Wifi problems mesh router

@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.

Thanks. Ordinarily my inner tinkerer would try this but with a WFH wife I really don’t want to screw around with the network too often. It’s working and seems stable so I’ll leave it that way for now.

There is nothing I can find in the router’s admin set up which tells me information such as this or what channel an extender is using. It’s like they have decided to obfuscate such things.

I think so. A network overhaul with better equipment is on my home improvement hit list.

IotaWatt is coming up to four days with a stable connection, so that’s a good sign.

As I mentioned in my other thread, after previous failures to load the Home Assistant integration, it successfully loaded yesterday using this IP address. I can only guess these things were related.

I now have the data populating my HA dashboards. I’ll wait a while for confidence with system stability before I use the entities in automations (mostly load management stuff).

Any updates on this one @wattmatters ?? Been a week or so now - how has it been operating with the AP disabled


Hi Craig

It’s been reasonably stable, still occasionally drops onto that IP= mode for while but eventually rejoins to its “proper” local IP address IP= Sometimes it swaps between channels.

I’m assuming the Telstra extender isn’t the best but for now is working. I’ve had a bit much else going on to focus on that issue.

I’m still trying to get data cabling people here. It’s ridiculous. Data comms people here seem to be the worst communicators!

But ultimately I need to ditch the Telstra kit and put something decent in.


System of late has mostly been OK but still drops out at fairly regular intervals. It’s having a particularly bad connection day today. Dropped out at 7:30 this morning and refuses to reestablish connection sitting instead on IP=, which means it can’t find it’s local (static) assigned IP address and I don’t know how to get it back online.

It has perfectly fine signal strength. I know it’s not the IoTa’s fault but it’s still very frustrating when it’s the only device which won’t connect.

I’m so over this networking nonsense. I’m way over tired, unwell and have no energy to resolve.

I just can’t get any data/networking people here.

Other stuff I just plug in the ethernet cable and it just solves the problem. The Solar Assistant Raspberry Pi, the Fronius inverter are the same.

Stupid Telstra network junk.