Melnor RainCloud users?

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joseph85750
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Melnor RainCloud users?

Post by joseph85750 » October 13th, 2018, 2:33 pm

Hello, just registered today.
I have a Melnor RainCloud control unit, with 2 valves attached. I got one valve about a year ago, and the second one last January.
I found some python code which I modified to alert me when one of my valve units couldn't be reached. This is how I know, at all hours of the day, if/when there is an issue.

Around April of last year, I started having lots of problems. Also, I know around April their https web server had an expired certificate, causing everything to break. They've since fixed that, but I still saw lots of intermittent failures. The support email sometimes responds, but most of the time I never hear anything back. When they do reply, several days later, they respond with something like "Is the issue now resolved?". No explanation, or acknowledging if there even was an issue.
Around August, things were looking more stable and I was having pretty good luck with everything.

But today I'm again seeing issues. My valve units are mostly 'Offline' today. But the control unit is still 'Online'. This lead me to believe maybe I had an issue at home, but I don't think this is the case since the mobile application is also giving an error which looks like a system error (see attachment screenshot).

Anyone else have issues? Just curious if it's just my hardware, or their servers.

Thanks!


Image

seiyafan
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Re: Melnor RainCloud users?

Post by seiyafan » October 14th, 2018, 12:23 pm

I just tried the app and I could log in without any issue.

joseph85750
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Re: Melnor RainCloud users?

Post by joseph85750 » October 15th, 2018, 1:35 pm

It was very slow to respond all weekend, for me. The application would take about a minute to show up-- if at all. Otherwise, it would give the error. If/when it did temporarily come up, both of my valves would be "Offline". I emailed support, and got a reply early this morning informing me they were working on the issue. A couple hours later I got a response back informing me everything should be fixed. I was able to confirm. The application was responsive and instantly displayed on my mobile device. Both of my valves also started working.
I'm curious how this is designed. I thought it was interesting that my valves would sometimes show "Online", but still not respond to commands.
I wish they'd design a "non cloud" option, where all functionality would be on my local home network without the cloud server requirement. I realize it would mean that I couldn't control my irrigation away from home, but this need isn't very beneficial to me anyway. Perhaps an option to not rely on cloud servers..

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onionGrass
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Re: Melnor RainCloud users?

Post by onionGrass » October 29th, 2018, 10:31 pm

I can confirm various quirks on my end too. Fortunately, the valves don't go offline all the often.

joseph, can you share the modified python code?

joseph85750
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Re: Melnor RainCloud users?

Post by joseph85750 » December 25th, 2018, 5:13 pm

orionGrass, sorry for the late reply! Didn't see this.
The original python code is here:

https://github.com/tchellomello/raincloudy

I made my own check script which connects to my controller, checks status, tries to change the title of Valve 3 (since I'm not using that one), and change it back. This is to verify it can make changes, and emails me if anything is wrong. The reason I did this was because I found that sometimes the valve will report Online, even though it is not. By doing the 'change title' step, I know whether I'm getting a false positive or not.

Here's the link to my checker code:

https://trinket.io/python/9134cafe5e

Let me know if you have any questions!
FYI, the device has been pretty solid since last summer, so maybe they upgraded their servers. I guess we'll see when summer rolls around and people are needing irrigation! I think this extra load is what killed them last year.


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Re: Melnor RainCloud users?

Post by markmorgan_email » August 18th, 2019, 7:14 pm

I wanted to log on to my Melnor raincloud scheduler on my iPhone this morning, and received a "Service not available message" that I took to mean the connection through my iPhone app was down. Assuming that maybe the login credentials on my iPhone app had somehow become corrupted, I reread the setup instructions to access the site from my PC through a browser. It also displayed the same "Service not available" message.

I am not in a desperate situation, because I am home, and it was simple enough to just turn the water off at the spigot, but I wanted to ask the members of the forum who use the Melnor Raincloud service, if this is something they have experienced in the past. And, is there anyway to contact Melnor to understand when the site will be up?

For the sake of context, I have had this unit for just over a month, and the installation and setup went very smoothly and successfully. I can see from the Amazon reviews that there is a broad range of ratings, but they mostly talk about the valve unit losing its connection, not the entire service being down.

Thanks,

Mark

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Re: Melnor RainCloud users?

Post by markmorgan_email » August 19th, 2019, 6:33 pm

Update to the Raincloud service outage on August 18, 2019: the Melnor irrigation management site (Raincloud) is up and running again. I would call it a 24-hour down-time--probably something related to the maintenance of their server, max-users or certificates.

Mark

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