Common Issues

This section will help walk you through the diagnosis and resolution of the most common roadblocks that our users run into. Some of these roadblocks are caused by issues or bugs in the platform, but many are more innocuous than that, and few are permanent. We'll help you identify exactly why your device is insert_issue_here and help you get it back to happily connected.

Device Doctor

If your Photon used to work but is not connecting to the cloud anymore, the easiest way to get it back to health is to use the Device Doctor.

Breathing Magenta

Normally, if your user firmware requires a newer version of Device OS, it will automatically update itself using the safe mode healer.

You can reset the user firmware and Device OS using these steps:

Put the Electron in DFU mode by holding down both the RESET and MODE buttons, releasing RESET and continuing to hold down MODE until it blinks yellow and issue this command in a Command Prompt or Terminal window.

particle flash --usb tinker

Put the Electron back into DFU mode (blinking yellow), then:

particle update

Manual Firmware Update

The particle update command above is the preferred way to update, however you can update manually using these steps:

If you do not have a Mac/Apple computer then you should not read the instructions below for a firmware upgrade. These are specifically for users who have Mac OS/OS X machines.

For Windows If you have a Windows machine, please follow these instructions.

Since your device is offline, I recommend using our dfu-util method. If you want more info on this, the local DFU-UTIL method is roughly explained here.

To upgrade your Photon, follow the instructions below:

  • Download the latest system Part-1 and Part-2 firmware binaries for the Photon linked here: latest release

  • Install dfu-util on your Mac using: brew install dfu-util If you don't have brew or homebrew installed, install it here:

  • Put photon into DFU MODE, instructions here.

  • Flash part1: dfu-util -d 2b04:d006 -a 0 -s 0x8020000 -D system-part1-x.x.x-photon.bin (replace x.x.x with actual version number)

  • Flash part2, unit should still be blinking yellow: dfu-util -d 2b04:d006 -a 0 -s 0x8060000:leave -D system-part2-x.x.x-photon.bin (replace x.x.x with actual version number)

  • Wait... Your device should eventually restart and start blinking blue, breathing cyan, or flashing green -- all dependent on if you've setup the device before.

Blinking Cyan

If your Photon is blinking cyan and sometimes orange/red without connecting, it is helpful to first try to manually update your firmware, in the same way as listed as above. If this does not work, then move on to a key reset.

Public Key Reset

Sometimes, a firmware upgrade will not be enough to solve your Photon's problem. If your are still having an issue, and particularly if your Photon is blinking cyan and sometimes orange/red without connecting, It's time to try resetting the public key.

Put the Photon into Listening mode (blinking blue) by holding down SETUP until it blinks blue. Then issue the CLI command:

particle serial identify

Save the Device ID; you’ll need it later.

Then put the Photon in DFU mode by holding down both the RESET and SETUP buttons, releasing RESET and continuing to hold down SETUP until it blinks yellow and issue the commands below, in order.

particle keys server
particle keys doctor YOUR_DEVICE_ID

Blinking Green

If your device is blinking green without connecting, there are a few things to check immediately.

Wi-Fi network requirements

Your device works best with a traditional home network: simple networks with WPA/WPA2 or WEP security (or unsecured), with a single router from a reputable company (Apple, Netgear, Linksys, D-Link, etc.) without any fancy settings. The more your network diverges from the norm, there more likely you might encounter issues.

There are known issues with the following types of networks:

  • 802.11n-only networks. The Core is 802.11b/g. Most 802.11n networks are backwards compatible with 802.11b/g, but if yours is not, the device will not connect.
  • Networks with "captive portal" security. A captive portal is the little website that comes up to ask you to sign in to a network or sign an agreement, like at a Starbucks. The device can't navigate these portals.
  • Enterprise networks. We have had mixed results connecting the devices to enterprise networks, although we don't yet have a great understanding of what's causing the issue. This is something that we are working to improve.
  • Complex Networks. Networks with multiple routers, with non-standard firewalls, and with non-standard settings.
  • Channels above 11. This is in particular an international issue; if you are outside the U.S., your Wi-Fi router might run at channels 12, 13, or 14, which the CC3000 does not support. Please use channels numbered 11 or lower.
  • If your router uses WEP encryption, you should upgrade your router to something more secure. However it may be possible to connect your Photon with some difficulty by following the WEP configuration instructions.

Prerequisites for Setup

  • Software
    • Particle Mobile App - iPhone | Android | Windows
    • Note: We highly recommend using the mobile app for first time setup.
  • Hardware
    • Your Particle device, brand new and out of the box!
    • USB to micro USB cable (included with Photon Kit and Maker Kit)
    • Power source for USB cable (such as your computer, USB battery, or power brick)
    • Your iPhone, Windows, or Android smartphone
  • Wi-Fi Settings
    • 2.4GHz capable router
    • Channels 1-11
    • WPA/WPA2 encryption
    • On a broadcast SSID network
    • Not behind a hard firewall or Enterprise network
    • Note: We do not recommend using WEP Wi-Fi settings, for security reasons.
  • Experience
    • None! This is your first project.

Still Having Problems?

Check out connection help for more info.

For more help join our community forums and post in the troubleshooting section.