Electron stopped working?

Yes I am. Now I have two dead Electrons and now I’m all out of them. I replaced the Electron in the solar kit with another. Now that one is also dead. Is the solar kit killing these boards? It seems to happen if you let the battery run dead.

Hi @jgarland79

I am not sure this will help but during the beta if we had power problems, I would tie the RST pin to GND (forcing the Electron to be continuously reset) and then connect it to a known good source of USB power (good adapter, laptop, hub, etc.) and let it charge the battery for a long time, like overnight. Then remove the jumper between RST and GND and let the Electron try to start-up again.

You might want to try something like that.

Here is everything I’ve tried.

With the Electron plugged into nothing else and the battery is fully charged and my meter reads 4.1VDC from the battery.

  1. Hold mode button and plug in battery. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. RGB led remains off.
  2. Hold reset button and plug in battery. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. RGB led remains off.
  3. Hold mode and reset button and plug in battery. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. RGB led remains off.
  4. Hold mode button and plug in USB power with battery disconnected. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. Red led blinks rapidly. RGB led remains off.
  5. Hold reset button and plug in USB power with battery disconnected. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. Red led blinks rapidly. RGB led remains off.
  6. Hold mode and reset button and plug in USB power with battery disconnected. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. Red led blinks rapidly. RGB led remains off.
  7. Hold mode button and plug in USB power with battery connected. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. Red led lights up when USB cable is plugged in. RGB led remains off.
  8. Hold reset button and plug in USB power with battery connected. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. Red led lights up when USB cable is plugged in. RGB led remains off.
  9. Hold mode and reset button and plug in USB power with battery connected. Results: Blue D7 led remains constantly lit. Red led lights up when USB cable is plugged in. RGB led remains off.

@bko Thank you. Trying that now with one of the boards.

If the Blue D7 LED is on dimly and the RGB LED never lights up, I think you are in the “no firmware” state and will need a JTAG programmer to get out of it.

It sounds like @corey can help you best in that case.

Ordering this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/381237466793

and 30 days later when it arrives from China and I’ve lost interest in the Particle Electron because it failed me so miserably, I will probably stuff it into a drawer. :frowning:

But just in case I decide to actually try JTAG flashing these things I’ll leave this link here for my own reference. Connections for ST-Link v2 mini JTAG

If anyone wants to try and reproduce this issue just plug your Electron into the solar shield and move to Seattle(Or just put it in dark room for ~1.5 days). So far it has a 100% success rate with the two Electron boards I’ve plugged into the shield.

Hey,

Can you share the code you had running on that Electron to make sure there isn’t an error from the application side of things? (This can be privately shared)
We’re willing to send you a programmer shield to get this debugged and figure out the root cause of this issue. Feel free to respond here or in a private message - whatever suits you best!

Talk to you soon,
Corey @ Particle

One was running this and it was working fine for over a day until the battery went dead. The other one was running one of the examples and was also working fine until the battery went dead.

FuelGauge fuel;

CellularSignal sig = Cellular.RSSI();

float VCell = 0;
float SoC = 0;
int sig_rssi = 0;
int sig_qual = 0;


#define pirPin D2

void setup() {

  pinMode(pirPin, INPUT);

/*
  Serial.println( fuel.getVCell() );
  Serial.println( fuel.getSoC() );
  
  Serial.println(sig.rssi);
  Serial.println(sig.qual);
*/

  //pinMode(D5, INPUT_PULLUP);

  Particle.variable("VCell", VCell);
  Particle.variable("SoC", SoC);
  Particle.variable("sig_rssi", sig_rssi);
  Particle.variable("sig_qual", sig_qual);

}

void loop() {

  if(digitalRead(pirPin) == HIGH){
      Particle.publish("m");
      while(digitalRead(pirPin) == HIGH){
        delay(50);
      }
  }


  VCell = fuel.getVCell();
  sig = Cellular.RSSI();
  SoC = fuel.getSoC();
  sig_rssi = sig.rssi;
  sig_qual = sig.qual;

  //delay(2000);

}

Sorry to hear of these troubles. Do you still have at least one functioning device available. like another electron, or a photon or core?

I have the same problem and tried everything! Nothing works. I never saw the led blinking or even lighting. Only the D7 led is blue and futher it is dead!

I have two new photons to use for a solution!

How can help me! I sent already two request to support. No answer.

It sounds like the bootloader has been erased somehow. It’s possible to reprogram it using a photon and a few jumpers. We hope to make a formal release of this in a few weeks (I’m on vacation now.) But you can get a sneak preview here - https://github.com/m-mcgowan/embedded-swd

3 Likes

Looks like I’m in the same boat here. :confused: I was in the process of uploading the new firmware in DFU mode. After part2 of the firmware was uploaded the led became unresponsive and I can’t get it to do anything. Here is the terminal output that I saw. After it was done I waited about 5 seconds an hit the reset button.

Jasons-MacBook-Pro:Downloads parmenter$ dfu-util -d 2b04:d00a -a 0 -s 0x8020000 -D system-part1-0.5.0-rc.2-electron.bin
dfu-util 0.7

Copyright 2005-2008 Weston Schmidt, Harald Welte and OpenMoko Inc.
Copyright 2010-2012 Tormod Volden and Stefan Schmidt
This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
Please report bugs to dfu-util@lists.gnumonks.org

Filter on vendor = 0x2b04 product = 0xd00a
Opening DFU capable USB device... ID 2b04:d00a
Run-time device DFU version 011a
Found DFU: [2b04:d00a] devnum=0, cfg=1, intf=0, alt=0, name="@Internal Flash   /0x08000000/03*016Ka,01*016Kg,01*064Kg,07*128Kg"
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
No valid DFU suffix signature
Warning: File has no DFU suffix
DfuSe interface name: "Internal Flash   "
Downloading to address = 0x08020000, size = 122916
...............................
File downloaded successfully 

Jasons-MacBook-Pro:Downloads parmenter$ dfu-util -d 2b04:d00a -a 0 -s 0x8040000 -D system-part2-0.5.0-rc.2-electron.bin
dfu-util 0.7

Copyright 2005-2008 Weston Schmidt, Harald Welte and OpenMoko Inc.
Copyright 2010-2012 Tormod Volden and Stefan Schmidt
This program is Free Software and has ABSOLUTELY NO WARRANTY
Please report bugs to dfu-util@lists.gnumonks.org

Filter on vendor = 0x2b04 product = 0xd00a
Opening DFU capable USB device... ID 2b04:d00a
Run-time device DFU version 011a
Found DFU: [2b04:d00a] devnum=0, cfg=1, intf=0, alt=0, name="@Internal Flash   /0x08000000/03*016Ka,01*016Kg,01*064Kg,07*128Kg"
Claiming USB DFU Interface...
Setting Alternate Setting #0 ...
Determining device status: state = dfuDNLOAD-IDLE, status = 0
aborting previous incomplete transfer
Determining device status: state = dfuIDLE, status = 0
dfuIDLE, continuing
DFU mode device DFU version 011a
Device returned transfer size 4096
No valid DFU suffix signature
Warning: File has no DFU suffix
DfuSe interface name: "Internal Flash   "
Downloading to address = 0x08040000, size = 120436
..............................
File downloaded successfully

I should mention that it was only connected over usb only and the battery was not connected during the update. Is this problematic? What did I do wrong?

@mdma I would be like to try to flash the bootloader using a photon if you can explain how. I have photons laying around.

I tried the Norwegian Blue program with no luck. I used the online ParticleDev and also compiled the lates release locally with the same results below. I double checked the wiring and still no luck. I am using a Photon to try to recover an Electron. Here is what I see in coolterm.

Bootloader fixerupper, v0.0
This utility fixes up the bootloader on another device. 
Before running this, be sure you have correctly wired the programmer and target devices.

WARNING: Do not use this with a target device that is showing LED activity.
LED activity on the target device means the bootloader is functioning and any problems with
the device can be fixed using particle-cli.

WARNING^2: Please read the message above!

Do you have a dead device and wish to continue? [y,N]:y
SWD Fault error
Please double check the wiring, then try again.
Do you have a dead device and wish to continue? [y,N]:

-Jason

What do you mean by that?
Was it still yellow? (or any other LED "activity")

Have you tried

particle flash --usb tinker

That would have been advisable before anything else.

BTW: It's also advisable to have the battery attached when doing such things with the Electron since the ublox might spike its current draw possibly exceeding USB power limits.

@ScruffR, Good point that wasn't the best description of what was going on. I seem to be in the exact same situation as @jgarland79 I should have said there was no main LED lit ever, only the blue led on D7 dimly lit. By unresponsive I mean the device does nothing on button presses. I would have loved to flash tinker if I could have gotten the thing to come to life. I always flash tinker after a firmware update on my photons.

I understand the current limitations also. I typically have the battery plugged in when testing when I'm transmitting or receiving. I figured this would be OK since after I powered the electron on I immediately put it into DFU mode.

@jgarland79 have you tried this? Did it work for you?

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Nope, not tried it - I’ve got a Programmer Shield :sunglasses:

Sorry to hear you got stuck that way :weary:

Hi, I am in the same situation and I tried to flash the bootloader with the procedure https://github.com/m-mcgowan/embedded-swd, but it does not work.
I always get the SWD fault error.
I also connected the battery to the Electron und a external power to the photon to be sure both have enough volts.
are there some other hints what I can do with my dead electron? I am also unable to get it in DFU mode. :frowning:

Any help is appreciated
Christian

@crisu, Obviously you see I had the same issue above. It’s sad that I haven’t seen anyone from particle to chime in here. :confused:

@crisu & @jasonp, we could ping @mdma and @BDub for that and/or you could open a support ticket with a reference to this thread here.

1 Like