Massoth Navigator loses connectivity in WiFi

Software Tools

Registered
18 Jan 2013
54
5
Sydney, Australia
The new 2.4GHz operates between 2.402 and 2.480 GHz....that's a range of 78MHz to find a clear channel
802.11g WiFi standard specifies at least 11 channels across the band (in some national jurisdictions there are 13 channels available).

For normal computer data rate purposes the channels overlap some what and there are effectively 3 usable 20MHz data channels in the band in most localities, but the data rate for a Model Railway control purposes is most likely quite low in comparison and require a lower usable bandwidth, so that may not be a consideration.

What may well be a consideration is that the whole 2.4GHz band has become quite congested in populated areas as household internet usage has increased. In high rise MDUs (Multiple Dwelling Units), 2.4 GHz Wifi is often only barely usable due to the number of dwellings contending for bandwidth. Also, there are an increasing number of IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets using the 2.4GHz band in many households... we have several Dyson fans, Cygnet power switches and Apple Homepods using the band in just our home and I can see the number of such devices increasing overtime as more domestic devices/appliances come with IoT control features enabled.

Where I live in suburban Sydney, the housing blocks are quite large by UK standards but when I scan the 801.11g spectrum, my WiFi monitoring software can "see" about a dozen WiFi networks from other nearby dwellings. The signal levels from those networks are significantly below that of our household 2.4 GHz band WiFi access-points but there are times when our gadgets on 2.4GHz band do have trouble responding promptly.

We use the 802.11n 5GHz band for our computer data nowadays (as it has more, and wider channels).

Anyway, the point is that the whole 2.4GHz RF band (which is mostly unlicensed) is filling up with lots of stuff for various reasons, so if you live in an area where dwelling are close together, simple congestion might be an issue too!

My Massoth 2.4GHz Navigator bits have not yet arrived, so I can't specifically comment on Navigator performance. I have an upgrade for the older Navigator coming, plus a second-manufactured-as-2.4GHz Navigator, so will report on my experiences when they arrive.
 
Last edited:

LGB333

Active Member
802.11g WiFi standard specifies at least 11 channels across the band (in some national jurisdictions there are 13 channels available).

For normal computer data rate purposes the channels overlap some what and there are effectively 3 usable 20MHz data channels in the band in most localities, but the data rate for a Model Railway control purposes is most likely quite low in comparison and require a lower usable bandwidth, so that may not be a consideration.

What may well be a consideration is that the whole 2.4GHz band has become quite congested in populated areas as household internet usage has increased. In high rise MDUs (Multiple Dwelling Units), 2.4 GHz Wifi is often only barely usable due to the number of dwellings contending for bandwidth. Also, there are an increasing number of IoT (Internet of Things) gadgets using the 2.4GHz band in many households... we have several Dyson fans, Cygnet power switches and Apple Homepods using the band in just our home and I can see the number of such devices increasing overtime as more domestic devices/appliances come with IoT control features enabled.

Where I live in suburban Sydney, the housing blocks are quite large by UK standards but when I scan the 801.11g spectrum, my WiFi monitoring software can "see" about a dozen WiFi networks from other nearby dwellings. The signal levels from those networks are significantly below that of our household 2.4 GHz band WiFi access-points but there are times when our gadgets on 2.4GHz band do have trouble responding promptly.

We use the 802.11n 5GHz band for our computer data nowadays (as it has more, and wider channels).

Anyway, the point is that the whole 2.4GHz RF band (which is mostly unlicensed) is filling up with lots of stuff for various reasons, so if you live in an area where dwelling are close together, simple congestion might be an issue too!

My Massoth 2.4GHz Navigator bits have not yet arrived, so I can't specifically comment on Navigator performance. I have an upgrade for the older Navigator coming, plus a second-manufactured-as-2.4GHz Navigator, so will report on my experiences when they arrive.
The 2.4GHz Band with its 11 channels is probably used more heavily here in the USA more than any other country..........used for WiFI, Wireless Home Phones, Chime Door Cameras, Refrigerators, Security Lights, etc. Microwave ovens can also cause interference with the 2.4GHz band. At first I thought the problems my customers were having with their Massoth 2.4GHz Navigators/Receivers connectitiy might be interference from other 2.4GHz devices in the vicinity. But after I changed out the defective transmitter boards with new units, they worked like a champ...........so the problem these customers were having was a defective board, not any 2.4GHz band interference. I suspect the user in UK has the same issue, a defective Navigator board.
 

Greg Elmassian

Registered
8 Mar 2014
5,057
708
San Diego
www.elmassian.com
I have a Zimo system, and it uses Zigbee 2.4 gig, and this is channelized DIFFERENTLY from Wi-Fi, and also the channel widths are different.

i don't know what wireless specification the Massoth uses, but I doubt it is using the 802.11 channels....

Here is a table of Zigbee vs Wi-Fi channels
( I choose my Zimo channels based on keeping away from the Wi-fi ones)

Wi-Fi or Zigbee
channel #
lower
frequency
center
frequency
upper
frequency
Zigbee-11 2405
Zigbee-12 2410
WLAN-1240124122423
Zigbee-13 2415
WLAN-2240424172428
Zigbee-14 2420
WLAN-3241124222433
Zigbee-15 2425
WLAN-4241624272438
Zigbee-16 2430
WLAN-5242124322443
Zigbee-17 2435
WLAN-6242624372448
Zigbee-18 2440
WLAN-7243124422453
Zigbee-19 2445
WLAN-8243624472458
Zigbee-20 2450
WLAN-9244124522463
Zigbee-21 2455
WLAN-10245124572468
Zigbee-22 2460
WLAN-11245124622473
Zigbee-23 2465
WLAN-12245624672478
Zigbee-24 2470
WLAN-13246124722483
Zigbee-25 2475
WLAN-14247324842495
 

Brixham

No buffers were hurt at this sign
27 Aug 2010
1,261
76
My toaster is 2.4GHz free...I push down a lever...and toast arrives in a minute or so.
Perhaps in the UK were not so 'remoted' as elsewhere.

It used to be a real problem with 27MHz back in the day, I remember one RC loco on 27, each time the whistle was sounded, the house front doorbell rang.
Then everything moved to 433 MHz....garage door openers, cordless this, cordless that
And now on to 2.4GHz.
Perhaps 27MHz is now quiet!

Malcolm
 

David K

Registered
17 Jul 2016
56
22
Offaly, Ireland
The 2.4GHz Band with its 11 channels is probably used more heavily here in the USA more than any other country..........used for WiFI, Wireless Home Phones, Chime Door Cameras, Refrigerators, Security Lights, etc. Microwave ovens can also cause interference with the 2.4GHz band. At first I thought the problems my customers were having with their Massoth 2.4GHz Navigators/Receivers connectitiy might be interference from other 2.4GHz devices in the vicinity. But after I changed out the defective transmitter boards with new units, they worked like a champ...........so the problem these customers were having was a defective board, not any 2.4GHz band interference. I suspect the user in UK has the same issue, a defective Navigator board.
Hi Tom,
Just following up on the possibility of a defective Navigator board.

I switched to the 2.4GHz system in September 2019. I purchased directly from Massoth through a trade in programme - my old Navigator EU band in part exchange. I had all the problems described in this thread and an earlier Navigator/Receiver thread (2.4GHz Navigator/Receiver Wireless Problem ) . I sent the new Navigator and Receiver back to Massoth. It took a while but by January 2020 I was up and running. The system has been outstanding since.

I purchased a second Navigator - and yes you guessed it, déjà vu all over again! I cannot get the new Navi to connect to the receiver. I asked Massoth back in September 2019 for a simple step by step guide to powering up the system and connecting to the receiver but it was not provided. I do not want to reset the receiver to factory settings as they suggested then because of fear of interfering with the current working Navigator/Receiver. I am loathe to go through all the hassle with Massoth again and risk being without train service for 3 months.

I expected that my second Navigator would have an improved board but it appears not to be the case. If it is the easiest solution I am prepared to purchase and fit a replacement Transmitter (8131901). Before doing that I just want to check the pairing procedure.
Navigator setup page 36 (section 8.4 Device ID) - the manual states the R/C IDs need to be configured manually. When I enter RC-ID 2 and confirm with M2 the Navigator shuts down but does not restart automatically as stated in the manual.
R/C mode configuration page 40 (section 8.9) - WaveBand is set to 2.4 and the LogIn 2.4 is set to Std. On the screen it indicates 0s with no radio signal.

Are these indications that the board is faulty? I'd appreciate any advice.

David
 

LGB333

Active Member
Try going through the Manual's process to set up your second Navigator using the cable connection instead of wireless and see if it works okay. If so, then it's likely a defective transmitter board. You could also take the transmitter board out of the your operating Navigator and insert it into the problem Naviagator and I think you'll find the defective Navigator works. If that's occurs then you're sure the transmitter board is the problem. I sold two Navigators to customers which I bought from my distributor in Germany about two years ago and they both developed wireless connectivity problems. The customers returned the Navigators to me and I installed two new transmitter boards and they then worked flawlessly. I returned both of the defective transmitter boards back to Germany for warranty support and still awaiting their shipping me two replacement boards.......their warranty service has been slow during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you're interested, I also have the 2.4GHz Navigator replacement transmitter boards available for $95, and shipping such a small, light weight item would be fairly inexpensive to the UK......but you probably can get one from a dealer in the UK cheaper total cost.
 
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David K

Registered
17 Jul 2016
56
22
Offaly, Ireland
Try going through the Manual's process to set up your second Navigator using the cable connection instead of wireless and see if it works okay. If so, then it's likely a defective transmitter board. You could also take the transmitter board out of the your operating Navigator and insert it into the problem Naviagator and I think you'll find the defective Navigator works. If that's occurs then you're sure the transmitter board is the problem. I sold two Navigators to customers which I bought from my distributor in Germany about two years ago and they both developed wireless connectivity problems. The customers returned the Navigators to me and I installed two new transmitter boards and they then worked flawlessly. I returned both of the defective transmitter boards back to Germany for warranty support and still awaiting their shipping me two replacement boards.......their warranty service has been slow during the Covid-19 pandemic. If you're interested, I also have the 2.4GHz Navigator replacement transmitter boards available for $95, and shipping such a small, light weight item would be fairly inexpensive to the UK......but you probably can get one from a dealer in the UK cheaper total cost.
Hi Tom,

Thanks for your speedy response. Yes, I'll try the cable connection first. If it is the transmitter board, I'll return the unit to my dealer in Germany. Thank you for offering a transmitter board but I live in Ireland and our customs service would put a charge on an import from the US. I keep my transactions to the Euro zone in Europe. I enjoyed visiting your website. All the best for a busy summer season!

David
 
22 Oct 2020
8
3
57
Grantham
From the Mouth of the Horse.....the Massoth website

8131901 DiMAX Transmitter 2.4GHz​


With this retrofittable radio transmitter, all Navigators currently on the market can be equipped with the latest 2.4GHz technology. This makes sure that the controller will always be up to date in the future. The 2.4GHz radio transmitter requires at least the Navigator firmware version 2.1.

Worth checking Dave's navi on power up which firmware is in the unit.
Also, if all the system was purchased at the same time from that well know Garden Railway Boutique, then it's their issue as as Massoth Specialists, they should know that.

Hope that helps.....

Malcolm
Hi Malcolm, well I took the Navigator back to the retailer who has happily swapped it. I can confirm it had the latest firmware. The Navigator worked fine as I pottered indoors. Went out today to play and the new navigator was fine showing An ID of 2. No issues for an hour then I turned off the CS and navigator for about 10 mins. When I can back reported both units the navigator and transmitter won’t sync.

navigator shows 0s again. It’s actually worse this time as it won’t sync at all not even for a few mins. The retailer has sent out a new transmitter to see if this is the issue. Very frustrating.
 
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David K

Registered
17 Jul 2016
56
22
Offaly, Ireland
Hi Malcolm, well I took the Navigator back to the retailer who has happily swapped it. I can confirm it had the latest firmware. The Navigator worked fine as I pottered indoors. Went out today to play and the new navigator was fine showing An ID of 2. No issues for an hour then I turned off the CS and navigator for about 10 mins. When I can back reported both units the navigator and transmitter won’t sync.

navigator shows 0s again. It’s actually worse this time as it won’t sync at all not even for a few mins. The retailer has sent out a new transmitter to see if this is the issue. Very frustrating.
Hi Laney,

I feel your pain. I'm sending my second Navigator back to the dealer, who in turn is going to send it to Massoth. I thought I had this sorted in January 2020 when Massoth carried out repairs to my Navigator and Receiver. I wanted a second Navigator as a back-up and for visitors. I have searched the German-speaking forums for similar problems and cannot find anything. It is Massoth's intention to dispense with the two separate EU and US systems and have one global 2.4GHz system - surely we are not the only ones to be struggling with the new technology!
 

Brixham

No buffers were hurt at this sign
27 Aug 2010
1,261
76
Silly suggestion. De power all other sources of 2.4GHz transmissions. Home WiFi hub,smart speaker, smart tv, smart toaster, anything that uses WiFi ( even things that may not be obvious like cable free mice or keyboards ) and even your phone and tablet etc.
Then try the 2.4 Massoth setup with the navi close to the receiver as far away as possible from other sources of 2.4
It may be that the navi or receiver is finding a data stream elsewhere, and fixing on that,rather than the train control system.

If you live in a dense housing area, turning off adjacent 2.4’s might be an issue though.

Costs nothing to try.

Malcolm
 

stockers

Trains, aircraft, models, walking, beer, travel
24 Oct 2009
25,614
3,745
63
Nr. Ashford, Kent. England.
Very interesting - I was thinking of upgrading to 2.4Mhz but I think I'll wait a while now. I have very few issues with 433Mhz, I was just thinking of future proofing. Trouble with modern electronics, isn't it - hate to think what a twelve year old car will be like! - scrap probably.
 

PhilP

G Scale, 7/8th's, Electronics
5 Jun 2013
28,106
2,895
Tamworth, Staffs.
Luckily, my car is diesel, and twenty years old!
:rofl::rofl::rofl:
 
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phils2um

Phil S
11 Sep 2015
882
361
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Luckily, my car is diesel, and twenty years old!
Warning - thread drift.

Best new car deal I ever made, a 2014 VW Jetta TDI Sportwagon. Got around $8k back for the emissions scandal settlement/inconvenience. More than a quarter of the new car cost. A free fix to the computer plus the warranty on anything even remotely related to emissions including the entire engine and drivetrain was extended another ten years. Runs out in 2016 for me. Best of all, the emissions fix didn't noticeably affect fuel milage or performance and I love the car. I might be buried in it as long as parts are available.
 
22 Oct 2020
8
3
57
Grantham
Lads thank you for all your ideas and experiences with the 2.4 Navigator. I have a replacement receiver due later today so will report back. I’ve also got the original and replacement Navigator s which both fail to connect so fingers crossed!

As regards other 2.4 sources well I do live in a populated area but have a garden some distance from any properties.

As I mentioned earlier in this thread the replacement Navigator worked well in the few days I tinkered indoors then worked fine outdoors for the hour or so it was set up in the garden then once turned off it wouldn’t reconnect. Do the boards fail whilst in use or is it faulty from the start?

my retailer is being very helpful and has said if the replacement receiver doesn’t do the trick then they’ll replace the whole set up but deliveries are slow from Massoth at present.
 

David K

Registered
17 Jul 2016
56
22
Offaly, Ireland
I sent a query to the Massoth Hotline in advance of returning my new Navigator to the dealer. It appears Massoth is closed for holidays until April 27th. The hotline resumes from Wednesday 28th.

This garden modelling is getting like the real railway world - I've read many articles lately of new locos costing millions of Euro being kept out of service due to software issues relating to signalling or control of the motive power.