[resolved] Beam code - leaves me in bad state

Anyone got the BeamDemo.ino file working from http://www.hoverlabs.co/? I’m new to this so probably messed something up but it compiles for me fine and flashes over to the device but then leaves me in a blinking green state which since I think that means I’m not longer connected to the internet isnt good.

A link to the source wouldn’t be a bad idea.
Also what do you get as serial output?
Have you tried to narrow down the reason by adding more serial debug statements.
How does the color code behave before you end up blinking green (including rough time frames for each in-between state)?

@Ndoggie, if you have a bad taste for anything, it should be the poor documentation and code from Hoverlabs. First, they specify 3.3v or 5v operation but don’t specify current requirements. The Photon 3V3 pin can only supply about 100mA so I suspect this is not enough when a lot of LEDs are turned on. Since Photon can handle both 3.3v and 5v I2C, I recommend powering the Beam from the Vin pin, assuming you are powering the Photon via USB.

Second, there is no indication of whether pull-up resistors are present on the Beam or not. I can only assume they are.

The code they provide allocates Arduino pin numbers instead of proper Particle pin numbers. For clarity, I suggest changing the pin assignments in BeamDemo.ino to:

/* pin definitions for Beam */
#define RSTPIN D2        //use any digital pin
#define IRQPIN D3        //currently not used
#define BEAMCOUNT 1     //number of beams daisy chained together

When you say “flashing green”, do you mean “breathing” green? This would indicate a loss of Cloud connection. Flashing green means you no longer have a WiFi connection, which I find odd. Can you put the Photon in Safe Mode?

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Ok, reconnected everything this morning and with the help of the Beam guys got it working. I have not coded in years (COBOL) and first time playing with a Particle so made some basic mistakes. Will document what I learned and post it for anyone else who is just starting out.

I’m going to make the coding changes Peeksy suggested and also provide wiring pictures.

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@Ndoggie, glad you got it working! I look forward to your lessons learned. Oh, I have to say it’s the first time I get referred to as “Peeksy”! :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

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Lol. Sorry about that! You guys gave me encouragement to keep playing with this this and appreciate being patient/making suggestions despite my lack of information. Figured out a couple other things from the sample code today so will have plenty to doc/explain if just to myself.

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Btw checked with the Beam guys and they said “Please stick to the 3.3V pin. The Vin pin supplies ~5V but the main chip on Beam requires 3.3V to run – so powering with the Vin pin might kill Beam.”

Not sure exactly why that is since I thought the doc said it could run 5v or 3v. Although the doc does say to run at 3v for the Photon so it’s consistent. Where my mistake was in the wiring. I had the 3v connected but was not connecting the host v as well. Probably some other mistakes but will post a clean pic. The quick start guide doesn’t have a pic so this might help people later.

Hi Ndoggie,

I just got a beam, hoping to hook up to a Photon.

Any advice?


Hi Ndoggie, dcdenison,
I just got beams, too (little Beam Community here :wink:

Have the same starting problems as you describe.

Could you check the jumpers with your circuit pls?
Beam <> Photon
3.3V / 3V3
SYNC / not in use
RESET / D2 for Beginner Example
IRQ / not in use
SCL / D1 (found in particle doc)
SDA / D0 (found in particle doc)

Beam white LED is on but no text appears; Photon breathing green.

I will give you my E-Mail over PM to send pictures, if you like!
Best regards,