Mobile Link and Mobile Link FLEET rely heavily on the connectivity of generators through either Wi-Fi or Cellular communications. When this communication is interrupted for any reason, this can cause disruptions in status updates and notifications through both Mobile Link and Mobile Link FLEET. For this reason, it is very important that connection interruptions be addressed as soon as possible.
However, because Wi-Fi and Cellular technology can sometimes encounter minor temporary communication gaps in even stable connection environments, it becomes important to understand when a generator is experiencing a temporary outage that may self-correct, and when a generator is encountering a persistent interruption that will require action to correct. Disconnected is an indication that a generator has reached a point where it will most likely not re-establish communication without physical action being taken.
This article will contain:
- What a Disconnected Generator looks like in FLEET
- What Disconnected means for a generator
- What might cause a generator to become disconnected
- What Action should be taken to correct a Disconnected generator
What does a Disconnected generator look like in FLEET?
When a generator displays as Disconnected in FLEET, the status is displayed in two ways:
- The generator's status icon displayed on the Generator Status dashboard will show as an icon.
- The Generator Details page for the affected generator will display a grey DISCONNECTED banner with the status message: Device has stopped communicating
What does it mean for a generator to be Disconnected?
A generator will only show as Disconnected after the generator has failed to communicate for more than 48 hours. When a generator initially stops communicating, it will initially display as Offline for the first 48 hours. The Initial start for and Offline status depends on the connection type. A generator will change to an Offline status if:
- A Wii-connected generator has failed to send a message for over 3 hours.
- An LTE-connected generator has failed to send a message for over 27 hours.
Note: Wi-fi-connected generators typically send a "heartbeat" message every 15 minutes whereas LTE-connected generators typically send a "heartbeat" message every 24 hours. This is the reason for the varied start duration.
A generator will only remain in an Offline status for 48 hours. After a generator has remained without communication for 48 hours after initially displaying the Offline status, the status will change to Disconnected.
What might cause a generator to become disconnected?
There are a wide variety of reasons a generator may lose connectivity and these reasons also vary depending on the connection method.
A Wi-Fi Connected generator may lose connection due to:
- Network changes (updated network name, password, router, etc...)
- Network security settings (firewall, IP filtering, etc...)
- Weak signal strength at the generator location
- Signal interference between the router and generator locations
- Signal Obstructions (walls, furniture, decorations, etc...)
- Internet Provider Outages
- Hardware Failure
A Cellular (LTE) Connected generator may lose connection due to:
- Lack of Cellular service in the area of the Generator
- Installation Issues
- Generator Controller Compatibility
- Hardware Failure
What action should be taken to correct a Disconnected generator?
If a generator has reached a disconnected state, action will most certainly be required to re-establish communications. Again, depending on the connection type, the actions that can be taken vary.
A Disconnected Wi-Fi generator may require:
- Verification that the customer is not currently experiencing an Internet Service Outage
- If the Internet Service in the area of the generator is experiencing an interruption, no action can be taken by the homeowner or generator service provider.
- It is recommended that the homeowner reach out to their internet service provider (ISP) to become and remain informed as to the resolution of the ISP's service interruption.
- Verification of Signal Strength in and around the area of the generator
- Generators experiencing less than 20%-40% signal strength may benefit from the addition of a Wi-Fi Signal Extender/Booster.
- The Manual reconnection of the generator
- The homeowner, very often, can easily re-connect the generator without assistance. It is recommended that the Generator Service Provider contact the customer and direct them to the easy instructions available on How to reconnect a generator that has disconnected from a WiFi network, which is available here.
- If the customer requests that the Generator Service Provider assist in the re-connection of the generator, helpful guidance on how to connect a generator as a service provider and be found here.
Note: Reconnection of a generator is not a warranty-covered service. Generator Service Providers are HIGHLY encouraged to advise customers in advance that assistance in reconnection is an available service and will encounter a fee, as a result, self-reconnection attempts are recommended to help save on fees. Please see the Dealer Email Template - Consumer Reconnect.docx file at the bottom of this article for a helpful sample email text for contacting homeowners regarding reconnecting.
A Disconnected Cellular generator may require:
- Verification of Cellular service in the area around the generator.
- Devices experiencing a weak signal will display a flashing or completely off "Signal" light on the front of the device (Second light from the top)
- In the event of an inadequate signal, Alternate connection options through wi-fi should be considered.
- Verification of proper installation
- Check all connections and inspect harness quality
- Power cycle of the Cellular device
- Detach the harness from the device to completely power down the device. Leave disconnected for 1 minute or more, then re-attach.
- Power cycle of the generator's controller
- Follow the generator manual's recommendation for the proper power cycle of the specific generator model that is affected.
- Replacement of Cellular device hardware