New Owner - What a Struggle to Get Going


#1

I’m a new owner. Finally got my Rachio working after 2 days of trying.

Turns out my Rachio cannot be configured using an Android phone for the blink up process. I have a Samsung Galaxy s4 and it proved useless.

After multiple hours with support, the solution was to send to me an iPhone. Yep, nothing possible to configure a Rachio with a Samsung Galaxy S4.

I received my iPhone from Rachio support tonight, and guess what? Using it, all works perfectly. Now I’ll return the phone, and hope that I don’t ever have to reconfigure the Rachio.

Interesting installation / technical challenge Rachio has.

Best regards,

Bill


#2

Good to hear you are up and running. I do know that some of the units with firmware that needs to be updated initially might have a bit tougher time with Android when doing the initial firmware upgrade. Thankfully, these are becoming more far and few between as newer firmware is applied at the factory.

Let us know if you have any other questions or feedback.

:cheers:


#3

Thank you. I do have some questions, and a comment.

How do I look up what firmware revision I’m at?

How do I learn what the latest firmware revision available is?

Comment: My residence is part of the annual Dallas - Ft. Worth ‘Tour of Homes for Energy Efficiency.’ For one day every October I teach visitors about solar PV, geothermal HVAC, real-time energy monitoring (see http://www.neukranz.com ), lighting design and home automation. I’m typically around the third most attended site on the tour. The point here is that I plan to include this year teaching about water conservation, and highlighting your product on how to do it.

Best regards,

Bill


#4

You can’t see it right now

There are occasional posts on here.


#5

One of my Iros was among the first shipped and I had a devil of a time with the blinkUp process. I finally figured out that my particular router was not playing nicely and created a work-around. The phone I was using was a Samsung Galaxy SIII mini. I ended up connecting using my tablet, a Samsung Galaxy Tab 4. No problems. Easy peasy.

We put that Iro “to sleep” for the winter and when it came time to “wake” it this spring, it flawlessly reconnected to our WiFi.

Iro + Awesome Customer Support = Happy Camper!

Sunny


#6

is this an artifact of their amoled screen or something else unique to the galaxy s4?

edit: my neighbor powered his up on an android but i think it is a galaxy note, either way, im way out of my pay grade here and would like to learn something.


#7

I used my Galaxy S4 to set up my Rachio, so it must be an issue with a specific device/setup. My biggest problem was getting it to connect to the wifi. I have a dual band router, but the 2.4 band was shoddy (bad equipment). Still, it’s set up now and seems to work on autopilot.


#8

Lest other Android owners become afraid to try the Rachio, because of this thread, I had no problem at all with the blink process on my Android HTC One M8.

It may be a device specific problem, rather than an Android issue.


#9

I spent hours accommodating the requests of support. Take off case from phone, change WiFi radio to 802.11 b/g only, change wireless security from WPA2 to WPA, change password to something less than 8 characters, change SSID password to something less than 8 characters, use someone’s iPhone (none available), and/or use an Apple tablet (don’t have one).

The solution was to simply send to me an iPhone. Which worked flawlessly.

Best regards,

Bill


#10

Question, and I doubt it because the support is very capable, was the back light all the way up?


#11

Yes. There were a number of configuration items I was asked to change, including max brightness, no automatic adjustment, and turn off automatic rotation.

Best regards,

Bill


#12

I will certainly tell my colleagues not to purchase a Rachio if they have a Samsung Galexy S4 (which is what I and my entire family have), and the have no means (like me) of securing for installation use an Apple manufactured phone.

I’d be hesitant to speak more broadly on other Android phones. Depending on the phone’s screen technology, I can see where some Android’s will work and some won’t.

Clear, using a Galexy S4, it’s useless.

Best regards,

Bill


#13

but then they have very few alternatives. really i think you are only left with turds, like etherain, lono or the heavily priced rainbird/hunter solutions that still suck out loud.
you make me a sad panda @a0128958 but i understand.


#14

There must be something with your make/model. We have GS2-6 in house and they are all able to blink up.

iOS consistently more reliable, but Android works much better after the latest electric imp firmware release, and getting better.

:cheers:


#15

Kudos to Rachio support for providing an iphone for your use to complete the blink up process. It is gratifying and reassuring to see them go above and beyond to ship an expensive device on loan to provide customer satisfaction. Based on that, I think it would be a sad decision to forgo the Rachio just because of this potential one-time issue.

Personally, I would not hesitate to recommend the Rachio to all of my friends, with caution that the Samsung S4 device could be problematic. I can’t imagine that anyone doesn’t have a friend or relative with an Apple that they could use to get them through the blink up process in that unusual circumstance,and if not, Rachio has already demonstrated that they will help in that worst-case scenario…


#16

I was a little too brief. I’ll restate: I will certainly tell my colleagues not to purchase a Rachio if they have a Samsung Galaxy S4 and have no means to borrow an Apple phone.

It’s pretty clear that there is Rachio inventory out in the distribution channel that has firmware such the Galaxy S4 just doesn’t work. Mine came from Amazon. Maybe Home Depot has already worked through whatever firmware level is associated with Galaxy S4s not being compatable.

Best regards,

Bill


#17

Then your support team failed, by not finding the ‘something’ with my S4 in a manner to make it work. Or there’s something souped up with your in-house G6 that makes it work differently than the masses.

I’m a little surprised at the comment, coming from the CTO, that there’s essentially something wrong with my S4. It’s simply an off the shelf S4. If there’s something wrong with it, or if there’s a setting necessary to make it work like yours, then your tech support failed. Should have told me what the setting is to make my S4 work just like yours.

Clearly, the firmware version Rachio product I purchased recently didn’t work with my S4 as it was configured. And with at least the tech support person I had, no amount of suggested changes were successful.

It’s pretty clear from this site and others that I’m not the only one having a problem with your chosen WiFi configuration technology (blink).

My observation is that you know exactly what the problem is, I think you believe you have fixed it via firmware changes, and my observation is that you as a company consciously decided to leave the old firm units in the distribution channels, versus recalling them, My guess is you decided most people who purchase will call for help versus just throw away the product and bad mouth the company (hope you’re right). My further guess is you believe your tech support people are good enough to fix over the phone 90+% of the problem phones.

My remaining guess is your pres/owner/service-mgr ‘gets it.’ Someone was thinking out of the box and said ‘well we’ll just send them an Apple loaner’ that we know works. Not many companies think like this.

My summary here is I think it’s disingenuous of the CTO to come out here and say ‘it’s not us - perfectly good S4 in the shop.’ When in fact you know there are scenarios where the S4’s plain don’t work. You’re just waiting for the channel distributions to clear, versus spending the money to do a recall, and this is simply damage control here.

Best regards,

Bill


#18

@a0128958

I’m merely stating that there are literally hundreds of different Android phones with different configurations and sometimes for whatever reason there could be pairing issues. If there are issues, we do our best to correct and accommodate. We bend over backwards in some situations.

Firmware is continuously being upgraded on all WiFi connected products. Any connected product that you buy (Router, DVD player, etc.) will typically upgrade its firmware upon connection. There are two sets of firmware on the Iro, one at the OS level which we have no control over since it is maintained by our WiFi vendor, and one for application logic, which we control.

I’m sorry but there is no truth in this. Our product has been shipping since May 2014 and if there were targeted platforms that we knew had issues, we would have corrected them a long time ago. We continually are doing our best to make a customer’s ‘on-boarding and after’ experience as seamless as possible.

I encourage this discussion, but hope you understand that we have no hidden agenda, and want each and every customer to be one for life.

:cheers:


#19

I feel your pain. I spent some time on the phone this afternoon going through all those steps as well, support is sending an iPhone to try to complete the blink upload. I was trying to use a Galaxy S II. This has been a very frustrating process for me so far. The blink programming sounds like a great idea, but in reality it is too device specific.

The explanation I got from support today was that Apple only used one mfgr for displays, while other vendors have multiple sources. It’s nice that iPhone always works, it makes development easy, but it surely makes life difficult for the consumer. I don’t have any Apple devices and don’t plan on buying any anytime soon. The support rep went so far as to tell me that if I don’t do Apple then this may not be the product for me.

A micro USB port and support for Windows would go a long way to making this product more accessible and take much of the frustration factor out. Blink seems just a bit too bleeding edge, especially for the sole method to get a device online.

ETA:
I was able to get an iPad from one of my wife’s friends, and it worked fine first time. There is a very definite difference in the blink pattern of the iPad vs the Android device… It took the disruption of 2 families lives to get this device up. USB interface would be a major improvement IMO.

I’m still trying to understand the watering time and scheduling application now. Trying to understand why the flex schedule isn’t watering at all for 2 weeks+ when the lawn is already dry/browning and temps are near 100F and all zones are full sun, but that is a topic for another thread.


#20

I don’t usually write messages like this, but I find myself becoming increasingly frustrated with comments that have the attitude that every device/product on the market is going to work 100% perfect from the start. Every situation the product may encounter hasn’t and couldn’t possibly all be thought of. It is frustrating to me to see the pressure that these innovative companies get from the public to be perfect. It discourages people from trying to create new, innovative and amazing technological devices.

I actually have an iPhone and my blink up process, surprisingly, didn’t work for the first 10 times I tried. It took me calling support, unhooking everything, and then hooking it all back up again. Then it worked fine. Could I have stopped at the first couple times? Yes, but my determination to use the product was greater than the frustration I experienced in setting it up (you have to decide what your own tolerance level is).

To me, the difference is, how does the company respond in these situations? Do they bury their head in the sand? Or, do they help their customer any way they can? I have rarely heard of a company willing to ship a completely unrelated device to a customer just to get them up and running (as Rachio did). Rachio could have easily had the customer return it and offer a refund, which they are more than willing to do if the product is not right for the customer.

Please, we all get frustrated when things don’t go 100% by the manual. I have had plenty of these experiences. Lets look at the bigger picture and not dissuade companies from coming up with these awesome products just because they have not thought of every little possible situation when there are usually a million variables at play. If you are not happy, then return it instead of resorting to completely badmouthing them on an open forum. I know I have had to return products in the past, as not every product I have purchased has worked in my situation or the way I was expecting.

However, if the company was blatantly negligent, and has no customer support, then go ahead, as forums and social media are powerful tools to help encourage companies to place a bigger focus on customer support. But this company is certainly not one of them!