I have an application running on a Photon (works on Spark too) and it’s purpose is to count the number of times a red light on a power meter flashes. Basically it measures the consumption by counting the flashes which translate to 1Wh. I have a light sensor connected to D0 as a digital input and every time I detect the input changing state from low to high, I increment two counters - PulseCount and TotalPulseCount. I use something like PulseCount += 1 to increment both variables and they are both declared as uint32_t.
The application attempts to send an http request with the readings at the turn of every minute. The only difference between the two counters is that PulseCount resets to zero with each successful upload while the other one should keep on incrementing until it reaches 10000 and then resets to zero. However, for some strange reason, it is resetting to zero half way through, some times after just 200 counts. Before I post all the code and ask you to look through it for obvious bugs which I might miss, I wanted to ask you if you are aware of any problems where the Photon loses count at seemingly random intervals.
Yes, but the dashboard scrolls (and is cute about whether it is visible in a browser window) - so if you’re not there to see it, you can be SOL (at least that’s been my experience with the dashboard and transient problems like this.) It’s a good diagnostic for reproducable events, but not for intermittent ones.
I have found using curl to dump the event stream to be more effective (although that can also reset, because the internet/cloud computing doesn’t like long lived TCP connections in general ) If you click on the icon circled in the following image, the system should provide a curl command line that you can enter at your command line and capture logs without the limitations of a browser window.
Note that in many cases, you will not see a device offlien event, but it must be inferred from the “device online event”.
LOL! You’re so right! I never tried the dashboard before, and I am only now (now that you mentioned it) slowly getting accustomed to it’s benefits.
By command line, do you mean the DOS command prompt in Windows? When I tried it it said that curl is not a recognized command. Do I need to install something or set some paths? Please bear with me since I am new to this stuff.
Then you would run it from the DOS command prompt. I’m not a windows user, so I do not know what your options are for ensuring that the scroll history is retained; maybe someone else can chime in here.
OK. From looking at the dashboard, it appears that if there is a temporary loss of wifi signal, the Photon behaves as if it was reset as soon as a connection is reestablished. I know this is something obvious for you guys. Is there a way to prevent this, that is, have the Photon/Core keep looping, counting and doing its thing and then resume sending the HTTP requests as soon as the wifi signal is back?
Agreed retained variables are perfect for this, and even one better is to use system threading too, that way you can still count while not connected and once connected it can send the totals.
Here is some code I wrote just the other day to do exactly what your doing but reading a reed switch. And I’m actually in progress to make it report total consumption and the days consumption. I also added a function to set the current meter value to the unit, and changed the code slightly to report in litres instead of pulses
I added SYSTEM_MODE(SEMI_AUTOMATIC) and now my Photon is breathing white and appearing offline on dashboard. Also, I can’t flash anything. Is there a way to get it out of semi automatic mode (without a factory reset), at least until I can flash a new firmware?
After using retained variables, I am still experiencing premature resetting of counter values. Here’s my current code. How do I incorporate SYSTEM_MODE(SEMI_AUTOMATIC) in it without making the device go offline? I know my code is “noobish” so if you have any other suggestions about how to make it better, I am all ears. I definitely need to streamline the way I got the value of the DeviceTime variable and I am not sure I am using the best method to send an HTTP request.
a few comments for you to consider while you hunt down your issues…
You may wish to consider (to get the program performing better) eliminating the use of String class which can really wreak havoc on memory… consider using C strings (char arrays).
you create bool success in your setup() function it gets destroyed as soon as setup() ends, then you recreate it again in loop() where it will again get destroyed on exit of loop(). Do you want a persistent variable there?. Read up on “scope.”
as a side note, look to make your code more readable by eliminating all those forward-leaning hashmarks (you know that the compiler interprets those… so use them in pairs or with the asterisk, e.g. /my comment/) and all that white space… and pick a method to use curly braces that is consistent .
And there you’ll find a reference to Particle.connect() which you need to call in order to connect to the cloud.
You can do this on demand (e.g. via a button, TCP/HTTP packet, …) or in setup().
If you only want WiFi connection without the cloud you could use WiFi.connect() instead.