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127 posts

Master Geek


#233739 30-Apr-2018 19:17
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My power company emailed me last week to tell me that they haven't been able to talk to my smart meter since earlier in the month.

 

We've lived in a new build for the last 18 months and it's worked fine without any issues until now.

 

They want to install an external aerial on my meter box which I don't really want as my meter box is flush on my internal garage wall. It'd only be a matter of time before I knocked the bloody thing with something.

 

Has anyone had this happen before?

 

Is it possible to see the signal strength from the meter without the power company sending someone out?


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  #2005419 30-Apr-2018 19:52
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Mine was intermittent from the start, a couple of months in they added an aerial. I put mine down to my meter box being solid metal, no window.

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  #2005420 30-Apr-2018 19:53
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you should be able to push one of the buttons on the meter and cycle through the display menus to see SIG and that will give you a reading, some meters require you to press and hold for a bit to enter a sub menu and then you can cycle through that menu and the signal is in there some where, whats the cell reception like out near the meter box? most meters are on vodafone so it could be that the meter isnt getting enough signal in the cage that its enclosed in thats why they want to install a external antenna.


 
 
 
 




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  #2005423 30-Apr-2018 20:06
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sparkz25:

 

you should be able to push one of the buttons on the meter and cycle through the display menus to see SIG and that will give you a reading, some meters require you to press and hold for a bit to enter a sub menu and then you can cycle through that menu and the signal is in there some where, whats the cell reception like out near the meter box? most meters are on vodafone so it could be that the meter isnt getting enough signal in the cage that its enclosed in thats why they want to install a external antenna.

 



Cool I'll give that a go. My phone reception is alright there, it gets a few bars but not the strongest. That box is a solid with no window so that probably doesn't help.

SIG on the meter is reading 12 and sometimes 15, I'm not sure what that number goes up to though. I'll leave the door off overnight and see if they can talk to it again.


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  #2005425 30-Apr-2018 20:14
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The antenna is fairly discrete. The one I have is a thin black cord and on the end is the antenna which is black, adhesive, about 2cm wide, 8cm high, 3mm thick. Visually haven't noticed it since it was put in.


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  #2005508 30-Apr-2018 21:48
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timmmay:

 

The antenna is fairly discrete. The one I have is a thin black cord and on the end is the antenna which is black, adhesive, about 2cm wide, 8cm high, 3mm thick. Visually haven't noticed it since it was put in.

 

 

that antenna your describing is usualy the one that comes with the meter and is sitting behind the meter terminal cover, if they are to put an external antenna on the meter box its always a short whip antenna.

 

is the meter box metal? if so that could be the problem, it could acting as a Faraday cage if it doesnt have a window in it.


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  #2005857 1-May-2018 12:00
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This is mine, pity it doesn't match my nicely powder coated meter box (great suggestion from the sparky)

Peeking through a crack in the door, SIG is 18. I'm in a very strong VF signal area.

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  #2005967 1-May-2018 13:16
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sparkz25:

 

timmmay:

 

The antenna is fairly discrete. The one I have is a thin black cord and on the end is the antenna which is black, adhesive, about 2cm wide, 8cm high, 3mm thick. Visually haven't noticed it since it was put in.

 

 

that antenna your describing is usualy the one that comes with the meter and is sitting behind the meter terminal cover, if they are to put an external antenna on the meter box its always a short whip antenna.

 

is the meter box metal? if so that could be the problem, it could acting as a Faraday cage if it doesnt have a window in it.

 

 

Ah ok. They just ran that antenna out of the box with mine.


 
 
 
 




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Master Geek


  #2006008 1-May-2018 14:07
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scottjpalmer:
This is mine, pity it doesn't match my nicely powder coated meter box (great suggestion from the sparky)

Peeking through a crack in the door, SIG is 18. I'm in a very strong VF signal area.


That looks like the one they want to put on mine, they will need to install a bracket with mine though as its a flush mount box.

With the box on I was getting a SIG 99 which seems to be code for no signal and with the box off I'm getting SIG 16 now. Kind of tempted to put a window on the door and see if that makes a difference. It is weird that its worked fine for the last 18 months and only stopped in the last couple of weeks. Maybe something around the house is interfering 


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Uber Geek


  #2006414 2-May-2018 10:09

If you are in a new subdivision, it might be more houses getting built and blocking the signal.

And in Auckland (and probably some other areas as well) Metrix meters use a mesh radio network. On the edges of that network, there is the risk that your meter may only have a single communication path back to the data collector via another meter. And if that person has their power disconnected. It can break communications with your meter.





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  #2006469 2-May-2018 11:30
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Given its a new build, why is your meter box inside the garage?

 

"my meter box is flush on my internal garage wall".

 

 




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Master Geek


  #2006500 2-May-2018 12:13
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Goosey:

 

Given its a new build, why is your meter box inside the garage?

 

"my meter box is flush on my internal garage wall".



Funny you should ask that because I just had a look around the neighbours and we seem to be the only ones with it internally ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ it's not like anyones ever been to read it and this is the first time I've had to let someone in to work on it in 18 months so its not too crazy. I think it'd go external next time purely for the extra wall space inside.

I let the meter run with the cover off for the last couple of days and the SIG reading has shown 12-16. The power meter man called around this morning, he couldn't say why it suddenly stopped but that this area can be a bit crap Vodafone wise and people slightly lower than us have no signal.

He installed a ~30cm long aerial inside the wall cavity, he said that they usually do that vs a bracket with the flush mounts anyway. You can just see it at the top left.


such flush, wow


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  #2006653 2-May-2018 17:52
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Nice solution!

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  #2006720 2-May-2018 19:36
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not sold on the idea of a internal meter box really but nice solution by installing the antenna in the wall

 

 


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  #2006754 2-May-2018 20:36
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Great idea putting them inside since access to it is no longer needed. Mine is outside by the front door and stupid neighnbour kids liked to mess with it.





Richard rich.ms



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Master Geek


  #2006756 2-May-2018 20:39
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It does have the benefit of not having to leave the house if you blow a fuse, which is great in Dunedin in the middle of winter.


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