Need advice on extending Z-wave range



  • I started setting up a Z-wave network a couple months ago when I moved into this new house. For the most part, things are working pretty well. But I have a node in the back yard that controls the yard lights; it's located in the pool pump area, behind a concrete wall, and the far edge of the property.

    At first I couldn't reach that node at all, but then I stuck another module on one of the outside outlets on that side of the house. Then I was able to reach that remote node fairly reliably. But it was still a bit flaky, and for the past two days, I haven't been able to reach it at all. That means trudging out to turn the yard lights on and off by hand. WAF is low, and I'm not happy either. Moreover, we want to add Z-wave control of the pool pump as well, which would be in the same area, but that's going to require an extensive electrical refactoring — so we need to be sure it's going to actually work!

    So! This is why I'm asking:

    How can I best extend the range out to a remote node, when there are no outlets in between? Are there dedicated "relay" modules that have bigger antennas or more power? Or is there some sort of wired relay (the wire of which I suppose I could bury in the yard)?

    (And sorry for the non-MySensors-specific question... but I've found this forum to be friendlier and more helpful on all topics than other Z-wave forums on the net!)


  • Hero Member

    Hi Joe,

    You can try using one of these repeaters and plugging it in as close as possible. However, with the mesh nature of z-wave, and depending on which controller you use, it will sometimes pick a route that may not actually be the best. Some of the newer controllers (z-net with HomeSeer 3 as an example) will allow you to specify the route which can help in situations like yours. Here's one option for a pool pump: http://www.amazon.com/Aeon-Labs-ZW078-A-Z-Wave-Appliance/dp/B00MBIRF5W.

    Cheers
    Al


  • Hero Member

    I'd start with what Al said, but if that doesn't work, here are some other things to try:

    • I've noticed it's fairly common for people who are using Vera to hack their z-wave controller to add an external antenna.
    • Alternatively, you might try using z-wave parts that utilize the newest 5th generation z-wave chips. Supposedly those have better range.
    • Ditch the z-wave for that link and instead use mysensors, utilizing RFM69HW on both ends of the link. More than likely that will work.


  • @JoeStrout said:

    I started setting up a Z-wave network a couple months ago when I moved into this new house. For the most part, things are working pretty well. But I have a node in the back yard that controls the yard lights; it's located in the pool pump area, behind a concrete wall, and the far edge of the property.

    At first I couldn't reach that node at all, but then I stuck another module on one of the outside outlets on that side of the house. Then I was able to reach that remote node fairly reliably. But it was still a bit flaky, and for the past two days, I haven't been able to reach it at all. That means trudging out to turn the yard lights on and off by hand. WAF is low, and I'm not happy either. Moreover, we want to add Z-wave control of the pool pump as well, which would be in the same area, but that's going to require an extensive electrical refactoring — so we need to be sure it's going to actually work!

    So! This is why I'm asking:

    How can I best extend the range out to a remote node, when there are no outlets in between? Are there dedicated "relay" modules that have bigger antennas or more power? Or is there some sort of wired relay (the wire of which I suppose I could bury in the yard)?

    (And sorry for the non-MySensors-specific question... but I've found this forum to be friendlier and more helpful on all topics than other Z-wave forums on the net!)

    What controller are you using?

    I successfully changed antenna in my Vera Edge wich gavel alot better range :)


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