Devices seem to constantly lose connection

Hi All

First let me say thank you for any help you can provide. To give you some background My house is built in two sections. First is extremely old made of brick and the second is built mostly of wood and drywall. With this my house is long and I originally had my hub at the far end of my house in my office but I had issues getting the signal to the far end of the house from the hub. I then decided to move the hub to my basement server rack to let it run the full span of the house and work links upwards. When making the change I reset all of my devices to ensure they can reset the network and set up cree light bulbs also in my basement. Everything day one was working and then I started to have items go offline, then back online and then offline again. I am sure you get the picture. I am not sure what to do at this point as talking with Samsung support is them essentially asking me to reset devices which they will work for a short time and then I will lose them again to have a long winded frustrating conversation with them. Here are a few things I have:

Hub - V1 (Currently trying smartthings dongle for Nvidia Shield to see if it helps)
Multipurpose sensors OLDER Version - 2
Multipurpose Sensor NEWER Version - 2
Motion Sensor NEWER Version - 2
Motion Sensor OLDER Version - 1
First Alert Smoke Alarms - 1
Schlage Lock - 1
Cree Light Bulbs - 9
Phillips Hue - 23 Items

These items are scattered throughout the house and run the full span from end to end top to bottom. I have reset these devices so many time and I have moved the hub around trying different approaches. Unfortunately there is no way to have this in the center of the house as that is my kitchen and there is no good location for it there. Trying to not make my investment wasted as I am at the point of removing it completely from my home because I worry when I need it to actually work it won’t. Thank you in advance for any help/guidance. Thank you

So short version, your devices use repeaters to make your network stronger.
But honestly I don’t see enough repeating devices of any one type (ZigBee or ZWave) to form critical mass for a working mesh for either protocol.

  • Hub - both ZWave and ZigBee no problem here except being a V1 hub. Not supported by firmware updates anymore.
  • All your various multipurpose and motion sensors, ZigBee… Ok, But they’re battery powered so none of them repeat signal.
  • FA Smoke. ZWave, will repeat, ok.
  • Schlage lock. - ZWave, battery powered, wont repeat and additionally NEEDS a beaming capable ZWave repeater nearby (dont see one) for best performance.
  • Cree bulbs - these should theoretically repeat for ZHA profile ZigBee… See @JDRoberts post here Bulbs as network extenders. Are they repeaters or just receivers?
  • But to be totally honest ive never had any luck with bulbs being decent repeaters (and I don’t use Cree bulbs - I use Sengled when I need one SPECIFICALLY because they don’t repeat and I have better control over my ZigBee mesh)
  • Finally your Hue bulbs. They repeat for each other, but wont participate as a SmartThings ZigBee repeater.

So for ZWave, you have only one repeater and for ZigBee you have very few known reliable repeaters. (your Cree bulbs are having to carry the load and again, i dont trust bulbs as repeaters.)

My best guess here is anything that is farther than ~30ft. / ~10m from your hub drops… A lot. Unless your ZWave devices live close to the hub, those are always giving trouble and your ZigBee stuff like the bulbs and sensors drop randomly… But when a bulb close to the hub drops you lose large chunks of your system. It may not be as bad as described but I’m sure I’d be going batty chasing issues…

To fix this youre going to need to evaluate installing mains powered repeating devices for both ZigBee and ZWave about every 20-50 ft., working your way out from wherever your hub is.



First let me say thank you for the time you have taken to put the above together. You confirmed some of my thoughts as I was having the same issues with wifi and I then installed a ubiquiti mesh network. I will take a look at boosting the signals with repeaters. The interesting issue though was that my door sensor on the farthest side of my house would connect but not the motion sensor that was in between the hub and that door sensor. Quick question for you.

Do you Think I need to get a new hub or would I be ok with the smartthings dongle for the NVidia shield?
Would it help if I increased the number of battery device repeaters in the house? I had planned to add more contact sensors throughout but stopped when I had so many issues.

Again greatly appreciate your time as this has made more sense then the smarththings phone support asking me to do the hypothetical “Restart your computer and see if that fixes it”. Like you said I was going mad chasing issues as it was always causing me to start over and build everything back up including automations.

Let me hit this one first. I never run any computing device on my network that can no longer take security updates. Period. SmartThings hubs get their security patches through firmware. V1 hubs are no longer getting firmware. Therefore I’m upgrading. I’m currently on a v.2 hub and I’m currently looking at my options so I know what I’m doing when that device eventually stops receiving updates if that helps clarify my position.


(EDIT: I reread this and I think I misinterpreted what you wrote, clarification to my statement, above - NO battery devices wont help - REPEATERS will.)

So Zigbee and Zwave differ but where they’re the same without getting into DEEP tech. Hardwired devices generally repeat -battery powered devices generally dont. You get ZERO help for the network (Either protocol) by adding more battery powered nodes of either type at this point. You could put in a couple Zigbee pocket sockets (Ikea or Securify Peanut are my faves) and a couple Zwave smart switches (prioritize the wall switch near your lock for best result) and DRASTICALLY help your situation.

Oh and as for the door sensor - i bet it managed to repeat through one of the bulbs. I didn’t say they wont - just they’re not exactly reliable as repeaters in my experience.

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Thank you again for the help and I will certainly work through these items now. Greatly appreciate the feedback. Should have known the Cree light bulbs were too good to be true when you could get 6 for $60 on amazon! Thanks again.

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Don’t knock it - they’re decent bulbs.:wink: I’m just a bit of a control freak on how I run my gear. 20 years in IT operations does that.

I misread your post as well so that was my fault for asking a nonsensical question. I understand now that it needs more power than a battery can provide to repeat. I will look into plugs. Totally understand your perspective as doing it right the first time can significantly reduce the need to chase after issues. I feel the Samsung starter kit pushes a beautiful picture of home safety that you may not be able to achieve in most homes if you don’t understand what you just explained. I was under the assumption that battery items were also repeaters so this can certainly be anyone who buys the starter kit.

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