Zigbee … does it work?

Hey guys,

So I have some zigbee devices (Sonoff, Xiaomi, Ikea, etc). I have core in the middle of the house with repeaters in every corner of the house.

Now most times the devices connect directly to core. Some repeaters are not used at all even when devices are 1 meter away (when paired). Is this a problem?

Also why do devices not switch to a better connection? I feel they stay paired to whatever device they first connected to. Shouldn‘t the idea of a mesh be that devices choose the best path?

Maybe I am confused but it seems that my devices are acting pretty dumb :upside_down_face:

Xiaomi devices don’t generally jump to better connections. I typically try to pair them directly to repeaters in the interface right away. They’ll usually stay where you put them. If you have older devices, you may see that they may have issues.
I have a repeater in the same room with the radio. Always been a habit for me since the lock issues were a huge my reason for sleepless nights. With Zigbee and Z-Wave, I’ve done this.
Generally, repeaters have no rhyme or reason to routing. This is why we recommend placing one somewhat close to your radio. Mine is roughly 7 feet away.

One last thing. Are you having problems with your mesh? Don’t fix it if it’s not broken. That map isn’t 100% accurate and devices don’t report their view on everything. Use the map as an aid, but not a steadfast way to see if your mesh is happy. If everything is snappy and works, then use the map for troubleshooting when it’s not. You’re not used to having all of these tools available. We’re not going to take them away, but don’t bet the bank on 100% accuracy.

No, everything works well. Just saw your (and other maps) that look more balanced … mine:

EDIT:
Oh, I just saw that I can enable joining for certain devices! I always clicked on it without seeing the drop down. So, it was set to ALL. This might make it easier in the future to join to a certain device :slight_smile: THANKS!

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Judging by your map, IMHO, add a new repeater no less than 7 feet away from your radio. Or move one of the existing ones there. You have more on your controller than you do to repeaters.

Do devices (except Xiaomi) change repeaters from time to time? I never saw it happening, so just wondering :slight_smile:

Yes. If they need, they do.

I feel like you have a point @Flucko the more connected to your controller, the less efficient it works. I’d look at either relocating or adding repeaters to your network.

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So the way zigbee routing works is that the coordinator and routers work together to determine the best path for all of the devices and then tell the end devices what path to use. Not all end devices respect this information, but the ones that do will switch to use whatever they are instructed to.

The reason adding a repeater near your coordinator tends to result in a much more balanced and robust network, in simplistic terms, is that is allows the mesh a more accurate view of signal strength to end devices, as the coordinator tends to be the most powerful radio in the mesh.

Think of your mesh determining where it should route sort of like GPS positioning or triangulation, the more satellites/routers you have a connection to the more accurate your position data will be. Same basic effect here :slight_smile:

And not to be left out, here is my network map… Closest router to coordinator ~3 Feet away

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I see that you have quite some plugs as repeaters. Have you ever observed how your mesh reacts when one is unplugged (by kid/dog/wife/etc)?

It gets a bit wonky, but there’s enough room for things to bounce to another repeater easily enough. I keep a few repeaters out of sight and mind and out of reach. Above cupboards, or behind furniture. Ones that don’t get used.

It’s extremely rare an outlet here gets unplugged, but when it does the only effect I may notice is a slight delay in the next message any sleepy end device using that router sends (like a 1-2 second delay). No effect on the network is seen when plugging the router back in.

Granted the number of routers you have, the distance between them, number of devices on each, and a few other factors will influence what type of effects, if any, you see when a router loses power,

Sorry to derail this thread, but what type of repeater are you using @april.brandt ? All of mine will repeat 6 devices only, and you have up to 13 on one! :astonished:

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Innr plugs. You can get a 2 pack for around 50 on Amazon. Although they were much cheaper when i started buying them.

Innr Smart Outlet Plug, Works with Philips Hue, Alexa, Hey Google, SmartThings (Hub Required) 10A, Zigbee Smart Plug, 1200W Outlet, Plugs 2-Pack, SP 224-2 Amazon.com

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The sengled plugs work well and have power reporting, and are on sale now, early prime day. It’s like 27 USD for 2

The best repeaters are the old iris plugs, mine route for 15-20 devices, but are had to find outside of ebay or mercari or FB marketplace

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I think the innr plugs will rate up there as well. I just don’t have enough devices to test it. Plus they are the newer protocols.