Device Error - Communications Timed Out

Rowan Chase

Created: ; updated: .


This error means that the field unit (C3, Solo, Pico, etc.) is unable to communicate with the device (soil probe, weather station, level sensor, etc.) that is connected to it. In other words, it can't talk to the sensor or hear back from it. Most of the time, this is due to a cabling issue.

The error can be identified from Monitor:


It can also be identified in Manage Equipment: 


"Communications timed out waiting for device response" can be caused by any of the following:

Resolving the Error

Loose cable connection

Check if the device is connected properly to the right port of the field unit. Make sure that the cables or wires are securely attached to both the device and the field unit, and not loose. You can try unplugging the device and plugging it back in again properly. 


Damaged Cabling

This is the most common cause for this error. Inspect the cable for any damage. Even if damage is not apparent from external inspection, a lot of times there could be internal damage that is not visible. In order to rule out this possibility, the cable should be replaced with a test cable that is known for sure to work.


Incorrect port

This will usually be true for new installations, or if a device has been replaced. If the port that the sensor is physically connected to does not match the port that is set in the software, the field unit and sensor won't be able to talk to each other.

For example, in most cases, the device is connected to the RS485 2 port, but it is configured for the RS485 1 port in the software.

First refer to the relevant Technical Note of the device to see which port the sensor should be plugged into. Then check the configuration of the sensor from Manage Equipment.


Incorrect Interface Cable

Ensure that the correct type of interface cable is used. This article details the right interface cable, along with the Item Code, for supported devices. 


Faulty Sensor

If you've checked the cabling and there's no issue, it is possible that the sensor has failed electrically and is not responding.

One way to test this would be to replace the device with one that is known for sure to work.


Related Articles

Cable Guidance

Illustration — C3 Device Cabling

Illustration — Solo Device Cabling

Table — Device Cabling to C3 Field Unit Ports — Color Codes

Table — Device Cabling to Solo Field Unit Ports — Color Codes

How to Choose the Right Port Settings



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