Alexa – Trouble setting up

I was asked to assist a friend to get Alexa (Amazon device) setup and operational.  Alexa is a wireless device which can take commands in the form of the spoken words, interpret these and then take actions as appropriate.  So for example if you said “Alexa – please play Classic fm” Alexa should respond by playing Classic fm via the Internet using the Tune-in radio service.

The basic method for setting it up is to load a free App on your mobile phone/ipad etc, then open it.  You are then prompted to connect to Alexa which appears with its own wireless SSID.  Now enter the details for you home Wi-Fi network (which would usually be hosted on your Broadband Service provided router).  You need to enter the Network SSID and any password associated with it.

I tried this but it failed to work at my friends home.  BT is the broad-band provider and they provide a BT hub/router.

Each time an attempt to connect was made Alexa simply reported that  it had failed to connect to the Wireless Network – no clues as to why this might be the case.

Tried phoning the BT broadband service hotline and under their instruction did a factory reset of the BT hub and Alexa – still no success in connecting.  I was at the point where I was about to suggest that the device might be faulty and should be returned to the manufacturer under warranty.

I decided to take the Alexa to try the same procedure on my home location where I have the same setup.  For me it worked without any delay.  How strange this seemed!

Took it back to my friends home/network to have the same negative out-come.  After many attempts I was about to give up on the device.  But then I thought that there could be an issue with the Wireless Network configuration . I noticed that the BT Hub has two wireless networks which are based on the older standard 2.4GHz and the other being 5 GHz.  Which of these was the Alexa connecting to .  I decided to separate the two networks and give each network a unique name.  The original name for both was BTHub5-3X5Y or similar.  Both wireless networks had the same name.

I decided to call the 2.4 network BTHub5-3X5Y and the 5 GHz one BTHub5-3X5Y5 – note the extra 5.  I then forced Alexa to connect to the 5GHz network.  It worked straight away 😉

So I felt that I had solved the problem.  The device is now working reliably!!.  So where was the fault?  Not entirely sure but having the capability to chose exactly which network I am connecting to seemed to make the difference 😉


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