Smoke and led breath white and red

i am new on the forum
and i am french
so sorry if i do some language mistakes

i bought the photon device two month ago and it stay in the package until yesterday.
the set up work perfectly and i done all the example on internet.
great job the photon seems to be a great device with no limit !!!

today when i want to go further a problem appear.
i plug the photon to my computer (macbook pro) with the usb and some smoke blow from the device.
(it seams to come from the component between the usb plug and the RGB led)
then i quickly unplug the photon

now the photon is breathing white and red (not magenta) with occasionally little flash of the D7 led
and sometimes it is red with two white flash

i can put the device in safe mode or DFU mode but it can’t found internet (green flash)
the listening mode doesn’t work.

i know that during Christmas garland are everywhere but i would done other works with the photon.

thanks to read


Was the anything connected to the Photon? When you plug in the Photon now, does it get really hot?
If you’ve got the CLI installed, you can try flashing new firmware over USB to see if that work. But with smoke coming out, you’ll have to be careful.

thank for this quick reply.
there were the light sensor with a resistance and the led with an other restance (like in the “publish” exercice). i don’t change the anything since yesterday.

only the little component between the usb port and the RGB led get hot. (i don’t know what it is)
i have already installed the set up application : node.js (i think it is CLI) which run in the terminal.
but i can’t do the wifi set up with this : it always return that the photon wifi fail. that’s why i done the set up with an iphone.

i would try flashing over usb but how i do?
if you know a tutorial i will try.

thanks a lot

Could you shoot a photo and circle the component you’re talking about and post this here?
There are two capacitors (browny rectangles) abd a one coil (black cube type thingy) between the USB connector and the RGB LED.
But try to remove your Photon from the bread board for further testing, to make sure nothing external interferes.

Next, when you say you can put the device into Safe Mode, do you actually mean it will enter magenta breathing?
If so, there’d be no need to enter Listening Mode, since your WiFi credentials are still working and you should be able to OTA flash new code too.

On the other hand, how do you try to enter Listening Mode?
Unlike the other modes this is not in connection with the RESET button.
Once the device is on (including Safe Mode) you can just press and hold the SETUP button for a few sec till the RGB turns blue.

i talk about the capacitor.
i plug the photon to test your solution.
the led code change.
before it was possible to enter in safe mode by :
hold down the setup buton
click the reset buton
and release the reset button when led blink magenta.
finally the led blinked green => no internet connexion (i think it could come from a bad manipulation during the first attempt to go in safe mode. i could reset the wifi network)

actually the led code is different :
it dont blink magenta but red and only reset can go out of this state.

an other fact :
normally when i plug the device to my computer. it ask me what is this new peripheral device.
actuallly the request come in phase with the led blinking. like the photon is plug and un-plug each second.

thanks for the help
the capacitor seems to be in a bad state and the power suplly won’t work
i can work with the 3V3 input !!!
i could flash the device by wifi blink led and read light sensor over the web.

do you know the difference caused by an 3V power supply instead of the usual 5V ???



5V is convenient, since that’s what USB provides. It’ll get regulated to 3.3V which is what the processor uses. It should run just fine at 3.3V :slight_smile:

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I’d guess if the cap is dead, it might also be that the 3V3 regulator got frazzled, so if you have some soldering skill and the gear (or know someone who has), you might be able to replace the two buggers and have a good Photon again.
But otherwise, as @Moors7 said, running off 3V3 direct is just fine (providing you don’t go beyond the allowed voltage, since then there is no second chance ;-))

thanks for all information
i will buy an other photon and this one will be for hardtesting…



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