I'll fight for you!

Hello Community!

My name is **Charlie Kaine** and I am the new **Customer Advocate** here at **Particle.io** :)

What does that mean?

Well it means that all of you amazing product creators out there have a point of contact in me if you want to rapidly scale your prototype.

So if you have an amazing project that you want to take to the next level, I'd love to hear from you!

No really, don't be shy!

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Hello Charlie,
Really glad to hear that you are here to help us out.
We have been having some trouble with the electron. There is some intermittent behavior when it comes to powering the unit via VIn.
I have tested a bunch of electrons some seem to work fine and others suffer from the following.
When powered through VIn using a fully charged sla battery and LiPo disconnect the electron would keep flashing green and not turn blue. Folks at customer support have done their own tests and were not able to duplicate the issue.
I am gong to be ordering a fee hundred electrons in the next few week and don’t want to end with a product that is not fully tested/has issues.
I would like to know the following
1- how do we make sure that this is not a problem with the electron.
2- in case if this turns out to be an issue after I have received my order, how will particle deal with me in that case?

Hi Charlie,
Need your help on an Electron problem encountered while testing for a client who intends to set up numerous environmental quality stations.
I disconnected the LiPo battery and USB cable, and connected VIN to a 9 Volt SLA battery source. A solar panel outage (snow, mud, etc.) was simulated, and after the battery discharged to a minimum operational voltage, the chip permanently failed.
Tech support is hopeful that this can be resolved in software, or else a hardware revision will be required. Meanwhile, my ticket has been closed and the outcome is uncertain.
Could you scan your information sources and see what is happening on this major issue?
Thanks.

Hi ShaTow,
We did experience something similar with one of our electrons that never revived after being plugged into a an SLA battery for prolonged periods.
I am still not sure if the dead battery was the cause of failure or is it was something else.
Just to be safe we ended up creating our own protection circuit around the electron that cuts-off power to the electron when the battery voltage goes below a given level.
I wanted to ask you if its only one electron that failed this experiment or did you try this out with multiple devices and one failed?

Also, have you experienced any issues with the electron not being able to connect to the cloud when powered solely by an SLA battery.
I have some electrons that work just fine, there are others that sometimes require us to connect the LiPO and there are some that would never connect to the cloud unless the LiPO is connected.

Hey @rocky and @ShaTow --Thanks for your posts!

Sounds like two parallel but similar issues here:

  1. One instance in which the Electron was powered via VIn and was unable to connect (continuously flashing green).
  2. One instance in which the Electron was discharged to a very low state, and unable to be revived (permanently failed)

Regarding #1, I know that you’ve been in contact with our customer support team and that we were unable to reproduce. Have you noticed the issue on any of the devices, or does it appear to be isolated to that individual unit? What is your ticket number? I will check out the communication history and add any additional thoughts that I might have. Regarding your second question, if it is a hardware defect with that unit we will be happy to replace it for you.

Regarding #2, this is an issue that a number of customers have reported and we have been working very hard to replicate:

We’ve prioritized resolving the reported symptoms internally, and @BDub is going to be leading a more comprehensive effort starting this week to get to the bottom of the issue and do a root cause analysis so that the behavior can be resolved.

2 Likes

Hi Charlie,

I have a question and hope you can assist.

I’ve been working with the Particle and Bluz platforms in a hobby level. Not for long but around 2 months. I’ve been working on this idea that involved BLE and a connected smart device.

As I’m not very strong with my hardware hacking skills I’ve went ahead and built the prototype using an iOS app that communicates with the smart device. The prototype has gotten some attention in a health startup I’m involved with as they seen potential in its use.

I need to replicate that iOS prototype app functionality into Particle and Bluz so it’s a standalone hardware platform. I’ve been asked to pitch a working hardware prototype in around a months time.

So I’m looking for someone here is Sydney, Australia who can accelerate my learning so I can get the prototype out the door in time.

Would you be able to introduce me to any Sydney based contacts you may have to assist me. I am willing to compensate someone who helps me.

Thanks very much,
Mark.

Hi Mark,

Thanks for reaching out for help with scaling! That is exciting that you are already being tapped for a potential investor/partner!

We do have global partners (including in Sydney), but they may be too expensive for what you are looking for. Here is a list of our service partners, https://www.particle.io/servicepartners.

I would personally suggest posting this for the general view of the community, and I am confident you will get the help you are looking for.

Please keep me posted on how your prototype presentation goes; best of luck!

Charlie K.

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I’m not sure if he’d be interested, but @Hootie81 would be the first one to come to mind when I think of reputable Australian Particle users - not Sydney but the opposite end tho’
But IoT is global, maybe distance needn’t be an obstacle.

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Thanks for the heads up @ScruffR , I’ll ping him a PM

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Hi Charlie,
I only used one Electron in the various shakedown tests performed. As far as connecting to the cloud, the SLA power did fine as a singular power source - it’s only a problem when voltage is reduced to a critical minimum for VIN.

Hi Will,
From afar, could this be related to the STM’s power supply supervisor and the several mode actions for low power sensing? If so, it would seem that this should be performed in system, rather than user, firmware.
Just an observation that might not be relevant.

I appreciate the thought! I’m a little bit out of depth on technical details related to the MCU, but I’ll cc @BDub on your post since he’s leading up the effort to identify a root cause for the symptoms.

@rocky @ShaTow Just wanted to let you know we are pooling our thoughts and testing on this issue here:

@ShaTow which STM modes and/or Particle APIs are you referring to?