Homey Community Forum

Homey antenna mod

Thanks perhaps I can try that. So no need for ground?

For the ones that like their antenna’s really vertical i found these:

45° connectors

Read Danone’s update: Homey antenna mod

Oukki doukki thanks a lot. I will just try and see how it works.

Any chance we could get a detailed picture of exactly how/where to cut it and where to place the new Z-wave antenna? I’m still not quite sure of this…

Here’s a closeup of the Z-Wave daughterboard:


You cut, or desolder, the joints in the red and yellow circle. Desoldering can be done from the top, the daughterboard doesn’t have to be removed or anything.

The new antenna will be connected through a thin coax cable (the following photo is from a regular coax cable, but the same structure applies to thin cables too):

You solder the core wire, “D” in the photo, to the pad in the yellow circle. The shielding (“B”) can be soldered to the point in the red circle, but it’s not required (do make sure that if you don’t solder it, it’s properly protected against making any contact with any part of the PCB).


Super, couldn’t have asked for more! Many thanks!

You shouldn’t solder the shielding anywhere, please read this. Danone clearly states that the performance is better without soldering the shielding.

No, you shouldn’t solder it to GND, different thing.

As @danone states: “I’ve seen a photo on this forum where someone has connected the shield to the opposite terminal of the original z-wave antenna. Actually that terminal is floating (connected nowhere) only used to hold in place the original z-wave coil antenna”

That’s what I’m suggesting soldering the shield on to. It provides a bit more stability and “houvast” to the coax cable.

Hi Danone, its really great to see some fellow Melbournians on this forum. Makes working around with HA constraints so much easier :slight_smile:

I too am facing similar issues regarding ZWAVE range but unfortunately not as handy as yourself when it comes to modding hardware.

Would it be possible for you to help me out with the ZWAVE mod in exchange for a fee or a slab of your favorite beer :grin:

Hi @jazzy_ola , I’ll help you, no problem. (not after money, neither beer)
If you want just the z-wave then you only need to buy an antenna like the one I described above post.
Antenna kit for z-wave: https://core-electronics.com.au/pycom-lora-sigfox-antenna-kit.html
This one covers the Australian z-wave frequency.
There are cheaper antennas out there on Aliexpress as per other above posts. Just make sure that it does the 921.4MHz spectrum for us down under.

Once you have the antenna (it comes with all the required connectors) send me a direct message to discuss the next steps. :grinning:

P.S. Be aware that the warranty of your Homey WILL BE VOID.

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Decided to jump the badwagon and also increase my Homey’s range, as it was very bad in it’s original state. I have a very recently build house which apparently is isolated so well, that the z-wave signal wouldn’t even reach upstairs.

I followed above idea’s and the result is quite nice. I did damage the shell a bit when attempting to separate it, as it was glued pretty well and in the beginning almost impossible to get in between. But I just rotated that to the backside.

I haven’t fully closed her up yet, pending some last work on the inside and/or some last adjustments if results aren’t as expected., but boy she does look pretty now. Almost like a real magical creature…

The back antenna’s are the 2.4G ones for respectively WiFi/BT and Zigbee. The Z-wave antenna is actually inside the unicorn horn. :unicorn:


Wow! What can I say… my daughter definitely loves it!! I guess it balances out Homey. Is that horn 3D printed? You can perhaps have a tail where you can incorporate the back two antennas.

I’ll be curious to hear your feedback regarding the z-wave range.

Yes, it’s 3D-printed. :slight_smile: Actually, the model is part of a larger project; https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:956359. But it’s a pretty easy and relatively quick to print; hollow on the inside, just cut open the plastic of the ‘regular’ 868mhz antenna and put the insides right in. Then glue it shut on the bottom with the plug in the middle, and you actually have a remove-able Unihorn SMA antenna, haha.

I will be testing the range coming days. My Fibaro thermostat heads (that used to have no reception at all at their locations) were both empty (battery) so I’ll be recharging them during the night. Then tomorrow we will really know if all the effort was just for WAF or if it really improved stuff. :smiley:

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Love this topic. Will definitely do the mod one day.

Seeing how many users are willing to risk damaging their homeys to add antenna for improved range, surely Athom can get the hint and think about doing something officially in the future on a new model.
I know it is said that Athom don’t participate in the community board, but they would be crazy not to take advantage of the feedback it provides and peek in from time to time.

I am so tempted to do this mod but the thought of loosing my warranty is stopping me at the moment. However, as soon as it expires I will be performing the surgery.
Thanks to everyone for showing their efforts and the detailed instructions.

They probably can’t due to local guidelines (directives) limiting the max.capacity of emitters.

It could be.
But then how come Fibaro HC2 has an external antenna which gives the unit an incredible range. I had one (twice) and the range was equally or greater than my currently modified Homey.

Adding a better antenna doesn’t change the capacity though, does it?

Well, that’s not what he says, is it? He says that the range is equal or even better out of the box. So if others can have that range out of the box, why not Athom.