Developer Support Update | Boron Pausing and Setup Concerns


#1

Hi everyone. My name is Matthew and I’m a Developer Support Engineer here at Particle. I work alongside David ( @ParticleD ) to support all the great people that use Particle’s ecosystem.

I’m sure a lot of you have been seeing David and me posting frequently in the community. While David and I work closely with Particle’s engineering team to work through any issues that come in through our internal ticketing system, we recognize that often times, there are many questions that can be answered by our community as well by sharing their own insights or experiences in the Particle world.

Therefore, as we are able, we like to pitch in and join in on community discussions to offer our assistance–especially for concerns that require an understanding of Particle’s backend and may require interactions with the engineers that built parts of the backend ecosystem.

As it so happens, we recently ran into one of these issues earlier last month. Some customers began experiencing an issue where they saw their SIMs pausing early

SIM pausing and double billing

As a result of our investigation, it appears that one of our MVNO partners recently updated the way data records are handled. As such, for a limited period, some records were being accounted for twice for a subset of users. This may have caused some SIMs to pause around prematurely.

It’s believed that the embedded SIMs in the E Series LTE, Boron 2G/3G, and Boron LTE could have been affected by this. It is not believed that our external SIM (such as the ones provided with the Electron) and were affected.

There also were a few identified customers that may have been charged twice. All identified customers have received refunds for this. If you believe you were one of the affected customers but did not receive a refund, please reach out to support and reference this post along with your invoice, specifying which ICCIDs you think were double-billed for.

Other users also saw that their SIMs were pausing at approximately half their data limit. This is due to the function representing data in the console interpreting the duplicate records differently. As it so happened, the console actually properly reflected data usage, while the pausing mechanism was seeing the duplicate records and counting them both. The short term fix was to raise the data cap. An actual fix on the backend has been implemented for all new usage data coming in and our engineering team has gone through and removed all duplicated data for past usage. All devices should be able to be set back to their proper data limits. As a note: Not all customers may have had a billing cycle occur while duplicate records were in the database. As a result, even if you experienced this issue, it is not necessarily the case that you will have been or will be double billed.

At this time, we believe that the record handling has been resolved an should be back to normal. All affected customers should no longer be experiencing issues. For general questions and concerns, please feel free to ask them here in this topic. If you happen to have a question about a specific device ID or ICCID and would like to not disclose private information, consider filing a support ticket

Borons not completing setup flow, reporting empty ICCID and IMEI

In addition to the above issue, we also have recently investigated another issue hat has come to our attention. This issue is a concern with Borons failing to go through the full setup flow. These Borons are typically known to also not report their ICCID or IMEI when performing a particle identify command from the CLI.

This is an issue that was discovered which left the NCP in a half initialized state. A pull request detailing this in more technical detail can be found on our Github repository.

This issue will not occur on all Borons, nor will it occur 100% of the time. Doing full restarts on a device experiencing symptoms can have it come up with a fully initialized NCP. In this state, it will function as intended.

This bug fix was not released in our v0.9.0 release, but we are seeking to have it in our next release. For users impacted by this issue, we ask that you wait for the next release and update as soon as possible once a fix is out.

For any issues not yet mentioned

As Particle continues to grow and add more features and products–unfortunately, bugs will be inevitable. But we are dedicated to being able to quickly identify and resolve these by working with our community and engineering team.

If you don’t see something mentioned here or in our Particle Mesh Known Issues and Fixes, always feel free to reach out here or at our support portal. At the moment, we are currently working with a slightly higher than normal ticket volume, so do expect a little while longer before we are able to handle your request.

And if it makes sense, always feel free to use our community too! Community posts are great from getting feedback from both your peers and us at Particle. Even if you aren’t sure if your issue can be solved right away, it does help to know others are experiencing the issue. This can help both support and engineering in their investigations to determine a cause and get a fix out more quickly.

As always, if you have any questions, always feel free to reach out. Just remember, we’re here for you! :slight_smile:


Boron LTE Setup - Error while accessing modem?
Assertion failure on BORON
#2

@mstanley, thanks for this post. Can you detail what you mean by a full restart so that we can try that work-around while we wait for the next release?


#3

A full restart would entail not simply pressing the “restart” button, but instead fully removing all power from the device. I would personally keep the device fully unplugged for at least 15 seconds before attempting again.

Due to the nature of the bug, I cannot guarantee this will resolve the issue on restart. It may work first try or may take hours of cycling through. It’s hard to say.


#4

Is this issue still ongoing or is there a fix for this?
I am hoping to get my Boron back up and running soon…

I am still stuck with the “Error Accessing Modem” while going thru the iPhone setup flow.

Any help anyone can provide would be great! Thank you in advance!


#5

Heya!

This issue has been addressed, but there has not been a public release yet for it. We had intended to put out a bugfix release, but due to some complications, it got pushed back and should be a part of our next upcoming release. I’m anticipating a release sometime next week, but not sure I can promise a date yet.


#6

Status update on this issue…
Do I need to request a replacement Boron device? Support ticket?
Is there a fix for this issue that will return my device to working state.
Last reply was 25 days ago.
I am receiving a monthly charge for this Boron’s data sim that I can’t use.


#7

Hi dwstang,

This issue should be remedied in all versions v1.1.x and onward.

As a note, when you are not using a Particle cellular device, you should your device’s SIM card to inactive in your console’s SIMs page. A de-activated SIM remains owned by you, but while inactive, will not incur any charges.

Feel free to submit a ticket about the previous charge and reference this topic. We’ll be sure to get you taken care of.


#8

Thanks mstanley!

Question for you “versions v1.1.x and onward” is this a physical hardware version change? or software version?
I deactivated the sim on my Boron that’s not working.
I submitted a support ticket for replacement Boron device.

Thanks again mstanley for all your help!