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Thread: Evohome range issues

  1. #11
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    Hi,

    Thanks again for the replies. There is no solar nearby, nor any foil backed plasterboards.

    I can get photos of the fault logs once I get home, but basic overview is as follows:

    twin boiler setup with DHW unvented cylinder.

    2 controllers, one upstairs, one downstairs
    29 radiators split into a total of 20 zones
    2 underfloor heating zones controlled by wireless room stats and evohome manifold controller.

    Downstairs controller does 9 zones plus DHW
    Upstairs controller does 11 zones.

    Ive attached two images showing the layout of the system. All walls from the kitchen leftward are cavity walls, this follows upstairs also. All other walls are solid walls with the exception of the dressing rooms and en suites on the left of the house.

    The wireless relays and the DHW sensor were moved into the house, because when positioned in the garage it was impossible to locate the downstairs controller in a position where it could contact both the wireless relays and the HR92's in the lounge. The position of the controller as shown and oriented with its back to the lounge results in (touch wood) no communications faults/drop outs. If I turn the controller so it faces into the kitchen and is more easily read, then it will lose communication with the sensors or actuators on the lounge radiators. If I move the controller to the main entrance hall, it will lose communication to the wireless relays.

    Upstairs, the controller is simply sat on the floor in the master bedroom hallway near the door. This will regularly drop communication with the cinema actuators/sensors, and occasionally with the left most bedroom (one above the family room). If I move the controller further left to an ideal location in the master bedroom, it will completely lose communication with both bedrooms to the far right of the house. If I move the controller to another ideal location on the hallway/landing upstairs, it will completely lose communication with the cinema and frequently with the bedroom to the far left.

    I appreciate the house is large in terms of its distance from one end to the other as it is not a conventional square shape, and the construction is not helpful having so many solid walls, but Im hoping there is something that can be done to fix these issues, which seem to be down to the strength of the signal being emitted from the radiators, or the design of the antenna in the controller unit.

    It just seems bonkers that with a system capable of being expanded to accomodate multiple controllers, and up to 24 zones in this case, that there is no way to have a range extender box, or it using "mesh" type technology that items like wireless alarms do so the signal from any individual device doesn't have to go all the way back to base on its own, it can bounce through other devices to get back to the controller. Im really hoping Honeywell can do something to address these range issues by some tweak of the unit or valves somehow.

    GF Plan Evohome.jpg

    FF Plan Evohome.jpg

  2. #12
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    Hi Chris

    Looks like a large property and the fact that you are trying to transmit through several external walls will mean that the signal strength will be reduced

    this case is an example of why it is always recommended to carry out a wireless signal strength check before specifying

    you mention that the evohome controller is on the floor, can you supply pictures please

    Quote Originally Posted by Cchris View Post
    Hi,

    Thanks again for the replies. There is no solar nearby, nor any foil backed plasterboards.

    I can get photos of the fault logs once I get home, but basic overview is as follows:

    twin boiler setup with DHW unvented cylinder.

    2 controllers, one upstairs, one downstairs
    29 radiators split into a total of 20 zones
    2 underfloor heating zones controlled by wireless room stats and evohome manifold controller.

    Downstairs controller does 9 zones plus DHW
    Upstairs controller does 11 zones.

    Ive attached two images showing the layout of the system. All walls from the kitchen leftward are cavity walls, this follows upstairs also. All other walls are solid walls with the exception of the dressing rooms and en suites on the left of the house.

    The wireless relays and the DHW sensor were moved into the house, because when positioned in the garage it was impossible to locate the downstairs controller in a position where it could contact both the wireless relays and the HR92's in the lounge. The position of the controller as shown and oriented with its back to the lounge results in (touch wood) no communications faults/drop outs. If I turn the controller so it faces into the kitchen and is more easily read, then it will lose communication with the sensors or actuators on the lounge radiators. If I move the controller to the main entrance hall, it will lose communication to the wireless relays.

    Upstairs, the controller is simply sat on the floor in the master bedroom hallway near the door. This will regularly drop communication with the cinema actuators/sensors, and occasionally with the left most bedroom (one above the family room). If I move the controller further left to an ideal location in the master bedroom, it will completely lose communication with both bedrooms to the far right of the house. If I move the controller to another ideal location on the hallway/landing upstairs, it will completely lose communication with the cinema and frequently with the bedroom to the far left.

    I appreciate the house is large in terms of its distance from one end to the other as it is not a conventional square shape, and the construction is not helpful having so many solid walls, but Im hoping there is something that can be done to fix these issues, which seem to be down to the strength of the signal being emitted from the radiators, or the design of the antenna in the controller unit.

    It just seems bonkers that with a system capable of being expanded to accomodate multiple controllers, and up to 24 zones in this case, that there is no way to have a range extender box, or it using "mesh" type technology that items like wireless alarms do so the signal from any individual device doesn't have to go all the way back to base on its own, it can bounce through other devices to get back to the controller. Im really hoping Honeywell can do something to address these range issues by some tweak of the unit or valves somehow.

    GF Plan Evohome.jpg

    FF Plan Evohome.jpg
    I work for Resideo, posts are personal and my own views.

  3. #13
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    Hi Top Brake,

    I can supply pictures when I get home, but its just going to be an EvoHome controller sat on a carpet, dont know how much help that will be?

    The house is large, but not ridiculously big. the house is about 35m left to right, and with the controller sat in the middle, im probably trying to go 20m in a residential building. The datasheet says 30m in a residential building, so although there are a few sturdier walls than in new build type homes, I didn't expect the range to be as poor as it is. Neither did the installer.

    As the system is designed for up to 12 zones out of the box, I would have thought the range woud be better than it is. If this were a bungalow, there are only 11 being used on the upstairs layout. Do Honeywell expect any 12 zone home to be much smaller? I appreciate that Honeywell may advise a signal check be carried out prior to installation, but if Honeywell are designing a system capable of serving (in this case) up to 24 zones, I would expect them to also develop a way of extending the range when the issue of signal strength is a concern.

    I can get wifi plugin extenders, I can range extenders for wireless alarms, or they use technology that can daisy chain devices in order to ensure a good signal to the far end devices. Are Honeywell looking into any solution that would extend the range of this system?

    It would seem that those with the most to save by employing a system where individual room control is possible, are those that have lots of rooms or large homes. In this case the Honeywell is perfect as it is far more than a single thermostat like Hive etc that would still see an entire floor being heated. Yet the system doesnt work in homes that have the most to save by installing it? Seems a bit crazy.

    Im happy to trial or guinea pig any possible devices from Honeywell to test them in a real world scenario, if indeed any are being worked on. I really like the system, I just dont like the fact the range seems very poor in anything other than stud partition wall homes.

    It would probably be possible to have a thrid controller positioned upstairs to do the cinema and far left bedroom area, but then it just gets messy on the app as I would have two controllers upstairs and one downstairs.

    I would be happy to buy another controller if I could then somehow on the app configure it to show all my zones as one single site. Connecting to upstairs or downstairs as seperate sites is OK, but to then have "upstairs 2" would get messy. It also makes doing the simple things like custom programs or holiday mode an awful lot more tedious, as you have to do everything 2 or 3 times.

    Is it possible to combine sites into one layout on the app?

  4. #14
    Automated Home Legend top brake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cchris View Post
    Hi Top Brake,

    I can supply pictures when I get home, but its just going to be an EvoHome controller sat on a carpet, dont know how much help that will be?

    The house is large, but not ridiculously big. the house is about 35m left to right, and with the controller sat in the middle, im probably trying to go 20m in a residential building. The datasheet says 30m in a residential building, so although there are a few sturdier walls than in new build type homes, I didn't expect the range to be as poor as it is. Neither did the installer.

    As the system is designed for up to 12 zones out of the box, I would have thought the range woud be better than it is. If this were a bungalow, there are only 11 being used on the upstairs layout. Do Honeywell expect any 12 zone home to be much smaller? I appreciate that Honeywell may advise a signal check be carried out prior to installation, but if Honeywell are designing a system capable of serving (in this case) up to 24 zones, I would expect them to also develop a way of extending the range when the issue of signal strength is a concern.

    I can get wifi plugin extenders, I can range extenders for wireless alarms, or they use technology that can daisy chain devices in order to ensure a good signal to the far end devices. Are Honeywell looking into any solution that would extend the range of this system?

    It would seem that those with the most to save by employing a system where individual room control is possible, are those that have lots of rooms or large homes. In this case the Honeywell is perfect as it is far more than a single thermostat like Hive etc that would still see an entire floor being heated. Yet the system doesnt work in homes that have the most to save by installing it? Seems a bit crazy.

    Im happy to trial or guinea pig any possible devices from Honeywell to test them in a real world scenario, if indeed any are being worked on. I really like the system, I just dont like the fact the range seems very poor in anything other than stud partition wall homes.

    It would probably be possible to have a thrid controller positioned upstairs to do the cinema and far left bedroom area, but then it just gets messy on the app as I would have two controllers upstairs and one downstairs.

    I would be happy to buy another controller if I could then somehow on the app configure it to show all my zones as one single site. Connecting to upstairs or downstairs as seperate sites is OK, but to then have "upstairs 2" would get messy. It also makes doing the simple things like custom programs or holiday mode an awful lot more tedious, as you have to do everything 2 or 3 times.

    Is it possible to combine sites into one layout on the app?
    why is the evo on the floor, why not try it on a stand, will help it to transmit and receive?

    this sounds like a complex challenge and it may be that you need to engage the services of a Honeywell connected specialist
    I work for Resideo, posts are personal and my own views.

  5. #15
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    I wonder whether you'd be better off splitting your house by end, rather than by floor. i.e. have everything up one end (upstairs and down) running off one controller, and everything at the other end running off the other?

    P.

  6. #16
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    Its not on a stand because its in the middle of the corridor to the bedroom, though I appreciate this may limit signal and reception slightly. The transmission does not seem to be an issue, as an RF check shows that all the valves get a signal from the controller - usually 2 and above. But the controller does not receive all that well from the valves. Hence why I think the issue may be the transmission power of the HR92's, or the antenna sensitivity of the controller.

    It was a Honeywell Connected Specialist that installed the system. They also have a contact at Honeywell and have posed a few questions regarding other setup limitations but it seems that the system is just that little bit limited in terms of what we would have liked to do (individual controllers activate individual relays, and therefor only the upstairs controller would open the zone vale to upstairs - though its a non issue as long as every radiator has a HR92 and there are no open circuits anyway.)

    Im not sure what the installer or I can do to overcome this problem (other than try the table, change of batteries etc). Im at a point that if I move the controller left, it loses comms with the devices to the right. If I move it right, it loses comms with the devices to the left. I fear the only solution is another controller and a clunky three site setup on the app, or some modification to the honeywell antenna. A simple plugin booster box for the signal would make things so much easier and open the product up to use in much larger environments imho.

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    I wonder whether you'd be better off splitting your house by end, rather than by floor. i.e. have everything up one end (upstairs and down) running off one controller, and everything at the other end running off the other?

    P.

    The installer and I thought about that, but sadly can't do it because the relay controls are at one end. If I we a controller looking after everything at the right hand side of the house, it can't communicate with the relays that are all the way over to the left. If I move either controller further to the right than they are, they will drop comms with the relays and DHW temp sensor. If the boiler and relay controlls were central in the house then that setup would probably work very well.

    We found this out when we put the downstairs controller in the main entrance hall - it got a signal to turn the DHW on, but then lost signal with relays and the temp sensor - so the hot water just kept getting hotter and hotter until it hit the temperature set on the thermostat on the tank (we left the original thermostat cut out in parallel with the Evo home one and set it at a higher temp so in the event of just this scenario where the controller loses comms during a HW heating cycle, we dont go blowing the pressure valve instead)

    I appreciate its all very "first world problems" that my home appears too large for my automated heating system, so Im not going to be too miffed, but would just like to see what can be done to overcome the issue and perhaps even help Honeywell so they dont have to worry about this issue in future.

  8. #18
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    Another thought - do you have any wireless headphones, speakers, video senders, baby monitors, etc? (basically, something that transmits continuously rather than in bursts as you'd find with data). Only, I have some wireless headphones that really make Evohome struggle when I plug them in.

    As to the distance between controller and relay, I know it's a hack but you CAN connect the relay to the relevant valve via a VERY long bit of wire (i.e. the relay doesn't have to sit next to the zoning equipment).

    Normally I'd suggest opening up the controller and installing a better antenna. But a) you'd lose your warranty, and b) we already know, especially from the comments here from the Honeywell guys, just how fussy/fragile the comms side of Evohome is.

  9. #19
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    Yet another thought (I'll stop these soon, I promise!). You can partially solve the multi-controller problem by connecting your two or three Evo setups to something like Domoticz, and ignoring the Evo controllers and apps.

    Domoticz will either work by polling the Honeywell cloud servers, or better still with an (or maybe three!) HGI80s talking directly to your systsem(s).

    The Domoticz interface is nice and intuitive - perhaps worth a google?

    P.

  10. #20
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    Happy to keep hearing any suggestions or ideas

    There are baby monitors, but the signal drops happen at all times, and not just when these are on. No wireless headphones - there are some dect phones, but the evohome issues were happening before these were bought. There is only a wireless router and wireless access point (2.4Ghz wifi suffers similar range issues in the home), but the evohome issues were again present before the repeater was put in.

    We've already extended the relay control boxes about 6-7m from the boiler to get them the other side of a cavity wall. There would be no route to get them closer to the centre of the home without taking them up through into the loft, round and back down into possibly the master bedroom wardrobe area, as that is the closest stud wall to the centre of the home.. Though I'd be wary of doing that with the DHW temperature sensor as the resistance wires that long could mess up the reading considerably I would have thought.

    Ill certainly be researching those interfaces when possible, Im also interested in the thread thats discussing making a pc interface. I love my gadgets, and Im thinking of different uses for the IT equipment in the home (Ill be ordering my second 42U rack shortly).

    My mind has been wandering into relams of fantasy, but it IS technically possible to have a microphone setup around the home, incorporated to voice recognition software and feed this directly into the PC based solution for evohome. The ultimate aim being to walk into the house and say something like "Evohome, Kitchen 21 degrees until 10pm please". This would then also interface with a sonos or similar system, switch to the relevant source, and playback a message through the speakers in that room to acknowledge my request. Im sure this IS technically possible, but its way beyond my programming ability (I never really went that far beyond "helo world"), but boy would I pay good money to have Jarvis tell me my kitchen wiill be 21 degrees or my hot water is up to temperature.

    For now though, I'd be content with the controller getting a reliable and steady signal from all the zones. Mastering walking before I try and go running.

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