Ping RF communication question

Sometimes when I bolus I lose communication and receive a warning. Although I appreciate it that it tells me that I have a problem, it can be a bit problematic, depending on where I’ve stashed the pump and where I am at the time. If nothing else, it is irritating because in each case I’ve had to go back in to re-enter the bolus amount.

Although it doesn’t happen often, it has happened a couple of days in a row. The last time I was sitting at the table with my remote in front of me. I had not moved, and there were no cell phones or other interference in the immediate area. I live in an area that isn’t congested, and can’t imagine much RF interference would be around at that time of day. After calling Animas, they suggested that it could be anything - cell phones in the area, computers, other electronics, and even basement location (I wasn’t in the basement though) could cause interference (i.e. steel) and lost connections. They suggested a different RF channel, which I did, and hope it fixes the issue.

It struck me that we do have a small hydro electric corridor (just single tower line) running through an area behind the houses in our subdivision, but we are still a fair distance from the lines, and Animas didn’t mention anything about that. I can imagine that could cause more electrical interference than RF, but just thought I would throw it out there, just in case it does make a difference to those of us who know such things.

However, where my question lies, is since my conversation with Animas, I’ve looked it up in the owner’s manual, which makes it clear that common household items should not interfere. Does anyone else have issues with randomly losing connection, for reasons other than moving out of range?

Hi Jamie! I saw that you didn’t get any answers to your question. Unfortunately I don’t know anything about this, but perhaps you should try also posting your question in the Animas Pumper group (click here). Maybe the members there will be able to give more help!

Kristin, thanks for the link… I’ll check it out.

I’ve had the same issue, with two brand new pings. They replaced the first one. I’m just dealing w/ it with the second, but I’ve let them know.
I’ve been able to just start over w/ the meter - not retest - and they find each other.
It’s annoying.
I live in the boonies so not a lot of interference out here. We’ve changed the channel for the RF. That worked for a few days. One idea is that it may be the wireless modem.
Like you, this happens when I’m holding the meter in my hand and so the pump is close.

Wow. I think that Animas has really sold us short then by perhaps overstating its ability, if that is really part of the problem. Do you find it happens when you are doing longer boluses? My last one was delivering 9 units, and bailed after 7 units. Or perhaps it is because there is just more time for interference to happen.

Perhaps in the ‘old days’ (haha) when there was less cell/rf frequencies, their claim was accurate, but if they continue to make the claim (i.e. in the manual) that common household items not interfering, which wireless modems are certainly the norm in 2010, that claim can no longer be made I should think. The delivery is not reliable. When I spoke to the rep at Animas, she told me that one client was having difficulty because he was close to a cell tower. I didn’t see anything about that in the owner’s manual or their website, or anywhere else.

But regardless, hearsay does not deal with the fact that the product doesn’t seem to live up to what is a documented promise. If we continue to have problems, we should expect the manufacturer to live up to their promise, and continue to be the thorn in their side until their product lives up to the claims.

I was scoping out some of the threads in the animas group, and came across this one reply in a thread, which may or may not have relevance to what is going on here. I have written to Pat to ask her if she ever resolved the issue. I think interesting at any rate. I’ve linked to the post here

Hi Jamie,

I have NOT had it happen during a bolus. I think I’d freak!!

I basically have two errors - one will pop up when I turn on the meter and say, no communication.
The second is when I’ve tested and then go to bolus, says no test in the last 15 minutes.

My CDE/Trainer (I’ve only been pumping for a month) has not heard of anyone else having the problem but she’s added to their list so they’ll have some documentation if someone else should have the same issue.

Jamie, I’ve been using the Ping for about two months now and mine kept doing that and I would call Animas every time on the issue simply for the fact that they would have documentation of the issue (I’m a bit paranoid that something will/is going wrong with it). Well, after I called the third time, we did all of the troubleshooting- changing rf channels, etc., nothing worked to connect them, Animas replaced my meter. SInce they have replaced my meter, everything works great and haven’t had an issue with that again. Now, my pump keeps losing prime daily and it’s being replaced tomorrow! LOL

Oh, and as far as wireless routers, they shouldn’t be an issue at all. I’m around them all day at work and school and haven’t had a problem with it, it was always at home or out that I’d have issues!

I hope you get it all straightened soon! it’s a pain when it loses connection like that! But don’t hesitate to call Animas as they will have the documentation that you’re having problems with it! Good luck!

Elizabeth

Something that people aren’t aware of generally is that radio waves can come from very unexpected sources, or receive from them. For instance 1 was using anew audio system I had just finished installing in a facility. When I turned it on for the first actual use I found it blaring the least appropriate radio station around into a place that it definitely wasn’t appreciated…

When I checked things over I found that one of the audio cables I’d connected in a wall circuit box had a strand of wire that hadn’t been caught under the screw when I hooked it up. So happens that that exact amount of wire “tuned” the radio station in and fed it into the amplifier, and everybody heard it there.

My point is that since the radio signals go through the open air, and there may be all kinds of incidental signals from multiple unusual sources that people don’t realize are there. If it happens to line up with the digital signature used by your Ping it may well be just enough to disrupt it. The Ping needs to check it’s signals very carefully to avoid giving too much insulin, and we all must be glad that it does.

So it isn’t really the fault of Animas, any other insulin pump company that uses such a system, or anything else that relies on radio waves. Just the nature of the beast. The only other thing you may want to do is to notice if this seems to happen at a particular area of the house or wherever you normally use it, rather than in random places. Somebody may be able to figure out if there’s a loose wire in some junction box near that, or whatever. Probably easier to just use it in a different spot that DOESN’T have this problem.

Of course if it comes from the equipment itself you need to get it replaced. That’s why there are warranties on these things, after all.

I’ve had my new Ping stop delivering for such reasons twice since I started using it last Thanksgiving. I changed the channel and haven’t had any problem since.