I’m having some Z-Wave connection issues, so first, I’d like to hear from people about what they’ve found created problems with Z-Wave setups and how they got around it.
I’m aware that a Raspberry Pi has USB interference issues with some Z-Wave devices (like the Z-Stick 7). This is in a different kind of small computer. I’m thinking I should add a USB hub so I can move the Z-Stick away from the computer, just in case.
But I’m also concerned about walls. Here’s the plans for our barn/guest house. It’s a two floor renovated barn. (Check the two images for the 1st and 2nd floor plans.) The exterior walls on the 1st floor are cinder blocks and a concrete floor. (With 2’x2’ tunnels under the floor marked in green.) I was hoping all that concrete might make the signals bounce around so signals would go all over the barn without issue. But I’m having trouble with signals crossing 22’ of an empty room!
The interior walls are normal drywall and 2x4 stud walls. The 2nd floor is plywood over trusses with no insulation in it. The doors are in blue, the interior walls are in yellow.
The computer, running Linux, with an Aeotec Z-Stick 7 plugged in, is in the workshop, on the 2nd floor. It’s near the top right corner of the room. I have no trouble with the light switches near the doors for the workshop and my wife’s studio. There’s NO communication and I can’t add the light switch at the foot of the steps. I can add the light and fan switches below the computer (in the upper right corner of the great room). I could also add the switches in the office/study (now a guest bedroom), the bathroom, and kitchenette.
I had serious problems with the Schlage locks on the doors, including the one on the 2nd floor. It’s got empty space between it and the computer - mostly 22’ of air, and it still won’t connect. I plugged in an Aeotec Z-Wave range extender in the te great room, near the door in the upper left hand corner on the plans.
Still, the switches on the 1sst floor, at either end of the building, are either not seen at all or have poor communications with the Z-Stick.
As of now, solutions I’m considering is getting a 2nd range extender and maybe trying them both upstairs toward the ends of the building. Another idea is using a USB hub to move the Z-Stick away from the computer, in case of interference.
I started building the mesh network from the devices closest to the computer, but the devices at the end of the building still aren’t connecting well (if at all). Nothing is more than 35’ from the computer. It may be through the floor or stud wall, but not through anything like concrete.