Author Topic: signal level  (Read 881 times)

Offline asuz

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signal level
« on: March 16, 2018, 05:24:48 pm »
Hi to all, I am trying to modify my veraplus antenna. Need to find best antenna type for my house. Is there anywhere to see the signal levels between vera unit and z-wave devices ?

Online kwieto

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Re: signal level
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2018, 07:10:22 pm »
Some devices (i.e. newer Fibaro units) have feature to check and indicate the quality of Z-wave signal (range) they're receiving.
You can use also AltUI to see results of polling for your device (poor range = more polls without reply)

Offline tomtcom

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Re: signal level
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2018, 08:33:49 pm »
Some people on the forum said VP wasn't good for the signal mod like the vl was. You'll have to search. I am thinking of a centralized location for the VP instead of a mod.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk


Offline asuz

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Re: signal level
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2018, 07:13:15 am »
Some people on the forum said VP wasn't good for the signal mod like the vl was. You'll have to search. I am thinking of a centralized location for the VP instead of a mod.

Sent from my VS995 using Tapatalk

Yes, according to me with the real life practical at my house environment the vera plus signal levels are really disappointed. My old vera 3 was slow,has low memory but has long range communication with my keyfob. I cannot catch the 1/4 distance with veraplus that i have with vera 3. I really do not understand why a newer device is worse than its ancestor. I am not rf engineer and everyday tring to find a way to catch a signal with my keyfob to vera plus. Is anybody suggest me an antenna which experienced in real usage. I will buy Aurel GP 868 and try soon.

Online kwieto

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Re: signal level
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2018, 06:48:34 pm »
I really do not understand why a newer device is worse than its ancestor.

I don't know the antenna in Vera 3, but construction of the antenna in Plus makes it sensitive to orientation of the controller and where it is placed (i.e. it is not a good idea to place it near big metal objects). The furthest range I've reached with Plus was about 80-100m in open area.

I will buy Aurel GP 868 and try soon.

Aurel is single pole antenna with grounding. Probably better result you can have with dipolar antenna. Everything depends on what your expectations are and where your Vera is placed (i.e. can antenna be attached directly to the controller or you need a cord to put it in a different place (the longer the cord is, the more loss of a signal you should expect).
I've had an cheap antenna like this: https://www.bing.com/images/search?view=detailV2&ccid=PuwjSQm2&id=C8F7FDD4A657DE0B28F1F1C5ED096D0E920378A5&thid=OIP.PuwjSQm2au7ZDctzed0lNQHaFj&q=5dbi+868+antenna&simid=607999794558667478&selectedIndex=0&ajaxhist=0

and was satisfied for my needs. Then I moved controller to different place and needed antenna with cord, so I've chosen something like this one (dipolar): https://anmur.eu/images/testanmur/38000-39000/Antena-wewnetrzna-AZZ-Wave_%5B38242%5D_568.jpg

But I've seen many variations, you should generally look for antenna covering 868 MHz range (GSM).
Interesting is something like that: http://allegro.pl/antena-baza-dipol-telemetria-danych-868-mhz-12db-i5634818450.html#imglayer
It is also dipolar, has enormous gain (12dB), but definitely to be used as external one.

By the way, if you use Automatisear's recipe to install connector for external antenna, solder the ground not to the place where they are suggesting, but to the ground on z-wave chip (see suggested place on the attached photo). It takes more precision work and precision soldering tip, but it gives better results. When attaching connector as Automatisear describe it, you risk that the internal patch cord will act as antenna itself, interfering with the signal coming from the antenna you've attached.

Offline zedrally

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Re: signal level
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2018, 07:11:14 pm »
You could also try a UZB dongle.
We find that the range is greater (better signal strength) when using an external radio.
You can add a USB lead to mount the dongle away from Vera, possibly somewhere up high, this improves reception.
This also has the added benefit of having all of your Z-Wave devices on the dongle seperate from Vera, a worthy precaution.

Living in the Land of Oz, give me a vegemite sandwich. Home Seer, Vera Lite & Edge, Popp, Black Cat Smart Hub & Vera G, Black Cat Lite 1 & 2's a Black Cat Dimmer or 2, Fantem Tec and then some  Black Cat Cat's Eye PIR's & Door-Window Sensors, RFXComm, Broadlink RMPro & Mini plus a Z-UNO or 2.

Offline asuz

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Re: signal level
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2018, 01:20:17 pm »
...........

Thanks for that long and detailed explanation. I soldered the ground to where the Automatisear refer, after your explanation I will replace the ground wire to where you refer. We will see the result. By the way, I also thank to vera company that they help me to improve my soldering skill   ;)  My vera plus PCB going to seems a DIY project after that soldering workshop  :P

Online kwieto

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Re: signal level
« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2018, 06:25:48 pm »
I had opportunity to talk with someone RF competent from the company which makes antennas. I showed him Automatisear's solution and he told me that in general the ground should be located as close to the lead wire as possible, to avoid noise from the wire. Since you attach lead to the place where original antenna was soldered, the closest ground is where I marked.
For same reason the shorter wire the better, and you should remove original antenna first (again, leaving it will make it interfering with external one).

Edit: Of course you solder the ground to the L-shaped part marked on the picture, not to that tiny square next to it.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 06:30:49 am by kwieto »

Offline asuz

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Re: signal level
« Reply #8 on: March 20, 2018, 08:22:33 am »
I had opportunity to talk with someone RF competent from the company which makes antennas. I showed him Automatisear's solution and he told me that in general the ground should be located as close to the lead wire as possible, to avoid noise from the wire. Since you attach lead to the place where original antenna was soldered, the closest ground is where I marked.
For same reason the shorter wire the better, and you should remove original antenna first (again, leaving it will make it interfering with external one).

Edit: Of course you solder the ground to the L-shaped part marked on the picture, not to that tiny square next to it.

Can you check the pictures that i solder ? I check the wires with multimeter after soldering against to short-circuit.
« Last Edit: March 20, 2018, 08:24:15 am by asuz »

Online kwieto

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Re: signal level
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2018, 05:57:41 pm »
Technically correct, but why do you use separate cable for the ground instead of using the one from original coaxial cable?
It is more simple (no additional wire needed) and more efficient, as in coaxial cable external cord, attached to the ground, act as a magnetic shield to the internal wire.

On Automatiserar they used addtitional wire because of the difficulty to connect lead and ground by the same wire when soldering places were so far apart, as I suppose.
But this doesn't make any sense when you soldering in a way that both lead and ground are very close.
Of course, for such a short cable the loss is rather hypothetical, but still, you can only benefit with doing it "according to the rulebook" (less signal loss, one cable less, less risk that original ground from coaxial cable will accidentally connect somewhere where it shouldn't).