All Problems Resolved By Admitting That Samsung HUB is the Problem

I’ve had a raft of different issues with both Z-Wave and Zigbee devices, but all has been well for a solid month - I admitted that the Samsung Hub itself was the defective component, not the devices.

By moving the hub to the exact physical center of the house with a dedicated ethernet cable, I no longer have any problems at all with any devices, even the oft-maligned Aqara door/window sensors. My hub is mounted sideways, with cable ties gripping around the case, and a cable-tie hanger loop through that, to let it hang from a screw driven into a 2 x 12 floor joist under the center of the house. This is NOT a big house, so clearly we need to do a tear-down and look at external antennas for these things.

But if you have problems, the problem is the hub, not the deivices, as I have a very mixed bag of Schlage deadbolts, Aqara door sensor sensors, Ikea 120Volt plugs, and so on.

But move the hub, and admit that the antenna range is nonsense for both zigbee and z-wave, so if/when buying another hub, look for anther brand.

1 Like

I recommend edit the title of this Topic to more precisely express that you discovered that the Hub position / location is the problem.

Yes… At the root, it can be considered a problem that positioning is so impactful; but SmartThings isn’t going to replace everyone’s Hub. Customers can, however, try to reposition.

I can confirm that my V1 Hub’s ZigBee mesh performance falls drastically even a few inches away from a particular reliable location.

1 Like

Sorry, but you are completely wrong.

The defect is that the antennas and associated amplifiers provide insufficient range, far less than advertised, far less than what the typical house would need.

I have hopes for external antenna hacks, as the frequencies are not so far away from those used by WiFi and other common consumer electronics. (In fact, looking at one’s 2.4 Ghz WiFi channel use vs the zigbee channels used by one’s hub can help some people.

But one should not have to “position” the hub as I had to. One should be able to expect to co-locate the hub with one’s router, central switch, and other network gear, in the basement or garage.

1 Like

What’s curious here is that the V2 of Samsung SmartThings WiFi (the WiFi mesh product powered by Plume), obviously has both 5 GHz & 2.4 GHz WiFi as well as 2.4 GHz ZigBee and Bluetooth all in the same 4" square puck. Support Home | Official Samsung Support US

Perhaps this box does have antenna placement specially optimized.

But note:

The Samsung SmartThings Hub V3 / 2018 can be connected to the internet via WiFi (instead of only via direct ethernet cable). This gives a tremendous amount of flexibility in where the unit can be placed in the home.

Not a lot of internet / WiFi bandwidth is required. Therefore, it does not need to be placed close to the home’s main ISP access point and WiFi Access Point.

While hub location and house size are important factors, do not forget that interference from other sources are sometimes more important. That includes wi-fi transmitters, cordless phones, microwaves, etc. And interference does not occur in the same way at all locations throughout the house.


This is a helpful guide for those who have issues with RFI:

The problems experienced in the originating post of this discussion are with the V2 hub, which has antennas that are anything but “polar”. So the range of the device is not consistent, neither “planar” or “spherical”, and the Zwave antenna propagates at right angles to the zigbee.

See for a rough idea of the actual propagation.


Well: the V2 Hub is no longer sold, so it’s not going to be fixed. Best thing that SmartThings could / should do is make V2 owners aware of the article you link. (The Hub depicted actually appears to be a V1.)

With all the factors influencing radio transmission, customer education would always be beneficial, even if antenna design is/has improved. The linked article ought to be included in the product box.

But if V3.x Hubs are better designed, users of V1 & V2 ought to consider investing in the upgrade.

I’d be curious if a V3 would give you more placement freedom in your environment.

Anecdotal, but I have a V3 hub and I’ve not had any issues with Zigbee or Z-Wave devices. The hub is currently sitting on a window sill in the office in the back of the house to allow it to get to my garage. It doesn’t have any trouble reaching anywhere else in the house (which includes a 2nd floor and basement).

1 Like

I am sorry, the hub I complained of is a V3, not V2.


Do we know what the antenna / ZigBee / Z-Wave / WiFi transmission patterns are in V3 (2018) (and in “V3.25” - the SmartThings WiFi Mesh Router Kit)?

First rule of home automation: “the model number matters.“ :wink:

Teardown from the FCC application for the STH-ETH-300. Is that the one you have?

With any radio device it’s the same as real estate, location, location, location.


Or just replace the antenna…

1 Like

Home automation protocols are Omnidirectional. That means that adding a bigger antenna can make the message transmission efficiency worse in some directions. It can also increase the amount of signal noise received, a real problem for these low power devices. Most home automation companies engineer the antennas inside the box to be at the optimal efficiency for the frequency they will transmit on. So just making the antenna longer is not usually recommended.

For mesh protocols like Z wave and Zigbee, you improve signal strength by adding more repeating devices, not lengthening individual antennas.

If you did so and it worked for you, great. But it’s not the usual best practice. :thinking:

1 Like

I’ve done about 800 of these now for various hubs granted this is the first ST hub but almost always an improvement.