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Thread: Z wave Range issues

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  1. #1
    Automated Home Lurker
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    Angry Z wave Range issues

    I am trying to install Z wave at my house, and I now have 13 units installed, mainly wall switches. Whilst the quality of the units is good, and they look ok the range is pretty near to useless. Allowing for UK construction standards, useable range seems to be less than 15 feet. This means that I would need an awful lot of units, and I would very quickly surpass the 4 hop limit in my house.
    I have spoken direct to customer support and they seem to say hard luck, there is little you can do, and talk of supplying a future product with an external antenna.
    Has anyone got any history of this working in a realistic UK domestic environment?
    Thanks
    George

  2. #2
    Automated Home Jr Member Mr_Orange's Avatar
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    I use a couple of HomePro light modules and these work fine with my Harmony 895 from anywhere in the house.

    The wireless extender for the remote also uses Z-Wave and I have no issues using this from the bedroom to control my PVR.

    My house is all solid brick walls, upstairs and down.

    Doesn't really help you, but shows that range shouldn't be an issue.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by scroggyg View Post
    I am trying to install Z wave at my house, and I now have 13 units installed, mainly wall switches. Whilst the quality of the units is good, and they look ok the range is pretty near to useless. Allowing for UK construction standards, useable range seems to be less than 15 feet. This means that I would need an awful lot of units, and I would very quickly surpass the 4 hop limit in my house.
    I have spoken direct to customer support and they seem to say hard luck, there is little you can do, and talk of supplying a future product with an external antenna.
    Has anyone got any history of this working in a realistic UK domestic environment?
    Thanks
    George
    This sounds really crap, can you advise what products you were using to give such bad performance ? Th ehelpline also was rubbish - external antenna on a wall switch !!!!!

  4. #4
    Automated Home Guru MichaelD's Avatar
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    Are the switches in metal boxes?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by MichaelD View Post
    Are the switches in metal boxes?
    should metal boxes make any difference, I understand the laws of physics but assuming the faceplates wernt metal and the whole thing was not encased, they should function more than this.

    What was the range quoted in the instructions?

  6. #6
    Moderator toscal's Avatar
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    While the metal boxes will be an issue, assuming scroggyg's has them.
    I've been looking for other reasons and have come up with this. The frequencies used for Zwave are: in Europe its 868.42MHz in USA its 908.42MHz, 919.82MHz for Hong Kong and finally for Australia and New Zealand its 921.42MHz.
    Also transmit rates differ from one region to another in Europe a Z-wave unit can only transmit 1% of the time. And in the US they don't have this limitation. But the US transmitters are rated at 1mW and in Europe its upto 25mW.
    Now the frequencies that are close to the Zwave one are 850 and 900MHz GSM bands so there may be interference caused from these.
    Another possibility are older cordless phones guess what frequencies they are on. Yep you've guessed it around the 900Mhz.
    Another thing could be wireless alarms some operate on 868Mhz very close to the Zwave frequency, probably too close. And its not just limited to Alarms. This frequency is sometimes used for RF remote control systems as well.
    Also sometimes just one of these factors may not be enough but couple it together with another one or two and it might be enough to cause problems.
    Last edited by toscal; 30th November 2008 at 09:46 PM.
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