Need help extending hub via WiFi to separate studio

Hi there,
Newbie here and 1st post.

Just a bit of back history.
I started with Nexia about 6 years ago, primarily door locks and AC.
I have a studio about 100ft from my house and together with outdoor plugs and wall sockets in the studio we managed to include the devices in the studio into the Nexia hub, however, the studio connectivity was a hit and miss situation.

The Wifi signal from the house is pretty good in the studio office, so I converted the studio to a Wink hub which is a WiFi based hub and it has been pretty stable since then.

A few months later I converted my house from Nexia to a SmartThings Hub ver3 which is working great.

I would now like to covert my studio to SmartThings and this is where I need some advice. Ideally, I would like the studio just to be an extension of my house but certain devices in the studio will not reach the hub in the house, so I will have some form of wifi hub in the studio.

Any suggestions on how I could make this work?
I am not sure what this does " Samsung SmartThings Wifi" and if that would act as an extender.
If the solution is to buy another SmartThings ver 3 Hub can I configure it to be part of another hub?
Would WebCore treat it as 2 different locations?
Would I need to purchase another ActionTiles license?

If the studio would be treated as a sperate location, it might just be better to leave the studio on Wink.

Thanks for your insights.



I don’t think the SmartThings WiFi would work in your case but I would check with Samsung Tech Support just to be sure. The mesh hubs extend both WiFi, and Zigbee/Z-Wave. As far as SmartThings devices go, they function as a unit so you wouldn’t have multiple hub issues or need two locations.
The only question I have is whether the initial hub is the only one really doing device hub work or whether each hub can connect to devices and then cooperatively exchange that data over WiFi. To put it another way, I’m not sure if any secondary hubs simply repeat Zigbee and Z-wave (with the standard maximum distance) or whether every hub in the mesh allows devices to connect to it and then share those connections over longer range WiFi connections. That’s the question for Samsung Tech.

Shoot, I was hoping to not have to answer this question, but I see there is still a lot of confusion.

First things first, just to get it out-of-the-way: the Samsung Wi-Fi mesh models do not in anyway extend the range of the Zigbee or zwave for your SmartThings account other than acting just like any other zigbee or Z wave device put in that physical location.

It is not True that each subhub gets to control its own set of the devices, the way, say, a secondary Z wave hub works on some other brands of home automation.

Instead, one and only one of your units will act as your home automation hub for the whole entire network. So you have to be able to reach that one in order to do anything with the zigbee or Z wave devices.

What the sub hubs can do is act just like any other Z wave or zigbee device on your network would act if placed in that physical location. Like a light switch. So they can repeat as long as they can reach one of the other devices of the same protocol which is closer to the main house. But they don’t do anything magical just because they are also Wi-Fi or because they are also a “hub.” They don’t add any additional range. They just repeat the same way a light switch of the same protocol would, but obviously with the advantage that you have both a zigbee and a zwave device in the same physical unit.

See the FAQ on this topic:

Automating an Outbuilding

There is an article in the community – created wiki on automating an outbuilding that should answer all these questions. So read that, and then if you still have any questions, just come back here and ask and we will be happy to answer. :sunglasses:

I’m going to ask other community members who do not fully understand how the Wi-Fi mesh systems work in a smartthings account to just refer people to the existing FAQs, and that will be the least confusing for everybody.

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I was about 90% sure that was the case, which is why I recommended Samson Tech Support for a definitive answer. Recommending FAQs is another good way to go.
So Tony4x4, it looks like you’d probably have to string some repeaters between house and studio to get them to stay connected. Sorry. Someone should invent a device that would repeat Zigbee and Z-Wave long-distance; like the WiFi over home wiring or MOCA devices.
There are devices like this: Zigbee pro extender, but at $100+, it’s costly and only does Zigbee.
Also, I apologize. I re-read my original response and found that I had omitted a rather important word in the first sentence. It’s been added, but it changes the whole meaning.

Unfortunately, these days Samsung tech-support often gets the answer wrong on these kinds of highly technical questions until you get to level III. :disappointed_relieved:. Of course, you’re welcome to try, but when an FAQ exists, it will usually be more accurate than first level support, and will always be faster. :wink:

Zigbee already does long-distance, but not in the profile that smartthings uses since that is intended for low power uses.

Z wave over IP exists and has been discussed multiple times in the forum. You can search for those threads if you want. It’s called Z/IP , But it is not supported by smartthings.

The wiki article is kept up to date and covers all of the practical approaches available today for automating an outbuilding when your primary hub is smartthings. There are several methods to choose from depending on exactly what you were trying to accomplish. :sunglasses:

The specific device that you linked to is not compatible with SmartThings. The company cardaccess makes devices specifically for use with control4 zigbee systems and they use their own proprietary profiles.

From the same site you linked to:

Card Access designs and develops an expanding line of ZigBee® wireless mesh networking-based contact sensors, motion sensors, contact relays and high-voltage power controllers-providing Control4 with increased event sensing, power-controlling and energy saving capabilities.

It is not enough for a device just to be “zigbee” in order for it to work with SmartThings. Please see the following FAQ.

FAQ: Zigbee Application Profiles, or why not all zigbee devices work with SmartThings

There are longer range zigbee devices that can be used with SmartThings, and, guess what? They are covered in the wiki article on automating an outbuilding. ( and the ones covered there cost considerably less than $100.)

I am sorry to be short-tempered today, but I am not feeling well, and the whole point in having FAQs is so we don’t have to go into the same details over and over. The questions are good questions, but the answers already exist.

I have now spent pretty much my entire quota of spoons for the day addressing details which already have FAQs. I can’t participate in this forum if the FAQs don’t get used, I just don’t have the energy for it. I recognize that as my own failing, but at the same time, we don’t want people spending over $100 for a device which isn’t going to work for them. So it does affect more people than just me

Submitted with respect.

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Oddly enough, I’ve had similar experiences with FAQs. Maybe it’s like presence sensors. You may need more than one source to really know :slight_smile:

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That can always be true. Choice is good.

I am all in favor of multiple resources. Of course, it would be nice if they were current, accurate and compatible with SmartThings. Just sayin’… :wink:


Thanks for your responses. I did read the article and it seems a little overwhelming at 1st glance, maybe I just need to re-read it again :slight_smile:
Can ZigBee devices handle longer distance hops than Z-Wave? If so maybe I just convert the studio from z-wave to zigbee devices.
It would just be great if an additional SmartThings Hub could just be put in repeater mode as a sub hub to the main hub, but we can all wish.

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Zigbee allows for many different “profiles,“ and each has its own rules and range.

I wish I could make it all simpler, but just as a rule of thumb, the zigbee profiles that smartthings works with have a pretty short range per hop, around 40’ feet inside the typical American home. That is, the distance it can transmit from one zigbee device to the next zigbee device. Zwave plus is closer to 75 feet.

However, the zigbee Profiles that smartthings works with allow for more hops per message, specifically 15 into the hub and 15 out again. Z wave only allows for four hops per message.

So you can usually cover at least as much total distance with zigbee as you can with zwave plus, it just might take more devices.

In addition, because of some differences in how they transmit, zigbee tends to do better outdoors, particularly with high humidity, rain, or snow.

(And just to make things even more complicated (sorry about that) there is one zigbee profile which can carry a message for smartthings across a quite longer distance, but that’s technically pretty complicated to include in your network so most people don’t do that.)

So zigbee Can be helpful in some situations just because you have more hops to play with. But when it comes to an outbuilding, it’s hard to say, It all comes down to the individual details.

To be honest, by far the easiest thing is just to use Wi-Fi devices in the outbuilding if that will work for you. Wi-Fi has much longer range than either zigbee or Z wave and it just comes down to you exactly what you want to accomplish there.

Or, go ahead and set up the outbuilding with its own smartthings hub and its own smartthings account.

All of those options are covered in the how to article in the wiki, so if you can be a little more specific about what exactly you have in mind and what is confusing in the wiki article, we can probably be more help. :sunglasses:

That is: as long as we’re talking about general stuff, it’s probably going to continue to be confusing and complicated.

But if you can be specific about exactly what you want to make smart in the outbuilding, we can be specific about exactly what might solve that particular question for your particular setup. :sunglasses:

Also, this might be your best choice for now if you’re happy with the way everything is at present. :sunglasses:

Well, that the thing. The Zigbee docs say it can handle hops up to 10 meters while Z-Wave can hop up to 30 meters. However, Z-Wave can only do 4 hops maximum where Zigbee can do quite a bit more. (The docs say “unlimited”, but the reasonable limit is likely less than that.) Keep in mind that that 10 m or 30 m limit is through clear space. Your meterage may vary considerably :slight_smile: It’s clear you’d need at some thing(s) to get the signals from the studio to the house and that’s where the “Automating an Outbuilding” article does a good job of explaining all the options and potential pitfalls of each.

Not sure what docs you are referring to, but remember that zigbee does use profiles. The Zigbee home automation profile (ZHA 1.2) which smartthings supports allows for 15 hops into the hub and another 15 out.

I was referring to the Zigbee specification documents which define the protocols. The profiles are subsets of that but, as you point out, pretty important ones when it comes to figuring out things like this.
So, to the original question, 15 hops at a maximum of 10 m each would make for 150 m theoretical maximum range as opposed to 4 hops at a maximum of 30 m each which would make for 120 m theoretical maximum range for z-wave. That’s well over the 100 feet to the studio, but would require either devices spread along the path, long-range antenna-sporting devices, or other options, all of which are described in the “Automating an Outbuilding” Wiki article.

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