Homey Community

Homey antenna mod


#21

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


#22

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


#23

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

#24

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:


#25

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


#26

@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:


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.


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!


Ervaring bereik KlikAanKlikUit APIR 2150 bewegingsmelder
#27

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?


#28

Hey,

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


#29

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?


#30

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!!


#31

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.


#32

@undertaker @danone nice work for sharing the details to perform this mod!

@undertaking which antennas did you now order? Can you share a link?


#33

Hey Jamie,
what do you meant by “still balanced”? So far all services work well, I haven’t noticed any problems.

Here are the links for the components I use:
Antenna kit for z-wave: https://core-electronics.com.au/pycom-lora-sigfox-antenna-kit.html
Interface cable for zigbee antenna: https://core-electronics.com.au/interface-cable-rp-sma-to-u-fl.html
Antenna for zigbee: http://wirelessgear.com.au/2-4ghz-5dbi-omnidirectional-wi-fi-rp-sma-antenna-white/

I could have got all from the Newcastle company Core Electronics but I really wanted a white 2.4GHz antenna identical with the 900MHz one.
Of course you can buy all from China and perhaps at a fraction of the price…


#34

Thanks for the links, I was just wondering if it still has a solid center of gravity, I doubt the antenna’s weight much, but homey only has three stumpy legs.


#35

Ah, I get it!
Definitely the center of gravity has shifted towards the back now. But not enough to tilt Homey over.


#36

Somebody should offer his service for modding the Homey.

Like with the home wizard, there was a guy on Marktplaats that did the change for 10€.

Because I don’t have the tools to do the change but I’m interested.


#37

looks awesome, but a question about the remote pairing: you should take your homey with you to the physical place where you are going to add the new device, right? That is what I understood and experienced. Remote pairing often fails or gives you headaches in the weeks after that. So, I take my homey with me to e.g. the basement, power it up and then connect the various devices located in that room. Then return the homey back to its original location and power it up. This is the only 100% guaranteed way of working for me until now.

sorry for hijacking this topic :slight_smile:


#38

You’ve got the right approach.
The test I did was for proving the increased z-wave range.


#39

Thanks for confirming :slight_smile:


#40

Having used the Homey now for a couple of weeks, i can say the range of the Homey Z-wave antenna is S#!&. Athom have used the cheaper zwave module with included antenna, instead of using the module with external antenna that the manufacturer would provide. If they had done this properly and connected a proper external antenna like the Zigbee one, you would have alot more range.
Homey really need to redesign there controller if they wish to push this system outside the realm of simple DIY apartment/unit installations, and into the integrator and larger home market.
Well done Danone, I love the design and look. The only other option I will be looking into is having external connections for all interfaces, including the NFC reader. Would be great to have a standard reader located at a front door that is physically connected to the Homey hub via cable.