Flair works poorly with mesh networks

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    Flair Support

    This is well timed: we're actually doing some testing with mesh networks right now! We'll be investigating this week and will hopefully have some information soon for our customers with mesh networks. Thanks for your patience. 

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    Ken Schnautz

    Does your Plume system broadcast a 2.4GHz network from all its access points, or only 5GHz? It appeared that the puck only uses 2.4GHz.

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    David Nanian

    Yes, all the devices broadcast 2.4GHz and 5GHz, and I have a strong 2.4GHz signal throughout the house. It's quite common that IoT devices are 2.4GHz only, and all but Flair seem fine...

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    Ken Schnautz

    Can you disable the 2.4 GHz on individual Plume access points? Or set each AP to its own SSID? Then, is the Puck WiFi more reliable?

    I'm just spitballing ideas here. I realize they're not long-term solutions, but the may help in diagnosing the issue.

     

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    David Nanian

    There's no way to do that, no. It's a mesh network and is controlled as a single SSID, with handoff and steering all handled within the system. It's not like a Ubiquiti network where I'd have full control over all of the management details.

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    David Nanian

    Plume is very responsive to this kind of thing, so I encourage you to get in touch with them. I'd be more than happy to provide you with some points of contact, privately, should that be of use.

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    Ken Schnautz

    @David, sorry. I'm not familiar with Plume. I'm using Linksys Velop Mesh and have only been online for about... 24 hours. No issues yet on that mesh network. If you were to temporarily remove the additional mesh nodes (only leaving the primary one), does that help?

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    David Nanian

    Yeah, I've used Velop (in fact, I have Plume, Velop, eero and Google WiFi here; don't ask). It's a different beast and is much more like a main unit with automatically/automagically managed "extenders". In general, Velop's units are designed to be much higher power than Plume, and so it's less likely a unit will "see" more than one strong signal at a given location because the devices are typically placed out at coverage "edges". There are usually two or three Velop units in a given network.

    The Plume pods, though, are typically placed in almost every room. (That's an exaggeration, but I have eight pods in my setup, three of which are wired.) So there are more devices broadcasting the SSID.

    Flair manages the network "properly" in its UI (it only shows one entry for the SSID, whereas some IoT devices will not consolidate broadcasting units). But, for whatever reason, it doesn't maintain a stable connection. I don't know whether that's because it's randomly connecting to units, isn't handling steering right, is advertising that it can handle 5GHz where it can't, and thus is getting 'steered' wrong, or what...but something is happening!

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    Ken Schnautz

    My Velop 'tri-band' mesh (3 nodes) is working great so far.

    Is the Plume issue sporadic, or constant?

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    David Nanian

    It's constantly sporadic. So, for example, if you're getting temperature readings from puck every 20 seconds, you might get a reading (if the pucks seem online) every 4 minutes. Until the pucks go offline. And some don't connect at all, even when there's a meshpoint/pod in the same room.

    There are clearly some bad assumptions being made in the stack about how networks "look". Since the Velop doesn't really do much load balancing or band steering (let alone node/pod steering), it may work better within those assumptions.

    Whatever the problem, I'm sure Flair is working on it. :-)

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    Brian Crumrine

    I've just ordered a Puck...probably should have read this thread first. I have an Xfinity wifi router with their "pods" mesh network setup around the house. Speedy and consistent. Will I have trouble getting the Puck to work on this network or have you fixed this issue? I'm having the same problem with Honeywell D6 tstat. Xfinity doesn't make it clear if I'm broadcasting 2.4 or 5 ghz.

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    David Nanian

    Don't stress, Brian. As long as you're not using an isolated network (eg a HomePass network, or Internet Only), it should work fine.

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    Brian Crumrine

    Thanks for the note! So are you saying that Flair has made improvements to their app/software since your last post 3 months ago?

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    David Nanian

    They're constantly improving things, yes - and they're continuing to determine why the isolated networks pose a problem.

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