About to consolidate hubs. Any advice?

hey. Because of the layout of my house, I’ve ended up with 3 hubs. One for the basement, one for the main floor, and one for the garage. I’ve now discovered that Aeotec makes range extenders so I’m about to try and consolidate everything on to one hub. Any advice? Can I just go to the IDE and change the hub for each device? Adding some of the devices was a total trial and error pain in the butt, I’d rather not have to repeat that.

The Aeotec range extender doesn’t do anything that any other Z wave device that repeats can’t. It doesn’t have a stronger signal, it doesn’t have any magical networking features. So it’s no different than just putting a series 700 plug-in pocket socket in that same physical position.

We used to need range extenders back in the third generation of zwave when not all devices transmitted at the maximum allowable power, but by the time you got to zwave plus, the fifth generation, pretty much all devices transmitted at maximum anyway, so there was no longer a need for standalone single purpose range extenders. you get more value out of a light switch or a pocketsocket which can do double duty.

There has been an additional benefit to having an S2 range extender in the last year or so when you were adding a few S2 level devices to an existing network, but that will go away in the future as more devices support S2.

So if you want to try consolidating your networks, you certainly can, but the aeotec range extender isn’t something you need to do that.

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To this question, the answer is No.

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first if you have a vast amount of sensors like i do, ~300, you might want to keep things spread out across more then one hub. right now i have zigbee sensors on a v2 hub and zwave on a new aeotec v3 hub. previously i had to do several hard resets and excluding/including ~150/300 sensors is a royal PITA! Now if something goes rogue with one hub that is cut in half. i tried some of the aeotec repeaters and they didnt do a damn thing. zwave devices were jumping to the aeotec siren gen5 repeaters, some even across the house.

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these are all very helpful comments. Thank you. I truly thought the Aeotec would extend my v3 hubs. Is there anything out there that will do that?

I should add, that the reason I want to do this is that I want a button on Hub1 that will activate devices on Hubs 1, 2 and 3.

Every zwave device that repeats does that: that’s how a mesh network works. Otherwise all your devices would have to be within about two rooms of your hub. :sunglasses:

Most mains powered Z wave devices repeat, which includes light switches, Z wave lightbulbs, plug-in sensors, in-line relays, etc.

Each zwave plus repeating device, whether it’s a hub or not, can transmit for up to about 75 feet inside a typical American home if it’s Z wave plus. but there are a lot of potential architectural barriers. Big metal objects like washing machines or refrigerators or cars in the garage. Aquariums. Just human beings walking around. Colored glass. Wire lathing inside the wall. Cement, stucco, brick, adobe. It’s just like your cell phone: you’ll get a different number of bars in different locations because of potential architectural barriers. So sometimes finding placement is a matter of trial and error. The goal is to have a strong mesh, which means having an available repeater about every 60 feet to catch the next message and then pass it along down the line.

Zwave is limited to four “hops“ per message, which doesn’t count the originating device or the destination device. Sometimes if you have an architectural barrier you have to get a little clever about where to place the next repeater, and sometimes zwave light bulbs. Are helpful with this. Like getting signal up the basement stairs into the kitchen, or getting signal across a garage that’s filled with cars.

But there’s no specific device you can buy to help with extending the range of your mesh. You just have to put repeaters in the right spot to bounce the signal around, and sometimes that takes trial and error to get it right.

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Do you have the hubs on the same SmartThings Location, in which case you can do it already, but at the cost of missing out on local execution?

Or are you prevented from doing this because you have the hubs on separate SmartThings Locations and there isn’t a stock solution?

When you say ‘I want a button on Hub1 that will activate devices on Hubs 1, 2 and 3’ is that literally what you want? Or do you more generally not want to worry where the devices are?

I ask that because having three hubs sounds like quite an attractive solution if they are operating largely independently.

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oooooohhhhhhhhhh I can multiple hubs in the same location? Each of mine is it’s own: “upstairs”, “downstairs” etc. I"m guessing there’s no easy way to move a hub to a new location?

One other thing to be aware of… The Aeotec Range Extenders are ONLY for Z-Wave. If you also have Zigbee devices attached to all of your ST Hubs, those Aeotec Range Extenders would not help in any way whatsoever with the Zigbee devices.

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You can but there is a support page saying it is not supported. There is or was another page saying it is not recommended. You are unlikely to find ST staff who will say anything more positive than that your mileage may vary.

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this has been a very helpful conversation. Thank you all

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