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Uber Beacon Issue -- DENVER folks having this problem?

Discussion in 'Technology' started by JimKE, Dec 22, 2016.

  1. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    Since I was able to guess/diagnose and fix this problem myself, I am pretty sure it was "operator error," but I want to give everyone a heads-up in case you screw up the same way I did.

    I had a nice ride this morning -- my FIRST Uber Beacon WORKED ride! (I'm still tingling!)

    After that ride, I got a Lyft ping and a nice ride.

    Then nothing.

    Then another Lyft, and another, then nothing.

    Then another Lyft.

    About that point, my peanut brain wondered why no Uber pings? -- which, for me here in Miami, outnumber Lyft 4-5 to 1. Hmmm.
     
  2. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    Long story short...

    I discovered that -- for reasons unknown -- my phone was no longer paired to my Beacon via Bluetooth. When I went to Account and scrolled down, for Beacon, I saw "Pairing," which in English means phone ain't talking to Beacon.

    But it's trying to... and that point is critical.

    *****
    I had some downtime midday, so I went through a series of things to try to get my phone to talk to the darn Beacon thingee. Finally, success!

    PING!

    The only thing I can figure is that while the Uber app was trying to pair with the Beacon, it was not doing anything else.

    I was online. I could see myself in the Rider app and it appeared that everything was okay. Except for no pings for more than two hours on a pretty busy day.

    Once I fixed it, ping, ping, ping, ping.

    *****
    So...if you have a Beacon hooked up and find yourself pingless -- check in Account. If the Beacon is paired you should see something like "Battery 95%."

    IF you see "Pairing," you are in trouble, and you need to work with your phone to get the thing paired. It has to be through your phone -- all the Uber app will do is try, and fail.
     
    grams777 and UberwithDan like this.
  3. Gubber Singh

    Gubber Singh Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Broward
    Driving:
    UberX
    Are you sure this was the reason you were not receiving pings?
     
  4. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    I think so. When I fixed the problem, I got lots of pings and never had a recurrence of the problem.

    HOWEVER... I just got a response from Uber Support about a possibly related problem.

    In the afternoon, I got 4-5 stacked pings immediately followed by "A network error has occurred" and the stacked pings disappeared (but affected my acceptance % :rolleyes:). Their advice is "Make sure that your Bluetooth is always turned off because it can interfere with signal."

    Beacon doesn't work with Bluetooth off, the app doesn't seem to work without the Beacon connected to my phone via Bluetooth, and stacked pings don't work if the Beacon/Bluetooth are working. :eek:

    I'm going to try it again today. Worst case scenario, the Beacon goes in the recycle bin.

    I'd love to hear if any of the folks in Denver have been having similar issues with the Beacon.
     
  5. Gubber Singh

    Gubber Singh Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Broward
    Driving:
    UberX
    I just deleted my driver app and uploaded a new one without Beacon. I don't want to be Uber's guinea pig.
     

  6. Jc.

    Jc. Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    Just keep the Bluetooth off and leave the beacon at home like I do, mine is still in the box at the top shelf of the closet, I'm using the car charger tho.
     
    grams777 likes this.
  7. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    Did that work? The Beacon is paired to your phone, not to the app -- so it doesn't seem like that would work.

    Uber support's workaround is to keep Bluetooth OFF, and turn it on only when going to pick up a pax. Then, when you pick up, turn bluetooth off on your phone again. That sorta works, but stacked pings are still instantly canceling (not sure if that's a Beacon issue or a Miami Uber glitch).
     
  8. Gubber Singh

    Gubber Singh Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Broward
    Driving:
    UberX
    No, Beacon came back on its own.
     
  9. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    I may have stumbled onto something this evening just playing around...but I haven't tested it yet so I don't know if it's helpful.

    I opened my driver app (offline) and went to my Account page. When you scroll down, you will see Beacon and it will say either "Pairing" or it will give the Battery % charge.

    If you tap that Beacon spot, one of two things will happen:
    • If you are not paired, it will pair your phone to the beacon.
    • If you ARE paired, it will tell you so and at the bottom of that screen, you will see a link to "Pair to a different Beacon"
    I clicked on "Pair to a different beacon" just to see what would happen and got a dialog box to enter the serial number of the other beacon -- which, of course, I do not have. So I exited that page and went back to Account.

    I scrolled up to see what it said for Beacon...and Beacon is GONE! I've exited the app and gone back several times and it's still gone.

    I don't know if this will fix the missed pings and other issues I was having. I'm going to test it tomorrow and will report back.
     
  10. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    This solution appears to work. I was online all morning with good results and no glitches.
     
  11. TechBill

    TechBill Active Member

    Location:
    Missouri
    What is a Beacon? Is it that new windows light thingie?

    Bill
     
    grams777 likes this.
  12. grams777

    grams777 Moderator Moderator

    Location:
    Nashville
    I think the beacon is more about advertising than doing anything useful. Further, in most places it's not legal to illuminate colors other than white or amber visible from the front of a vehicle. Motion of the light may also be questionable. To top it off, it's also kind of distracting inside.
     
  13. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    Yes...but not the one you see for sale on eBay. It's from Uber and free. So far, I believe they have only started distribution in Denver and Miami. They're also supposed to give them out in Nashville and Newcastle, UK -- but I haven't heard any reports from there.

    IF the driver has a Beacon -- and IF they have it ON -- when the pax receives their one-minute ETA message, they are prompted to select one of eight colors. The face of their Uber app turns that color, and the Beacon matches the color.

    Theoretically, the pax will know to hold up their phone so the driver can see their color and they will see their color on the car. Makes matching up in crowded venues (airports, malls, clubs, festivals, sporting events, etc) easier.

    Three problems so far:
    1. Almost zero Uber drivers know what the thing is for. Uberkids handing them out give no explanation of any kind.
    2. An equal number of pax (zero) know what it is for.
    3. I've had problems with it shutting down my driver app after a pax actually uses it, so I've unpaired it from my phone and just use it as trade dress.
    But eventually, when they work the bugs out, it should be a good thing.
     
    Undermensch likes this.
  14. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    Have they started distributing them in Nashville yet? Do you have one?

    And, have you had the issue I mentioned above?
     
  15. mmcd0342

    mmcd0342 New Member

    Location:
    Denver
    Is there an 'undo' for this fix? During initial setup, the beacon wasn't pairing. I exited the beacon page, turned my Bluetooth off, reset my phone and tried again. Except now I don't have the option to set up the beacon. I signed out of the app and signed back in, uninstalled and reinstalled the app... when I go to the beacon webpage instead of opening the beacon part of the app, it opens my appstore instead of the app.

    Any fix to get it working? I just want to try it out
     
  16. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    Yes, you just pair the beacon again.

    Go to your driver app, Account, Beacon and you will see that it is not paired. Touch the Beacon line, and the app will tell you to Turn On Bluetooth.

    When you touch Turn On Bluetooth, it will take you to the pairing page on the app. You will need to enter the serial number of the Beacon -- which is located right next to the USB charging port on the bottom side of the Beacon. It's in microscopic print, but you will see it. Mine is all letters, no numbers, but YMMV. Enter the serial number and touch Pair and it will pair in a few seconds.

    If you had a problem on the initial setup, the most likely cause would be a typo in entering the serial number.
     
  17. grams777

    grams777 Moderator Moderator

    Location:
    Nashville
    Yes, they probably gave out thousands of them here.

    I'm not sure if I missed pings, but it did seems to mess with the app. Various places on the app said it couldn't connect to servers or something else that never happened before.

    I don't see it doing much useful for me as a driver. If anything it's distracting seeing light in my field of vision where it should not be. It seems more of a solution looking for a problem. Even in heavily crowded areas I don't need this stuff to get a pax. And there are times and places I don't want to be lit up either.
     
  18. JimKE

    JimKE Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Miami
    And when you contact support for help, they tell you to turn Bluetooth OFF...which Beacon requires!

    When I pointed out that little conflict to them, their answer was to turn Bluetooth ON when you were going to pick up a pax, and then turn it OFF when you start navigation, through the rest of the ride, and until you get another ping.

    One would hope that a technology company could come up with a better solution than that -- which may not even work, of course.
     
    grams777 likes this.
  19. mmcd0342

    mmcd0342 New Member

    Location:
    Denver
    The issue is that the beacon line is no longer there after exiting the setup.
     
  20. wk1102

    wk1102 Well-Known Member

    Location:
    treasure coast fl
    pair it with your phone... it should come back.
     

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