Echo & Alexa User Discussions and Support Forums

General Category => Amazon Echo Discussion => Topic started by: malliekm on January 08, 2017, 07:11:20 pm

Title: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: malliekm on January 08, 2017, 07:11:20 pm
I enabled the 20 Questions Skill right after I set up my first Dot.  It has NEVER finished a game.  Sometimes it's after just one question, sometimes we can go as far as 6 or 7 questions.  I've used both is about 20 ft from the router, one is about 40 feet.  So I recently read about Akinator and enabled that skill.  It's doing the same thing.  So now I'm not thinking it's the skill, rather my connection.  Songs stream without any buffering except for once at the beginning of the first song.  Flash briefing doesn't buffer. 
Last night I unplugged my satellite modem, then the router and then Dot.  Left all unplugged for about 10 minutes.  Plugged them back the same order I unplugged them.
Just tried another game of 20 questions.  After about 10 questions, the blue light hung on blue, then turned red and said "sorry, your echo dot lost it's connection.  That's never happened before.
Maybe if WE play 20 questions, with your help, I can figure out what (if any) changes I need to make to the router or if I need to purchase another one.  My Internet connection is thru HughesNet Satellite.  My data cap is 10gb/month...I know :(  My d/l  speed right now is 20.2Mbps. 
Wireless Network Connection Status on my computer shows a speed of 54Mbps
Signal quality shows all 5 bars.
My router is a Linksys E2000 and reports to have 6 devices connected to it.
I'm currently using the 2.4GHz band. 
I know how to get into the advanced setup (online) if I need to.
Any help would be greatly appreicated!
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: malliekm on January 09, 2017, 09:35:58 pm
Really?  No one can help? :(  I think I'm going to try a wifi extender.
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: jwlv on January 09, 2017, 09:48:38 pm
When a 3rd party skill doesn't work quite right, it's usually the 3rd party developer that needs to address the issue.
Amazon, Alexa, Echo, et al won't have much control in this matter.
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: malliekm on January 09, 2017, 11:56:26 pm
Before I enabled Akinator, I thought it was the 20 Question Skill.  When Akinator didn't work, I figured it was a wifi issue.  When at my parent's today, I moved their Dot into the room where the wifi was.  Dot performed much better and actually finished a round.  They have also been having disconnect and buffering issues.  So when I got home, I moved my Dot into the office with the wifi (less than 3 feet away).  It still can't finish either game :(

Now I've tried Dot #2 in the office less than 3 feet from the Wifi. It stopped after about 3 questions.  Got a little further with Akinator but it didn't finish. 
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: mike27oct on January 10, 2017, 12:56:37 am
I tend to go along with jwlv, because from what you have said, music streaming works well, none of the distances seems to be a problem.  Do your parents have the same ISP as you do?  I really think the problem lies with the skills until further investigation.

Nobody was around earlier because the National College Football Championship was on tonight!  Boards go "dead" when something big like that is going on.   ;)
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: mike27oct on January 10, 2017, 01:06:33 am
I just reread your post; all wireless parameters appear to be fine, so I'd say nothing wrong with your modem/router.  Try another game I know works well, Jeopardy.  If it's only the games that don't work well, then they have to be the culprit.
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: mindmagic on January 10, 2017, 05:54:48 am
Have you tried rebooting your router? If that doesn't work, before buying a new one try factory resetting it after backing up your settings. Google for instructions.

You may also be getting too much interference from neighbours on the 2.4GHz band.
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: malliekm on January 11, 2017, 01:03:43 am
Mike, I enabled Jeopardy and it played flawlessly.  I also read some reviews about 20 Questions and others had the same problem (but others could have wifi issues too).  I went ahead and bought a new wifi anyway.  MIne is several years old, like maybe 8 to 10 years and has been dropped on it's head more times than I can count.  This is the one I bought.   Thanks for the suggestion of enabling Jeopardy.  I enabled Akinator for that very reason.  For both games to not work right really made me think a connection problem. (

mindmagic, yes, I did reboot the router (and modem and Dot).  Probably not an issue with interference from neighbors.  We only have two.  One to the north and one to the south.  They both 300 yards away :)  I'll let you guys know if the new router helps.  I really needed one anyway.
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: mike27oct on January 11, 2017, 04:19:50 am
Glad the Jeopardy suggestion helped shed some light on this issue.

Well, you went ahead and bought a new router, anyway.  Hey, it's your money-honey!  ;)  Looks like you got a good one, and at a good price.  Be patient before setting it up so you can check the Dot some more and not have a lot of new variables in the mix right away.

Router set up tips:  (only a few; this is the Echo forum, as we know.)

If it does not come out of box with two separate SSID names then you make the distinction clear (assume your wi-fi is named Monica for now). Name the low 2.4G signal, Monica_2.4G and the hi freq is named Monica_5G so you can tell them apart.  Put low bandwidth devices (audio only things like Echos and Dots) on the 2.4G signal, and devices that deal with video streaming on the 5G signal (this includes smartphones and tablets, etc)

Later, and good luck.
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: malliekm on January 11, 2017, 07:01:25 pm
Oh well Mike, it's just money (g)  Srsly, my router is probably 10 years old and I've known for awhile I really needed to upgrade.  Didn't have smart phones, tablets, a wireless printer and Dots when I bought it.  It will be here tomorrow.  And thanks for the tip.  Even tho it's an Echo forum, wifi info can be beneficial to everyone so feel free to offer more tips!
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: mike27oct on January 11, 2017, 11:24:49 pm
I realize you really needed a new router, (was just teasing you), and if you have your own modem, you likely need a new one of those, and if you do, I can help suggest good ones for you.  If your modem is from ISP, you may at least need a new upgrade.

A new router opens you up for better video streaming on TV, tablets and phones, etc..  All my mobile devices are only on my 5G band; in fact, they are told to "forget" the 2.4G signal so they don't get on it at all.  I have all kinds of video-streaming gadgets, incl a media player, a Roku, a Chromecast and Amazon Fire TV sticks.  I just now finished installing my third Fire TV.  So, I wanted the newest model with (Alexa) voice remote. (It's only money, ya know.)  Once I had it installed, I just told it via voice to play station XXXX on TuneIn, and it's been going for a while now.  I also have an app called Kodi installed on all the Fire TVs that makes them a wizz-bang media player for music, videos and photos.  I can stream anything with it from my home server NAS. The oldest Fire TV stick that I had to remove for new one will now become our traveling companion; it's now in the gadget bag with an older Chromecast.
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: malliekm on January 12, 2017, 01:19:35 pm
Mike, my modem is provided by Hughesnet (satellite internet) :(  We live out in the boonies where my nearest neighbors walk on 4 legs and swish flies with their tails.  While country life has it's wonderful benefits over urban dwelling, fast, abundant and cheap internet is not one of them.  You want to feel sorry for me?  I pay $64/month for 10GB w/ 10Mbps max download speeds.  Lucky to get 1Mbps upload.  Soooo there is no video streaming on tv and we have to monitor our video and music playback.  We can't do Netflix et al.  Thank goodness for our 12GB/month phone data plan!  I have two Chromecast dongles but had to unplug both of them because they use 5-7MB per HOUR even if the TV is off.  It took me a year to track down the culprit.  I wasn't making the month with my 10GB from Hughesnet.  I even accused HN of stealing my data lol.  That wouldn't be a problem for most people with 1000GB/month but when you only have 10, it uses over half of it.  The hours between 2 and 8am are "free" so there was no data drainage during those hours.   
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: mike27oct on January 12, 2017, 06:40:26 pm
Monica, thanks for reminding me of when I was 10, my parents bought a new home in a new suburb that was where suburb meets country, literally.  The houses behind us were across the street from a dairy farm pasture.  This was in southern Florida,  and at night when the cows were fed there was a strong odor of oranges; the feed contained a lot of ground up orange rind.  Every other year it was a tomato farm, and we kids had a lot of rotten tomato fights in the field!  Of course, there was no Internet way back then; in fact, we could not even get a telephone for a year and a half!  Talk about being remote!

Moving along . . . .
OK, so streaming video does not require Internet if all streaming is done locally, like between a home server and a iablet on the home local network.  I see lots of ads on TV for satellite Direct TV, and if one is using AT&T for cell phone, Direct TV is free.  Have you checked in to them?  HughesNet is an unknown to me, but there has to be something better than them, I imagine.
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: malliekm on January 13, 2017, 01:48:06 am
I've been in my share of rotten tomato fights.  Worked in a tomato shed (packing tomatoes) for a  couple of summers :)

OK, I think I finally have this dumb router and all the devices correctly configured.  Only took 8 (on and off) hours!  I'm too old for this. 10 years ago I would have had it up and running in a flash and not even looked at the directions or called ts  :P  If it wasn't so much trouble, I'd pack it up and send it back just due to their (lack of) technical support and outsourcing to countries/people that can't speak or understand the English language and use cheap, subpar telecommunications.  That really made for a stressful afternoon  >:(  Only one thing left to do and that's rename the devices in the NetGear Genie app.  I don't know how to tell which Samsung phone is which.  Mine is a S7 and my husband's is a S5.  Any idea how to tell which one is which?

( (
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: mike27oct on January 13, 2017, 04:18:34 am
Every device has a MAC address that is unique to it alone, so match the address with one phone or the other and I think you will have the info you need.  Your router likely shows the MAC address of all devices, and somewhere in the phone's settings you will find it; maybe under About (the phone)  On my Apple phone is is called the Wi-Fi Address (Apple had to be different, of course!)
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: malliekm on January 13, 2017, 01:24:46 pm
Yes!  I finally thought of that  ::)  Fought with the NetGear Genie software till wee hours in the morning and came to the conclusion that it's the software that's buggy, not me  ;)

Echo Dot performance has improved somewhat.  I really haven't had a chance to give it a good test yet and I'm now out of data with 3 days till the cycle restarts.  Speeds are throttled back so that large downloads and video playback, etc, aren't possible.  I played a game of 20 Questions and even tho Alexa kinda got it right (she guessed Corgi when my answer was "dog") it was the first time the game got past more than 5 or 6 (usually less) questions...the next try only lasted 2 questions.  No buffering during song playback.  Devices connect faster.  Opening Wireless Network Connection Status shows a "speed" of 300Mbps rather than 51 and 72Mbps.  Two download speed tests showed 28 and 30Mbps rather than 10 (give or take).  Oh, printer and Dots are on 2.4GHz and computer, tablet and phones on 5GHz.  Thanks for the tip!
Title: Re: 20 Questions & Akinator Don't Work
Post by: mike27oct on January 13, 2017, 02:24:21 pm
Yep, yer crusin'.