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Device inclusion - direct range


knuth
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Question

In the manual for the Switch 2 (and other devices; I am using the Switch as an example) installation is described with the following steps:

  1. Connect wires in wall box
  2. Turn on mains voltage
  3. Add (include) the device in the network

etc.

For step number 3 the manual states: "Place the Switch 2 within the direct range of your Z-Wave controller". At this point, both controller (HC2) and device (e.g. Switch 2) are more or less fixed in their locations. The switch is literally fixed to the wires in the wall box. The controller is active, connected to an outlet, and cannot easily be unplugged and restarted near the switch. Several other devices may already be included in the network, some of them presumably acting as repeaters. How do you handle this practically if the switch and controller locations are far apart? What is considered the direct range in a single story house? 3 meters? 20 meters?

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20 answers to this question

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  • 1

My experience is with Dimmer 2 and Double switch 2 that these devices coul'd be easily paired (included) to HC2 standing several meters away; even devices on different floor. All included on first try. :-)

 

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HI @knuth ,

 

The recommended distance would be no more than 2m.

While adding a device be sure to check the box saying that the device is located far from the HC. This might help, but we still recommend to add devices in close proximity of your HC.

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  • Precisely, @A.Smolinski, that is why I posted the question! Both the HC2 and the device are hardwired to their locations: the HC2 to the power outlet and the router, the device to the wall box where it is to be installed. These locations are not in the same room. To comply with your recommendation I can do either of two things:

    - Power down and disconnect the HC2 and the router, leaving the rest of the house unconnected in the mean time, and restart both in another room. Install and include the Switch2, then turn off the HC2 and the router, return both to the router room and reconnect/restart them there (I thought at first that I could move only the HC2, but I need both router and HC2 to be able to access them from my PC)

    OR

    - Connect the Switch 2 to some temporary 230 V power near the HC2/router, include the device, then disconnect it and reinstall the device in its proper wall box in another room 

     

    Both seem like cumbersome ways to include a new device. What do users out there do in practice? Is there a third way?

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    I'm afraid there is no other way. I think it's best to temporarily connect your Switch near the HC instead of disconnecting the whole system.

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    Hi @knuth,

     

    Just one stupid question. Have tried to checked checkbox NWI, before inclusion? I

     

    think that Switch 2 does support NWI. Then Inclusion process can be routed through other devices if you have some between HC2 and device, you want to add.

     

    Regards,

    Jakub

     

     

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  • Inquirer
  • Sure,@jakub.jezek, Network Wide Inclusion may possibly help, provided that there are already other units in the network serving as repeaters. As stated by @A.Smolinski, however, that is not recommended practice; the distance to the main controller should be less than 2 m. I conclude that there is an inconsistency in the

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    . The instructions  state that the Switch shall first be connected to its (permanent) wall box and then be included in the network. The inclusion step should be done within the "direct range of your Z-Wave controller".This in direct contrast to Fibaro's recommendation in the post above to temporarily power up the switch close to the HC2, include it, and then move it to its intended location. 

     

    The only way to follow the instructions in the manual to the letter would be to move the wall with the wall box closer to the HC2 before inclusion :roll: As that is not practical, what I will probably end up doing is leaving the wall and the device where they are, and try to include the device in spite of distances well above 2 m. 

    I am in the planning stages for installing and adding dozens of devices in a new house being built, so I am asking those of you who have been through similar initial installations: How did you do it? Did you run into any problems? 

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    @knuth, as we czech says: Under lighted candle, there is greatest darkness.

     

    During FIbaro trainings i have HCs more than 2 meters space from dealers and models and inclusion always works.

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    1 hour ago, Bodyart said:

    My experience is with Dimmer 2 and Double switch 2 that these devices coul'd be easily paired (included) to HC2 standing several meters away; even devices on different floor. All included on first try. :-)

     

    Same over here, except for the Fibaro UBS. This device is almost every time giving issues when trying in- or excluded.

    Mostly  I have to do about 5 attempts before the UBS in in- or excluded.

    Al other Fibaro devices normally in- or ex-clude even  at longer distances (and several walls & floors)

     

     

     

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    What I have learned to succeed...

    Plan if you can for 7M hops radiating out from Hc2. This isnt always practical but you are going to get a quicker and better result especialy first modules out from Hc2. 

    Try to fit enough modules for multible paths out from Hc2 important because there are a maximun of 5 hops per path. If you get to the extremities of you network and you have used your 5 hops modules that are right beside a working one may not work.

    You may need to be creative with repeater modules to get around metal, reinforced concrete and many tiled surfaces.ie zig zag past obstacle.

    Remember z wave travels in straight lines, modules may only be meters apart but have alot to get through running diagonally through a wall past cars etc.

    Avoide puting Hc2 in comms rack or anywhere with air conditing ducts boilers, large metal objects that are going to be in your signal path.

    You can include stuff by Hc2 but get each module fitted and working with good signal in its resting place before moving on to next one.Your network will be stronger by each include.

    Make sure the module includes and finishes its full configuration. If you rush that you can waste heaps of time with installed but  unconfigured modules everywhere and a z wave mess.

    Fix problem modules at time of finding non configured, going dead, playing werd. Unistall and reinstall if you have to. They are going to slow your zwave network down and make your

    next inclusion a PITA.

    Dont forget about you zwave mesh network reconfigure button, best pushed at end of session Hc2 needs quiet time after lots of work to settle down.

    Take your time, its false economy to rush.

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    6 hours ago, knuth said:

    The only way to follow the instructions in the manual to the letter would be to move the wall with the wall box closer to the HC2 before inclusion :roll: As that is not practical, what I will probably end up doing is leaving the wall and the device where they are, and try to include the device in spite of distances well above 2 m

    :D LOL

     

    In my practice, I ended with a self-made schuko with two wires and splicing connectors, some spare cables.

    I power the device near the HC, on the desk, eg. Switch, Roller Shutter. Do inclusion, setup. After that power off and place it in the wall or where it should be.

    Once at place, do neighbors update for this node, if it is far away enough.

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  • Inquirer
  • Thanks everyone, this is becoming a very useful thread! I now see two possible strategies:

    a) Based on the experience of @Bodyart and @TRicky I can take a chance that inclusion will work even at larger distances. Using the advice from @Jamie mccrostie I would start with the devices closest to the HC2, prioritize the ones that will serve as repeaters, and work my way towards the periphery to create a good mesh. 

    b) Or I could try @chapa 's method, powering the device temporarily in the tech room and move it to its wall box afterwards. I seem to recall that some units configure themselves based on what is connected (e.g. dimmers?). Will they appear as unconfigured if there is no load attached when they are included? 

     

    Both of these are more realistic than moving the wall around... But neither a) nor b) agrees with the recommended procedure in the manual. I think I will start with method a), and then resort to method b) if a unit fails to include in situ.

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    @knuth,

     

    That's also a very good approach; I also have used it more than often.

    Including the module very near the HC-2 and than moving it further and further away of the HC-2 while doing a Z-Wave Mesh reconfiguration every time, for the intended module. 

    Only problem I had was when my system crashed, the re-installed  back-up didn't 'remember' all mesh-connections.

    So my system was thinking to have direct connection with all modules while they previously were indirect 

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    10 hours ago, knuth said:

    I seem to recall that some units configure themselves based on what is connected (e.g. dimmers?). Will they appear as unconfigured if there is no load attached when they are included? 

     

    Actually, chance of unconfigured device to appear is less if device is near HC.

    No problems for configuring and re-configuring, if needed. (Re)Configuration may be done far from HC.

    Some devices may report error notifications, like Load Error (Dimmer), Calibration Fail (TRV), but once they are in-place any device has calibration parameter, eg. Dimmer, Roller Shutter.

    Edited by chapa
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    Dimmer 2 needs a load to operate. So you cannot use it without load to act as remote control. The recommended way to work around that is to install a bypass. I do not think any other module requires a load.

    Edited by petergebruers
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    Wouldn’t it be easier just to buy a very long Ethernet cable and power extension and just move the HC around the house?

    I am having to do this as I have switched from one ZWave Controller to an HC Lite for units that are behind switches now.

     

    When i originally set it up with a Rasberry PI I had a temp rig with a switch that I would keep close to the controller then once programmed I’d hand it over to the electrican to put behind the switch.

    Edited by Andrew Lockhart
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    In 2019, when you have plenty of Z-Wave Plus devices, first try this: tick the NWI option when adding devices. This option enables devices to use the existing mesh and you can leave your HC and device where they are. For older devices, I agree, a long ethernet cable can be helpful.

    Edited by petergebruers
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    That’s what I thought too, I have an HCLite updated to the latest firmware and using FGS223’s with the latest firmware. I tried NWI, didn’t work for me, which was surprising.

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    It also depends on the repeaters/mesh. I don't have a spare module to test... But I've used NWI on other types of modules, about a year ago, and it did work.

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