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    #16
    Originally posted by simonmason View Post
    I want to reopen this thread as I am finally getting around to fix the poor communication to my Intermatic CA3750 that runs my pool pump and heater. Due to its location, by the pool, it is impossibly to get any other zwave devices in the path back to the house so increasing the mesh network is not an option.

    I have moved the physical location of the unit to place it higher up and in more direct line of sight with the house.

    A simple GE outdoor module plugged in next to it works flawlessly. I would use one of these if it was rated to drive the pump.

    I read below in this old thread that someone had exposed the location of the antenna wire. Not being an expert I assume I can extend, replace or do something else to improve the reception of this wire?

    I am not concerned about ruining the unit while hacking - if it doesn't work I have to explore another option anyway as it is not reliable.

    Can anyone suggest a method for improving the reception by hacking the wire? I've added the picture of the antenna on the board in case this is helpful.

    Thanks.
    If you can move the wire away from the circuit board, then it should improve reception. Also, is the antenna side pointed toward the other zwave devices, or is the pcb in between? You could try rotating it 90 degrees as well. Ideally the two devices that the RF waves are travelling between, both have their antennas oriented the same way. You could possibly add an external antenna that's meant for 900-915 MHz. Something like this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/160678574434. You would need to replace the existing antenna with a lead and the connector for the antenna.
    HS 4.2.8.0: 2134 Devices 1252 Events
    Z-Wave 3.0.10.0: 133 Nodes on one Z-Net

    Comment


      #17
      The problem you run into when increasing the length of a dipole antenna is you are still working with a quasi-isotropic radiation pattern - the energy radiates in all directions roughly equally. The gain of an antenna is stated in terms of dB - I want to put a small i next to the dB but I don't see how to do a subscript. Anyway the i stands for isotropic. The gain is relative to a perfect isotropic radiator. You increase the gain of an antenna by concentrating the energy radiated in a smaller area.

      If the antenna length is a correct multiplier of the wavelength to begin with you are very limited in the performance increase you can achieve by making it longer and 1/4 lambda is a good multiplier. Basically you are just making an antenna that more closely matches the theoretical peformance limit because the longer dipole reduces the effect of the tolerances involved.

      If you really want to increase the gain of an antenna you need to use a focused radiator - one that directs the energy into a smaller area. I don't do a lot of tinkering with home antennas - the ones I play with start at about $1 million and go up from there. This guy did a pretty good study on different home designs:

      http://www.turnpoint.net/wireless/has.html

      Earlier comments about blockages and getting it up higher are all good advice. They will probably improve the performance more than just using a longer dipole. You also have to be careful about that length. The 90 degree bend in that antenna makes it not really 1/4 wavelength.

      Comment


        #18
        Before I dig in and try to create slightly better reception I thought I would investigate the mesh network.

        I have a GE outdoor module sitting next to the Intermatic unit. The GE unit seems to work all of the time. So in a mesh network this unit presumably would help the Intermatic unit see the rest of the network?

        I have run optimize and full optimize but still the Intermatic is flaky - works maybe 10-20% of the time.

        If the GE unit is working, shouldn't the Intermatic also work?

        Comment


          #19
          Assuming it participates in the mesh network. What does the optimization show? How many hops to the Intermatic? Is it actually using the GE? If so I would say there is another intermittent problem with the Intermatic.

          Comment


            #20
            How do I check this? Is there something in the node information I can be look at? Thanks.

            Comment


              #21
              Originally posted by simonmason View Post
              How do I check this? Is there something in the node information I can be look at? Thanks.
              Under the zwave plugin's Node Information page, it should show the route it takes.

              Cheers
              Al
              HS 4.2.8.0: 2134 Devices 1252 Events
              Z-Wave 3.0.10.0: 133 Nodes on one Z-Net

              Comment


                #22
                OK, the Intermatic shows no neighbors and Last Working Route None. This would appear to be my problem. How is it that the node is in the HS3 node list but doesn't have any neighbors and I can't reach it? Any thoughts on what I can do to fix this? Thanks.

                Comment


                  #23
                  Any Z-wave antenna guru's out there?

                  Try optimizing it a few times. Also, can you post a screen shot of the node's information from the Node Information screen? Just want to check whether it's a routing node.


                  Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
                  HS 4.2.8.0: 2134 Devices 1252 Events
                  Z-Wave 3.0.10.0: 133 Nodes on one Z-Net

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Here is the node info. I am running optimize and it is telling me it can't reach the node. It would seem that the node is hosed. I think I am going to have to try deleting it and re-adding it.
                    Attached Files

                    Comment


                      #25
                      I would try bringing it closer first and then checking again.

                      Cheers
                      Al
                      HS 4.2.8.0: 2134 Devices 1252 Events
                      Z-Wave 3.0.10.0: 133 Nodes on one Z-Net

                      Comment


                        #26
                        Unfortunately it is mounted permanently. When I added it I had to take my Z-Net out by the pool on the end of a long ethernet cable!

                        Comment


                          #27
                          I took the Z-Net out to the pool and the Intermatic is not behaving. Even after power recycling it I can remove and add it but nothing else works. I tried scanning it, testing connectivity, etc. but nothing is working. This unit has been problematic since I first installed it, and I have read many posts from others that have issues with it. I think it is time to look into other options.

                          I have had my eye on the Aeon Labs ZW078-A to run the pump.

                          https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00MBIRF5W...=IUBVMOQZXBYFS

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