Why are my schedules not working correctly?

“It turns off ok but fails to turn on"

"Sunset and sunrise are unreliable"

Summary

Perceived unreliability of schedules is often because of an unstable power (electricity) source for the device, an overloaded circuit, or possibly a weak Real Time Clock Chip.

  • Since the clock for Avi-on devices is inside the device (not on the phone), unstable power can cause the clock on the device to lose time and/or default to safety mode, which is OFF.
  • An overloaded switch can reduce the voltage temporarily to the point that the switch shuts down.   This can also cause the switch to lose the time sync for future schedule triggers.
  • Rarely, there is a hardware defect that causes a devices to be especially susceptable to the above conditions

As a result, users have the impression that the schedule is unreliable, when in fact, it is actually the power that is unreliable and the Avi-on device is actually operating normally. This can be frustrating for the user, as the outages may be quite short to the point that the user does not know that they have happened.

If your schedules are not running reliably, first read this article and take these steps first to Verify/Fix Schedules.

If none of those steps work, then you may need to relocate the switch to a different circuit or review the connected devices to make sure you are not overloading circuit.  Common overloading conditions can include:

  • Too many lights on one circuit.  This can happen especially with large numbers of incandescent bulbs
  • A motor, such as a pool pump, attic fan that is too large for the switch.  Some lesser quality motors have very large peak current draw during the first few seconds of powering on (10x 50x normal current).  This surge can temporarily overload the circuit to the point that the switch shuts down.  This can happen even if the rated power on the nameplate is less than the switch rating.  Unfortunately, motors vary so widely that there is not easy way to tell for sure if a pump will work or not in advance.

Why Power Outages Affect Your Schedules

Unstable power causes Avi-on products to use their "safety mode" and default to the OFF state. As a result, users have the impression that the schedule is unreliable, when in fact, it is actually the power that is unreliable and the Avi-on device is actually operating normally.

  • The perception that a device is failing to turn on is 100% consistent with a power outage.

For example, if you have a heater on the same circuit that operates at the same time each day, it may cause enough irregularity in power to cause the switch to lose it's clock setting. Also, your power company may fluctuate the power in very short "micro outages."

Example of Expected Schedule Behavior After Power Outage

Here is an example of this behavior from a scheduled device that is already turned on.

At some point in time in between ON events, the power supplying the device fluctuates enough for the device to experience an outage. The device would reboot, and by default, the device starts in the OFF position. That would give the user the impression that the schedule did not work. In fact, the device came on, experienced a power outage, lost it's clock time and then came back on in the off position.

  • From the user perspective, if he is not checking the exact minute, it may appear that it has successfully trigger the schedule to turn OFF.
  • However, at this moment, because of the outage, the device's clock is NOT synchronized, and the schedule can not function.
  • The next ON event happens, and since the device has no clock set, the device does not turn on.
  • This is the moment on which the user detects there is an issue, launches the app, which immediately synchronizes the time on the device and puts the schedule back on track.

So, if the user checks the device's clock time on the info screen, it will show the correct time, misleading the user into thinking the clock was ok all the time.

Weak Real Time Clock

GE Branded switches have a Real Time Clock circuit to keep the time.  We have seen very occasionally that these chips are particularly susceptible to power disturbances or overloads.  If you have tried the other recommended actions and still have problems, contact Avi-on helpdesk and we can provide a firmware upgrade that bypasses this component and often works more reliably.

24/7 Clock Synchronization with the Avi-on Remote Access Bridge

If you would like to have your schedules synchronized with the Internet 24/7, then get an Avi-on Remote Access Bridge.  The RAB is a simple, plug-in device that both synchronizes your devices clocks after power failures, and it gives you remote access to your Avi-on products from anywhere in the world. Order one at Avi-on.com

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