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WiFi reliability on Ultimaker 3


emtee
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Posted · WiFi reliability on Ultimaker 3

My UM3 has been flakey for some time when it comes to getting or maintaining a WiFi connection. Sometimes it'll just loose its connection, other times it's okay but won't reconnect when it's switched on.

I appreciate UM3 is no longer supported, but if anyone has any tips to improve matters I'd be grateful - memory stick and ethernet aren't really practical.

Things I've tried include updating firmware to 5.3.0 (after which it connected immediately, but then disconnected after an hour or so and wouldn't connect again). rebooting router and PC, checking WiFi signal strength (should be more than enough), and resetting WiFi  config on the UM3.

It is sat between two ordinary printers which are 100% solid on WiFi, and have a good signal - but I've experimented with it in different positions to no avail.

Thanks

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    Posted · WiFi reliability on Ultimaker 3

    Wifi on the UM3 is getting old for current standards. So, when other devices in the vicinity do work, then this might be because those devices are using improved technology which wasn't available at the design time of the UM3.

     

    The UM3 wifi wasn't bad, it does have a real antenna, i.e. a physical 25cm wire where some cost reduced devices only use a tiny chip antenna.

     

    Things you can try:

    - Long shot, but perhaps the internal antenna in the UM3 is disconnected? It's a tiny but relative strong connector, so I never heard of problems here, but easy to check. See picture.
    - Configure your access point to only use 2.4GHz. The 5GHz band has many advantages but is not supported by the UM3.

    - Disable ip.v6 in your access point

     

    If this doesn't work, then you'll have to change the connection from your printer to the network. Here are some suggestions:

    - Move your wifi access point closer to the printer. 

    - Add an extra wifi access point, closer to the printer.  This can be an older access point model since the printer only uses 2.4GHz and is relative slow. Perhaps you have an absolete access point lying around for this?

    - Forget about the printer's internal wifi and add an external wifi to the printer. Perhaps you have an old access point lying around and connect this to the printer by ethernet cable? I mean, immediately next or behind the printer, so only 50cm of ethernet cable.

    - Add a powerline modem to create an ethernet connection in the vicinity of your printer without ugly cables. Costs about €50

    antenna_connector.jpg

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    Posted · WiFi reliability on Ultimaker 3

    Thanks for the thoughts - I thought of checking the aerial, but haven't done so yet - will do. And I'm planning on using a powerline connection - I have a couple of spares from a network project I was working on (I do a lot of network work), but I'd rather use WiFi.

    But these problems have developed, and nothing has changed (other than updated firmware) - the adjacent printers have always been there, and actually predate the UM3 (by a year or so).

    Thanks again



     

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    Posted · WiFi reliability on Ultimaker 3

    A degradation in Wifi quality is not something we've heard a lot for the UM3. There have, of course, been many complaints for bad signal quality, but then this was from the start. Reports for signal degradation are low. 

     

    Speaking from the numbers I suspect something changed in your environment. Perhaps a neighbour installed extra wifi devices which are now all in the same frequency channels? You can check this with a phone app.

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    Posted (edited) · WiFi reliability on Ultimaker 3
    13 hours ago, CarloK said:

    A degradation in Wifi quality is not something we've heard a lot for the UM3. There have, of course, been many complaints for bad signal quality, but then this was from the start. Reports for signal degradation are low. 

     

    Speaking from the numbers I suspect something changed in your environment. Perhaps a neighbour installed extra wifi devices which are now all in the same frequency channels? You can check this with a phone app.

    Thanks - RF is part of my background, so I do understand RF issues - and it helps that I have a couple of spectrum analysers and see nothing untoward. 

    I have to say that it has all come good now (although I have to go to "manage printers" sometimes to get Cura to reconnect to it) - and I suspect that there may have been an issue with the HiRose-style RF connector as the only thing I did was reseat it. I couldn't quite figure out where the aerial actually was (but didn't go hunting for it!)

    So I guess time will tell.

    As an aside, I found two screws that had worked themselves very loose - presumably through vibration. 

    Edited by emtee
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    Posted · WiFi reliability on Ultimaker 3

    I'm glad to hear your situation has improved. Since your background is in RF, might you discover new insights in the future, then please share your findings for us to learn from.

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