How to avoid signal issues

Device Signal

Wattle displays the signal strength of each item brought into the system.

Any easy way to check all devices is to navigate to Manage device.

Here all devices are listed along with their signal strength and battery level.
Device signal is strongest when the signal indicator is green.

If device signal is weak and causing a problem. Change the location of the gateway or strengthen the signal with a device connected to AC power (siren, smart bulb, smart outlet or similar) in between the gateway and the device in question.

A key component of the Zigbee protocol is the ability to support mesh networking. In a mesh network, nodes are interconnected with other nodes so that multiple pathways connect each node which enables its signal to go further.

ZigBee runs in the 2.4 GHz frequency, it is most affected by 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi networks and microwave ovens.
Z-Wave, 868 MHz frequency can be affected by cell phones and baby monitors.

This is only an example. Unfortunately there are lots of devices/equipment out there that constantly adds to the background noise.

Placement of gateway

We advise to run the gateway with Ethernet-cable and have some distance in between router and gateway to minimize noise. A full cable length should be enough, 0,5/1 m.
Wifi are only recommended if gateway can not be located in same room as your router. Wifi signals will add to the noise.

 

Mesh/AC powered equipment

You can use AC powered equipment to extend signals and mesh-network both for Zigbee and Z-wave which will make the network more stable also in noisy surroundings.

Zigbee and Z-wave are different wireless protocols. Zigbee devices can only act as repeater for other zigbee devices
while Z-wave only extends for other Z-wave devices.

What is Noise?

This is the key factor that determines the wireless range between devices and the gateway. Using Ac powered equipment to extend/mesh the network can help for both stability and range.

Some things(but not all) that can affect wireless noise.

  • Wi-Fi access points (both yours and your neighbors)
  • cell phones
  • microwave ovens
  • baby monitors
  • fluorescent lights
  • wireless game controllers
  • consumer devices that form their own private Wi-Fi networks (Xiaomi, Sonos)
  • cheap or defect electronics that saturate the airwaves with electromagnetic radiation
  • usb3(not usb 2)

Wifi channels on your home network router and interference with zigbee

Connect as much of your wifi connected devices as possible to the 5Ghz wifi network as this will not interfere with Zigbee channels while some of the 2,4 Ghz wifi channels do interfere with zigbee channel 11 which we use. We recommend to make sure that your router and other 2,4Ghz devices do not use Wifi channel 1. In the future we will probably also use channel 15 and 20.

 

But my Wifi are working perfect?

Yes, as the transmitters in you wifi-router are more strong than zigbee you probably will have issues with zigbee before you notice interference on your wifi.

Look at this chart for understanding what Wifi channels might interfere with ZigBee channels, you can also read more about this on Metageek.

 

Example of perfect signal

 

 

 

 

Here you can see that dBm are on the lowest possible dBm which means signal are perfect. And you can see in statistics that the signal curve are stable. dBm are when signal are good marked by green in curve, up top.

Example of not so perfect signal

Here instead you can see a higher dBm which means that signal are worse. Also on signal curve you can see that it is not stable and probably interfered with other signals.
dBm are marked in the bottom as blue in the signal curve when signal are bad.

Devices grayed out are either lacking power or are disconnected due to bad signal. The red lines in statistics are disconnects probably due to bad signal.

 

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