SmartThings Community

Z-wave Network Repair - Never successful

#1

I’ve got a few Aeon Smart Switch 6’s and unless they are within about 5 feet, I’m unable to get them to work. On the other side of a wall, despite being but 10 feet away, nothing seems to make it. I don’t know if it’s a hug or device problem.

When I attempt to run a network repair, despite teh Smart Switch 6 being about 4 feet away from the hub (and working)
all i see is these “failed” messages

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#2

If the wall is metal or concrete or has metallic wallpaper or even has water pipes running through it, it may literally just be a range problem.

When the devices are in the same room as the hub they work when you tap the tile in the SmartThings mobile app? But they don’t respond when they’re on the other side of the wall?

If so, it sounds like range. You’ll need to do something to get the signal through the wall.

This is a common problem in cement and adobe buildings. Sometimes even with brick. Typical US construction doesn’t usually have this issue because there’s actually a lot of airflow through most of the walls.

But before we get too far into possible solutions, let’s just make sure I’m understanding the problem correctly. :sunglasses:

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#3

Hi JD,

Precisely as you mentioned it. In the room, the tile button works (i’ll add almost instantly). The wall is concrete and likely has metal re bar in it, maybe even water pipes.

However, on the other side of the wall, no go. I have indeed read the Wireless guide and in fact, i’m trying to adhere to the advice by install repeaters (powered smart switches) but even they can’t hear. The repair fails even when the devices are in the room.

My ecolink zigbee device have been working just find and double the distance.

I’m going to try and move the hub into the living room and see if I can eliminate a wall en route to the staircase (which is where I want to put the sensor)

Only problem is that by putting it out there and the zigbee antennae angles out the side I can’t have both angled properly.

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#4

Zigbee tends to do somewhat better than Zwave at passing through water, so that’s actually not that unusual.

Both the Z wave and the Zigbee antennas in the smartthings hub are on
omnidirectional, so they will spread signal in 360° but it starts to spread as it moves away from the hub. So you actually get more spread once you’re out about 10 feet. You see this as an issue in some multi story buildings. A device that is one floor up and immediately over the hub won’t connect but one that is one floor up and over about 15 feet will. It’s weird, it’s just the way the physics works.

OK, as far as getting the Z wave signal into the next room, the easiest way to think about it is like a flashlight. Both rooms are dark, you have a flashlight, and you want to signal somebody one room over. Is there any place in the room where the light might get through?

Typically, you would find airflow around the door, sometimes actually through a in wall receptacle or a light switch box (Although less so with concrete walls), obviously through a glass window… Just is there any place in the room or you think there might be a way to get that tiny bit of light to show through.

I’ve known some people who have replaced an interior garage door with a door that had a tiny glass window in it just to have a place for signal to come through. (Careful on this, though, tinted glass also cuts signal a lot.)

Some people will trim a door a little and put rubber weatherstripping down one side. The signal can usually make it through the weatherstripping even if it can’t through the door.

Sometimes you can drill a conduit, but again, not usually in concrete.

If there’s a second floor and there’s a glass window in the exterior garage door, sometimes you can run signal along the second floor and then down to the garage. That can get tricky though.

Before you start thinking about all this you might want to just take the hub into the main house and test this theory by seeing if you can find the devices at a distance of 10 or 15 feet when you’re not dealing with the concrete wall. Or maybe even just open the interior door, assuming there is one. Just to make sure this is what we’re dealing with. So your idea of putting it in the living room is definitely the right first step.

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#5

Hi JD,

I’ll give that a try (moving the unit). I figured the wooden door that separates the living room and my office would be enough for the signal to get through and it does, barely with sometimes dropped message. Up the stairs, no go.

When I attempt to issue a repair in my study/office, with the sensor being but 5 feet away, I still get the message as above. Is that normal?

Is there a time in the future where I can join 2 hubs as one system because right now, with the layout of my house, I just don’t see how I can get enough meshed sensors within 10 feet of eachother to make it up there. I can’t seem to get through one wall/ceiling…

Are there external antennaes which could be used?

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#6

No. But these particular Aeotech Devices are notoriously difficult to pair, much more so than other devices, because they have both a secure mode and an unsecured mode and quite often an attempt to pair them in secured mode only partially succeeds and you end up with problems. If you search the forum for topics on that particular device, you’ll find various suggestions. You may need to exclude them and then re-add them, but they are such a bear to add that I hesitate to start with that suggestion.

Not at the present time. You can only have one hub per “location.” However, you could have more than one location per account. Some people with cement houses, for example, will define one location per floor in a multi floor house. It makes it trickier to set up your automation rules, but it may work for you.

Also, there are Zwave lightbulbs which act as repeaters, and some people will use those in tricky situations, particularly getting upstairs, just because it will be a place to use the lightbulb when there isn’t any wall switch or a wall socket available… It just comes down to the specific details of your house.

Otherwise, if you do find it the zigbee is working better for you, you could go for zigbee devices.

No.

There are some devices called “range extenders,” but they were really only important in the first few generations of Z wave. At this point, any mains powered device, most typically light switches and wall sockets, Will act as a repeater and extend the range just as far as the older range extenders.

Zwave plus devices will give you significantly more range then the older classic zwave devices, so that could help.

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#7

In all honesty, I click the ST app to add new device, pluged the switch in and pressed the button. Within 5 seconds I was configuring the name.
That said, the repair absolutely doesn’t work and has never received anything but a failed mesh message. I’ve even tried using a new device handler but to no avail.

I’ve got an issue that I use 220v with US frequency :slight_smile: That’s why these Aeotec Smart Switches are good because they accept 220v.

I’d happily use the Samsung Smart Things outlet but it’s only 110v. Why are they not made for 110-240v so people can bring them around with them. I dunno

Getting rather frustrated with the entire mess. I’m very much concerned now about my Smartthings Shield order that I placed thinking that the the desirable end state because I can at control some of the signalling. Guess not.

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Aeon Labs Aeotec Z-Wave Smart Switch 6, Gen5
#8

I’ve brought the V2 Hub into the living room and it can indeed communicate with the switch in the living room but not up the stairs despite it being roughly 10 feet away. Repair also doesn’t work, at all. Seems my other thread and this one have merged into being a “network repair” issue.

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#9

After excluding and including the device as a Secure sensor, I haven’t seen that error message again.

However, teh stability of the network is still poor/unusable really.

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