Cellular (LTE-M) Connectivity

Bottom Line Up Front (BLUF): Want a way to remotely manage Rachio at a rental property without relying on tenants to provide WiFi or giving them control over the Rachio. Would like low-data-use option compatible with LTE-M connectivity.

As a property rental owner from long distance who pays for landscaping to prevent tenant-induced landscape problems (and keep curb appeal up), it would be AMAZING if I could put a Rachio in a rental property WITHOUT having to have tenants hook it up to their WiFi. I spent too much time looking at cellular/GSM/LTE options for this and there aren’t any that are both 1-affordable and 2-open enough to work with different systems. OptConnect mylo provides good connectivity, but as near as I can tell, costs upwards of $25/mo. Other choices are vendor locked to specific sprinkler brands (and even more expensive).

I just discovered the Blueswireless Notecard. It is a pre-paid (500MB / 10 years to start, can get more), module designed to be integrated into other projects (e.g. - Raspberry Pi, Arduino, etc) for $50!

Big BUT though … the Blueswireless notecard is only one-way (device-to-cloud).

2.5 thoughts…What if?

1: … (FEATURE REQUEST) Rachio controllers had a “low-data-use” mode AND you could add some kind of LTE-M radio into a Rachio directly to allow remote management of a Rachio controller at a non-local property without needing Wi-Fi?

2: … in lieu of modding the Racho directly, what about creating a small computer (Raspberry Pi) that uses an LTE-M radio for the internet connectivity and the Pi’s network adapter to provide LAN/WiFi to the Rachio?

.5: This would, of course, depend on Rachio’s data use which, currently, appears too high for this application. Unifi controller reports Racho using about 80MB up and 40MB down per day (without being mucked about with by user changes).