I’ve been using ST for just about a year now. I’ve gotten used to the things on my network but now I’m trying to expand the reach and I am just not grasping it.
I want to get the door sensor (smart things door sensor, temp, knock, etc). that I installed on the shed door to work. It’s too far from my house I guesss to pick up the hub so now I have a useless sensor and I don’t know how to get something to tie into my ST hub.
That being said, I do have two cat6e lines running to my shed and I also have power in it. One line is being used for a camera at the moment and the second isn’t being used so I can set something up via POE or just using the wires somehow like a hardwired sensors into st hub somehow?
Anyway, looking forward to hearing what others suggest.
I would just get some repeaters, such as cheap Ikea plugs ($10 if you have a store near you) and put one in the shed and 1 near the edge of your house in the direction of your shed. Then attempt to pair the multi sensor by the plug in your shed. I have probably 10 of these plugs around the house and in both sheds. All my open/close sensors, temp sensors in the fridge and freezer, garden spot lights, soil meters in the vegetable garden 100 feet away, all route through these with no issues or drop offs.
Zigbee for home automation is designed to be a very low power protocol. That’s good, because first of all, it uses less energy, and secondly it allows for quite long battery life in battery powered devices like sensors.
The bad part is a Zigbee home automation message can only go about 40 feet.
But the other good part is that Zigbee devices can pass along messages for other Zigbee devices on the same ZigbEe network. This is why it is called a “mesh protocol.”
Think of it like the Wells Fargo pony express. A message is given to a rider who goes as far as they can. Then when their horse is tired they stop at the next waystation and give the message to a new rider with a fresh horse Who takes it the next part of the journey. And so on, until it reaches its destination.
A smartthings hub is a plastic box with multiple radios inside of it. It participates in three different networks: one for Zigbee., one for Z wave, and one for Wi-Fi/Ethernet. These have nothing to do with each other, they are completely independent networks. Your cloud account keeps track of all of them for you as one account, but physically they are distinct.
Zigbee repeatS only for zigbee. Z wave repeats only for Z wave. So the fact that you also have Wi-Fi doesn’t help with getting a Zigbee message to its Destiination. Zigbee messages get passed from one Zigbee device to another along your Zigbee network. Wi-Fi devices don’t have hops like that, they just get broadcast out from the hub to the various Wi-Fi devices.
So to get a zigbee message from the hub to a Zigbee device in the outbuilding, You need to have a path of Zigbee devices, each no more than 40 feet from the previous.
OK, that’s the basics. There are two threads that you should read.
The first is the community FAQ on wireless range and repeaters. Start with post 11 in that thread, read that, then go up to the top and read the whole thread. (The topic title is a clickable link)
After you read that, there is a how to article in the community – created wiki on how to automate an outbuilding which will discuss the various different methods for solving this general problem. That should give you some more ideas.
If you want to use zwave - I have a Ecolink door/window contact ( DWZWAVE2.5-ECO) on my mailbox (which is across the street) that makes a 80ish foot jump to my garage zwave light switch, which makes another 60ft jump to my basement light switch, which then makes a 40ft jump to my hub (at the back, top floor of my house). And it’s almost instantaneous notifications.
If you don’t mind going without vibration and temperature and have a decent z-wave mesh, you could try the new generation ring contact sensor (assuming you’re in the USA). It’s z-wave 700 series, so it has much longer range than the ST sensors.
They copied the product description from the older Z wave version of that device. The Z wave will extend its network up to 150 feet. The Zigbee version will not. Some marketing manager’s mistake. It happens all the time. They use the same outer case, so the marketing people think they have the same features.
Yes, any repeating device just Has to be connected to the mains and then it will repeat. You can turn the device on or off, but as long as it can still hear the next network command, it will still repeat.
If it’s only 30 to 40 feet away, it should work fine. . Of course each of the other devices have to be within about 40 feet of it.
I used an early version of this sensor and have it in my shed that’s probably close to 80 feet or more from the house. The sensor is picked up by a Smartthings repeater in my upstairs hallway. It has always worked and lets me know when shed doors are open for reminders to shut them.
Good point. We should just mention that that specific to Zigbee devices and has to do with the parent/child structure of those networks. If, just in case, the OP decided to switch to a Z wave plus sensor, then you don’t run into the same limit on repeaters.