How Can I extend Vera Network Range

I’d like to extend my Vera network to my Garage. My garage is brick built and is 57m away from my house. The Garage will have electricity and ethernet connection to my LAN.

Whats the best way to get my Vera network out to my garage?

Many thanks

Yikes, that is a long way. I assume you mean the z-wave side of Vera?

Using IP devices won’t be a problem since you ran the ethernet…

What do you want to do with Vera in the garage?

Yes, I want to extend the Vera side of the network.

I was going to install some vera light switch modules and maybe some mains plugin modules.

For z-wave at that distance I would install a separate Vera in the garage.

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Seems overkill for a few devices. But if that’s the best way.

If there’s two how does the app work for control. Can both controllers be integrated into one app interface.

One way to manage multiple veras can be done with openluup and then use homewave to connect to openluup.

The other way is cumbersome and involves integrating the two veras together allowing one vera to control the devices of the other.

The advantage of the former is that you have the option of forgoing the dependance to the vera servers and connect directly to openluup which to me has been essential to improving the stability of the vera…

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I had the same question as you 2 years ago. With the help of tech support they connected 2 vera edges. The house is main and garage is the slave. All devices appear on the main vera (house) and only the garage devices appear in the slave. Works great…includes 2 Schlage door locks and 4 light switches. Before adding the second vera I often had dropped devices.

Thanks really appreciate it. Two units it is.

Another way is to keep the two Veras separate, and when they need to communicate something between themselves, have one set a virtual switch on the other (via http call) to indicate whatever status needs to be shared. And you could use Imperihome to customize a phone interface showing devices from both Veras simultaneously.

Many thanks

Another option is the “Hard Wired method”. Install the Zwave controller close to the house and direct bury (underground) UF cable to the garage. Hard wired method. Only makes sense on the trench location. Trench under grass/dirt etc is reasonable.

You can use Z-wave extender. Theoretically regular device has the same routing capability as the extender, but in practice at least some extenders (like ZW117 from Aeotec) have better antenna inside, which allow them to get a bit better range. I’ve tested ZW117 some time ago, and it gives about 80m range at open air. It might do the job for you placed inside, or you can put it outside in a waterproof box. Just test it a bit, as the way how antenna is oriented is important (test the range rotating device by 90 degrees vertically and horizontally and see which orientation gives best results during polling).

Another way is “improving” antenna of the regular z-wave device, attaching additional cord at the end of it. as far as I remember it should have 8-8.5cm, (16-17cm together with the original one) or you may try three times that length (about 32cm in total). But I had doubtful results with such solution.

The last one is replacing Vera’s internal antenna with an external one. For edge it is quite easy (open the cover, detach original one, attach external one, close the cover). For Plus (and probably Secure too) it needs soldering, but if you have equipment for precise soldering and a bit of experience, it isn’t that hard. You can find guides or links to guides how to upgrade Edge or Plus here on this forum. The con is that you loose warranty. The pro is that you can easily get stable connection over 100m. In my case I managed to get stable connection on a distance around 150m (mostly open space, partially light forest, wooden wall of the garage) using external antenna and extender from Aeotec.

Thanks guys. This is really helpful. I hadn’t realised that the Vera base unit could have it’s antenna upgraded. Nice.

What’s that got to do with this thread?

maybe a z-wave extender?

Hi
Adding an external Antenna to Vera edge works.

watch this Video:

Bet that voids your warranty :slight_smile:

Seriously nice one, I think. Reminds me of me with a drill in one hand and a lump of fragile, expensive stuff in the other!

If I had range issues, I’d certainly consider this, but I’ve always found the range pretty good, or at least rather more than advertised.

C

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After having considered doing this a few years ago and experimenting with my network, I can now say that this is a bad idea. The zwave chip in the vera has factory calibrations associated with signal strength. The RF comm is going two ways in TX and RX and doing something is likely going to do more harm than good. In RF, too strong a signal can be a very bad thing as you could overpower the signal from other devices.
The best way to improve range is to improve your mesh by adding a repeater close to the vera. Same thing applies to units which have Zigbee.

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I have done it in a few of my projects (the number is more than 10) where I had issues with z-wave range. In all of them nothing bad has happened and they still work reliably.

What you said about calibration is definitely true, but I think a little tuning does not harm.

In the UI5 + Vera3 days (Z-Wave 300 chip) I would say most of us who were regulars on this board added external antennas. But when the 500 series controllers came out (Edge/Plus/Secure), the general consensus was that an external antenna wasn’t needed - they had better range than even our antenna modded Vera3s. I still think that is true…