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Thread: Range extender desperately needed.

  1. #31
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    Is it really MicroUSB ? Or is it just a MicroUSB connector with non-USB data/signals on it ?

    Or does it just look similar to a MicroUSB but not actually fit a microUSB plug ? I can't say I've tried to plug one in to check, but I seem to recall that while it looks like a MicroUSB socket it isn't. There are quite a few other sockets of the same basic design that look very similar that are not the same.

  2. #32
    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    Pretty sure it uses a microusb type socket. But it won’t, of course, be wired for USB.

  3. #33
    Automated Home Ninja Dan_Robinson's Avatar
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    And what is on the other end?
    Kind Regards - Dan Robinson (Jennings Heating Ltd)

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    Just googled it. Looks like they are simply plugging a 1m microUSB lead into the socket.

    Maybe someone with range/reception issues could try and see if it really works?
    As I found that "huge value-added hi-tech signal booster" searching for some solution to the range issue that affects my farthest valve... I gave it a try. Snapped off the lid and shoved a micro-USB cable (the one that came with my old Lumia phone... a standard USB 2.0 micro to USB used to charge and transfer data) into the socket, with nothing connected to it. Here the results:

    1) the plug fits into the socket. The socket is definitely a micro-USB.
    2) the HR92 didn't burst or behave erratically.
    3) the RF communication improved in a noticeable way: performing RF test from the controller to the HR92, values read on the HR92 went to max (5) with cable, while kept swinging 1 to 4 without. The values read on the controller were both "good" (sensor and actuator) with cable, while without the sensor reading was "poor" and the actuator was "poor" or "no signal received".

    So it works in the end... Maybe I'll play around to check if I can build something better than a shielded cable (shields usually are not good for antennas), and maybe cut it shorter (antennas are usually Lambda/2 or Lambda/4 with Lambda being roughly 34cm at 868MHz, so a decent antenna could be 17cm or 8,5cm).

    When I find some time (and cheap USB cables) to spare I think I'm trying to see what could do to avoid leaving a black USB cable hanging from my bathroom radiator (not something I would post a photo on Facebook about ). A simple micro USB cable would be roughly 73,50 cheaper than the high-tech product I found earlier...

    To be continued!

  5. #35
    Automated Home Ninja Dan_Robinson's Avatar
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    Interesting. Especially if the head can be turned sideways to hide the connection and the cable run down the back of the pipe under the floor in order to hide it.
    Kind Regards - Dan Robinson (Jennings Heating Ltd)

  6. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Robinson View Post
    Interesting. Especially if the head can be turned sideways to hide the connection and the cable run down the back of the pipe under the floor in order to hide it.
    Perhaps a means found to enable the radiator to become part of the antenna system! This is back to the old days, when to get a better signal on the radio you got hold of it, or put a screwdriver or piece of wire in a relevant socket. Of course many mobile phones and portable radios have FM radio built in and the bit of wire they use as an antenna is the earphone cable, or a length of copper cable.

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan_Robinson View Post
    Interesting. Especially if the head can be turned sideways to hide the connection and the cable run down the back of the pipe under the floor in order to hide it.
    If it's acting as an external antenna the last thing you want is for the wire to be running down the back of a metal pipe and under the floor! Worst possible way to position an antenna up against a probably grounded metal pipe, let alone leading it under the floor.

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by DBMandrake View Post
    If it's acting as an external antenna the last thing you want is for the wire to be running down the back of a metal pipe and under the floor! Worst possible way to position an antenna up against a probably grounded metal pipe, let alone leading it under the floor.
    Antennae work well when grounded. The problem here though may be the frequency for the HR92 is not just receiving a signal it is transmitting as well.

  9. #39
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    Excellent work emmeesse68!

  10. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by G4RHL View Post
    Antennae work well when grounded. The problem here though may be the frequency for the HR92 is not just receiving a signal it is transmitting as well.
    Ah, no.

    There is a huge difference between an antenna that is designed to operate grounded, like a 1/4 wave ground plane, and running what is essentially an ungrounded long wire antenna taped to the side of a copper pipe that is most likely grounded. The "antenna" (if we can call this bodge that) will be massively detuned by the close proximity of a parallel running pipe whether that pipe is grounded or not frankly.

    You want to get it away from any nearby metal objects, not tape it to the side of one...

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