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Chameleon In Home Display (IHD) lost connection with smart meters - any tips?

  • 17 November 2017
  • 25 replies
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Hi, 5 days ago my IHD began showing lost connection. It had been working perfectly since install in September.

I’ve read on this forum that it could be to do with no mobile reception but we have that and can tell by the WAN red light flashing frequently on the elec meter. (Plus it worked perfectly before).

Does the IHD need repairing with the smart meter?

Thanks
Will

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Best answer by tony1tf 24 January 2019, 15:44

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25 replies

Userlevel 5

The WAN light is to do with the meter connecting to the mobile network and sending back data.

The HAN lights are to do with the meters (Gas and Electricity) talking to each other and also communicating with the IHD.

Which lights are solid and which are flashing?

Matthew

my IHD only works if it is directly behind my outdoor meters. if i try to move it any distance within the house it says connection lost. there is the outside wall between the meter and the display but no other walls.
Userlevel 5

my IHD only works if it is directly behind my outdoor meters. if i try to move it any distance within the house it says connection lost. there is the outside wall between the meter and the display but no other walls.


Hey Magic9,

I’ve moved your topic onto this thread as I think it may be relevant.

You’ll need to keep your In Home Display (IHD) as close to the elec meter as possible for it to be able to display the correct information.

Matt’s right, the WAN light indicates signal with OVO. This LED light will flash up to five times. Five flashes indicates the strongest WAN connection.

The HAN light will only flash when a new device (such as an IHD), is being added to the home network. Once this process has completed, the HAN light, will turn itself off.

Lucy

My Smart meter (Chameleon) has been working fine for the last year, but is now showing 'Connection lost' and only the bottom of the signal 'wedge' is lit, I've tried switching it on/off, it is not far from the meter anyway (almost directly above it), and even if I move it into the garage right next to the meter then it doesn't show any stronger signal. On the Meter itself (liberty 100) the WAN light does 5 flashes every few seconds (which I think means it has good signal to the cell network?) I don't know if it is pure coincidence, but it is exactly 1 year (to the day) since the smart meters were installed, it hasn't previously had a problem connecting. Is there any means to reset/reconnect it somehow?

Userlevel 6
Hi @Pauly - I've moved your post to this thread where you should be able to find the info you need.
Userlevel 4

Updated on 26/05/21 by Jess_OVO: 

 

If your In Home Display (IHD) shows “Connection Lost” this indicates there is a communication issue either between the IHD and the Smart Meters or between the Smart Meters and OVO.

 

Here’s some things which can cause communication issues between your IHD and your Smart Meter:

  • Distance: make sure your In Home Display is near your electricity meter - ideally within 6 metres. If it’s not connected or isn't showing usage data, move it closer!
  • Obstructions: Is there anything that could be blocking the signal between the IHD and the meters? (eg an exterior wall)
  • Home Area Network (HAN): your smart meter(s) might not be on the HAN, preventing devices from connecting to it (if not paired to the meters the IHD will show the incorrect time/date)
  • Firmware: there might be a firmware issue with the IHD or smart meter, that’s causing connectivity issues.   

For more help see our IHD guide for S1 meters or S2 meters.

 

You can check whether this error message indicates a communication issue between OVO and your Smart Meter on this S1 guide or this S2 guide, if so reach out to our Support team for further help.

 

OVO member but not got a smart meter yet? - Book today!

 

Interested but not yet an OVO member? - Check out our plans!

 

Thanks for this which could have been really useful if my IHD had an on/off button! Smart meters for gas and electricity were installed last week. Elec works fine on the IHD but not gas. I have tried to ring OVO with no success. My Chameleon is ref. IHD3-CAD/CA30201. Any advice?
My Smart meter wan light is flashing but the IHD monitor has lost connection. Try switching it off and on but still not working. Help please
Userlevel 7
Thanks for this which could have been really useful if my IHD had an on/off button! Smart meters for gas and electricity were installed last week. Elec works fine on the IHD but not gas. I have tried to ring OVO with no success.

Hiya - no off button: just unplug it and make sure there's no batteries inside @svenforkbeard

@Pong more info on what to do if one of your smart meters aren't showing up on the IHD here!
You've told me the gas meter is not communicating with OVO and to leave it for 2 months (!) to see if it works. If it doesn't you're going to fit a relay. So I'm left with a fancy gas meter buried in the garden making it almost impossible to read (the old one could be read from above). Smart energy? I think not.
Userlevel 6
Hi @svenforkbeard - the usual time frame for the meters to "settle down" after being fitted is 3 months. We wouldn't intervene before this time frame in case signal is still up and down and not settled.
The signal from the gas meter is nil, not up and down, and you told me it is three months, not two, before I have any idea how much gas I am using.
Userlevel 6
Hi @svenforkbeard - I can confirm the time frame is 3 months. It's possible for the meter to get into communication with us within this period. If we've still got no comms after 3 months, we could safely assume it sin't going to happen and we can then look into a fix.

Thanks

My meter cupboard is in the outside wall of my garage and the IHD is situated as close as it is possible to get to the meter cupboard just the width of the garage away. However it keeps losing its connection with the meter and is getting worse. It only works now if the metal garage door is open!  Is there any way to boost the signal or increase the sensitivity of the IHD?

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Hi there @johnd49 !

Ouch, that’s a bit of a sticky situation you’ve got there. Unfortunately, your options are pretty limited but if you’re happy to show us some photos of your meters and IHD, we might be able to offer some advice.

Thanks @Blastoise186 

I’m not sure what help photos will be but I’ll try to get some. It is an IHD6  and the signal level shows 3 bars with the garage door open but drops to 1 or less with the door closed and then it indicates that it has lost connection and will sometimes reboot itself after a while, usually to no effect. The meters are about 5 or 6 meters away from the IHD which is located in the kitchen just inside the door at the nearest point in the house to the meters. I notice that even when it is working  the signal level will drop if I walk near to the IHD. Could the IHD device be faulty? It has never worked reliably but its performance has now deteriorated to the point where it is a joke and useless to us.  We are in North Yorkshire and the mobile signal is not brilliant so OVO  often lose contact with the meters but I would not have expected that to affect communication between the meters and IHD.  Or does it?

Userlevel 7
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Thanks. Photos can tell a story in ways words can’t, and sometimes they reveal more clues.

Hmm… Interesting… That really does sound unusual. As you’ve got the Chameleon IHD6 that makes me believe you’ve got SMETS2 then, as the IHD6 isn’t generally compatible with SMETS1 unless you have the ultra rare special IHD6-CAD-PPMID variant.

In theory, you should be in range as I’m able to move the Kecleon Brothers around 10 metres away from Raichu and still have them both connected. WAN dropouts shouldn’t affect the HAN that your IHD uses as they’re both two different connections.

If you look at the meter itself, you should find the Comms Hub has some lights on it. I get the feeling you could be on the borderline between the Northern and Central/Southern Territories, so I’ll need to figure out which one you’re in. Could you tell me if the Comms Hub has two lights or five lights on it please? Two means it’s on the Northern Territory and is using the Arqiva WAN via Long-Range Radio, while five means it’s on the Central Territory using the Telefonica WAN via Cellular (or Cellular + Mesh).

If you could also tell me which lights pulse and how long it is between each pulse, this helps a lot too. Please note that in some cases, not all lights pulse at the same time - if so, please let me know about that too.

Hi @Blastoise186 

I am not sure where these lights are supposed to be but there appear to be a pair of led lights just to the right of and below the meter display. I say appear because neither is lit and there is no sign of any activity from them at all. Over to the left of the display there is a single red led which pulses at irregular intervals. Also above the display there are two lights labeled  WAN and HAN which pulse green every 3 seconds or so. The Meter says Made in Romania HW version AD if that helps?

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

Thanks!

Hmm… That might explain a few things then. The LED to the left of the display can be ignored in this case - that’s the Metrology Light and is intended to be a visual indicator of energy being recorded as passing through the meter. The two LEDs on top however, are probably what we’re looking for here. Do you only have those two or is there another one to the left labelled SW as well?

It sounds as if you’re in the Northern Territory if it’s just the two LEDs and probably running on the Arqiva WAN. These setups are not as well documented on this forum as other setups are, but improving the coverage is on my ideas list.

Based on what I know from the Southern Territory where Cellular hubs are used, three second intervals between pulses on the WAN LED indicates the hub is searching for a signal, or at very least attempting to find one. If it was at one second intervals, that would be a connection issue and five second intervals indicates a healthy link. Generally, it’s a similar story with the HAN LED as well.

It sounds as if there’s a possible fault somewhere, so you may want to chat with the Support Team about this. If you let them know about this thread and that I’ve helped you out so far, that can speed things up a little too.

I can definitely say that I’ve never had these issues with the Kecleon Brothers and I can’t think of an easy way to replicate the conditions either, even with two IHD6 at my disposal.

Hi @Blastoise186 

Thanks for all your help. There is no other led labelled SW, just the two WAN and HAN.

Interestingly, when I went out to look just now I had opened the garage door and re-established the signal and the frequency of the flashing on those two lights had reduced to about 4 seconds which would seem to support your theory about searching for a signal. Although both the lights flash simultaneously.  Photos below show the IHD with garage door closed then open, and also the meter in its cupboard in the garage wall.

@johnd49 

 

I can confirm that I do indeed appear to be in the Northern Territory.  I am really surprised though that the HAN signal is so weak. At best it achieves 3 bars on a 5 bar scale and opening and closing the garage door or just walking near to the IHD can lose the signal altogether. Can anyone confirm if this is normal and my misfortune in having the meter a short way from the house, or do I have an actual fault? Is there any way to test?

@johnd49 

Userlevel 7
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Thanks @johnd49 ! this helps a lot.

Just to confirm, I’ve managed to identify your setup as having the following equipment (this note mainly helps other members who are searching the forum):

Electricity Meter: Aclara SGM1411-B (SMETS2) - this is the same model as Raichu and is definitely a very good one!

Communications Hub: SMETS2 EDMI Standard 420 running on the Arqiva WAN via LRR.

In-Home Display: SMETS2 Chameleon IHD6-CAD-PPMID.

Testing the signal isn’t always the easiest thing to do and I suspect you’ve already correctly diagnosed that something’s up. Given that the HAN runs on the same 2.4GHz band as stuff like Bluetooth and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, this really does seem unusual. From your description, you should definitely be getting a much stronger HAN signal to your IHD even with the garage door closed. Does the garage door happen to be really heavy and made of thick sheets of metal by any chance?

Sometimes thick garage doors can act like a bit of a faraday cage, but even then I wouldn’t expect it to be that badly affected.

Thanks again @Blastoise186 

The garage door is a standard lightweight aluminium up and over door.

I will take up your suggestion of a chat with the Support Team, probably later in the week when I can spare some more time to spend on this issue.

regards

@johnd49 

Userlevel 7
Badge +4

You’re welcome, we’ll be here if you ever need us again. In some cases, coming here first can actually save you from calling up the Support Team - especially if you find bugs (which can be escalated directly from the forum too!).

I will admit that I’m not really a huge fan of the way the Arqiva WAN works. While using Long-Range Radio is pretty cool and it does work well in the right circumstances - like being able to broadcast stuff across the entire country at once - it’s just not proving itself to be quite as good for Smart Meter stuff as of yet.

I live in the Southern Territory, so Raichu is equipped with a WNC SKU1 Cellular Comms Hub via the Telefonica WAN. And that works to absolute perfection for me. I’m pretty confident that Arqiva will nail it eventually, but they really need to work on it some more first…

But yeah, your garage door really shouldn’t be causing any issues. Aluminium is as far as I’m aware the least annoying metal to get Wi-Fi and ZigBee through… This needs some further investigations.

Userlevel 7

Hi @johnd49 and welcome to the OVO online community.

 

See you’ve already met our expert community volunteer, @Blastoise186 who’s done some great detective work into the signal issues you’ve been having with your IHD.

 

This has come up before so I’ve moved the thread over to a similar discussion - check the best answer above for some suggestions as to the possible cause. I’m sure you’ve thought of this already, but are there any other places you could plug in the IHD that may allow for better signal?

 

If that garage door proves to be an unavoidable obstacle, don’t forget you can also check your Smart usage data on the ‘Usage’ page of your online account  - Let us know if you need any help with these, we’ve got many usage graph community experts on hand too! :slight_smile:

 

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