To pick up the most utilization from your Flexline Air DCT, you will need to have the device connected to a local network, with a high-speed internet connection. The benefits of a connected device are varied, but include:
- System Upgrades – Our team of engineers is constantly looking for ways to make your Flexline experience better. These system updates can enhance the usability of the station and add additional features that help you understand or control the system better. These updates are received in the night as well as at system boot, so leaving the equipment running all the time is best.
- Stability Patches – As happens with all great software, sometimes we find behaviors that aren’t so desirable. Keeping your Air DCT continuously connected allows any stability patches to be received as they are released so that your equipment is always running at peak performance.
- Maintenance Monitoring – The Flexline Air DCT is capable of monitoring system performance, looking for irregular behavior that could adversely affect its functionality. This information is automatically routed to a team of engineers who are then able to proactively notify you of a potential problem, oftentimes before you even realize something could be wrong. This expedited reporting helps to minimize downtime and maximize performance.
- External Device Integration – The Flexline Air DCT can communicate with other devices on your network, providing real-time data metrics for analysis or even allowing system integrators varying ways of displaying performance data for you and your users.
- Performance Analysis – Our team of scientists loves data. When your equipment is connected to the network, statistical software can help Flexline Fitness understand characteristics of how the system is used to provide crisp and clean functionality for future releases.
To maximize performance from your Flexline Air DCT equipment, a reliable and continuous connection to your network is critical. Your network should be a standard DHCP driven network without proxy servers, guest-access, or other attributes that would impede the Flexline equipment from reaching out to the upstream update servers. If your network is behind a proxy server or requires a special configuration to reach the internet, please get in touch with our support team. We would be happy to help.
A network connection generally takes one of two forms hardwired or wireless.
Hardwired CAT5E/CAT6 Connection
The cleanest and most reliable connection to the Flexline Air DCT equipment is obviously a hardwired CAT5E or CAT6 Ethernet line. This line must be run from your router directly to the Flexline equipment, much like you would run extension cords for providing power over a distance. A hardwired connection has many benefits, including:
- Simpler configuration – without having to deal with WiFi credentials, the system configuration is extremely easy. Plug it in and you are nearly instantly configured to receive software updates and relay performance data.
- Greater network reliability – Oftentimes, gyms and homes have a very congested network, leaving users with reliability issues. Network noise in the immediate environment can adversely affect reliability, which impedes the equipment from adequately communicating with andon-type performance displays or regularly downloading system updates.
- Less likely for an outage – Often WiFi devices lose connectivity and must be restarted or reconnected to establish network communication again. Although our engineers make great strides to build in resiliency, a congested network will cause your system to go offline without you even realizing it.
Wireless (WiFi) 2.4 GHz
To connect to the Flexline Air DCT, your wireless network must be capable of 2.4 GHz 802.11n. Additionally, your security type must be either WPA or WPA2. Disabled wireless security or security types other than those listed (such as WPA2 enterprise) may or may not work. Please be prepared with your network name (SSID) and network password so that the installer can facilitate configuration.
If you have completed these steps and find that you are still unable to connect your device to the internet, consider the following troubleshooting items:
- Physical Interference – WiFi signals travel best through the open air and do not travel well through obstructions. The following types of obstructions impede wireless communication: (Very High) metal; (High) plaster or concrete; (Medium) marble, bricks, water; (Low) glass, synthetic materials, wood. If your surroundings contain the materials listed, your network performance will be impacted. Consider relocating the WiFi router to a closer proximity and/or run a hardwired connection.
- Router Distance – The strength of a wireless signal degrades as the distance from the router increases (at the rate of 1/r2, where r is the distance from the router). In simple terms, this means that moving your router closer to the Flexline Air DCT (or vice versa) has a significant impact on signal strength. A directional antenna pointed directly at the Flexline Air DCT may also reduce the impacts of router distance.
- Network Congestion – An overloaded network can also cause connectivity problems, particularly if the network configuration is not such to handle the additional traffic. A Class C network, for instance, can only support 254 devices and depending on the DHCP lease reservation can cause connected clients to fail to acquire an IP address if there are not any available addresses for clients to use. An IT engineer should be able to consult with you regarding designing your network to support the kinds of foot-traffic you expect to experience.
- Other Networks – When you open your cell phone and scan for WiFi networks to connect to, if you see many on that list, then you are likely to suffer from this type of network problem. In the US, Wireless networks communicate over one of 14 channels. WiFi traffic communicates over a specified channel, and simultaneously causes interference to neighboring channels 2 and even 3 channels away. Because of this, in an ideal setup with networks distributed evenly across the channels, you can have up to 4 distinct networks that are not interfering with one another. If on your WiFi scan you see more than 4 networks, it is a certainty that these networks are interfering with one another and causing degraded performance.
- Wireless Router Settings – A misconfigured router can cause network devices to trounce on one another, communicate poorly, and otherwise malfunction. Ensure that your router is running at peak performance by keeping the firmware up to date and your equipment modern. Consider consulting with an IT service provider as necessary as he/she may be able to recommend changes that will increase system performance for your entire network.
- Other household electronics – Microwave ovens, cordless phones, ham radio equipment, and baby monitors are all known to cause interference that can adversely affect the cleanliness of a WiFi signal. If any of these devices are around and you experience problems, consider testing while these devices are powered off to determine if they are the culprit. If so, you will need to remove or relocate these devices from the vicinity to achieve network stability.
- People – Humans are 45 to 75 percent water depending on their age and fitness level. This is a key reason why WiFi signals tend to fail in crowded arenas, conference halls, or busy gyms. If your Flexline Air DCT equipment is in a high-traffic area, you will want to consider the hardwired approach.
During the site survey and at install, our team of professionals will discuss the above considerations with you and make sure that your configuration is designed so that your equipment can remain operating at peak performance the point of install and for years to come.
If there are any questions with any of the above information, please reach out to our support team. We would be happy to discuss and explore these concepts with you.