Range and mesh is really bad


I am in the process of moving over from Homeseer, which has been a long running love/hate, mostly hate relationship. I have a pretty advanced network where I have replaced almost all of the power outlets with wired GE/Jasco zwave outlets, which means they are all repeaters and I should have a strong mesh network between devices. The one thing that the Homeseer had going for it was range and routing, and it was just a basic Raspberry Pi with a Zwave board. Everything else about Homeseer I hate, including their support.

So I have my Hubitat in the same area where my Homeseer was, which is about 15 feet from the side wall of the house. All of the outlets along that wall are wired smart outlets. On the other side of the wall outside, I have a deck that is about 25 / 30 feet from the house with powered outlets. The homeseer had no problem routing to the outlets on the deck, which have a Jasco 45704 On/off Outdoor Z-Wave Module plugged into. Because the Hubitat is not wireless, I had to bring the Jasco module near the hubitat to include it (with the wireless homeseer, I brought the device outside). The Homeseer hub can see everything while the Hubitat cant. It is really disappointing. When I try to repair the nodes (i.e. rebuild their routing tables), there is no route to the deck. The Jasco Outdoor Z-Wave module is a repeater since it is technically wired. I ran a full Repair and the results were even more concerning. I literally have the hub surrounded by powered outlets that are in a 20 feet radius from the hub, and 20 feet radius from each other. How can the hub not be reaching them all? Typical to Z-Wave, there are several nodes that supposedly failed but I can still switch them on and off.

Not really sure what to do at this point. If I can not get at least the same range as the Homeseer, then I will need to return it.

Any thoughts? Because this device is limited by not having wifi, it is as far as I can get it, which is just about 5 feet from where the Homeseer was located that had no issues with range.


Are they still on the Homeseer app? Do you have any ghost nodes? Also, not all powered devices are repeaters.

Wireless is now an option that you can add on if you choose.

Range is hard to define because the minimum range is only what is needed to get to one repeater. After that, it's the range of the repeater that controls the total range. That doesn't make for the fastest mesh because there's a delay inherent in each hop. But as far as just range is concerned, one hop and the Hub's range is out of the equation. If Homeseer's range was actually worse, that could explain it almost as well because Homeseer would create an 'outer ring' that was a smaller circle than Hubitat does. But that's all hypothetical and I'm perfectly content with the position that Hubitat's range is less than others. ZWave is source routed meaning the Hub pre-defines the path the packets travel. Each packet leaving the hub has a list of hops predefined. That route table was built by asking EVERY Zwave device to tell the hub what neighbors they knew about. Those that report back are all the hub can use to build the route table. Thus that circles back to the range of the repeaters being more in control of a mesh than the hub.

You can look at the Topology map and get a hint about the Mesh just from the first line/row:

Screen Shot 2021-04-10 at 10.26.41 PM

That line shows that the Hub can reach all but 4 of the devices. (The vertical column is identical, meaning the hub can reach the devices and the devices can reach the hub.) Yet looking at the Route column it's clear that other factors are in play. I'd expect to see only 4 devices with a hop, and all of them a single hop, yet that's not what it shows. I have 7 devices with a hop and half of those are two hops.

Like a lot of people, the routing is exceptionally hard to fathom for me. That particular device is a Qubino RGBW Controller about 18ft from the hub. The hop, 0x38, is 25ft from the hub on the opposite side. Draw a circle, imagine the hub in the center, to the left, on the circle, is 0x38. on the extreme right, directly across the circle and just inside, is the Qubino RGBW Controller. It's an astonishing route since the radio signal would literally hit the hub first on it's way to the hop.

My point is that "range" is not much of a criteria, in my opinion. :smiley: Assuming that it's in the same ballpark as every other ZWave radio in commercial products, including manufacturing tolerances.


When I moved from SmartThings to Hubitat a couple of years ago, I discovered that Hubitatโ€™s zwave range was less than SmartThings. I was advised to place a repeater in the same room as the hub, near the hub (but not too close). I placed an aeotec dedicated z-wave repeater in the same room about 10โ€™ away from the hub and then my range and mesh started working great.


I agree. I see this kind of non-sensical routing all the time and it makes no sense. I have no idea how the routes are actually created, but the process seems to have no (or very little) intelligence to it. Its almost like it just picks the first neighbor it hears without any logic or evaluation regarding other neighbors that would be a better next hop.

I would really love to see a technical description of how the zwave routes are actually chosen and what really happens when a mesh 'repair' is performed

1 Like

I excluded them one at a time from homeseer and then included them to the hubitat. Then I turned off the homeseer. They are definitely excluded. Thanks!

Thanks for the response! Yeah, my problem is that I have replaced all my outlets with Jasco smart outlets so routing should not be a problem. The nearest powered outdoor outlet is literally 5' from one of the inside wall outlets so the signal loss should not be an issue. The next outdoor powered outlet is just 20' from this one. These are working with hubitat, it is the last outlset that is then another <10' that does not get routed too. As I mentioned, this network worked really well using homeseer. Unfortunately my homeseer keeps crashing and their customer support is rather rude. I like hubitat much better than homeseer in terms of user experience.

I guess the question is why cant I get the routing when each power outlet receptacle is literally 8' from each other.


I believe the controller is ultimately building the routes on how it queries the nodes. This is sadly where I think Homeseer excels. They have been around for a very long time. It is just that everything else about their product, user experience, and customer support is absolutely awful.

I actually signed up as a developer to Silicon Labs and pulled down the reference documentation and have decided to try and learn more about the protocol. Such a love/hate hobby right now. :slight_smile: