What is the RileyLink? Do I have to have one?⌁
Yes, RileyLink is a required part of Loop. The RileyLink is a little device that helps your iPhone and pump (or Omnipod...that's a pump, too) speak to each other. The RileyLink is a critical part of the Loop system because the pump needs communications in radio form, and the iPhone needs communications in Bluetooth form. RileyLink is like a translator and can speak both formats so that the pump and iPhone can loop together. RileyLink helps get information to/from your pump by radio communications, and to/from your iPhone using Bluetooth.
Where can I buy a RileyLink?⌁
RileyLinks are made in batch productions (meaning sometimes they can go on backorder as another production is in process) and are available at GetRileyLink.org.
If you want to buy a RileyLink for Omnipods, click here.
If you want to buy a RileyLink for Loop-compatible Medtronic pumps, click here.
Do I have to carry the RileyLink everywhere?⌁
The short answer is yes. If you want your Loop to keep automatically adjusting basals and issuing commands to your pump, you will need the RileyLink so that these communications can happen. Put it in a purse, pocket, SPIbelt. Clip it to a backpack, belt, or bra...but please do bring it with you.
How far away can the RileyLink be?⌁
That answer will depend, it is environmentally dependent. Generally speaking, RileyLink is solid about 10-12 feet away in most environments. In some situations, you could have RileyLink work fine even at 20+feet away. Other times, you may need to get RileyLink closer. What influences this distance? The biggest influences are (1) body-blocking and (2) "noisy" environments. The human body is a lot of water, and water is an excellent blocker of wireless communication. So, sleeping on a pod and smothering it entirely with your body will possibly decrease the ability of RileyLink to communicate with the pod. Environments with a high concentration of wireless signals can also interfere with RileyLink's communications and make closer proximity a benefit. Where might those kinds of situations happen? Concerts, conferences, and sporting arenas are pretty prone to interference.
What happens if I walk away from my RileyLink?⌁
While you are out of the communication range for your RileyLink, any running temp basal will keep going until it finishes (the longest temp basal that Loop sets are for 30 minutes duration...so within 30 minutes or less your pump would go back to your regularly scheduled basal). When you come back into range of your RileyLink, Loop will pick back up within 5-10 minutes without you needing to do anything.
What are the differences between Medtronic and Omnipod RileyLinks?⌁
There are two different types of RileyLink currently; the difference being the antenna is optimized for the pump you are using. Otherwise they are identical.
Is the new antenna an "upgrade" in Loop performance?⌁
It is a bit of a misnomer to think of the newer copper coil antenna as an "upgrade". It is only an upgrade if you want to pod Loop. The new antenna will actually decrease your range if you try to use it with a Medtronic Loop. See the next FAQ for a more detailed description and chart.
What will happen if you use a 916MHz antenna RileyLink with an Omnipod? Or vice versa?⌁
The answer will first depend on exactly how old that RileyLink is and what firmware it has installed.
Before August 2018, RileyLinks had a firmware that works for only Medtronic pump communication. So, if you have the older firmware on a RileyLink, your pod will never pair in Loop using that RileyLink. The GetRileyLink site does offer a RileyLink firmware update service, if you want to update to the newer pod-usable firmware.
RileyLinks produced after August 2018, include newer firmware that is needed for Omnipod pump communications as well. The newer firmware will say
subg_rfspy 2.2/ble_rfspy 2.0 in the RileyLink menu, like below when paired in Loop.
Assuming your has the newer RileyLink firmware, you can technically use that RileyLink with either pump on Loop. But, you will have significant frustrations with the short distances required between the pump/pod and RileyLink when using the "wrong" antenna. Even keeping RileyLink in the pocket on the opposite of where the POD is on your body can cause issues with the 916MHz antenna. With mismatched antenna/pump, the RileyLink needs to be very close and in clear line-of-sight to pump/pod, that it makes everyday living a bit hard. If you use the appropriate-antenna-for-your-pump RileyLink, the distances the pump/pod and RileyLink can tolerate from each other is much more "real world" friendly and stable.
In summary, definitely use the appropriate RileyLink with the antenna that matches your pump so that you are less frustrated. In a pinch, your old RileyLink might work as a backup, but you won't love it.
Can you swap out the old antenna on a RileyLink?⌁
Yes, the antenna swap is not a hard swap if you just have basic soldering skills. The old antenna can be removed easily by reheating the solder. New 433MHz antennas and a cap can be found on GetRileyLink site. Tips: use flux and clean the antenna stub before soldering. Poorly DIY-soldered antennas can lead to a decreased range and frequent communication drops between Loop and the pods.
How long will my RileyLink go between charging?⌁
RileyLinks can go about 30-32 hours (more or less) on a single charge. There is no way to see the remaining charge level, so most people just get into the habit of charging overnight while they sleep. The actual time to fully recharge is about 1 or 2 hours; you'll know it is fully charged when the red light turns off. After a full charge, the red light will turn off and then periodically turn on for short times while it "tops off" while still on a charger.
How long will my RileyLink battery last?⌁
Eventually, lithium polymer (LiPo) batteries will lose charging capacity and you would want to replace if you notice the battery not lasting the full day. We've been using our current battery for nearly 2 years without issue.
How can I tell how much charge my RileyLink has?⌁
You can't. There is no charge level indicator. Just charge it nightly, and you won't have a problem. Full battery charge should last about 30-36 hours depending on battery health. Charging takes less than 2 hours.
How should I carry the RileyLink? Does it make a difference?⌁
In general, you want to get in the habit of carrying RileyLink with you, yes. A pocket, carabiner, lanyard, SPIbelt...the options are endless. What you don't want to do is put the RileyLink in a blocking bag that has RFID blocking (some travel fanny packs have that). The distance that your RileyLink can be away from your pump will depend heavily on the environment you are in.
Is RileyLink waterproof?⌁
Nope. Nor is it sweat-proof. Be careful.
What is the most common issue for RileyLink?⌁
People not pushing the LiPo battery in all the way when they first assemble their RileyLink. It takes quite a bit of push to get the plug inserted far enough. If not secured well, Loop will have more frequent problems.
Can I use more than one RileyLink at a time? Will it improve anything?⌁
Yes, you can have two turned on, but it won't help anything really. Loop only uses one RileyLink at a time. If you have several RileyLinks turned on in Loop settings, your Loop will only look for another RileyLink after Loop fails for over 15 minutes on the original RileyLink. In my experience, it is rare that Loop would fail for more than 15 minutes and a second RileyLink would help in the same environment. If one RileyLink gets damaged though and you need to swap out to a second RileyLink, there are no issues with that.
Can I run Loop without a RileyLink?⌁