Wifi signal & AC line quality


#1

being a new user to sense and wanting this product to be the very best it can be, I read through some of the rants about device detection… trying to develop my own expectations of the product is difficult when I don’t know where my equipment and operation lies with relation to everyone else, both people that have had success and those that haven’t… so that leads me to a wishful thought…

  1. wifi signal strength
  2. AC line noise/quality

both of these outputs are already being monitored in some fashion, since I’ve heard that support staff can look through data and report to client that lines are too noisy or wifi signal is too weak… so from a customer/client point of view, why not tell me up front and before I have to be at the point of aggravation and unload my thoughts on support staff… you could make it a simple 4-part scale poor/fair/good/excellent or a %… the figures could be put on the sense monitor details pages (settings - home - sense monitor)… wifi signal with the wifi card and AC line noise/quality with the signals card… this would give each customer/client a gauge by which they could monitor the quality of their setup and create better expectations inline with what they have to work with…

if these were live readings/values, one could even use it to diag or even improve their setup… all by taking a load off support staff and reducing the amount of “bad press”… I know from my point of view, my analytical mind is trying to determine the status of my setup… the sense monitor is not likely to have the same wifi chip that is in my phone or tablet (since both are dual band and sense is not) to judge wifi signal by… and my electrical meters don’t give me AC line noise/quality…

but the sense monitor already has that info… I just need to see it…

I didn’t see this on the wish list already, sorry if its already being addressed or if this is a duplicate…


#2

I can log into my home router and see the received signal strength from all my devices, including my Sense monitor. Perhaps your router shows this information also.

The received signal strength from my Sense monitor is -74dbm. This is lower than recommended, but it has not given problems.

I am contemplating a higher gain antenna for the monitor. Anybody have a recommendation?


#3

Any old 2.4GHz patch antenna with a RP-SMA connector and pigtail ought to do the trick. Do be aware the FCC equipment authorization will be void if you do this, though. It seems like your panel must be pretty far from your AP if the supplied rubber duck antenna is only giving you a -74.


#4

Thanks for the antenna info.

My Sense monitor is about 20 feet from my AP. The monitor is outside the house. The direct line from AP to monitor goes through

  • the back side of a wooden cabinet
  • a 4” internal wall with fiberglass insulation (drywall on one side, 3/4” wood plank on the other)
  • a second wall, similar to the first
    -an external 4” wall with drywall, fiberglass insulation, plywood sheeting, and Hardie Board siding
  • a pvc enclosure containing the monitor with its directly attached antenna (no cable).

I assume that the pvc enclosure causes little attenuation, but I have no real information on the subject.


#5

If it physically fits your installation, something like this ought to work:

The materials you’ve mentioned don’t sound like big time RF attenuators to me. Could there be a layer of foil-backed insulation in the wall? Maybe the hardie plank is doing it…


#6

I can’t see signal from my router… actually I have a high tech setup… SB6190 cable modem, into a pfSense router, then into a 16-port GbE unmanaged switch… then from there, my wifi is (4) TP-Link Deco M5s running as APs, and my wired network is of course directly into the switch…

my internet service is Xfinity/Comcast, 175Mbps down and 6Mbps up… I monitor my the cable modem and if any 2 of the 4up/32down channels get to over 1k uncorrectable errors or any 1 channel over 10k, I recycle the modem and “freshen” up the connections… pfSense will report packet frags or QOS issues, but since its not my wifi router directly, it has no signal info… the TP-Link Deco M5s in AP mode are useless for monitoring anything as AP mode disables all parental controls and other snazy features… but they do their job, I can get 75Mbps test results anywhere on my land (approx 5700sqft lot) and in most parts of the house I’m getting over 100Mbps without issue… that’s with my already high use as I have 4 TVs - all with chromecast & rokus, 6 PCs, 1 Laptop, 2 Tablets, 3 chromebooks, 6 phones, 1 home media server with DVR, 1 HomeRun Prime 3-tuner cable unit for DVR functions, 2 foscam HD cameras recording 24/7 to media server through FTP, and other sorted devices like xbox, wii u, nest thermostat & smoke/co2 alarms, raspberry pi running 3d printer & retro games, wifi plug/switches, printers, scanners, etc… I’m loaded up and very plugged in… all streaming household, no blu-ray players except on my video editing setup… then there’s the stuff outside, rinnai tankless water heater with wifi, my SunPower monitor and my sense…

I’m currently wiring for full backhaul on all 4 Deco M5s… right now, only one is connected, so being the others are all wireless, I like what I see and should get all 175Mbps once they are all backhauled to the LAN…

my sense is about 10ft from the closest Deco M5, and only 1 exterior wall to go through… the sense antenna is exterior to power box using extension & mount supplied in kit… so the signal should be golden… but you don’t truly know until you look at it through the devices’ eyes… or antenna setup… that’s the only true reading… even from a router, its only one side of the signal path… but good to know that there are routers out there that give that info… my setup is for security, I monitor everything on my network and manage my work network through VPN… I recently switched to the Deco M5s, I have apartments on all sides of my property and a school across the street… so I have a lot of signals to cut through… my answer was to beef up my network with a strong mesh wifi… TP-Link doesn’t disappoint… there are some features I gave up from my old system, but the Deco M5s do it right… I can stand next to an external wall to the apartments next door and I get a solid 75-100Mbps, so no complaints there…

my suggestion was more for those that were having so many issues… in my mind, its good business to provide wifi signal & ac line noise/quality up front… it would help everyone… IMHO…


#7

Would be nice to have these documented in the app (IP, signal strength, connection to sense servers, etc) so that we can help in troubleshooting and information sharing with others experiencing issues

Sorry originally I mentioned the firmware version, but looks like that is already listed on the about page


Network Signal Strength Indication
#8

It would be nice to see a Received Signal Strength Indicator/ dBm value in the Sense monitor settings. This would help troubleshoot wifi placement issues etc. This value may be viewed from some access points, but having it accessible directly from the Sense settings would be helpful.


#9

It would be nice to see a Received Signal Strength Indicator/ dBm value in the Sense monitor settings. This would help troubleshoot wifi placement issues etc. This value may be viewed from some access points, but having it accessible directly from the Sense settings would be helpful.