Interesting Communication Issue due to WiFi AP - Resolved

I thought this might be worth submitting a case study for. I had a communications issue with my IoTaWatt. Anyone could run into this who may be using a WiFi AP (access point).

All of a sudden one afternoon I was not able to connect to my IoTaWatt. I kept getting a message that it was not available. I could not ping it either. My first thought was, oh no my, IoTaWatt died.

Checking the status light it was blinking green normally. I tired connecting again no luck. Checking again I found it blinking red-green-green (network issue). Now I began to suspect my access point. I had put an access point closer to my IoTaWatt because it was not able to connect t my WiFi router.

Everything was working great for several weeks. Logging on to my AP I could see the IoTaWatt connected but I still could not attach to its web interface and could not ping it. I was about ready to open it up to pull the SD card and inspect the message log but thought It can’t hurt to try something with my AP. I changed the channel my AP was using. AP was originally using channel 6, I switched it to channel 4 and I was once again able to connect.

Inspecting the message log I could see that it was having trouble with channel 6. Further investigation revealed that another system was using channel 6. It turned out to be my wife’s room A/C which has its own access portal.

I went back into my AP and set it to channel 11 because channel 4 overlaps channel 6. There’s no overlap between 6 and 11. Scanning my local area for WiFi access points showed that none were on channel 11. Problem resolved. Checking the message log again I could see the IoTaWatt had switched to channel 4 and then to channel 11 as I reconfigured my AP.

This posting is to let others know who may need to use an access point that you must be careful with channel conflicts and overlapping channels.

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