Has anyone had issues with the Zen25 not repeating zwave signals. I have a EcoLink garage door tilt sensor. It could barely connect to the hub and constantly lost contact, so I purchased a Zooz Zen25 double plug and located it halfway between the door and the hub (about 15 feet away, through 1 wall/wooden door). No improvement.
Well, perhaps the mesh could be improved. Purchased another Zen25 and put it 10 feet away with line of sight to the sensor. Still no improvement. I could take the sensor off the door and it would sometimes connect and report on/off as it tilted. But, once on the door and sleeping for a while it would be unable to reconnect to the hub when the door moved (steady green light until it just gave up). In the logs I see it waking up once in a while, but when the door opened, nothing.
Using the handy-dandy z wave topology map generated by the hub... oh wait, it won't do that. I was at a loss. Started looking at a contact switch instead of the tilt sensor. Then I found a GE enbrighten smart outlet that I had purchased a while ago. I replaced one of the Zen25s with the GE. Viola - everything has worked flawlessly for over a week.
The Zen25s work fine - I can turn them on/off, etc. Immediate response. I just can't get them to work as extenders. Is there something that I am missing. Is there some way to get the hub to log the z wave path?
I am very new to this. I have automated a ceiling fan and the garage door, so I don't have a lot of devices with which to run tests. My experience with automation so far has been rather negative. I have an app that tells me signal strength for wifi. No such (inexpensive) animal for Zigbee or ZWave. After weeks of repeatedly adding/removing devices and rewriting rules I have managed to automate 2 things. In both cases I had nothing but trouble until adding 2 repeaters around the original devices - The repeaters cost more than the devices of course. Frustrating.
I'm not sure if they have the repeater capability or not.
Have you tried running Z-Wave repair? It is necessary when adding new routing/repeating devices (the Zen25 is an always-on device and falls into this category) so that existing devices can be told to update their nearest neighbor tables.
Each Z-Wave device keeps track of which devices are in range for it to use as potential communication intermediaries. But it doesn't look for new ones unless told to do so. The only tricky part is (well there are two tricky parts) battery devices are sleepy (to conserve battery power) and it may be necessary to run Z-Wave repair more than once before you can assume that it will be awake and listening when the repair is initiated (yet another one of those 'why did they do that' features of Z-Wave).
The other tricky part of the scenario is that if your intermittently listening battery operated device is flaky at the extreme end of its current radio range, who knows how many repair attempts it will take before it finally receives the repair command. Perhaps it is broadcast by the newly added plug, but if not can you temporarily relocate it somewhat closer to the hub (and close enough to the newly installed plug) to make the odds of successful radio reception better? Then try one or more Z-Wave repairs, and then wait (it can take a while, nobody seems to know how long, for all the routing changes to propagate through the network). You should then be able to relocate it further away from the hub (yet within range of its new repeating neighbor).
In theory it wouldn't be this difficult if the farthest device was "paired in place" with all devices supporting 'network-wide inclusion' (and Z-Wave Plus devices along with many non-plus devices support this) but that assumes that your newly added device was already in the mix. And I have experienced enough failures of network-wide inclusion that I often have to pair close to the hub initially if I have problems including a new Z-Wave device.
Assuming it's the 2.5 version of the tilt sense I'm pretty sure the "pair in place" feature will work like @Tony mentioned so I recommend removing the device and re-joining it near the garage door. That might also work with the older model, but I'm not sure.
I ran the Z-Wave repair several times. Even tried waving it in the air for a while to keep it awake. I did nothing different when adding the Zooz device in the garage than when I added the GE device. Perhaps I just got lucky with the GE, but the Zooz devices were both in place for a couple of weeks after many repairs were run. I think that the garage door sensor actually worked for a day or two after I installed each Zooz device. It then reverted to previous behavior. This sequence of events led me to wonder if the sensor was bad. But I have an EcoLink contact sensor that behaves exactly the same way.
Basically, it went like this: After a few days of never working, I would take the sensor off the door but hold it close to where it was mounted. It would wake up and connect and switch back and forth several times. After 5 - 10 switch events it would stop working again, displaying a long green light. I would go and get my laptop and run a repair while holding the thing and waving it around. I would put it back on the door and it would kind of work for a while. The light might flash green for only a few seconds, but it would report status. This would only last for a few door cycles and then it would stop reporting.
I mounted the sensor on a plastic iphone box (hey, it was handy) to add separation from the door; it seemed to work a little better that way. It also allows me to remove it from the door easily.
Since adding the GE into the mix, I haven't noticed a single failure. If the door has been open for more than 5 minutes after 8:00 p.m. Alexa tells me to close it. Once I trust the thing work work properly, I will have the hub close the door.
Thanks for the replies!
The ZEN25, just like all non-battery powered devices, acts as a signal repeater. There is no way to disable that feature, it's built into each device. It's possible that for whatever reason Hubitat didn't register the plug as the sensor's neighbor. The best way to set up the network is to start with adding the closest device to the hub first (from its actual location, not close to the hub and then moving it), then adding a device that's farther away, etc. But with any Z-Wave Plus device, it's important to add them from where they're installed or mounted instead of having them close to the hub and then taking them to another room. This is because it's during the initial set-up that the hub establishes neighbors and best route to reach each device.
Hope that helps!
Update. I want to confirm that my installation has been rock solid ever since I stopped depending on the ZEN25s to repeat the signal. I'm not sure what they were doing, but I know that they were not repeating the zwave signals from my sensor. I installed them close to the hub and then moved them. I reset them and installed them in their final location. I ran zwave repairs. I didn't realize how much they were not working until I installed the GE switch. I did manage to return one of them to Amazon, the other was outside of the return window.
How you think things should route is irrelevant. I have a fan controller that is within touching distance of the HE hub. I can literally reach out and touch both devices with my outstretched arms. I expected that those two devices would talk directly. That fan controller is in fact two hops from the HE hub. (I have a secondary zwave controller attached to HE and do gather hop counts and neighbor tables) Radio signals travel in straight lines and since the devices are on the same wall, the signal would need to go through a bunch of 2x4s and 4x4 posts. Not enough signal to reach back and forth to the hub.
When we stand back from the situation, we can often see both devices. From the devices perspective however, they may not be able to "see" each other directly. Setting up a strong reliable mesh requires that we look at everything from the perspective of the devices themselves. Look closely at how a radio signal might travel from device to device and what all it might need to go through to get to it's destination. Think about all the furniture and appliances, and what might be inside walls.
Sorry the plug didn't work for you Bill! It's challenging to diagnose radio issues remotely but we'll keep investigating this and will try to recreate the problem you described. If you need assistance with returning one of the devices you won't be able to use, please reach out to our support and they'll be able to help!
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