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Chameleon In Home Display (IHD) lost connection with smart meters - Any tips to get reconnected?

  • 17 November 2017
  • 52 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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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?

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Hi @Pauly - I've moved your post to this thread where you should be able to find the info you need.
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Updated on 08/03/22 by Jess_OVO
 

Noticed an issue with your Chameleon In-Home Display, we’re here to help! We know how useful these devices can be for keeping an eye on the usage data we’re receiving from your smart meters so want to make sure any technical bugs can be ironed out! :bug:

 

Missing some data, spotted some incorrect unit rates (excluding the 5% VAT difference) or has the device started rebooting? These could all indicate an issue we may be having with the connection between us and your meters (also known as the Wide-Area Network or WAN) or between the device itself and the smart meters (also known as the Home-Area Network or HAN).

 

Newly installed Smart meters?
 

Eager to get tracking your smart meter usage data straight away? We hear ya! Whilst most devices are up and running from the date your new meters are installed, it’s not unusual for them to lose some data or experience a few teething-issues as we carry out some behind-the-scenes initialising process (read more about these on this great user-guide). We’d recommend keeping the device plugged in close to your electricity meter if you notice any issues during the first 6 weeks following a smart meter installation - hopefully things should start working as expected once the smart meters are fully up and running but if not, read on to check our next trouble-shooting steps.

 

Checking the smart meter connection (WAN) via your Online account or OVO App

 

Been over 6 weeks since the smart meters we’re installed and you’re still noticing issues with your Chameleon device ? - It’s time to start doing some investigating! First place to check is your online account or OVO app (download for Android or iOS). If we’ve lost connection to your smart meters for over 5 days you may see this message on your home-screen:

 

Exact wording may vary

 

In this case the best next steps would be to carry out a smart meter health check for your meter type below and forward the results on to our Support Team:
 

 

 

Once any communication issues with your meters are resolved, we’ll be able to get your IHD connected and showing your usage data again too!

 

DIY steps to help with issues with your Home-Area Network (HAN)

 

Checked your online account and no ongoing smart meter communication issues to see? In this case it’s more likely to be an issue with the connection between the device itself and the smart meters (also known as the HAN). The In-Home Display connects to your smart meters via the communications hub attached to your electricity meter, so it sometimes helps to move your IHD closer to your electricity meter to help it re-gain connection. It’s best to leave the IHD in this new spot and try re-booting the device after 24 hours  (a classic turning off and on again move), sometimes this simple step will do the trick!

 

Contacting our Support Team

 

Can’t get things back on track with the above steps? Not to worry - our Support Team can help get the issue escalated to our Smart metering team for further investigations.

 

Before you get in touch it’s best to complete the following IHD health check so we can make sure we’ve got all the information we need to carrying out some remote processes to get the IHD re-connected:

 

  1. Does the device show a correct time and date?

  2. Is the WiFi symbol solid/flashing/not there?

  3. Could you confirm the Device ID? (Long ID number on the bottom of device)

  4. How far away from your electricity meter do you store your IHD? Are there any walls in between that could be blocking the signal?

  5. What is the issue with your IHD? E.g. not showing electricity/gas usage, displays incorrect tariff, device is rebooting itself?

  6. Please confirm if your device is an IHD3 (black all over) or IHD6 (black on the front and white on the back)

  7. If your IHD is showing incorrect rates: what rates does your IHD currently show? Are the rates shown on the IHD higher or lower than your actual rates?

 

Your responses to these questions can be forwarded to our Support Team (we’d recommend via live chat which you can access at the bottom of this page) who’ll let you know the next steps. 

 

Another way to check your usage

 

So long as we’re in communication with your smart meters themselves, don’t forget you can always keep an eye on your usage data by checking the ‘Usage’ pages of your online account, whilst we get the IHD issues sorted. Check out the great guide below for an introduction to the usage info you can see here:
 

 

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.
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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.
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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?

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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?

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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?

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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 

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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 

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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.

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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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