Electron Duration until Connected

I got my Electron about a week ago. It’s already up and running!

The thing is that it takes about 1-2 minutes to get a connection (2G version, Europe, indoor). That seems quite slow to me, my smartphone takes about 5 seconds to connect to a HSPA+ network. This will probably be a big part of the battery consumption.

Is there anything I can do to reduce this duration? The Electron will be used to measure water temperature in a lake. It should wake up about once every 1-2 hours to connect, send a measurement and power down again. And all this as power efficient as possible.

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With firmware 0.4.8 you have to choose between saving data or power. You cannot have both. This will be fixed hopefully in 0.5.0. Then we will not need to handshake or reconnect to the tower every time we wake. Stay tuned. Where can we look for the changes, and when the next version is released? Who will verify that this feature works as planned?

Sometimes it connects in a few seconds. More often than not it takes 30 seconds to a minute. It blinks all different colors. Some red flashes, fast aqua. Finally it connects. This happens when I’m outside with 5 bars according to the mode button press. It doesn’t seem to be related to signal strength. This would be fine since I won’t be connecting most days. It seems to stay connected without a handshake as long as it’s awake. I’m hoping soon we will be able to sleep() without a handshake. Otherwise I’m afraid my project is doomed with an unknown connection time using power and data. What is your experience with powering up in 0.4.8?

I have a local build based on the develop branch.

My application is using the semi-automatic mode. It performs a deep-sleep for 5 minutes and wakes up to send some data to a webserver. I logged the duration it takes from trying to connect [ Cellular.on(); Particle.connect(); ] to when particle.connected is true.

I’m seeing it normally takes about 32 with spikes every so often.

What’s interesting is the three dips below 10 seconds. I put the electron in my car and left it there for a few days working away. The dips today correspond to when I drove around (went to work, came home from work, picked up pizza). I wonder if certain towers connect faster?

BTW, i’m in Canada and i’m using a 3G electron.

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Nice graph. I would have never thought of measuring the connect times although I was curious what the reconnect times were on average from wake.

Is your graph showing 30 seconds the best we can hope for in the future? I guess it’s OK if we don’t have to handshake after sleep() stop. Then it will be only a few seconds and no 6k data for handshake.

I am having a similar Issue where the electron takes ~20 to ~30seconds for the first request to call a function on the device. The Following function requests take ~2 seconds. Why is the initial request after a period of time substantially longer ???

Since you asked exactly the same question there and already got an answer, please don’t double post!

More testing today. It takes 30 minutes plus indoors, with 3-4 bars. Green flashing all this time. If I go outside where it is 5 bars, it connects in about 30-60 seconds sometimes. Then I can go back inside and it remains connected reliably sending UDP and publish(). It doesn’t matter how I orient the antenna in the middle of a glass table. Same during the 30 minutes, the orientation doesn’t matter. In every location indoors it is always 3-4 bars when I press the mode button. Please help troubleshoot? My project will fail if I cannot connect indoors with a cell tower nearby.

The results are the same every time in that room with 3-4 bars. Sometimes more than an hour to connect when reset. Once connected works fine.

I would consider trying some different antennas and see if that helps.

Also see if holding down the SIM card helps any at all. I doubt it but you never know.

It is mounted on a breadboard securely both inside and out, and the results are consistent. Could there be some kind of interference inside? The nearest possibility is a laptop. Perhaps interference would look like 4 blinks when I push mode. A different antenna would make the RSSI stronger. Isn’t 4 blinks already strong? Is the original antenna bad or weak? Once connected works fine should be a hint for us. I’ll try some other rooms today.

30 minutes is a very long time! I would definitely try a different antenna just to be sure. @BDub is there any logging from the modem that we can use to find out more about why it takes so long to connect here? Is the BER rate updated when attempting to connect, perhaps that might help identify a noisy signal?

30 minutes is not an exact number. As you might imagine, sometimes it never connects, until I give up after a few hours. In another room, other side of the house, it is also 3-4 bars. It tries much harder often fast aqua and fast red blinking. It takes a few minutes to connect. Also near a different laptop. The bad room has a Roku, picture frame, R/C chargers with PC PS. Noticed in the bedroom it connects much faster when I press reset, after the 1st time. Now it’s also good in the dining room! The laptop is off.

I tried it 10x yesterday, and last week. It never worked quickly. Now it does?!?

Everything is fine today. It works regardless of the laptop. Makes no sense.