Rachio 3 and Australia - illegal!


#1

Folks, was about to buy a Rachio 3 with water flow meter, and decided to check on the frequency used for communications with the flow meter. Rachio 3 uses the “900Mhz” band for communications (US is 902-928MHz). Unless it is a very specific range in that band - 915-928MHz (trying to confirm with Rachio), it is illegal to turn the Rachio 3 on in Australia. The spectrum 902-915Mhz is licensed to Vodaphone to cell phone use as a base station receiver. They police illegal devices in that spectrum. They will find you. They will fine you if you don’t turn it off after a warning - and the fines are substantial!!!
So Australians - do NOT buy a Rachio 3 (with or without the flow meter). You will be wasting your money.
In Europe 868MHz is standard (with 915-921MHz recently being made available).
So until Rachio confirm what frequency in the “900MHz” band it is using, their device is likely to be illegal in Australia and Europe. As for Asia, I can’t comment.
Pity Rachio didn’t chose to use the 433Mhz band - which is accepted in the US, Europe and Australia.
And the Rachio 3 sounded so good!! Very shortsighted decision.


#2

Hi Mate.

I’ve had it up and running for 2-3 years now, works like a charm (In Adelaide). I think you’re confusing wifi with cellular frequencies. The rachio uses standard wifi 2.4ghz (or 5ghz) modes, same as any standard laptop, chromecast, etc. Otherwise the modem wouldn’t be able to connect with it.

Bigger problems Aussies have with it are the power plug, it comes in 120V wall worts, so you need to go to jarcar and buy another and swap the plugs over.


#3

Hi,
You have the older Rachio - not the new Rachio 3. The new one has the addition of 900Mhz links which operate in the vodaphone cell band and are therefore illegal in Australia. The Rachio 2 is legal as it does not have this transmitter and as you point out operates on the 2.4 wifi band.
So, under no circumstances buy the Rachio 3 for Australia until Rachio verify it works between 915 and 928 otherwise you WILL get a hefty fine.
I know the 120v is annoying but even if they put in 100-240 you would still need a plug adapter, so for me it would be better if they sold it without the transformer and I’d buy local.
Not being able to buy a Rachio 3 for Australia is annoying as it means a loss of access to new features it will support.
Shortsighted, but the US market is so big they don’t care.


#4

@bm282 - The Rachio Gen 3 likely has a receiver in it to listen to the flow meter. The flow meter would have the transmitter. One can buy the Rachio Gen 3 without the wireless transmitter. I think that the Gen 3 will still support wired flow meters.


#5

I wish you were correct, but unfortunately you are not. The Rachio 3 controller includes a transmitter as well as a receiver. So does the flow meter. This is how this link works. So with or without the flow meter it is illegal in Australia - unless it transmits only from 915-928 - which is unlikely and silence fromRachio on that question. Any Australian buying and using a Rachio 3 in anywhere but outback remote Australia where no cell towers exist is asking to get a hefty fine and confiscation of their Rachio. I can’t be clearer!
And given the link is a key factor in what the Rachio 3 will offer now and in the future - it would be dumb to buy it and not be able to use.
I understand their focus on the big US market, but a simple earlier decision would have at least kept the international market open for Rachio 3.


Ability to disable Wireless Flow Meter radio? Australian usage
#6

Just a bit of an update - I asked Rachio support about the actual frequencies they are using in the 900Mz band. No answer. Prompted a second time after 20 days. No answer. That was 10 days ago.

So its poor that Rachio can’t answer a simple support question.

So AUSTRALIANS DO NOT BUY RACHIO 3 !!! IT IS ILLEGAL!!!


#7

We are using the 902-928MHz ISM band. For this reason Australians cannot buy it and we can not sell the R3.

The Gen2 unit is still completely within Australian regulations.

Hope this helps

:cheers:


Ability to disable Wireless Flow Meter radio? Australian usage
#8

Thank you - finally confirmation! I understand the Gen 2 is legal in Australia as it doesn’t transmit on this band.

Clearly though the Rachio 3 is the future for Rachio, so why would one buy what will be a superseded model - presumably dropped by Rachio in the not too distant future.

Sad that Rachio didn’t take the time to do a design that would work worldwide - it would have cost nothing extra, other than a bit of thinking.

I guess we will wait for Rachio 4 in a year’s time and see if that has a better design.

I get it that the US is big and the rest of the world is not needed - but good system designers think more broadly even if they still only focus on a specific market mostly. Ah well - there are other suppliers to go and chase.

Of course, some poor silly person in Australia will go and buy one without knowing the communications legislation and get themselves in a heap of trouble.

Rachio need to put something on their web page to warn any non-US person interested in the Rachio 3 to forget it - as it is illegal to use in their country. That would be the least Rachio should do as a good customer focussed company!


#9

Sorry for any confusion.

We are in the process of upgrading our website to provide more information regarding R3 restrictions.

:cheers:


Rachio 3 - usage in Germany / Frequency and KNX question