Changing z-wave frequencies

I have just bought a smartthings hub from an American site for use in Europe and I now read that the Z-Wave protocole is not compatible for europeen Z-Wave devices. Is there a way to re-configure an American hub to work with europeen Z-Wave frequencies?

Thanks for your help.

Sorry to say, there is no way to reconfigure Z-Wave radios. As far as I understand it, they have a set once feature that is set by firmware at manufacture and can not be changed.

Legalities aside, you’d be stuck with American Z-Wave products and hoping they will work on the European voltage.

With the above said, it would be illegal to operate the American Z-Wave frequency in European zones and if your device caused interference to other services there could be potential repercussions legally.

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HI,

Thanks for the reply. I don’t understand why the europeen hubs are so expensive: over 250$. The US hub that I bought was 90$ including international shipping.

I want to integrate my honeywell heating system which runs on z-wave so I guess I am stuffed.

I can’t speak for prices as I ended using a different solution using Home Assistant (free software) and an Aeotec Z-Stick.
It’s more complex to setup, but for me it offered more flexibility than Smartthings. It satisfied my inner geek :slight_smile:

Sorry that I had to give bad news about the US Smartthings hub.

Both the Italian and British Amazon sites have the ST hub for around 80 Euros. I am guessing what you found for 250 was a kit with additional devices included… Or you are in another country where some importer is being a bit greedy.

The Zwave frequencies used in the US are in the lower 900MHz band which is used by some cordless phones in the USA and cell phones in Europe (so it is likely illegal for you to use US Zwave devices in Europe regardless of whether they actually even have the power to cause interference).

https://www.worldtimezone.com/gsm.html

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I live in South Africa and we use the UK/ EU Z Wave frequency.

I have bought a number of SmartThings Hubs from different sources but find it frustrating that the Z-Wave frequency is not marked on the Hub. This would prevent much confusion if SmartThings did this.

Also would it not be possible for a switch to be included on the hub to switch between frequencies?

Also are not some devices capable of dual frequencies

Can someone help me? Adrian

The hub model numbers are different for different countries. So you just need to look on the hub itself for the model number and you will know what country it was designed for. :sunglasses:

https://products.z-wavealliance.org/

As far as switching between them, because some frequencies are illegal in some countries (the reason the frequencies are different to begin with is because they can interfere with local first responder communications, which are on different frequencies in different countries), and you would need multiple antennas which would add to the cost, so it just isn’t done. The frequency is determined at the factory when the antenna is installed and cannot be changed after that.

I believe the 700 series of Zwave will allow to change the frequency to match your region as Silicon Labs is stating vendors will be able to have a single SKU to serve the entire world, but that is the near (?) future and not possible right now. What made this possible is that the 700 series no longer requires SAW RF filters unless the product also integrates GSM or LTE radios operating in the subGHz range. Even then, the chip apparently supports at least a couple SAW filters to enable multi-region support. I believe I read that 3 SAW filters would cover the entire world. This will make it much easier for vendors to produce devices that work worldwide… of course you will have to use the correct frequency for your region.

https://news.silabs.com/2018-12-12-Next-Generation-Z-Wave-700-Launches-on-the-Silicon-Labs-Wireless-Gecko-Platform

https://www.silabs.com/community/wireless/z-wave/knowledge-base.entry.html/2019/01/16/z-wave_700_saw_filt-s5Ev

As for the antenna, I am guessing they will just have one design that covers the entire range. After all the frequencies are relatively close together.

Summary: @AdrianMichie - I am afraid you are out of luck…

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isn’t there a way just to flash the fw with a EU version?

I’d say - No - as the 500 series chips require a frequency specific SAW filter on the RF side so there is a hardware difference that prevents a single SKU from working worldwide. The new 700 series touts the single SKU as a new major benefit.

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It is possible the antenna design is also different to be tuned for different frequencies.

That’s not true at all. Fibaro HomeCenter 2 controllers have a built-in, not user accessible script, that can change the firmware of the z-wave radio thus changing it’s frequency for the needed country. I’m not sure if a Smartthings hub can do the same, but it’s doable.

It will be possible with the new series 700 chips, but it was not possible with Z wave plus V1 (series 500). This has been much discussed in the Fibaro forums for years.

(Also, Z wave frequencies are not by country, they are by region. All of the EU and, as it happens, china are on the same frequency. North America is different. It has to do with the local first responder frequencies in use.


)

Do you have a reference link for your statement? Just curious.

In any case, it is not possible with the smartthings hubs.

That’s not true, at least for the HomeCenter 2. It does have a script that must be run as root on it’s Linux subsystem and it can change the HC2 frequency. This is not shared by Fibaro at all. I’ve hacked my own HC2 for root access and i was able to access all Fibaro scripts and functions inside it. There are several firmware files that changes how the Z-Wave controller operates. I’m pretty sure this cannot be done at modules level, but for the Home Center it can be done, because i’ve tested and it works.