Server Rack With Multiple Shelves: Hubitat Placement


I've been dipping my toes into the home automation space to help some people out I know. Definitely learning my fair share of lessons here.

There is a rack that looks something like this (wish I would have taken a photo) that is stored in a ventilated closet. The rack is central to the one-story house. The farthest device to be paired to the C8 is about 80 feet away (a plug).

There is a completely open shelf that I stuck a C8 and a Lutron PRO Bridge. Because I was so focused on other things, I completely spaced that putting a C8 hub in a metal rack was not a wise move. Duh :slight_smile:

Currently I've installed several Caseta switches + pico remotes.

Where the giant fail happened was when I went to pair several Zigbee Plugs (confirmed these plugs are repeaters and the pico remotes will control them). Total inconsistency trying to get these plugs to turn on/off via Hubitat.


The Lutron PRO Bridge is working fine with the devices as I see it's on a 400+MHZ spectrum.

The Zigbee plugs got destroyed in this environment because they're 2.4GHZ, I'm not sure if that was due to the interference of the metal in the cabinet or something else.

My thought now is to replace them with ZWave 700 plugs because they're 900MHZ.

Outside of the rack, and oddly enough, I couldn't not find a single room wired with ethernet ports to use.


  1. If the WAF does not allow for these devices to be removed from the rack, is there some way I can keep these devices in this rack? Placement suggestions? Longer range antennas perhaps?

  2. Are ZWave plugs enough to solve the issue?

Any advice or insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks as always for the help.

Do "external" (to the shelf) antennas meet the WAF? If so, I'm using these on my hub for Z-Wave and Zigbee, and they seem to work fine: The cable is long enough you can probably mount them outside the rack, eliminating the concerns of having them inside a bunch of metal, while keeping the hubs themselves inside.

Disadvantage: only the built-in antennas were tested with the hub and officially "supported," so if anything goes wrong, you'll probably be asked to see what happens if you switch back. They are also fairly large, so maybe even worse than having the entire hub with the stock antennas outside the rack, though if you have enough length, you can probably hide them somewhere besides directly on top (not sure what the criteria you're working with are). :smiley:

There are likely also many other similar antennas you could find — and certainly higher-quality ones you can find from reputable sellers. I took a chance on cheap ones and haven't been disappointed. I believe there are a few others people have tried, though I'm not sure how much length you'll get on the cables.


There's also this guy:


Is this a typo? Zigbee plugs will not repeat pico remotes. Two totally different technologies.


To clarify, I know some Zigbee plugs do not repeat and wanted to state these do. Yes, aware of the different technologies and will edit my post. Thanks for letting me know.

1 Like

Awesome find, thank you - I'll give this a shot. Thanks to everyone who responded for the suggestions and feedback.

1 Like