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Thread: Evohome range issues

  1. #1
    Automated Home Sr Member
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    Default Evohome range issues

    Hi, I came across this forum when doing some research into possible solutions for an issue I have with the Evohome system.

    I know it's a bit of a first world problem, but it appears the construction and size of my home is a bit of an issue when it comes to the Evohome being able to maintain decent communications to all the radiators in the property.

    At present I have 29 radiators and 2 underfloor heating zones controlled by the system, hot water and two boilers.

    It's currently been split using two control panels, one for upstairs one for downstairs, set into a total of 20 zones.

    It's been a bit of trial and error in positioning the base stations, and I've managed to get them in positions where they maintain contact with most of the actuators (although in order to do this the base stations have ended up in less than ideal locations).

    However they do still occasionally lose contact with some of the zones/actuators for hours at a time. Almost all the walls in our house are solid, and due to the way it has been extended, a few internal walls are actually double skin cavity walls.

    I'm surprised to find that honeywell don't make some form of plug in repeater to resolve this problem.

    I've also found that the orientation of the base station also seems to affect the reception of signal from the HR92's. If it is at 90 degrees to the HR92, then it appears the reception is not as good. I tested this by doing the rf check for a zone I kept losing, it was showing 2 poor and occasionally 1 poor and 1 not received. As I rotated the base station so the back was pointing squarely in the direction of the HR92's this changed to "2 good".

    I have tried changing to lithium batteries as I hoped the settings in the HR92 would then take advantage of the extra mAh of the batteries and boost the signal to the base station.

    I don't think this is an issue with the base station as the valves report a signal which although occasionally poor at 1, usually ranges between 2-4. However the base station reports only poor or occasionally not received. So I think this is an issue with the strength of signal coming from the valves.

    I've even tried bodging some tin foil deflectors to try and concentrate the signal from a valve in the direction of the base station.

    I'm now starting to struggle for ideas on how to get this to work.

    As I see honeywell are active on here I'm hoping there may be a solution or even the possibility of being Guinea pig to any possible booster solution being worked on.

    Many thanks, Chris.

  2. #2
    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    You could buy a 'dumb' 868Mhz repeater and see if that gives you any joy. I'm not hopeful, but at less than $25 it has to be worth a pop:

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/prod...217483394.html

  3. #3
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    Possibly worth a try, but I'd guess that without being coded to the specifics of the honeywell system it just won't work.

    Interestingly enough, the downstairs controller usually sees a few errors every day from one zone, but after switching to lithium batteries and turning the controller to have the back face directly toward that zone, not a single error in almost 24 hours so far.

    I'm interested to know what exactly gets changed when setting the HR92 battery type to lithium. I dearly hope it is to up the signal strength as these batteries have a higher current capability.

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    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cchris View Post
    Possibly worth a try, but I'd guess that without being coded to the specifics of the honeywell system it just won't work.

    Interestingly enough, the downstairs controller usually sees a few errors every day from one zone, but after switching to lithium batteries and turning the controller to have the back face directly toward that zone, not a single error in almost 24 hours so far.

    I'm interested to know what exactly gets changed when setting the HR92 battery type to lithium. I dearly hope it is to up the signal strength as these batteries have a higher current capability.
    Hopefully someone from Honeywell will reply, but I very much doubt it's signal strength. More likely it will be to do with the discharge curve of the battery, allowing the HR92 to make a good attempt at tracking the battery charge level. It doesn't surprise me that moving the controller even a small amount can have such a large effect. You only have to look at the fact that almost all phones and laptops have at least two wifi antennas (or more now that we have MIMO and beam forming), spaced only a small distance apart to help mitigate the effects of multipath.

    As for the repeater, you're probably right, but it depends how dumb it really is. If it simply repeats all RF in a small window around 868Mhz, it'll probably work. Unfortunately, it does mean any undesired RF would be amplified also, so won't help if your problem is interference rather than lack of transmit power.

  5. #5

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    Sounds dumb - but have you taken batteries out and back in for the problem zone? I know this seems simple, but this resets the polling effort.
    getconnected.honeywell.com | I work for Honeywell. Any posts I make are purely to help if I can. Any personal views expressed are my own

  6. #6
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    sorry this will not work

    Quote Originally Posted by electronicsuk View Post
    You could buy a 'dumb' 868Mhz repeater and see if that gives you any joy. I'm not hopeful, but at less than $25 it has to be worth a pop:

    http://www.aliexpress.com/store/prod...217483394.html
    I work for Resideo, posts are personal and my own views.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rameses View Post
    Sounds dumb - but have you taken batteries out and back in for the problem zone? I know this seems simple, but this resets the polling effort.
    Have not tried this on the two zones which are now regularly throwing problems, but this and making sure the base station was oriented in a specific direction has resolved another zone that was giving issues.

    However the two zones left that are throwing problems are at 45 degrees to one another so the base station orientation will probably only help one.

    I'm amazed that honeywell don't do a range extender so this system can work in larger homes and those with more solid walls than modern new builds. I've spent over three grand on the kit alone, a couple of repeaters at 50-60 each would not add a huge amount to the budget in order to get it to work properly.

    Unless anyone from honeywell knows how the radiator modules can be tweaked to have their signal turned up a bit?

    Quote Originally Posted by top brake View Post
    sorry this will not work
    Any idea what will work? Straight line distance between the base station and the zones giving issues is about 15-20m. There are just two cavity walls in the way. I'm not asking it to work in a castle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cchris View Post

    Any idea what will work? Straight line distance between the base station and the zones giving issues is about 15-20m. There are just two cavity walls in the way. I'm not asking it to work in a castle.
    Do you by any chance have solar panels installed or perhaps neighbours either side of of you? They can create interference which could block or reduce the range of the signal path. I have no experience of this at the frequencies used by Honeywell but know it can happen with other frequencies. Just a thought. Wonder if Honeywell have any input to give us on the affects of solar panels on their systems? My neighbour has solar panels on his roof. It does not affect my Evohome system but does affect other wireless gear I have.

  9. #9
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    Common Installation Issues
    There are a small number of common issues that we are
    seeing installers experience – these are not due to faulty
    product and can easily be overcome once identified.
    Wireless devices too close together. Honeywell’s
    wireless technology is robust and designed to not
    interfere with or be interfered by other wireless products,
    when installed as instructed.
    The golden rules to follow are:
    1. Install any Wireless devices, especially the wireless
    relay boxes, at least 30cm apart. If these are installed
    too close together, it will reduce the sensitivity of the
    signal leading to communications issues and may
    cause firing of the boiler when there is no demand.
    2. Ensure that the wireless signal is not being blocked by
    large metal objects or foil lined plaster board. Again
    this will weaken the signal.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cchris View Post
    Have not tried this on the two zones which are now regularly throwing problems, but this and making sure the base station was oriented in a specific direction has resolved another zone that was giving issues.

    However the two zones left that are throwing problems are at 45 degrees to one another so the base station orientation will probably only help one.

    I'm amazed that honeywell don't do a range extender so this system can work in larger homes and those with more solid walls than modern new builds. I've spent over three grand on the kit alone, a couple of repeaters at 50-60 each would not add a huge amount to the budget in order to get it to work properly.

    Unless anyone from honeywell knows how the radiator modules can be tweaked to have their signal turned up a bit?


    Any idea what will work? Straight line distance between the base station and the zones giving issues is about 15-20m. There are just two cavity walls in the way. I'm not asking it to work in a castle.
    I work for Resideo, posts are personal and my own views.

  10. #10
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    In the event that
    you continue to have problems, we would ask that any
    request for assistance is accompanied by the following:
    1. A brief overview of the system configuration, e.g
    number of zones, type of heating system etc.
    2. The nature of the issues being seen.
    3. A photo of the position of the wireless relays installed.
    4. A photo of the position of the evohome controller.
    5. A photo of the evohome home screen (not the idle
    screen).
    6. A photo of the fault log (This can be accessed via the
    installer settings on the evohome controller).
    This information is required (along with any other
    information you feel is pertinent) in order for us to both
    understand the system configuration and avoid any
    further delays in providing assistance.
    I work for Resideo, posts are personal and my own views.

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