Tips for installing the AOne system
The number and type of devices being used and the environment and materials in the space surrounding the hub and devices can impact the overall system performance.
- Ensure your Hub is in a central location with your devices no more than three device hops to the hub.
- The distance between Devices and the Hub will need to be closer if the walls or ceilings between them are composed of solid material.
- The distance between devices can be further apart in more open spaces (up to 20m).
- Metal can also affect the system performance by reducing the signal strength between Devices (metal wall boxes, enclosed metal light fixtures, metal cable trays etc.).
- The different types of Devices can also impact how many Devices a Hub can support.
For example Devices that are sending energy information (eg. Double Socket) or occupancy (eg. PIR) information back to the Hub will reduce the max number of Devices that a Hub can effectively handle.
Kinetic Switches will perform better in small to medium sized Systems.
The more information being sent to a Hub will cause latency across the AOne System.
- If the AOne System is being used in a large space consider breaking the area into zones with a Hub per zone
Eg. left side and right side of the building OR a Hub per floow
Note that the AOne App can support multiple hubs with one account.
- Remove the temptation for users of the space to use a manual switch.
This will cause performance issues across the System and even stop Devices attached to the switch to Mesh (or hop messages across the space) and stop working all together.
There is no standard installation! All installations are unique
The number and type of Devices being used and the environment and materials in the space surrounding the Hub and Devices can impact the overall system performance.
For the best results ‘work around’ potential obstacles such as solid walls or metal structures. The Zigbee network used for the AOne system needs to have a ‘line of sight’ to the AOne Hub or no more than 3 Device ‘hops’ to get to the Hub. For optimum results, especially if there is a lot of metal, Devices should be either less than 10-20m from the Hub or less than 5m between each other.
The Hub needs to be in as central a location as possible or where there are solid walls, multiple Hubs would be better than designing a ZigBee network with multiple hops. The distance between Devices and the Hub will need to be closer if the wall or ceiling between them are composed of solid material.
In particular placing AOne Devices on top or near to metal can reduce their Zigbee signal strength by at least 20%. A Zigbee system will perform better in a large open space where the signals are not being impeded.
When using a Zigbee network with ‘hops’ any Device that is switched off due to a manual switch will potentially break some of the Zigbee network and routing so preventing Devices from working.
The number of Wifi networks in the same space will also reduce the performance of the ZigBee network and may require less distances between Devices and the Hub.
- The signal from the Hub will be stopped by the solid structure
- Green area indicates a good ZB signal
- As the distance from the Hub increases the ZB signal will decrease and fall below an acceptable level as in the yellow area
Hub location is important
If a space is large some devices furthest from the hub may not work due to a weak signal.
- The Zigbee signal has to be above a certain level to perform consistently.
- Zigbee hops will work better if there is no interference from other systems.
Sometimes more hubs are better than one.
- This layout can create a better performing experience for the end user
- Gives flexibility in the different areas
To help understand how the mesh works, detailed in the image below are the signal boundaries:
However, do be aware that there are many external factors that will affect the performance of the overall system such as Phones, High Powered Speakers, Wall Amount & Thickness, Building structure, Spacing of Devices & other Internet Connected Devices.
Remember, every device is competing for signal and will attempt to “talk” over one another.
Even a Mesh Test might have different results as the signal fluctuates constantly. But it is a very good way to gauge what is going on.
In commercial buildings a site visit is strongly recommended!
- If a building uses metal cable trays then this will impact the ZB signal strength at each device.
A loss of > 20% in signal strength (-15dB).
- Place AOne controllers as close to the hub as possible and run longer cables out to the products.
- If the AOne hub has to sit on the cable tray, place it vertically and not flat on the tray.
- Though be careful not to crowd too many devices into a small area as this can have a detrimental impact on the stability of the ZB network.
- Where AOne controllers are placed in a metal tray try and cable them somewhere away/above the cable tray.
- Don’t place AOne controllers on top of LED drivers as this can have a worse effect than the cable tray as the driver will be generating an electromagnetic field encompassing the controller.
- Use more cable between the AOne controller and the driver and at least more than 30cm apart.
- Avoid placing relays or controllers next to power sockets as this causes interference.
- Be prepared to use multiple hubs so that performance is not impacted by concrete structures or solid walls.
- Try to avoid placing them near these solid structures and instead allow for more open space between the Hubs and structures.
Multiple Wi-Fi networks will also generate more interference with the AOne hub and may need technical advice from the technical team to choose the most efficient ZB channel.
If you need any further help or have any questions, please email us at email@example.com, raise a support ticket, using the link near the bottom of this page or clicking on the HELP button (a blue circle with a question mark).