[Solved] Turning on the modem: ERROR!


For troubeshooting the particle Electron device I flashed the following firmware:


Connected the battery, antenna and USB. Open the serialport with screen /dev/ttyACM0. And used the following commands

o: turn the cellular modem ON
        Turning on the modem: ERROR!
         Failure powering on the modem!

i: read the SIM ICCID
       Get the SIM card ID (ICCID): 8931440300xxxxxxxxxx

What can be a problem for the error of the failure powering on the modem?

Thank you in advance

That can’t be right

You’d need part1 and part2 of one version not twice part1 of two different versions.

Sorry I made an error writing that down these are the files I used:


To be more precise I used the following commands:

sudo dfu-util -d 2b04:c00a -a 0 -s 0x8020000 -D system-part1-0.5.1-electron.bin
sudo dfu-util -d 2b04:c00a -a 0 -s 0x8040000 -D system-part2-0.5.1-electron.bin
sudo particle flash --usb electron-troubleshooting-v0.5.1.bin

So that is not causing the error

Hm–is there any visible LED activity on the device? @BDub created the troubleshooting firmware, so he might have some thoughts.

@BobP when you just run Tinker, does the RGB led stay white for about 27 seconds before it starts flashing blue? Or does it start flash green after a few seconds?

Did you ever have this electron connected to the cellular network or cloud?
After what sequence of things did it start to not power on?
Also it looks like you were able to successfully read the ICCID, yeah? That would indicate the modem IS on… hmm.


With the troubleshoot firmware I conducted the following steps:

  1. Connect USB
  2. Connect LiPo Battery

When the battery is connected the red light goes off. This indicates a full battery right?
Now the device keeps flashing white (all three colors).

Open a screen: conducting the following workflow ( o, i, n, D):

Turning on the modem: ERROR!
Failure powering on the modem!
Get the SIM card ID (ICCID): 893144030049xxxxxxxx

Scanning for available networks, could take up to 3 minutes…

[ AT+COPS=? ]
+COPS: (1,“NL KPN”,“NL KPN”,“20408”,2),(1,“T-Mobile NL”,“TMO NL”,“20416”,2),(1,“vodafone NL”,“voda NL”,“20404”,2),(1,“NL KPN”,“NL KPN”,“20408”,0),(1,“vodafone NL”,“voda NL”,“20404”,0),(1,“T-Mobile NL”,“TMO NL”,“20416”,0),(0-5),(0-2)
[ AT+COPS=5 ]

Scan incomplete! Power cycle the modem and try again.

Get the SIM card ID (ICCID): ERROR!
Could not retreive ICCID. Is your SIM card inserted?

You will be prompted to enter your APN, USERNAME and PASSWORD.
Most 3rd-Party SIMs don’t require USERNAME and PASSWORD so just
press ENTER on those to set them as empty values.
Pressing ENTER on all 3 will restore Particle’s APN.

APN: live.vodafone.com
USERNAME: vodafone
PASSWORD: vodafone

Credentials Set!
Connecting to the cellular network with 3rd-Party APN: ERROR!
Failed modem initialization! Did you turn the modem on? Particle SIM installed?

As you can see sometimes I can read the ICCID and other times not. But I cannot connect at all to the internet.

I will try and post later my attempts to use the tinker app.



Followed again the setup.particle.io steps. Downloaded the custom firmware. When booting the following happens:

  1. Connect USB
  2. Connect Lipo

Stays two seconds blinking white in breathing mode. Then starts blinking blue faster than the breathing, this keeps on going for 10 minutes and more, so no luck.

@BobP would you please jumper TX to RX on the electron and enabled loopback debugging… I’d like to see what is happening with the power commands to make it error. Please PM me the logs, thanks!

try this workflow ( K, o, i, z, reconnect, K, o, i, r )

@BDub I do not know how to PM you on this forum but this is the outcome:

Debugging loopback enabled!
Be sure to jumper TX to RX to see Serial1
debugging output mixed into Serial USB output.
0000000001:INFO : void system_power_management_init() (269):PowBad command!
Turning on the modem: [ ElectronSerialPipe::begin ] = = = = = = = =

[ Modem::powerOn ] = = = = = = = = = = = = = =
19.253 AT send 4 "AT\r\n"
19.263 AT read OK 6 "\r\nOK\r\n"
19.266 AT send 7 "AT E0\r\n"
19.318 AT read OK 6 "\r\nOK\r\n"
19.351 AT send 11 "AT+CMEE=2\r\n"
19.406 AT read OK 6 "\r\nOK\r\n"
19.439 AT send 19 "AT+CMER=1,0,0,2,1\r\n"
19.503 AT read OK 6 "\r\nOK\r\n"
19.536 AT send 15 "AT+IPR=115200\r\n"
19.596 AT read OK 6 "\r\nOK\r\n"
19.729 AT send 10 "AT+CPIN?\r\n"
19.739 AT read + 18 "\r\n+CPIN: SIM PIN\r\nERROR!
Failure powering on the modem!
19.771 AT read OK 6 "\r\nOK\r\n"
SIM PIN not available

Get the SIM card ID (ICCID): 15.564 AT send 9 "AT+CCID\r\n"
15.574 AT read + 30 "\r\n+CCI89314403xxxxxxxxxx

D: 8931440300xxxxxxxxx\r\n"
15.618 AT read OK 6 “\r\nOK\r\n”

I masked a bit the ICCID. But it seems to be the PIN however it should be four zero’s (default).

Should I load a custom firmware with APN user password and pin?


You’d PM just by clicking on the persons avatar, then you’ll get a popup with a blue :envelope: Message button.

If I click on your avatar I see, what you see in the upload, no option to click “message” or anything like that.

@BobP I see your issue :slight_smile: You need to remove the PIN on your SIM card. Can you pop that into a Phone and remove the 4 digit PIN? Currently the firmware does not support use of a PIN.

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I see, your trust level is still “New User”.
That will change soon :wink:

Can you check again?

This is Really GREAT when I saw the PIN code error in the debug I also thought it must be that. Maybe it is good to check on that in the troubleshooting firmware.

I disabled the pin and it connects. To the Cloud.



Everything starts working, I am now able to send PMs

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Yup! I was thinking of that, and also a way to disable SIM pins in the troubleshooting app. So little time to do all of the things :smile: adds to list

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