What is a sparse network, and what are many-to-many controls?

When you have only one Avi-on device on your account, you have what we call a "sparse network."

We run into this situation all the time when many engineers are trying to test a single Av-on device in the lab.

  • Please read about sparse networks below. Then, information about many-to-many controls is here.

In a sparse network with one switch and 5 phones/tablets, your switch can't decide who to talk to. If you had 5 switches, then the 5 phones/tablets would work great.

The way the Bluetooth Smart and Mesh works is that it reaches out from a phone to the switch and forms a "bridge." That bridge enables that phone to control all of the Avi-on devices associated with your account (your "network").

  • When you have 10 switches and 5 phones, every phone can find a bridge. 
  • When you have 5 switches and 5 phones, every phone can find a bridge.
  • When you have 1 switch and 5 phones, only one phone can find a bridge at a time.

So, with only one switch in your Avi-on network, you can't have phone wars over it. One switch can only talk to one phone/tablet at a time. If you simply close the app on all but one phone, you will find that the remaining device works just fine. If you add more Avi-on switches to your network, then you will find that more of the phones can use the network at the same time.

If you are having connection problems, test for sparse network by doing the following:

  1. Logout of the app on all devices EXCEPT ONE.
  2. Try connecting to the switch. If it works, you were using too many phones/tablets at once.

So in summary, here are some frequently asked questions.

  • Can you have the app on many phones and tablets at once? Yes. See many-to-many controls for more information.
  • If your devices worked great until you added a second, third, fourth phone/tablet, is the problem that you created a sparse network? Yes. See above.
  • If you are trying to access one switch from more than one phone or tablet, will it cause problems? Yes, it might. Re-read the information about sparse networks above.
  • If you are trying to access many switches from many phones or tablets, will having lots of devices improve response times? Yes. More devices give the phones and tablets more devices to "bridge" to, and that improves the connection times.
  • If I have a sparse network, will adding more Avi-on devices to my network improve performance? Yes. More devices give the phones and tablets more devices to "bridge" to, and that improves the connection times.

By the way, regardless of how many phones or tablets you have, your schedules are saved in the Avi-on device's memory, so schedules will work as programmed. 

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