Since this C-7 hub is so good at finding and repairing my mesh, does the location of the C-7 hub in the home really matter that much? I thought about moving all my electronics to a shelf in our garage. Just wanted some opinions.
Z-Wave is limited to four hops (as is conventionally reported--really five jumps if you count the destination), so that's the biggest concern. Zigbee doesn't have a theoretical limit, but it is my understanding that most implementations (on routers/repeaters) do, but it's generally high enough to not matter as much. So while centrally locating the hub is good and may be necessary depending on the range you need, especially for Z-Wave, it's certainly possible to place it elsewhere in theory if it all works in the end given the mesh nature of both Z-Wave and Zigbee.
Is your garage temperature controlled?
Is your garage attached to the house?
What is the square footage of your house?
Is your house single story?
All I can give you is my personal experience...
I have three buildings on our property, each with an HE hub. One is a tiny building I use as my office, so not a good example. But the other two are somewhat larger buildings, one being a two story, 3BR house with a basement, and the other a large 3-bay garage with each bay about 30 feet deep (heated to about 45F in the winter) with an apartment over it. I have the HE hub in the house in the basement, at the far end of the house. The garage HE is in the garage, at the far end. I use two Aeotec repeaters in each of the house and the garage (which, IMO, make a HUGE difference). I have absolutely no issues, whatsoever, anywhere on the property.
YMMV, but that's my experience.
Others have asked a bunch of questions, and offered some advice, but I'd have to say that in the end, if it works, it's fine.
However. Keep in mind that the antenna on a Hubitat is essentially omnidirectional. If you put the Hubitat at one end of your house, you essentially giving up half the power of the signal to your furthest devices. In other words, if you put the hub in the center of the house (as close as you could of course) the attenuation (signal loss) to the furthest devices are half what they would be if the hub is placed at one end of the house.
Further, you must consider "blockage", ie big metal things like ducts, refrigerators, wall ovens, HVAC units etc. Anything between your hub and the destination device in a direct line of sight is going to create shadows in the RF environment, putting more responsibility on your repeating devices, perhaps yielding more hops.
A lot really depends on your home size, construction, obscura, and signal environment. Again, if it works....it's probably fine. If it doesn't...well....
If your garage is a controlled environment, then that is feasible. But usually a garage can get too cold or hot for some electronic equipment and the humidity extremes may cause eventual problems. I would keep electronic equipment is conditioned air space unless it is designed for use outside that space (my experience; large, complex intelligence system development, integration, and deployment).
From an equipment connectivity perspectiv. Most important are Z-Wave, Zigbee, and Ethernet topologies and the related total coverage area. Add to that
- Equipment environment vs specified environment (reliability issues)
- Redundancy of meshes (Ethernet/Z-Wave/Zigbee)
and you have the data to make the total installation work to meet your needs. More redundancy equals more reliability (and cost). Less means less reliability (and cost).
Reliability and cost. A good reliability engineer (with equipment reliability/use data, mesh capabilities, and system-level critical failure definitions) could actually calculate your reliability in Mean Time Between Critical Failure, Mean Time Between Failure, etc; as well as the annual Repair and Maintenance cost of a static system.
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