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Thread: Main Repeater not found by RR software, but exists on network - frustating

  1. #1
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    Main Repeater not found by RR software, but exists on network - frustating

    I had a very bad experience this morning while setting up the simplest possible Ra2 job - One main repeater and 3 devices (there will be more added later but they wanted to put some things on timer).

    I hooked up my trusty traveling router that I've used a thousand times to the main repeater, set up the version 10.4 software and was ready to activate the devices but the main repeater was not found. Lutron pats itself on the back on how the software uses multicast but it did not show up. I checked on my router and sure enough, the DHCP address for the main repeater was 192.168.1.105 so the router did its part. I tried removing the router and just connecting directly with the main repeater and still nothing. I thought maybe someone had attempted to program the system before so I factory defaulted everything but again, nothing.

    Keep in mind this is something that I thought would take me 1 hour max as the devices were already installed. I called up tech support and had to be on hold for 30 minutes before someone answered and their solution was to:
    1. Turn off the Windows Firewall.
    2. Disable wifi
    3. Connect directly to the main repeater.
    4. change my network settings on the computer and put in a static IP address
    5. run the Ra2 software and change from DHCP and put in another static IP address with 192.168.1.xxx
    6. Do what I needed to do
    7. Change everything back to the way it was and from that point on, my router "SHOULD" work...that is unless later the next person has a 10.10.10.xxx router in which case they are screwed as I found out a few months ago while updating a system to work with the new connect bridge.


    From what he told me was that the router's IP field (even though on DHCP didn't match what the main repeater had been set up for in the factory). This begs the question:
    WHY DOES LUTRON MAKE IT SO THE SIMPLEST SETUP- DHCP DOESN'T WORK OUT OF THE BOX??? It makes no sense. And don't blame Windows because every other networked software I use works just fine with the standard firewall and I shouldn't have to sacrifice my computer's safety over Lutron's incompetence.

    This actually isn't the first time I went through this. The very first Ra2 job I did back in 2011 did the same thing and I had to call in and get it unlocked. I would hope that 5 years later, Lutron has figured this out. Just yesterday I had to deal with a Series 4 Homeworks Processor that was DOA and Lutron's solution was to replace it all with QS so needless to say, I don't think Lutron is the old Lutron I know and I won't be recommending them anymore. Yesterday I was on hold for over an hour FYI.

  2. #2
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    SparkyCoog,

    I just replied to a different post you made regarding a similar function of problems.

    I understand a lot of your frustrations as I have worked with many a Lutron system. However, for the sake of absolute professionalism, it's fair to ask a few questions and state a few facts:
    (in somewhat of order as you ran through the problems you had)

    1) The support agent you worked with seemingly suggested "disconnect the trusty router and let's try a direct connection". You explained the steps but never mentioned if it worked. After waiting 30 minutes I would hope what was recommended as a solution ended up fixing the problem.

    2) Regarding direct connections; if you know the client's network address (192.168.x.xxx/ 10.x.x.xxx) you can always set your computer and the repeater to match it. So when you move it over...then it works...And if it's a concern of "what if they move to a new router in the future that is a different IP domain" well you would have that problem no matter what if you are using static IP addresses. Which, if you are using mobile app connectivity I imagine you are.

    3) I don't believe it's that Lutron makes DHCP hard. It may have been hard for you on this job, but one or two jobs having this issue shouldn't equate to stating that it's an issue across the board. Again I work with these all the time, and believe it or not, I've never had this issue. However, and I really mean this, it's not to say it didn't happen to you or anyone else. I think it's fair though to do the most troubleshooting to try to better understand where the problem is. If a repeater doesn't get discovered on a router, but then we go direct to it from a computer and communication is just fine, odds are...the issue wasn't with the repeater. Either it needed updated or x amount of info dumped to it and the router wasn't ok with it. How did we prove it? We proved it by having the communication work from PC to repeater directly without the router.

    4) Furthermore, I don't think it will help out by stating that "this software works" or "this device works",therefore, "something is wrong with Lutron since everything else is working". Every device and differential in software may hinge and rely on different forms of networking communication. How inbound/ outbound rules apply, what ports are targeted, TCP/ UDP, etc. The bottom line here is consistent with the previous; remove any external variable we can. IE, switches, the router, firewalls...does it work? I know this may not "help" but if things work in these 101 set ups then we know the system is functional. Furthermore it lets us know that there is indeed a problem with communication on the network that needs addressed and we can then focus our efforts there.

    5) Again, you stated this wasn't the first time. You referenced one other job back in 2011. Is this some systemic thing you continue to run into? To make it more understandable, how many Radio RA2 jobs have you done that had not had this issue?

    6) Kind of moving outside the realm of context with this last point, but the Illumination issue is kind of strange. The processor was DOA. Meaning it's a new processor. I would assume not a new system though. Which would make me think it's a replacement processor for an existing system that we had issues with. Also, what model was the processor? As far as I am aware Lutron still has stock on a lot of Illumination processors so I don't see why you couldn't get one. Furthermore, if it was DOA, why wasn't it warranty replaced? Did you order it from Lutron in the first place or from a third party distributor? If you got it from Lutron and it was DOA, Lutron would replace it. If you didn't get it from Lutron, that's a different story. But even in that case you could still get one from Lutron (it would need to be purchased however). Lastly, I feel in any scenario they are going to at the very least recommend the upgrade. Illumination is the older system, QS is newer,...I feel any Rep would make that suggestion. However, at the end of the day you still have the option to purchase a new Illumination processor from Lutron.

    I hope some of this helped you out SparkyCoog.
    Again sorry to hear about everything you've gone through.

  3. #3
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    1) The support agent you worked with seemingly suggested "disconnect the trusty router and let's try a direct connection". You explained the steps but never mentioned if it worked. After waiting 30 minutes I would hope what was recommended as a solution ended up fixing the proble

    Yes, after a half hour of waiting on hold and another half hour of talking to the gentleman online, direct connecting, disabling my firewall, disabling my wifi, setting up a static ip, changing the default gateway on both my machine and on the main repeater, I WAS able to locate the main repeater on the radio ra software and at that point once I changed it back to DHCP, it worked just as it should have 3 hours earlier.

    2) Regarding direct connections; if you know the client's network address (192.168.x.xxx/ 10.x.x.xxx) you can always set your computer and the repeater to match it. So when you move it over...then it works...And if it's a concern of "what if they move to a new router in the future that is a different IP domain" well you would have that problem no matter what if you are using static IP addresses. Which, if you are using mobile app connectivity I imagine you are.

    In this particular case, I was just installing the 3 devices so while the builder finished the house, the outside lights could work on a timer and on the keypad. I'd imagine they'd add more devices once he moves in (or this is a very expensive timer). The problem of connecting to an app or changing routers later might come down the line, but in this particular case, I couldn't even connect to the main repeater the FIRST TIME. This is also concerning to me on future jobs with other clients when it's time to extract programming since if I can't even connect to a new factory defaulted router, how can I trust to connect to a repeater that was set up by someone else and they are out of business?

    3) I don't believe it's that Lutron makes DHCP hard. It may have been hard for you on this job, but one or two jobs having this issue shouldn't equate to stating that it's an issue across the board. Again I work with these all the time, and believe it or not, I've never had this issue. However, and I really mean this, it's not to say it didn't happen to you or anyone else. I think it's fair though to do the most troubleshooting to try to better understand where the problem is. If a repeater doesn't get discovered on a router, but then we go direct to it from a computer and communication is just fine, odds are...the issue wasn't with the repeater. Either it needed updated or x amount of info dumped to it and the router wasn't ok with it. How did we prove it? We proved it by having the communication work from PC to repeater directly without the router.

    Well, as I mentioned this exact case has happened to me twice now. The first time it happened was when Radio Ra2 was less than a year old and it was a nightmare too because the client had to leave and was wondering why I was on the phone. The other issues I've had since then and up till last week were typically during activation where there would be a disconnection and I'd end up with orphaned devices or uploads taking forever and many errors. This one was just something that should have taken a few minutes and took half a day. Maybe I'm unlucky, but the tech support guy had memorized the procedures and running through it like it was nothing so I'm guessing this happens quite often. I just want to know why in 99% of the cases it works just fine but in that 1% it just completely screws up. I mean we're dealing with computers here so it's not like the devices are self aware so there has to be a logical answer.


    4) Furthermore, I don't think it will help out by stating that "this software works" or "this device works",therefore, "something is wrong with Lutron since everything else is working". Every device and differential in software may hinge and rely on different forms of networking communication. How inbound/ outbound rules apply, what ports are targeted, TCP/ UDP, etc. The bottom line here is consistent with the previous; remove any external variable we can. IE, switches, the router, firewalls...does it work? I know this may not "help" but if things work in these 101 set ups then we know the system is functional. Furthermore it lets us know that there is indeed a problem with communication on the network that needs addressed and we can then focus our efforts there.

    I feel this is bit of a cop-out and deferring Lutron's responsibility to deliver a product that works out of the box to be honest. There are tons of IOT products that cost a fraction of what radio ra costs and mere mortals are able to set them up without knowing a thing about networking other than plugging it in and if this is to be a premium product, it should work consistently. There was nothing complicated about my network setup. It's as basic as a it can possibly get. It was a new main repeater and a router that only has the laptop and the main repeater as the only devices on the network. The instructions are to plug in the router to the main repeater and run the software and since they are both on the network, it should at a minimum find the device. It didn't do that.

    Lutron's solution was to completely remove every defense that my computer (and really anybody running a modern OS) has. Yes, it worked, but what did it prove exactly? That the problem was somehow with my computer or Microsoft? I'm not running a homegrown OS or some weird Linux distro so I'm a big skeptical that this proves anything other than the Radio Ra software or hardware somehow failed. If the problem was indeed with my router then directly connecting WITHOUT completely changing my standard settings then yes, I would agree that the router was the issue and it could be ruled out, but once we resort to defeating security features, I could easily point fingers at Lutron.

    ? To make it more understandable, how many Radio RA2 jobs have you done that had not had this issue?

    This particular issue to this extent twice, but about a dozen more times between Ra2 and Homeworks QS where one second I click on "find main repeater" and it gives an error that it can't find it and then 2 minutes later it finds it.


    6) Kind of moving outside the realm of context with this last point, but the Illumination issue is kind of strange. The processor was DOA. Meaning it's a new processor. I would assume not a new system though. Which would make me think it's a replacement processor for an existing system that we had issues with. Also, what model was the processor? As far as I am aware Lutron still has stock on a lot of Illumination processors so I don't see why you couldn't get one. Furthermore, if it was DOA, why wasn't it warranty replaced? Did you order it from Lutron in the first place or from a third party distributor? If you got it from Lutron and it was DOA, Lutron would replace it. If you didn't get it from Lutron, that's a different story. But even in that case you could still get one from Lutron (it would need to be purchased however). Lastly, I feel in any scenario they are going to at the very least recommend the upgrade. Illumination is the older system, QS is newer,...I feel any Rep would make that suggestion. However, at the end of the day you still have the option to purchase a new Illumination processor from Lutron.

    Sorry, by DOA, I meant that when *I* got to the house it was dead. Not out of the factory. A new customer called us and said none of her keypads were working and that she had a Homeworks System without any other info. I showed up to the house and saw that this was a Series 4 P5 processor with wired keypads, with the loads controlled via wired Wall Power Modules and one wireless device. The keypads were just ramping their LED's. The only other Series 4 processor I deal with at another customer's house tends to lock up when there is a storm and I can reset it with the dip switches so I was hoping this was the same way but nope, it was dead.

    I was getting 15 volts in the main power and auxiliary power was also working fine so I called up tech support and again after a half hour, I spoke with someone who also determined the processor was gone and asked for a 3 digit code on top. After that he told me that the processor was not under warranty anymore which was no surprise, but I was surprised that I couldn't send it in for repair (to preserve the programming) or even buy a new one. I was under the impression that there would be legacy support for at least 10 years and this is very troubling. To be honest, most of my experience with illumination was with Wireless Homeworks so I don't remember why they had both a Series 4 and Series 8 so perhaps the Series 4 is older? I have another customer that has a very large 8 series processor.

    I wish people had the budget to get a whole new system (in this case only the keypads can be reused) after 7 years, but it was sad to hear the customer ask "are there any more reliable brands out there?".

    I hope some of this helped you out SparkyCoog.
    Again sorry to hear about everything you've gone through.

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond and believe it or not, I do like and defend Lutron products to civilians but feel Lutron is sliding a bit. It's not how it used to be out there and there is a lot of competition both from other legacy companies and all the new ultra cheap DIY products so I feel Lutron needs to take better care of their installers. At the very least Tech support shouldn't take as long as it does and I'm not sure why that is. I suspect perhaps it's because they allow homeowners to also program their houses as level 1 dealers and maybe they're clogging up the lines or perhaps Caseta is taking over and using up resources.
    Last edited by SparkyCoog; 10-03-2016 at 07:43 PM. Reason: formatting

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  5. #4
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    1) The support agent you worked with seemingly suggested "disconnect the trusty router and let's try a direct connection". You explained the steps but never mentioned if it worked. After waiting 30 minutes I would hope what was recommended as a solution ended up fixing the proble

    Yes, after a half hour of waiting on hold and another half hour of talking to the gentleman online, direct connecting, disabling my firewall, disabling my wifi, setting up a static ip, changing the default gateway on both my machine and on the main repeater, I WAS able to locate the main repeater on the radio ra software and at that point once I changed it back to DHCP, it worked just as it should have 3 hours earlier.

    -
    So following the steps advised fixed it! Great! And also, from my other forum posts to you, you have more information on why this is happening from a networking standpoint.

    2) Regarding direct connections; if you know the client's network address (192.168.x.xxx/ 10.x.x.xxx) you can always set your computer and the repeater to match it. So when you move it over...then it works...And if it's a concern of "what if they move to a new router in the future that is a different IP domain" well you would have that problem no matter what if you are using static IP addresses. Which, if you are using mobile app connectivity I imagine you are.

    In this particular case, I was just installing the 3 devices so while the builder finished the house, the outside lights could work on a timer and on the keypad. I'd imagine they'd add more devices once he moves in (or this is a very expensive timer). The problem of connecting to an app or changing routers later might come down the line, but in this particular case, I couldn't even connect to the main repeater the FIRST TIME. This is also concerning to me on future jobs with other clients when it's time to extract programming since if I can't even connect to a new factory defaulted router, how can I trust to connect to a repeater that was set up by someone else and they are out of business?

    -
    That's an easy one to fix. Follow the steps that Tech Support walked you through with statement one above. In that set up, you will always connect.

    3) I don't believe it's that Lutron makes DHCP hard. It may have been hard for you on this job, but one or two jobs having this issue shouldn't equate to stating that it's an issue across the board. Again I work with these all the time, and believe it or not, I've never had this issue. However, and I really mean this, it's not to say it didn't happen to you or anyone else. I think it's fair though to do the most troubleshooting to try to better understand where the problem is. If a repeater doesn't get discovered on a router, but then we go direct to it from a computer and communication is just fine, odds are...the issue wasn't with the repeater. Either it needed updated or x amount of info dumped to it and the router wasn't ok with it. How did we prove it? We proved it by having the communication work from PC to repeater directly without the router.

    Well, as I mentioned this exact case has happened to me twice now. The first time it happened was when Radio Ra2 was less than a year old and it was a nightmare too because the client had to leave and was wondering why I was on the phone. The other issues I've had since then and up till last week were typically during activation where there would be a disconnection and I'd end up with orphaned devices or uploads taking forever and many errors. This one was just something that should have taken a few minutes and took half a day. Maybe I'm unlucky, but the tech support guy had memorized the procedures and running through it like it was nothing so I'm guessing this happens quite often. I just want to know why in 99% of the cases it works just fine but in that 1% it just completely screws up. I mean we're dealing with computers here so it's not like the devices are self aware so there has to be a logical answer.

    - They are not self aware, at least I hope not! There are a lot of moving parts here. A lot of it is device firmware code, OS code, and boot code. All three have a hand in properly handling IP communication and how the ethernet driver on the device does it's job. Things can get a little out of sorts and dependent on what they are it cause things that didn't cause problems to start causing problems. Lutron tries to have it set up so that it is just about plug and play. However, sometimes things can cause that to not be the case. And in those moments, we have to do a little more work unfortunately.

    4) Furthermore, I don't think it will help out by stating that "this software works" or "this device works",therefore, "something is wrong with Lutron since everything else is working". Every device and differential in software may hinge and rely on different forms of networking communication. How inbound/ outbound rules apply, what ports are targeted, TCP/ UDP, etc. The bottom line here is consistent with the previous; remove any external variable we can. IE, switches, the router, firewalls...does it work? I know this may not "help" but if things work in these 101 set ups then we know the system is functional. Furthermore it lets us know that there is indeed a problem with communication on the network that needs addressed and we can then focus our efforts there.

    I feel this is bit of a cop-out and deferring Lutron's responsibility to deliver a product that works out of the box to be honest. There are tons of IOT products that cost a fraction of what radio ra costs and mere mortals are able to set them up without knowing a thing about networking other than plugging it in and if this is to be a premium product, it should work consistently. There was nothing complicated about my network setup. It's as basic as a it can possibly get. It was a new main repeater and a router that only has the laptop and the main repeater as the only devices on the network. The instructions are to plug in the router to the main repeater and run the software and since they are both on the network, it should at a minimum find the device. It didn't do that.

    Lutron's solution was to completely remove every defense that my computer (and really anybody running a modern OS) has. Yes, it worked, but what did it prove exactly? That the problem was somehow with my computer or Microsoft? I'm not running a homegrown OS or some weird Linux distro so I'm a big skeptical that this proves anything other than the Radio Ra software or hardware somehow failed. If the problem was indeed with my router then directly connecting WITHOUT completely changing my standard settings then yes, I would agree that the router was the issue and it could be ruled out, but once we resort to defeating security features, I could easily point fingers at Lutron.

    - You can easily point fingers but sometimes it's more valuable considering if it's worth it or not. Regarding the IOT devices and communication a lot of devices are more App dependent (mobile devices) than they are software OS dependent (computers). The most complicated part about both of these words is that when you're a company like Lutron or anyone else, when Windows updates its Windows 10 to Windows 10.1, it can cause compatibility issues. When Apple updates iOS 9 to iOS 10. It can cause compatibility issues. These things will happen and we cannot predict when they will, we have to react to it. Windows 10 recently updated to their Anniversary edition version. Did that have something to do with the second repeater issue you've ever had, who knows. Bottom line is that there was a solution. And at the end of the day, that's all that should matter. It's just one of those things to put in the ol' bag of tricks so we're faster on our feet with it if it should ever pop up again.
    5) To make it more understandable, how many Radio RA2 jobs have you done that had not had this issue?

    This particular issue to this extent twice, but about a dozen more times between Ra2 and Homeworks QS where one second I click on "find main repeater" and it gives an error that it can't find it and then 2 minutes later it finds it.

    -Yeah. Router/ Network card latency dependent issues. A lot of the things you are saying make me think you'd benefit from taking a Networking Class to help round some of this out.

    6) Kind of moving outside the realm of context with this last point, but the Illumination issue is kind of strange. The processor was DOA. Meaning it's a new processor. I would assume not a new system though. Which would make me think it's a replacement processor for an existing system that we had issues with. Also, what model was the processor? As far as I am aware Lutron still has stock on a lot of Illumination processors so I don't see why you couldn't get one. Furthermore, if it was DOA, why wasn't it warranty replaced? Did you order it from Lutron in the first place or from a third party distributor? If you got it from Lutron and it was DOA, Lutron would replace it. If you didn't get it from Lutron, that's a different story. But even in that case you could still get one from Lutron (it would need to be purchased however). Lastly, I feel in any scenario they are going to at the very least recommend the upgrade. Illumination is the older system, QS is newer,...I feel any Rep would make that suggestion. However, at the end of the day you still have the option to purchase a new Illumination processor from Lutron.

    Sorry, by DOA, I meant that when *I* got to the house it was dead. Not out of the factory. A new customer called us and said none of her keypads were working and that she had a Homeworks System without any other info. I showed up to the house and saw that this was a Series 4 P5 processor with wired keypads, with the loads controlled via wired Wall Power Modules and one wireless device. The keypads were just ramping their LED's. The only other Series 4 processor I deal with at another customer's house tends to lock up when there is a storm and I can reset it with the dip switches so I was hoping this was the same way but nope, it was dead.

    I was getting 15 volts in the main power and auxiliary power was also working fine so I called up tech support and again after a half hour, I spoke with someone who also determined the processor was gone and asked for a 3 digit code on top. After that he told me that the processor was not under warranty anymore which was no surprise, but I was surprised that I couldn't send it in for repair (to preserve the programming) or even buy a new one. I was under the impression that there would be legacy support for at least 10 years and this is very troubling. To be honest, most of my experience with illumination was with Wireless Homeworks so I don't remember why they had both a Series 4 and Series 8 so perhaps the Series 4 is older? I have another customer that has a very large 8 series processor.

    I wish people had the budget to get a whole new system (in this case only the keypads can be reused) after 7 years, but it was sad to hear the customer ask "are there any more reliable brands out there?".

    -Upgrading to a new system is not always something that can be achieved and that's understandable. However, Lutron does make these processors still and you can get them. I would shoot them an email to their obsolete department at obsoleteproducts@lutron.com asking for the model of the processor. They still support it and will still replace it.

    I hope some of this helped you out SparkyCoog.
    Again sorry to hear about everything you've gone through.

    I appreciate you taking the time to respond and believe it or not, I do like and defend Lutron products to civilians but feel Lutron is sliding a bit. It's not how it used to be out there and there is a lot of competition both from other legacy companies and all the new ultra cheap DIY products so I feel Lutron needs to take better care of their installers. At the very least Tech support shouldn't take as long as it does and I'm not sure why that is. I suspect perhaps it's because they allow homeowners to also program their houses as level 1 dealers and maybe they're clogging up the lines or perhaps Caseta is taking over and using up resources.

    -
    Yeah it's no problem at all!

  6. #5
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    FYI, it happened again with a brand new QS processor.

    First I tried the homeowner's router and it wasn't connecting, but it turned out there were some issues (so I can't blame Lutron there)

    Next, I tried my own router and it could not find the processor. It was weird because my router wasn't even showing it as a device on the network.

    I tried direct connection without a router and it found it and was able to active it but then it told me there was a network mask mismatch even though it was all on DHCP and then it would randomly cut in an out and not let me activate any other devices.

    I called Tech support and they told me to turn off all firewalls, etc. and it looked like it was working and let me update the firmware but it started to cut in and out again (again, using direct connection with all the windows stuff turned off).

    I called again and he told me to turn off DHCP, admonished me for trying to use wifi earlier, and we set up a static IP using direct connect and it worked just as it should. Only problem is, next guy who will try to service the system with his own router/or direct connection will have no idea what IP scheme I have so good luck to him.

    It's just sad that we've gone back full circle to sitting on a bucket in a dark closet and have to run around to activate things instead of using wifi. It used to be with an RS232 port but now it's an ethernet cable, but I still don't understand why Lutron can't make a DHCP connection work without having to turn off firewalls, setting a static IP, and directly connecting when every other device on the planet can work just fine with those configurations. We don't do Audio/Video and networking in our company and often the homeowner has no idea how their network is setup so DHCP is the easiest way to do this.

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  8. #6
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    RR2 Connections

    I have made it a "policy" to connect to the Main Repeater at our office to do firmware updates prior to installation. Your steps above pretty much sum up my procedure.
    1. Connect using a "blank" program, with Main Repeater only
    2. Disable all Windows firewalls
    3. Disable DHCP on the Main Repeater
    4. Proceed with Firmware/Boot updates.
    This procedure was developed during my contact with Tech Support.
    Sometimes it takes a couple of tries to get the OS/firmware to load. I have to back out and "Find Repeater" again. Eventually it connects and does as ordered. Much less frustrating at my desk with no one around than having the Client there and wondering what all the "colorful use of the English language depicting frustration" is.

    Once in the field for installation/commissioning, I find out what IP range they are using (if we aren't installing the network) and set the MR to a static in that range. After that I experience few problems. There are still "hiccups" but overall it goes relatively smooth.

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  10. #7
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    That's a good policy. To clarify, do you connect it directly to the main repeater the first time? I've found that once I've jumped through all the hoops of direct connect and uploaded the programming, etc. It works just fine when it's back on the router, even if it's DHCP. I just might do that from now on before I even connect it to a router.

    My biggest worry about not leaving it on DHCP is that often times I'm working on very large houses with all kinds of stuff on their router so I don't want to possibly pick a static IP that might conflict with what someone else has done (whether it was reserved for something else that will be added later or it's out of the DHCP range).

    It'd be nice if everything is coordinated with the IT guys but often I'm there before they have even set up their network because lights need to work before anything else and who knows which IP scheme they'll be using.

    One time I did the showroom for a supplier and it was just 15 or so devices using an ancient router. The only thing on that router was an ipad, completely disconnected from the internet. Since I had full control of the router, I set static IP on it and forgot about it until 4 years later when the lighting supplier (who was showing off Caseta) decided to use the bridge connect and wanted me to move the system to the new router. That was a fun day because I had forgotten completely about the IP range of the old setup and the new one (as it was the store's main router) was different. I think I left it in DHCP once I was able to find the MR because there were a 100 things on that router and I had no idea which to pick. To the connect bridge's credit, it's been working just fine for like 2 months now.

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    I do direct connect to main repeater the first time. Another suggestion that I forgot is to turn off your wifi. It can do some "wonky" things if you are direct connected to the repeater, and wifi (office) at the same time. The other thing I forgot to mention is to set your computer to a static IP in the same range as the MR.
    So, an amended procedure list:
    1. Direct connect
    2. "Find Repeater"
    3. Note IP address of Repeater
    4. Set Computer IP address to Static in same range
    5. Turn off "Wifi"
    6. "Find Repeater"
    7. Disable DHCP.
    8. Update firmware/OS/Boot
    9. Once successful (it sometimes takes a few tries) disconnect and box back up
    Once I am on site you can choose to re-enable DHCP, your call depending on your network situation. We set up 90% of our clients networks so we have certain latitude with IP addresses. Even if they are using Xfinity/AT&T/Exede, etc. I can usually get in to their router and set up the DHCP range. If they have an IT person, more often than not they have an IP range already chosen, and can usually tell me what address to use in the Static realm.
    For finding IP addresses of Lutron products when I don't remember the IP address I use an app (Fing) on my phone. It shows IP addresses and Manufacturers (if available) Lutron broadcast' that information so it shows up "Lutron Electronics"

  12. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    Posts
    375
    Few operating systems correctly handle having simultaneous network connections. Even fewer will handle multiples to the SAME network. It is possible to do it but the additional configuration necessary makes it complete not worth the hassles.

    I make the following comments not knowing just how much you understand about IP networking. Forgive me if this is all obvious to you.

    One other warning, be careful when making remote connections via VPN. You can't have the same network numbering on both sides. As in, if your customer's network is 192.168.1.0/24 then you cannot also be using the 192.168.1.0 range. I find it's best to NEVER use 192.168.1.0/255.255.255.0 for any of our own networks. That way if I connect into a remote network and it's on 192.168.1.x then I won't have a problem.

    Likewise, if you have the option to influence the network range chosen by the customer you'd do well to have them also not use 192.168.1.x/24. Use any other 2-253 digit in the 3rd octet. That way they'll avoid the same kind of situation, like making a VPN connection from a hotel back to their house.

    This is beyond the scope of Lutron support, so make sure you have a really good understanding of networking before recommending/making changes.

    As for your steps, number 4 is a bad idea. Unless by 'Direct Connect' you mean disconnecting the main repeater from it's network and making a direct cable connection from the PC straight into it. Or into a network switch with NOTHING else connected to it other than the Lutron repeaters.

    Otherwise you really don't want to just choose some random number without understanding whether there's something else already using that IP address. If you choose a number that's already being used by something else you'll cause problems. For one the other device may lock up or present an error message somewhere, and potentially stop operating properly until it's rebooted.

    If you're going to be on the network it works better to set your computer to use DHCP and let it get an IP address from the on-site router. Once you have that address you could use that to set your computer to use it as a static address. Or you could use it long enough to bring up a command prompt and use the ping command to check if another address is in use or not.

    Tangentially, with all the devices making connections these days, the default address block set up by many residential routers may not be big enough. Things get messy when DHCP leases run out and start getting re-used. Many routers will have a way to bring up the current DHCP allocation list. Make sure the number of devices isn't "too close" to the max range setup elsewhere in the router. If it's too close then, if possible, increase the size of that range. But bear in mind you REALLY have to have a VERY complete picture of what's on the network before mucking around with stuff like this.

  13. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Posts
    111
    Quote Originally Posted by wkearney99 View Post
    But bear in mind you REALLY have to have a VERY complete picture of what's on the network before mucking around with stuff like this.
    That's my biggest worry. I'm an electrician who often, but not always works with the IT people and in some houses, their home networks are a complete mess so from my point of view, once everything is up and running (assuming there is no integeration is involved), I'd rather leave things in DHCP so if they even change their network settings or their "tech guy" nephew comes to add some cameras for them or something, it won't create a conflict.

    To be honest, I really like the way one of the Lutron competitors does things where they have an LCD screen on their processor and you can manually pick DHCP or static IP address ON THE PROCESSOR without even needing the software. It makes life so much easier because I can just see what DHCP picked for the processor right there on the LCD screen and type it in their design software manually or have the option of the software searching the network for a processor the way Lutron does things. There is no way for it to not find the processor because you can manually see what the ip address of it is. The added benefit is that during construction, I can leave it in DHCP and once the A/V guys set up their Cresteron/ELAN/Sevant, etc. system and want to link to my lighting system, they can pick a static IP address that they are happy with and just type it in my processor (on the LCD screen) and not need me there.

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