Connectivity issues to wifi?

Hello, I’ve been having some issues with keeping a stable wifi connection on my iotawatt sensors and I was hoping to get some ideas on how to go about fixing it. I’m personally suspecting that it’s simply a wifi connectivty/strength issue, but I could be wrong.

As can be seen in the text file attached, the sensors started having power-fail restart issues around late march, but then subsequently running into heap memory degradation issues after about 5 minutes to a couple hours and needing start back up again several times. On march 30th, at the third entry block, there’s an “influxDB_v2: Start posting 3/30/23 01:12:35” message and the timestamp on this is in sync with the message timestamp itself. However, as the we move further down, the difference between the timestamp on the “influxDB_v2: resume posting: DATE TIME” and the actual timestamp of the message itself begins to increase, reaching about an 8-day difference on 4/27/23 (final block of messages). We have two iotawatt sensors in the basement, both sending data at a 5 second interval and 1 bulk size, which seems like quite a lot of data and perhaps this is the cause? More recently, the sensors would only stay online for maybe 5-10 minutes before disconnecting. They would only come back online momentarily when we switched the control channel on the wifi router. Below is a summary of some of the things we’ve tried so far.

  1. Fixing the IP address of the two sensors’ connection to the router and fixing the control channel to 11 and keeping the channel bandwith to 20 MHz
  2. Halving the RTS threshold on the router itself to about 1000
  3. Whitelisting the two sensors on our router
  4. Increasing the sensor data interval to 15 seconds and the bulk-send size to 10

Of these, #4 seemed to be most effective, but even at this settin the sensors were online for about 3 hours before disconnecting. Also, the sensors won’t come back online even after switching to a different control channel like they used to anymore. Any kind of insight would be very helpful. Thank you!

p.s. Is there a way to connect them via ethernet or other wired connections by chance? Feels like that would be a bit more reliable.

iotamsgs.txt (63.2 KB)

One issue is it appears to be an issue with connecting and obtaining the DHCP configuration from the router. When you see the IP address it means the DHCP server was not reacheable. It doesn’t happen all the time but suggests you have routing problems with your WiFi. I’ve given up on trying to debug the gazillion different Router/AP products out there, but you might try an alternative router if available.

Your influx appears to be on a different network from your LAN. If so, is it via internet and how good is your connection to the influx domain? Is it a cellular link? How long does a ping take from the IoTaWatt network?

Can I see the influx setup for both units please?

@alexl you seem to have some knowledge of Wi-Fi, with some of the words you used in your first post. But, you neglected to state exactly what you are using for router/APs and what your network config looks like, and what type of environment everything is in.

The Iotawatt log clearly shows that much of the time it is not getting an IP address from DHCP. That is generally a problem with the local network environment. Fix that problem and you will likely have a much better experience.

The signal level looks okay, but there is a lot more to Wi-Fi than just RSSI levels.

Hi overeasy,

Thanks for the quick reply. I have fixed the DHCP IP adress on my router (which is an ASUS RT-AX58U) under the LAN settings. The problem seems to persist, however, and I can’t get a ping response from either of the two sensors at the moment, so I’m not sure how to retrieve the influx setup for them.

As for the influx domain, it’s hosted on digital ocean, which is a cloud service provider. It could be a problem with the cloud platform, but the fact that I can’t even seem to connect to the sensors on local network makes me think there’s something else to it as well. Are there any diagnostics you think I should try?

Thank you!

Hi frogmore,

I’m really no expert in this topic and my knowledge in this area is very shallow. Do you mind me asking what you mean by router/AP and network configuration? Thank you!

Your Asus is the router and access point (AP) in one. If you have additional devices in a mesh system it can complicate things.

There are a few threads of people having connectivity issues. There are lots of people who ask this:

The simple answer is a cheap router/AP (in access point mode) with a different SSID that is wired to your main router is a good thing to try. I have done it with cheap Asus routers and others have done it with the mango router:

But, just about any router can be used as an AP if you can turn off its DHCP server (and most allow that).