Second hub or other device


(Chuck) #1

So I have been unable to reliably control things located in my detached garage. I would like some feedback from the experts here on what my best options might be.

Background:

  • I have three GE light switches and one AEON motion detector located throughout the detached garage. The hub is located on the second floor of my home closest to the garage which is about 20 feet line of sight to the first switch in the garage and goes through the outside walls of both structures. There is a wired electrical switch on the first floor that is maybe a few feet closer than the hub.
  • I have found that my wifi (A,B,G,N) has an issue getting to the farthest corner of the garage to the stereo and security cams. I corrected this by installing another router and running a hard line to it. This was with the garage doors open or closed. The primary router is located right next to the SmartThings hub.
  • I cannot get reliable switching of all switches in the garage. Sometimes the switches function appropriately and other times it is hit or miss.
  • I have found that the AEON motion sensor works just fine even though it is battery powered. I find that odd.
  • I am contemplating moving the hub to the first floor as I am having the same issue of unreliability with some of my switches in the basement.

Questions:

  1. I have no idea how to look to see if or how the devices are meshed properly. Is there a way to do this?
  2. The AEON motion sensor seems to work just fine. However, the switches are having issues. the garage is not finished and the switches are in plastic switch boxes. The garage is wired off of the main circuit breaker in the house (not that that should make a difference). Has anyone else had this happen? Is this normal for battery powered devices to out perform a hardwired device?
  3. In your opinion, what is my best course of action? Get a second hub or try to troubleshoot the mesh of the devices?

(Chuck) #2

I have a similar situation with a detached garage and Things not reliably staying connected to my primary hub. I ended up buying a second hub, and the Things in the garage (a SmartSense Multi and an Evolve Zwave Relay) all stay connected reliably.

What I would like to do is tie both hubs together in one location, but can’t seem to find an option in the app to do that. It appears I can do it online, but am not quite sure how.

UPDATE: okay…it was really easy via the developer’s website… :smile:


(Brian Smith) #3

Wouldn’t you just need a repeater similar to this?


(Chuck) #4

@brianlees Have you used that extender/repeater successfully? Man…that’s a third the cost of a hub. :confused:


(Brian Smith) #5

I have not…and yes, the ST hub is not very expensive. But, I don’t think that they have multiple hub interaction working (nor do I know if that is even planned yet).

I know that most, but not all, zwave devices repeat. For example, I think the ST motion detector will repeat if it is connected to AC. Most switches and outlets repeat as well. If you add devices between the furthest point and the hub, they should aid in communication. That is the advantage of the mesh network.


(Chuck) #6

They definitely have multiple hub interaction working. It’s not possible to change locations via the app, but online, I changed the location of my garage hub to my home, and now all the things are in one view–it was actually much easier than I thought.

The one challenge I ran into was actually getting a signal from my house to my garage, even at the closest point between my house and garage. I tried to use a Jasco Zwave outlet as an extender, but that wasn’t reliable either. Ultimately, I purchased a Powerline ethernet extender to extend my network to my garage, and then bought a second hub and plugged it in inside the garage.

The only thing I’m concerned about now are the operating temperate limitations for the Powerline adapter and the hub…winter might be a challenge.


(Brian Smith) #7

I stand corrected! :slight_smile: And you can have devices on one hub control devices on another? For example, can a garage door sensor on hub1 trigger a set of lights and a Sonos on hub2?


(Beckwith) #8

I extended my network to cover a four acre property with a mesh:

http://www.open-mesh.com/

A neighbor who lives 1/2 mile away has joined my mesh and we have extended it much further. It survived -14F temperature this winter and is real easy to manage with a web and smartphone interface. I highly recommend considering it if you need to extend your wifi network.


(Chuck) #9

Confirmed. I have my relay and garage door sensor connected via my garage hub (I connected them when the garage hub was in its own location), and now have them controlled from my home location.


(Chuck) #10

Thank you, @beckwith…I’ll have to look into that going forward.


(Doug A.) #11

Chuck, I realize this post is a few years old. How did you assign your second hub to your existing location? I can’t seem to find anything in IDE to make this happen.