What if my aircard is not communicating?

Follow

Comments

15 comments

  • Avatar
    John Benson

    sometimes it is hard to relocate the air card. can the Antenna be extended with a coaxial antenna cable?

  • Avatar
    John Benson

    i have not been able to find a location where I can get a consistent solid green light. its mostly flashing with the red in the third position indicating a weak signal. as of yesterday, however, I cannot either send a signal to or receive one from the controller. what can I do?

  • Avatar
    Brandon Lackey

    John,

    There are some locations that simply have poor cell signals.   If you have a problem getting good connection on a cell phone, this may be a location with weak cell signal.   You can check for close cell towers using this tool - http://opensignal.com/.    

    Generally speaking, there are two types of cell communication: GSM and CDMA.   Here's an article that explains the difference.  http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407896,00.asp

    We use GSM aircards by default.  If you notice that there are no cell towers nearby from the GSM-based carriers (AT&T/T-Mobile), then we should probably try a CDMA aircard, especially if you notice that there are close towers and good signal for Verizon/Sprint who use CDMA.   If you don't have a good signal or close cell tower for either, then it may be a location that simply can't connect.    

    Check out the Opensignal site and see if that helps.   Then send a request to support@weathermatic.com and we'll do our best to see if there are other options for your specific situation.

    Thanks for using SmartLink.

  • Avatar
    Katherine Cuervo

    We have two controllers side by side.  One is working as it always has, the second one stopped connecting to the web Jan 1.  All seemed normal at the physical stations.  Both aircards had solid green LEDs.  I unplugged the phone cord to for the aircard that wasn't connecting, waited, replugged.   It is now blinking GREEN RED RED RED.  Is the only advice to relocate the aircard?  It had been working properly up until now & the one next to it is still functioning properly.  Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Brandon Lackey

    It looks like you have a ticket with our help desk on this issue.   Our team will review the signal strength and recommend a solution.

    Thanks,

    Brandon

  • Avatar
    Chandlercraft

    Brandon,

    I have been struggling with aircards since October of last year and have now accumulated six without a reliable system for my client yet.  Since your customer support has not responded to my email or phone calls for the last two weeks, can you tell me to what address I should return all these controllers, weather stations, remote controls and aircards so I can start over with a company that either has reliable product or a responsive customer support operation?

    Thanks so much.

    jim chandler

    ChandlerCraft

  • Avatar
    Brandon Lackey

    Jim,

    I reviewed the support tickets and understand that RJ11 couplers and extensions were used on the aircards in question, which are not recommended and can blow fuses on the controller.  Apparently, this occurred on multiple occasions.  If GSM aircards did not provide adequate connectivity, our team recommended replacement with CDMA.  

    Our policy is that you can return the product to the distributor who will send to us for warranty investigation.    We have less than 1% return rate on these units, so it would be improbable that fuses would have been blown apart from some exterior cause like using the extensions.   

    Brandon

  • Avatar
    Chandlercraft

    Brandon, 

    I have no real desire to return the units, which are functioning fine except for the essential aircard non-connection.  The purpose of my return request is simply to get your attentiona and support so I can deliver a working system to spec for my client.  Sound reasonable?  Since I do not have your email, I'll explain here the occurrences and what I need to complete the installation.

    The initial GSM cards worked sporatically.  The one attached to the SL1600 has always been worse than that attached to the SL4800 (different electronics in the two units?) despite their immediate adjacency side by side.  Your support crew told us these were CDMA and we needed GSM for the closer Verizon towers.  This is incorrect.   Either the initial order docs or a look at the serial number (as I have since learned) would have verified their technology.  When the GSM cards arrived, they were understandably the same.  I looked online and verified Verizon is CDMA, not GSM, as your second tech confirmed.

    The only other option that had been offered to me was a high gain antenna with a 24 inch disk to be placed on the garage roof, times 2 -- not a pleasing sight for my client.  So I tried extending the short cord lengths from the controller to the aircard to get it outside the small closet housing the controllers.  Your tech said anything shorter than 24 ft would be okay.  I checked the extension to ensure there was no switching of leads in the cord line, as there sometimes is in phone and data networks; these did not change position.  Radio Shack said the connector would be straight through. Upon connection, I blew fuses with several aircards.

      I called and we arranged an exchange for CDMA.  My high hopes were dashed upon installation: the 48 worked sporadically and the 16 did not connect at all.   On the last, I had your tech on the phone with me.  At that point I cracked open the RJ11 connector to find that indeed the wiring did change inside, explaining the shorts (power probably delivered to a signal line).

    I was then told that there was a smaller antenna, similar to the short one on the base of the aircard, that could be connected to the end of a coax extension that I could run less visibly to the roofline, leaving the aircards in place.  I wish I had known of this earlier.  So I am trying to get two of these, one more CDMA aircard (I didn't touch the one mounted to the SL4800, as it flashes tower red but still does receive), and perhaps another SL1600 if you think the inner electronics may have been compromised.  I have detailed notes of rolling display, etc. from each aircard I tried, if this is helpful.

    I asked your distributor (my vendor for decades)  for the additional equipment and they very fairly requested a note from your company stating exactly what is required.  Given I don't want the big disks to show up and that I've already returned aircards through them, I find this very understandable and reasonable.  This has been the static situation for two weeks while I have left phone messages for the two techs, the general tech line and an email.  I'm hoping you can help me resolve these communication issues, both electronic and interpersonal, and provide a working system with your equipment for my client, who is eagerly awaiting the ability to adjust irrigation through her iphone.

    Many thanks,

    jim chandler

  • Avatar
    Brandon Lackey

    Thanks for the explanation Jim.   If neither GSM nor CDMA worked at this location and the aircards were not in a basement or other concealed location, the likelihood of good connection is not high.   In 98% of situations, we have found that GSM or CDMA will provide a good connection.  Meanwhile, we have run across some locations where neither seem to be acceptable.   Unfortunately, we don't have another alternative at this time.    You can certainly use those same aircards at another location with a better connection.    Sorry that I don't have a better solution for you.

  • Avatar
    Chandlercraft

    Brandon,

    This does not leave me with a solution for my client.  Ideally, the wireless Hub I purchased to communicate with the weather station would also communicate with the client's wireless router.  The vast majority of these installations are going into upscale suburban homes or small business settings, all of which have wireless internet.  I understand you may want subscription revenue, and I don't think my client would mind a yearly charge for the website functionality.  You wouldn't even have to pay the carrier.  Can your Hub make the connection? 

    The controllers and aircards are not in a basement, but are in a small closet against the garage along with recycle/waste cans.  The short lengths to the aircard do not allow exterior placement, and we've seen what extension attempts have done -- although I could try hardwiring an extension so the line would reach.  However, your techs have mentioned antenna extensions using coax (no connectors needed) that would seem to help.  At the very least, this high gain 24 inch disk would look bad but should at least work.  My hope is for the less visually intrusive antenna that I could mount high in the exterior eave of the garage roof.

    If you're not willing to help me find a workable solution, I will attempt some myself.  Obviously, I would prefer your assistance and counsel beyond the above.

    jim

     

     

  • Avatar
    Metweddle

    Im getting green and three reds, now what??????

  • Avatar
    Greg Trzaska

    I received the unit and installed. We had green, green, red, green during initial test. After we decided it works (it was tested) we disconnected and reconnected. Now we just get green and red red red. Please advise. Thank you.

  • Avatar
    Darren Harris

    If you fail to get a solid green please refer to this article for troubleshooting tips.

    GREEN, RED, GREEN, GREEN (or any sequence after a second blink RED) indicates the aircard is unable to communicate with a cell tower. Investigate the mounting location and move to a more suitable location, primarily looking to move the aircard vertically.

    GREEN, GREEN, RED, GREEN - indicates the cellular signal in this area is poor. Follow steps for above TOWER issue to resolve.

  • Avatar
    Roy

    The dashboard web page for my controller reports Signal Strength which varies considerably from time to time. Is this the strength of the cellular signal or the strength of the wireless signal from the SLW5?

  • Avatar
    Matt Shreves

    It is the strength of the cellular communication from the AirCard to the tower.

Please sign in to leave a comment.