A Quick Note On Aeotec Gen5 USB Sticks
The Market Ticker - Commentary on The Capital Markets
Logging in or registering will improve your experience here
Main Navigation
Full-Text Search & Archives

Legal Disclaimer

The content on this site is provided without any warranty, express or implied. All opinions expressed on this site are those of the author and may contain errors or omissions.


The author may have a position in any company or security mentioned herein. Actions you undertake as a consequence of any analysis, opinion or advertisement on this site are your sole responsibility.

Market charts, when present, used with permission of TD Ameritrade/ThinkOrSwim Inc. Neither TD Ameritrade or ThinkOrSwim have reviewed, approved or disapproved any content herein.

The Market Ticker content may be sent unmodified to lawmakers via print or electronic means or excerpted online for non-commercial purposes provided full attribution is given and the original article source is linked to. Please contact Karl Denninger for reprint permission in other media, to republish full articles, or for any commercial use (which includes any site where advertising is displayed.)

Submissions or tips on matters of economic or political interest may be sent "over the transom" to The Editor at any time. To be considered for publication your submission must include full and correct contact information and be related to an economic or political matter of the day. All submissions become the property of The Market Ticker.

Considering sending spam? Read this first.

2020-01-21 07:00 by Karl Denninger
in Technology , 86 references Ignore this thread
A Quick Note On Aeotec Gen5 USB Sticks
[Comments enabled]

If you have one of these and put it in a drawer somewhere, not using it for a while, you should probably know that it has a lithium battery in it.  This is why you can unplug it from a controller, take it to a unit and include it there.  Incidentally this is a very nice feature that those "fancy pants" controllers lack, and it also obviates most (but not all) of the security implications of including something over the Net that has a security key (which was the rage over Z-Shave, if you remember.)

What is also apparently the case, and is not obvious at all, is that this battery is actually more than just a backup.  That is, when discharged, or if it fails, the stick gets very, very "wonky."  It appears, specifically, that the RF section is using that power -- perhaps what it wants to draw is more than the USB supply can reliably provide on a peak basis.

In any event if it's low on power -- but not out; it is still working when unplugged and will light up, for example -- you may well find that it will not respond to some commands and appears to not send or receive data either!  That is, you can tell it to "add a node", it will acknowledge the command but never then returns the next frame telling your controller that it is ready to proceed.

I've seen reports around the web that these things sometimes get "screwed" and do odd stuff.  I believe this is what's going on.  If the battery is not actually damaged -- that is, it's just discharged -- leaving it connected to USB power overnight is sufficient to restore it to health.

However, if it's actually dead then you're in trouble because that battery isn't exactly user-serviceable.  There may be, in that case, exactly nothing you can do other than replace the stick, which is a huge hassle since you then have to reconfigure your entire Z-Wave network including all security keys for devices that are running in secure mode, because the Network ID will change.

As near as I can determine when this happens the stick itself is not dead.  There are people claiming there are firmware problems in certain releases; I think what they're running into is exactly this, and the older firmware (of course) correlates with an older, more-likely to be worn out battery.

So if you run into this -- and it's been sitting unplugged for a while -- plug it into a USB port and let it sit overnight.

You might get a pleasant surprise.

View with responses (opens new window)