Trouble connecting to Photon (new Photon & new user)


#1

A friend of mine has some photons, so I was all eager to get started.
However, I am stuck on getting connected.
I did a quick search of the forums and troubleshooting information, and it appears I did everything correctly.

When attempting to connect using an Android device, I get the following message on the screen:


The message indicates to try again, but repeated attempts get the exact same result.
I checked the WiFi router and all the settings look okay (it is a 2wire unit from Bell.ca).
Are there any specific things I should be looking for to solve this issue?

I moved on to try connecting to my computer by USB.
Installation of node.js seemed to go fine.
The next step of installing the device driver is where I ran into trouble.
My device manager never shows the Photon device:


I went back and turned on view of hidden devices, which still did not reveal the photon.
The OS is Windows 7 Home Premium. I then tried another computer with the same result.
Any advice on what I could be missing?

Thanks Al


#2

Have you put your device into Listening Mode (blinking blue)?
Do you hear the typical device connected sound when plugging in the Photon?
What colors does your Photon play?


#3

Thanks for the quick response!

When I apply USB power, the LED goes white for a brief instant and then starts flashing blue, so it is in listening mode. It just continues to flash blue indeterminately and the device manager never sees it,

With the Android device, I start off with the flashing blue and everything goes exactly according to the instructions until I get the above error message. At that point, the photon is flashing blue, but I then have to reset the photon before the software will allow another attempt to connect.


#4

So I went through the Andriod setup again to monitor what colors it plays.
Power up the Photon … flashing blue.
Start the android app.
Click Get started.
Setup a device->Photon.
Click Ready.
My Photon shows up in the list.
Select my Photon.
Then I select my Wi-Fi network.
I put in my password info and Click connect.
The photons does a single pulse white or pulse white (tried a couple of times).
then returns to flashing blue again.
msg: configuring device wifi credentials
msg: connecting to wifi network
It goes through the process until the error message appears with no further changes (still flashing blue).
Remove and re-apply power.
Photon flashes fast green.
Hold reset.
Photon then flashes blue again.

I hope this level of detail helps. Any further things to check or try out?


#5

That seems to indicate the WiFi credentials are not sticking.
So we might need to check the basics:

First, how long did you let the Photon flash fast green? Let it happen at least a minute! Don’t hit reset but watch what colors follow.

Is your WiFi a 2.4GHz only or 5GHz (or both)?
Are you using WEP or WPA/WPA2?
Can you try to open your network (no PWD) and try again?
Is your WiFi hidden (no SSID broadcast)? Try to broadcast.

Again: Do you hear the Windows device connected sound?
Does Windows say something about a device not being connected properly?
Can you try a (or some) different USB cables?
Can you try a different USB port (preferably USB 2.0 not 3.0)?


#6

Thanks for the different items to look into.

I apologize for not confirming the sound … and that might be the key clue in the end.
I tried a USB hub to further the USB 2.0 vs 3.0 check, and there is the windows connected sound when plugging in the hub. However, there is no sound when plugging in the Photon either direct to the computer or through the hub.
I have only one other USB cable with a micro connector, and that made no difference.
So I tried an old cell phone on the USB cable … no sound.

Time for a shopping trip for a new USB cable.
Stand by, and I will let you know if that is successful.

As for a WiFi connection, it is 2.4GHz only.
The authentication is WEP-Open.
SSID is broadcast.
I opened the network (no PWD) and things changed!
I now get the same error message, but the photon is breathing cyan.
In the end, it is connected and tinker is working.
Any suggestions to keep things working if I re-enable the password?


#7

I’d recommend transitioning away from WEP and go for WPA2.
But if you can’t you may want to read this thread about the “trickery” required to provide a WEP passphrase


#8

Thanks for the advice! I managed to do some other to get my router transitioned off of WEP.
Everything is working fine over WiFi.

I suggest changing the Particle guide, so that WEP is not just a security concern, but to indicate it can be the cause of difficulties in establishing a connection. It is all clear to me now, but as a newbie it was not at all obvious to me.


#9

Thanks for all the help @ScruffR!

Several new USB cables later and everything is now working as it should.
(I never realized USB cables could be so flakey)