I’m using this 3.6V 13Ah LiSOCl2 battery to power my Particle Electrons. About two weeks ago, one of my Electrons stopped reporting in. As most of my Electrons are in pretty remote locations, I only managed to retrieve it yesterday, but I’m confused as to what happened.
My Electrons are designed to enter Deep Sleep mode, and wake up either based on the RCT, or when registering movement beyond a certain threshold. I could confirm that this device definitely was not woken up by the RCT as it is supposed to ping the server 4 times a day (and hadn’t done so for 2 weeks here). Moving it around also didn’t trigger the accelerometer. However, I was able to re-activate it by pressing the Reset button.
Doing this however, I found the following odd things:
- When I plug in the battery, the RGB led is dark-red for a second or two, and then reverts to the normal colour. (note: this doesn’t happen to any other LiSOCl2-batteries I have)
- No code seemed to be ran; no accelerometer-measurements are taken, and no information is being printed on my screen
- When I power the Electron with USB to force it to run code, and I place back the battery, it continues to run code, but with hiccups. When I call ‘‘Particle.connect’’ it would slowly blink cyan for a while (not the characteristic fast-blinking) for several minutes, and eventually timeout.
I’m not quite sure how to interpret these results. I’ve only had experience with powering an Electron with the 2000mAh LiPo’s. I suppose the battery voltage is running too low? In this case, I wonder if a software glitch caused the battery to drain all the way (lowering the voltage), or if there’s something inherently wrong with these batteries and they reach a too low voltage too quickly…
They’re all brand-new batteries (http://www.greenergy-battery.com/Specs/li-SOCl2/ER34615M.pdf)
Looking at the datasheet, the nominal voltage of 3.6V should be sufficient. With my code, a 13Ah capacity should last more than a year (provided the code didn’t malfunction at some point) and it can definitely handle the 800mA pulses of the 3G. Temperatures were between -10C and +5C the last couple weeks.
As I’m currently doing a pilot project with 50 Electrons, and looking to upscale it to 100 Electrons soon, it’s crucial for me to figure out the culprit ASAP.
EDIT: measured that the battery is only delivering 2.3V, so yup, guess it’s drained. In case this was caused by a software glitch, what’s the best way of ensuring that the Electrons never stay active for more than ~5 mintues at time?