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Author Topic: Range extender for Zwave?  (Read 14033 times)

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Offline obmd1

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Range extender for Zwave?
« on: May 10, 2015, 08:32:57 pm »
So I have two kinds of sensors at the edge of the range for Zwave from Almond+. I have two GE binary Wall switches that parked fine, work fine, although I needed to move the Almond closer to their location for initial paring. I also have a motion sensor, the weather proof Aeon one proven to be compatible, that apparently is out of range where I would like to put it.

I tried this: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00K7QZUZM/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1, which connects fine, but as an "unsupported device". I don't think it's extending the range of Z wave, as the sensor I am using still doesn't behave correctly with it.

Does anyone have experience with extending the range of Zwave for Almond+?


Offline Kazy

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #1 on: May 11, 2015, 04:23:00 pm »
I believe Z-Wave is a mesh network, so you could just put any supported Z-wave device between the two other sensors.

Offline obmd1

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #2 on: May 11, 2015, 04:30:36 pm »
Good point. And it that's the case this motion sensor is not working right.

Offline fillibar

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #3 on: May 11, 2015, 07:24:40 pm »
Not all Z-Wave devices will act as a repeater but most AC (line powered) ones will (not all though) and there are devices that are specifically designed to be repeaters (such as the Amazon link). As a note I do not see a single repeater listed in the wiki as a supported device or in the forums but many things are supported that ALSO act as a repeater. This is one of those tough things to prove though as it is not like we can see the wireless signals NOR does the average user have any access to specialized equipment that could sense it directly (unlike most people can do with WIFI and their smartphone with an app).
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

Offline obmd1

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 07:44:27 pm »
The devices furthest away at this time are the GE in wall switches. They are clearly not repeating. Work in progress.

Offline obmd1

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #5 on: May 11, 2015, 08:36:25 pm »
I've tried everything. The range on the multi-sensor is too short, and the repeater isn't repeating. Back to the drawing board.

Offline bebopblues

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #6 on: June 05, 2015, 08:34:40 pm »
Is the Peanut a Zwave device or Zigbee? If Zwave, does it act as an range extender? If not, are there any recommendations?

I'm looking for a zwave range extender for my Kwikset 910 Zwave Deadbolt.

Offline fillibar

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #7 on: June 05, 2015, 09:57:44 pm »
Peanut Plug is Zigbee. Unfortunately I do not have a good recommendation for a repeater. I have Z-Wave wall switches AND Z-Wave motion detectors. Both are supposed to be repeaters (when line powered for the motion detectors and all of mine are) but it does not seem to help things at all. I can have one motion detector working, move another one 1 ft further (through a wall, but still) and it no longer works. This is one area where I really wish some company came out with a CHEAP Z-Wave (and Zigbee) signal detector. So I could do signal strength mapping like you can do with an app for most cellphones and your WIFI.

I have actually been debating about seeing if any other hub has signal-strengths and maybe getting one for that purpose, to act as a diagnostic tool. Tough to recommend and work on other people's setups without useful tools. Not that I am looking to make a business out of this though, or even be "tech support" for people.
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

Offline Ohiomedic

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #8 on: June 05, 2015, 11:27:24 pm »
I've seen a Aeotec range extender on Amazon.com for less the $30. Can't say how it would work or if it's even supported.

It also seems like the signal isn't being repeated on my network also.

Offline bebopblues

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #9 on: June 06, 2015, 03:14:02 am »
I've seen that Aeontec Repeater on Amazon before. One reviewer made me had doubts it would work as a repeater:

Quote
By Marco Bitran on July 15, 2014
I was trying to use this to repeat signals from a Vera Lite -> Schlage Z-Wave locks. This provides a very weak signal. This problem may only occur when transmitting secure signals (which the locks require) - I'm not sure. But for this purpose it did not work. I ended up using a Schlage Dimmer Light Module (also available on Amazon) which worked MUCH better.

Maybe I'll try that Schlage Dimmer Light Module, and hope it pairs with Almond+.

Offline fillibar

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #10 on: June 06, 2015, 08:06:42 am »
That is the problem for me. I have no way of knowing if they are working as repeaters or not, or if it something about the Almond+ and the network. I would think the Almond+ has to be working with the repeating aspect also. I do not know how I could have the switches AND motion sensors, neither of which are repeating? Two different manufacturers and very different items. The way I am currently testing is with a motion sensor. They are the only Z-Wave devices I have that are portable AND they have batteries also (they will not work as a repeater, per the manual, when on batteries only though). So I move the motion sensor to a further spot and usually plug it back into the wall also, then see if my Almond+ shows any status as I move in front of it. So far no luck.
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

Offline bebopblues

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2015, 01:04:52 am »
Interesting, I moved the peanut to the same location as my Kwikset Z-wave Deadbolt, and the peanut pairs and works flawlessly. And the Kwikset isn't working. When I move the Almond+ close to the Kwikset, it works well. So what is happening?

Is Zigbee's range better than Z-wave?

Or is it because the Peanut is connected directly to a power source, so it's signal is stronger, therefore it's range is better?

Or is it both?

Offline fillibar

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2015, 07:43:09 am »
IMO:
Both. I am not a radio signals engineer by any means... but ZigBee and Z-Wave do not use the same frequencies... So there could be many things there (interference, impact of walls or other materials, etc...). Something that is powered by the line versus batteries can also provide more power/more functionality IF it is designed to.
There could be other factors also (no absolutes of course):
1) Optimization that Securifi could do between their two products (or at least that they could have the Peanut Plug manufacturer do).
2) Reflection benefits. There was a WIFI visualization that an engineer did not too long ago mapping the WIFI in his apartment. One thing he found, once it was all displayed, was how much the WIFI signal would bounce off other things and could sometimes have a much stronger signal in odd spots where it was totally unexpected.
3) Other ZigBee devices acting as repeaters?
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

Offline bebopblues

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2015, 11:32:48 pm »
I bought a GE/Jasco 45604 Binary on/off plug-in switch. It's in the list of compatibility devices. Hope it'll extend the range. Will report in a few days.

Offline mparadis

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Re: Range extender for Zwave?
« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2015, 09:52:06 pm »
As a note for those who don't know, most battery powered devices will not repeat the network, additionally, security devices such as locks and dead bolts I don't believe they all repeat the network but I could be mistaken. Also, when pairing you should be within 1 foot for optimal connection and security.

 

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