I finally received my Bolt+Bridge after a long wait and for the most part, I’m pleased.
I had some trouble installing it (which could be improved in the instructions) and I’m finding bridge to be relatively unstable. I also have a question about the bridge status screen. Here we go.
Installation went relatively smoothly with a couple exceptions. At the point where I put the lock cylinder in place, I wanted to test that everything was working smoothly so I tried turning the tailpiece to lock the bolt with my hand and couldn’t do it. It felt like maybe I needed some more leverage, so I instead tried turning it from the key on the outside, and it turned smoothly. I finished installation and tested everything and it seemed to be working fine. Then I removed the key from the outside lock and I could no longer close the bolt by hand! With the key in place it worked fine (from the inside) but without the key, it wouldn’t close (on the inside). I took everything apart and discovered that I did this step wrong:
“Make sure the tailpiece is rotated fully counter-clockwise if you’re installing the Bolt on the right hand side of the door”
At the time I read it, I assumed “counter clockwise” must mean from the point of view of the diagram (showing the inside of the door). But it means “counter clockwise” from the outside of the door. (Where the hand is in the diagram.) I think this isn’t fully clear and the instructions should mention from which side counter clockwise means. It would have saved me fifteen minutes and some stress. Something like “While looking at the lock from the outside of the door, turn the tailpiece fully counter-clockwise using the key…”
I had trouble using blink-up to install the Bridge. With my Nexus 6, I tried a bunch of times and couldn’t get it working. It would appear to work (start the process) and then at the end of the blink-up it wouldn’t blink green. I realized later that I should have tried adjusting the brightness higher and tried that, but instead I tried using an iPad instead and that worked fine the first time.
Now that the lock is operational, it is quite reliable from bluetooth but very touch and go from the bridge – which is the case I expect to use the most. Often the lock state isn’t reflected properly and the bridge seems to crash frequently. It is reported in the log often right at the time that you attempt to use it. Often you get a report that the server timed out and didn’t effect your command, but then the command works. Because the state often isn’t reflected properly and it often doesn’t work, you can’t be sure whether your command worked or not if you aren’t in the house to see it. This seems like a problem. Here is a screenshot of the activity screen showing the bridge problem:
I have fine wifi connectivity and the Bridge status screen never shows the wifi connectivity anything other than “Good”. However, the bluetooth signal strength is always “Poor”. This, even though the Bridge is only about 7 feet away from the lock (through an open doorway.) As a test, I put the Bridge literally inches from the lock and the status screen still showed “Poor” most of the time.
Here is a screenshot of my Bridge Status with the Bridge about seven feet away from the door.
I’m hoping some of this will be improved with future firmware updates.