Launch a range extender or upgrade to mesh network

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Comments

  • @Rob You reply is very much appreciated. Hopefully it matters to you if I weigh in with a couple of viewing points I gathered during my career as a fellow developer/company-owner:

    The small but significant minority you refer to, are the voices that make them self heard. That group is always a lot bigger than you expect it to be.

    1. There are the customers that silently suffer.
    2. The ones that return their Tado purchases.
    3. The people that decided up front to go for a different brand that offers solutions for these range problems.
    4. And many more.

    By investing in development for a hardware solution i.e. a range-extender or multiple hubs, you wil gain so much more than just the gratitude of those minor few.

    1. It would make the Tado brand interesting for larger homes and commercial buildings. Not only wil it expand the sales area with at least 500%, those are the ones that have the largest budget.
    2. Those minor few are most certainly more important than just the small number of sales they represent. They are most likely the most technical-minded users. They are the ones the vast majority turns to for advice...
    3. You will gain trust of the vast majority, one of the most important aspects of any commercial company.

    These are just some highlights of what comes to mind in this range-extender issue. The list of arguments that call for offering more serious support in this matter is way longer than this.

    A personal issue I'm having is that Tado is repeatedly pointing to the option of returning the purchase "no questions asked" within a month. But with 17 radiators I initially started with automating just 3 of them. It turned out it worked nice, so over time I started to expand and only then started to notice the fundamental performance issues. By then, time had passed and returning all my Tado equipment was no longer an option. I truly wish you'd offer me the option to return it.

  • Robbie
    Robbie ✭✭
    edited November 2021

    Actually Rob, while I think about this, you never even used the word range-extender hahahha. You know that's what is being requested right?

    The only reply Tado keeps giving is that we (the small group in this thread) is not profitable enough for you. That's rough to hear after having spend so much money and effort :(

  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭
    Thanks @rob,
    I agree with what @Robbie said.
    Many will suffer in silence as they don't understand what to do or where to look.
    I also find that even though the tado room temperature graph is some days complete it hides delayed on/off problems, clearly the valves buffer some data which then hides the real drop out from the graph.
    I also started with a handful of valves which worked faultlessly but then when I got to 18 valves it starts to fail and the return option had gone.
    You mention the bridge is at the legal power limit, would adding an external larger antenna help as this surely could be easier to implement?!
    Thanks.
  • Ok here’s a silly idea, make a more powerful network bridge? If you can’t make a mesh, sell a bridge at the max power allowed. 🤷‍♂️
  • @stevearmstrong they've already said it's at the legal maximum allowed power :(
  • I am also seeing these range issues - a partial solution I have found is to use two tado controllers (on two different accounts) and Apple HomeKit.

    On the main hub I have several valves, - wireless receiver on boiler and a wireless sensor. This is the primary system.

    On second hub I have some more valves. This is the secondary system.

    you do need two phones or log in and out of tado app to do this. Then connect them both to Apple HomeKit - same apple account.

    This let’s you see all rooms and temperatures - you can set temperatures in the apple app. However the secondary system will not make the call for heat on the boiler. So then set apple automation to trigger the wireless sensor on the primary system when one of the valves on secondary falls below or above the set thresholds.

    This is a pain - as need Apple HomeKit (with an Apple TV to enable the automations to run) and you can not see all devices in the tado app.

    I think I can do something similar with openHAB smart home system - will play around with that at some point.

    I can not understand why Tado don’t do this on their cloud backend - clearly the APIs are available as Apple and openHAB use them. This does not need new hardware or clever mesh networking. Just some software development.
  • @Rob

    Thank you for this transparent reply. It was long overdue.

    A personal experience about the remark that you will see the problems immediately after purchase, so you can return the tado if it doesn't work:

    Tado was a big upfront cost, and I added valves over time. It was when I bought the last batch, and already far invested in the Tado system that I noticed the furthest valve was acting up on occasion

  • Rob
    Rob | Admin
    edited November 2021

    @Robbie @Pete @Painy

    I understand that when you start with a small batch of devices and extend your setup with more devices over time, the 'simply return it if it does not work' line does not work for you. I guess my advice to NEW customers would be: always start testing at the radiators (and/or thermostat locations) that are at the edges of your home. Basically the furthest away from the Bridge. Within your free return period. If it works reliably, tado° works for you. If, after some troubleshooting, you cannot make this work reliably, the current hardware is basically not compatible with your home. For EXISTING customers who are expanding their setup, so basically you guys, it is not as easy. But, honestly, there is nothing we can do in cases like these but develop new hardware.

    you never even used the word range-extender hahahha. You know that's what is being requested right?

    I realize I never literally mentioned this. However, I think a range extender falls within the 'New generations of hardware' subject I did mention. I don't know what kind of hardware our engineers want to develop to solve the issue. They are looking at multiple options. There is no almost-ready-for-market prototype. I don't know if it will be a range extender or something else. Which is why I kept it a little vague. What I do know is that it is a topic that gets a lot of priority.

    The small but significant minority you refer to, are the voices that make them self heard. That group is always a lot bigger than you expect it to be

    Absolutely true. But we have more sources of information than just the forum. Most users receive a questionnaire from us, 30 days after a new installation. Many others n years after installation. In these questionnaires customers tell us what they (dis)like about tado°, and we learn from this and use it to quantify issues. Most are simply positive, some offer criticism. Among the criticism, this (range/connection issues) is the biggest issue. We have customers contacting support with this issue. We can even look at (anonymized) data from our whole customer base, and actually see how many devices lose connection at least x minutes per period y. Like I said in my long initial post: "This is easily the most common issue our customers have with our product, so it is very much a concern to us." You can be sure that customer-facing tado° employees make it very clear within the company that this is the biggest issue we face. Of note as well is that I, and especially Jurian, are not your typical junior or even senior support agents. We have our connections and leverage and we are very much not silent. The company is aware of the issues and is dealing with them. Due to lack of information I simply cannot be more concrete than what I write here and what I wrote yesterday.

  • so tado no longer give a 12 month return guarantee?

  • @Elisabeth The 12 month Energy Savings Guarantee is still on their website.


  • Totally agree,

    Same problem with a 19 tado elements house on 5 levels.

    If a 6LoWPAN range extender (or repeater) is not possible/difficult to develop, then the easy solution is to allow a secondary internet bridge on the same tado house.

    Function: to route received frames to main one using internet (or LAN). Same thing in main one, must send broadcasted radio frames, to the secondary internet bridge to boradcast them. No need to repeat Radio ones from master internet bridge.

    Is a firmware solution only, and involves only basic IP communication!!!

    Thank you,

    Alexis

  • I find that hard to believe that it’s not possible to have more than one internet bridge. If I’m reading as you are saying it’s 6LoWPAN which I’m guessing means you are addressing each device by the IPv6 address you have assigned it. If the internet bridge is only that a bridge then it sounds like a software issue on your servers to have a “child” bridge that is placed closer to the ones dropping out.

    Moving past the physical limitations as it seems those can’t be avoided, it seems this is a limitation as to how the devices are addressed and managed Tado server side.

    What’s the limitation there and what investigations have been made to trying to allow for more bridges to be deployed.
  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭

    @stevearmstrong I'm sure you are right.

    Truth is that the Tado are focussed on basic, cosmetic style development.

    I assume this must be down to a lack of resource in the in-house team.

    They are spending their time creating superficial features like the 'care and protect' and 'energy saving' reporting which no one really asked for.

    The idea of a non cosmetic, significant change is sadly too much to ask.

    Such a shame as a repurposed bridge would not be particularly difficult to implement but it feels as though this kind of development is off limits to the current team, perhaps a lack of in house skills and/or an unwillingness to invest in the product.

    😥

  • Tado-Rob’s replies were clear. For Tado it has never been a technical issue, but a financial one. We, the group of users with these connectivity issues, is too small to make/lose money on. They will not free up any recourses for this.

    Discussing any possible technical solutions has been done for 8 pages worth of posts in this topic alone. But in the past 4 years there hasn’t been any progress… It will not happen, and it’s not even clear if there will be any new hardware with backward compatibility.

    Tado, @Rob, why not just compensate that small group of users by offering a refund. It’s a cheap lesson learned, way cheaper than developing a solution. A lesson to offer better documentation and guidance for new users to prevent this small group of disappointed people from existing.
  • Robbie
    Robbie ✭✭
    edited November 2021

    I forget to mention, @Rob , I really do appreciate your extensive reply. You have clearly put in some thoughts and effort to finally give a more clear in-dept reaction. The problem (especially for the group that is expanding in batches) is not being dealt with in any way though. I would like to invite you to think with us looking in to any possible solution/compensation for the group of people that is sadly effected by this shortcoming of the product.

    I hope to hear from you.

  • Rob
    Rob | Admin

    Some people here claim that we 'don't care'. This is not true. The proposed solutions are just not as simple as they might appear. I expect most people recognize this from their own work. When you talk to a friend or family member, they might grossly underestimate the complexity or amount of work that goes into what your company does. That's the same thing here.

    @Robbie

    Refunds, if any, would be given on an individual basis. I certainly cannot make any blanket statements. I honestly do understand your perspective. I hope you also understand our perspective that when a customer accepts how a device works in its first month and there is no degradation of performance over time, then the device works as expected. There are exceptions to every rule, which is why I mentioned the 'individual basis' part. Contact support for this though. To be clear: I cannot make any promises about the outcome.

    I also want to point out what @what_a_tado wrote: That "Energy Savings Guarantee" is active and is a 'no questions asked' guarantee, as long as you meet the requirements. Which are rather friendly; invoice >6 months and <1 year old for heating products. Period. You don't need to prove any kind of shortcomings. Also see this article for more details. If you are eligible for this, then you don't even need to contact support in any other way than what is described in the article I linked to.

  • Thanks Rob for your time. You took care of a large part of my frustrations of “me not feeling valued as a customer”.

    I do hope dev department can pick up the speed. From an outside view it appears quite slow. Specially when waiting/hoping for a long overdue solution.

    Have a nice day
  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭
    edited November 2021

    My latest attempt at improving reception.

    See photo, this actually works rather well.

    The dished foil faces the approximate location of the bridge.

    Only downside is that my wife doesn't like it.


  • Perhaps draw a smiley face on it to please the misses hahaha

    Mounting the thermostat horizontal could make difference. All depends on how desperately you want it to work
  • I live on a boat with a steel walled engine room in the middle. I've got a Tado thermostat but won't be getting anything else until this problem is resolved.

  • Doesn’t Drayton wiser offer a range extender?

  • Thanks everyone for all your efforts in having our voice heard.

    I have 5 Tado devices in my house with big walls and I already have problems making the 6th work (I need to buy 10 more after this one). With absolutely no visibility coming from Tado I am sending them all back Monday morning. Sadly.

    I have now no hope that the issue will be solved any time soon and this whole story made me realize that I was about to invest in a company or a product that might eventually disappear. I will sadly go and buy a big name rather than a startup.
  • 777Steve
    777Steve
    edited November 2021
    Spent £600 over the weekend on a Tado setup. Most of it arriving tomorrow. We have a 1970’s thick walled 6 bedroom house. I’m not going to even bother trying it after reading these comments and will send it straight back for a refund. I had plans to buy another 6 stats too. Disappointing as I was looking forward to modernising my heating and hot water.
  • cbd20
    cbd20 | Moderator
    @Rob referring to your earlier comment that range issues typically manifest themselves immediately and don't degrade over time...

    I have had rock solid connectivity for around a year. However in the last few weeks I've had two radiator thermostats repeatedly drop offline. One of these even had new batteries installed and the drop-outs still occurred. My setup has not changed and the bridge is in the exact same spot it's always been. We've not added any new home devices that would cause interference either.

    I'm at a loss to explain why I've suddenly developed connectivity drop-outs... Far from ideal now we're rolling into winter. It does make me wonder if in some cases the "improved" firmware has actually made things worse?
  • Rob
    Rob | Admin
    edited November 2021

    The comment of @777Steve illustrates why I wrote before that the vast, vast majority of customers have no issues with range. And a small minority does have issues.

    The issues that some people face are very real, and are something we do take very serious. However, the idea that the prevalence of these issues is very high is not true. People without range issues do not comment about range issues on forums. This seems like superfluous information in a topic about range issues, but people research products online (and rightfully so), so a bit of context is important.

    @cbd20

    When performance degrades over time, there is either an issue with the device (warranty?) or there is a change in situation. The latter could be caused by something you didn't even notice, like the placement of a non-tado device close by which also transmits radio waves or a (slight) change of position of the Internet Bridge.

    If you notice what you just mentioned, I'd do the following:

    1. Swap a radiator thermostat (A) that has issues with one (B) that does not have issues. Do the problems follow device A, or do they stay at a specific radiator? If they move with the device, there seems to be an issue with the device. If they stay at the radiator, there is something else going wrong.
    2. Contact support if the problems persist. If you describe the steps you have taken in my point 1. then the troubleshooting steps might go faster.
  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭
    @Rob @cbd20
    My experience is similar. Sometimes connectivity is great for a prolonged period. Other times it has constant problems, I've often wondered if it is weather related?!
    The possibility of interference is an interesting area. Is there a device that I could purchase which would help me identify interference, ie some kind of meter or software which could record any interfering signals so I can see where they come from?
  • GrayDav4276
    GrayDav4276 ✭✭✭
    edited November 2021
    @Rob
    There still seems to be a reluctance on behalf of Tado to "believe" your own customers......also do you not believe that @cbd20 has already thought about the obvious course of actions that you have "offered" as a method of determining what the issue may be.
    Plus.....it is a valid point (made by @cbd20) to suggest that Tado Firmware upgrades can /have caused some customers systems to "appear" to have become less stable in operation.
  • @Rob you are right - We have a large 19th century house with with very thick internal and external stone walls. We have 14 Tado TRVs and various thermostats and never have an issue with any devices disconnecting.
    We also have many Zigbee and Z-wave devices (Z-wave is the same frequency as Tado?), so would expect interference from these to be an issue but it is not.
    What else could cause a few people issues, but not most? Very strange.
  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭
    The truth is that Tado NEED a repeater.
    The only question is WHEN?
    Do they wait a few years damaging the business and their long term prospects OR do they start work on this now (and indicate that commitment publicly).
    All the talk of managing communication issues, returning product, etc,etc is nothing more than a business false economy "sticking plaster".
    Sorry to be blunt, but Tado need to get their act together before the business starts going backwards.