How to extend range of smartthings


(N) #1

Hi all

Has anyone had any success extending the range of ST? I want to ST enable some switches, etc. in the shed at the far end of the garden but it’s out of reach of the hub.

I have seen people discussing the option of adding a second hub in other threads so would be keen to hear from anyone who has done that. The shed has a cat5e connection running to it so I have some options there I guess.

Any advise welcome

-N


#2

Both Zigbee and Z wave are “mesh” protocols which means that most mains-powered devices can pass along messages from other devices of the same protocol on the network. Not just the hub. So you extend the range just by adding more mains-powered devices of the protocol that you are trying to extend. These are typically in wall relays, pocket sockets, plug in motion sensors, and some light switches.

Read the following thread which discusses setting up zwave to cover a big house for the basic concepts.

Then read the next thread for issues specific to an outdoor building like a shed where the hub is in the main house.

Setting up a second hub inside the outbuilding as a second location is always the most reliable option because there are no concerns about weather. But it does make setting up the logic to coordinate the shed devices with the house devices somewhat more complicated. So it’s definitely an option, but it’s not usually someone’s first choice.


(N) #3

Thank you very much!


(N) #4

Still struggling with zwave range. I can’t get a fibaro fgs-222 to reliably communicate with the rest of the network. I’ve tried moving zwave devices and doing zwave repairs - it’s just a bit too far.

A SmartThings Power Outlet works just fine, though. Am I right in assuming this is Zigbee and Zigbees range is better??!

Does anyone know if there is a Zigbee device I can use with a double light switch? Either a relay type device or an actual 2 gang socket, ideally.

Any recommendations gratefully received.


#5

Yes, the SmartThings device is zigbee, not zwave.

In your case, I would try the brand-new fibaro double switch 2. It is Z wave plus, while the model you currently have is the older classic zwave.

Z wave plus has a significantly longer range then either zigbee or Z wave classic. It’s backwards compatible with Z wave classic, so it will work just fine with your current devices.

http://www.vesternet.com/z-wave-fibaro-double-switch-2-gen5


(N) #6

Hi there,

Just adding a followup to this old thread, with further questions :wink:

I have kitted my shed out as a garden office properly now and am looking at how to add smart tech to it. I have done done rough testing and found the following:

  • z-wave plus devices work ok - i tested with an Aeotec Smart Switch Gen5 and it worked fine. I took JDRoberts advice on this and got into Zwave Plus so thank you very much
  • Hue bulbs work ok too but with an occasional lag. this if fine, though because i am going to add some hue lights to the back of the house and shorten the distance between the office and the nearest other bulb. should improve things. Agreed?

My questions are regarding sensors, etc. I tested a Fibaro motion sensor in the shed in conjunction with the Smart Switch Gen 5. I was under the impression that the Smart Switch would act as a repeater and that the motion sensor should then work ok. I guess i am wrong. Can anyone clear this up?
Similarly, i tested a Hue motion sensor assuming that the zigbee mesh network between the bulbs would repeat the signal ok but i go nothing from the sensor at all.

Its probably a lack of understanding on my part but i was really hoping to fully kit the office out with sensors, etc. so am a little stuck.

Thank in advance :grinning:


#7

Wow, this thread is two years old! Anyway, there is now an FAQ in the community – created wiki on getting signal to an outbuilding that should help.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Automate_an_Outbuilding

In terms of what you’re describing specifically, mesh networks aren’t like Wi-Fi. It isn’t that you add a device and it instantly knows the best route to use.

For your Z wave devices, once you have the devices in the physical locations where you want them to be, you should run the Z wave repair utility. It can take a while for each individual device to update its own neighbor tables, so you may not see the full results until the next day.

As far as the Hue motion sensor, what’s the distance to the nearest Hue bulb, and how many walls between them? And just to confirm, they are both connected to the same hue bridge, right?


(N) #8

Thanks, that’s really interesting. Thank you. I’ll follow your advice regarding the z-wave devices and see how it goes.

Regarding the hue motion sensor, it’s probably 20 meters or so from the hue bridge with 1 external bridge wall and 1 timber wall between them.


#9

With no hue bulbs closer to the sensor? That would probably be too far for a good connection. It’s typically much harder to get signal through an exterior wall than through an interior wall Because of differences in construction.


(N) #10

So, in terms of the hue. I will be adding hue bulbs to the back of the house and hue bulbs to the exterior and interior of the office building. The external lights are about 20m apart but there is clear line of sight. I’m hoping this will be ok. The internal bulbs will then be obstructed by just a timber all. Hopefully this will work and allow the sensor to function ok?

In terms of Z-wave. I followed you advice and took the following steps:

  • added a z-wave plus aeotec 5 smart switch to the office. This works well, although there is a pretty consistent 2 second lag.
  • I placed a fibaro motion sensor in the office also, carried out a z-wave repair and waited 24hrs.

The results are better but slightly inconsistent/odd:

  • regular temperature and illuminance readings.
  • tamper and case opened readings almost instantly
  • there appears to be a large delay in motion readings - sometimes of 4 minutes or so. Not sure why.

I have carried out a range test on the motion sensor and get: green pulse -> yellow pulse -> solid yellow -> green pulse, and so on. My understanding is that this means it is connecting via other devices - not directly to the hub.

In terms of where I go from here, I’m not really sure.