Connection + User PIN issues on networks with multiple access points

So we’re having a bit of a nightmare on our U-Tec pro locks using Ultraloq Air. In principal I like the idea of the system.

In reality it has cost me significant time, money and impacted our business day to day. Going to keep it constructive…

Summary of issues:

  • When locks are added to WiFi or Air they do not connect to the AP with best signal
  • Once a lock has chosen it’s AP of choice it seems that it is ‘locked’ to that AP’s MAC address
  • Even forcing the lock using the lock’s MAC to it’s closest AP in the managed network and factory resetting the lock does not always work

Summary of our network set-up
We’re a reasonably large site on 1.2 acres/5000m2 with a number of outdoor access points so that we have good network coverage.

  • TP Link managed router
  • Omada controller
  • TP Link managed switche
  • TP Link EAP 225 access points
  • VLANs + WiFi SSIDs for our main network traffic and on dedicated to IOT which includes locks
  • Primary fibre network connection with two failover connections if the primary goes down it moves to connection 2, if also down then 3.

Impact of these issues

  • Locks are regularly offline in the Air online interface
  • Codes on locks are not applied or sometimes un-apply themselves, we have accommodation so this means guests locked out at all hours;
  • I have three locks in the last month which will no longer connect to any network essentially bricked no matter how many times I try to reset they do not play ball

Hacky workaround
A hacky workaround here is to create additional SSIDs one per outdoor access point and pair the locks to each individual new SSIDs.

How it should work
The locks really should look to find the highest DB connection and shouldn’t ‘lock on’ to the first SSID it finds which appears to always be the weakest connection AP.

This seems to be an issue with the firmware.

Has anyone else encountered this or similar issues

After testing the fix there has been no improvement in the connectivity of the locks.

We have 10 of these locks. One failed mechanically, one bricked itself. The others are now only really able to work in bluetooth mode.

U-Tec air seems to be a complete dead end and the locks try their hardest to connect to the least strong access points. It’s a shame as concept is good. But for now we will be looking to move to a new provider.