Rainbird Smart Controller - LAN only ?

Dolby

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Jan 31, 2005
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#1
I bought one of these last week (https://www.rainbird.eu/products/controllers/esp-rzxe-series-controller) and I'm having an issue on setup. Rainbird has confirmed that the 'smart' part of the irrigation is new to them, so there are likely to be bugs on their side - fair enough. I'm trying to understand whether this situation is them or me :

On my LAN, the system works perfectly - I can login into the controller and it breaks out into the Internet to get a weather forecast. But issues start when it's off the LAN (ie When I'm sitting at work) and I try access the controller. It seems to access onceonly - but there is no Internet breakout.

The second time I try, it won't even access the controller at all and spit out a Network Error. When I go home and get back on the LAN, it accesses the controller but still no Internet break out ... if I reset everything, I can access the controller and break out to the Internet once again from the LAN. That is, until I attempt to access off my network ...

The gateway and everything is correct and I see it assigns itself a static IP.

Someone mentioned DynDNS may help?
They mentioned the lack of no cloud, ie I log back directly - which could be an issue?

I have smart lights and cameras, and I have no issue accessing them anywhere - but both are hosted with AWS.
 

Johnatan56

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#2
Work around might be set up a VPN server at home and access it via VPN? Doesn't solve the problem though.
 

Hellhound105

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Jun 5, 2018
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#3
Hard to say.....you say it connects once only. So once means that firewall on router allows and Public IP gets accepted. Tough one.
 

Dolby

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#4
On another thread, the mentioned a dynamic DNS ... so will be trying that tonight.

The one that works upfront also confuses me.
 

GTHORN

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Apr 7, 2014
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#5
I have exactly the same problem with my RainBird controller which is the same as yours. Remote connection works once and immediately after that I get a message "Communication Error" "Network Error" After that there is nothing I can do to make it work again. When I get home it usually will still not work but after some time it starts to work again. Sometimes it has connection issues even at home which may take an hour to go away. The Wi-fi signal is perfect at the controller. I found a webpage where many people are complaining about the same problem.
 

Dolby

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#6
I have exactly the same problem with my RainBird controller which is the same as yours. Remote connection works once and immediately after that I get a message "Communication Error" "Network Error" After that there is nothing I can do to make it work again. When I get home it usually will still not work but after some time it starts to work again. Sometimes it has connection issues even at home which may take an hour to go away. The Wi-fi signal is perfect at the controller. I found a webpage where many people are complaining about the same problem.
You're on Vodacom?

There's your issue :'(

The technical guys will tell you exactly why and how, but I've just changed all my data through Telkom network with no issues at all. I tried multiple phones and networks and it's 100% Vodacom. Send an invite to someone on another network, and they should have no issue
 

ThatOtherDude

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Sep 10, 2018
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#7
many dumb devices that have suddenly become "smart" use freeware implementations of the TCP/IP stack.

they don't always like communicating at 100Mbps full or half duplex (even if they claim to support it)


See if you can force the switch port to 10Mbps half duplex.
or try to get your hands on an old 10Mbps hub/switch.



I had VERY similar issues with some fuel management controllers that didn't like 100Mbps even though the documentation they said they did.

once we forced them down to 10Mbps all networking (connect from one side only) issues went away.
 

Dolby

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#8
In this case, this is 100% Vodacom

I tried multiple phone, multiple networks and 100% of the time it came to Vodacom. As of 2 weeks back, I got a dual SIM phone and run Telkom because a) it's cheaper and b) my irrigation works perfectly, every single time.

At one stage I thought it was Huawei and they came out to assist - I could replicate it on their Vodacom units ... while other units were fine
 

GTHORN

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Apr 7, 2014
Messages
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#9
In this case, this is 100% Vodacom

I tried multiple phone, multiple networks and 100% of the time it came to Vodacom. As of 2 weeks back, I got a dual SIM phone and run Telkom because a) it's cheaper and b) my irrigation works perfectly, every single time.

At one stage I thought it was Huawei and they came out to assist - I could replicate it on their Vodacom units ... while other units were fine
Given that it works perfectly one moment and then not at all for several hours thereafter, and also that I can have my laptop at home successfully pinging the controller 10,000 times at the time that my phone won't connect, I would agree that Vodacom could very likely be the problem. Only problem I have is that I don't have an option other than Vodacom right now. Maybe I'll get a pre-paid Telkom SIM card to try it out for a few days.
Interesting is that once I get the "Communication Error" it won't go away and reappears instantly when I try anything, even if I disconnect the phone data and reboot it. It's like the app is faulty.
 

Dolby

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#10
Interesting is that once I get the "Communication Error" it won't go away and reappears instantly when I try anything, even if I disconnect the phone data and reboot it. It's like the app is faulty.
At the start, I thought the app or the controller as well. I spent weeks and weeks with customer care in the US to try sort it out. They monitored my specific controller for a weekend, gave me the feedback / pings etc - like seriously went out of their way!

Again this is technical - but I understand when (via Vodacom) it makes that initial connection, the Rainbird server then refuses any connection for a set time. Ask in this thread as to why and what :)

https://mybroadband.co.za/forum/threads/what-is-the-vodacom-network-doing.985019/
https://mybroadband.co.za/forum/threads/huawei-mate-10-rainbird-smart-controller.971765/
 
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