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Is there a way to measure the effective extant of your zwave network?


nwchicago

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Not without a costly measuring device. The usual solution is to add more devices to the Z-Wave mesh or, preferably add an Aeon siren. If you are having difficulty adding a device, try excluding it once or twice before adding it.

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Because Z-Wave is a "learning" mesh network with repeaters, even with an expensive tool it is difficult to measure the strength of your Z-Wave mesh network.   The Z-Wave alliance will be selling a special device for this purpose, see here:  http://z-wavealliance.org/cit/

 

Apparently you could get some idea of the connectedness by using a Z-Stick and Zen-sys software to build topology maps, but Aeon no longer distributes the necessary "Zensys Tool" software.

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Thanks for the great feedback.

I figured it would be tough.

 

I did add the Aeon Siren and it did a GREAT job extending my network to reach a lock on my furthest door.

 

I now have a blind spot in the middle for another door and was wondering if I could sense why the lock isn't working as well - since there are two Aeon plug in on/off controllers near it and they were securely added.

 

Chicago

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Without going nuts or blindingly technical, is there a way I could measure the strength of my zwave signal to help optimize placement of zwave devices?

 

Thanks.

 

Chicago

You would need to buy a zwave sniffer or build your own to be able to measure RSSI (relative signal strength) at various points in your house.  Not providing this sort of information (wifi for example does) is one of the major zwave design flaws.

 

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Here is the only product I've found sub-$1000 for diagnosing zwave networks....

 

http://www.zwaveproducts.com/shop/brands/zwaveproducts/zwp-tbx-z-wave-toolbox

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/z-wave-products-introduces-first-ever-diagnostic-tool-for-z-wave-networks-300396552.html

 

I cannot say how good it is - I don't have one, nor do I know anyone with one.

 

Michael.

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I now have a blind spot in the middle for another door and was wondering if I could sense why the lock isn't working as well - since there are two Aeon plug in on/off controllers near it and they were securely added.

 

How did you "securely" add the plug-in controllers. Were you given a choice?

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Here is the only product I've found sub-$1000 for diagnosing zwave networks....

 

http://www.zwaveproducts.com/shop/brands/zwaveproducts/zwp-tbx-z-wave-toolbox

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/z-wave-products-introduces-first-ever-diagnostic-tool-for-z-wave-networks-300396552.html

 

I cannot say how good it is - I don't have one, nor do I know anyone with one.

 

Michael.

Good find.

 

It looks not bad and apparently provides some vital info to diagnose your network, the kind sigma guys should have provided from the very beginning.

 

According to the manual, it can measure signal strength and display the actual route a zwave frame takes so one would know whether a re-transmitter needs to be installed in certain locations. It can also decode some payloads.  Not sure if can

 

If I did not build my own sniffer, I'd probably have bought this one.

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Here is the only product I've found sub-$1000 for diagnosing zwave networks....

 

http://www.zwaveproducts.com/shop/brands/zwaveproducts/zwp-tbx-z-wave-toolbox

 

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/z-wave-products-introduces-first-ever-diagnostic-tool-for-z-wave-networks-300396552.html

 

I cannot say how good it is - I don't have one, nor do I know anyone with one.

 

Michael.

 

I've been interested in this kind of device and have ordered one. Thanks for the links.

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How did you "securely" add the plug-in controllers. Were you given a choice?

I don't have access to the admin console right now, but in the zwave menu there is something about adding secure devices.

It is my understanding that when this is set to on or allow or whatever the verbage is AND you have the device vey close (like including a lock close) to the ISY you can include securely.

Perhaps someone with more knowledge can chime in on this.

 

I was just playing with this the other day and it did seem to make a difference as the device I was adding this way wouldn't repeat for a lock when added out of the box, but after this process it now does!

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The only Z-Wave secure menu option is to allow secure devices to be Enabled when adding a secure device for the first time (option required). That option is optional only if the secure device has been successfully added. If not, then there's no choice, the option must be enabled. There's no option to include a secure device as a non-secure device.

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The Aeon on/off plug instructions indicate you should click the action button twice to include in secure mode. The aeon siren did not have that instruction but does seem to extend my zwave network to a previously unreachable door. I was told devices when added (if close to the zwave bridge - isy in our case) would be added as secure - even if you don't double push the action Burton. It's a bit odd the contradiction. The most important point is hat secure adds do require 2-3 foot proximity when added.

 

 

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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How can I know if a particular z-wave device was added securely? I just got my z-wave dongle today and added my Schlage Connect lock to my ISY. 

 

I am getting a "Request Failed" error when I try to view the lock's option from the ISY. Is that a communication issue? I ordered an Aeotec siren today from Amazon since that seems to be a standard recommendation. We'll see what effect that has.

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All the Schlage locks can only be added securely.   But other devices in your Z-Wave network may not be working for passing messages to the lock, either because they were not originally joined secure, or they do not support beaming.

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All the Schlage locks can only be added securely.   But other devices in your Z-Wave network may not be working for passing messages to the lock, either because they were not originally joined secure, or they do not support beaming.

None of the intermediary devices in the path need to support the secure command class and only the last device in the chain (before the lock) need to support beaming. My thermostat relays commands to a lock quite well without having any support for security/secure inclusion.

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None of the intermediary devices in the path need to support the secure command class and only the last device in the chain (before the lock) need to support beaming.

That's not how I read the specs from Sigma (who make the chip). It's been a while though - I need to go back and review it...

 

The last device needs to support beaming (to wake battery devices), but I believe all need to support security. My Trane stat supports security, but it does not work as a secure repeater at all.

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That's not how I read the specs from Sigma (who make the chip). It's been a while though - I need to go back and review it...

 

The last device needs to support beaming (to wake battery devices), but I believe all need to support security. My Trane stat supports security, but it does not work as a secure repeater at all.

As I mentioned, my thermostat does not support secure command class.  There would not be a point in de-crypting, re-encrypting and then re-transmitting the packet instead of just re-transmitting. Besides, a secure device would not be able to decrypt/encrypt a packet without knowing a secret key which is communicated and stored during a secure inclusion session.

 

Regardless of what sigma claims, on my sniffer I saw the secure packet payload being re-trasmitted verbatim (which does not necessarily mean that the intermediary node might not have de-crypted if it could, but it simply could not).

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Not sure if this would help, but some of the devices will give a rough status indication of signal strength.

 

For example, today I got the: 

Zooz Z-Wave Plus Smart Plug ZEN06 with 2 USB Charging Ports

 

to try and extend range. I can put it into a mode where it displays signal strength. solid green=good, flashing green=ok, yellow=intermittent, red=no signal. Something like that. I simply tried outlets further and further away until I stayed mostly green. afterwards I used isy interface to double checke. I'd turn on/off repeatedly. If too far away of course, it takes a long time and/or has errors. 

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  • 10 months later...
On 5/3/2017 at 11:38 PM, robl said:

Not sure if this would help, but some of the devices will give a rough status indication of signal strength.

 

For example, today I got the: 

Zooz Z-Wave Plus Smart Plug ZEN06 with 2 USB Charging Ports

 

to try and extend range. I can put it into a mode where it displays signal strength. solid green=good, flashing green=ok, yellow=intermittent, red=no signal. Something like that. I simply tried outlets further and further away until I stayed mostly green. afterwards I used isy interface to double checke. I'd turn on/off repeatedly. If too far away of course, it takes a long time and/or has errors. 

Thanks... just saw this and ordered one on Amazon.  Good simple tester, and hopefully repeater.
Have you been happy with it?

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On 4/18/2017 at 10:47 AM, nwchicago said:

Without going nuts or blindingly technical, is there a way I could measure the strength of my zwave signal to help optimize placement of zwave devices?

 

Thanks.

 

Chicago

The simple answer is to add more Zwave devices. Because Zwave is mesh technology, non-battery powered devices repeat signals from other Zwave devices.

If you change your switches to Zwave and perform a 'Heal Network' after including new devices, your range should seriously improve.

Having the hub on one side of your home and a Zwave device on the other side, with nothing (or only Insteon)  in between, is not the optimal use of Zwave.

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On 3/17/2018 at 6:43 PM, johnstonf said:

Thanks... just saw this and ordered one on Amazon.  Good simple tester, and hopefully repeater.
Have you been happy with it?

Thanks - i just ordered one and will give it a try as well - very interesting idea.

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On 3/18/2018 at 10:22 AM, asbril said:

The simple answer is to add more Zwave devices. Because Zwave is mesh technology, non-battery powered devices repeat signals from other Zwave devices.

If you change your switches to Zwave and perform a 'Heal Network' after including new devices, your range should seriously improve.

Having the hub on one side of your home and a Zwave device on the other side, with nothing (or only Insteon)  in between, is not the optimal use of Zwave.

I agree completely - building a bigger mesh can make a better network.

My interest has been measuring the quality of signal strength around my house to understand if / where dead spots occur.

Out of necessity, I've added a bunch of aeotech zwave sirens, which have really helped bind my network together.

I also have some powered zwave devices that help broadcast and repeat (garage door controllers) and a few utility plugs, but it's not as deep as my insteon network.

I'm curious to see what the zooz utility plug shows me in regarding to dead spots.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I’ve ordered and installed the zooz Zwave smart plug. Seems pretty nice. I tried the network strength test and it seems OK / sensible.
I’ve also added it as a secure device m, which wasn’t too hard.
I’d like to test it out a bit to see how easy / hard it is to control via Program or scene.
Has anyone tried applying any programs or scenes to it yet?
Thanks.

Chicago


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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