Coverage issue & multiple hubs (v2 & SmartThings WiFi)

I’ve had a v2 hub for quite a while & its been good for the pile of switches in the house & even the chicken coop relatively near the house. But unsurprisingly it never worked well for my metal walled shop 150-200’ from the house. I put an outlet in a plastic weatherproof box outside the shop & it was successfully working as a repeater for a while, but it stopped a little while back.

I picked up a 3 pack of the WV525 SmartThings WiFi hubs to hopefully remedy the issue but haven’t had any luck sorting out the shop. I got all the z-wave devices at the house deleted & moved over just fine. But when I move one of the WiFi hubs in the WiFi mesh up to my shop things are a no go.

I have Ethernet & Internet inside the shop, but it’s a different network than my house network. If I plug the additional hub in out there it broadcasts & provides WiFi connectivity as (I mostly) expected. But again, I’m not able to exclude or add any of the switches in there to the new network. I was guessing the hubs needed to be on the same LAN or WiFi mesh to act as Z-wave gateways, so I tried moving it outside.

The hub gets ok signal to the main hub in the house when sitting outside the shop doing the WiFi mesh thing, but I’m still unable to get any switches inside to exclude or join the new network. Even when they are 10’ away with almost line of sight though an open door. It was always a little flaky (VERY flaky without the outlet acting as a Z-wave relay), but my v2 hub could cover that 150’ or so. The new hubs seem to either only use the main hub & not the additional WiFi meshed ones for Z-wave or have something else funky going on.

Am I missing something on the SmartThings WiFi hubs? I was under the impression that all of them that were provisioned into the same WiFi & SmartThings mesh would each act as a gateway.

Do I just need to wipe my old v2 hub, plug it into my shop Ethernet & join all the switches to it? There use to be some pretty big limitations on having 2 different hubs & not being able to run automation between them. Are those limitations still around after the move away from the SmartThings classic app? I know you can only add a Z-wave device to 1 hub.

I’d really like to be able to turn on the lights outside the shop from the switch on my deck again & have my air compressor (110v light switch running a 5hp rated 220v relay) automatically turn off when I turn off the shop lights, again.

I believe this post from the late @tgauchat answers your question: Questions about SmartThings WiFi Mesh System

In short - the 2nd - Nth Wifi mesh devices you add are only running as repeaters for Zigbee and Zwave - you still have the same distance limitations from the 1st hub.

What Nathan said. The zwave and zigbee Signal don’t extend/repeat over the WiFi/LAN.

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To answer the second half. I know they changed some things last year (maybe late the year before) to allow multiple hubs in one location but to be honest Ive only ever seen it mentioned once in the forums and Indont know the limits of devices operating on the second discreet hub or how one would even control device associations that way or if it would allow cross hub automation. (If I can find that post that mentioned it ill tag it.)

Now if you put the second hub in a separate location your notes about limiting cross hub automation are still true. But you might be able to overcome it with webcore and some virtual devices if its only a few devices…

Thanks for the info. Not what I wanted to hear, but what I was suspecting.

Probably going to return these SmartThings WiFi hubs & just get a v3 hub at a fraction of the price. I have no need for yet more WiFi gear if they don’t act as Z-wave bridges as well.

Several people have reported the new app supports using multiple hubs in one location. Automations also work between hubs as long as they are in the same location. If you’re still in the return window and already have a mesh wifi system, I’d keep your V2 in the house and add a V3 to the garage.

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Ya, I have a pile of WiFi already. Spare Cisco commercial gear on my main network. Plume pods from a Plume beta test on my backup network. I was kind of hoping I could add the Plume pods to the SmartThings WiFi as it uses Plume tech. But it looks like they are incompatible there as well despite using the same management app & technology. A let down on all fronts.

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