Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connection.

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Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connection.

Postby Illusion » September 22nd, 2018, 1:10 pm

I could not get the wifi to connect on the robot. I tried for hours using different iOS devices, robot reboots, robot factory resets, router reboots, iOs device reboots, and even went so far as to get another router and build a new wifi network and shut down my other one.

iRobot customer support was not helpful during this process. I then put the robot next to my wireless access point and it succeeded immediately on the first try. Now that I had it set up and could see it in the app. I updated the robot software as requested and then tried to use the robot, but the robot was not connected to wifi again. It will not connect to wifi unless it is right next to the router/access point. It seems this roomba has poor wi-fi performance.

Bringing it next to the wifi access point again let it get on the wifi. Looking at signal strength, the robot sees a -56 where a laptop in the same location sees a -37dBm (within a 4' of the access point). This is a nearly 100 times more powerful signal strength. Moving the test point further away from the access point the signal strength discrepancy gets even bigger. Where I have Roomba's home base is about 25' from the access point and through a wall. Here the signal strength (measured in the app just before the robot disconnects from wifi) is a dismal -79 while my laptop at the same point is a -53dBm. The laptop signal strength is 400 times stronger than the Roomba at this location. In fact, I had to get the roomba to connect and then while connected move the roomba away from the router while looking at the signal strength in the app. Shortly after seeing the low signal the roomba disconnected from the wi-fi.

As such I am only able to reliably see the robot on the app if it is in the same room as the access point. It cannot even move one room away without loosing the signal.

After I let customer support get back to me from my escalation, I likely will be returning this robot as defective. I just thought I would take the time to post here in case someone else is searching the web for just this problem.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby jdong » September 22nd, 2018, 1:36 pm

Sorry to hear.... the i7 appears to prefer 5GHz Wi-Fi but it only has a single antenna (1x1) 802.11n solution.

Note that RSSI values are not directly comparable between different wireless cards. Everyone calibrates their RSSIs differently.

Wi-Fi seems to work okay on my i7 but I’ve got pretty dense wireless coverage for other reasons.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby Illusion » September 22nd, 2018, 2:02 pm

Are you saying that the i7 works on 5GHZ? All the stuff I read in troubleshooting this seemed to indicate that it was 2.4Ghz.

My roomba looses its wi-fi connection at absurd distances. In a room behind the access point just 9' away and the connection drops.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby jdong » September 22nd, 2018, 2:24 pm

Correct — here’s from my access point admin panel.... it’s connecting to channel 36 apart from initial setup.

Perhaps there’s something wrong with the Wi-Fi antenna on your unit? Mine seems to hold on to a Wi-Fi connection about as well as I would expect. But I run all enterprise equipment at home so that might help.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby justflie » September 22nd, 2018, 2:50 pm

No issues with wifi here. Mine is connected to 2.4 GHz. Perhaps a bad unit for you.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby jdong » September 22nd, 2018, 3:17 pm

Perhaps try creating a separate 2.4GHz network and connecting to that? I wonder if 5GHz support was just a mistake and they forgot to disable that on their wireless card.


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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby Illusion » September 22nd, 2018, 3:56 pm

jdong,

Thanks for the 5ghz tip. So I set up a separate 5ghz test wireless network and switched my Roomba over to that. And sure enough, in the app it said that this is a 5ghz network and only the i series robots support that. If I have another robot I should use a 2.4.

So I got it all set up on the 5ghz test network, which I had high hopes for as there are not many 5ghz competing networks in my area. And the results are...

It is maybe even a little worse. At one point it lost internet connectivity while in the same room as the access point. (kitchen-other side of the table) It has no connectivity at all from any room in my small 2bed/2bath house except in the room with the access point. I see a return on the horizon for myself.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby jdong » September 22nd, 2018, 4:17 pm

Wow that’s too bad — I actually just disabled all but one of my access points.... was able to communicate with my Roomba i7 during its job.

It leaves me wondering if there might be something wrong with you particular unit. I’d probably suggest exchanging it for another one to test.

On a separate note, absolutely loving the i7 so far compared to the already great 980. Once it performed one full cleaning job, the time to clean my whole place dropped from 1h20m to 50 minutes. It spent a lot less time pointlessly bumping into walls and obstacles looking for new rooms. I’ll start a thread with my full thoughts once I have more time.

I hope you can get the i7 to work for you!
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby Illusion » September 22nd, 2018, 6:08 pm

Thanks for taking the time to turn off your access points for a test. I appreciate it. I will let you know how it plays out...
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby Illusion » September 23rd, 2018, 12:12 pm

I know that RSSI values may not be directly comparable per "RSSI values are not directly comparable between different wireless cards. Everyone calibrates their RSSIs differently."

But I took my roomba to a friends house that has a 690 roomba. I set it up on that network and where her roomba was showing a signal strength of -53 where mine was showing -79 and then disconnecting. I am on the phone with them to return or replace this.

Thanks all for the help.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby ctnguye3 » October 3rd, 2018, 8:37 am

My i7 connects to my local network fine however I can not get it to connect to the iRobot cloud, so none of the smart features work, I can't update to the latest firmware, or use it with my Google Home. When I go to "Wifi details", it says "Attempting to connect to the cloud". Do you think this has to do with my wifi or the unit itself? My previous roomba was the 980 and I had zero issues with it connecting to my wifi.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby Illusion » October 3rd, 2018, 9:53 am

Based on my experience with mine I would try two things. First, bring that unit right next to the access point.

If that does not allow the cloud to connect to it, I would factory reset it and set it up fresh again. We are not talking about a reboot here. Put the roomba on the base, and press all three buttons simultaneously. (Dock, Clean, Spot) I think you hold the buttons until you get an indicator. After a while you will see the spinning white ring light of a fresh boot to a reset robot. You will have to re-learn maps, and add it to the app and wifi all over again like it was new.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby ctnguye3 » October 3rd, 2018, 11:49 am

I did the factory reset, even went as far as delete/reinstall the app, created a new account and tried a different phone. Nothing worked. However I have not try putting the i7 next to the access point so I'll give that a try tonight. Thanks
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby Illusion » October 4th, 2018, 6:09 pm

After a good bit of back and forth with iRobot support I have received a replacement i7. Problem fixed. Great WiFi signal now. Thanks all for the help.
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby N1831 » October 8th, 2018, 8:23 pm

ctnguye3 wrote:I did the factory reset, even went as far as delete/reinstall the app, created a new account and tried a different phone. Nothing worked. However I have not try putting the i7 next to the access point so I'll give that a try tonight. Thanks


Wont do anything. There is another thread on this. iRobot has to fix the connection on their end to support the first firmware release, they are estimating mid Oct.

For those of us with early production 1.0.8 firmware, we’re screwed until then. Later production models shipped with 1.2.7 firmware that fixed this problem.

I’m very concerned with timing on this, as I only have a 15 day return policy. If they dont fix soon, I’m taking this back
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Re: Bought a new i7. It is not going well. Bad WiFi connecti

Postby ctnguye3 » October 9th, 2018, 10:56 am

N1831 wrote:
ctnguye3 wrote:I did the factory reset, even went as far as delete/reinstall the app, created a new account and tried a different phone. Nothing worked. However I have not try putting the i7 next to the access point so I'll give that a try tonight. Thanks


Wont do anything. There is another thread on this. iRobot has to fix the connection on their end to support the first firmware release, they are estimating mid Oct.

For those of us with early production 1.0.8 firmware, we’re screwed until then. Later production models shipped with 1.2.7 firmware that fixed this problem.

I’m very concerned with timing on this, as I only have a 15 day return policy. If they dont fix soon, I’m taking this back


I was also concern about the return when I talked them on the phone, they assured me the fix will come mid-October and if for any reason my return period expires, they will handle the exchange for me (meaning I go through them with the exchange instead of my retailer). I'm not willing to risk that, so if this update doesn't happen next week which is mid October, I will call them back requesting an exchange and if they deny it, I will just exchange it where I originally purchased the unit from.
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