Photon setup flashing cyan with a "quick red burst" (now orange burst) [Solved]

most of my photons have gotten setup without a problem (go team!)

but one is having a weird setup issue.

the iphone app wont set it up (same problem as shown in the video)
and doing this via serial has the same results.

once i provide the wifi credentials, it flashes green, then cyan rapidly, with a very weird super quick burst of red/orange light. here is a video…


Sounds like bad keys somehow. Has it been claimed yet?

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i dont think its been claimed. btw, kenneth, you are ridiculously fast. we missed you at maker faire!!

maybe it was claimed at particle HQ…maybe ill just put it away for now. is that light pattern a bad key issue??

I haven’t encountered that but orange/red in general means bad keys somehow.

The photon should send it’s own copy of the keys to the server during the first handshake and register but doesn’t sound like it did…

Try using the particle-cli USB/Wifi method to claim it under your wing? :smiley:

im using particle-cli and its stuck here:

? Would you like to wait and monitor for Photons entering setup mode? Yes
> Monitoring nearby Wi-Fi networks for Photons. This may take up to a minute.
o Waiting for a wild Photon to appear... (press ctrl + C to exit)

It should scan and detect a Photon SSID. Look at your WIfi list manually. Is there a PHOTON_?

Make sure the photon is in Listening Mode (blinking blue) :wink:

there is a PHOTON network, and it is blinking blue…but not working. my wifi (os x) is not switching over to the photon network…i thought the cli might not have permissions, so i ran it as root as well…still no luck

even when i manually switch the wifi network to the photon network, the cli does not move forward with setup…weird.

Weird… Try a factory reset maybe. I would say that your system should be fine since you managed to claim the reset…

I’m equally new in this game like you so these new issues are fun to handle :wink:

yep. i agree. ive factory reset this photon a few times. i think i must have grabbed one from the tested/broken pile…its the problem with going to particle HQ and just grabbing random photons!

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It might be firmware versioning as well :stuck_out_tongue:

I would try for one last time particle serial wifi and see what happens with the light…

i am able to give the wifi credentials (manually entered, scan comes up empty), but i get the same rapid cyan with the quick orange/red burst. so weird!!

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@mdma might be hanging around :smile:

that would be rad! hey @mdma you around? im not particularly concerned about this one photon in my possession (i have a backup)…just wondering if you could shed some light for anyone else experiencing this.
don’t spend too much time on it, i know there are many pressing firmware topics to handle!


and its 130am in SF. so time to go to sleep!


Yep, that does sounds like a problem with keys. I’ll write up a tutorial on how to reflash the keys to the photon and post a link here.

Is this an out-the-box photon? If it is, very strange it doesn’t work, although there is a known issue with a small number of keys.

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Once the photon and the cloud agree on a set of keys for the photon, the cloud locks in on that set until you do a

particle keys send DEVICE_ID KEY_FILE

that unlocks the keys for that device and leaves them open for a fresh try. When you’re erasing / re-flashing a photon, it’s possible to wipe its local key, and cause it to generate a fresh key.

In this case, that means someone would also have to unlock the keys on the cloud side. I think we can relax the key sending rules here if we start sending better notifications / alerts in these cases (e.g. “hey, your photon just changed its key”). The goal behind this key locking was to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks, but I’d like to find a happy middle ground. Sorry about that! :slight_smile:



Sorry for the late follow up. Had a few people with this issue, so now I see the pattern and the solution.

NB! only do this if the device has NEVER connected to the cloud before and has the intermittent red blink while fast flashing blue. If the device has previously connected to the cloud successfully then the problem lies elsewhere and these steps are not required.

Using particle, first generate a new key:

particle keys new

Then put the device in DFU mode and flash this new key

dfu-util -d 2b04:d006 -a 1 -s 34 -D device.der

Then reboot the device and it should connect to the cloud.


perfect thanks!

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