Z-Wave extending to Front Side of House


I am new to the Smartthings and Z-wave Home Automation community.

I have recently began installing the Smartthings kit and additional GE receptacles and GE Paddle and toggle dimmer switches. I am encountering reliability turning devices on that are located on the front of my property.

My hub currently resides in the corner of a nursery on the side of the house with the Z-wave signal pointed towards the middle of the house (2500 soft). I have various dimmer switches throughout the house as well as 3 motion sensors and the plug from the kit installed in the central hallways of the house operating without issue.

Additionally, I have 4 receptacle plugs in the front yard. One exists just outside the front door and is 100% reliable. From there I encounter issues. I can’t seem to reliably turn on (I have successfully paired them all) either of the front two receptacles located on the corners of my property (30-40ft from the front door) nor a toggle switch and receptacle located on the front side of the house (on the other side of the attached garage). These are the ONLY hard wired locations on the front exterior of the house, all used to control external lighting.

Are there any ways I can increase the reliability of these devices at all? I will be adding another Z-wave receptacle inside the garage approximately 20ft from the exterior receptacle + toggle switch in question, but fear the garage door and/or stucco is severely limiting the signal strength. The only possible option I can think of is possibly wiring up another receptacle in the eve of the front of the house above the garage.

Doing some additional reading, are Aeotec Range extenders more powerful than hard wired Z-wave devices?

One more question. How many hops does the Z-wave protocol support? How many before reliability deteriorates and/or (packet loss occurs?)

I work in Smart Meter so I am familiar with RF and Zigbee protocols but do not know much about Z-wave.



The following thread should answer most of your questions.

BTW, it’s likely that the plug in your kit was Zigbee not Zwave. GE makes both Zwave and zigbee devices using the same outer case, so you need to check the frequency for each (or model number) to verify the protocol, you can’t do it just by a picture of the front.

Also, the following should be of help.

In particular, it may help to run a Zwave repair. This is not needed for Zigbee devices, since the network will heal itself as long as you take the Coordinator off-line for about 15 minutes and then reconnect it. But zwave devices will not rebuild the address tables unless you run a specific utility to do so. So if you’ve been adding Zwave devices in a random order, or doing bench pairing prior to locating a Zwave device in its final location, doing a Zwave repair may help a lot. (also note that the position of the Z wave and the Zigbee antennas in the hub in the blog article mentioned in the following topic have been reversed in the V2 hub).

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Thanks, JDRoberts. This is going to help a lot!!

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