As far as how far it will boost the coverage of the Zigbee mesh, are all zigbee outlets created equal? Trying to increase the reliability of some zigbee sensors on the edge of my network. Is this $10 outlet (http://a.co/d/3mn4Kkq) as good as this $35 one (http://a.co/d/8wWOVmv) with a “Built-in power amplifier for exceptional wireless range” ?
I don’t mind paying more if I’m getting a better quality/more reliable product, but there is quite a range of prices on these. NOTE: The ONLY purpose this will serve is a repeater.
As long as they are certified for the ZHA (“zigbee home automation“) profile, they are all very similar as far as smartthings itself goes.
HOWEVER… you didn’t mention the brand and model of the sensors that you are trying to connect, and that does make a difference. In particular, the Xioami sensors are popular because they are so inexpensive, but they also are only engineered to work with their own gateway and they can be, as engineers say, “idiosyncratic.“ They do have quite a bit of trouble with many standard ZHA repeaters.
If you are using that particular brand of sensor, checked the Xioami thread and see what other people are using. They seem to work best with the new IKEA Tradfri outlet, at least as of this writing.
But as far as most of the other big names in sensors, they should work fine with all of the big-name ZHA repeaters, including the two you mentioned.
Mailboxes are always tricky because they are usually metal. Some people have had success drilling a small hole in the mailbox and then sealing it with plastic to get the signal through. But of course you can try the repeater first and see if it helps.
If you’d like to look at other mailbox projects, check the quick browse lists in the community – created wiki, look down near the bottom of that page for the project report section, and then choose the mailbox list:
Mine is plastic (specifically replaced for this project…lol). It had been pretty solid overall for about a year until recently. I have a theory that it was using a cree zigbee bulb on the outside of the house as a repeater, and that bulb fell off the network for a few weeks and I didn’t realize it. I think this may have caused the sensor in the mailbox to connect directly to the hub which is a much farther jump. Probably if I power off the hub for a while and force the zigbee to rebuild, now that the cree bulb is working again, it may fix the mailbox. However I think the better option is to have a plug on the front porch.
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