Z-Wave Repeater Discussion

I’ve got roughly 100 zwave devices and the only time I’ve had anything close to the issue you describe, is when I’ve had a failing or failed device causing mesh issues.

If you have any dedicated Aeotec repeaters, thrown them in the bin, they cause major issues. You are better off using mains powered zwave devices with repeater functionality.

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FWIW, I disagree with this. I have had good success with the 700 series Aeotec repeaters in the past.

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Fair enough, I had major issues with them on my c7 and replaced them with Aeotec smart switches.

Well my aeotec repeaters i dont think have ever picked .up a device and that is in 2 houses. But the test fx to send packets to another device is a nice feature.

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I believe that they use the same SiLabs 700 series chip.

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Z-wave routing is a commonly discussed mystery, unrelated to whether or not a device comes from a specific manufacturer.

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Mine were definitely zwave plus, but iirc 500 series, and they worked well with my old Vera hub, but caused serious issues on my c7. That was before many of the 700 series bug fixes where released tho. I threw them out so never retested.

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The early days of the C7 were indeed challenging.

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I have them , they have not caused any issues, but I agree they could be thrown in the bin. They have never actually been used as repeaters. They have used other mains powered devices as repeaters though.

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Recently I finally removed two of these toys.
For about 3+ years absolutely nothing was using them.

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I still have a one plugged in...it actually repeats for a plug in the same room. The others never picked up anything. :man_shrugging: Didn't cause any noticable problems. Everything worked when they were plugged in, and when they weren't. :slight_smile:

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Were yours 500 or 700 series? Here in Aus we never got the latter AFAIK.

All 700 IIRC...

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I think there is a general perception problem with dedicated repeaters. People often expect too much from them.

Repeaters are not magic. They do not have super Z-Wave chips. They use the same Z-Wave chips as other mains powered devices. Their Z-Wave repeating behavior is the same. They use small coil antennas similar to other mains powered devices, so their power and sensitivity end up being about the same as well.

When you pay good money for a repeater, you really want to see it being used. You want your devices to flock to it. I know I did when I bought my first repeaters. But it just doesn’t happen that way.

Repeaters can be very useful if you have few mains powered devices, or if you have devices that are simply too far away. Other than that, not so much. Better to invest in a higher gain antenna for the hub I think.

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The issue I had with them was quite simple, they somehow attracted many more devices to use them than they should have. I even had devices with direct connections jumping over to the repeater, which then became a huge bottleneck.

Maybe 700 series repeaters are better behaved, but I found 500 series repeaters problematic. Putting 500 series Aeotec smart switches in their place, magically solved all of my problems.

I find that in my case where most of my switches were Z-wave, that repeaters were just a waste.

Also, Zigbee is weird, from the map, I see that almost all my Zigbee devices directly talk to the hub, the map is weird cause it will just change. I have a zigbee repeater in the Garage where I have a few battery sensors, hoping and assuming they will use the repeater, but again , the map says otherwise. I know off subject but I feel that repeaters are only usefull if there is NO lines based hardware nearby, if its a few ft from a lines switch the repater is just a waste

I don't really trust the HE Zigbee map so much... It showed numerous devices directly connected to my hub. However when I mapped My Zigbee network using my XBee, it showed zero devices connected directly to my C8.

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Repaters are only needed for small networks, but imo most ppl are better off buying something like a smart zwave switch - there is very little cost difference between them, and they are more useful in the long run.

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And

You both assuming that because you see things in z-wave then zigbee must be wrong.

They are completely different techniques of mesh and this how they are viewed is different.

In Z-wave EVERYTHING is managed at the hub, the only advantage of this is that when you see the map you see it all because it knows about it all. There are many disadvantages to this. The main one is that the hub does everything, so because of this it relies on signals coming back to determine the mesh, then once it makes a decision it sticks with it irrespective if there's a better route.

Zigbee however is the opposite the Hub only knows about its local power devices and local non-powered children. Intern power devices only know about their local non-power devices and they're local routers. Rince and repeat. The advantage to this being that the mesh is constantly moving, choosing the most efficient and low energy root back.

The issue in this case meaning when you log in to see the map you only see it's currently and last table values. So if you want to see the mesh you need to leave the map on just like you do with Exbee. However exbee is in the middle of the network so may see more and has software to look for more than just it's table of devices.

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This honestly sounds more like an issue with the hub than an issue with the repeater(s). Particularly since you indicated that they performed fine with your prior hub.

The early days of the 700 series chips were pretty bad. Many of us, myself included, attempted all kinds of fixes. Repeaters were bought. End devices were upgraded. Hubs were moved. More hubs were bought. Sacrifices were made. Anything to stop the pain. It was a very difficult time.

FWIW, my current architecture still reflects that time. With the C5, I was able to run my 120+ Z-Wave devices on a single hub with no issues. With the C7 I made a dozen plus attempts to make everything work with a single hub to no avail, By the time all was said and done, to achieve a stable network I ended up moving to a three hub architecture, which I still use to this day. I considered attempting to consolidate when the C8 was issued, but the idea of attempting to redo the entire network as my wife looks on stresses me out completely.

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