I am having lots of trouble uploading files to the glowforge. I have had my GF for a couple of years and am a heavy user… this is new. I suspect it is the WIFI. Is there a way I can see the strength of the WIFI that the GF is receiving? I may be having trouble with my router extender. Thanks!
Yes, as a matter of fact, there is a way to tell. Buy a Vector. (The little robot.) It functions on the same 2.4 GHZ band that the Glowforge does, and when the signal is dropped, it flashes a little icon telling you that the Wifi is bugging out. (And it does flicker in and out…if there is data being sent to or from Glowforge over Wifi while that happens, the machine will get stuck temporarily.)
Soon after I got Vector… I was gearing up to do some prints and I got the dreaded “Stuck Offline” condition. Ran through the usual cleaning, turning off, resetting of machine, computer and router.
Finally decided it was WiFi related and just figured I’d play with Vector while I was waiting for everything to get back up to speed. Turned him on and set him down. Sure enough he took off and did his thing…then he stopped, beeped, flashed the icon below a couple of times, shook himself off and kept on going.
Physical proof of a sketchy WiFi connection!
Once he settled down, I turned on the Glowforge and it ran through it’s startup routine without a glitch.
So, that’s what I use to prove that yes, it actually is the Wifi.
(Besides, you also get a really cool little toy out of the deal, and he works great as a kitchen timer.)
He’s not a toy, he’s a companion and helper and entertainer!
The short (and probably more practical) answer to this is, no, you cannot ask GF to tell you what wifi signal strength it is seeing, but you can use any number of utilities for laptops or smartphones to “survey” your environment - and you shouldn’t have to pay for them. I use Mac, and “NetSpot” has always worked well for me over the years, in planning/relocating equipment to resolve problems like this. I recently was unable to complete the GF camera calibration process after many attempts, even after purchasing a wifi range extender. I was able to diagnose this using NetSpot, and come up with a solution (no need to go into tech details here…)
Oh, and make sure you survey the 2.4GHz signal, as that’s what GF uses. The 5GHz signal common to most modern devices is simply not visible/accessible by the GF.
Remember you aren’t actually uploading to your Glowforge, you upload to Google’s cloud and they download to the laser itself. So if your Wifi is sketchy to the internet, that would certainly affect it. Also if your GF has poor connectivity the Google servers wouldn’t be able to load down to it.
Wow, for the price of that robot you could add range extenders all over your property and save a bundle.
Yeah, but not near as cute.
That’s a great idea for a feature - thanks for the suggestion! We haven’t announced anything like that yet, but I’m going to send it to our product team with a note that it came from a customer request.
The rest of this is outside our team’s scope. I’ve moved it to the Beyond the Manual so the discussion can continue there.
Is wifi signal strength in the downloadable local logs?
Here’s how to get the logs and links for how to interpret them:
It would only be logged if the GF code required it. From previous wifi-related troubleshooting discussions, all indications it is not logged.
Wifi signal strength is available from the networking framework in the OS, there’s just no supported way to access the OS directly.
Yeah, I glanced at the log explanation, it seems to indicate “yes I got a connection” or “No I didn’t”, but not much beyond that. I just didn’t want to say definitely one way or the other because I’ve never personally dug into it.
I went back and forth with inability to perform the calibration and being told the machine is “having difficulty communicating back to the servers”, despite having used my GF for years in the same location (and having no issues since I found a workaround to that issue).
I ended up using a wifi survey app on a laptop to determine that it was a wifi issue that only showed up during calibration - which wasn’t cured by increasing signal strength, but that’s a whole other story…
So how did you resolve it? Was it a channel thing? local interference? what?
Temporarily connect an old router configured as an access point to my main router, and connect the GF to that, just to complete calibration. If I need to re-calibrate, I’ll just use a phone as a hot-spot.
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