Cannot get photon back to listening mode

After about 10 evenings of trial and error, and 2 photons, I finally got to the point where one of the photons was breathing magenta. I could not flash the device using the web interface, and the app on my phone showed it offline. It was exactly the behavior described by:

So I updated it to 0.4.5 per:

Now it is stuck in solid green. I can hold down the setup button to get to flashing magenta, then it goes back to solid green. I can keep holding it, and it will go to flashing yellow, which doesn’t do me a whole lot of good for re-setting it up.

I need to get it back to listening mode somehow. I have tried every combination of button presses possible, but it will not flash blue. Does anyone have any tricks? Get a third photon?

Also, I was reading some other posts…is it really possible to brick these things just by pressing the setup/reset buttons??

Hi @jfs

Your device is not bricked. Your device is having WiFi setup trouble. If you can get to flashing yellow (DFU mode) you can always upload new firmware and system code, but you can’t do that over-the-air.

Did you use DFU or the Particle CLI to update the system part 1 and part 2 as described and in the order shown?

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bko,

Thanks for your response again. I used the DFU utility. Just so there is no translation error, here is a cut-and-paste from the cmd window:

Microsoft Windows [Version 6.3.9600]
© 2013 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.

C:\Users\tanya>cd c:\dfu

c:\DFU>dfu-util -d 2b04:d006 -a 0 -s 0x8020000 -D system-part1-0.4.5-photon.bin
dfu-util 0.8

Copyright 2005-2009 Weston Schmidt, Harald Welte and OpenMoko Inc.
Copyright 2010-2014 Tormod Volden and Stefan Schmidt
This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
Please report bugs to dfu-util@lists.gnumonks.org

Invalid DFU suffix signature
A valid DFU suffix will be required in a future dfu-util release!!!
Opening DFU capable USB device…
ID 2b04:d006
Run-time device DFU version 011a
Claiming USB DFU Interface…
Setting Alternate Setting #0
Determining device status: state = dfuIDLE, status = 0
dfuIDLE, continuing
DFU mode device DFU version 011a
Device returned transfer size 4096
DfuSe interface name: "Internal Flash "
Downloading to address = 0x08020000, size = 249612
Download [=========================] 100% 249612 bytes
Download done.
File downloaded successfully

c:\DFU>dfu-util -d 2b04:d006 -a 0 -s 0x8060000:leave -D system-part2-0.4.5-photo
n.bin
dfu-util 0.8

Copyright 2005-2009 Weston Schmidt, Harald Welte and OpenMoko Inc.
Copyright 2010-2014 Tormod Volden and Stefan Schmidt
This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
Please report bugs to dfu-util@lists.gnumonks.org

Invalid DFU suffix signature
A valid DFU suffix will be required in a future dfu-util release!!!
Opening DFU capable USB device…
ID 2b04:d006
Run-time device DFU version 011a
Claiming USB DFU Interface…
Setting Alternate Setting #0
Determining device status: state = dfuIDLE, status = 0
dfuIDLE, continuing
DFU mode device DFU version 011a
Device returned transfer size 4096
DfuSe interface name: "Internal Flash "
Downloading to address = 0x08060000, size = 162096
Download [=========================] 100% 162096 bytes
Download done.
File downloaded successfully

c:\DFU>

Now, somehow, after pressing buttons randomly, I have gotten it back to breathing magenta. I’m assuming I need to claim it somehow through the web interface. It’s asking for a big long hex string, but how do I get it from the device? I looked on the box, and there is no hex string that I can see. I can’t talk to it via USB because it is in breathing magenta mode, and the app doesn’t see any photons.

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If you’ve got the CLI installed, try placing it in DFU mode, after which you issue particle flash --usb tinker. then, try placing it in listening mode again (just keep holding SETUP. It might take a while but less than a minute maximum. Once it’s in listening mode, try particle identify and copy the ID. Either enter that ID in the Web IDE, or use the CLI once more to do particle device add [ID], replacing it with your ID.

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Alright, progress at least.

I was able to get the ID, and claim it with the web application. It also showed up on the app. It told me “online but not tinker…”. I tried flashing tinker using the app and got an error. Then I flashed it using the web app and it said success! I pulled up the app again and got the tinker screen!!! The dozens of hours of built up frustration were starting to subside.

But then, like so many times before, another roadblock. As soon as I tried to toggle a pin, it reverted to flashing green. I let it sit, and no change. I tried recycling power, pressing reset, pressing reset then setup, and still no change. It just sits there indefinitely flashing green.

Could there be a problem at the cloud end, like maintenance going on that serendipitously happened right when I toggled the pin? I don’t want to mess with it any more and go through the setup again because I was so close.

For amplifying info, I did the exact same steps with the other photon, and it appears to work like a champ. It stays connected, and I can toggle pins with Tinker just fine.

I plugged the first one back in, and after numerous resets, I got it to connect briefly. I toggled one pin once, then it reverted back to the flashing green. I’ve gotten it to connect a few times briefly with the breathing cyan, but then it disconnects before I can issue a command in Tinker.

So, 2 identical photons, both updated with the most recent firmware, stock Tinker program, and connecting to the same network with the same information, one stays connected, and the other simply will not stay connected for more than a brief period.

On the ‘problematic’ one, could you try particle update and particle flash --usb tinker again. Perhaps something went awry during an OTA flash. Doing it over USB should ensure it gets installed properly.

For direct comparison, I did particle update and particle flash --usb tinker on both devices. Both programmed properly and I got success messages with both. The same problem persists - The bad one disconnects before I can even fire up the app to see that it’s there.

Also for direct comparison, I have the “good” one side by side with this one, each on its own USB port. The good one sits here breathing cyan just fine, and the bad one flashes green, will connect for a brief period (maybe once every 2 or 3 minutes), then disconnect and go back to flashing green. Resetting/cycling power has the same effect.

From many years of doing embedded design, I know when it’s time to cut your losses and just toss it in the trash. I think I’ve reached that point with this thing.

@jfs, before you completely give up on this one,
There should be some improvement in the next FW release (0.4.6) which should come next week, if everything is going to plan.
One of the addressed issues is the blinking-green.

So maybe save yourself the frustration for now, but stay tuned :sunny: :smile:

If things still look bleak after that, you can always mail “hello [at] particle [dot] io” or PM “[at]corey”.

@ScruffR,

The 0.4.6 FW release fixed it. I still can’t explain why with them set up identically, one worked and one kinda worked a little bit but not really. However, all is well for the time being, and both are happily breathing cyan. Thanks everyone for the help!

Joe

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