Temperature effect on IotaWatt Radio

My IotaWatt is installed in my detached garage. During the summer the garage temperature can be 100+ degrees. During the winter the temperature may get down to 30 / 35 degrees.

I’ve noticed that during the summer the RSSI runs -78 / -79 and I can easily connect with my desktop PC. During cold weather I noticed the RSSI is in the -83 / -85 range. We have had a couple of cold days recently and I sometimes get a Server not found error and I can not connect.

Yes, I know I am at the extreme limit of WIFI signal strength. I’m working on moving the IotaWatt about 18 ft closer to the WIFI hub (which will improve WIFI signal) and I will also install it in a plastic junction box (which will degrade WIFI signal.)

Question: Does the performance of the IotaWatt Radio degrade at lower temperatures? I found the IotaWatt operating temperature spec as -10 to 50 DegC / 15 to 122 DegF. I’m well within those specs.


I[quote=“larry.h, post:1, topic:4070”]
Does the performance of the IotaWatt Radio degrade at lower temperatures?
I don’t know. Is it possible that other things may change with the low temperatures? Ice formation? condensation in walls? denser air? I don’t know the answer to those, but my point is that the question may be does WiFi performance in general degrade with lower temperatures?

I have a very similar situation. My power feed comes in through an outbuilding that is unheated in winter. I live in northern New England where night temperatures are typically in single digits (F) and usually below zero for a week in January and February. I have an IoTaWatt out there measuring the power through the meter and then to that outbuilding (guest room) and to the main house.

Initially I had terrible WiFi, defined as pretty much what you describe. -70s and -80s. The thing would connect up intermittently throughout the day and sometimes go out for a couple of days. Of course it would eventually connect and do its business uploading the accumulated data, so nothing was ever lost. I didn’t keep records, so I can’t say with certainty if it was better or worse in winter. My router was in the attic space (conditioned) but the line to that IoTaWatt was through the roof which usually has quite a bit of snow on it that time of year. I tried repeaters but they didn’t really do much better out there.

Last year I switched over to a Ubiquity router with multiple access points. I put a wired access point in that outbuilding (POI) and all my problems went away. As I write this, that IoTaWatt has an RSSI of -66 and has been continually connected for 23 February and March days and nights.

Folks, modern homes run on WiFi. TVs, lights, thermostats, security systems, phones, even refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, you name it there is a WiFi enabled version. I can see using that cable company router for a 1,000 sq ft apartment, but really, single point routers and the arachnoid so-called gaming routers are no match for the needs of the modern home. It’s not just about the sinnal strength. It’s also about the competition for the bandwidth that comes from other 2.4GHz devices in your home, as well as those dozen other routers in your neighbors’ homes that you see when you do a scan.

So my advice is to invest in an industrial strength WiFi sysytem, and you will get plenty of other benefits in terms of security, speed, and of course broad coverage with multiple access points.

Thanks for the reply and insight.

My son has been saying I need to just get a couple of xFi Pods from Comcast and build out the network in the house and garage.

I have tried using a network extender (Mango) with the IotaWatt but that combination would also become unresponsive and then need to be rebooted / reconfigured.

Thanks again