Author Topic: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?  (Read 81016 times)

Offline rauscher

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Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« on: July 23, 2012, 11:25:06 am »
Hi.  I had a zwave network up and running and everything was working fine.  The nodes are all relatively close together within 15' of each other and the base. 

THEN, I put all of my networking electronics (including the Vera3) into a Triplite wall-mounted metal cabinet.  Two of my nodes are no longer reachable.  I tried adding "manual" routes but nothing worked.  The minute I open the metal cabinet, everything works again.

This is for a vacation rental and I was hoping to secure my equipment.

Is there anyway to add an external antenna to the Vera3?  Has anyone else run into this problem?

thanks,
-Rich

Offline guessed

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #1 on: July 23, 2012, 11:59:09 am »
This is why I have my Vera dangling outside of the [metal] wiring closet:
    http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,10747.msg75032.html#msg75032

It's technically possible to open Vera up, and connect an external antenna... but I don't believe anyone's done it yet.  I have all the bits to do it, but never got around to pulling the trigger.

From memory, it's an U.FL connector on the board, and you'd externalize that to an RP-SMA for an external antenna.  No idea about all the required specs though (watch the freq specs on the antenna itself, since they'll need to cover the ZWave band for the appropriate country.

Offline rauscher

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #2 on: July 23, 2012, 03:09:33 pm »
Thank you. I'll let you know how bold I get.

Offline parkerc

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #3 on: July 24, 2012, 02:55:28 am »
This is why I have my Vera dangling outside of the [metal] wiring closet:
    http://forum.micasaverde.com/index.php/topic,10747.msg75032.html#msg75032

It's technically possible to open Vera up, and connect an external antenna... but I don't believe anyone's done it yet.  I have all the bits to do it, but never got around to pulling the trigger.

Hi Guessed, is the same thing possible on the Veralite do you know?
Also what about the memory?, is that an upgradable module or is it part of the board?

Offline garrettwp

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #4 on: July 24, 2012, 03:03:01 am »
Memory is not upgradable on the Vera Lite. It is part of the mainboard.

- Garrett

Offline guessed

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #5 on: July 24, 2012, 03:27:24 am »
Memory is not upgradable on the Vera Lite. It is part of the mainboard.

- Garrett
True for all the models.  I've heard people using reflow on other router-based devices to do it, but that's not always possible (chip arch, and availability with similar footprints) and likely isn't for most people anyhow  ;-)

Not sure why you'd need to upgrade the memory though, even a Vera Lite has a ton of it for HA purposes.


PS: I've never opened up a Vera Lite to look at the internal connectors, so I don't know.  If you have one, it should be easy to find out if it has the connector.

Offline oTi@

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #6 on: July 24, 2012, 11:02:55 am »
[...]opened up a Vera Lite to look at the internal connectors, so I don't know.
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline guessed

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #7 on: July 24, 2012, 11:18:17 am »
Ok, that makes it easy then :-)

Thanks oTi@!

Offline parkerc

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #8 on: July 24, 2012, 01:59:44 pm »
Is the antenna connection on the mainboard the same on the lite as it is on the Vera 3?

Offline guessed

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 02:27:18 pm »
They both appear to be U.FL connectors.  You can always open it up and take a look...

Offline oTi@

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #10 on: July 24, 2012, 03:27:12 pm »
Is the antenna connection on the mainboard the same on the lite as it is on the Vera 3?
Yep. Currently running Vera 3 with Vera Lite's antenna, as a test: seems to work. (They both appear to be the same PCB antenna assembly.)
« Last Edit: July 25, 2012, 05:48:18 am by oTi@ »
Dezwaved at the moment...

Offline parkerc

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2012, 03:13:43 am »
Just throwing something out there.. So if you wanted to hide your Vera away, you could do the following?

1 x U.FL to SMA cable = http://www.ecrater.co.uk/p/13249554/12-ufl-rp-sma-wireless-wifi?gps=1
1 x SMA Antenna  = http://www.ecrater.co.uk/p/14111314/6-inch-sma-antenna?gps=1

About £10/$15 upgrade.

Are there other benefits to having a larger antenna, e.g. increased range for inclusion, or does it add little?

Offline rauscher

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #12 on: July 25, 2012, 07:17:09 am »
I'd really like to run an antenna that goes outside of the metal box;

Should I care if Micasaverde "supports" what I do?
Is there anything that they do support to improve the antenna?

I'm just as willing as anyone else to solder the board; how do you know that the antenna pictured is for Zwave and not for the wifi?

Offline futzle

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #13 on: July 25, 2012, 07:20:52 am »
how do you know that the antenna pictured is for Zwave and not for the wifi?

Disconnect it and see which radio stops working.

Offline oTi@

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Re: Antenna on Vera3 -- extending?
« Reply #14 on: July 25, 2012, 08:36:39 am »
Also:
- The connector is right next to the Z-Wave module in both cases. (And on the Z-Wave daughter card in Vera 3.)
- It's the same type of antenna Vera Lite and Vera 3 have in common; Vera Lite has no WiFi.
- It's the PCB type Z-Wave antenna described in the FCC reports. (And not the dual WLAN antennae.)
Dezwaved at the moment...