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Author Topic: Adding a 3s to a 3 Mesh network  (Read 681 times)

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Offline marcw

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Adding a 3s to a 3 Mesh network
« on: January 04, 2019, 11:20:34 am »
Hi All,

I bought a "Guard" package via the Kickstarter deal, and it's taken me until now to open it up and use it.  :)

I have an existing mesh network using 3 Almond 3s.

The 3S is an altogether larger device, so it's probably best to replace the main router with the 3S.  Is there any advantage/disadvantage to this?  Does the 3S have any capabilities that would mean it would be better deployed elsewhere (the existing main router is in my office, which is a small space and has most of the key devices wired).  The 3S added to the mesh network without any issue, so that's not the question.

I want to add sensors etc - does the 3S have to be the master for sensors to be paired, or can they pair with any router in the mesh? 

I have a slightly unusual setup, as my master Almond is not the actual internet router, but is used downstream from a Draytek Vigor (due to having an 8-IP block and using multi-NAT, which Almond doesn't support).

So it was quite fiddly to set up, so if I can manage without doing all that again, I will, and just stuck the 3S in the kitchen as the "Alarm" console.




Offline fillibar

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Re: Adding a 3s to a 3 Mesh network
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2019, 12:07:30 pm »
So... The A3S can easily merge into the A3 mesh. However, if you want it to RUN the Mesh you will basically be starting over. It will need to be paired with all your HA devices, etc...

The A3S is mostly an A3, but with the addition of the battery and 4G backup. If you merge it in... The 4G is of no value (if you even wanted it) and the battery would act like a little UPS for that one alone.

If you make the A3S the main... You can benefit from the 4G. You can also get more benefit from the battery because you can easily carry the A3S around, active (although no network) as you add HA devices. That will make it easier to re-add your existing ones (do not forget to remove them from the current A3 main first) PLUS if you add more in the future you can move the A3S to add them.

So... In my opinion... If you plan on more HA in the future AND/OR want 4G backup, make the A3S the main and "start from scratch". You can give it the same wifi SSID and password so wifi devices do not even know the difference, it is just a pain with the HA devices.

If you do not want 4G backup and have no real plans to add more HA stuff, so that benefit of the battery is moot, just add it as another node in you existing mesh, wherever it might help coverage.
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

Offline marcw

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Re: Adding a 3s to a 3 Mesh network
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2019, 11:45:29 am »
So... The A3S can easily merge into the A3 mesh. However, if you want it to RUN the Mesh you will basically be starting over. It will need to be paired with all your HA devices, etc...

The A3S is mostly an A3, but with the addition of the battery and 4G backup. If you merge it in... The 4G is of no value (if you even wanted it) and the battery would act like a little UPS for that one alone.


The existing main Almond is on a UPS already, and my main router has the option to use a 4G device as "WAN3".

Quote

If you make the A3S the main... You can benefit from the 4G. You can also get more benefit from the battery because you can easily carry the A3S around, active (although no network) as you add HA devices. That will make it easier to re-add your existing ones (do not forget to remove them from the current A3 main first) PLUS if you add more in the future you can move the A3S to add them.


So far, I don't have any HA devices: just what's come with the 3S. 

Do HA devices (sensors etc) have to be paired to an individual unit?  This is all new territory for me. 

Quote

So... In my opinion... If you plan on more HA in the future AND/OR want 4G backup, make the A3S the main and "start from scratch". You can give it the same wifi SSID and password so wifi devices do not even know the difference, it is just a pain with the HA devices.

If you do not want 4G backup and have no real plans to add more HA stuff, so that benefit of the battery is moot, just add it as another node in you existing mesh, wherever it might help coverage.

OK.. 

If I set the new 3S as the master, can I use any Almond as an "alarm panel"? 

Offline fillibar

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Re: Adding a 3s to a 3 Mesh network
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2019, 09:58:57 am »
Sounds like your setup is decently redundant for power and 4G with your main (non-Securifi) router.

I would recommend setting the A3S as the main then. HA devices typically talk to one controller. Wired devices (ones that do not use batteries) will typically (not always, but most do it) act as repeaters for their respective HA protocol. The A3S has build in ZigBee.
So set it as the main, position your HA devices, then carry the A3S around (it should be within about 3ft/1 mete) when adding a device. They can be further sometimes be further, depends on repeaters and all sorts of radio effects, but just move it close to be sure.

Once added that HA unit will only talk through to the main. There is a process to remove one (or all) from the Almond (or any controller) so the device can then be added to a different one. Polite to do if you want to sell something you find you do not use. Most devices also have a reset method (ZigBee mostly uses this) to clear the device, but it does not clear the controller entry. If you attempt to re-add it to the controller it will likely be added as a new device, and the previous entry will still exist and be useless (just remove it). Z-Wave is "smarter" about the remove command in that the controller removes the entry and the device resets itself at the same time.

A3S does not have a native Z-Wave radio. The frequency varies by country/region, so that was a smart call to keep the unit simpler. You can buy a pretty cheap Z-Wave USB dongle to add the capability. This also allows for changes in the technology/protocol. Z-Wave 700 was just announced. Z-Wave Plus (500) has just gotten fairly common, and there is still original Z-Wave that works fine. They are backwards compatible, but the newer features (longer range, lower power, more security in device communications) only work between devices of the newer types. Older ones will work, it will just make that segment all act as the slower/older method.

Sorry, probably more than you needed. Got going.
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

 

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