What are the factors that might cause a Particle (Photon, Argon) to seize up/brick?

Alright, I’m coming from a position where I might be binning two Particle products within the week. I’ve come Arduino/ESP8266 background where I’m used to a little handwiring but not used to hardware breaking down so often.

So I’ve been working on a project that does two analogRead inputs and three analogWrite outputs. Specifically, I need to PID control two ceramic heaters with thermistors. I chose Particle this time round because one of the main draws is the remote OTA / good number of analog GPIO. But the brand new Argon I unpackaged for this purpose ‘seized up’ within a few hours. I initiated it with mesh (not necessary, just curious), but after a while it stopped responding entirely. Some red flashes and then dead (no LED output) and it got incredibly hot when plugged in. Strange, I thought. So I pulled out a new Photon, plugged it in and the code worked fine and I quickly moved on.

Fast forward a week and I’m almost done with my prototyping. I’ve refactored my code to include object classes and some other nice things but in the midst of this, my analog readings started to behave funny and my photon started flashing red again. This time round I could make an attempt at troubleshooting because I could see LED flashing but it couldn’t load into safe mode and my attempts to reflash it using DFU via the CLI got stuck at trying to connect to the WiFi AP.

Does this happen frequently and am I doing something very wrong? Is there a limit to the OTA cycles? Should I be flashing via usb instead?

So post a schematic of the connectivity you have to the external equipment, secondly post the code …

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I don’t know what your needs are but my experience so far was that the nRF52840 ADCs aren’t really deserving the name :flushed:
The Photon’s aren’t the greatest either, but they are working as expected.

I haven’t had any such incidents so far, so it was either a dud device or (more inclined to believe) there were some issues with the wiring - that’s where a schematic would be appreciated.

What kind of flashing red - the flashing pattern often already gives away what the potential cause may be
https://docs.particle.io/tutorials/device-os/led/photon/#red-blink-basic-errors

Not sure what that means :confused:
Reflashing via CLI won’t ever attempt to connect to the WiFi AP. Or did you mean after you had reflashed (how exactly - what command, what firmware, …) the device couldn’t connect to WiFi on reboot?

No to the former and probably to the latter, but hard to tell without more info.

Nope - unless you have exhausted the 100000-1000000 flash wear cycles :wink:

That often helps but should not be required unless you want very fast turn-around cycles.

I know how this sounds and I hope to do that schematic soon but I’ve been changing the GPIO wirings a lot based on the little nuances I’ve been reading about the Particle documentation — e.g. only certain pins can do analogWrite and making sure I don’t trip myself along the way. I’ll provide some videos and pictures of the dead photon and argon in a bit.