Jump to content

Z-Wave Antenna


owen6936

Recommended Posts

I recently installed the Z-Wave Module to my ISY99i-Pro.  I am new to Z-Wave, not to ISY.

 

Now I am working with my 1st Z-Wave device, a deadbolt lock.  I added it to the ISY with no issues, and can control the lock with no issues on the bench (near the ISY).  However, when I take the lock to the door location (haven't installed it yet).  I loose communications, I would assume it is out of range of my Z-Wave Module.  

 

I researched the topic a bit and see references to the Antenna.  My kit from UD did not contain an antenna.  Is that something I need to add, or do I need to add "other/More" Z-Wave devices between the door location and the ISY so the communications will be repeated?

 

Thank you,

 

Z-Wave Nube.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The external antenna is discontinued; UDI has indicated that it didn't help as much as people thought it would.  There's a discussion here somewhere on the forums on this topic, if you're curious.

 

You'll need to add z-wave devices.  There's another topic where we discussed the challenges faced by door locks in particular - they are in a very difficult setting for z-wave signals to begin with.  You can find that if you're curious, but bottom line is that you'll either need to move your ISY to very, very near the door, or you'll need another z-wave device that can repeat the secure z-wave signal.

 

There are also numerous topics on such z-wave repeaters - this seems to come up about every 5 minutes, or so -- at least it seems that way.  To sum up all the other threads on this, you want the Aeon siren or Aeon doorbell to do the job -- oddly enough those are actually better repeaters for *secure* z-wave signals than the devices sold as repeaters, plus they can actually do something useful in addition.

 

(Can somebody add this to the "new user" thread - this is clearly a VFAQ item!)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just curious if anyone has tried the Aeotec Range Extender 6. If so what are the results including range.

 

Used it in four installs and three of them didn't make a difference even after performing the heal process. In all cases the siren did in fact bridge the gap between the lock and the controller.

 

I gather your asking because of the cost difference between the two products.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Like many others here, I've had very good results with the Aeotec siren as a repeater. Aside from adding a integrated signal strength indicator, I doubt the "Extender" emits a stronger signal, seeing as the Extender, Siren, and Doorbell all share the same "Aeotec Gen5" chipset.

 

I recently installed the Z-Wave Module to my ISY99i-Pro. ..I researched the topic a bit and see references to the Antenna.  My kit from UD did not contain an antenna.

I'm curious, did your module have the connector for the antenna on the module?  Does it look like this?

ZWave-Dongle.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I calculate a Zwave antenna should be exactly 13" for Zwave wavelength at 908 MHz.

I use a "Rubber Ducky" antenna designed for the 902-928Mhz ISM band, comes in at about half that length.   Not sure how this compares to the "official" antenna that was included in the kit?

 

I went with external because it's easier to reposition the antenna for better polarization and propagation than the ISY.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

In my case, I find it actually helps. I tested over a period of time comparing responses with the internal antenna and the external antenna. But, we have unusual RF difficulties being near the top of a group of hills and above a radio station tower. Our intercom at the front gate used to play music, so did our land line B)

 

That's all fixed now, but some RF devices are still problematic. I can't begin the enumerate what I've gone through to get decent WiFi throughout. I hard wired where I could, just finished a few weeks ago.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sounds like a bad design for the fequency and perhaps why it didn't improve the comm distance.

 

I'm flabbergasted by this trite declaration.

 

Antenna design is rather complex - there are entire books on the topic.  Simply dismissing it as a "bad" design is ridiculous without supporting information -- what were the design requirements, what sort of radiation pattern was required or preferred, etc, etc, etc.  Just because it's not a physical quarter-wave antenna is insufficient -- very few antenna meet that measure for all sorts of reasons.

 

Mine works far better than the ceramic chip.  Perhaps a full quarter-wave would work even better - but it would probably need some sort of matching circuit, and the radiation pattern might not work nearly as well.  Heck, without any requirements, one might just glue a thousand feet of electric fence wire on the connector, and see if that helps!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The dimension I reported is elbow joint to tip externally. That's certainly not the actual length of the "real" antenna.

 

I agree with mwester, the antenna is the result of well established conventions for antenna design. The most reported problem with the external antenna was its directionality, not the strength of the signal in general.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm flabbergasted by this trite declaration.

 

Antenna design is rather complex - there are entire books on the topic.  Simply dismissing it as a "bad" design is ridiculous without supporting information -- what were the design requirements, what sort of radiation pattern was required or preferred, etc, etc, etc.  Just because it's not a physical quarter-wave antenna is insufficient -- very few antenna meet that measure for all sorts of reasons.

 

Mine works far better than the ceramic chip.  Perhaps a full quarter-wave would work even better - but it would probably need some sort of matching circuit, and the radiation pattern might not work nearly as well.  Heck, without any requirements, one might just glue a thousand feet of electric fence wire on the connector, and see if that helps!

Antennae must be a multiple of the applied wavelength.

 

But as Stu followed up with, he only reported the outside case length and not the actual internal radiation surface length. There are various design tricks to use various multiples of wavelength work, but always to create a simulated length that is related to the wavelength it has to transmit and it costs in reduced performance.

 

Opinion of design either way....

There are many reports it doesn't work as well as the internal antenna. I don't see  reports of being impressed with the antenna's performance. There is usually a reason for that. By your reports, UDI wasn't happy with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You'd think that at least one commercial Z-Wave repeater would have an external antenna, if only because it gives users something to fiddle with :)

 

Antennae must be a multiple of the applied wavelength.
 
But as Stu followed up with, he only reported the outside case length and not the actual internal radiation surface length. There are various design tricks to use various multiples of wavelength work, but always to create a simulated length that is related to the wavelength it has to transmit and it costs in reduced performance.
 
Opinion of design either way....
There are many reports it doesn't work as well as the internal antenna. I don't see  reports of being impressed with the antenna's performance. There is usually a reason for that. By your reports, UDI wasn't happy with it.

I'm sure the antenna is fine, you can find stock "900Mhz" antennas in all sort of lengths, the "rubber ducky" (enclosed helix) design means the visible "antenna" length has little relation to the antenna's optimal transmit frequency.
 
Most of the complaints about the external antenna seem to be as much about directionality as about transmit power.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You'd think that at least one commercial Z-Wave repeater would have an external antenna, if only because it gives users something to fiddle with :)

 

ROTL!    You've dealt with marketing departments before!

 

I've not checked, but for some classifications, the FCC type-accepts the *combination* of transmitter and antenna.  For others they grant the acceptance with the proviso that the antenna is limited in some fashion.  Of course, none of that will stop the hobbyist.  And I too wonder why a dual-antenna repeater isn't out there, with a small highly-directional (yagi or similar) antenna for high-directionality -- reach a stubborn device, and/or reject interference from the side, etc.  I know that's not "good etiquette" for a mesh network, but if you know you have a outlier that cannot hear and cannot be heard by the rest of the mesh, a highly-directional link isn't a problem.

 

(Never mind - re-reading that, it's quite apparent why there's no commercial product like that; it requires far too much technical know-how and restraint -- and the typical consumer would simply flood the tech support lines with such a product.  Oh well.)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Although not Z-wave, I have 2.4GHz and 5.0Ghz external antennas that are physically identical. It's what's inside that matters.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I wish I had seen this, before asking UDI about the antenna kit.

 

In my case, I was inclined to mount the UDI in something of a "secure" case, and exteriorize the antenna.

 

I guess that I will have to opt for a plastic case. I do want to protect her though.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.


×
×
  • Create New...