Newbie: Cannot pair Xfinity XH52-UE Sensors

Ok so yesterday I received four Thirdreality smart plugs and four Thirdreality window sensors. Without even using any of the plugs, I added the sensors to four windows scattered around the house. This morning all are online and working perfectly. My six installed Xfinity sensors are all showing as disconnected. So I’m thinking the Xfinity’s are just crap. Not seeing a need right now for Zigbee repeaters since everything I’m using, except the Xfinity’s are running fine, but will keep them just in case.

Holding off on smart wall switches until I get an electrician to show me the right way to set them up, so I don’t set my house on fire.

why not install them to see if they resolve the Xfinity offline issue? it is still a good idea to add zigbee repeaters IMO.

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I did that and no change with the Xfinity’s. Sorry, forgot to mention that…

Because Zigbee assigns a parent to each new device when it is added to the network, if you just add a new repeater, any existing battery powered devices won’t even know that it’s there and they won’t use it.

In order to see if a new repeater will help with an existing battery powered device, you have to do what is called a “Zigbee heal”. It’s Easy.

  1. After you have all the devices added to the network, just take the hub off power (unplug it and remove batteries if it has any) while leaving all the other Zigbee devices on power. (They don’t need to be turned on, they just need to have power available to their radios. So basically just don’t unplug them or take their batteries out.)

  2. Wait 20 minutes. During that time, the Zigbee devices will go into “panic mode“ as they realize they can’t reach the hub.

  3. Now put the hub back on power. All the other devices that were in panic mode will rebuild their network tables, so they will now be aware of the new repeaters, in a good way.

  4. And now the hardest step for most people: wait. The rebuild process isn’t quick. It can take anywhere from several hours to about a day. So you may not see better results until the next day.

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I know: it’s really hard to wait that long to see if it made any difference. Again, mesh networks just aren’t like the Wi-Fi network you probably used to. They’re designed to run on very low power with relatively inexpensive devices, so a lot of stuff that would happen immediately in a high-powered Wi-Fi network takes a while. But it will get there. :sunglasses:

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Ok, will give it a shot and report back. Thanks again!

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Monday afternoon update:
Followed the process JD listed above. Results were good, not great. I still had one sensor device going offline randomly, a Thirdreality. It’s easier with Thirdreality because so far I can just remove from ST and re-add them. The Xfinity’s I’ve not been able to re-add once I removed them so they’re pretty much garbage. Results have not been much different after adding the four Thirdreality smart plugs in the four corners of the house.

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I’m confused by this description: that doesn’t sound like building a backbone for a mesh network. If the third reality plugs are too far away from the hub, they aren’t going to be able to function well as repeaters.

Again, going back to the community FAQ on wireless mesh networks, you want to put the hub centrally in the house, and then build out from there with one Zigbee repeater about every 45 feet. That’s what gives you a strong mesh. Then you add your battery powered Zigbee devices and they will find the closest repeater with an available child slot to join to.

A Mesh network works like a pony express system. The first device carries the message as far as it can, which isn’t all that far. It’s then handed off to the next one to carry it as far as it can. And so on. Each of these segments is called a “hop“ and the Zigbee profile that the SmartThings hubs use can handle up to 15 hops in to the hub and 15 out in order to deliver the message. So as long as you have repeaters in the right places, you should be able to cover a large house effectively. But it’s not done by placing one repeater in each of the four farthest places of the house. The repeaters actually don’t have much longer range than the battery powered devices. They just have the ability to pass a message along for a different device.

A Guide to Wireless Range & Repeaters - #11 by JDRoberts

I personally typically put one Zigbee repeater in each room, but I like to build a really strong mesh and then not have to worry about it. You should be able to get away with one every two or three rooms in a typical American house. But again, you start from the hub and build your way out from there.

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Hi JD - current situation is I’ve replaced my Xfinity sensors with Third Reality sensors. All have been working fine except in one bedroom that has four windows/sensors. Seems random, every day 1-2 of them go offline. Removing/replacing batteries works sometimes. I have four Third Reality plugs in a line from the Aeotec hub to the room every 8 feet or so. The whole space is not very big. Have done the 20 minute unplug step numerous times and I keep coming back to the sensors in that one bedroom. Is there any way to find out if those sensors have found the repeaters and are using them, or if they’re ignoring the repeaters and going back to the hub and thus going offline? Thanks again