Ring Alarm and HE. Two Z-Wave networks?

I'm not sure this is the proper place to ask ,so if I need to repost somewhere else, please let me know.

I am moving into a new home in about 1 week and I will be using HE for automation of lights / fans. All of my in wall mounted devices are Z-Wave Plus (GE) I have been installing the switches /dimmers in the walls without including them into the HE. I plan to move the HE into the house next week and will add each switch (one at a time) to the HE. I don't think this will be a issue. I am installing a number of leak detectors I plan to use with HSM.

I have also installed a Ring Alarm. All of the contact sensors and keypads are Z-Wave Plus also. The alarm is up and running. I placed the "base station" in a central location and added each sensor as I placed them around the house. Ring does not give me any indication of the health of the mesh but I know everything is reporting to the base station properly.

Now comes my concern. I have been reading the community until my eyes bleed and I ran across a link to this https://drzwave.blog/2017/01/20/seven-habits-of-highly-effective-z-wave-networks-for-consumers/ Pretty good info and not much I haven't already learned from the community. In reading the comments I ran across this:

January 9, 2018 / 7:00 pm
Will multiple Z-wave mesh’s piggyback off each other?

I have a single hub at the moment, my alarm panel that controls door locks/cameras/perimeter sensors/etc. But it’s pretty much locked down to a very small feature set and doesn’t play well when I put other devices on it (smart plugs/switches/lighting/etc). So I’m looking at getting another hub to control everything that isn’t security related, either a ST or a Pi with Hass.io and a Zwave/Zigbee stick.

If I went this route, would this require me to build another mesh with just the devices talking to the new ST/Hassio hub or would both mesh networks be able to bounce off each other to communicate with their respective nodes?

January 9, 2018 / 7:17 pm
If you build two Z-Wave networks with the the security items related on one and the lights/thermostats/sensors on the other, then the two networks are separate and will not utilize each other for the mesh. Worse, you now have two networks that will interfere with each other.

You should be able to get all these devices on one Z-Wave network though. The security panel should be able to join another network or allow another hub to connect to it. Then you have 2 hubs on 1 network and it is up to you to manage who is in charge of which devices.

The best solution however is to get all the devices controlled via one hub – SmartThings, HomeSeer, Vera, Iris, Nexia, will all do what you are looking for. Homeseer has several plugins for certain security panels.

I bolded the comment that concerns me. Will I have two Z-Wave networks that will interfere with each other? I plan to use the unofficial ring integration so that HE is aware of alarm status (mostly readonly). Should I try to include HE into the Ring Base Station (not even sure that is possible) Am I overthinking this? I have no real experience with Z-Wave other then my IT and radio background. The alarm is important to the wife and the HE is my main interest. In other words, the wife will win if I am going to have a problem.

Thanks, Steve

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I think he is referring to joining a secondary controller to the Z-Wave network of the first, but then splitting devices between them. That is not what you're doing if you have Ring on its own Z-Wave network and HE on it's own. I and many of us here have a Ring hub and HE Z-Wave running in parallel (I actually have three HE Z-Wave networks running independently and the Ring Z-Wave network running independently), with no problem.

This fantastic community app/driver will integrate your Ring hub into your HE via the LAN and that will allow you to use your Ring sensors and the keypad with HE too. You can even trigger the Ring alarm via HE if you wish.

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I absolutely plan to use the plugin. I will wait until both are running correctly before bringing the 2 together but I am looking forward to lots of possibilities of the combined systems.


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It’s true that you would have two z-wave mesh networks, one for your ring devices and one for the devices paired to your hubitat hub.

The networks will both operate on the same frequency, but I’m not sure that necessarily means they will interfere with each other.


Ya, they will. But there certainly is a negative connotation to that word isn't there? :slight_smile:

Interference is expected in the protocol which diminishes it's impact as low as possible.

ZWave radios (for a specific band/region) are all on the same frequency so all ZWave devices will hear all ZWave traffic. They then use the Network number and Node ID to determine if the packet is for them. Before sending, ZWave dictates a moment of listening before sending. Anything heard will cause a random delay before retrying. Thus two ZWave networks self prevent themselves from functional interference.

If you imagine an apartment building where neighbors have Home Automation systems, thus multiple ZWave networks, it's clearer that it's intended to work with interference.

I routinely have 3 ZWave networks in my house and have run as many as 5 without a perceptible difference. I have 4 this particular minute. :slight_smile:


Thanks for the additional info! This is what I was wondering, whether there is interference that actually matters in terms of noticeable mesh performance issues.

I'm familiar with listening before talking in networking. (just wish my kids would learn the concept)
I was trying to be too careful as I hope to get this up and running pretty quickly and I hope to avoid common pitfalls.

Thanks, Steve


It's difficult to decide WHEN to be Too Technical.. I thought this was one of those rare times. I have multiple ZWave networks because the frequency bandwith is underutilized while the Hub's Radio queues are overutilized. In other words, for each controller <--> device transaction, the Hub has to wait for replies. The Hub's ZWave radio can't be doing other things, so the queues build. But the gap between send and response is entirely empty.. and thus a 2nd ZWave controller can use that gap easily.

So maybe I bungled the Too Technical on/off switch again, huh? :smiley:

For ME, multiple hubs equals parallelism in ZRadio. It can't be True Parallelism, because its a single frequency, but it's functionally parallel.

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I know the issue of too technical all too well. Just ask my users. 50 years in radio (2 way) and 40 years in IT I can quickly make my users eyes glass over.


I think this Thread is done because there's nothin' but glazed eyes here now. :smiley: