Technology Blog

Problems configuring iot through your App -Example Adax Wifi heaters

adax neo wifi smart electric radiator ebay iconsToday you can purchase a lot of different devices that fall under the category "Internet of Things". Examples hereunder are camerasystems, heatingsystems, internet mesh systems, audiosystems, and so on.

The idea is often that you configure these devices via an App on your smartphone and you start by installing the App on your mobile, and follow the instructions, and viola, it should all be working, right ?

In my experience configuring such iot devices might not always be as straight forward as described in the little leaflet, which can be quite frustrating.

I have several times ran into problems where the installation of the App goes well, and I am allowed to begin the configuration just to experience that the Phone App hangs or crashes midway through the installation.

 

So, what causes this problem, and how do I get around it ?

 

In my experience, most times I have got into problems during this installation phase have been caused by the same problem which I will describe below.

 

As an example I will use the installation and configuration of ADAX Neo WIFI panel heaters.

When I have installed the Adax App and created an account on my phone  (in my case an Android Phone) I want to start adding each device to this account.

  • Typically I then turn on the new device and it enter into configuration mode by default.
  • I then in the phoneapp go to "ADD DEVICE".
  • The new Adax device will (while in the configuration mode) create its own WIFI network which the phone automatically finds and connect to. (The SSID/Network name would be something like: SH-ADAX-XXXXX).
  • The Phone App is now connected to the device and are able to configure this heater.
  • I then follow the instructions, and the App configure the new device with the wifi settings of my internet network, and name of this heater, and finally set it into operational mode beside the other heaters (if any) under the same account. At this point the Adax heater will disable its own wifi network, and connect to your main WIFI network.

 

In my experience the following events take place:

  1. My phone does connect to the new Adax heaters wifi network as expected.
  2. While I am in the process of configuring the new device, my phone detect that my Adax heater does not give the phone access to the internet.
  3. My phone then midway through the configuration disconnect from the Adax heaters WIFI, and reconnect to my home WIFI which has internet access.
  4. As a result the App have lost connection to the Adax heater before it has finished the configuration, and hence the application fails, hangs or crashes.
  5. The Adax heater has been left in limbo, and has not connected to my home network, furthermore it is no longer in default configuration mode.

 

WHY DOES THE PHONE DO THIS?

The phone wrongly assume that you always want access to the internet, and therefore connect to what it believe is a "better" WIFI network.

 

SO, WHAT DO I DO TO GET AROUND THIS?

Before I start adding a new Adax heater I simply "forget" all other wifi networks in my home. Hence the phone has not got any other networks to change to.

Now the phone will stay on the Adax heater configuration network, and will complete the configuration undisturbed. At some time during this configuration the App will ask for the accesscode for your home network. As soon as you enter that code, then the Adax heater (and your phone) will connect to your home network and the configuration will complete.

 

If I want to install yet another Adax device, I will therefore again have to first "forget" my other WIFI networks. Unfortunately I will have to do this before every new device I add.

 

HOW TO FACTORY RESET THE ADAX HEATER

If you got to the point that the App crashed or was hanging midway through the installation/configuration, then you will have to look up how to factory reset your Adax heater so as to get this device back into configuration mode. Otherwise you will not be able to connect this to your app.

Factory reset of Adax Neo WIFI panel heaters can be done as follows:

  • Hold “+” “-” and “ok” until the display flashes with “rE” with a quick flash and then displays 20 degrees in the display.
  • You can verify that the device is in configuration mode by checking that there is a wifi network available with a name like "SH-ADAX-XXXXX" or similar.

 

More info on Adax WIFI enabled devices:

Adax Wifi guide: https://adax-solaire.co.uk/manuals/AdaxWiFiGuide.pdf

For more info on Adax Panel heaters: https://adax.no/en/wi-fi/

 

FINAL THOUGHTS:

Unfortunately I have experienced this problem on many different IOT systems from different vendors such as Netgear, Linksys, and others, so this problem is not unique to Adax, and does not give any indication on the quality of their products.

I have since 2018 been using close to 20 Adax heaters in two different homes and are very happy with them so far.

Black screen, spinning wheel when reboot

I suddenly started getting a strange problem on my Windows 10 desktop computer.

Often after an update/upgrade, you are asked to reboot the computer to finish the update/upgrade.

When I then go ahead and initiate the reboot the computer then hang on the restart with a black screen and that little spinning wheel

2020 11 10 loading screen.circle

After a lot of grief I found that this was caused by an external USB device.

I do use a Logitech Cordless Mouse, and the USB adapter for this was causing the problem.

Simply unplug the usb adapter for the mouse, and viola my computer continued the boot cycle.

 

I will have to look deeper into this to see if there is a workaround so I dont have to unplug this everytime I reboot the computer, but for the time being this is a workable solution.

 

Funnily enough, this problem only happen when I reboot the computer. If I turn off the computer, and then turn it on again, then the computer does not hang on boot.

Approval of an article in Joomla prior to publishing this

Occationally when I add a new article to a customers Joomla website I want to be able to let my customer approve this article prior to publishing this.

As there are no obvious workflow for sending an article for approval to a non-registered user, I needed to find a way to solve this.

You can achieve this as follows:

1) Write your article, and set the "status" to archived

2) Look at the url in the browser and the articleID should be at the very end of the url. (Alternatively, you can find the articleID in the CONTENT-ARTICLES within Joomla Admin)

3) ReCreate your unique URL

The URL should have the following form: https://demo.jodp.net/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=[31]

(tailor your url accordingly. In the above example you can see that the article ID is "31", and my demosite is on the url "https://demo.jodp.net")

Slow Joomla Administrator interface

I recently came across a new problem on one of the Joomla websites I manage.

Whereas the frontend (what a visitor see) of the Joomla site was as fast as ever, the Joomla backend administrator interface was suddenly paintakingly slow.

With slow I mean that e.g. login to the site which normally takes a few seconds now took several minutes, and might even fail alltogether.

Google Search

My first stop was to do a quick Google search to see if there was an obvious solution. Without success here I therefore decided to have a quick look at the installation itself.

Login to cPanel

2018 02 22 cPanelMy second stop was to login to the webhosting cPanel of the site in question, and see if there was anything unusual.

Within the cPanel I had a quick look at the database.

The reason for doing so, was that I a few times in the past have experienced that problems with Joomla sites could be due to a database curruption of some kind.

I instantly noticed that the database size was a staggering 950Mb in size. Typically a Joomla site like the one in question would only have a database between 5Mb - 10Mb depending on the amount of content.

phpMyAdmin

I therefore decided to investigate a bit further and entered phpMyAdmin to look at the tables within the database.

When looking at the database tables, I simply ordered these based on the size of the database tables, and found straight away that it was the "xxxx_session" table that was the culprit.

This table alone counted for about 98% of the total database size.

 

This table is storing temporary session information, and should be emptied automatically at regular intervals.

Obviously, this had not been emptied automatically, so I was bold enough to simply press the "empty" button on that table to clear out the whole table.

To completely empty this table might of course have a negative effect, but the problem itself for me outweighed this.

 

As soon as this table was emptied the admin interface was back to it old self again, working flawlessly and lightning fast again.

 

So, now I just have to monitor the site and the database table in question over the next few days to see if this table build itself up again. If so, then I have some more troubleshooting to do.

Blank mainpage on SecurityCheckPro after upgrade

I yesterday experienced a blank mainpage for SecurityCheckPro in the Joomla backend.

As this happened after an upgrade where also SecurityCheckPro was updated I assumed that there was a bug in SecurityCheckPro.

I then did a rollback to the previous version of SecurityCheckPro only to find that the problem was still there.

I therefore started to look at the other items that was upgraded at the same time, and simply uninstalled these one by one until I found the culprit that conflicted with SecurityCheckPro.

After uninstalling the Joomla extension called "Advanced Module Manager" by Regular Labs, I was again able to access the SecurityCheckPro frontpage.

So for the moment I left the AMM uninstalled, and notified the SCP developer of my findings.

The developer since issued a fix for SCP which will be in the next release. After trying this I verified that this issue seem to be solved.

 

More info in the SCP forum:

http://tinyurl.com/gns8er3

 

More info on the software and extensions mentioned:

Joomla

SecurityCheckPro

Advanced Module Manager

 

How to fix 100% disk usage in Windows

gaasen windows disk 100percentSeveral people are experiencing a painstakingly slow computer after the latest upgrade to Windows 10. When looking in the task manager they find that the disk usage is "stuck" at 100% even though hardly any processes are running.

 

If you are experiencing something similar, then simply press "ctrl-alt-delete" and then open the Task Manager to view if this the problem on your computer as well.

 

There are many things that could cause this problem, but in my experience most cases are solved with these three remedies:

 

1) Stop and Disable "Windows Search" in services.msc

a) Click search icon or click on the windows log in your bottom left corner.

b) Write in "services.msc" and then click enter to open Services.

c) Locate "Windows Search"

d) Rightclick "Windows Search"and then leftclick on "Properties".

e) Change "Startup Type" to Disabled

f) Stop the service

g) Click "apply" and "Ok"

 

2) Stop and Disable "Superfetch" in services.msc

a) Click search icon or click on the windows log in your bottom left corner.

b) Write in "services.msc" and then click enter to open Services.

c) Locate "Superfetch"

d) Rightclick "Superfetch" and then leftclick on "Properties".

e) Change "Startup Type" to Disabled

f) Stop the service

g) Click "apply" and "Ok"

 

UPDATE 11/12/2019:

After Microsoft released Windows version 1809 the superfetch service was renamed to SysMain.

If you previously disabled Superfetch as per above, then please note that this deactivation is now gone, and the replacement SysMain, is now active and enabled, and might cause problems for you.

You therefore have to go through the steps again, and this time deactivate the service called SysMain.

 

Finally, I after deactivating Superfetch/SysMain I will recommend you to reboot the computer a couple of times to check if this has solved your problem.

If the problem still exist, then go to the next step below.

 

3) Stop and Disable "BITS - Background Intelligent Transfer Service" in services.msc

a) Click search icon or click on the windows log in your bottom left corner.

b) Write in "services.msc" and then click enter to open Services.

c) Locate "Background Intelligent Transfer Service"

d) Rightclick "Windows Search"and then leftclick on "Properties".

e) Change "Startup Type" to Disabled

f) Stop the service

g) Click "apply" and "Ok"

 

4) Change Page File Sizes

a) Click search icon or click on the windows log in your bottom left corner.

b) Write in "control panel" and then click enter to open the old fashioned Control Panel from previous version of Windows.

c) Click on "System".

d) Click on "Advanced System Settings" on the left.

e) Click on "Settings" in the Performance box.

f) Click on "Advanced" tab.

g) Click on "Change" in the Virtual Memory Box.

h) Click on "Custom Size"

i) You will now have two boxes to fill. (Initial Size, and Maximum Size)

What you insert here is depending on the amount of RAM you have on your computer.

        If you e.g. have 4GB of Ram, then you need to insert 4 x 1024 = 4096 (in the initial size box), and then double that at 8192 in the Maximum Size box.

        If you e.g. have 8GB of Ram, then you need to insert 8 x 1024 = 8192 (in the initial size box), and then double that at 16384 in the Maximum Size box.

j) When you have inserted your values, then click "Set", and finally click "OK"

k) Click "OK" on the next couple of boxes to close these.

l) Reboot the computer.

 

 

When the computer now start up again, the problem is hopefully fixed.

(Sometimes, I find that all these measures only kick in after 2-3 reboots. Not sure why, but think it must be some sort of queueing going on.....)

In my experience the above measures should sort most such problems, but should the problem however still be there, then I would advice to look at the following url's for some further suggestions:

 

http://tinyurl.com/hl28s5q

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/id-2813275/disk-usage-100.html