I've recently been educated (slapped silly) on what NOT to do. So, I've been following some sound advice from here and am working on building a stable network. Is there a way to determine what is the optimal number of zigbee repeaters? Or is it shoot by the hip?
It really depends on a few factors like how much area are you trying to cover and how many non-repeating devices you have.
Basically, I try to do one repeater for every room of my house (which is actually quite tiny at ~1150 sq ft). That way, I have enough growth for future devices plus a good spread around the house where I think I might hit dead spots. Repeaters don't have a device limit like hubs do (as they are not coordinators), so 1 in each room is usually enough to cover even a large house. I also have 4 of them basically at each corner of the house outside for my outdoor devices.
The way that I have built up my mesh was to start with 2 repeaters at each end of the house and then measure my mesh using XBee (although now you can do it with the getChildAndRouteInfo page on the hub). From there, I watched my inCost and outCost and where the inCost was high, I put a repeater in there and then tested again a day or two later. Once I saw the inCost come down, I moved on to other areas.
Patience is key when it comes to Zigbee.
Then I can see where I already need to add additional repeaters. I, too, am about 1100 on each floor and see that the lqi is over 200 on each of my zigbee devices. incost being 1 and outcost 7 on my lightifys. Most of which are repeating to a peanut. Even my peanuts have an lqi of 255 but incost and outcost of 1 on each.
I remember @patrick old advice of one repeater for every 8 devices. While repeaters don’t have a hard limit like a coordinator, they do have a maximum of devices the can route simultaneously. And that number differs per device. @corerootedxb advice up there is pretty solid, one repeater per room. I went with 5 Xbees distributed throughout my house. Those things have such great power that I didn’t need to put a repeater in every room
I would have no idea where to even begin with xbee.
Nah, a XBee is actually a really easy device to build if you (or someone you know) has some basic electronics skills and can solder (which, I think I saw a post where you demonstrated that you can do that!).
You can even buy all the parts in one easy package and then you just piece everything together (almost entirely plug-n-play):
As I'm actually working at my desk on things today, I'll probably have time to read up on this. Thanks!
OR... just grab 5 of these for a total of $50 and you get Zigbee/Z-WavePlus repeaters at once. And, you can control the outlets via Zigbee, and monitor power usage.
Less powerful than XBees though Plus, aren't you and your son like "Mr. Build It"? I thought for sure you would have like a dozen XBee devices running around on your mesh.
But where is the adventure and the challenge???
Not that I'm jelly, but I'm totes jelly... I'm desk bound EVERY DAY and still can't find time to read up on stuff that I want to...
Because life in my 1994 no neutral wire, ancient switched outlet wired house. Plugs are most useful for me, actually.
My hubs and I are quite creative around the house. It's just that I hadn't researched xbee. I'm tossing around a garage door automation, and also I'd like to try nano switches, but again. Don't know enough about them and it's hard to find reliable sources unless you're pointed to them. (sigh) One of my shortcomings.
1994... Meh. I'd love to be in a 1990s house. You kids and your "1994" houses all living the future and stuff! LOL Mine was built in 1954 with no neutral wire and metal gang boxes (and yes, I had to walk both ways, uphill, in the snow, with no shoes and carrying other small children on my back! LMAO). I've been upgrading them as I come across them, but they are EVERYWHERE.
My house is older. Only good thing that came out of it being gutted after Katrina was I brought the wiring up to code ...... and brought neutrals to every gang-box.
Funny story here. All my neighbors needed new roofs after Katrina. Not a shingle was out of place on mine. Storms are weird.
I am still waiting for the day where @ogiewon releases an arduino sketch that uses an Xbee to communicate back to Hubitat via Zigbee and the suitable driver for it
One thing to keep in mind is that each repeater (including the coordinator) does have a hard limit as to the number of child devices (sleepy end devices) that can be associated to it. Each Zigbee router maintans a 'child table' of finite size that determines this... and there isn't a single number that applies to all devices. This limit is distinct from the number of devices that may be using it to forward packets (that is not limited).
So for example if you had a single room with 50 battery operated devices, the coordinator, and a Zigbee repeater all within 5 feet of the hub, your setup would likely still need at least another repeater to 'host' some of those end devices (the hub would support 32 and the repeater another number, specific to its design). You'd think that a number as key as this would be part of a 'boiler plate' spec sheet, but it usually isn't. From what I recall from a ST Community post, one user found that a Cree bulb would support a max of 3 child devices, an Iris Smart Plug 13, and a SmartThings Outlet 7.
If I want to use Zigbee from am Arduino, I just pull out one of my old SmartThings ThingShield boards!
Challenge completed in 2014!
It would be great if @iharyadi would somehow allow his Zigbee sensors to allow universal bi-directional communications between an Arduino/RPi style board and the Hubitat Hub. Essentially, a modern version of the ThingShield.
I have one Xbee...it was not trivial to get the first one set up. Not exactly difficult, but not trivial like plugging in a smart outlet and pairing it. I really wanted it to map by Zigbee mesh network.