Replacement Sense Device continuously drops WiFi connection

My Sense device failed with a hardware problem after three years of service (would not power on and/or bluetooth failure).

The replacement device is installed in the same location as the old, but it will not maintain a stable WiFi connection. The connection drops almost exactly every 15 minutes, then reconnects immediately. The Sense app reports the Signal Check setup process has not progressed past 0% and the voltage indicators are blank. The Sense Network test reports satisfactory results.

The previous Sense device did not have an unstable WiFi connection. Nothing has changed in my home WiFi network (no firmware updates, etc).

Sense Support recommended I block the Sense device from attempting to connect to an alternate WiFi access point in my home by using MAC filtering.

Instead, I disconnected the the second access point. This forced all clients, including Sense, to connect to a single access point. My home WiFi network has two WiFi SSID’s (WiFi names are different): One SSID with 2.4 Ghz only and the other 2.4 / 5 Ghz. After power cycling, Sense connected successfully to the AP and the Sense network test showed satisfactory results.

The 15 minute disconnect/reconnects continue. My network controller reports no other WiFi disconnects, including WiFi devices near the Sense device.

Next, I moved the Sense WiFi antenna from the knock-out hole below the main electrical panel outside the house to inside. I also replaced the antenna and cable with new items provided by Sense. The WiFi signal improved, but the connects/disconnects continue.

I re-enabled the access point near the Sense device and created a unique 2.4 Ghz network. The access point is 4 feet from the Sense WiFi antenna and Sense is the only device connected to the AP and SSID. The Sense Network test reports satisfactory results.

I’ve tested WiFi network settings such as DTIM, RSSI, Fast Roaming, GTK rekeying, PMF, disable WPA3, AP Firmware upgrade, etc.

Sense Device:
Version 1.33.3213-e4779ce6-master
No trouble with IP address, DNS
Signal Strength -37db
Upload/Download speed good.
Network reports Sense traffic to/from internet/AWS, etc

I believe I’ve done all I can to provide the Sense device with a sufficient and stable WiFi signal. Also, it’s the only device showing up in logs as connecting/disconnecting and the previous device did not have trouble.

Thoughts?

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I was a Network Engineer with BNR, MCI, and MebTel. been retired for 10 years but what this tells me is the network clock is not working and causing CRC errors. you may want to get your provider to check the network.

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Thanks for the tip.

The Sense app Network Test reports “Network time 2021-09-25 14:44:44 UTC synchronized with server at time.sensehome.com:123.” I can ping this server.

My network controller is configured with a pool of 4 NTP servers. I’m able to ping each of them successfully as well.

I can’t check the internet provider fiber modem for time server configuration. I suspect if time sync there were wrong, I would see lots of other issues with day-to-day network/internet activity.

I don’t see high levels of dropped packets nor high access point retries.

The other issue I just learned about is that the Sense monitor may go off-line if the WiFi signal is too strong!!

The recommended range is -30 to -70 (dbm); the support staff looked at issues I was having and reported that my WiFi signal strength was often -27 … and that the WiFi chipped can get over-saturated and go off-line.

I ran the Sense network test myself (twice) and got -31 and -33 … close to the maximum recommended. I then moved a metal plate to partially cover (~ 1/4 of end of) the antenna, resulting in a -40 reading via the built-in network test.

Hopefully that will cure the drop-outs I was having from a too-strong signal.

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