Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

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Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:18 am
epounds offline
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Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

I have a metal structure detached from my home and want to control its lights and place a multi sensor inside. The problem is that Z-wave signals will not penetrate the walls. I could possibly use Insteon devices through the power lines, but I cannot find a multi sensor to use. This room does have Ethernet and Wifi, but I also cannot find a way to extend Z-wave over the network.

Does anyone have any thoughts on how to make this work? Thanks!

Posted on
Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:36 am
Different Computers offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

There are a couple of bridge plugins that would allow Indigo to control a controller inside the metal building. There's one for Vera and one for ISY I think.

So if you put a Vera in that building and linked all that building's devices to the Vera, Indigo could control them, and Indigo could talk to the Vera over Ethernet.

SmartThings refugee, so happy to be on Indigo. 10.12.6 on an i5 MBP w/Harmony Hub, Hue, DomoPad, Dynamic URL, Device Extensions, HomeKit Bridge, MatplotLib, Plex, uniFAP, Wunderground, Nanoleaf, LED Simple Effects, Airfoil Pro, Grafana.

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Mon Dec 18, 2017 10:52 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

The current version of the Vera plugin doesn't support sensor device types. It could be made to of course but someone would have to do the work to add them.

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Posted on
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:26 am
Different Computers offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

Here's info on the ISY plugin then. viewtopic.php?f=65&t=11475

SmartThings refugee, so happy to be on Indigo. 10.12.6 on an i5 MBP w/Harmony Hub, Hue, DomoPad, Dynamic URL, Device Extensions, HomeKit Bridge, MatplotLib, Plex, uniFAP, Wunderground, Nanoleaf, LED Simple Effects, Airfoil Pro, Grafana.

Posted on
Mon Dec 18, 2017 11:49 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

Different Computers wrote:
Here's info on the ISY plugin then. viewtopic.php?f=65&t=11475


Hate to sound like a broken record, but:

From the README.md wrote:
Currently supported device types are: Dimmers, On/Off (relay) devices, Sprinklers, Thermostats, and the I/O Linc.

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Posted on
Mon Dec 18, 2017 6:22 pm
Colorado4Wheeler offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

You might be able to use an amalgamation of plugins to achieve this. I use Homebridge Buddy wrappers for all sorts of stuff, they can act as a dimmer with on/off/4 dim levels to manipulate your multi sensor and it can be configured to use any other device state or variable state to determine if it's on/off/dimmed to a certain level.

Just food for thought.

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HomeKit Bridge | Device Extensions | Security Manager | LCD Creator | Room-O-Matic | Smart Dimmer | Scene Toggle | Powermiser | Homebridge Buddy

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Posted on
Tue Dec 19, 2017 1:47 am
durosity offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

How about having a Z-Wave repeater mounted outside of the building and then one directly on the opposite side of the wall to it.. the signal might be strong enough to penetrate the wall and relay via that?

Computer says no.

Posted on
Tue Dec 19, 2017 5:43 am
CliveS offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

I would wire up a Fibaro dimmer (take care 110/240volts AC) to a plug and using an extension lead place it next to the structure, if you can see the Fibaro then try to see another device working inside.

If that works then buy a small waterproof plastic box and mount on the outside, drill a hole to feed the mains to the Fibaro, if you make the hole just smaller than the plastic box it will also help the signal inside.

Mount it with waterproof mastic.

If you don't get a signal inside but you do outside then just open the door slightly and if that works then mounting the plastic box as above should also work.

I have just done similar to boost the z-wave signal in my garage except I used the garage outside light to power and house the Fibaro (it has a Philips Hue bulb so always on).

CliveS

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Posted on
Tue Dec 19, 2017 6:58 am
johnpolasek offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

If they are on the same transformer, insteon will carry a signal to about a couple of hundred yards of wire length; That's what my sister uses to control the stall and working pen lights at the (sheet metal) barn
and a string of pathway lights between them from the house. It is, however subject to power line noise interference from things like electric motors (in Katies case, the well pump that we had to filter).

Posted on
Tue Dec 19, 2017 9:52 am
jay (support) offline
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Re: Communicating with a device inside a metal structure

johnpolasek wrote:
If they are on the same transformer, insteon will carry a signal to about a couple of hundred yards of wire length; That's what my sister uses to control the stall and working pen lights at the (sheet metal) barn
and a string of pathway lights between them from the house. It is, however subject to power line noise interference from things like electric motors (in Katies case, the well pump that we had to filter).


Alas, Insteon doesn't make a multisensor. I'm assuming the OP mentions it specifically for it's other sensors (besides motion).

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