Boron - Bricked?

Hello,

I have a Boron LTE device. It has been working without an issue for several months. I upgraded OTA to v1.4.4 without any issues. Sometime later I updated the firmware OTA and the device got stuck in such a way that it would no longer connect to the cellular network or cloud. I am not sure which.

I tried ‘particle update’ - no errors, but it did not correct my problem.

I tried ‘particle flash --usb tinker’ - no errors, but it did not correct my problem.

I tried ‘particle serial inspect’ and everything came back good.

I then tried to use DFU mode and reload the firmware and got a strange response:

particle flash --usb boron-bootloader@1.4.4.bin
Error writing firmware: unknown module function 2, use --force to override

So I decided to reflash the entire thing using openocd. I ran the following commands, and all were successful:

bin\openocd.exe -f share\openocd\scripts\interface\cmsis-dap.cfg -f share\openocd\scripts\target\nrf52-particle.cfg -c "adapter_khz 1000 ; transport select swd ; init ; bld_addr 0x000F4000 ; exit"

bin\openocd.exe -f share\openocd\scripts\interface\cmsis-dap.cfg -f share\openocd\scripts\target\nrf52-particle.cfg -c "adapter_khz 1000 ; transport select swd ; init ; program s140_nrf52_6.0.0_softdevice.hex verify reset ; exit"

bin\openocd.exe -f share\openocd\scripts\interface\cmsis-dap.cfg -f share\openocd\scripts\target\nrf52-particle.cfg -c "adapter_khz 1000 ; transport select swd ; init ; program boron-bootloader@1.4.4.bin 0xf4000 verify reset ; exit"

bin\openocd.exe -f share\openocd\scripts\interface\cmsis-dap.cfg -f share\openocd\scripts\target\nrf52-particle.cfg -c "adapter_khz 1000 ; transport select swd ; init ; program boron-system-part1@1.4.4.bin 0x30000 verify reset ; exit"

The Boron now always boots into listening mode, which is usually not a problem. But calling ‘particle serial identify’ does not work:

particle serial identify
Serial timed out

Calling ‘particle serial list’ does work

particle serial list
Found 1 device connected via serial:
COM15 - Boron

Calling things like ‘particle serial flash boron-bootloader@1.4.4.bin’ appear to work as lights flash and the unit restarts.

particle serial flash boron-bootloader@1.4.4.bin
! PROTIP: Hold the SETUP button on your device until it blinks blue!
? Press ENTER when your device is blinking BLUE
sending file: boron-bootloader@1.4.4.bin

Flash success!

Connecting directly to the serial port and typing ‘v’ returns:

system firmware version: 1.4.4

I am running CLI version 2.0.1

I have also tried using the Android App and adding the Boron as if it is a new device. Scanning the sticker works great. It pairs just fine. When I select “No, Don’t use in a mesh network” it tries for about 60 seconds and then fails.

Sending Bluetooth messages failed.  Please try again.

Interestingly thought, when I use the iOS app and go through the same processed, I get the following message after the pairing:

There was an error in accessing the modem on the device. The modem is now being rebooted in an attempt to recover. Wait a few seconds and then try again. If the error persists, try resetting the device manually by tapping the RESET button, and restart the setup process.

Any thoughts?

I had a similar problem updating firmware and the device going into listening mode, make sure your firmware is compiling against the correct OS. In my case I was compiling against 1.4.4 and flashed, locally using DFU, onto a device running 1.4.2. This caused the device to immediately go into listening mode until I corrected the problem.

Thanks @MJones . I’ll take a look. I believe I tried the 1.4.4 Tinker binary as well as booting into safe mode. Neither seemed to work, but I’ll give it another go to make sure I did things right.

  • Chris

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