Hi SmartThings Community,
I just go both SmartThings Hub 2.0 and Monoprice Z-wave Door/Window sensor. Connecting (pairing) them was pretty easy but when I put them at my designated location, they will not work. Then I figured out it seems like the max range is about 31 feet between each other. (Yes this also depends on what’s in the way, ie wall). Can anybody share their experience on how far you can put your device/sensor and/or if any other device has better range than the Monoprice one? (Yes I also know I can get repeaters to extend the coverage). I’m just curious if any other device are better or worst than these.
Also the SmartThings Hub 2.0 antenna seems to be a directional one. The z-wave antenna seem to be pointing to the front (away from the USB, power, Ethernet ports). I have another Door/Window sensor behind the hub about 5 feet away and it seem like sometimes it doesn’t work at all. Is it true that the z-wave antenna pointing to the front? I actually have the hub pointing away from the second sensor and it’s upside down. (This might be a problem if I decide to put sensor on the second floor.)
Thanks for your help.
I have mine go out to a garage door. So, I have a z-wave gap of about 100 or so feet. I do have various repeating devices (plugged-in z-wave devices) throughout the home & garage, which helps, but that’s the biggest gap between devices. Generally, they reach 25-100 feet depending on home makeup, interference, etc.
Very important: If you move any z-wave devices, make sure you repair your z-wave network so any repeating devices properly pair with nearby devices. After configuring a complex zwave network, this always fixes weird reach-ability issues. You can do this under Locations -> Hub.
Also, look for any powered z-wave devices such as switches, outlets, etc. that could improve range. These do wonders!
Zwave plus devices will have significantly longer range than older zwave ones. The usual rule of thumb is a max of 40 feet for classic Z wave and about 60 feet for zwave plus inside a typical US home. Obviously if you have concrete walls or metallic wallpaper that will reduce range. ( I know the specification says 100 feet and 150 feet, but that’s clear line of sight outdoors on a dry day. The practical range indoors is much less. )
Cheaper devices not uncommonly have somewhat weaker signal output. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if the Monoprice are a somewhat lesser range than a device of better build quality. Better batteries can also make a slight difference, maybe three or 4 feet or so.
Zwave Antennas are not directional. The Z wave signal should go 360° up down and sideways. If the sensor right behind it isn’t responding, it’s more likely interference. If you move it further away, maybe 15 feet along the same direction, it might work better.
So to get devices with more range, choose zwave plus over older zwave. To improve the one hop range of existing devices, first try better batteries, then look for interference sources.
Your information was useful. The only reason why I thought it was directional was because of this article: http://blog.smartthings.com/iot101/a-guide-to-wireless-range-repeaters/
The article seem like it’s suggesting it’s pointing to the front. Maybe this was the previous generation hub.
It does point to the front but it’s not a directional antenna. So the direction that it’s pointing makes the most difference in terms of interference in the immediate vicinity. The signal spreads in three dimensions as the distance from the source increases. (True of all omnidirectional antennas.) So if you put the hub in the center of your house on the second floor, you’ll be able to get signal on the first and third floor as well as 360° around the hub on the second floor. Assuming there are no physical barriers like concrete floors, of course.