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Thread: Honeywell Evohome comms fault

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    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    Default Honeywell Evohome comms fault

    Hi forum. A couple of days ago I purchased and set up an evohome system in my property, consisting of an OpenTherm gateway, the new WiFi controller, and 10 HR92 actuators. Since then, I have noticed on three occasions that I have had a lost comms fault on the guest bed actuator. There is nothing unusual about the guest bedroom. It's on the floor below the controller, the actuator is maybe 6 metres line of sight, and it's one of the shorter distances in the system. The only nearby metal object is the radiator itself - I'm not aware of the walls being constructed of foil backed board, and there are no other metallic objects, other evohome components or electrical accessories nearby in the room.

    Thinking it may be a fault with the actuator itself, I have swapped said actuator with another room and re-bound both devices. The actuator that was in the guest bedroom is now in the master bedroom and operating without problem, but the actuator that was previously working fine in the master bedroom is now throwing comms faults in the guest bedroom. On re-binding the devices, the red fault icon on the controller for the guest bedroom does not disappear. It seems that the only way to clear this is to pull out the controller batteries, put them back in and let the controller re-discover all the HR92s. It will then operate fine for a good few hours before the comms fault comes back.

    Running an RF check, the signal to the guest bed HR92 shows as 'excellent', though if I walk in front of the thermostat (blocking the signal) it changes to 'good', and on one occasion I did actually manage to block the signal to the point where I got a 'not received', but I was stood literally a quarter of an inch from touching the controller with my chest. I have also noticed that the numbers after the various signal strengths on the controller RF test page are only ever 1 or 0. I assume they are supposed to count the number of excellent/good/poor/etc signals received, but if that's the case, there must be a bug in the software, as they don't work.

    Operationally, the guest bed actuator works fine. It seems to respond to demand from the controller and is sending back temperature data for the room, so I really can't understand the comms fault. What also isn't made clear in the manual is how these comms faults are supposed to be cleared - once it rears its head, the only way to clear the fault seems to be a complete power cycle of the controller.

    Interestingly, Fletch79 seems to have the exact same problem in his post from a couple of days ago.

    I know that Honeywell have a bit of a presence on here, and I'd be interested to know exactly what's going on inside the controller when it throws this error. For example, does the controller poll the HR92s every few minutes and expect a response? Does it poll them continuously and then throw an error if it goes more than a few minutes without a response? I know that the actuators only switch on their radio every four minutes or so to conserve battery power. I guess what I'm trying to establish is how many times a comms fault must occur before it's flagged by the controller. If once is all it takes, perhaps the controller firmware should be changed to allow a couple of errors before going to fault? I'd also be interested to know how and when the fault is supposed to clear, if at all. There's certainly no button to clear the fault logbook.
    Last edited by electronicsuk; 19th September 2015 at 10:19 AM.

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by electronicsuk View Post
    Hi forum. A couple of days ago I purchased and set up an evohome system in my property, consisting of an OpenTherm gateway, the new WiFi controller, and 10 HR92 actuators. Since then, I have noticed on three occasions that I have had a lost comms fault on the guest bed actuator. There is nothing unusual about the guest bedroom. It's on the floor below the controller, the actuator is maybe 6 metres line of sight, and it's one of the shorter distances in the system. The only nearby metal object is the radiator itself - I'm not aware of the walls being constructed of foil backed board, and there are no other metallic objects, other evohome components or electrical accessories nearby in the room.

    Thinking it may be a fault with the actuator itself, I have swapped said actuator with another room and re-bound both devices. The actuator that was in the guest bedroom is now in the master bedroom and operating without problem, but the actuator that was previously working fine in the master bedroom is now throwing comms faults in the guest bedroom. On re-binding the devices, the red fault icon on the controller for the guest bedroom does not disappear. It seems that the only way to clear this is to pull out the controller batteries, put them back in and let the controller re-discover all the HR92s. It will then operate fine for a good few hours before the comms fault comes back.

    Running an RF check, the signal to the guest bed HR92 shows as 'excellent', though if I walk in front of the thermostat (blocking the signal) it changes to 'good', and on one occasion I did actually manage to block the signal to the point where I got a 'not received', but I was stood literally a quarter of an inch from touching the controller with my chest. I have also noticed that the numbers after the various signal strengths on the controller RF test page are only ever 1 or 0. I assume they are supposed to count the number of excellent/good/poor/etc signals received, but if that's the case, there must be a bug in the software, as they don't work.

    Operationally, the guest bed actuator works fine. It seems to respond to demand from the controller and is sending back temperature data for the room, so I really can't understand the comms fault. What also isn't made clear in the manual is how these comms faults are supposed to be cleared - once it rears its head, the only way to clear the fault seems to be a complete power cycle of the controller.

    Interestingly, Fletch79 seems to have the exact same problem in his post from a couple of days ago.

    I know that Honeywell have a bit of a presence on here, and I'd be interested to know exactly what's going on inside the controller when it throws this error. For example, does the controller poll the HR92s every few minutes and expect a response? Does it poll them continuously and then throw an error if it goes more than a few minutes without a response? I know that the actuators only switch on their radio every four minutes or so to conserve battery power. I guess what I'm trying to establish is how many times a comms fault must occur before it's flagged by the controller. If once is all it takes, perhaps the controller firmware should be changed to allow a couple of errors before going to fault? I'd also be interested to know how and when the fault is supposed to clear, if at all. There's certainly no button to clear the fault logbook.
    Are you using the 'old' or 'new' Evohome controller: 'new' being the one with built-in wifi? My experience of comms faults was the loss of comms between the controller and the two BDRs. Often this would occur with both the CH and HWH off. Normally, the faults would restore automatically and both the fault and restore would be recorded in the fault log. In the 15 months that I have had Evohome, I have never seen a loss of comms with a HR92 - other than taking time to re-synch after a controller re-set. This brings me to the main point. There is no soft reset of the controller. If you remove the batteries from the controller for 30 secs, it will clear the fault log.

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    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HenGus View Post
    Are you using the 'old' or 'new' Evohome controller: 'new' being the one with built-in wifi?
    Yes, the 'new' thermostat. Model number is ATP921R3100, purchased from theevohomeshop.co.uk.

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    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    Ok, so I've now tried removing the HR92 that's bound to the guest bed zone into a location that's only a few feet away from the controller with direct line of sight. Again, same issue. To rule out an issue with the controller, I created a new 'test' zone on the controller and bound it with the HR92. However, this hasn't cured the comms fault.

    None of this makes any sense, as I swapped the guest bed HR92 with another room in my initial testing and the fault still stayed with that room, which suggested a central controller or RF fault. I can now rule out an RF fault as I'm seeing the error when the HR92 is just feet from the controller. A controller fault with that particular zone is now looking less and less likely, as I'm still seeing a comms error even after creating a new zone.

    I'm now starting to question myself, wondering if I might have got the two actuators mixed up when I swapped the guest and master bed and actually re-fitted the same one, as my gut feeling is that this does seem like a HR92 fault. I'm going to swap the guest bedroom and office over tonight and see what happens. If the fault still persists, I'm really going to be scratching my head.

    A call to Honeywell support may be in order, but that's something I'm trying to avoid, as call my cynical, but I'll no doubt be told it's an RF problem or they'll run me through some generic troubleshooting flow chart that isn't really all that helpful.

  5. #5
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    Contact Richard at theevohome shop. He is happy to provide support for all purchases made from his store.

  6. #6

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    We see this a lot when people setup the system. The system will 'remember' the device even if it moves into another zone. This sounds like the evohome is looking for something that inst there. This can happen when a HR92 is removed from system, but the system is only just finding out. A simple clear will make it go away and the zone will be ok if found the 'other new one' - if the fault keeps occurring then the zone is 'requesting' it and has nothing to act with - this means you have a problem in the config/zone.

    I would.
    - delete zone.
    - You need to perform a full clear on the HR92s. (Hold button, wait for bind and hold until clear).
    - add back in

    As you do it, make sure you note what evohome tells you (sometimes is might say 1 zone bound 2 accuators) as this is trying to tell you more info (shouldnt happen though if you do steps above as this would be new zone)

    PS Don't power cycle the controller (main unit) to clear the log.
    getconnected.honeywell.com | I work for Honeywell. Any posts I make are purely to help if I can. Any personal views expressed are my own

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    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    Hey Rameses. I've already tried deleting the zone and fully clearing the HR92 as you describe. I think I am going to do a complete reset on the controller and all HR92s and start again, and see if this cures it.

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    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    Some good news. I did a complete factory reset on the controlled, cleared all HR92s, re-synched all the controls and re-entered my heating schedule. Touch wood, 24 hours with no comms faults.

    Interesting to note for anyone else having comms issues, I found that the fault would always come up around the three hour mark after power cycling the controller. I assume this means that if comms is lost for more than 3 hours, evohome logs it in the fault book.

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    Automated Home Legend paulockenden's Avatar
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    I always get a 'comms fault' on one of my actuators an hour or two (might even be three) after power cycling the controller, but it's a one-off thing - the HR92 continues to work properly.

    I just ignore it now!

    P.

  10. #10
    Automated Home Sr Member electronicsuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulockenden View Post
    I always get a 'comms fault' on one of my actuators an hour or two (might even be three) after power cycling the controller, but it's a one-off thing - the HR92 continues to work properly.

    I just ignore it now!
    You're a better man than I am. I wouldn't be able to sleep :P

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