Rachio should work when offline


#1

As I understand it the Iro unit itself is “dumb” because it has to receive all of its commands from a remote server. So if you lose (or cancel) internet at your house then there is no way to irrigate your property.

I’d love to cancel my home internet because the internet on my phone is more than sufficient, but it seems Rachio has made that impossible.

It would be a nice if the Iro could receive commands from my phone app that is connected to my home router (which isn’t hooked up to the internet). It would be nice if the Iro could forgo real time data and operate on generic historical data (or water at regular intervals in the worst case) when it isn’t connected to the internet.

I don’t like the fact that this thing is a paperweight without the internet.


#2

@EdLaFave - one could probably get by using a MiFI device with a cellular provider with a minimal data plan as the Rachio pulls very little data.

Not exactly what you’re asking for, but there are two ways Rachio works when offline. First, there are some built in schedules that can be used when there is no internet - like new house construction. Secondly, the Rachio remembers that last schedule and will run that schedule or if on Flex every three days -> https://support.rachio.com/hc/en-us/articles/115010378927-What-if-my-controller-goes-offline-


#3

Yeah, I figured setting up a hotspot could work to some degree but my plan doesn’t allow hotspots.

I was slightly confused by that page. Are they saying your flex schedule will run every three days or it will check to see if it should run every three days? If it is the latter, what goes into that check?


#4

If you run an Iro2 exclusively on Flex Daily (fully automatic), then your unit is worthless if you no longer maintain an Internet connection and/or Rachio goes out of business.

I tell all of my friends, colleagues and family members to go buy an Iro2. I want to help sales so that Rachio’s long term existence is assured.

In my case, I run exclusively on Flex Daily, with all days allowed to water except Saturdays. A loss of internet connection will cause my Iro2 to water every day of the week except Sat., a full maximum daily watering every day. Not very useful.

The comment about setting up a cellular based Internet connection is a good one. We (my company) do this for homes and businesses where we want to install Internet connected thermostats, and/or Internet connected monitoring/sampling of energy & temperature, where’s there’s no Internet presence, or, it’s a company with a major firewall that has security concerns with a port we need opened up. There have been plans where there’s no monthly cost - just buy the hardware. The hardware is inexpensive too since data volume is so minimal.

If I ever ‘cut the cable’ at my residence, I’ll simply implement the cellular solution. It will work well for the Iro2, Web Energy Logger (WEL), Network Thermostats tstats, and Rheme gas water heaters - all which have an Internet connection now for automated control. The fire and security system will require some additional thought. I’ll have to return to a POTS connection just for fire and security, or, do it via microwave.

Best regards,

Bill


#5

@EdLaFave - if one is running a Flex schedule it will run every three days and start at the time set up in the schedule. If one is running a Fixed schedule it will keep running that schedule, but no seasonal adjustments or weather delays due to rain or freezing (unless one has a hardwired rain/freeze sensor in the sensor port).


#6

I think this is how Flex Daily works when it loses its Internet connection:

  1. If the FD schedule is running for all 7 days of the week, then disconnected from the Internet, the unconnected-to-the-Internet Iro2 will start watering all zones every 3 days. Amount of water per zone is as been calculated by the FD schedule. Start time is same as when Internet connection existed.

  2. If the FD schedule is enabled for 6 or fewer days of the week, then disconnected from the Internet, the unconnected-to-the Internet Iro2 will water all zones all days originally authorized. Amount of water per zone is as been calculated by the FD schedule. Start time is same as when Internet connection existed.

In my case, I have Saturday removed from my FD schedule. Thus, if I were to lose my Internet connection, or if Rachio were to go out of business, the, result (2) above would be my situation, with no other option. Basically useless.

Again, this is all applicable for Flex Daily. I have no expertise with any of the Fixed Schedule capabilities.

Best regards,

Bill


#7

I have an original Rachio, and I used it with a MiFi from WalMart while a house was up for sale. This worked OK, except that occasionally the connection would be lost and I’d have to restart the MiFi. A different brand was more reliable. It wasn’t the Rachio’s fault.You could get a cheap phone to provide the hotspot, or perhaps offer the neighbor some of his favorite beverage to host it for a while.

And then this summer, while we were away, there was a problem with the in-house Wifi. After it was fixed, the Rachio needed blinkup, and the tenant just couldn’t get that to work (it works better with some devices than others). But watering continued, and because I have Seasonal Shift enabled, monthly adjustments seemed to happen without connection, which I was able to confirm by monitoring the water company’s daily reports. It ran this way from the end of July until we returned in November.