Awotec Zwave Repeater 7 are breaking my mesh

I installed 3 repeaters on 3 floors. All with S2 security authentication. (Verified from CLI). When i have these devices in the mesh, nothing really works. When I remove them they start working. I installed them in hallways in the middle of the house so they should be best positioned to serve aeotec shutters all around the house. But they seem to be doing more harm than improvements. I tried zwave network repair as well. Did not improve anything. What could be the reason to this? Should i install one right next to the ST hub? Otherwise first one is about 5 meters away from the hub

If it was me, I would just return them.

As I have written previously, we needed single purpose repeaters back in the days of zwave 300 when not all devices transmitted at the maximum power allowed by the standard and the mesh could get very uneven. But since about 2017, there’s almost no reason for them: pretty much every mains powered Z wave device except smoke sensors will act as a repeater, and all the end devices are transmitting at maximum power anyway. So just get a good inexpensive zwave smart plug (which doesn’t do energy reporting), and it will be just as good at repeating. (Energy reporting smart plugs will also act as repeaters, but they can be too busy to do it well.)

There is one exception to this: the ring security system repeater is a plug-in device that switches to battery power for 12 hours or so if the mains power is cut. That’s a really clever idea for a security system, because it means your battery powered sensors still have a repeater available When the power is temporarily out. So I do like that device.

But otherwise, single purpose zwave repeaters are just a marketing message. They make money for the companies, but there’s no real point in having them in your mesh.

JMO, of course.


I get your point for returning them. I am just curious about the technical reason for them breaking the mesh.

They could have been any other power socket doing the same. I have no way to investigate mesh network right now. So i dont even what kind of a routing ST ends up creating.

Why would adding repeaters break the mesh? Ignoring that they shouldnt be needed in the first place :sweat_smile:. I guess i am fallen for the marketing message that they provide longer range and less busy queue than a regular plug

I agree with JD, Zwave plus power sockets work the best.

I have always had the best performance putting 2 or 3 power sockets right near the hub in kind of a star pattern if possible. 1 device is not going to work well if it has to relay the Zwave messages for your entire setup! This also depends on how many Zwave devices you will end up with in your setup. I also don’t pair anything S2. I know everyone always talks about security and you should use S2 but I’m not a believer in it.

Did you get any messages from the repair?

Also, it can take several hours for all the individual neighbor tables to get rebuilt after the repair, so you may not see improvements until the next day.

Finally, as to why the repeaters caused a decline in QOS, I have no idea. :man_shrugging:t2:. I can think of a few possibilities, but since smartthings doesn’t give us the network diagnostic tools we would need to dig deeper, in cases like this, speaking just as a former field tech, I don’t really worry about it. There are plenty of alternative devices you can use and, as I mentioned, the single use repeaters aren’t really a good value anyway, so I personally tend to just move on. But that’s just me.

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What are the types of reasons you can think of as you mentioned?

Repair had taken about a minute and I saw degregation after 12 hours.

I am inclined to remove everything and add them with no security.

I am not worries about the security. I just want it to work consistently.

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I’m not going to list all of them, because without diagnostic data, it’s all just hypothetical, and, to be honest, too much work for me to detail.

But the first possibility is that that specific model just doesn’t handle mismatched security issues very well, although it seems to have been improved with the most current firmware. Anyway, that could cause it to flood the mesh, which would interfere with other messages getting through. There are lots of discussions of problems with that specific model on other home automation platforms, See, for example:

Since SmartThings doesn’t offer thirdparty Z wave firmware updates as a platform feature (several other Z wave hubs do), there may not be much you can do about it if the issue is that the repeater firmware isn’t up-to-date. :disappointed_relieved:

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Piling on here.

I had Z-wave mesh issues about 3 years ago or so and bought three Aeotec Range Extender 6 repeaters. They were completely useless and are living in a drawer until I decide to just pitch them out. I don’t use S2 so it wasn’t due to security level mismatches.