Homey Community Forum

Homey antenna mod

How long is that any way, a year?

No risk, no fun. I do not want anyone breaking Homey by doing that.

Why not add all the details?
Experiences from the disassembly, how you attached the attennas (necessary to remove components, welding needed, etc), problems met during the process of after?)

That would make your project far more interesting :wink:

As per the first post, he followed the steps described by Johan on his website. That’s the hardest and most riskier part of the whole shebang in my opinion.
Then the easier part, drilled two holes into the dome and fixed the RP-SMA connectors then plugged the u.fl female into the existing u.fl male connectors on the PCB.

I’ve bought a 900MHz antenna kit and plan to have that on z-wave as well as a 2.4GHz for Zigbee.
I will create a step by step guide.

Nicely done @Undertaker

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Ok Still, adding experiences from the procedure would be helpful :slight_smile:
Looking forward to your guide :slight_smile:

Would prefer a solution that didn’t scar Homey with antennas - something like adding a plug in the buttom to make it possible to wire ones way to a set of antennas on the wall or alike… Ideally, with the internal antennas in place and them some switch making it possible to change between internal or external antennas :slight_smile:

Same here. My plan is to try drill the two holes into the bottom part of the dome close to the power and speaker jack, then have a longer SMA to SMA cables which run parallel with the power supply cable, so the antennas are far and hidden. But maybe initially I’ll be mounting the antennas straight into Homey. Easy to add the extension cables later on.

Be aware that at some point, having a long piece of cable between the “motherboard” and the antenna will cause worse wireless performance due to signal loss inside the cable and possible outside interference.

True! Hence, I plan to invest in a good low loss cable like this one here: https://www.pccasegear.com/products/41304?PPC=Y&gclid=EAIaIQobChMIzbTC5fGP3gIVwSMrCh3apAhdEAYYASABEgIEn_D_BwE&gclsrc=aw.ds

The version with 4 antennas is in preparation. I’m still waiting for the parts.
I want it to look like russian sputnik satellite. Maybe I still paint Homey.

Yes, my wife also says I am disturbed.

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But that would be a seriously cool looking Homey - hanging in the stairs…

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A few years ago I found this antenna tweak for home wizard on the. 433mhz and 868 mhz antennas. It worked great.

Can anybody tell the location of these
antennas in homey?
Would be woth trying it

I can help you

  1. MicroSOM (CPU, RAM, Wi-Fi & BT)
  2. 4 GB eMMC Flash
  3. Stromversorgung
  4. RGB LED (24x)
  5. Mikrofone (2x)
  6. Audio-Chip
  7. 433 MHZ
  8. 868 MHz
  9. Z-Wave
  10. ZigBee
  11. NFC (IC- und Antennenanschluss)
  12. Infrarot-LED (6x)
  13. Infrarotempfänger
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Thanks, thats a nice overview.
Strange, based on the article in my link I would expect the 866 mhz to be twice as long as the 433Mhz it looks the other way around…
should have read the formula instead of the text, it v/f so 866mhz is shorter.
Still stange that visually it does not look half the length.
also found an (better) article in english on the antenna length:

Homey 4.0 is ready.

But homey wants to come back in version 5.0.
May the force be with me.
A whole new housing must come from. That gives a lot of hard work and a lot of time.

Star Wars BB8 droid

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@cbh I have managed to find some time and fit the z-wave antenna. Thanks to @Undertaker idea, I have decided to fit a zigbee antenna, too. I didn’t care about Wifi as my router was always in close range.

Below some of the steps I took for such operation.
Needless to say that warranty is totally void should you proceed opening and drilling holes!! (my Homey is about 19 months old)

  1. Opening the case.
    Initial plan was to use Johan’s steps. But then I had a closer look to the dome and learned that the top half was not fitted very well by Athom, with a small less than 1mm gap in between the top half and the middle ring. Just in one side, the rest was fitted well.
    So I jammed a knife in that slot on transversal side, and gently rotate the blade until the top half started to detach. I went all the way around until the whole glue gave up. In this way I did not forced the plastic screws as Johann did. No damage at all to the dome or ring.

    Dome halves separated.


Zigbee u.FL connector with original cable.


Z-wave antenna, the problem I faced: no u.FL connector as this antenna was soldered to the PCB (I knew that from previous photos)


Bottom half dome after the motherboard was removed. By fitting the antenna connectors on the bottom half, Homey looks better as the connectors are hidden. So I planned to drill two holes close to the USB and speaker holes.

  1. Marking and drilling the holes.

    Used a 90degrees ruler to measure accurate so both holes drilled symmetrical.


A couple of marking spots.


Then drilled pilot holes with a 2mm drill bit.
With a 6.5mm drill bit, finished the holes (didn’t take a photo of that…)

  1. Fitting the two antennas.

    Antennas kits. The black one is a 900MHz antenna (for z-wave) and white is a 2.4GHz (for zigbee). I could not find a 900MHz antenna in white :roll_eyes:

IMG_1844
First, z-wave. Since no u.FL connector, I cut off the female u.FL, stripped the cable with a precision side cutters, heat shrink the end (the white bit), run the wire through an existing hole in the PCB and soldered the end to the PCB.

IMG_1845
Then zigbee. I isolated the old u.FL connector with a heat shrink so it wouldn’t touch the PCB when all back in place later on.


I ran the zigbee wire though another existing hole in the PCB.


And connected the u.FL connector.


This is how it looks from behind.

  1. Putting Homey back together.


View from the back. I don’t really want to leave it like that scar with antennas, so I will eventually get a couple of extenders and run all three cable in a nice bunch (2x antennas and power cable). Antennas then will be mounted in a hidden place.


Front view.

What have I achieved? Something that I was craving for over a year from this beautiful device: improved z-wave range! And I mean it!! I could pair two battery powered devices an Aeotec Wallmote and a Fibaro Multisensor from 12 meters away and two wall in between them and Homey (OK, plaster walls and not concrete). I haven’t tried longer distance since that means to go outside as Homey is located kind in the middle of my house.

Yes, I do have some 60+ powered devices around my house which give me a nice mesh network and I can reach even the farther device from Homey.
However, now most of my devices show direct connection to Homey, some via one hope and few only via two hops. All devices respond so fast, not dreaming!

And the best, all the Fibaro multisensors I own, now work as supposed to work as all have direct connection with Homey. Last time I could use those sensors before fitting the antenna, was with HC2.

Hope this helps!

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Great job, great post @danone
Some questions on the z-wave mod; Did you cut/remove the existing coil antenna and did you ground the shielding of the new antenna wire?

Hey,

Just wondering if you have links to products used, and whether homey is still balanced?

All is looking pretty good, I also want to improve the range of my Zigbee. Can i use the 2,5ghz anttena of my drone to test it?

Hi Danee, as per my post, initially I was inclined to cut the existing antenna coil of the PCB. But then I changed my mind in case the new antenna would not give me any improvement I could always just remove it and go back to the old antenna.

In regards with the shield, good question, I should have explained that above, too.
I’ve contemplated soldering the shield on one of the many GND points found on the motherboard. But all those points are first, really tiny points and my soldering tool is not that accurate and second, none of them are close enough to the z-wave antenna so I would had to run quite a long braided wire. Eventually I only solder the middle core and gave it a try. This is soldered on the begging of the coil antenna and not at the end of it.
I might open Homey and revise this shield (haven’t glued the dome back, just sitting there for the moment)

Anyway, repeating myself again, but man, the huge improvement keeps amazing me. Which now I can use my Fibaro multisensors with your awesome Heimdall app!!

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Recommend a 2.4GHz antenna for best performance. You can unscrew one from an old router for testing.
BTY, I only have two zigbee devices, an IKEA bulb and a battery powered device (Xiaomi Aqara door sensor) Before the new zigbee antenna, the aqara sensor had to have the IKEA bulb as it was too far to reach Homey. Not anymore now! So there is an improvement in Zigbee, too.

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