Gen 2, season 2, troubleshooting frequent offline status

Our season 1 with a Gen 2 controller started late, about 9/1/2017. We had many incidents of the controller falling offline. Cycling the power would allow the controller to go back online for a few hours or up to (as I recall) a couple of days.

The installer had no expertise with smart devices. Speculation focused on the controller’s internet connection, which also was new.

Our season 2 starts tomorrow. I’m starting this thread to discuss success or failure.

Things that haven’t changed:

  1. The controller lives in our detached garage.
  2. The controller gets wi-fi service from a TP-Link RE-450 wi-fi extender that lives in the garage at a window three feet from the controller.
  3. The extender gets wi-service from a TP-Link Archer C8 router (rev 1 hardware) in the house. It’s about fifty feet, antenna to antenna.About one third of that is inside the house. There is no other obstruction to line of sight.
  4. The router gets internet service from a 50Mbps up/down symmetrical fiber optic connection to a local ISP.
  5. The router presents the 2.4 GHz network “something” to the extender with about two bars of signal strength.
  6. The extender presents a different 2.4 GHz network , “somethingX”, to the controller (again, just three feet away) with full signal strength.
  7. The “somethingX” network is intended just for the controller and normally (see below) there are no other devices.
  8. The neighborhood is urban with single family homes. This Win10 PC that I’m posting from shows about a dozen networks in its wireless network chooser.
  9. At most times, the controller has little competition for internet service bandwidth.
  10. No other devices in our home show signs of interrupted internet service.

New this year:

  1. I updated the Rachio app on my phone.
  2. I updated the firmware on the router.
  3. I set the router’s wireless signal output to High rather than Medium.
  4. I reset the extender to factory defaults and re-configured its upstream and downstream networks.
  5. I reset the extender’s wi-fi prefs.
  6. I installed a Cisco Meraki Z1 VPN router on the extender’s Ethernet port. A standard part of Meraki service is monitoring from the cloud. I know from previous use of this exact Z1 that the Meraki cloud service will log incidents of loss of contact with Z1. Since the Z1 gets its internet service over the same connection as the controller, the Z1 monitoring should document losses of connection for the controller. (The controller and the Z1 may not have the same sensitivity to connection outages, but the Z1 logs should be at least indicative and should provide a cross check on the controller’s logging.

The controller is in Standby mode, ready for our irrigation system maintainer’s arrival tomorrow morning.

Hoping for the best!


I had the team review your logs and do not see any disconnect events so far. :crossed_fingers:

Your extensive WiFi modifications might have solved your connectivity issues.


Thanks for the quick review!

Happy to report that we’re off to a great start! The controller is staying online and we’ve had both watering and a rain skip.

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