Networking & Wi-Fi Troubleshooting

In by Mack Dalley

Networking & Wi-Fi Troubleshooting

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This guide is designed to help provide some simple steps to help create a more robust and reliable wireless network, for your skydrop controller.

 Requirements for communicating with skydrop cloud service

  • Wi-Fi Access Point or Router
  • Wi-Fi network within range of the skydrop controller
  • The ability to ping cloud.skydrop.com from your network

Troubleshooting network steps:

1) Verify Internet is working over Wi-Fi with another wireless device.  This can be easily done opening a web browser (e.g. Google Chrome) and going to a favorite website (e.g. www.google.com).

Google on Chrome

Verifying that your internet is working

 

2) In rare cases the network name, or SSID, can create problems for the skydrop controller.  We’ve seen particular issues with apostrophes in the SSID.  We are working to address this problem in a future update.

3) You must utilize a Wi-Fi password.  Use upper case and numbers to maximize security.  WPA and WPA 2 should always be used.  While WEP is supported, it is an old standard and is far less secure than modern wireless security protocols.

4) Place your router in a good central location.  If possible, we recommend a central location within the home.

*A tool that can help with this is a Wi-Fi analyzer app for your smart device or computer.   You can try moving your router to different locations and use the Wi-Fi strength meter to compare coverage for the area.

5) Select a low-traffic Wi-Fi channel. Using the same Wi-Fi analyzer tool, you can also view wireless networks around you and determine which channels are being used. The more traffic over one channel, the more interference there will be. The result is slower speeds and a less reliable network. Most routers default to channel 6. Even without an analyzer tool, changing from channel 6 will likely improve your network speed.

6) Try again to get connected. Using your smart phone as a hotspot or temporarily moving the router and controller closer together to get connected can make a big difference.  Sometimes just getting online will allow your controller to update to the latest firmware, which can help maintain a strong connection.

7) Never underestimate a reboot.  If the steps above do not correct the problem, you may want to try a reboot.  The power button is located underneath and towards the center of the controller. Hold the power button down until the controller jog dial glows yellow, wait 10 seconds, then press the button again to power back on.

8) Consider a Wi-Fi extender.  A Wi-Fi extender is an additional wireless device that you can wire to your network.  Generally, you would install it in an area where you have an Ethernet port going back to the router and in an area where you’d like to boost your network’s range.  The best way to setup an access point is to assign it a different name to easily identify where it is.

*Although convenient, most devices cannot tell which of the access points has the strongest signal.

**A good example of what you should do is to have one access point called “homewest” and another called “homeeast”.  By doing this, you can always see which one has the strongest signal and you can always connect to the best one – instead of accidentally connecting to the wrong router and suffering drop-outs and slow performance.

9) Advanced (call tech support if necessary) – ensure you can ping the skydrop cloud service.  This can be done through a terminal on windows or a Mac.  For detailed instructions please call technical support.