Neo Coolcam Smart Plugs have flaky antenna?

I have a couple of these little smart plugs:

I liked them because they're pretty small. After I recently started migrating from my old C4 to a C7, I can now see the routing and speeds. (Which is AWESOME, btw) And what I'm seeing is that about half the time, one or another of the plugs will be downgraded to 9.6kbps. Sometimes they get 100, but they are often downgraded. Also, the routing shows that it's taking multiple hops to get to them when it shouldn't, and they often can't see other devices in the same room. On my "z-wave topology" graph, they are the only devices that have red squares.

So far, it hasn't caused a performance issue, but I'm guessing it could if I migrated more devices from the C4 to the C7. (I currently have the first 2 floors of the house connected to the C4, and the attic connected to the C7.)

Has anyone else seen anything like this? I'm wondering if it's the small size of the plug causing antenna issues.

(I'm using 100% Z-Wave Plus devices, and all the rest of my devices are getting 100kbps.)

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Yeah I could have written this exact same note - love the form factor but see them moving from 100kbs when close to the hub to 9.7kbs with very slight positioning change. I dont have any that are more than 20 feet away from the hub that are not at 9.6kbs. In terms of routing - same, same. Often not communicating directly with the hub despite proximity and also taking odd routes. Nothing seems to route through them either (which I assume is due to the 9.6kbs speed), despite being set in a perfect place.

I'm pretty disappointed in them but in another thread where I asked about these you will hear people saying they fail quickly - mine have not but im waiting for that to happen before replacing. I've not found anything with an equivalent form factor so its kinda a bummer.


don't know about speed (C5) but Neo Coolcam Power Plugs (EU) has weak range - it supposed to be z-wave plus (100m) but on open air they have problem with 30m distance. In house there is a problem with 10m (one floor above and two walls).

My workaround for the same problem ...

Google for "NEO Coolcam Z-wave plus plug range upgrade"

Works OK for me, as the NEO Coolcam power plug is located inside the kitchen under sink storage, so usually no one reaches there and I consider the mod relatively safe.

There are three brick walls between my C7 and the Neo Coolcam plug and after the modification it works without problems ( no drop offs, no noticeable delays ) :


That's awesome! I may try that out! I like how small they are, but I still have them out-of-sight, so an external antenna could work.

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I think (might be wrong), that the antenna length would be wavelength dependent.

Correct. I am very much an amateur, but have a very basic idea of these concepts. So don't take all this as gospel.

The antenna has to be a particular length for a certain frequency. Often, they use quarter wave antennas (1/4 of the perfect length) so they are compact. You could use a longer 1/2 wave or full length antenna.

And you have certain designs (dipole, yagi, patch, loop, etc) for certain purposes. Directional vs omnidirectional and so on. I think that most smart devices are patch or loop.

The thing you all are looking for here is a high gain antenna.

There are antenna length calculators online if you know the frequency.

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I mentioned that because the antenna modification was described for an EU Neo Coolcam z-wave+ plug. Their frequency is different than ours - so the 8.2 cm used there might not be the right length for the US.

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Can someone check my math? For the European frequency, I get a quarter wave of 8.6cm, and for the US frequency, I get 8.25cm.

Those seem accurate, AFAIK. I'm guessing we have to use a solid wire,as it can "vibrate" better than a stranded wire?
And does anyone know the effect of the wire gauge? is thinner better 24 better than 18 gauge?

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