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Thread: Adding second main repeater to expand beyond 100 devices limit

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Sep 2015
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    Adding second main repeater to expand beyond 100 devices limit

    I need to upgrade an install that has reached the 100 devices limit and therefore add a second main repeater. Is there a list of best practices I could follow (ideally a step by step guide) that describes the do and don't.
    The Inclusive/Level 2 training was pretty brief on this...
    Specific questions include:
    - where do you physically locate second main repeater? Should it be close (or far) from first main repeater? It will most likely (if not already mandatory) be connected to the residence LAN.
    - do you migrate" some of the existing devices to the second repeater to balance the load or simply add the new devices to the second repeater? First repeater has close to 100 devices; second would have about 40-50. If need to migrate, what are the steps to do this to make sure programing is not lost and no issue faced.
    - are there any other actions to take to make the updated install work and things to know to avoid performance issues (low response, interferences, ...).
    Thanks a lot for the help.

  2. #2
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2013
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    Since they use Ethernet, the main repeaters can be located anywhere they can get a wired Ethernet connection. Both will need to be on the same network.

    The repeaters can be fairly close together. I seem to recall someone at Lutron saying keep them 3 feet apart but I've had them a few inches apart with no issue. Actual placement will depend on the physical layout of the home. The ideal layout would be to have a main repeater towards one end of the house with aux repeaters spread out to cover the basement and 1st floor. The 2nd main could be in the same location with its 1st aux repeater on the 2nd floor above it. Then add aux repeaters to the 2nd main as necessary. You could also divide the house in half and say #1 does the left, #2 does the right.

    You don't have to move devices but I would. It will give you more flexibility when trying to determine the layout. It also gives you the ability to add to either system. You will need to factory default and readdress the devices you want to move.

    I would group the loads together that are normally used together. Put all the outside lights in one system, put the kitchen and breakfast in one system, etc.
    Convergence Technologies Raleigh, North Carolina
    www.convergenceusa.com

  3. #3
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    Thanks Randy. Very helpful. A few quick clarifications if you don't mind:
    - when you add the second main repeater, I believe it is important to make sure it is on the same firmware version as the first main repeater. Can you do the update when you add the second repeater in your Inclusive programing? Or do you need to do connecting the main repeater directly to your computer. Hope the former...
    - When you move devices to the second main repeater, do you mean you have to factory reset the dimmer then activate it again? Will it impact the keypad programming?
    - Regarding keypads and the programming, anything to be careful about? Ditto for timeclock programing?
    Your guidance on layout is very helpful and I will do exactly that. I will see if I end up moving a lot of dimmers or not.
    And I think I know the answer but auxiliary repeaters only extend the range of the main repeater they are associated to.

    Thanks a lot again!

  4. #4
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    Randy, ignore the first question about updating the main repeater. Box ticked... It was painful as I was getting some IP related problems but I now have the two main repeaters on and updated to latest firmware. The other questions remain though but before that, I have a basic one...
    - The second main repeater creates a separate "section" in the project (makes sense). But all existing house rooms are allocated to first main repeater. Does it mean that each room can only be allocated to a single main repeater? If not, do you duplicate the rooms under the second main repeater (system prevents is as room have to be unique...). Am I missing something here? It looks to me that the system is designed more for "geographic partitioning" than capacity management... In that case, I guess you split your devices and main repeater by section of the house. Not ideal as I thought you could simply add second main repeater and additional devices.
    For the other questions:
    - When you move a dimmer or keypad to the second main repeater, do you mean you have to factory reset the dimmer/keypad then activate it again? Will it impact the keypad programming?
    - Regarding keypads and the programming, anything to be careful about? Ditto for timeclock programing?
    Your guidance on layout is very helpful and I will do exactly that. I will see if I end up moving a lot of dimmers or not.
    And I think I know the answer but auxiliary repeaters only extend the range of the main repeater they are associated to.
    Sorry for all my questions but it is my first install with two main repeaters and I have not come across any document that lists the process in detail. And if I remember correctly, it was not extensively covered during L2 training.
    Thanks again

  5. #5
    Yes a room is assigned to a single main repeater, and in situations where the main repeaters are far apart, say to increase coverage then the main repeaters should have rooms assigned to them that are the closest.

    No factory reset is required when relocating devices in the program and keypad programming is not changed.

    Keypads - try to think in terms of scenes rather than a button for each device.

    Make your timeclock name very detailed

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