Homekit sucks so far (inadequate range)

Discussion in 'HomeKit, HomePod, CarPlay, Home & Auto Technology' started by iHavequestions, Aug 21, 2016.

  1. iHavequestions macrumors regular

    Oct 23, 2011
    I recently bought and paid to get a pro to install a Schlage Smart Sense lock because of Homekit. I should've known how janky it is. The app is always saying "Lock Not Reachable" most likely due to the range. I have a second lock of the exact same kind that works fine. Just not the first one so I know its not the lock itself but the location of the lock. My Apple TV is only about 20 feet in total from the lock, but since it's around the corner and up one level, it's not connecting all the time. Does anyone know of any way to resolve this other than to move the AppleTV closer (not an option)?
  2. aced411, Aug 21, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2016

    aced411 macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
  3. waw74 macrumors 68030

    May 27, 2008
    it is the aTV, using bluetooth.
    it depends on the device you're controlling, some use ethernet (wired or wireless), some use bluetooth.

    it's a horrible option, but might be your only one, get another aTV to put closer to the door.
    you can get a refub 3 for $60

    you could also try moving the aTV around a bit, to get it as close to the door that's not working as possible. I don't know your setup, but moving it to the other side of your entertainment center, so it's not having to transmit through the cable box or TV might be enough to get the last few feet to the door.
  4. Rigby macrumors 601

    Aug 5, 2008
    San Jose, CA
    Well, blaming Homekit is a bit unfair since this is obviously caused by the lock using Bluetooth, which is not designed for longer distances. Besides repositioning the ATV, you could try reducing interference on the ISM band in your house by turning off Wifi on the 2.4GHz band and moving completely to 5GHz, if possible. But 20ft through walls is borderline for Bluetooth.
  5. priitv8 macrumors 68040

    Jan 13, 2011
    As I understand it, aTV only comes into play when you try to connect remotely. Then it acts as a gateway between your home and iCloud.
    Once your phone is in the BT LE range, the communications happens directly between phone and HomeKit device. You can even see that from the flashing bluetooth icon on the phone.
    A door lock ought to have a BT antenna also on the outside, no?
    Unless it is a LAN-based device, in that case the distance between your HomeKit Hub and iPhone is what counts.
  6. simonx314 macrumors regular

    Apr 21, 2015
    I am in the same situation and I had to move my Apple TV next to my Schlage Sense locks (I have two), which is a total waste as it is not plugged into a TV, but it is nice to be able to control the locks from anywhere. Schlage support told me that the lock's antenna is optimized for horizontal range, and customers who have the Apple TV on a floor above the lock often have connectivity issues. Schlage also told me they are planning on coming out with a Wi-Fi hub so you don't have to waste an Apple TV as a hub.

    If anyone else is wondering why the Schlage Sense has such short range, it is because it has bluetooth and not a higher powered radio like Wi-Fi because it needs to last a long time on it's 4 AA batteries. Most other HomeKit devices use Wi-Fi (smart plugs, thermostat). Your Apple Watch or iPhone use bluetooth to talk directly to the lock when you are close to the lock. The Watch seems to have a Bluetooth range of about 20 feet, the Apple TV about 40 feet, and the iPhone has the longest range, at least 50 feet even through some walls in my experience (6 Plus).

    If you are outside of bluetooth range and ask Siri to unlock the door, your iPhone or Watch will use your iCloud account to find your Apple TV over the internet, then the Apple TV's bluetooth will talk to the lock. You need internet and an Apple TV to talk to the Schlage Sense if you are outside of bluetooth range, whether you are 60 feet or 60 miles away. The iPhone to Apple TV don't talk internally within your LAN, your Apple TV needs to be able to reach the internet.

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