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Why Do I keep Losing the Gateway Connection with Russound MCA-C3?

I started using iRule last week and my first design was a page to control my 6 zones on my Russound MCA-C3. It seemed to be working fine until I realized that the gateway wasn't connecting regularly with the Russound box!

This now seems to be happening several times a day and the only way to correct the problem is to physically turn the Russound's power off and then back on! At first, I thought that maybe I needed to Wake-on-Lan, so on the Gateway Configuration I Enabled WOL (with a 10 second delay). However the problem continues!

I have 2 gateways which I am connecting to:

- Russound MCA-C3; and
- ISY 994i (insteon)

Any thoughts on why this is happening or does anyone else have experience with this issue?
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  • I don't think Wake-On Lan has anything to do with it.

    Give us a detailed description of your network setup.

    Is your Wi-Fi connection flaky? Does your remote lose its Wi-Fi connection all the time?

    Do you have the Russound configured with a STATIC IP ADDRESS? This is the number one rule for ALL home automation equipment.

    Mike
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  • it sounds like you are controlling the Russound with IP not Rs232. Some devices can only have 1 connection made to them at any one time. Maybe check if any other devices are connected when you are not able to connect.
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  • I am now getting back to this issue... In the meantime I was developing the iRule pages for my ISY (Insteon) system to control my lights and thermostat. As an aside, I really like how that setup works!

    However, the Russound gateway keeps getting lost and, as I posted earlier, the only way to fix the situation is to physically power toggle the Russound!

    I thought that maybe the development work in iRule for the Insteon system and the very many syncs that are required, during the development phase, might have been causing the Russound issue (not that I could see any logic in that!), but since I completed the Insteon system and leave the iPad running it 24/7 the Russound gateway gets lost at least once a day!

    The real pain with this is that when one gateway is down everything else slows down because the app keeps trying to connect!

    I have had the Russound system, which handles 5 zones in the backyard, for several years and the only time I have had to do a power toggle on the device was after a power outage... until now!

    To answer the points raised in the replies:

    Dave...

    Yes I am controlling the Russound with IP. The only other connection I have with the Russound is the Russound app on my iPhone. While I was developing the iRule pages to control the Russound I was using the both the iPhone app and the iRule app at the same time to verify that a change on one would show up on the other. So I would have to conclude, since this worked well, that this device can handle more than 1 connection at a time.

    Furthermore, I haven't touched the iPhone Russound app in over a week but the iRule app keeps losing the gateway!

    Mike...

    First of all, I have all my network equipment with a DHCP Reservation on my router, including the Russound.

    Here is a description of my home network:

    I have a Linksys E-4200 as my main router; I have 1 Apple Extreme and 3 Apple Express routers all in bridge mode.

    The Russound is hard wired (ethernet) to a switch which is hard wired to one of the routers.

    My WI-FI connection is solid and the remote (I assume you are talking about the iPad?) doesn't lose the it's WI-FI connection. The evidence is that the gateway for the ISY (Insteon) system has never gone down!

    In the several years I have had the Russound, I have always controlled the device with my iPhone from either inside the house or out in the backyard, and I have never had a connection issue (except, as noted, after a power outage). In fact, I have 2 Russound wall keypads which I have never used because the iPhone is totally reliable.

    Based on this I have concluded that somehow the iRule app is causing this problem because it's the only new piece introduced!

    Any thoughts or ideas?
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  • Gary,

    You could shutdown the Russound App on your iPad and see if iRule quits dropping out. If it does, then iRule and the Russound App may be fighting each other for the connection.

    You may want to check with Russound and verify how many network connections they allow.

    You could try setting up a repeating entrance and sending a status query every so often, like 5 minutes or so. This may keep the connection alive.

    You may want to contact support@iruleathome.com and see if they have any advice.

    Good luck,

    Mike
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  • Mike,

    I don't have the Russound app on the iPad, only on my iPhone, and I have had the app shutdown for over a week yet I still keep losing the gateway!

    I can't seem to find out how many simultaneous IP connections the device handles with my firmware version (release 6) but the latest version handles 8.

    I have been avoiding updating the MCA-C3 for some time now because a number of people have posted on various forums about the problems they have encountered! However I guess I am going to have to take the plunge to see if this resolves the issue I am encountering.

    I just sent a note to Russound Support asking them a bunch of questions to perhaps allow for a smooth update.

    After the update I will come back and post the impact, if any, on my system.

    I will save the suggestions of the 5 minute repeat and contacting iRule Support for after the update, if I still have my issue. Thanks...
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  • Okay... I'm back.

    I have now updated my Russound Controller to the Release 7 which, as I suspected, wasn't straight-forward! At least, going forward, updates will be a lot easier since future updates can now be done over IP!

    While I was getting support for the firmware update, I raised the issue about losing the gateway with iRule... The support person thought that it might be related to the Controller going into a sleep mode... so he suggested that I set up a new source but not hide it from the zones. By doing this it prevents the Controller from going to sleep. I did this yesterday and it seems to have done the trick.
    • How did you do that? I have same problem where it keeps going to sleep.
    • Ok... it's been a while, so I had to figure out what I did!!

      What I did was run the SCS-C5,exe configuration file. and went into System Setup.

      Note that when I was having the problem, I only had one enabled Source which was Airplay -- this is still the only Source I use with the controller.

      So in System Setup -> Source Summary - my system has the first Source as Radio, but it is not Enabled... (I don't know if this is a system default source or one set up by the installers. I don't enable it because if I do whenever the system goes down [power outage...] the zones always come back on with the first enabled Source. Keeping Radio as not enabled avoids this issue.)

      My second Source is Airplay.

      Following the advice, I created a 3rd Source which I called 'Don't Select', I chose the Device Type as 'Russound SMS3 Media Server' (even though I don't have one) and the Manufacturer as 'Russound'. Finally, I made sure that the 'Don't Select' Source is Enabled.

      Then make sure that you 'Save' the configuration. Hopefully this works for you.
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