Building a few repeaters "just in case" bad idea?

  • Heres the deal
    I dont live in a giant house but the walls of the house are pretty thick (inside around 30cm and the outside walls are around 45-50cm) the outside are mostly made of wood, have one wall around my heatersystem that is concrete.

    I spent days debugging a masterpiece of a mailbox / light sensor that was battery powered and when it finaly was soldered and working as i wanted i happely strolled down to the mailbox (around 50 meters from the house) to install the thing..

    Aaaand lost contact, rebooted, walked 10 meters up, rebooted, 10 meters up and so on until i basicly where at the otherside of the wall to my gateway.

    So i searched for the solution and found repeaters!
    So far i have built 2 of them and placed em togheter with nonsleeping PIRs. And i think they are working, no idea how to tell if they actualy are repeating anything.

    The plan is too build a few more in the house and atleast 1 outside where i have power, just to be safe that the range is optimal around the house and a bit outside of the house.
    But i read a post in here about repeater looping problems and such so is it a bad idea to install extras even tho it might not be needed?

  • Hardware Contributor

    @meanmrgreen - I think you already know this ;), but first and most important is capacitors on the radio and gw. Its hard to say exact value because i experience different depending on radiobatch/order. At the moment i go with one 4.7uF electrolytic and one 0.1uf Ceramic both parallel.

    About the repeaters, I dont want to question its value but they are really hard to understand and debug. I use two myself for my outside nodes and the node should find the best way back but when i trace the nodes I dont fully understand how they work. One thing I have problem with is request() going through repeaters but I have not been able to capture the logs yet (since its hard to watch/debug three devices at the same time). For now i just settle that "it works ok" except I have to restart the nodes a couple of times when i want to request something from the controller.

    But to your question "Building a few repeaters "just in case" bad idea?" i would not (probably because i at this time fully lack the trust in them). In the same time I cant live without them. If you have a node at your mailbox which cant reach the gw, I would build one repeater for that node and try not using repeaters for those not needed.

    The one probably that know most about the code for repeaters I think its @tekka (and im sorry if i was hard about your repeaters)

  • @sundberg84

    Yeah trial and error I guess. I have an outlet outside that I could put a repeater in so i might start with that one.

    And caps are on all my nodes so far 😉

  • Admin

    @sundberg84 Can you post your sketch / logs (if available) - I'd like to understand a bit more about the request() - issue.

  • Hardware Contributor

    @tekka I will @tekka when possible. I dont have the equipment to debug all three nodes at the same time but have some ftdi adapters on the way. No worries - its not a major issue.

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