Electron stopped working?

I’m on firmware 0.6.0 with all my electrons.

and I’m using these panels, which, given my code, should give me enough power to charge my batteries during the day and run for 2-3 days when not sunny (hardly happens here).


and yes, I’m aware of the bounty hunt post, but am posting here because what I could really need right now is a way to get my bricked units back to life without a JTAG programmer, ie. a workaround to the SWD Fault error in the Blue Norwegian.

I’ll contribute as much as I can to hunting this bug when I’m back in the Netherlands, I’ve got a student going back to Myanmar end of Februari and if she doesn’t have a 100% workaround we might have to switch / cancel her project.


Thanks for the info @RolfHut! 6V @ 150mA is pretty weak… definitely not enough to properly power the electron by itself, but good info for a test.

Is there any reason you don’t want to purchase a JTAG tool… they can be super cheap. I recently bought 2 for $5 shipped from this seller on eBay. Tested and working. If you add $2 for faster shipping, you’ll get them in about a week. You can even get these from Amazon Prime for about $6 if you can’t wait.

Simple 3 pin hookup

the reason for not getting a JTAG (now) is that we have one more day of fieldwork here in Myanmar and getting stuff like that here fast is not an option. If I can fix them today, I have two additional floaters for our experiment.

it has been improvising anyway: this is how I made a pull-up…

Understood. When I see things like these tiny JTAG tools for cheap, I buy two… one for my travel case, and one for home. They are like swiss army knives… when you need them they’ll save the day (if you have it with you).

Is that a marshmallow pull up resistor? :smiley:

Here’s how I made some pull ups in the past… I don’t know if they’d survive a floating adventure down a river, but they work well.

Very low power rating I’d assume!

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Hi @BDub,

the pencil marking resistor is brilliant! Didn’t have pencils, only pens on me… But will add pencils, alligator clamps and jtag programmer to my standard toolkit.


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Oh: and it is not a marshmallow: it is a squeezed wet tissue.

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Oh no… I have the same problem here! :worried:

I am struggling to build my project, basically an Electron with a few sensors and data sent to ThingSpeak.
I have little time to work on it and a failure on the Electron will stop me for a long time!

In my case, the Electron was working well since a few days, USB powered (UPS protected) and battery plugged in.
This morning I found it with RGB led off and blue led dimly lit. I am pretty sure the battery was well charged and anyway USB power was never turned off. The electron may have been exposed to some sun light in these days (behind a window, winter sun…), temperature between 20°C and 28°C and humidity around 30%.

What is the current recommended solution to this problem? I have a Photon in case it may be useful to reprogram the bootloader, but I’m not so keen to buy a JTAG and do long procedures. Basically I need a solution I can quickly/easily apply. I hope there is one.

I will send a separate email to Support, if that is necessary.
Is any other information required?



As said in an earlier post, if you have another Particle product you could use this

You need to be sure to add code to put the Electron into low power mode when the battery hits 20% or so SOC to keep from the Electron locking up like happened to you.

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Thanks RWB, I will.

Anyway, as I described earlier, I am pretty sure that the USB power adapter and battery were working fine at the time of the locking up. There must be another reason (too?)!
I can’t believe this issue couldn’t be solved yet… :confused:
Thanks for your help anyway,


The only time I have seen the Electron lock up with the dim blue LED is when the battery goes dead. Maybe your USB power did drop out?

Unfortunately I have no way to check the USB adapter directly. It is a 2A, now powering a Photon, I’ll leave it connected for a few days and see if it gives any trouble.
I’m available to share my circuit (photo) if it may be useful to get some hints on the cause.

Hi @BDub, finally got my STLinks in. Any tips on how to to the actual re-flashing of the firmware? as in, which CLI commands to use?



Till Brett has got time, this is what I found

to dump out what the current state of your device is.

And here should be your way to resurrect your device


cc @BDub

update, I downloaded the 0.6.1 (3 parts) firmware files and tried to upload them using the ST-LINKV2 using
st-flash write ~/Downloads/system-part1-0.6.1-electron.bin 0x8060000
as command and got:

st-flash 1.3.1
2017-04-20T17:00:46 INFO src/common.c: Loading device parameters…
2017-04-20T17:00:46 INFO src/common.c: Device connected is: F2 device, id 0x201f6411
2017-04-20T17:00:46 INFO src/common.c: SRAM size: 0x20000 bytes (128 KiB), Flash: 0x800000 bytes (8192 KiB) in pages of 131072 bytes
2017-04-20T17:00:46 INFO src/common.c: Attempting to write 52620 (0xcd8c) bytes to stm32 address: 134610944 (0x8060000)
Flash page at addr: 0x08060000 erased
2017-04-20T17:00:46 INFO src/common.c: Finished erasing 1 pages of 131072 (0x20000) bytes
2017-04-20T17:00:46 INFO src/common.c: Starting Flash write for F2/F4/L4
2017-04-20T17:00:46 INFO src/flash_loader.c: Successfully loaded flash loader in sram
enabling 32-bit flash writes
size: 32768
size: 19852
2017-04-20T17:00:47 INFO src/common.c: Starting verification of write complete
2017-04-20T17:00:47 ERROR src/common.c: Verification of flash failed at offset: 0
stlink_fwrite_flash() == -1

as error.

Hmm, yeah I’ve seen that error before on Mac and I usually switch to Windows and use the ST-Link Utility when that happens. Do you have that option?

nope, at least not the next week. Leaving for Vienna in 7 hours where I hope to demo those drifters but from the 3 I have with me, 2 are bricked. Did bring ST-link this time though.

This afternoon while testing my Electron, my USB serial print to screen stopped working. I looked at the device and the 3 colored LED in the center is OFF and the D7 led is dimmly lit. Tried putting it into Safe Mode using the switches but nothing happens, center led remains Off. In the Terminal app on OSX cd /dev and type ls, tty.usbmodem1431 no longer shows up. From reading these posts it sounds like my boot loader has been erased. My Electron had been powered over USB, no battery.
Please advice on how to proceed
Thank you.

Just started the Norwegian Blue fix, after answering (y) to the last question the Photon Programmer LED turned Orange but there has been no been no response back on the Terminal window. Its been 10 minutes in this state. Target Electron Led is still Off, no activity. I pasted my terminal window below. I used CLI to download latest 0.1.4 of Norwegin.bin
Any ideas? Do I need to disconnect USB cable and try again?

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
Not sure about that.
Do you have a dead device and wish to continue? [y,N]:y

Disconnected the Photon after 2 hours , photon still in the state descibed above. Removed all jumpers and reconnected the USB. Now the center tricolor LED is Solid Blue. I search for this condition and found this thread, Cannot claim Photon - SOLVED

Following the steps outlined in this thread, I did the following
In DFU Mode
dfu-util -d 2b04:d006 -a 0 -s 0x8020000 -D system-part1-0.6.2-photon.bin then, dfu-util -d 2b04:d006 -a 0 -s 0x8060000:leave -D system-part2-0.6.2-photon.bin
particle keys new then, dfu-util -d 2b04:d006 -a 1 -s 34 -D device.der

Led blinks and changes colors but returns to steady blue. I cant get into Safe Mode, when I release the Reset switch while holding down the Setup switch when the led turns blinking magenta, it immediately goes to blinking Green. It will still go into DFU mode.
Any ideas on what to try next?

For the Electron you may need to consider this statement from the datasheets


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