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Thread: Setting up second main repeater

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016

    Question Setting up second main repeater

    I've got a home with around 80 devices, and more work to do, so I'm finally putting in the second main repeater.

    Now that it's installed, can someone kindly give me a quick refresher on how to balancing the system between the two main repeaters?

    1) Should I just move a few rooms from main repeater #1 to main repeater #2 if they are now physically closer to repeater #2?

    2) Any downside to a room being on a different main repeater than it used to be? I assume keypad buttons can still control devices anywhere in the home, regardless of what repeater they're on?

    3) Is there any performance advantage to balancing the rooms between the two main repeaters? Should I strive to get roughly half the devices/rooms talking to each main repeater, or should I just start adding new rooms to the second main repeater and slowly build up the number of items on that repeater going forward?

    Thanks for any tips...


  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    There aren't any real performance issues using devices across repeaters. I've got two repeaters with devices across them and scenes and buttons are pretty much indistinguishable in performance.

    What does matter, however, is expansion. Especially with regard to motion sensors, Pico remotes and zone rollbacks. Those benefit from being coordinated on the same repeater, if only to avoid dealing with not being able to duplicate names. As in, you want to add a motion sensor to a room called "Office" but that's on a repeater that's already met it's limit for devices. So you'd have to put the sensor on the other repeater, but there can't be another room named "office" so you have to call it something else. Planning devices counts ahead of time helps. I don't know if there's a 'rule of thumb' on how much padding to consider, but I do know that running right up against the limit poses challenges trying to untangle later.

    Rollbacks, where a timer is started ticking down any time a device in the configured area is activated. As in, various lights in a bathroom or a closet. Turn any of them on and the area's rollback timer starts. Turn any additional ones on and the timer starts again. Eventually when the timer ticks down a scene configured with them turns them off. The trick being they all need to be in the same zone. Now, I think it's possible to set a device from another repeater over into a zone on the other. So you don't "have to" keep them on the same repeater but it seems to get messy when you start trying to keep track of where a device is "located" versus what "zone location" it controls.

    Because devices exist somewhere and their controlled load exists somewhere, but they might not be the same. As in, a hybrid keypad that is the Living Room at the Front Door location but controls a light in the Front Porch zone. Head hurt yet? Heh.

    Note, a scene here does NOT have to be limited to only the devices in the zone. I use some occupancy sensors and rollbacks to turn off "likely" devices even if they're not in the motion-sensed turn-on zone. I have a workshop with a ceiling sensor. Entering the room triggers the ceiling lights. Leaving the room (letting the sensor detect vacancy) turns off the ceiling lights along with an adjacent electrical closet, workbench table dimmers and a power strip.

    Now, placement of repeaters can come into play when you have coverage issues. Lutron specs 30 feet. I've got devices that are probably 50' away, through a newly built wood framed construction house. That and a few that are 30' away, but have a 12' concrete foundation in-between. They all work fine. The repeaters are centrally located, nearly side-by-side. If I had coverage issues I'd likely use an aux repeater to extend from one of them.

    So you can use repeaters to widen coverage, but plan carefully and make sure there's enough room on each of them to handle the number of devices that might need to be added to them. Otherwise use an aux repeater, but know that it will also be working within the limits of the number of available devices on it's main repeater.

    Where this stands to get complicated for folks is if shades are involved. All those devices add up.

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  4. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Wow... THANK YOU! That's an incredibly helpful post. I nominate it for "sticky" status to make sure other users here see it without asking the same question again.

    Again, thanks for taking the time to write such a thorough response to my question.

  5. Thanks wkearney99 thanked for this post

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