Need some help--can I use two SmartThings hubs with one Alexa?


#1

Did a search, couldnt find topic that matched my situation that had the clarity i need.

I have two smartthing hubs in my house.
One upstairs, one downstairs. Seemingly needed this because of the limited range of these hubs.
Each hub has its own dedicated ST account. One controls stuff upstairs, the other downstairs.
I want to use my Amazon Alexa to control devices on both hubs.
When i enable the alexa skill for ST, i seem to only be able to feed it one ST account.

How can i get control of all devices with the setup i have? Pls advise
Thx


(Michael Sammon) #2

nope
bigger question
just how big is your house if you have range issues

is your problem the hour glass effect?


#3

How many devices do you have upstairs and downstairs? I had a few communication problems initially but then as I had more switches. Things got solid fast. I would either put in some more lightswtiches or a repeater before going to a 2 hub solution.

Alexa works awesome with ST. Make sure you keep a consistent naming scheme for your devices, really helps. i.e. Master Bedroom Light, Master Bedroom Fan, Kids Light, Dining Room Light. That way you are not guessing and getting in arguments with Alexa.


(Michael Sammon) #4

i helped someone setup a 5000 sqft home with 1 hub


#5

I have seen some relatively small two-story buildings that required a hub on each floor if the building was made out of concrete or Adobe. You just couldn’t get signal through the floors or walls, everything had to be bounced around the hallways. Pain in the neck. :disappointed_relieved:

Concrete housing is not common in the US, but it is in Asia, and we have had some community members who had this issue. Adobe houses are relatively common in the American Southwest and some parts of California.

It is what it is. “All home automation is local.” :sunglasses:


#6

The Video is good at describing a common problem, Particularly for people who add battery-operated sensors over time. And it’s always true that it’s better to locate a hub centrally both horizontally and vertically. :sunglasses: but in the example the guy gives, I think I’d just add another repeater towards the middle to take the burden off of the one red dot. You shouldn’t have to put a vera into wireless bridge mode if the real problem is just that you don’t have enough repeaters in the mesh. (Of course maybe his market was people who just don’t want to pay for any extra repeaters.)

Still, if the problem is a bottleneck like that, you can still bottleneck at the hub and introduce delay. So a more robust solution will be to create more pathways with an additional repeater or two.


#7

As you noticed, at the present time one Alexa account can only be associated to one smartthings hub. SmartThings Has said they hope to change that in the future, but for now it is what it is. :disappointed_relieved:

If you have an echo on each floor, you can give each one its own Alexa account and then each echo can talk to one of the hubs.


#8

Thanks for all the responses to this thread. I returned the second ST Hub as your responses and my further research led me to conclude that what i was attempting was not going to work. (Which i’m still somewhat amazed by).

House is 5000 sqft, made of steel, cement, and glass. It’s a blackhole for wifi, a faraday cage so to speak.
ST hub is centrally located in stairwell connecting two floors.

I ordered a TP-Link AC1200 Wi-Fi Range Extender w/ Gigabit Ethernet Port to see if i can futz with the hub’s position to get better coverage. The suggestions to add additional z-wave plus devices is another possible solution. Currently, the network z-wave mesh is probably too sparse with about 4 devices per floor. (All z-wave, not z-wave plus which i understand now has a much greater range).

Question: Is there any type of IOS app that can test linkage strength between z-wave enabled devices? It would be great to be able to see where the weak links are somehow. Seems like there must be something like this. The ST app can “repair the z-wave network” but it doesn’t really give you any details about the health of said network.

Thanks again for all the responses and suggestions.


#9

It is weird that smart things doesn’t give us better network mapping utilities. They’ve said for a long time that they would like to, but they haven’t.

There’s no simple standalone app you can get that’s going to show you your Z wave network.

Some community members have set up a laptop with a USB stick as a secondary Z wave controller and then used the stick’s utilities to map the network, which can work, but can also be quite a bit of effort.


#10

By the way, Z wave lightbulbs can be useful repeaters for bouncing signal along hallways. And there are now some zwave plus ones available. (Zigbee bulbs are not always reliable repeaters for anything besides other bulbs, but the zwave bulbs seem to be solid.). So in your situation with concrete and steel walls, that’s an option that may help in some places.

http://products.z-wavealliance.org/Search/Index?regionId=2&searchText=LED+Bulb

And you’ve probably already seen the following FAQ, but it’s worth reading if you haven’t. Start with post 11, and then go back and read the whole thread. :sunglasses: