Electron antenna RF interference

I had huge problems setting up my Electron for the first time. It just did not connect to the cloud. After numerous retries I was able to claim my device. However, after that I was not able to get a connection. I wrote a sketch which enabled the serial debug messages and started investigating.

  1. CREG was was successful most of the time but sometimes it took a long time
  2. Enabling PDP context succeeded most of the time and I could get a local IP address

As soon as I started doing something more complicated like opening a TCP connection or trying Particle.connect() things would fail. The symptons were

  1. 3 orange blinks and 1 red blinks during Particle.connect associated with a key problem (i reset my keys several times)
  2. USB serial random disconnect usually just when Particle was trying to transmit something over the air

Then I observed “ERROR: handshake failed with code 17” in the serial logs and found this https://github.com/spark/firmware/issues/1175.

After that I replaced the antenna with a smaller patch antenna (it’s either the one I use with Adafruit Fona or some other cheap uFL GSM antenna eBay).

Everything started working immediately.

Anyone else with a similar problem?

@jkario, I have not experienced this issue. You may have a defective antenna or connector.