Homey Community Forum

Range problems

rf-433
zigbee
z-wave

#1

I recently bought my Homey, and I have range problems with both 433MHz, zwave and zigbee. I wonder if there might be a problem with the signal reception of my Homey, or if this range is to be expected.

  1. 433Mhz reception range
    Range test with a Cleverio 433MHz socket and remote control. Comparison between range from remote to socket, and from remote to Homey.
    I placed the socket right next to Homey, and tested.
    Range to Homey is very short (<3m through Indoor walls), while the Cleverio remote can control the socket almost over the entire house. See image.

  1. zwave range
    Range test with a Telldus mini socket (a zwave plus device). This is the only zwave device I have, so this test only shows direct communication with Homey.
    Range is very short, Homey can only control the socket in direct vicinity (<3m).
    Note: I have a house with wooden walls indoors.
    See image: Green cross = works, red cross = no connection.
    I guess it won´t be easy to build a zwave network with basic range this short.

  1. Zigbee network.
    I have one Innr bulb that is 9 metres from Homey. This turns out to be too far away, 5-7 metres is maximum direct range.
    I have put one Ikea Trådlös LED driver closer to Homey, and it works as a bridge according to the Route table, and sometimes also works in real life but just as often Homey fails to control to the Innr bulb.
    See images: Innr bulb in red, bridge in green, and Zigbee nodes and routes from the “developer” page.

Others:
433MHz sensors is a miss or go: Viking temp sensors works over the whole house, while two other brands have very limited range.
433MHz sockets can be controlled by Homey all over the house (I have about 15 now), but the switching fails now and then - seems like all sockets can fail, both close to and far away from Homey.

Grateful for any thoughts and feedback.


#2

Both zigbee and zwave are mesh networks meaning device talk to each other so range will be extended by additional devices.
That said I have wooden walls and most device talk directly to homey or via one hop and I’d say my range is 20+ meters.
Zigbee is using the same band as 2Ghz wifi so that might cause interference I guess.
I also had a faulty z-wave node once which caused interference for other z wave devices.

In developer view you can see network topology as well as error rate (for z-wave).
And some devices also feature a range tester.


#3

It’s no secret that the range of Homey is a bit small. For zwave/zigbee. These two technologies are working the best with multiple devices due to the mesh network capability.

For 433mhz… it will always be a bit low range due to the way the antenna’s in homey are integrated and the interference that homey has to deal with. Also as you might know 433mhz tech is one way. So homey screams ‘LIGHTS ON!!!’ and hopes the signal is received. Zwave/Zigbee are two way. So when homey doesn’t receive a response back it can report so or send the request another time.


#4

Thanks for reply Michael!
I have wooden walls just like you, and your zwave range is more than 3x mine.
Tried the developer page for zwave - when out of range I get error “TRANSMIT_COMPLETE_NO_ACK” or sometimes “timeout”.
Don´t know anything disturbing on 2.4GHz - myself I avoid the Homey frequency, and I live in a standalone house so the neighbours are 20+ meters away.


#6

Well, if you range is just 3 meters I’d contact support, sounds like there is something wrong.
Theoretical range of z-wave is 100 meter but thats very theoretical, but still 3 meter sounds very short (even if you have tinfoil wall paper)…
I even have a working zigbee door sensor inside my 1mm thick steel mailbox some 5-10 meters outside my house…


#7

Thanks for reply Jeroen!
I know zwave/zigbee creates mesh network.
But for zwave my problem is that with only 3m range I can’t easily build a network - at least not only with sockets.
With Zigbee I have already placed devices in my suitable power outlets, but Homey fails to create a reliable network.
This doesn’t seem right to me, it’s way below what I had expected.


#8

Your experience is much better than mine then, good :slightly_smiling_face:
I have contacted support, but so far I only got the standard answers (check 2,4GHz wifi channels, remove coax Cables, 433MHz can’t be relied upon, and add more zwave/zigbee devices). They are quick to answer but I don’t think they took time to really read through my problem. When they closed the support ticket I try to get some help from you guys before I give up. My WAF is negative now after spending the last three weeks trying to get this beautiful device to work :smile:


#9

I fully understand that. It should just work within a week or so. My guess would be to return it to the store ( or did you buy it online?) to get another one to see if you have the same issues. If they still persist…


#10

I would say I get similar range (around 3 meters) on z-wave and I have no zigbee to test. 433MHz is pretty good and covers all my house.
Fortunately the z-wave mesh saves me. Homey connects to a devices about 2 meters away and that connects to most of my others. Occasionally homey will get direct connections but then I get failures. I have been very tempted to do the external aerial mode shown on the forum but I don’t want to invalidate the warranty so it will have to wait.


#11

Thanks for all your input.
I contacted the store, Kjell o Co, they were very understanding and have good knowledge of the product, so I will exchange my Homey today at no cost.
I’ll post here after testing the new unit.


#12

Got a new Homey from the store and tested it - exactly the same results. Ready to give up now…

Took Homey outside to my garden table for a last test outdoors in free line of sight. Took care to switch off all electronics outdoors - robotic lawnmower, LED lights.
zwave plus range: 5-10 meters, unstable. Spec says 167 meters for zwave plus… Tested with Telldus mini socket. Found today that this socket is a bit directionally sensitive - so I tested it in the best direction.
zigbee range: up to 20m, with an Innr E14 tunable light bulb. Found a zigbee spec stating 10-100m, where 10m I think is for battery powered devices.

Probability of having two faulty Homeys is not very high unless there´s a faulty batch.
The zwave device could be faulty also, but then I should get better results on zigbee and 433Mhz reception.

Now I can either wait for a service feedback on the first Homey, or return it and buy some other device. But I don´t know anything else out there with the flexibility of Homey.
One of my usage cases was to calculate absolute humidity and control my ventilation based on that - can´t imagine any other brand can do that.


#13

Unfortunately there seem to be a lot of people having issues with the RF range for Homey. See for example: Z-wave range of only centimeters

For me, this is a big disappointment. I should not have to buy additional nodes to strengthen a z-wave signal to a device that is only 5 meters from my Homey. My KaKu control station has no issues with ranges larger than that. So I really think it is a Homey specific issue, also judging the amount of people having problems with the range.

I really hope this will be solved in the near future. I like Homey and am patient, but this is basic functionality that SHOULD work.


Bad reception on 443MHz?
#14

I have had the same experience - my z-wave devices needed to be within 10cm of the Homey to connect. So I contacted support who said to get a replacement unit. So today the replacement unit arrived and it is the same story, although with a slight improvement - the z-wave device needs to be within 1m of the Homey to connect, and I get an working range of about 3m.

Before this I had a Vera Edge, which has nowhere the flexibility and ease of use of a Homey, but at least the z-wave range was good.


#15

I ended up returning Homey and got a Telldus Tellstick instead: 3x range at 1/3 price. No mic, speaker, zigbee, bluetooth or wifi - just 433 and zwave. But it works well - zwave direct coverage in all the places I tested before. Simple interface to start with, but easily expanded - integrated with e.g. google home and IFTTT and can use LUA scripts for complex scenarios - it does all I need.
Must also admit that all my range problems were not the fault of Homey: my Cleverio remote works just as bad with Tellstick.
I hope Homeys range improves, I might come back just cause I love the personality of Homey :grinning:!


#16

Same here, got my Homey today and was thinking to move over from HC2. No way!
Max distance to first Z-wave Plus (Fibaro socket) is about 5 meters. HC2 sits in the middle of our house and reaches the plugs in my yard, 25m away and 8 meters down. House on a hill.
And the app is ugly compared to HC2. Homey returns to where it should be - in the shop…