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 😉