Author Topic: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3  (Read 499 times)

Offline JFalc

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 36
  • Karma: +1/-0
Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« on: July 15, 2017, 07:44:42 pm »
My question relates to ZWAVE Plus and when it can or cannot be used.

I am a Vera 3 user.

My backyard shed is just out of range of my Vera 3.   Previously I wanted to install a door open/close sensor, but it was a little too far away.

Could I get a MONOPRICE  USB/Power electrical outlet ZWave Plus (which plugs in), and which also retransmits its ZWAVE signal to others plus ----- and also get a ZWAVE PLUS door open/close sensor.            , and strategically place the ZWAVE Plus retransmitter between my Vera3 and the Plus Shed Door Sensor, and get the benefit of the ZWAVE PLUS extended range?

   Door Sensor (PLUS)  -------------------------- Zwave Plus Retransmitter (PLUS) -----Vera 3  (which is not a ZWAVE Plus Device)

Or do I need to upgrade my main controller to get the benefit of that?

Any advice would be appreciated.

Offline Z-Waver

  • Master Member
  • *******
  • Posts: 4431
  • Karma: +246/-120
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #1 on: July 16, 2017, 07:58:44 am »
The answer is: Maybe.

On the theoretical side, the scenario you describe should work a treat. But in reality, there's no way for us, or you, to know countless other variables that can affect this. Things like; are your assumptions and estimations of signal strength and propagation correct? Is there a tree in the Fresnel zone or a metal door that is creating unexpected radio frequency reflections? Is a neighbor?s baby monitor flooding your yard with signal that will reduce range to far below that of advertised or expected range? Are aliens actively working to block your radio emissions, "because you know too much"?...

Short of having a spectrum analysis performed, the only way to know for sure if it will work or not is to try it and see. A spectrum analysis will cost hundreds or thousands of dollars. A Monoprice Z Wave Plug in Receptacle, such as you describe, is an cheap easy and re-usable means of just trying it to see if it works.

Offline Don Phillips

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 812
  • Karma: +18/-7
    • Worthington Engineering, Inc.
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #2 on: July 16, 2017, 10:14:36 am »

Are aliens actively working to block your radio emissions, "because you know too much"?...


This explains only half of my problems  8)
Vera 3, UI7 1.7.947, CT101 t-stat, Everspring motion detector, GE/Jasco switch, Leviton outlet, AeonLabs door sensor, Insteon garage control, Blue Iris, Sricam SP011, iPhone locator, APCUPSD, VeraMate, VeraAlerts, PLEG, House Modes, Countdown Timer, DVR, Virtual & Multi Switch, Weather, Sys. Mon.

Offline Alex Waverley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #3 on: July 16, 2017, 12:23:21 pm »
You could also extend the range of your Vera by upgrading the antenna. Any 900 MHz antenna should do the trick. You'll also need the connection cable to attach the antenna to the board (maybe $15 total for parts). This would have the additional benefit of improving overall the performance of the system, and of course the pride you can take in knowing that you have voided the warranty.

Another solution (that keeps your warranty intact) is to use a simple reed switch attached to something like an Aeotec Microswitch and place that device within rage of the controller. If you are handy with tools you could pretty easily build a 900 mHz tin can wave guide or yagi to extend the range of the device (there a lot of resources online that show how it is done). You may not be any further ahead in terms of cost with this solution, but your "geek cred" will certainly improve. If you mount the antenna where it is visible and allow yourself to be seen making adjustments to it at night (preferably while using a flashlight to signal skyward) you will probably have very little trouble with the neighbors.

As an aside, I don't think spectrum analysis will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars unless the spectrum analyzer is in the trunk of a Bentley and you get to keep the Bentley.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2017, 10:23:38 am by Alex Waverley »
Please hold your applause until I have concluded my remarks.

Offline hax0rmort

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 110
  • Karma: +9/-5
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #4 on: July 17, 2017, 10:00:49 am »
Interesting question on whether the repeater is capable of holding 500 series communication with a remote plus enabled sensor without the controller involved at all.   Anyone have a solid answer on this?  Engineers?

yea, specanals aren't as pricey in the field as they were even 10 years ago.

you can get a really neat capable portable field anal here for under 300.
https://www.microlease.com/us/products/Keysight-Agilent-Technologies/RF-Spectrum-Analyzers/N9342CK?productid=96023&showcond=new&gclid=Cj0KCQjwwLHLBRDEARIsAN1A1Q7PBLjetYcXnEvY1QUd5TV0c3IA3qCWzIBZ7oqj4wttqsWCnNCTLh8aArA-EALw_wcB

As far as street cred with the neighbors, anything from this point on is showing off.   I'd love to tinker in the flashlight light with a "transmitter" of sorts aiming it "up"...... what do these people think.....

Offline Priest

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 125
  • Karma: +5/-0
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #5 on: July 17, 2017, 10:41:30 am »

Are aliens actively working to block your radio emissions, "because you know too much"?...


This explains only half of my problems  8)

I believe they may be actively blocking my radio emissions because I know too little.  They are trying to contain the dumb.

Offline aa6vh

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 597
  • Karma: +12/-0
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #6 on: July 18, 2017, 10:18:57 am »
Thinking outside the box: Is the shed reachable via WiFi? If so, you could get a second (maybe used?) Vera for the shed, and then slave (or use http to communicate) to the master Vera.

Offline Alex Waverley

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 54
  • Karma: +4/-0
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2017, 12:39:46 pm »
Thinking outside the box: Is the shed reachable via WiFi? If so, you could get a second (maybe used?) Vera for the shed, and then slave (or use http to communicate) to the master Vera.

Get serious! Don't you really think that an alien civilization which is smart enough to locate the OP's home in the vastness of space and block his Zwave transmissions wouldn't have some sort of contingency plan in place for wifi?   Jeez, some people.

Of course, on the off chance that alien interference isn't the issue your idea might work pretty well. Provided of course, that the shed has electrical service, which is a requirement for many of the above solutions.

Wait! I've got it! A reed switch connected to a MimoLite (with an external antenna connected to a 900mHz wave guide to foil the aliens) powered by a 12V battery connected to a solar panel. Hah! The simple solutions are always the best.

Or you could just run a wire, I suppose.
Please hold your applause until I have concluded my remarks.

Offline wilme2

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1011
  • Karma: +18/-13
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2017, 04:09:27 pm »
You could also extend the range of your Vera by upgrading the antenna. Any 900 MHz antenna should do the trick. You'll also need the connection cable to attach the antenna to the board (maybe $15 total for parts).

As an aside, I don't think spectrum analysis will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars unless the spectrum analyzer is in the trunk of a Bentley and you get to keep the Bentley.

Agree with Alex.  Antenna mod worked for me.  Here is the master thread:  http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,11276.0.html

And I bought a reasonably priced spectrum analyzer.  Heck, this is deluxe model with extra bands, there are models that will get you 900 mhz for under $150...https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00T5KGYEM/ref=oh_aui_search_detailpage?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Long Live UI5!

Offline JFalc

  • Sr. Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 36
  • Karma: +1/-0
Re: Question re: Zwave Plus extended range and Vera3
« Reply #9 on: July 20, 2017, 12:59:36 pm »
Thanks for all your responses.....

I will try this out in the next week or so and report back....to see if the ZWAVE PLUS devices extend the range for me, despite my only having a Vera 3

                                    Door Sensor (PLUS)  -------------------------- Zwave Plus Retransmitter (PLUS) -----Vera 3  (which is not a ZWAVE Plus Device)

If that doesnt work, I may try the antenna mod.

Thanks again.  I will follow up here.


P.S.  I am not sure if my wifi reaches the outdoor shed, but I don't have power outlet out there anyway so I am not interested in adding a vera unit to the shed because I have no outlet out there.