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Author Topic: Reliability issues?  (Read 2642 times)

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Offline thepiggod

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Reliability issues?
« on: September 29, 2016, 07:03:20 pm »
I apologize in advance if this is the wrong place for this topic, but there doesn't seem to be a place for general support?

Anyway, I am having some reliability issues when trying to control my smart home devices.
Some Background:
  • I have an Almond+ with nearly all default wi-fi router setup.
  • I have 2 sensors so far:
  • an Osram Lightify RGBW bulb, which uses zigbee
  • a GE Wall Receptacle (aka socket), which uses z-wave
  • I am using the android app from my Xperia phone or the iOS app from an iPad mini 3, both connected to almond+'s wifi
  • The sensors are located one room over from the Almond+, but are within 20-30ft with only a thin interior apartment wall between

when I first add these sensors I am able to see them in the app, and am able to control them just fine. On/off for both, and full RGBW color control for the bulb.
They continue to work until the next day. The app still displays the sensors, and appears to respond to input; however, when trying to control the sensors (say just pressing the ON/off box) will often just show "Updating sensor data. Please wait" indefinitely. No change is ever received by the sensor, and the updating message (with the refreshing icon) will be displayed until I change pages (from Devices to Scenes for example).

Sometimes I will be able to go into the app and have the app/almond/sensor respond immediately, while other times it will simply not work at all.
Which sensor is affected seems to be random, some days it's the wall socket, sometimes the lightbulb, sometimes both/neither.

Any thoughts on what could be causing these issues?
I think if it was an app bug that it would only affect one version of it (android/iOS) but behavior is the same for both.
The Almond+ seems to handle everything else just fine, but perhaps has some intermittent communication issue?
Or could this be a range issue, despite being only 20-30ft away?

I have to fix this or the wife won't allow me to purchase any more devices  :'(

Offline fillibar

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2016, 07:23:13 pm »
This is as good a spot as any. Since others are using those devices without difficulty at this point I have a couple questions:
1) What version of software do you have on your Almond+ (have you upgraded it to the latest)?
2) Have you rebooted the router to see if that helps?

I know about the wife preventing purchases when things do not work. Do not want you to get stuck there. My wife and girls are actually getting more into the smart home concept because things ARE working for us.
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

Offline mparadis

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2016, 07:49:35 pm »
Also, when you can no longer control the devices go to the Almond+ and press the Diagnostic app and see if you have cloud connection. That seems like the most likely issue. How often has this happened and for how long?

Offline thepiggod

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2016, 12:38:16 pm »
fillibar:
1) AP2-R089-L009-W016-ZW016-ZB005, the latest software listed
2) I hadn't tried this until yesterday when I got home. At the time it was the GE wall socket was working, but the lightify bulb was non-responsive. After rebooting, the lightify bulb no longer shows in the sensor list. It is powered on though, and has not been reset.
So I tried to add it again, but it does not communicate or add it. I have not tried resetting the bulb yet.

mparadis:
Before I rebooted the Almond yesterday, I checked the diagnostic and everything checked out OK. I don't think it'd be the cloud connection though, because it will sometimes be either one sensor or the other (or occasionally both) that become non-responsive, such as the case yesterday.

Is there any tools for checking z-wave/zigbee signal strength throughout my apartment? I don't think this would be the issue, as when the sensor does respond it responds immediately and reliably for some time before dropping off again (usually the next day), but it wouldn't hurt to check.

Offline fillibar

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2016, 12:45:21 pm »
Good you have the latest version. I would give a shot at resetting the bulb (thankfully bulbs are usually pretty easy to do IF they have it in the manual). Especially if the wall socket is working.

Unfortunately there is no easy tools for checking that I know of. I have checked myself in the past, but new stuff keeps popping up as companies are actively still working on this space.
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

Offline mparadis

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2016, 12:50:44 pm »
There isn't much for testing unfortunately. Some USB sticks work with computer software for this but it isn't great.

If you have a stable cloud connection then the next guess is definitely a wireless range issue. IF you have any other devices try putting a Z wave device in between the Almond+ and the receptacle (make sure it is a mains powered not battery powered device) and a Zigbee device between the Almond+ and the light bulb (again mains powered, or try moving the bulb closer).

Interference can come from many things you wouldn't initially think about such as microwaves, televisions, other powerful wireless radio devices, thick walls / floors, metal objects etc etc etc. This can cause the range to be significantly impacted. It seems unlikely to be an Almond+ hardware issue since it is both radios and intermittent, but interference could cause that and still allow it to work flawlessly at other times. 

Offline thepiggod

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2016, 01:59:54 pm »
fillibar:
I'll try resetting the bulb later today. I'm just concerned about the part where nothing changed with the setup, but it somehow was removed automatically from the Almond configuration. I would think they would stay paired, regardless of whether the sensor is on/off/out of range. I suppose this is not the case?

mparadis:
Convincing the wife that getting more devices will fix the current ones is a hard trick to pull off, but I'll have to try this out to be sure.

There is a Pi3 using wi-fi and bluetooth very near both of these devices. I understand this could cause interference on the zigbee frequency, and could possibly be the issue with the bulb now that I think about it. But, this shouldn't have much affect on the z-wave frequency right?

I wish there was an easier way to tell if the range/signal strength was the issue. like signal strength being displayed somewhere like it usually is for wi-fi devices...

Offline mparadis

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2016, 03:23:19 pm »
How about moving the Almond+ and bulb closer to the outlet for a while? Trust me I understand. I have had a few issues like that in the past and except for a few times the cloud was down for service it was always a range issue. It was worse when I using a different solution before the Almond+.

Offline fillibar

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #8 on: September 30, 2016, 09:35:55 pm »
No, they really should not just "disappear". I have not had them disappear from the list well after being added. I have had devices appear to add and not show up on the list. I have also had some that stopped working over time but were still on the list. But I personally cannot remember ever having any just disappear (without me accidentally removing them).
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

Offline thepiggod

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #9 on: October 06, 2016, 12:55:12 pm »
Well, I reset both devices and re-added them to the almond+ back on the 30th and have not had any problems since.
Maybe when they were originally added my almond firmware was older and they were added incorrectly or with bad configuration, I can't really say.
Glad it's working now though.

Offline fillibar

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Re: Reliability issues?
« Reply #10 on: October 06, 2016, 07:06:30 pm »
Good to hear.
Almond 3 mesh handling the home.

 

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