Smart meter wireless networking

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Elk Towers
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Smart meter wireless networking

Post by Elk Towers » Wed Dec 07, 2016 3:32 pm

One for the networking buffs


My brother-in-law has had a smart meter installed, but as he lives in a block of flats the meter is too far from the "other bit" near his router.

If he got a Wi-Fi repeater and plugged it in nearer to the meter and connected the "other bit" to it, assuming that the ssid and password are setup, it should "talk" to his router and the meter shouldn't it?


TIA

Nick
Last edited by 1024MAK on Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Title edied to better reflect the subject
Nick

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BigEd
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Re: wireless networking

Post by BigEd » Wed Dec 07, 2016 4:55 pm

Sorry, I wrote the stuff below believing that smart meters use ZigBee but I'm not at all sure of that any more. It might be so.

From what I can tell, no, that won't work - the smart meter doesn't talk WiFi, it talks ZigBee. Same frequency, different protocol.
There might be such a thing as a ZigBee range extender.
Or, if the 'other bit' uses a wire to connect to the router, you may well be able to move the 'other bit' nearer the meter, and use a long wire to connect the two. And if you could, then you could probably use a mains networking kit to use the mains as your long wire - that's what I do at home for my network. It's not a perfect network, but I'm using it right now.
If that was the answer, a two-pack of powerline adapters would be the thing:
https://www.amazon.co.uk/s/field-keywords=av2
Perhaps get them from Argos and take them back if they don't do the trick?
http://www.argos.co.uk/search/powerline/

I've only ever tried with the powerline boxes which have a mains plug and a networking socket. I haven't tried with the ones which have a wifi aerial - I suppose that's like a two-in-one.

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Re: wireless networking

Post by JonC » Wed Dec 07, 2016 7:06 pm

Sorry, maybe I'm being dim (very likely!) but what is a Smart Meter? Presumably leccy or gas related?
Do you have a link to the one he's using? :mrgreen:
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roland
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Re: wireless networking

Post by roland » Wed Dec 07, 2016 10:30 pm

Elk Towers wrote: If he got a Wi-Fi repeater and plugged it in nearer to the meter and connected the "other bit" to it, assuming that the ssid and password are setup, it should "talk" to his router and the meter shouldn't it?
If the smart meter uses normal wifi then that should work. I use a wifi repeater for wireless devices in the garden. Phones, tablets and for experiments also my Atom. The wifi repeater extends your network so all devices on the network sould be able to "talk" to each other.
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1024MAK
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Re: Smart meter wireless networking

Post by 1024MAK » Thu Dec 08, 2016 2:16 am

More about Smart meters here. The UK bit is here :wink:
At the bottom of this section, it says:
The HAN is implemented using ZigBee.
Read on here.

So the data feed for the consumer is via ZigBee.

Information docs:
Smart meters and remote reading meters
What are 'Smart' Meters?
Smart Metering Systems
Smart Metering Implementation Programme 2014 - Gov.uk
Smart Metering Implementation Programme 2015 - Gov.uk
How do my smart meters communicate?
Products from in-home-displays.co.uk (includes a range extender)
Technical docs:
Consultation on Home Area Network (HAN) Solutions: Implementation of 868MHz and Alternative HAN solutions

BTW, I'm minded not to allow a so called smart meter to be fitted. I can't see any advantages to me, and they will increase the cost of energy supplied to consumers, as energy suppliers charge more to get back the cost of installation :(.

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jonb
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Re: Smart meter wireless networking

Post by jonb » Thu Dec 08, 2016 6:53 am


BTW, I'm minded not to allow a so called smart meter to be fitted. I can't see any advantages to me, and they will increase the cost of energy supplied to consumers, as energy suppliers charge more to get back the cost of installation :(.

Mark
Agreed, especially the "no value to me" argument. They are being advertised on TV with the vague promise of saving you money, but I don't see how. I already take steps to economise my power usage, and if I want to know how much power I am using, I'll use a clamp meter connected to a Raspberry PI to log the data. That way, I control it.

I see it uses mobile internet to communicate back to base. Good luck getting a signal round here!

Anyway.. if you ask me, the purpose of these things is to save money for the suppliers. They can sack all their meter readers for a start...

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danielj
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Re: Smart meter wireless networking

Post by danielj » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:12 am

We moved into a house that had one already installed. Having moved supplier, it no longer phones home, but the the main benefit remains - being able to take meter readings without having to go rooting around in the cupboard... :D

d.

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Re: Smart meter wireless networking

Post by hoglet » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:15 am

I also seems they can act as a barrier to switching suppliers:
http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/mark ... liers.html

And it will be another year before you can be sure that a newly fitted meter is compatible with the "national communications infrastructure":
http://www.which.co.uk/news/2016/10/sma ... ve-453480/

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danielj
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Re: Smart meter wireless networking

Post by danielj » Thu Dec 08, 2016 7:28 am

It doesn't stop you switching, it just means that it doesn't know how much your energy is costing (but it does still measure usage), and it doesn't send your usage information to your supplier... The fact that they're tied to specific suppliers - and this *still* hasn't been addressed is completely ridiculous though...

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Re: Smart meter wireless networking

Post by poink » Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:06 am

jonb wrote:I already take steps to economise my power usage, and if I want to know how much power I am using, I'll use a clamp meter connected to a Raspberry PI to log the data. That way, I control it.
Or, even easier/cheaper, said Pi connected to a photodiode/URL watching the flashing light on the meter. (typically, it's 1 flash per watt-hour.) Plus, it means you don't have log the voltage.

The answer is probably more relevant too; I suspect most people care more about how much they're charged (ie., what the meter sees) than the actual power used (ie., saving the planet). Doing both would allow you to see if the meter was wrong though...
MAK1024 wrote:BTW, I'm minded not to allow a so called smart meter to be fitted. I can't see any advantages to me, and they will increase the cost of energy supplied to consumers, as energy suppliers charge more to get back the cost of installation
Another problem is that the meters tend to report in 15 minute increments, so anyone with access to the database can gather a fair amount about you; the most obvious being when you're out, when you're on holiday etc., but over time one could probably make reasonable guesses as to what television programmes people watched etc.,

Yes, other companies (say, your mobile phone company) may have an even better idea of where you are, but the more people who have the information, the more people there are to abuse or lose control of it. (And with a PAYG phone, they probably don't know who you are.)

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