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Eon smart meter and my wireless networkTechnology 13472 views
We've had one of Eon's new smart meters installed today. It means our energy suppliers can take meter readings remotely, and also they provide a power display so we can see how much energy we're using.
The only problem is, as soon as the meter was switched back on my wireless network went haywire. Under Mac OS X the connection dropped to a crawl. Under Windows XP the connection just kept dropping out.
I tried all the usual tricks - reboot everything. Then reboot again.
The thing that clinched it was when I noticed a new connection in my list of preferred wireless networks. It was called 2Wire64.
Of course! The smart meter must be using some sort of wireless network to communicate. (Well that's what it seemed anyway)
I removed that connection and changed the channel setting on my wireless adapter to channel 7 (it had been at Auto). And, as if by magic, everything started working again.
Let's hope it lasts.
Interesting - I'm working with the GB energy suppliers on smart metering, and we've specifically looked at wireless co-existence, but that was looking at technology options that aren't even featuring in the meters being installed at the moment.
Are you sure it is your meter that is responsible for the new SSID? Any chance of a neighbour or local business muscling in on your airspace?
As I understand it, these pilot meters (it's probably an AMPY meter) are using 433MHz or 868MHz for wireless communication to the counter top gizmo you should also have received, whilst WiFi operates as 2.4GHz. Theoretically, your laptop shouldn't be aware of the wireless signal from the meter.
Having said all that, you may have some new super whizzy meter - they're testing a few options in the current trials. Rest assured, the work we're doing on the low power radio options for mass roll out will include the necessary safeguards to prevent this kind of thing happening too often. Wireless networks are notoriously fragile and fiddly things for the non-tech type, and the last thing we need is for smart meters to make them worse.
The new SSID appeared (along with the dropped connections) as soon as the power was switched back on to the house (after about 15 minutes off power). So I'm reasonably confident it was something to do with the new meter.
The counter top meter is from AMPY, so I'm assuming the main meters are from there as well.
It turns out that the gas meter (which also communicates wirelessly) has registered a fault and is going to be replaced. I'm wondering whether this may have something to do with the wireless problems.