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Z-Wave Range & External Antenna


manowell

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I've been doing Insteon for years, got into ISY994i soon after.  Now running 994i Pro with a new ZWave daughterboard, just added on advice of UDI, to support Schlage wireless deadbolts.  I was NOT pointed at an external antenna, and I don't see one on the UDI accessories page now.  Are they still available?

 

At any rate,the first lock went in fine.  The second long wouldn't enroll until I moved the ISY much closer to that door, where it worked but wouldn't see the FIRST door.  Programmed it, moved it halfway back and now it will see the first door and not the second.  So I think I have a ZWave range problem.

 

I've ordered a couple of Aeon Labs Range Extended 6's based on reading another post here, that may fix my problem.  But I'm interested in any better antenna solutions.

 

Running 4.6.2.

 

Any guidance?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Marc

 

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I've been doing Insteon for years, got into ISY994i soon after.  Now running 994i Pro with a new ZWave daughterboard, just added on advice of UDI, to support Schlage wireless deadbolts.  I was NOT pointed at an external antenna, and I don't see one on the UDI accessories page now.  Are they still available?

 

At any rate,the first lock went in fine.  The second long wouldn't enroll until I moved the ISY much closer to that door, where it worked but wouldn't see the FIRST door.  Programmed it, moved it halfway back and now it will see the first door and not the second.  So I think I have a ZWave range problem.

 

I've ordered a couple of Aeon Labs Range Extended 6's based on reading another post here, that may fix my problem.  But I'm interested in any better antenna solutions.

 

Running 4.6.2.

 

Any guidance?

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Marc

 

The ISY zwave module no longer supports an external antenna as tests showed little if any advantage. The Aeon range extender 6 should work with your door locks. The first extender should be installed within about 20 feet of the ISY. Be sure to enable Security Encryption on the range extender. Also take a look at this article  http://wiki.universal-devices.com/index.php?title=Z-Wave:_Configuring_Range_Extenders_and_Door_Locks.

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The ISY zwave module no longer supports an external antenna as tests showed little if any advantage. The Aeon range extender 6 should work with your door locks. The first extender should be installed within about 20 feet of the ISY. Be sure to enable Security Encryption on the range extender. Also take a look at this article  http://wiki.universal-devices.com/index.php?title=Z-Wave:_Configuring_Range_Extenders_and_Door_Locks.

 

Thanks for the pointer, that would not have been obvious. :-)

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My experience with the Aeon Doorbell, Gen 5 Siren ans Gen 6 Range Extender is not instinctive at all. An example is when a repeater worked best when placed further away from the ISY was than the lock. In particular, the lock was between the extender and the ISY.

 

So, don't give up if the first try isn't the best as indicated by consistent correct communication in both directions.

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My experience with the Aeon Doorbell, Gen 5 Siren ans Gen 6 Range Extender is not instinctive at all. An example is when a repeater worked best when placed further away from the ISY was than the lock. In particular, the lock was between the extender and the ISY.

 

So, don't give up if the first try isn't the best as indicated by consistent correct communication in both directions.

 

The siren, doorbell and range extender all have a higher RF output than the ISY Zwave dongle so unless the door lock is within close proximity to the ISY you're probably not going to have ideal RF communications between the two. If you install an extender then route the door lock via the extender you should, in theory, experience much better communications especially if the extender is placed in an unobstructed locations.

 

Note: an extender/relay can be any zwave device with the Gen 5 chip running on AC power.

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Zwave, in general, requires security enabled devices (such as locks) to be fairly close to each other during enrolling. Repeaters are not used for enrolling secure devices, so they must be in direct range.

 

Basic advise is to take the back off the lock and enroll it close to the ISY. Once enrolled, move it back and then heal the network (so routing can be recalculated with the new lock location). Then repeat with the other lock. If you don’t heal after moving it back then the ISY and lock will not be aware of the repeater and simply wont use it.

 

I wouldn’t move the ISY. That could really mess with the routing. Stick with moving the device to enroll...

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The ISY zwave module no longer supports an external antenna as tests showed little if any advantage. The Aeon range extender 6 should work with your door locks. The first extender should be installed within about 20 feet of the ISY. Be sure to enable Security Encryption on the range extender. Also take a look at this article  http://wiki.universal-devices.com/index.php?title=Z-Wave:_Configuring_Range_Extenders_and_Door_Locks.

 

I was not aware of that.. Is this valid only for old modules as well? My module have the external antenna connection which is connected to a well calibrated antenna and it is working fine, at least I think it's working fine. The ISY console still showing the External Antenna option.

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Not a problem. An antenna attached to a module with a connection is fine using the external antenna. Techman's "not suppoted" really means that the antenna connection is no longer on the circuit board. That has no effect on older boards.

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I was not aware of that.. Is this valid only for old modules as well? My module have the external antenna connection which is connected to a well calibrated antenna and it is working fine, at least I think it's working fine. The ISY console still showing the External Antenna option.

 

A simple test is to take an aluminum pie plate and place it behind the antenna. This will essentially make the signal more directional than before. This obviously depends upon where the ISY Series Controller is located in relations to other Z-Wave hardware.

 

You could expect better to worse response in this simple test.

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