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very bad z-wave range

p0ntsp0nts Member
edited June 2016 in Questions & Help
I have several Z-Wave devices that are unable to find Homey as soon as they are behind a normal wooden door, around 4 meters away from homey.

As soon as I open the door, Homey can see the devices again.

This is so bad ... Cant believe that I will not be able to have a contact sensor on my front door in a normal "rijtjeshuis", it sucks so hard.

And of course Z-Wave have a mesh network but that is not the solution.


  • p0ntsp0nts Member
    I have not yet tried devices on the first or second floor, pretty sure its even worse ...
  • djeskodjesko Member
    I got units 10m away ,  walls and door and no problem, non battery then.

    Hopefully the new zwave will make it all work better.. Lets wait and see

  • AlleAlle Member
    Today i tested 2x Aeotec Recessed door/window senors approximately 12m (2 walls) without any problem..  
  • p0ntsp0nts Member
    range has nothing to do with the new zwave coding I guess.

    My house is build 2 years ago, maybe concrete issue? Also the failing sensors are battery powered.

    In this state, I am unable to rely on any z-wave devices in my house, 433 mhz for example works great in the same spot where z-wave is not.
  • casedacaseda Member
    I've got several Sensors on first floor about 6 to 8 meters away (with concreter floor in between) which all make good connection to homey (only have battery devices connected at the moment)
    And one outside behind insulated wall and double glass. 
    Even though the outside one became less good with the latest update, got nothing to complain about. 

    Maybe you got something nearby homey or the sensor that absorbs/blocks wireless signals
  • honeyhoney Member
    I have terrible range too. With 4 meters straight line no obstruction. It cut`s off sharply. It is very different than my 433Mhz (LightwaveRF) range what is around 60 meters including 2 walls!!!! Of course people get `good` Z-wave range if they have mains powered units or a mix of battery and mains powered units. 
    Can defend the current range but it is not market ready too many has the same issue. I hope the Z-wave rewrite will be deep enough to tackle this issue.
  • MarcoFMarcoF Member
    Could you tell which Zwave device you are using and if the are battery powered or not?
  • p0ntsp0nts Member
    Devices I have problems with are my Sensative Strips doorsensors on front door and second floor. (Not inside a door yet, just tested close to the actual door)

    also a fibaro motion sensor does not really have very good range here.
  • markmgmarkmg Member
    edited June 2016
    I had the same with Qubino flush relays, Aeotec and fibaro sensors battery and non battery powered.

    Impossible to get them working in the garden or front door, the moment i closed the windows or door the signal was gone.

    3Meters distance with the door open in openview max 8 meters. 

    I have the feeling Homey cant handle mesh, its like they use a diffirent standard or something.
    My other controller vera plus has no problem at all with the range.

    Could it be something with open z-wave?
  • Did 0.9.1 delivered any improvement for those without mains powered z-wave devices?
  • For me the distance of battery powered z-wave devices has increased about half the distance (9 meters direct sight, 6 to 7 meters through concrete floor/walls) and a lot more stable and fast in response (seeing motion -> triggering)
    Distance of normal powered devices, have not tested range before 0.9.1 so can't really tell.

    But indeed the grid/mesh/routing is not activated or implemented yet. hope this will be activated soon, will make the z-wave network way more stable
  • ZperXZperX Member
    edited August 2016
    Thanks caseda, appreciated. You already had a `good` range before as you have mains supplied devices as well. I am interested of the experiences of those who had such a bad range as me (barely 4 meters in straight sight).

    As far as I know all mains powered z-wave devices offer routing to out of range Z-wave devices regardless the main controller or it`s firmware. It is embedded in the firmware of the Z-wave nodes.
  • ZperX said:

    As far as I know all mains powered z-wave devices offer routing to out of range Z-wave devices regardless the main controller or it`s firmware. It is embedded in the firmware of the Z-wave nodes.
    That's what I thought also.

    But what @caseda says could also be true:
    caseda said:
    But indeed the grid/mesh/routing is not activated or implemented yet. hope this will be activated soon, will make the z-wave network way more stable

    Since Homey has to understand it can reach certain devices through hops which means it should keep some sort of routing table.
  • Isn't it so that zwave modules are automagicly routing through the protocol and it's not a homey issue? 
  • casedacaseda Member
    edited August 2016
    Z-wave devices can only help with choosing the shortest path. 

    If the controller doesn't know what to do with the extra packets that is being added (thats why controllers can create a mesh map)
    And/or doesn't know what to look for.
    It will not do anything with that data.
    And thus will only look for the original device data

    Probably also the reason why range gets bad behind for example a (wooden) wall, if a little bit of the data is missing, it won't know what to do, and thus do nothing
    (I say wood specifically because wood can absorb radio signals pretty well) 
  • Homey contains a certified Zwave chip, should be very odd if that chips isn't able to handle routing with its default firmware. 

    My Vera3 has 2 routing options, default zwave routing or the GetVera routing option. So that to me says that the zwave chip should be capable to handle routing default. 
  • There is a huge difference in "being able" and "already able". 

    Homey isn't using default software, if they did they couldn't make the software like it is now (app based) and wouldn't have to rewrite the library (like they did last week) that is talking to the chip
    So maybe the chip firmware is default, doesn't mean the talking to /from the chip is too. 

    And sure, it will come, it's just not used yet
  • caseda said:

    Homey isn't using default software, ..
    Yes that can explain why range is much worse than the competitor`s using the same chip.
  • I've read a little more about routing of zwave and is a little different then was in my head but same principle:

    Nodes (= powered devices) cannot Configure themselves to have good routing, for this they need an HEAL command from the primary node (a.k.a. Controller, homey in our case) 
    The HEAL command makes a table of what devices/nodes are neighbors of each other and with this table you can make routings. 

    So devices can't do anything on their own on the area of routing without a primary control that can HEAL
  • @Emile could you shine some light on this interesting matter? Is homey able to route? 
  • I bought a aeotec z-stick gen5, does it make sense to use it as a repeater by using it in a Synology NAS? I was not able to add device to both controllers but it should be possible by working with groups (?). 
  • @JeroenVollenbrock ;
    See my previous post, maybe you could shine some light? 
  • I can add something about my experiences. I have a Greenwave power node on our 2nd floor. It's only reachable if I add a zwave socket on our 1st floor in between Homey which is at ground level.

    This does not work straight away. It takes Homey some time to find the routing through the socket on the 1st floor to the power node on the 2nd floor.

    Seems to me it builds the routing take through (with HEAL command) but it just takes time. But it would indeed be nice to hear from Athom got this is implemented.

    Nevertheless, not being able to control a zwave product within 4m might be a different problem.

  • Homey does support auto-routing. Please keep in mind that the healing process starts after a devices becomes unavailable and takes some time, during which the device remains unavailable. Battery-powered devices are not able to relay messages. The implementation for this is handled on the chip itself (not in the Homey software) and the default strategy is used.
  • I think the range is pretty good, atm i have only battery powered devices (fibaro). One window, one motion and one smoke sensors are about 6m thru two concrete walls away from the homey. No problem with signal.
  • honeyhoney Member
    edited August 2016
    Than I have to return my Homey under warranty. It must have hardware issue. Through plasterboard the range is a mere 2 meters, in a straight line same room 4 meters. That the s****est wireless range i have ever seen in any category. And that is with the Z-wave Plus what should provide +50% range,
  • MarcoFMarcoF Member
    edited August 2016
    @JeroenVollenbrock ;
    Thanx for clearing this and the additional info about routing and the used strategy! 

    Very glad to hear that you guys use Z-Wave own routing method/strategy! 

    The strange thing now is that my current the vera3 network is "rock solid" and pretty fast with ~20 greenwave endpoints. Hit poll device and within a second I see the current power usage of the connected device. 

    Hope you guys can optimize thing so Homey will have the same performance UX. 
  • Is there any progress on this? Or Athom will leave this as it is? At the moment it seems like.
  • mruitermruiter Member
    edited September 2016
    I have a great z-wave range. Non battery powered devices on every floor offcourse or else you dont have z-wave mesh .
    Z-wave also depends on the wireless hygiëne. If you have a Blokker babyphone or a aldi dect Phone you know you are broadcasting shit in to the air on z-wave frequency's
  • EmileEmile Administrator, Athom
    @ZperX there's nothing we can do to improve the range actually. We're using the chip as provided by Z-Wave and passed all of their range tests. So hardware-wise it's best it can be, and software wise we don't have access to it.

    It might be your surroundings. Try tinkering around a little bit until you find a better configuration, or maybe add powered nodes so they can route information to other nodes.
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