Homey Pro Antenna modification

Makes me wonder why (what gave you this thought) you think 100% power would not work properly, as the chip including circuitboard and antenna (they are all 1 package) are designed completely by sigma itself.

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And that design is for a two bedroom flat reception. But since the mesh should happen, Homey should theoretical serve a large house, too.

In my case the only reason I fit an antenna was for the many battery powered Fibaro multi sensors and door/window. As with Homey when more than one hop, those sensors refuse most of the time to report back status. And those sensors cost me almost three times more than Homey itself. Now they work. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Caseda - it has nothing to do with working properly @ 100%. It got something to do with radio waves and sensitivity.

Why do you think output power is programmable / configurable on the z-wave module? For fun???

The wireless transceiver is a sub-1 GHz ISM narrowband FSK radio, a modem, and a baseband controller. This architecture provides an all-digital direct synthesis transmitter and a low IF digital receiver. The Z-Wave protocol currently utilizes 2-key FSK/GFSK modulation schemes at 9.6/40/100 kbps data rates throughout a span of carrier frequencies from 865.2MHz to 926.3MHz. The output power of the transmitter is configurable in the range -26dBm to +4dBm (VDD = +2.3V to +3.6V, TA = -10°C to +85°C

You modulate output power to match your network, pcb impedance, antenna, transmission & receiver sensitivity. It is not (almost never) best to just blast at 100%

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So you just assume that Athom, together with Sigma (yes they have talked directly to Sigma, (many) multiple times), never thought about it (and tried)?

No I’m not assuming anything. But the issues I get and many others report reports are typical signs of too high transmission power vs receiver sensitivity.

  1. Issues paring devices at close range (some devices worse than others)

  2. Due to high homey transmission power - devices will try to talk direct to homey and not through mesh network. But it then leads to lots of errors. Like wireless buttons working sometimes but not every-time - or switches not switching / off at the right time.

  3. Devices will jump OVER homey to a repeater further away than homey

all typical signs of not enough receiver sensitivity.

So either the z-wave board is really bad from the supplier - or Homey circuit board layout is bad (it is hard to put that many wireless devices in a box) - or power is simply just too high for the configuration/combination. Changing antenna can help - as it completely redefines the transmission vs receiver sensitivity. The length of cable plays a role and so does the position.

But the easy test is for Athom to open up for manual configuration of transmission power. Now it is locked - (Dev Tools/Z-Wave/Transmission Power - currently locked at 100%)

And for me - the devices that work best are the ones that CAN’T see Homey direct - where I know they HAVE to pass through the repeater. Then ones even in line of sight to Homey have a hard time. (NodeOn switches - Aeotec Switches) - but when they get far enough away - they start working better - through the mesh without direct contact.

btw. I am working as an EE… and do quite a bit of hw/sw design for long range wireless sub-ghz networks :slight_smile: with TI Chips.

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Added the zigbee Antenna today :)! Not really seeing a change in routing before and after though so I don’t know how much it changed behavior. Guess I’ll notice in the upcoming weeks.

I understand what you say. But if a device that can’t see Homey hops to Homey via another device, why doesn’t the last device in chain has the same problem with the high output then?

Too bad that those many talks with Sigma apparently haven’t resulted in a Z-Wave configuration that is stable for more people.

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Very interesting insights @kaz. And also easy to test… if athom unlocks that variable.

The thought comes up why is this locked? Maybe not every newbie should fiddle with these settings, a simple question “are you sure you want to change this” combined with some help-info should work fine I presume.

Maybe someone should start a petition with athom to get access for everyone?

If it was simply a matter of “turning down the volume” in order to fix all issue. I’m sure it would be solved already. Also putting a better antenna as people in this thread have successfully done so would not solve the issue.as it has. Finally you would expect similar results on Homey out of the box as what people have experienced when attempting to use the boosters.

I’m not saying there are no problems just that the only solution at the moment is to replace the default antenna with a better one. If you want to create an petition - perhaps asking for homey to allow externals antennas with our soldering / breaking the case would be a better option.

Why? What can Athom do now about the 1000’s of already sold Homey to easily allow other antenna’s?
Letting people change the power output would probably just take them 15 minutes to program. Put in a big disclaimer and they’re done.
If it doesn’t do any good, too bad. If it does, great! :slight_smile:

That’s assuming it’s a real setting and not just fixed text to maker user’s think it’s as good as it gets :grin:
I think I’m getting to cynical in my okd age :smirk:

Right, might be possible also :smile:
But still, if they had to program it from zero, it shouldn’t take them too long to implement.

@Fire69, Perhaps i’m a little cynical like @Adrian_Rockall .

But maybe you are correct and I am wrong, and this might “probably just take them 15 minutes to program” and whether or not it fixes anything or burns out the chip doesn’t matter because people read disclaimers.

As this is a community forum and Athom do not read these threads please feel free to make a feature request

As this is a thread about Modding Homey’s Antenna - lets keep to the topic.

Thanks

Like @Jamie stated a few posts up: “As this is a thread about Modding Homey’s Antenna - lets keep to the topic.”

and:

This will be correct!
And @Gerard posting 20 lines off-topic and then 5 lines for feeling good to be not on-topic?
Common guys. Stay to the topic and that topic is “Homey antenna mod”’.
Posts behind @Jamie 's will be deleted soon. Any next post being off-topic will also be deleted without further notice. If you guys have any problems with that please contact a moderator via PM. Posts under mine that are a reaction on my post will also be deleted.

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Fair enough, it was a long interlude to get to the point I tried to make, to give some nuance. I will try to be brief. Modifying our antennas is hard. We are freewheeling about ideas for the power output to the zwave antenna and how it would maybe blast nearby stations out of the water. It would add SO much to this discussion if someone with any authority just popped in and said: “yes, we tried that, but it can’t be done because of EU regulations”, or whatever. I feel we are Kremlin-watching release notes and interpreting loose lips to make up what might be cause and effect. I am not advocating unlimited hours of Athom feedback here, I am merely stating the obvious that it would make our experiments a lot easier and maybe even more relevant to current development, without that much interaction required. Just a nudge now and then would suffice. All right, back to my homey now, since I need to toss it of off the table to automagically open the top and break the antennas free.

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@danone, where did you get the 1/4 wave z-wave and zigbee antenna? Would like to do the same, as the z-wave and zigbee signals do not reach to the first (or second floor) for that matter. Too much concrete in between I guess…

Try AliExpress. Very cheap and muuuuch choice. Only drawback is that is takes 2 weeks to receive them (usually).

Hey @cjvs I got them both locally here in Australia. Mainly because the z-wave frequency here down under is 921MHz versus Europe 868MHz.
Here is one for your z-wave: https://www.amazon.de/gp/product/B078Y54T3D/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o08__o00_s01?ie=UTF8&th=1
(it does not say 1/4 wave but it is actually)

Zigbee frequency is the common 2.4GHz and that’s simple all the Wifi routers hence, easy to find an antenna. Plenty on amazon or aliexpress.

Hope this helps!

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Did the Antenna Mod also. For the Zigbee and Zwave. used these antenna’s

https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/0.html?orderId=508061431985409&productId=32880915047

https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/0.html?orderId=508061431995409&productId=32954220806

Removed the top part (screwdriver between the ring and the bottom part and it detached on the glue between the top part and the led ring) drilled two holes and attached the zigbee with the connector and the zwave by soldering the coax wire to the place where the original zwave antenna was. see the explanation above. I did not connected the ground wire

I needed to do the mod. my Zwave Spirit valve (upstairs) was not reachable from the Homey (downstairs) now it is. The zigbee was not a problem but modded becasue it is simple and the homey was open anyway.