMS-001 has lost a lot of its ‘glamour’ in just 2 days.

So what is this, a sensor from a bad batch? Still in beta stage? forum blames Fibaro for not following the standards of the holy grail of Home Automation called Z-Wave. Is this true and if so, why do this? Can’t they read?  Or is there some other purpose for this kind of deviation? I don’t know and frankly it doesn’t even really matter – what it results in does matter.

Cause all these little deviations make Z-Wave unreliable, immature – you never know whether it’ll work out of the box or not. Lots of techies will be able to solve this sort of issues, but the majority won’t. Killing. And imagine the IoT, with a predicted >25 billion devices around 2020, being driven by Z-Wave … it gives me the shivers!

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9 Responses to The Fibaro FGMS-001 on RaZberry and Z-Wave, The Interoperable Standard ?

  1. Fergal McCarthy says:

    Have you noticed this behaviour with any other Fibaro products ?

  2. bobonline says:

    This is a good resource for z-wave compatibility:

  3. GertJan says:

    Well, just started with Razberry and two Fibaro FGMS-001Sensors with two Fibaro FGWPE-101 Wallplugs and also not very happy. My wallplugs have incomplete interviews, and according to some forum threads this is related to older firmware in my devices. However, i cannot update these devices, not with Razberry, not with the Fibaro controller. And i also struggled with the sensors, but had less trouble getting temp and lux out with my Razberry. However, motion detection was only working after i associated the “third group” to “Device 1”, what must be the Razberry controller i think. Yesterday, i couldn’t concrol one of my switches. After a re-interview it was working again. I still feel uncomfortable with these buggy toys and try to think how to explain this to people who even don’t know what a Pi or Zwave is. Is this technology to “fresh” to be used? Disappointed a bit.

    • I’m disappointed too; experiments 2 years ago with Z-Wave were also disappointing, but being optimistic by nature I thought I’d give it a 2nd try.

      I don’t think Z-Wave is too “fresh” or ‘new’ – for example, Merten already had Z-Wave products around 2007. IMO, the biggest problem with Z-Wave is the poor interoperability between products of different manufacturers – you can bet the FGMS-001 will work very well with a Fibaro HC2 (a wild guess, I could have tested that cause I have a HC2 here, but just didn’t – waste of time). Some companies will follow “the standard” 100% and not allow deviations, others will have a more ‘relaxed’ policy – and there you have it, the ideal environment for conflicts.

      As long as interoperability between products of different manufacturers doesn’t improve, Z-Wave as a protocol just doesn’t work – it’ll be a maze for the customer, that doesn’t understand why a PIR made by company A doesn’t work with a controller/software of company B. His conclusion will be something like ‘Home Automation is crap, it doesn’t work’.

  4. Anthony Reinking says:

    You can ask Fibaro for a replacement with the new updated firmware that does not exhibit this problem.

  5. Ivan says:

    Disappointing experience for me to with this sensor, paired with a Sigma Designs UZB Stick (z-wave plus). I’m tried it with zibase-multi running on Android (used a nexus-10). Motion detection seems to work ok. I got the temp and luminosity IDs when the FGMS-001 was paired but I never get a temp or luminosity reading from the device. The forums were full of people complaining of the same thing (with differnet HW setup) – FGMS-001 version is v2.6 which was supposed to fix some issues (with verison 2.4) but still no luck.

  6. You have to set the sensitivity for LUX or whatever as it is probably not detecting enough of a change to update.

    The parameters that need adjusted should be in your ‘manual’ that came with the motion sensor.

  7. Max says:

    i have a question, i want to change the temperature interval like you… how i do command prompt because it doesnt work…what, i have to do, please help me, i am so desperate. Maybe is a stupid question but everything ,it is working, but I want to set all the parameters and I do not know how

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