XR constantly losing app connection?

  • Anyway, I’ve got news. I fixed it adding an external antenna. Works great now. It took it for a ride and I get realtime speed on my watch. Never worked before.

    I’m trying to find a way to post details on what it looks like. Maybe reddit or imgur.

    The antenna is a tiny little patch antenna that I stuck to the inner plastic part of the controller housing. You do have to unsolder and remount a 0402 cap on the Bluetooth module to remove the internal antenna and use an external one. Not easy, need a really good soldering iron like a Metcal with fine tips.

    Now I’m pretty sure its a signal strenght issue. Maybe it only affect some boards. Getting it reworked by onewheel customer service did not fix it. Maybe they replaced the module, but that was not enough.

  • 4294220D-0C58-47DE-800D-66D03D602F38.jpeg

    Here is the backside of the controller board. That’s the Bluetooth module, ILogic ILT254S. Pin 1 is for the external antenna. Pin 2 is ground. That cap needs to be rotated 90 degrees counter clockwise to switch the output to the external pin. This cap is an 0402, which means 0.04” long by 0.02” wide. Really fucking small! To move it (unsolder and resolder) you need really fine tips and a high quality soldering iron like a Metcal.

  • 79B2AE68-8F0B-48D8-909B-26FC3AE8848D.jpeg

    Sorry this is blurry. Here you can see the cap is moved 90, connecting it to the external ant pin 1. I connected an insulated 24 awg wire to pin1 and I put the wire through the ground via to reach the other side. This was my attempt to keep the impedance of the wire closer to my 50 Ohm antenna (lower its inductance).

  • 63199400-C980-4D54-A879-C3AA1C11BDF2.jpeg

    This is the topside of the controller board. That’s the wire popping through from the backside. I soldered in an H.FL connector. I was able to capture two ground points at 12 and 3 o’clock. This important so you can properly ground the coax. After soldering, I added RTV along the edges for stability (not shown).

    The antenna I bought, [Taoglas FXP74.07.0100A] https://www.digikey.com/products/en?keywords=931-1224, has a U.FL connector. I mistook that for being the same as H.FL which I have lying around my lab. It does not mate well to U.FL. When I get a chance I will swap it for the correct U.FL smt connector. I wanted a connector here so you can disconnect the antenna from the board when you assemble/disassemble because the antenna will be attached to the plastic back shell while the board is bolted to the aluminum pan.

  • 5B872D3C-A039-4127-BD90-A21C456B9F67.jpeg

    This is the antenna I bought. I was just looking for something low gain, that was small and 50 Ohms with a connector. There are hundreds of different ones on digikey that I would think would work.

  • B3B77D0D-FC39-4B37-ACDF-06C9D1617BEB.jpeg

    Here’s were I put the antenna. The adhesive seems really strong. I don’t think it’s coming off. Coax going to the left.

    After that, I put the shell back on to the aluminum plate. You have to reconnect all the connectors while its barely open, because the wires are not that long. Everything then goes back together like it came apart.

  • @gasppol It might be possible that you could use just a short wire as an antenna. I just want to do it as “right” as possible first to get the highest signal strength. If it didn’t work, I would always be wondering if I just fucked it up or the antenna was a bad match.

  • Just an update I have had my board back for a week. I sent it in for Bluetooth connection issues it came back with my original miles so I don't know if the control board was swapped or not, But it works perfectly now I have not lost connection once and I have put 15 miles on it so for me it is fixed.

  • @rfkilowatt 4082/4134. SN 19031027##. I have no, nada, nil, zero connection issues.

  • @Kbnikto51 I definitely think it’s limited to certain ones based on the reply’s. Problem was they didn’t fix it when I sent mine in.

  • @rfkilowatt you're awesome!
    Such a detailed post! I twist my ankle windsurfing on Saturday, so the only ones riding my OW XR are my friends. Lots of scratches and lot of envy. The BT connection gets really better with the new Android settings, but is far from perfect.
    I will use my rest time to follow your instructions step by step. I don't have a METCAL at home, but I will try to look at the board and find a way of repairing it.
    I will update accordingly.

  • Update: Mantas Kačinskas (a Facebook OW Group user) suggest to change the Stand-By configuration of the OW App.
    Yo have to set your Android phone to 'Developer Mode' (check here).
    Then you have to go to Developer Settings, System, Advanced Options, Developer Options, scroll a lot until 'StandBy Apps', look for OW App, and ser a higher priority setting: Frequent o Working State.
    I've tried and now while the phone is locked, the OW App seems to keep connected.
    Anyway. Theses are work arounds, not REAL solutions to the connectivity problems of some BT modules. Since it is a RF problem, is a little bit of hit and miss. Some users have better lucky than others.

  • So I emailed Future Motion asking them what they did to fix my board to stay connected to Bluetooth. I have had it back for about a month now and have not lost connection yet, So I am super stoked and this was their reply,

    Great to hear the board is working great for you. Looks like the techs went ahead and replaced the controller circuit board within your board that resolved the Bluetooth issue you were experiencing. Hope this helps and please let me know if you have any other questions.

  • @gasppol For me I think it was a combination for tweaking the Bluetooth settings and FM putting in a new controller circuit board. Because mine works flawlessly now.

  • @Whiplash My board just got back from repair and I can say that my BT connection problem has been solved!!! and it took only 2 weeks, and I live in BC.
    FM sent me a note: "The technicians found that your Bluetooth was not working up to specification so they replaced the entire circuit board and conducted rigorous testing."
    Happy Day!

  • @flix123 I'm excited to get mine back from FutureMotion tomorrow. They write
    **"Our technicians replaced your controller circuit board on your board after discovering the Bluetooth was not working up to specification. After testing it appears to be back in action!
    Have a good day,
    Team Onewheel"

    It's a shame to have had to go through this much work to get a functional product, but I'll be glad to use it again.

  • I know this isn't going to make sense, but Sunday when I rode after a long absence, I found that the app stayed connected most of the time on my newer XR, which has been having problems disconnecting all the time. In fact, the only times I noticed it disconnect, was when I was stopped and a few feet from the board.

    So what was different this time, you ask? Well, I have NOT downloaded the latest app update. Seems some are having probs with it, so I decided to wait awhile. BUT I did activate a new Apple Watch complication, which puts a OW icon on the face of my watch. Now, I don't see how that should make a difference, because I was already using my Apple Watch before, when I had all the disconnects. But there it is. Go figure.

  • @wheelrich you gave me so much hope that I dropped everything, installed the complication and just gave it a quick go. Still no improvement for me :/

  • @eckit Sorry to get your hopes up. I know it doesn't make sense, but it was the only thing I changed and the improvement was clear. Must be a fluke. Will see if it holds true on my next ride.

  • Mine came back from service after only 4 business days. I was without the board for about 10 days (FedEx ground).
    The controller was upgraded to 4209. Now the Bluetooth connection is perfect! No drops! Connects to all my devices...
    Totally worth the wait! Customer service representative was also great!

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