What doesn't make sense with SmartThings

My biggest gripe is that in order to setup a device you must bring it within 15 foot of the hub. So if it has to be reset a zigbee device has to be removed from wherever it is and the battery removed. I have a few devices that are in very high and out of the way places. I am getting a V2 hub I hope soon which means all my devices Z-Wave, Zigbee and WiFi have to be removed from the app and IDE then I have to climb into the rafters of the attic to get the sensor in order to pair it again. There should be an easier way to migrate to V2. I also have to copy all my custom device types and Smartapps manually to the new hub. That should be made automatic. This is going to be a daunting project, that frankly scares me a bit.

[quote=“joelw135, post:1, topic:38425”]
My biggest gripe is that in order to setup a device you must bring it within 15 foot of the hub.
[/quote]I did that with my first few devices, but my monoprice sensors said they had to be included in the network from their final location.

I tried it and the hub found them so I’ve been doing that with all my new sensors and I haven’t had any problems. I think if you start near the hub and work you’re way out, you’ll be able to add the others without having to move them.

One thing I did was create a small Wifi bridge that I could plug the hub into. Then I can take the hub TO the device if needed. You need to do this with locks.

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Bruce! I have a second WiFi router which is extending my network I have a Airport Extreme set up next to the hub which creates the network and on the other side of the house I have another which is set to extend wifi network. So what you are saying is to move the hub to the second router if necessary, is that correct? I still have the problem of going into the rafters to reset the SmartThings Multi sensor, unless I can pick it up with the install new device. I am hoping that is all I will need to do when I set up the V2. As of now I have 7 zigbee devices.

3- Iris Open/Close
1-SmartThings Temp Humidity sensor
1-Smarthings Multi Sensor
2-SmartThings motion sensors

I have some Z-Wave devices

1- Everspring Leak detector
1-GE Paddle in walld dimmer

What I am hoping is that the Zigbee device in the attic which is the multi sensor will just be found and I can configure it. The temp humidity should do the same thing. The two motion I will have to remove the batteries in one then set that up then replace batteries in the second and set that up. The three IRIS sensors I will have to hope each is found then open the door to ID which is which and rename and configure.

Do you think it will work that way? Or will I have to pull all the batteries and start one at a time.?

No, that’s not what I’m saying. What I’m talking about is a battery powered wifi bridge using a TP-LINK TL-WR702N. I got a small USB battery pack, and power that with the battery pack (and Hub V1, since it doesn’t have batteries). All this does is provide the internet connection to the hub in a portable way, so the hub can be moved around.

I am hoping my devices will be found even with them being far away. The IRIS open/close was found on the far end of the house from the ST hub. The new hub V2 has batteries so I can move it if necessary, but it will be a job juggling it in the attic and then climb 25 feet up the rafters to the vaulted ceiling and hold on while I remove the battery or just do the search, I hope I don’t have to remove the battery as then I will have to be an acrobat.

Only resort to moving the hub when you have to, and for locks. If a device will include, great. I haven’t had to move my hub since the last time I rebuilt my system, and that was only for a lock.

Mesh networks (zwave and zigbee) should be built from the center out. The first few devices have to connect to the hub itself, later ones can find the nearest node in the existing mesh (ie, the other devices you’ve added) and connect via those. It’s not impossible that you have no devices within 15’ of your hub, but even then you can add repeaters to bridge that gap.

All that to say: the first few devices might need to be closer in, but as you add more it should get easier.


ZigBee has the ability to allow any “ZigBee Router” (e.g. light bulb, etc) to join a device to the network. Unfortunately as far as I can tell SmartThings does not support this. I used my ZigBee packet sniffer and I do not see any permit join packet being broadcast to the routers.

This is something that could probably be fixed by SmartThings through the hub firmware. :grin:

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I do have 2 open/close sensors near the hub and one on the other side of the house so maybe it will work without a huge problem. I have two SmartThings motion sensors below the one in the rafters above so maybe I will not have to go up there at all. Do you think there is any chance of that?

I was doing some more sniffing today and I now see the permit join being sent to routers.

Now it should be possible to join a device far away from the hub (coordinator) through another device. I haven’t tried it yet but it should work.


I used CC2531 to sniffer the Zigbee packets of the ST set. I saw that the packet transmission is very frequent. Did you also see this? I thought Zigbee devices should be low duty cycle, and the traffic shouldn’t be that frequent.


Can you decrypt the packets? There is a fair about of traffic from the routers/coordinators, usually things like route requests. End devices don’t send much.

It’s never seemed like it was sending an unusual amount to me.