Second hub to handle isolated workshop?


(Jed) #1

My house is on a hill, and we have floor heating with aluminum panels. This makes for pretty terrible RF transmission between floors. My workshop is below the rest of the house, next to a thick concrete retaining wall, and has plenty of metal in the walls.

So I have pretty spotty ZWave and Zigbee reliability down there. I have several Plug in Zwave and zigbee devices in the room directly above it, that all work perfectly well. But the devices below in the shop are laggy and poorly performing.

What about a second hub? Literally a second ST location.

  1. From the app, would I have to toggle back and forth between locations?

  2. I use Webcore. Would webcore be able to integrate events from different locations into the same piston?

Any other issues or benefits to doing this?


(IG) #2

Looks like Connect Home is the solution for you.
HOWEVER, you will need to rebuild all your pairings


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #3

Does Connect Home actually route ZigBee & Z-Wave over WiFi? I don’t think so. - But is there docs proving otherwise?

Two Hubs can be put into one SmartThings Location (unofficially) if they are joined to the App simultaneously on two phones.


(Jed) #4

Thankfully, their product page is so thoroughly full of technical specs. /s

I assume it has Zigbee and Zwave, as well as local processing capabilities like my ST Hub V2? Nothing in the page says anything about that. Just “You can even create a smart home”.

However, I don’t think I am gonna re-pair all my devices. I have around 125 total devices, probably 75-90 of which are ZWave or Zigbee. I did this once with the V1->V2 hub move, not again.


(Jed) #5

So I can’t add one to my existing network without re-pairing? Not gonna do that.


(Jed) #6

Ah, well apparently you can’t use the same Alexa/Google Home account with 2 locations, so this isn’t going to work.

Dammit, there needs to be a reasonable way to manage all this. This is the kind of shit with these systems (and it’s not just ST) that gives me pause when a friend asks if they should do all this.

Seriously, does anyone remember installing OSes in the 90s? This kind of work and futility that only college students have the time and patience for.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #7

Correct.

The SmartThings cloud data structure is designed to allow multiple Hub objects in one Location object: But SmartThings removed the ability to do this from all available UI, a few years ago, without explanation.

Possibly (just guessing) because it caused issues with assigning DTH and SmartApps to local Hub execution. The data structure never anticipated local execution.


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #8

There is no reason that Alexa/Google/SmartThings can’t implement this. It isn’t very difficult at all and is inherently facilitated by the SmartThings Cloud.

ActionTiles allows any one of our Accounts to connect to unlimited Locations - even Locations from different SmartThings Accounts. And vice versa (i.e., we have implemented many:many relationship with a development team of 2 people: And yet the vast teams of SmartThings, Amazon, and Google can’t figure it out? :confused: ).


#9

There’s a how to article in the community – created wiki on automating an outbuilding that should give you quite a few ideas. There are multiple options, including one with webcore, but with a lot of variation depending on specific details.

http://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Automate_an_Outbuilding

As others have mentioned, connect home is unlikely to help as it doesn’t extend the range or strength of the zigbee and zwave signals. One hub is the primary and any others will act as repeaters, but you still have to be able to get a zigbee signal from one hub to the other hub, the fact that they can talk to each other by Wi-Fi won’t help. So basically they’re no different than just adding another plug-in device in that sense.


(IG) #10

I was told/or red somewhere that since last firmware 20.xxx it is acting as zwave/zigbee repeaters. I’m waiting for second connect home to be arrive to connect it.
But, Since I do have a lot of devices everywhere, I’m not sure how I’ll know that connect home IS a repeater…


(ActionTiles.com co-founder Terry @ActionTiles; GitHub: @cosmicpuppy) #11

Sure… But that could (likely?) just mean they are repeating like any other Z-Wave / ZigBee repeater; i.e., like any plain powered Z-Wave or ZigBee outlet.

That means that each Connect Home Hub needs to be within Z-Wave and ZigBee range in order to successfully be a part of the mesh and then repeat the messages.

It does not necessarily mean that these have some magic that routes Z-Wave and/or ZigBee over IP (WiFi or LAN) in order to extend the mesh.


#12

Exactly correct. :sunglasses:

I have spoken with SmartThings engineering staff about this. There’s nothing magical about it, it’s just one more plug in device that happens to have a Z wave radio and a zigbee radio in it. So it does act as a repeater for both protocols, but no differently than a plug-in pocket socket in the same location would. It still has to be within range of another repeater to get to your network. The fact that the two hub units can talk to each other by Wi-Fi does not in any way change the range or signal strength for the Z wave and zigbee messages.


(Brad) #13

I used the GE outdoor plugin outlets outside the house and outside a remote garage and pool pump house each device repeats so I could have thrown this into a light circuit.