Long range Z-Wave repeater

I have a small wood garden shed that’s about 100 feet from my house. I’d like to have a contact sensor to monitor the door on the shed. Originally I had a ST Multi sensor on the door, which linked via a Zigbee outdoor floodlight bulb acting as a repeater (on the house roofline) to the hub. Recently I got rid of those bulbs since they were crappy GE Links that disconnected from the network regularly.

I replaced the Zigbee contact sensor in the shed with a Z-Wave Plus contact sensor from Ecolink, thinking that the 908 MHz band would be better for range than 2.4G Zigbee. No luck- too far away. So I got an Aeon Gen 6 Z-Wave plus range extender and put it in the shed. No luck, it can’t link back to the hub either. Also tried the range extender in an outdoor outlet on the house, but that doesn’t get the contact sensor in range either.

What are my options here? Are there any Z-Wave repeaters with bigger antennas that could help me out here?

this may help you…

1 Like

Unfortunately, SmartThings doesn’t allow a second hub to be added as a secondary so I don’t believe there’s anything webcore can do about it. Each hub has to be on a separate “location” in the account. Unless @ady624 has added some magic to allow a single piston to affect two different locations?

From support:

At this time, we do not support having multiple Hubs in one Location. Users are unable to control the same devices using multiple Hubs (devices can only be paired to one controller at a time).
You can control multiple Hubs from one account, provided each Hub has its own Location.

1 Like

You can execute pistons in other locations from pistons in any other location. But that’d be an utterly ineffective way of connecting devices together :slight_smile:

So technically he can have a virtual motion sensor in the main location that is driven/set by a piston that’s executed by a piston in the second location that passes the status of the motion sensor there, technically proxying the motion events over to the main location. Like I said, it will work, but very ineffective (delayed) and on top of that, he needs a hub and internet in the shed :smiley:

1 Like

I had a similar problem reaching my treehouse which is about 140ft from hub (no repeater is closer than the hub), even thru a few trees. Zwave would not make it but zigbee would (against what I would have expected as lower frequencies usually penetrate further). I did have to place a repeater near a window which is a Centralite outlet. This allowed me to use my contact sensors inside the treehouse. I also have another situation where Zwave wouldn’t reach but using a Centralite outlet would, so maybe they have higher sensitivities?

Another option is to use a Cree zigbee bulb as a repeater either at your house or shed or both. These are cheap (<15$)

Is there anything in between the shed and house you could hang the repeater on (pole. fence, etc)? I don’t know off hand any low voltage z-wave devices that are repeaters, but maybe someone else here does??? If there is one then you could run/bury a low voltage wire for power to the pole/fence repeater. Just brainstorming…

Did a little research and found the WA105DBZ strobe/siren is 12V (not sure AC or DC???) and can act as a repeater. The GoControl battery version of this siren doesn’t mention repeater but the Nortek/Linear version does; it shows an 120V adapter instead of batteries…

If this is 12VAC you maybe could hook it right to a low voltage landscape light power supply.

On related note… I’m having trouble with a zwave contact sensor I recently added to my fence gate which is only about 12 feet from house exterior, maybe 20 feet from a zwave wall switch in the kitchen.

Thanks everyone. Maybe I’ll give zigbee a shot again with a different module. Will start a new thread on that.

1 Like

Thats exactly what I see too with zigbee vs z wave on proximity. I have a detached garage with zigbee (Cree connected) light bulbs which have no problem reliably staying connected to the hub. BUT oddly, my z-wave schlage door lock will not stay connected. I’m now looking for a replacement door lock that uses zigbee since I know the cree lightbulbs act as zigbee repeaters which will ensure that my door lock stays connected.

From what I’ve seen, Cree bulbs are ZLL devices, not ZHA, so they will not repeat messages for ZHA devices such as contact sensors. Am I wrong there?

The Cree are ZHA Devices, that part is OK, but they may still drop some messages. See the following FAQ ( this is a clickable link)

Zigbee is often more successful in outdoor applications because it uses a different dispersion control protocol (DSSS vs FSK for zwave) and consequently in spite of the higher frequencies zigbee tends to deliver messages better through rain or snow or high humidity.

On a clear dry day, Z wave plus would have the longest range, but the problem is weather variability.

That said, I personally wouldn’t rely on a zigbee lightbulb as a repeater for a lock for the reasons referred to in my previous post.

As for the Z wave lock, the issue is probably that it needs a beaming repeater within one hop.


Thanks for the feedback JD! So, while you were writing that I went out and bought a Zigbee door lock… just got home and read the post.

Would you mind referring me to your previous post (hyperlink?). I scrolled through first and wasn’t sure which post you’re referring to, but I definitely want to read/understand it if you don’t mind.

It’s the one right above the one where I mentioned it, post#11. :sunglasses:

1 Like