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I am looking to ensure that my Zigbee set up is as good as possible. any recommendations / suggestions would be most welcome!

CA10 (Director) in the rack - currently Zigbee Server (68 nodes)

EA5 in the rack - currently the Zigbee Coordinator and a ZAP

HC800 - used to be server and Coordinator, now does nothing

Zigbee extender aerial attached to HC800 - need to move this to the EA5

HC800 on the other side of the house - a second Zigbee Server (47nodes) and Cordinator

2 EA1s that are ZAPs - one linked to each Zigbee network.

 

Networks are channel 23 and 25 respectively (not sure that this is the best combination).
 

2 other EA1s that I am not using for Zigbee. I think one or both of these are connected via WiFi rather than cabling.

 

I am thinking of moving the Zigbee Server off the CA10 onto the EA5.

 

Any recommendations? I have lots of light switches (and use LED and backlight colours a lot which sometimes causes some congestion) and some battery powered motion sensors (which can be a little slow to respond), so I do want to have the Zigbee setup as efficient as possible.

Thanks in advance!

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I’ve got tons of comments on this, but must preface with I don’t know the layout of your home or the decision behind configuring it this was in the first place. 
 

115 zigbee devices is only 50% of the max a mesh network can handle. By nature, the mesh network is “living” and constantly changing looking for the most efficient path home. Adding ZAPs to a robust mesh can actually hinder this process. Same goes for the zigbee extender (the old CA piece or new C4 version, unless you’re talking about the 9’ antenna)

Personally is shut everything off and let the CA10 do the work. 

if you must keep the networks separate, and depending on how far away they are, channels 23/25 are way too close. Depending on what your 2.4ghz WiFi is running on, I get the channel separated further.

Without doing too much work tho, shutting off the ZAP’s and removing any stand alone “extenders” (remember, besides the original C4 tstat, lighting/KP’s are the best extenders you can get) and separating the channels a little more, after 48-72 hours I’d bet the latency issue clears up pretty noticeably.

 

and now I’ll let everyone tell you the exact opposite :)

 

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5 hours ago, knowitall said:

I’ve got tons of comments on this, but must preface with I don’t know the layout of your home or the decision behind configuring it this was in the first place. 
 

115 zigbee devices is only 50% of the max a mesh network can handle. By nature, the mesh network is “living” and constantly changing looking for the most efficient path home. Adding ZAPs to a robust mesh can actually hinder this process. Same goes for the zigbee extender (the old CA piece or new C4 version, unless you’re talking about the 9’ antenna)

Personally is shut everything off and let the CA10 do the work. 

if you must keep the networks separate, and depending on how far away they are, channels 23/25 are way too close. Depending on what your 2.4ghz WiFi is running on, I get the channel separated further.

Without doing too much work tho, shutting off the ZAP’s and removing any stand alone “extenders” (remember, besides the original C4 tstat, lighting/KP’s are the best extenders you can get) and separating the channels a little more, after 48-72 hours I’d bet the latency issue clears up pretty noticeably.

 

and now I’ll let everyone tell you the exact opposite :)

 

Thanks! One clarification.  I am talking about the 9 foot antenna. 

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Some further comments:

1. The 2 EA1s that are being used as ZAPs are on he second floor while the 2 servers are on the first floor. That may be the rationale?

2. I have changed my WiFi to only use channels 1 and 6 to try and leave the upper end Zigbee uninterrupted.

3. Based on @knowitall advice, I am going to try and get my dealer to change the one Zigbee channel from 23 to 21.  I will also see if they can remove the ZAPs.

Amy other suggestions / thoughts would be appreciated! I.e. Bump!

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Control4 support would tell you to not run zigbee on the racked server. Let the ca10 run the project. 
 

Depending on the controller locations , you should have multiple servers and not zaps. 

We had several large home takeover projects where the racked server was running director and zigbee. Some homes had 1-2 zaps spread out  and some had no  zaps using just the single racked server  

I can tell you that once we created several separate zigbee servers , the customers had smiles since their entire system was super responsive  

 

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2 hours ago, JSTRONG said:

Control4 support would tell you to not run zigbee on the racked server. Let the ca10 run the project. 
 

Depending on the controller locations , you should have multiple servers and not zaps. 

We had several large home takeover projects where the racked server was running director and zigbee. Some homes had 1-2 zaps spread out  and some had no  zaps using just the single racked server  

I can tell you that once we created several separate zigbee servers , the customers had smiles since their entire system was super responsive  

 

Interesting... Is an EA1 able (and powerful enough) to run a Zigbee server? Can my dealer change this remotely or would he need to come to the house to identify switches, dimmers etc. to the relevant server?

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45 minutes ago, South Africa C4 user said:

Interesting... Is an EA1 able (and powerful enough) to run a Zigbee server? Can my dealer change this remotely or would he need to come to the house to identify switches, dimmers etc. to the relevant server?

Agreed, multiple Z-Servers is now the recommended best practice for ZigBee deployment. The EA-1 is more than powerful enough to do this. We often setup multiple Z-Servers, one at each EA-1 behind the TV for the remote in that room. It does mean you cannot roam with the remote controls but to be honest you shouldn't really be doing that anyway.

Typically setup for us is separate Z-Server running from each EA-1 and then the most centrally located EA-1 is also the one the wireless keypads etc all mesh to as well.

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Thanks to everyone who has commented.  We have made the following changes and the results are noticeably improved performance (particularly on mass backlight changes and Zigbee motion sensor responses - which were my 2 real gripes - in our main bedroom suite which is now served by a third Zigbee server - see below):

CA10 (Director) in the rack - moved the Zigbee server off this and onto the EA5 in the rack.

EA5 in the rack - now a Zigbee server and the Zigbee Coordinator and a ZAP (47 nodes and no secondary ZAP anymore)

HC800 in the rack - Still does nothing Zigbee related

Zigbee extender aerial attached to HC800 - need to move this to the EA5. I forgot to get my dealer to do this 🙄

HC800 on the other side of the house - a second Zigbee Server (47 nodes) and Cordinator - unchanged at this stage and this one still has an EA1 ZAP attached... we will update this at some stage given the success experience on removing a secondary ZAP from the primary Zigbee server.  We will this end up with 4 Zigbee servers (2 per floor) with between 20 and 50 devices in each.

1 EA1 remains a ZAP - linked to the HC800 Zigbee network.

The other EA1 is no longer a ZAP on the primary Zigbee server but rather a third standalone Zigbee Server which has 21 nodes. This is where I am noticing the massive performance improvement!

Networks are now channels 21, 23 and 25 respectively (still not sure that this is the best combination). However, my 2.4 WiFi has been limited to channel 1 and 6 and my understanding is that only Zigbee channels 21 and up are outside of this range. Hence the choice of Zigbee channels. We have used channel 25 for the most important Zigbee Network (ie the master bedroom suite). 

My dealer thinks I am nuts, but as always has helped me make the changes that I have wanted...

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Yes, you have to add all devices back to the new zigbee server. Mostly painless although I have seen occasions where the zigbee device needed a quick reset to join the new mesh 

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2 hours ago, tdougray said:

curious to know @South Africa C4 user how long it took him to do this? ie to change channel or zigbee server does everything have to be added again or was it quite painless?

It seemed to be more complex than I expected.  I expected a drag and drop change, or a simple edit of  a field for each of the 21 devices that moved.  That said, it was still quite painless and took well under an hour.

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Kinda piggybacking here I have ea-5 racked acting as zigbee server and director with about 100 switches, keypads and dimmers running off it.  What do you guys recommend to improve performance?

 

Thanks in advance

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38 minutes ago, C4CA said:

Kinda piggybacking here I have ea-5 racked acting as zigbee server and director with about 100 switches, keypads and dimmers running off it.  What do you guys recommend to improve performance?

 

Thanks in advance

Do you have other c4 controllers? best practices is 70 nodes per mess

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4 minutes ago, C4CA said:

I don’t but considering a ea1 or ea3 if so how would you set up?

Dealer would need to add the controller and setup 2nd mess, then migrate the nodes/devices as the op above has stated

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From Best Practices:

Zigbee server should be in the center of it's mesh. Don't put it in a rack without an antenna AND racks are rarely in the center of a mesh, nor within 15' of an AP.
Don't use multiple ZAPs unless absolutely require roaming remotes or large light scenes that must activate in time every time.
IF multiple ZAPs, then each must be in proper radio range of the Zigbee server, don't stick them at the edge of a mesh.

Use channels 15, 20 or 25 for zigbee relative to your 1, 6, 11 for WiFi, separate best possible. Don't have overlapping adjacent mesh on the same channel.
Under 70 devices(nodes) per Zigbee server (ZAPS don't increase that number, servers do). If over 500 devices in a project, then ratio changes to under 50 per server.
5 meters between devices is recommended range, max 9 meters, it's environment dependent.
End nodes are battery powered devices, including thermostats, they don't repeat/route signals, (and in my experience prefer, most reliable/responsive, if direct to a processor)
Each mesh (server) can only support 32 end nodes.
Each routing node (switches/keypads) can support 16 end nodes, or only 6 if Gen 1 lighting.

CA10 should run director, someone else should run zigbee server. If only doing zigbee a 1 is as good as any other processor, so its about total processing requirements of the processor as to music, control, rs232 etc, as to which model should be selected.

edit addition: Only channel 25 is outside of the WiFi range, BUT do to FCC (I think) it's also less powerful than the other channels.

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16 hours ago, C4CA said:

Kinda piggybacking here I have ea-5 racked acting as zigbee server and director with about 100 switches, keypads and dimmers running off it.  What do you guys recommend to improve performance?

 

Thanks in advance

If your EA5 is in the center of a mesh,  add CA1 or EA1 in the center of the rest and split in half as most practical based on environment.

If your EA5 is in a rack, in the basement or other non central location, and/or running a lot of music; then add two CA1 or EA1 and move all zigbee off the EA5.

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5 hours ago, C4CA said:

My rack is relatively centrally located in a bedroom, single story house.

Personally, I would stick an EA-1 behind each main display/TV, fit a 3m ZigBee antenna extension on each one and fit to underside of TV and then run a separate mesh from each one. Then ID each device to the mesh it's closest to.

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7 hours ago, Crustyloafer said:

Personally, I would stick an EA-1 behind each main display/TV, fit a 3m ZigBee antenna extension on each one and fit to underside of TV and then run a separate mesh from each one. Then ID each device to the mesh it's closest to.

A LOT depends on where you're located, or more specifically, how your house is built.

Around here, that suggestion is incredibly overdone (as in, non-nonsensical) for a 'normal' house, but interior walls are drywall and wooden studs, so range for each device is quite good.

In our situation, we have done two central devices, or one device at each 'end' of a house, and a planned mesh where each server easily reaches their respective devices in a mesh that covers the whole house (meaning, each mesh covers the whole house) with minimal number of ops.

This then creates a situation where remotes still roam no problem, but the meshes remain under the 70 device recommendation.

 

But in a brick and mortar, or reinforced cement built house, that would never fly.

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54 minutes ago, Cyknight said:

A LOT depends on where you're located, or more specifically, how your house is built.

Around here, that suggestion is incredibly overdone (as in, non-nonsensical) for a 'normal' house, but interior walls are drywall and wooden studs, so range for each device is quite good.

In our situation, we have done two central devices, or one device at each 'end' of a house, and a planned mesh where each server easily reaches their respective devices in a mesh that covers the whole house (meaning, each mesh covers the whole house) with minimal number of ops.

This then creates a situation where remotes still roam no problem, but the meshes remain under the 70 device recommendation.

 

But in a brick and mortar, or reinforced cement built house, that would never fly.

Martijn that's very true, it does depend on the size and construction of the property. I've done jobs with a single EA-5 in a centrally located rack, 3m ZB extension on outside of rack and 60-70 ZB devices, mainly keypads, spread across a large double penthouse apartment with just drywall interior walls and hasn't missed a beat. Likewise, I've for several jobs n much smaller properties with no keypads or anything to extend the mesh where we have had to setup each EA-1 as its own ZB server just for the S260 in that room to connect to as all internal walls were 600-700mm solid stone walls and concrete/flagstone ceilings/floors.

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