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Thread: Important RA2 Main Repeater bulletin

  1. #1
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    Important RA2 Main Repeater bulletin

    Hi Forum-
    A new Technical Bulletin has been posted advising that RA2 main repeaters built during a certain time period may have a defect.

    Copied from the Bulletin I found at mylutron.com:

    RadioRA 2 Main repeater Memory Chip Technical Bulletin: May 27, 2016
    Due to an issue found with a memory component, RadioRA2 Main Repeaters (RR-MAIN-REP-WH)
    manufactured in the date code range X48 (48th week 2014) to Y12 (12th week 2015) may exhibit faulty
    operation. Because of the nature of this component issue, there is not one specific failure symptom, but
    unexpected behavior may be seen. The failure rate related to this issue is low and as such there is no reason to
    actively seek out and replace any Main Repeaters. If unexpected behavior is experienced at an installation, and
    the Main Repeater falls into the date code range referenced above - call Tech Support (1-800-523-9466) for
    problem resolution.

  2. #2
    Thanks for the notice. Where is the date code found, specifically?

  3. #3
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    Back of the main repeater, just above the FCC logo, half way down on the right side.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Business Development Associate for Baker Electric Solar

    mbalay@bakerelectricsolar.com

  4. #4
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    Hah, every single Radio Ra system I've used since 2010 has been a giant pain in the butt and not acted right. On paper it's a great and easy system but in reality there are a lot of issues with this even with version 10.2. The very first system I tried in version 2 lock up on me embarrassed me in front of the customer, and I had to connect it directly to the computer and manually wake it up again. Ever since then every time I upload the programming, it's a miracle if I don't get any errors the first time. If I ever change a device or the router, all hell breaks loose and I have to spend 2 hours uploading to avoid getting hours. When I call tech support they tell me my repeater must be too far and it's 20 feet away. I really hoped they worked out the bugs but today I still had to deal with these issues. Odd thing is I never have the same problems with QS or even Caseta. Is Ra2 the step child?

  5. #5
    Authorized Lutron Contributor
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    Quote Originally Posted by SparkyCoog View Post
    Hah, every single Radio Ra system I've used since 2010 has been a giant pain in the butt and not acted right. On paper it's a great and easy system but in reality there are a lot of issues with this even with version 10.2. The very first system I tried in version 2 lock up on me embarrassed me in front of the customer, and I had to connect it directly to the computer and manually wake it up again. Ever since then every time I upload the programming, it's a miracle if I don't get any errors the first time. If I ever change a device or the router, all hell breaks loose and I have to spend 2 hours uploading to avoid getting hours. When I call tech support they tell me my repeater must be too far and it's 20 feet away. I really hoped they worked out the bugs but today I still had to deal with these issues. Odd thing is I never have the same problems with QS or even Caseta. Is Ra2 the step child?
    SparkyCoog,

    I apologize for the troubles you have been running into with Radio RA2.

    Typical input and troubleshooting you would receive from Technical Support is all in an effort to rule out anything we wouldn't initially consider to be the problem. It's never an attempt to run you around or perform seemingly erroneous tests.
    It’s an easy consideration to observe and see, “Lutron system is acting weird, button presses are delayed, lights are not responded, therefore something is wrong with the system”. However, there may be something external that causes the issues. Which to be completely honest with you is what I find is going on more often than not.
    You actually admitted it yourself. If the system is acting strange, or transfers are generating errors, but all of a sudden once you connect directly to the computer (thus ruling out the network and its firewalls/ restrictions/ traffic) and things start working….You’ve actually proven in that moment that the Radio RA2 system is fine! Instead, it is either the network exclusively or the something on it that is causing problems to the system.

    The biggest tips I could convey to you is to try any of the following:

    • Open multicasting on the router for the MAC address of the Radio RA2 Main Repeater. This unit heavily depends on multicasting and so does your computer outputting from the Radio RA2 software GUI. It’s the biggest hindrance I usually run into.
    • Decide if there are a lot of devices on the network/ too much traffic. If you feels this is the case (having a Sonos System means it is by the way) then try VLAN’ing the Radio RA2 system on the network. This way it will avoid all the traffic on the network except for whatever we choose to have directly target it.


    I do hope some of this was helpful and again apologize for the stress you’ve been going through.
    Thanks for posting!

  6. #6
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    Well this isn't an isolated incident so either every network has issues - from my personal router that I use on new construction to enterprise grade systems that the audio video guys put in million dollar houses that I use. I'm more inclined to think that Lutron doesn't do proper testing in real life situations in houses where there are multiple access points and there are houses. Everything works wonderful with 5 devices in a hotel conference room, but real life is different. I have given up on walking around to activate devices because as soon as one AP hands off to another, I get disconnected right in the middle of the activation and often times have to resort to factory defaulting everything before continuing. You can blame the network, but my laptop doesn't miss a beat nor does my phone.

    There is a house I did back in 2012 where it was almost fully loaded with 198 devices and during the uploading process which was going on 2 hours, it stopped halfway and would not finish with less than 50 errors. The problem was not the uploading of the database to the main processors, it was sending it to the devices. The only way the network can be blamed is if there is so much communication between the two main processors that even an enterprise grade network can't keep up. Then somehow the two main processors got orphaned and since many of the dimmers were hidden in attics and other places, I had to turn off the breakers so the family could sleep that night and the next day factory default all 198 devices. Now days there is a a "try failed devices" which is very nice, but I shouldn't need to use it as much as I do.

    To give you today's example using version 10.2 (I posted part of it on another thread), I went to update a system with only 20 devices all in the same room and the plan was to connect it to the main router in the house. On my old router I updated the firmware and things seemed ok, but as soon as I put it on the main router and changed it to DHCP and uploaded, I got 17 errors the first time and after 2 "retry failed devices", everything worked again. I don't know how the network can be blamed for that when the issue is sending it from the main processor to the devices 20 feet away.


    The above is when I'm uploading the database to the repeater but as mentioned, another very annoying thing that both this and the QS system do is one minute it shows the processor on the network just fine with its serial number and ip address and a few seconds later it's red and it can't be found. Does it rely on multicast so much that even with a verified serial number and an ip address it loses it?

    Once everything works it's great but just uploading to the system makes a 20 minute job of changing one scene into a 3 hour adventure often times.

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  8. #7
    Ive had the exact same experiences as you Sparky with RA2 but mainly QS. Had transfers that took 4 hours with failures, and sometimes they were fine. That was even with the laptop connected directly to the processor and no other network connections. Yes this was a 30k square foot residence but still it was only 80 shades. Lutron cannot handle a large amount of complex programming and conditional logic when it comes time to upload. I tried all support told me to do and could not get it down to manageable upload times until I removed alot of conditional logic. Then it became a "reasonable" 40 minute upload.

    They blame it on our network infrastructure even though we use Pakedge enterprise grade hardware and VLAN the control system devices. And I dont understand why in 2016 they tell me to turn off my firewall on my laptop to connect- I havent needed to do that in over a decade. Add in the fact you cant activate processors when connected via VPN and other limited functionality and that just kills it. And the fact that I cannot save lighting scenes from keypads/3rd party control is just ridiculous. Support says make a feature request on the forums. All my feature requests, which others have agreed on here they are needed, fall on deaf ears. Speaking to Lutron tech people at the training shows also gets me nowhere. They dont seem to understand our needs.

    I am trying to make my sales guys sell more Crestron lighting with our systems because I dont have any issues with those. Between all my issues and the others I see with Homekit/Siri/Echo and the other product lines just tells me Lutron isnt listening to what we need.

  9. #8
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    I am going to add my "same here" to this thread. Without fail, every time I have updated the software of my main repeater, its been a bloody nightmare. So much so, if I could guarantee that a new one would have updated software, I would just replace it each time. I am not touching this Connect Bridge upgrade until after all the bugs are out and its at version 10.9/11.0
    Beyond that, I am pretty happy with Radio RA2. I do wish that the RA2 thermostats were a little more advanced.

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