Weak Signal with Access

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  • Updated 1 month ago
I recently had to upgrade to the new Access hubs since the old SmartHubs are being discontinued.  I'm halfway through setting up all my sensors, and I have already encountered a problem.  My Access Hubs (had to use 2 Access Hubs to replace 1 SmartHub in that room) are sitting right next to the old hub (which is still connected), and all are within 10 feet of the sensors.  The old SmartHub shows a strong signal from all sensors whereas the new hub is showing a low signal from one of them.  Weren't the new hubs supposed to have a better range than the old ones?  That being said, we are only talking about 10 feet.  I still need to connect the sensors that are 40-50 feet away.
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Mike

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Posted 3 months ago

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Mike

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There always seems to be one with a low signal, but which one that is seems to rotate among the connected sensors.
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George D. Nincehelser

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I think some marketing person said that and probably shouldn't.  I'd say range is generally about the same, with a little edge toward the better side for most.

The radio receiving chip in both the Access and the SmartHUB is the same.  The only big difference is the arrangement of the antenna.  The SmartHUB uses a long bent wire that is difficult to theoretically analyze.  The Access uses a common helical antenna configuration that is well understood.

All other things being equal, the helical antenna in the Access is superior, at least by a bit.  It has a nice circular receiving pattern and is truly omnidirectional.  The SmartHUB is also "omni", but it's weird bends make it slightly directional.  It's still kind of a circle, but a ragged one.  In some very specific cases it might work a bit better.  Anyway...

In actual field use, it seems more people are getting better range with the Access than they did with the SmartHUB, but there are some that don't.  It probably has to do with local factors affecting the radio signal, like a bit of signal bouncing in the room or some device emitting localized noise.

I wouldn't worry so much about the signal level you're getting at close range.  The strength shown can be a poor indicator of distance for various reasons... for example, sometimes being too close will make your signal "splatter" giving you a lower signal number.  You should just put them where you're going to need them and evaluate the situation from there.

Rememeber, as long as you're getting at least a "1", all of your data is getting through.  The higher numbers are only better in the sense that they may tolerate more outside interference.  For example, I have a 5n1 that has a great signal of 4 in the winter, but drops to 2 during the summer because the nearby trees have leafed out.  Sometimes it will drop to a 1 if those leaves are wet during a severe rain storm.  Still, I get all data as just having a signal level of 1 is all you need.
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Mike

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Thanks for the reply!  Its just weird how it seems to rotate through the lot, but it was still reporting so as least there is that.  I should have the rest hooked up tonight.
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Mike

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Recently I have noticed the the Access loses connection to sensors that are still reporting fine on the old SmartHub.  Clearly this is a problem with the new Access.  I currently have 2 sensors which haven't reported in hours on the Access, yet are having no problems on the SmartHub.
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MacGarage

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I am experiencing the exact same problem as we speak.
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Mike

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The problem continues.  3 offline on the Access units and 0 offline on the old SmartHubs.