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Is there anything weird going on with ZigBee? Any ZigBee HS4 Beta Issues?

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    Is there anything weird going on with ZigBee? Any ZigBee HS4 Beta Issues?

    I have had a fairly fast and strong ZigBee network for about 6 months. I wanted to Use Aqara Door and WIndows sensors on my outdoor gates at opposite sides of my house so I created a ZigBee network using 6 ZigBee smart plugs. I spaced them out so there would be an easy communication path for the sensors. It has worked GREAT for nearly 6 months. .....Until yesterday! I got an email for the new .18 beta and it had some features I wanted to try so I loaded it. Immediately I noticed that my gate sensors went off line. They just stopped connecting. I tried a new sensor, but I cannot get it to connect at the gate. Checked the battery of the original and it is at 96%. I went to the ZigBee plug-in and chose Manage Devices and noticed that all my devices reverted to their node names. They still show up correctly under devices. Weird. I ran RE-IMPORT on all of them and got the correct device names back. HOWEVER, only the nodes closest to the ZigBee interface are working regularly. Its like the power of the Nortek USB interface and the repeaters was turned down so that now they don't communicate/repeat anymore. They are offline. I know the gate sensors were working properly as they show up in the log.....until I loaded the new beta. I doubt it is the beta itself, but wondering if it could be some downstream chain reaction affecting the Nortek? Maybe?

    I'm going to replace ALL 6 of the smart plug/repeaters and basically start from scratch and see what happens..... I am a ZigBee NewBee so any suggestions or recommendations from the gurus would be appreciated!

    Rob
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    #2
    For grins, I put all the smart plugs into the same room near my HS4 machine and within about 12' max of the Nortek USB dongle. ALL smart plugs show up and work. I then put them back and farthest ones again stopped working and so the gate sensors cannot find a path. Next I will replace the farthest smart plugs with two new spares.
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      #3
      Which smartplugs do you use as your "extenders" I have a long ranch house and I put Philips Bulbs in various closets, not the color ones just the white ones that cost a lot less. I've never had an issue.

      I do have two zigbee outlets that are not good repeaters. Be careful with some of the cheap stuff, they might not have all the abilities of better made products.
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

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        #4
        Those are exactly the ones I have! They used to work perfectly. The whole ZigBee network was SUPER fast. Not anymore.
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          #5
          Since it is not a huge network, I deleted everything and started from scratch. SAME problem. It's almost as if there is now a hop limit of 2. The smart plugs close by work lightning fast. The door and window sensors nearby work fine. Even a second layer of two smart plugs farther out will connect. All that works fine. Anything beyond that does not work.

          Is there a way to see the routes taken by all the network members? Maybe nothing is being repeated at all now and everything is connecting directly to the Nortek hub......
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            #6
            General advice for Zigbee issues since I don't use the HS4 implementation...

            Your issues might not be related to HS4 at all, but instead environmental. A lot of people don't realize that Zigbee shares the same radio spectrum as residential WiFi. I had an issue one time of various devices disconnecting from my ZigBee controller for no apparent reason... until I did a radio survey and realized that my Wifi channel selection (and my neighbors) were drowning out the Zigbee signal at certain locations. By simply moving my ZigBee controller to channel 25 I now have a rock-solid network with no missed commands. It's quite possible that either your Wifi router or a neighbor's switched channels (many are set to automatically adjust channels continuously) and thus introduced your Zigbee communication problems.

            This article explains the problem well:
            ZigBee and Wi-Fi Coexistence | MetaGeek

            In terms of analyzing your ZigBee network, unfortunately there's no tools for the Nortek/HS4 solution that I'm aware of. Hence why I chose the deconz/JowiHue solution which does give you tools to see your network like this and show signal strength between the various routes:

            Click image for larger version

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              #7
              Originally posted by TC1 View Post
              General advice for Zigbee issues since I don't use the HS4 implementation...
              OK, this is good stuff. Several years ago I got all the neighbors together to agree on WiFi Channels so we could all get the best speeds. My neighbors JUST got fiber and I bet they also got a new WiFi router from their ISP. Easy enough to check. THANKS!

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                #8
                Rats. I thought for sure that would be the solution. Spent an hour scanning all the WiFi in the immediate area and, surprisingly, nobody is currently using WiFi Channel 1. My Nortek is using ZigBee channel 11. I actually sort of have a great situation in the 2.4Ghz area.......THat may be why it has been working so well previously. I should probably have a spare ZigBee interface so I will get another brand and see what happens. The saga continues.
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                  #9
                  It might be usefull to pair (edit: if you go to deconz) the xiaomi sensors again WITHOUT deleting them.If your search for new sensor devices in Phoscon by pressing the pairing button 10 seconds on any xiaomi door-windows/motion device ,the screen will become green (it might take a couple tries). The sensors will then be re-paired and will be using the same id/etc in deconz… so nothing will be lost.

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                    #10
                    You might have an item in your network that's developed an issue with passing commands. Try taking a device you can relocate and put it out where you're having issues to see if your connections improve.
                    Wade

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                      #11
                      Originally posted by Sgt. Shultz View Post
                      You might have an item in your network that's developed an issue with passing commands. Try taking a device you can relocate and put it out where you're having issues to see if your connections improve.
                      With the exception of the Aqara Door and Window Sensors which are somewhat permanent, every other ZigBee device I have is a smart plug. I figured the door and window sensors would never be able to communicate to the Nortek USB, so I got decent smart plugs to be the routers and hopefully route traffic back. It did work well for a while. Then one day it just stopped.

                      I may be mixing up Z-Wave and ZigBee protocols, and I am basically a newbie at ZigBee. If I move a router device, will it automatically figure out the route back? ....and still route end device traffic back? I have really screwed up my Zwave network a few times by having to replace a dead wall switch or two. Then reoptimizing would fix the problem and cause others. Is ZigBee the same way? My network is only a few nodes so I can (and have) start from scratch if that is the best way to go.
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