Radiator Thermostats out of Range

124

Answers

  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭
    @gypsyIT
    WiFi is too power hungary for battery devices.
  • surely the Internet bridge that the battery devices connect to is also wiFi ?

  • johnbur
    johnbur ✭✭✭
    No, Tado is 868Mhz, not WiFi
    https://support.tado.com/en/articles/3557440-how-does-the-tado-internet-bridge-communicate-with-other-tado-devices
  • Bearing in mind that all that is needed is a slave internet bridge linked to the master via the house internet, no need to repeat the 868mhz signal, it should be simple to fix this problem. Most of the code will already exist. It can not be good to have all this bad publicity. Whilst I'm here, two other things I need:
    A) internet bridge mounting bracket
    B) a boiler weather compensator for on/off boilers - I have had to program my own. This alone saves more money than the rest of the gubbins. It needs the external temperature (measured or internet) and the go and return flow temperatures from simple wired db18b20 sensors. It calculates the set points to reduce the flow temperature as the weather warms up and ensure condensing. Dead simple on/off boiler control and a much more comfortable house.
  • Allowing several bridges on the same account would be ideal...
    Devices could register to their local IB and the software dispatch the command to the correct IB....
    Mesh radio would kill the battery, but the IBs are powered so all good!
    Please tado implement multi Internet Bridge support and sake the IB as accessories...
    This lack of signal coverage is a big oversight / design flaw!
  • I’ve just made a post about orientation in a bungalow as opposed to a house. I had similar problems until I positioned the bridge horizontally instead of vertically. All my “no remote access” problems went away.
  • johnbur
    johnbur ✭✭✭

    It's strange isn't it? I live in a large sprawling farmhouse with very thick stone internal and external walls, and never get a single disconnect from 14 trvs all around the house. Have been running for over three years now. Using cheapie batteries used to be an issue, but sticking to Duracell Ultras has solved that.

    Could there be other external interference in some houses that causes this issue for those reporting here?

  • blag
    blag
    edited November 2021
    I am encountering dropout issues. I live in a 16th C. Italian stone-built tower on 4 floors. I've given up trying to get all radiators on 4 floors to work, so I'm trying to eliminate dropouts on just 3 floors.

    The Internet Bridge is on the middle floor of the remaining three floors, and is as near to the centre of the house as I can get it.

    There seems to be no pattern to the dropouts, apart from the fact that one valve, which is one floor and almost directly below the Internet Bridge consistently fails to connect. This is bizarre, because another valve on the same floor, but twice as far away works consistently, as does one in a shower room under the concrete stairs. The troublesome valve is mounted horizontally, whilst the other two on the same floor are mounted vertically. Can this be part of the problem?

    Pity there is no way to extend or reinforce the range of the Internet Bridge.

    Bizarrely, tech support at tado suggested that an additional mesh repeater located on the same floor as the recalcitrant valve might cure the problem, but in reality, the WiFi signal at the valve is consistently quite good!

    I may return the valves. This system seems likely to be unsuitable for my house.
  • cbd20
    cbd20 | Moderator
    I added smart radiator thermostats to my tado system a little over a year ago. When I first installed them I had problems with one in the kitchen dropping connection regularly - it was the furthest from the bridge. After a few days of playing around with bridge positioning, I eventually added extra long USB and Ethernet cables to the bridge and mounted it high up on top of a wardrobe pointing in the direction of the kitchen.

    Since then I'd had bullet proof connectivity. However since the firmware update to "improve device reconnects" the kitchen one has had the odd dropout every few weeks, albeit only for a few minutes. So worse than prior to the fix.

    That is, until, last night, where it dropped out completely, for hours on end... And of course the heating then didn't come on in that room in the morning.

    Nothing has changed in my setup. That device had new batteries only a month ago, the position of the bridge hasn't changed. There's been no new devices added at home to provide interference. Incredibly frustrating to go from something that's been rock solid, to now flakey performance.
  • BigJeffUK
    BigJeffUK
    edited January 5

    Hi.

    Glad I found this thread while checking compatibility and communication from the bridge. I live in a grade II listed stone cottage that has been extended. The older cottage has 1ft thick stone walls and the extension of modern cavity wall construction/internal block work walls. The entire house is now 'L' shaped. We knew we'd struggle with wifi when it was extended so we had the forethought to install Cat5 during the build. As such we have two wifi access points. One for the old part and one for the new. Both connected back to the internet router via Cat5 and share the same SSID. This works perfectly fine.

    After reading the specification then spotting this thread, I've since emptied my basket of £900+ of thermostats and TRV's 'voting with my feet' as someone put it.

    I understand that it's not feasible to have the TRV's acting as a mesh due to power requirements but as many have said, it would make great sense to have more than one bridge, and for the bridges to talk to each other over ethernet. I could simply connect a second bridge to the access point in the new part of the house and all would be great. It seems to be a common problem in a large number of homes and from Tado's point of view, these clients with larger houses are the ones that are going to spend the most.

    Tado support told me "Yes, it is a common issue. But technically 2 tado° Internet Bridge would not be able to work together, since the radio frequencies would interfere."

  • Tado support told me "Yes, it is a common issue. But technically 2 tado° Internet Bridge would not be able to work together, since the radio frequencies would interfere."

    Isn't that worrying though? If your neighbour also installs Tado, they're basically saying it'll break yours. I don't think so! There must be some sort of channel bands, even on 868Mhz, otherwise any device would kill usage of all the others around it.

    And if that's the case (multiple channels), why can't you just run two internet bridges on two different channels!?

  • BigJeffUK
    BigJeffUK
    edited January 5

    Yes quite, same as wifi channeling. My phone, laptop tablet dont have an issue switching to the strongest access point and they're different manufactures (Virgin Hitron / Netgear).

    Not only that but the tado device is 'paired' to its thermostat anyway right? So you would presume it would just listen/poll for its paired bridge on that frequency regardless. You might have several bridges blasting out crap at 868mhz, your neighbour included... but if its pared, its only going to communicate with that? or whats the point in paring?

    Ill stick with my google thermostat for now and await some updates.

  • Like others posting, I have issues with some trvs losing connection in an old 3 bedroomed cottage. I have run ethernet cable to mount the Internet Bridge in the best position, which is close to a thick wall. All the TRVs on the same side of the wall work ok - but the TRVs on the other side of the wall - which are all within about 6 metres of the bridge, sometimes drop out.

    If Tado offered a wired bridge extension, or extension arial, I could easily drill a hole through the wall and install this.

    Alternatively, if the TRVs used standard WiFi, I have a mesh with nodes on both sides of the thick wall which provides coverage throughout the house.

    There are many people on here struggling with the same issue which is a devere architectural limitation of Tado - which I otherwise love.

    Please fix it quickly Tado
  • BigJeffUK
    BigJeffUK
    edited January 6
    Yeh I think many would complain about life of the batteries in the trv if it used Wi-Fi.

    Interestingly I have lots of Philips hue lights which I believe use zigbee to communicate which works fine. I think each bulb can act as a repeater of sorts. However I also appreciate that these devices are power source connected and not running of AA batteries.

    I’ve seen lots of comments about the antenna on the bridge but what about the antenna in the trv? Can this be improved? What about using the rad panel or copper pipe tail as a antenna?

    Slight left field here. What is the issue with running two bridges with two accounts? Having one bride control one floor/side and the other doing another floor or side? Other than perhaps a software issue on the phone app which could be changed to include multiple accounts. Not only for people with this issue but presumably for people who have a holiday home or perhaps installed at their work office etc.

    If it’s a subscription issue, couldn’t tado just discount the 2nd account?
  • @Pete Sorry not wifi but bluetooth.

    Actually it is really easy to see where the antenna for 868 ends. It is in the bottom right corner of the picture that @solbadguy2010 posted of the second bridge he has. It is the side with the reset button.

  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭
    @Hjmogelmose
    I'm still not convinced, sorry.
    I attempted to solder onto the antenna which you say is Bluetooth a while ago. I did a bad job and the reception to 868mhz was ruined.
    The other antenna at the end of the board was still intact and untouched.
    Also, Tado doesn't have Bluetooth or wifi.
  • I have had similar issues, but they have improved recently. Like you @BigJeffUK we have a large old L shaped stone farmhouse. This may help others, my issues are not gone away, but we can live with it now and have far less dropouts than before. I shouldn't have had to do all the below but after a £1k investment and a desire to keep my oil costs reasonable I decided to persevere and do what I could.

    • I reboot the extension kit and internet bridge weekly
    • Moved the internet bridge to the loft, fairly central and have it vertically, but upside down.
    • Ensured all my TRV's are running latest firmware (this does seem to have improved things). I noticed TRVs that were dropping on occasion did not seem to update, so I either swapped them with another for a while, or took them to be closer to the internet bridge and forced the update via apple home
    • Had tado change the "channel" for the extension kit. Not exactly sure what the support person did, but it did make a difference

  • nattelip
    nattelip
    edited January 29

    i have te same problem , distance to d some radiors to big , is a pity ,nice system but this is a tado killer.

    i did some investigation it works on 868 with a wifi protocol 6LoWPAN which is open, the protocol is promising and could function perfect with mesh but if tado implements it idont know, there are OfCourse versions and different sub implementations which toado uses is not clear yet




    is has the ability for a mesh network,

    but tado goes raus if it is not making a repeater or implemts the mesh functionality

  • Hi. I have the same range problem with the TRVs. Wouldn't be possible to make the internet bridge communicate through radio frequency with the TRVs and by wifi with the receiver as both the internet bridge as well the receiver are always plugged in? In this way, I could position the internet bridge in a better position without being dependent on Ethernet and get better frequency signal towards the TRVs.
  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭
    @CristMate
    Just use a network home plug so you can position the bridge anywhere by a power socket.
  • Replying to request an Tado Bridge Extender as well. Is there any update on the roadmap here?
  • DRH
    DRH
    edited February 10

    I'm considering ripping my entire Tado system out because of this issue.

    I can't believe the system designers made such a fundamental flaw in the design and after all this time have still done nothing to rectify this problem.

    The communications of the TRV's and the Solitary Crappy Internet Bridge is a joke for anyone with a reasonable sized property.

    I been putting up with this since day 1 and have a significant investment in Tado with 14 TRV's. Some of which are still in the box because its pointless installing them when the Internet Bridge is incapable of communicating with all the current ones no matter where I place the bridge......AND I only have a large but single storey home (bungalow).

    I am not putting up with another Winter with cold bedrooms because the signal can't reach the TRV's, if Tado don't finally come up with a solution, the whole lot is bring ripped out in favour of a WiFi version of TRV's (which I know won't suffer from communication issues) because I have my home blanket covered with Ubiquiti kit.

    I won't go quietly either TADO!

  • johnbur
    johnbur ✭✭✭
    @DRH "a joke for anyone with a reasonable sized property"
    Not sure that is true. We have had Tado on 14 radiators in a large 1840s farmhouse with very thick internal stone walls for nearly four years and never have any dropouts. Only use Duracell Ultras.
    I can't help thinking that there are other external interference factors at play...
    WiFi TRVs are a non starter unless you want to be changing batteries weekly.
  • I’m glad your system is working fine @johnbur but there are 4 pages of complaints on this thread so maybe there is a bigger issue than just using Duracell Ultra batteries.
  • DRH
    DRH
    edited February 11

    @johnbur re: "WiFi TRVs are a non starter unless you want to be changing batteries weekly."

    Incorrect, the TRV's I'm considering have rechargeable batteries and only need connecting to a charger once every 2 years (based on a 5 month heating schedule). Even if that claim turns out to be widely exaggerated and it ends up once a year, that's still as good a Tado without having to pay for expensive Duracell's.

    @cheffo75 You're right and this is a small thread, there are many other threads complaining about this problem, one I was reading yesterday was 11 pages long with people complaining about this issue since 2017. That's not to mention other sources, I've seen lengthy reddit posts about it and of-course, there's a good percentage of users how who don't frequent this forum. I have absolutely no idea how @johnbur's property defies the laws of physics but I wish mine would 😩

    I'm hoping the new owners of Tado will get to hear about these issues and actually do something about it, but I'm not holding my breath. If past experience counts for anything, I don't think anyone with any clout even bothers to monitor these forums.

  • Tado uses according to iFixit for their Smart Radiator Thermostat v3+ a Texas Instrument CC110L IC transceiver which TI descibes as a “Value line Sub-1 GHz wireless transceiver” and “The CC110L is a cost optimized sub-1 GHz RF transceiver for the 300–348 MHz, 387–464 MHz, and 779–928 MHz frequency bands”

    TI also sells high- and ultra-high performance transceivers which have a better sensitivity. I guess you get what you pay for, the same as using for the Internet Bridge a 10Mbit/s half-duplex ethernet, and also here the CC110L IC transceiver.

    Cheap transceivers combined with very small antennas results in a diminished range. Tado can do nothing to overcome existing hardware constraints. Only a hardware redesign and using i.e. a thread mesh will solve this.

  • @MichielTado I did wonder if they were using a mesh system, that would have helped if TRV's close by could pass on the signals 😩

  • MichielTado
    MichielTado ✭✭
    edited February 11

    @DRH no, that would not have helped. Even a tread enabled battery powered device does not relay the signal. They are thread endpoints. You need mains powered thread devices to do that i.e. the Eve power socket on thread, or any other brand mains powered thread device which can act as a thread router.

    Philips Hue, which uses ZigBee, can form a mesh because their lights are always mains powered even when switched off.

  • Pete
    Pete ✭✭✭
    @michaeltado
    Perhaps the extension kit (which is mains powered) could repeat.