Wifi problems mesh router

@Watts - what happens when you go ongrid though - those 3 phase cables will be phase angle seperated then and all of your resulting measurements will be out of whack i think ?

Also where is the phase control for the offgrid setup being generated ? Is it passed through the AC in port by the Offgrid inverter or is it generating its own phase timing (which is what i think it would be doing)

If so - wouldn’t that phase not naturally (unless very very lucky) be aligned with the actual real grid phase ?


@Watts - your problem is that is appears you have one of two issues

  1. Your DHCP server on the main Telstra router is faulty/the table is full
  2. Your WIFI extender is in fact in not in extender mode but is acting as an access point and running a 2nd DHCP server

When you see the 169.254.x.x address this is known as a self assigned address and happens when the machine is configured for DHCP and cannot get a response from the DHCP server.

I assume there would be some form of timeout watchdog that Bob has in the IOTAWATT code so that if it does not get a valid connection to the INternet after some point in time it will ask for a new address.


The log seems to indicate you have 3 APs that Iotawatt can see. One of them is really too far away to work (the one on channel 11). The other two both seem to be about the same distance away and provide adequate signal and DHCP works. Not sure why the esp8266 is picking the wrong one sometimes. That code is in the underlying libraries and is unlikely to be an Iotawatt code issue.

This is one of the reasons I don’t like mesh and mixed 2.4/5GHz systems that use the same SSID. There is a BSSID that is supposed to help with this, but the libraries don’t always get it right. It could also be an issue with your mesh system. Get a small router. Set it up as an access point with a different SSID and use that for Iotawatt only and you will have a hardwired connection with a short wireless hop.

Thanks Craig

#1. is possible I guess. I can try another reboot of the whole lot.

#2. I’m not seeing how (but somehow the IotaWatt is reporting it).
These are Telstra Gen 3 extenders. There is no option for setting them up in DHCP mode. You connect them to the router, they do a self installation process, then they are placed where the network most needs help (in this case the office, which is next to all my electrical installation (inverters, IotaWatt etc).

Just wish this thing had an ethernet connection option. I’ve given up on Wi-Fi for both my inverters.

@Watts - you keep saying mesh extender - but the two are mutually exclusive - it is either a WIFI extender or it is a mesh node - i believe the ancillary units that Telstra shares are WIFI extenders only

I remember with one of your other problems a while ago we had one of your units (maybe the mancave) go into DHCP mode - do you recall that - it was when we were trying to troubleshoot some stuff after a power outage ?


Yeah, thanks for the correction. It’s just my networking ignorance shining through. :slight_smile:

Can’t recall specifically but whatever the issue is I keep battling these sorts of problems from time to time. My Fronius inverter recently had all sorts of issues, after years of little trouble. I (and my installer after two hours of troubleshooting to demonstrate it’s not the inverter’s issue) gave up and plugged the ethernet cable in. They just work. Meanwhile Wi-Fi does my head in.

Frankly I suspect the whole issue is the Telstra set up. They keep sending me new extenders to add, there are three of them plus the router. But I keep it because it provides automated 4G backup to our fixed wireless internet.

It’s why I really wish stuff like this had an ethernet port.

Yep you can wish upon a star but it aint going to happen !!

Anyway i remember you were using a router down at the mancave and it went into DHCP mode and was trying to provide IP addresses - wondering if you still have that sitting down there haunting you

Can you go into your Telstra Modem and it should have somewhere to show you the DHCP server definition i.e. what addresses it is going to give out - can you screen shot that on here and also should show a table of all asigned DHCP/Static ip addresses as well


It’s still there are working perfectly fine.

As to what the IotaWatt is connecting to, it’s all over the place. Here’s the most recent log entries:

3/23/23 18:07:26 timeSync: No time update in last 24 hours.
3/23/23 18:55:28 WiFi disconnected.
3/23/23 18:55:31 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=11, RSSI -77db
3/23/23 18:57:15 WiFi disconnected.
3/23/23 18:57:20 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=11, RSSI -76db
3/23/23 18:58:21 WiFi disconnected.
3/23/23 18:58:27 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=11, RSSI -76db
3/23/23 19:01:34 WiFi disconnected.
3/23/23 19:01:38 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=3, RSSI -50db
3/24/23 00:59:54 WiFi disconnected.
3/24/23 00:59:57 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=11, RSSI -76db
3/24/23 01:00:40 WiFi disconnected.
3/24/23 01:00:43 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=4, RSSI -51db
3/24/23 06:58:33 WiFi disconnected.
3/24/23 06:58:42 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=11, RSSI -77db
3/24/23 06:59:34 WiFi disconnected.
3/24/23 06:59:38 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=1, RSSI -48db

As to incorrectly calling it a mesh, it is confusing given Telstra themselves call it “EasyMesh”:

Screen Shot 2023-03-24 at 12.20.40 pm

The problem is you have at least 3 different APs all on the same SSID. All are on different channels and one is so far away it doesn’t work well. Since the Wi-Fi code is mostly looking at SSID, it apparently sometimes gets confused and picks the one that is farthest away. This is what is causing problems. Eventually it figures this out and picks the closer one. I have different SSIDs for my house and barn that 70-80 meters apart. When I walk from one to the other my phone will stick with the same one until it is so weak it really has to switch. With the same SSID it would probably switch sooner, but this can be good or bad.

If you create a new network with only a single SSID, that is close but not too close, and that is the only network it knows about, it will stick to it and likely work better.

Some APs will do auto selection of channel to use. Some give you the option to turn that off. If an AP decides to change channels, the clients need to keep up. The client then need to figure out what to do. If both sides are trying to be smart about what they do, but don’t communicate it well, it will lead to miscommunication, which seems like what you are seeing. The problem appears to be happening because the AP that is farthest away sometimes becomes the “best” one in Iotawatt’s view. Try turning it off and see if things improve.

Thanks. I killed power to the most recently added (a few months ago) extender. Will see what that does.

I think this will not be the issue - i am more feeling that one of the extenders is faulty intermittently or is conflicting with the router at the mancave.

How is the router at the mancave setup ? is it in router mode or is it in Access Point or WIFI extender mode ? What router is it (make and Model)

As the IOTAWATT is stationery and is close to the main unit then it should not try and move from it to another AP unless the 2nd access point is so strong that it is overwhelming the signal - if this was the case though then it would have as equally as strong a connection to the main AP and would be able to provide DHCP addresses not the self assigned.

Is the newest WIFI extender also the farthest away ?

Can you take a picture of one of them with its model number so i can check out what they are doing ?


Just did a bit of quick googling - its not a mesh it really is an extender and a weird one at that

I know you do not want to get into network etc but i really think if you spent a bit of time in the networking forums on Whirlpool and asked some questions re the 4G backup (which is your main driver and simplicity) you might find that there are other solutions that some of the aussies will recommend


The extenders are these:

I can’t recall make/model of mancave router but think it’s a Netgear. It should have DHCP disabled. I have devices down there working with a static IP assigned by the Telstra router.

Next time I’m down there will give it a look. Will also try to log into it to check on set up. Even so it’s down the hill and inside a besser brick building and there is no signal from it up here.

Ultimately I may need to rip what I have out and start fresh with an alternative. I didn’t find the 4G backup options suggested on WP particularly appealing.

Speed of the router is not a bottleneck here, the NBN fixed wireless is way slower than anything I might connect to it.

Sorry, didn’t see that before posting a reply.

So presumably it is hardwired back to the house then ? As we see a DHCP address for it on the Telstra printout

Might be an idea to check because if DHCP is turned on and it is giving out incorrect addresses on the Network that could cause issues.

Whilst some of the Whrlpool Stuff sounds a little daunting it is like the other stuff we have done - step by step and you could get there - i have NEVER had a good experience with the Telstra NBN gear except in a tiny Studio apartment


Yes, there is an underground ethernet cable connecting the mancave router to the Telstra router.

I have devices down there with IP addresses assigned by the Telstra router. e.g. the ESPHome smart switch/power monitor on the fridge. I can enter its IP address and it takes me directly to the device’s own web page.

The Studio (granny flat) also has underground data cable connection.

The Studio router I just left to form its own network/DHCP as that was my Mum’s house so I left it as a separate network. But now she has passed I’ve been thinking about how best to integrate the Studio as I might want to add some smart devices up there (e.g. aircon control, door sensors) as we will probably convert it to a short stay accommodation venue.

Yeah, starting from a low knowledge base. And trying to do too much at once.

I think what’s happened is up until recently we were fairly basic home network users. Computers, phones, video streaming, Fronius inverter and few personal devices. Basic Wi-Fi routers, data cables and it did the job. If it works then leave it. The Telstra router gave us 4G backup, with the regular NBN outages it’s got value for us.

Then Home Assistant entered the fray and next thing you know I’m trying to integrate everything under the sun and discovering the Telstra supplied kit has limitations. Telstra’s answer was to send us their extenders. One, then another, then another.

I was close at one time to getting the TP link mesh kit, connecting that to the Telstra router and disabling Wi-Fi and DHCP on the Telstra router (and ditch the Telstra extenders). At least that keeps the 4G backup alive. But I would also need a switch to keep using the ethernet connections as the kit only has one network port and so it just got too complicated.

The thought of undoing it all and trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together is a little daunting.


It seems the IotaWatt has settled on a signal (or a signal has settled on it), it’s not reset Wi-Fi connection for 3 days now:

Last log entry same as before:

3/25/23 07:00:43 WiFi disconnected.
3/25/23 07:00:46 WiFi connected. SSID=Telstra25BEB0, IP=, channel=2, RSSI -51db

I switched off one of the Telstra Wi-Fi Gen 3 extenders the other day. I can’t say if these events are cause and effect or are just coincidental.

Switch it back on and see if the problems come back.

Iotawatt does not appear to log BSSID, so you can’t tell that way. Maybe the Telstra APs keep a table. That would be another way. Or, you could just be happy and wait for a week or more to see if you stay happy.