Homey Community Forum

Homey antenna mod

Hi all,

I am thinking about the mod myself. But I have a question if it would be usefull for me.
The strength of my zigbee signal is not strong enough for the second and the third floor of my home for my aqara temperature meters. My homey pro stands in the livingroom. Does anyone have experience with it?
And what about the antenna. Some have bought the antenna from AliExpress and some from other shops. Which is the best one to buy?

Nobody can guarantee you it is going to work for you. Zigbee creates a mesh, so maybe try to add some routers first (IKEA has cheap ones or use light bulbs). If it still doesn’t work as you would like to, try and do the mod, but only if you think it is fun to do.

In regards to the antennas, there is a lot of info in those 441 posts. I’m using the aliexpress and they work for me. Others use others and are happy with those.

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If you dont try, you will never find out :wink:. Zigbee antenna mod is easy (when you dont take in consideration opening of Homey), you just unplug and plug new cable. But first, I would suggest to use Ikea zigbee plugs (9,90€/each) as Martijn mentioned, to create routers over the house and you will see.
Regarding the Antenna itself, you can buy different types and test them. Its matter of seconds to change the antenna after the mod is done.

Thanks, but then I will try the antenna. I have enough smart plugs and the mod seems easy.

Hi, this is a summary of my experience before and after the zwave antenna mod. I got all my info here (thanks all) And just wanted to share what I did, so that maybe other people take the chance and also do it.

English is not my main language

Before antenna mod:
I had my homey almost central in my home, and 4 Eurotronic Spirit Radiator Thermostats connected to it. All max 2-5 meters from the homey.
They where connected and 70% (probably less) of the time the command was send trough. I sometimes got errors like timeout or no acknowledge. I needed to pull the batteries out and let the thermostat restart. Then it worked again. I was really confused if it was the homey or the thermostats fault why the connection was not 100% proof. This was like for a full winter. And it was really getting annoying.

After antenna mod:
Its been a week now and all the 4 thermostats work perfectly, I haven’t had one error! It was clearly the small antenna of the homey. I even installed a door sensor now with zwave that is even further away then the thermostats and it works perfectly. I would advice people to do this also if you can do it, and you have connection problems.

How to:
I bought this antenna (europe): https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07CZMCJ8Z/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_tai_kcEwDb9V8FXE8

I have a homey early 2019

First i removed the top sphere. It was really good glued so i had to really cut into the sphere.
You need to cut above the LED strip
boven

luckily the homey is not on display in my living room so it was ok that i damage it. Here you can see that i really had to cut it.
cut

Then I de-soldered the connection in the yellow circle

yellow

Then i soldered the antenna to the board.
D -> the connection in the yellow circle
B -> the antenna of the homey that I just de-soldered

It’s been said here before that the B connection is not necessary. But make sure then that B is not touching anything else in the homey. I did it because then the antenna wire was kept more in place, because you will notice that the D wire is a really weak connection. And i wanted to keep the homey antenna in place so that when the external antenna would fail that I could just re-solder the homey antenna back.


solder

The end result:

Thanks all!

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I finally had the courage to do the mod. The zwave and zigbee antenna were replaced. Both here easy to be replaced because of the pigtail connections. But now I have a problem. Zwave works fine but the zigbee antenna does not. If I look in homey developper I don’t see anything. I restarted homey and Pulles the plug. Homey starts then with recovery mode and after that in normal mode. Everything works expert zigbee. I also can not reset the zigbee network. Is there anything else I can try?

Both have pigitail connector? Its strange, because zwave antenna needs to be soldered.
For zigbee, are you sure, you connected the right antenna. Try to PTP for longer time and than leave it on for a while.

And give it some time to start Zigbee, can take quite some time, seen reports of over 10(!) minutes.

Sorry, i had it wrong. the zwave has no pigtail, but wlan has.
Finally zigbee started and all works well again. It took About 20 minutes to start.

Thanks for the advice. Tomorrow I will add the 433 and 868 mhz antennas.

I’m considering also do the MOD for 433Mhz as this range is also very bad by default.

But that is a bit more tricky than the zigbee and WiFi antennas that I have replaced already. Do I have to cut the default antenna? Or do I need to solder to get it off…

Does someone has a close up picture of the 433Mhz antenna mod? I have no idea where to start… Is it not an option to solder an antenna to the existing one?

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Did you just cut the internal connector from the cable that came with the antenna you ordered, put it through the hole and soldered it? That’s it?

All the answers are in here already. Just scroll back up for it.

Thanks. Offcourse, I did that, but with what I have read I’m not feeling comfortable enough to do the MOD yet.

One question where I did not find the enswer for, I know that the antennas itself are different for 433Mhz and 2,4Ghz so I have to order a specific 433Mhz antenna. But what about the internal cable? Are they the same for both?

I had one of them here and cutted the internal header off to see how the cable looks like internally and this is what I see:

Sorry if asked before but just for me, do I only need to de-solder the old antenna, and put only the inner cable inside the hole of the old antenna end solder it again?

You can de-solder the standard antenna’s it instead of cutting them. Then you will always be able to revert the job.
Just solder the inner copper cable to the hole where the original antenna was. Then you’ll be fine.
.
The pigtail cable you show is a good one and suitable for all antenna’s.

Here’s the link to a close up picture from @Fred6 from above in this topic. He fed the wire through the hole, stuck m in from above and soldered them, but you can also solder them from above if stick m through from below.

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Why do you have to replace the original antenna? Can’t you use the new antenna and the original both? I have no knowlegde of antenna’s but I am going to do the 433 mhz antenna to and for the zwave I want to use a 868 antenna.

Some leave the internal antenna in place. But i know that the length of an antenna matters and i don’t know for sure if leaving both connected has influence on the range or transmit power.
I myself preferred to remove it. I did that by de-soldering, so i am always able to go back to the normal situation.

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Hi,
regarding removing the top dome, I see that everyone use sharp objects and force…and some leaving marks as a result to the surface. Have anyone tried using heat to heat up the glue?

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I used a plastic smal tool (used for removing and without damaging plastic components in my car) and put it vetween de upperpart of the led ring and the dome, when i have it a little bit trough i then slide it to te side. All the way around the dome. En voila. No damage.no issues and easy to seperate the upperpart of the dome from the transparant ledring

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Because zigbee has terrible range, even with the MOD it has issues trough double layerd glass.

has anyone had any experience with a redunant antenna mod?

Something like to split the antenna to a 3 AND 5 dbi antenna?
(For close range and better reach for the longer distance?)

Hi
Did you use this “better” pigtail you linked to. https://m.aliexpress.com/item/32809523843.html?trace=wwwdetail2mobilesitedetail&spm=a2g0s.12269583.0.0.7e7b4fbdC5scmp

Kind regards Hans-Jochen Nissen