Getting better range out of Zigbee for Hue motion devices

I have two locations, both with a v2 SmartThings Hub, and both with Hue Motion Outdoor sensors connected. One works great, the other has been unreliable.

The location that has been unreliable…. Worked fine for a while… then the motion sensors begin going offline…. Over and over. I added a SmartThings branded Zigbee outlet in the room closest to them, and they became reliable again, for months. Now all of a sudden they are going offline as soon as I bring them outside. They work fine indoors. This location is only 1000sqft so I am not trying to cover a lot of distance. I have other Zigbee devices further away and they work fine, the garage has a SmartThings branded Zigbee outlet, its probably the furthest device from the hub I own, and it works fine, and there is a small out building with laundry that also has the same Zigbee device to monitor the laundry.

I tried changing the Zigbee channel to 20, then to 15, with no change.

Is there a way to rebuild the mesh?

Thanks for any suggestions!

That’s quite a few different questions, let’s see if we can unpack them.

  1. Is there a way to rebuild the mesh?

Sure, same way for every zigbee hub. Just take the hub off power (including removing batteries, if it has them). Leave it off power for about 20 minutes. Leave all of your other Zigbee devices on power. When the devices can’t reach the hub, they should go into “panic mode.“ Then when you put the hub back on power, all the individual devices will rebuild their Neighbor tables. This process can take a few hours, so you may not see results until the next day.

  1. [quote=“qwertypo, post:1, topic:273031”]
    I tried changing the Zigbee channel to 20, then to 15, with no change.

How long did you wait? Again, just like updating the Neighbor tables, this can take a little while to implement, particularly for battery powered devices. Certainly more than an hour unless you activate the sensor. And you will want to keep it indoors until you think the change has taken effect because if it really is out of contact when it’s outdoors, it won’t change its channel.

  1. what’s the weather been like lately? Humidity in the atmosphere, including fog, rain, and snow, will disperse signal, giving you effectively shorter range.

  2. I have other Zigbee devices further away and they work fine,

Other battery powered Zigbee devices? So far, you’ve only mentioned mains powered ones.

  1. anyway to put a zigbee powered device outside to act as a repeater? This could be a smart plug inside a weatherproof outlet cover, a lightbulb, a small relay powered off some other mains powered device, etc.

Ok, well I can give that a try. Should I want the sensors to “panic” near one of my hard powered Zigbee devices that they could get repeated through? Or wont the mess build in a way that it will not work once I move them?

They were on 20 for the past few months, I just changes them to 15, re-paired them and then tried to move them out, and fail stop reporting as soon as they leave the building.

68 and sunny…. It’s been less humid then usual lately actually, but this is a more humid area then my trouble free location.

I have other zigbee battery devices, leak sensors, SmartThings button, some door sensors. They are all working as expected.

Your instincts are right on this one: leave the sensors in their normal location before you take the hub off power. Otherwise they’re going to get confused about who their neighbors are. Just leave all your other devices wherever they are normally. Then power off the hub.

In this case, that means put the sensors in their normal outdoor locations, even if they are not reachable when you start this process.

By the way, I forgot to mention that this is called a “zigbee heal.“

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So the hub shutoff procedure brought them all back online at their desired location. Hopefully they stay put for a while, and I will use that method again if it happens in the future. Thanks for you help