The house (where the ST hub lives) is 300FT from the workshop. Any way to extend the hub range or, do I just buy a second one? (I do have wifi in the workshop that is on the same network as the house).
Aeon Labs makes a zwave extender. That’s your best bet I think
Hmm… 300 ft is quite a long range. Unless you can put a number of repeaters between you an the house, and then only use Z-wave items (not the SmartThings Zigbee items). Honestly, I think you’re better off getting a second hub. Do you have a land line you can use in the workshop?
Another hub will need ethernet, not wifi. You could use a bridge though.
Since repeaters cost pretty much the same as other powered devices, I see it being more cost effective to put other “powered” devices between the hub and the area you wish to extend to (battery powered devices will not repeat activity). Unfortunately zigbee devices will not repeat zwave network activity, and vice versa (they are 2 different networks).
chrisb - no landline and it’s just empty land between the two buildings so (no place to add repeaters)
Scottinpollock - the wifi is bridged, so I should be ok there - not sure what you mean by ‘powered devices’?
@emilm If no place to put a repeater then definitely need a second hub, but you do need to be able to plug into a ethernet jack. The Hubs don’t have Wifi on them.
By ‘powered devices’ he means things like outlets or switches or plug-in modules… something that’s get normal house current to it, not running on batteries. Battery powered devices don’t repeat z-wave or zigbee signals because it would burn through the batteries too quickly to constantly be listening and re-transmitting signals.
What Scott is suggesting (which is true) is that getting a repeater will often been nearly as expensive as getting an outlet. So why not get the outlet instead? Then you get a useful device that you can switch on/off and that repeats rather than just something that repeats.
There are some times when a repeater makes more sense though… if you have no need now or ever for a z-wave outlet. Or if you need something for a temporary setup… just plug in the repeater rather than hardwiring it.
If you can get plugged devices (you would probably want Z-Wave and ZigBee network ranges extended) every 30 feet (inside) and 50 ft (outside) you should be alright. We routinely test the ZigBee network ranges in the hundreds of feet from the hub, even without range extenders. We up the amplification of those radios in our own devices.
If you have any electrical outlets outside, you could use the GE Outdoor Light Plug-and-Control Power Outlet. It will extend your Z-Wave network. Plus, you’ll be able to control a light or something outside. You can get them for around $35 on Amazon. I have two in my back and front yard and they work pretty well.
Use a point to point WiFi system like Ubiquiti NanoStation (you will need 2) to get ethernet to your workshop and then add a second ST hub to the shop.
I have used the Ubiquiti equipment to extend networks up to 3 miles. They are amazing!
Thank you for all of the suggestions - sounds like I have some options here I haven’t thought about. Since Z-Wave has a range of 300ft (I thought the range was MUCH shorter) - I can either extend it (with a like of GE Outdoor Light as suggested by @vitamincm) or get a more stable wifi using something like the Ubiquiti station.
This is the best option to extend WiFi to the shop. I have been running a wireless ISP business for 12 years and Ubiquiti makes a great and inexpensive product.
Don’t all zwave devices automatically extend the mesh?
Most mains-powered Z wave devices will extend the mesh. These are called “repeaters.” Battery powered devices do not repeat, as it would use up too much battery life.
See the following FAQ:
All of that said, I’m not quite sure why we revived a three-year-old thread today, as there are now a number of different options that were not available three years ago. Pretty much everything in this thread is out of date, regardless of the protocol being discussed.
There is a how to article in the community – created wiki on automating an outbuilding which is up-to-date for anyone interested in the OP’s original question, which was how to control devices in a shed away from the main building.
With regard specifically to extending Wi-Fi networks, there are now multiple Mesh Wi-Fi systems to consider, including The newest one from Samsung which has a built-in SmartThings hub as well.