Internet Of Things - IoT

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.