Status LED - Tracker SoM

You are viewing the Status LED and Device Modes for the Tracker SoM. To view the documentation for other devices, use the blue device selector below the Particle logo on the left side of the page.

Tracker SoM Mode

The Tracker SoM and Tracker One status LED can be configured in several different ways. This section describes the Tracker LED mode. It can be configured to use the standard Particle LED scheme (blinking green, blinking cyan, breathing cyan), or can be completely customized in the Device Fleet Settings. The Tracker SoM Evaluation Board defaults to the Particle color scheme.

The standard LED patterns for Tracker One devices are:

Connecting to Cellular - Tracker

The Tracker will fast breathe red while connecting to cellular.

Connecting to the Cloud - Tracker

While trying to connect to the cloud, the Tracker shows the relative signal strength as breathing yellow (weaker cellular signal):

Or breathing green (stronger cellular signal):

Connected to Cellular - Tracker

The Tracker shows the relative signal strength as solid yellow (weaker cellular signal):

Or solid green (stronger cellular signal):

Solid yellow or solid green indicates normal operation on the Tracker.

The remainder of this page describes the status LED when using standard Particle LED scheme.

Standard Modes

These modes are the typical behaviors you will see from your device on a regular basis. They are the light patterns of a healthy device.

Here's the typical pattern of a Tracker SoM after power up.

Connected

When it is breathing cyan, your device is happily connected to the Internet. When it is in this mode, you can call functions and flash code.

OTA Firmware Update

If your device is blinking magenta (red and blue at the same time), it is currently loading an app or updating its firmware. This state is triggered by a firmware update or by flashing code from the Web IDE, CLI, or Workbench. You might see this mode when you connect your device to the cloud for the first time.

Note that, if you enter this mode by holding MODE on boot, blinking magenta indicates that letting go of the MODE button will enter safe mode to connect to the cloud and not run application firmware.

Looking For Internet

If your device is blinking green, it is trying to connect to cellular.

More information

Connecting to the Cloud

When the device is in the process of connecting to the cloud, it will rapidly blink cyan. You often see this mode when you first connect your device to a network, after it has just blinked green.

Listening Mode

When your device is in Listening Mode, it is waiting for you to configure your mesh network, or is waiting for configuration by USB serial.

Normally, when you've successfully configured your Gen 3 device using the mobile apps for iOS or Android, the setup complete flag is set and you will exit Listening Mode.

If you have reset your configuration or have set up using USB, you may need to manually set the configuration done flag using these instructions to use the particle usb setup-done command.

To put your device in Listening Mode, hold the MODE button for three seconds, until the RGB LED begins blinking blue.

You can also use particle usb start-listening to enter listening mode.

Network Reset (fast blinking blue)

To erase the stored network settings on your device, hold the MODE button blinks dark blue, then continue to hold it down for about ten seconds longer, until the RGB LED blinks blue rapidly, then release.

  • For all Gen 3 devices it will clear the mesh settings and the setup complete flag, so the device will go back into setup mode (listening mode)
  • For the Argon it will also clear Wi-Fi settings.
  • For the Boron, it will also clear the cellular APN and SIM selection.
  • For Ethernet, it will also clear the using Ethernet flag.

Cellular Off

If your device is breathing white, the cellular module is off. You might see this mode if:

  • You have set your module to MANUAL or SEMI_AUTOMATIC in your user firmware
  • You have called Cellular.off() or WiFi.off() in your user firmware

Safe Mode

Safe mode, breathing magenta (red and blue at the same time), connects the device to the cloud, but does not run any application firmware. This mode is one of the most useful for development or for troubleshooting. If something goes wrong with the app you loaded onto your device, you can set your device to Safe Mode. This runs the Device OS but doesn't execute any application code, which can be useful if the application code contains bugs that stop the device from connecting to the cloud.

The device indicates that it is in Safe Mode with the LED breathing magenta.

To put your device in Safe Mode:

  1. Hold down BOTH buttons
  2. Release only the RESET button, while holding down the MODE button.
  3. Wait for the LED to start blinking magenta
  4. Release the MODE button

Before entering safe mode, the device will proceed through the normal steps of connecting to the cloud; blinking green, blinking cyan, and fast blinking cyan. If you're unable to connect to the cloud, you won't actually end up with breathing magenta, but execution of application firmware will still be blocked - so you are in a "sort-of safe mode" (e.g. to enter "Safe Listening Mode").

The device will itself automatically enter safe mode if there is no application code flashed to the device or when the application is not valid.

You can also use the particle usb safe-mode command to enter safe mode.

DFU Mode (Device Firmware Upgrade)

If you wish to program your device with a custom firmware via USB, you'll need to use this mode. This mode triggers the on-board bootloader that accepts firmware binary files via dfu-util

Installation tutorial can be found here.

And a usage guide here.

To enter DFU Mode:

  1. Hold down BOTH buttons
  2. Release only the RESET button, while holding down the MODE button.
  3. Wait for the LED to start flashing yellow (it will flash magenta first)
  4. Release the MODE button

The device now is in the DFU mode.

DFU mode requires device drivers under Windows. These should automatically be installed by the Particle CLI installer, but if you think you are having driver issues, there are additional DFU troubleshooting tips here.

Some users have reported issues with dfu-util on a USB3 ports (typically the blue ones). Use a USB2 port if the USB3 port doesn't work.

You can also use the particle usb dfu command to enter DFU mode.

Troubleshooting Modes

These modes let you know about more atypical issues your device might be exhibiting. Use this section to troubleshoot strange colors you might see from your device.

Cloud Not Connected

When your device is connected to cellular but not to the cloud, it will be breathing green.

More information

Rainbows/Nyan

Using the Signal option in the Web IDE, or the particle cloud nyan CLI command, you can have a device's status LED display a rainbow pattern. This is handy if you have multiple devices nearby and are not sure which one is which.

Blinking red indicates various errors.

While connecting to the Cloud, the RGB LED will be blinking cyan followed by:

  • 1 orange blink: Decryption error.
  • 2 orange blinks: Could not reach the internet.
  • 3 orange blinks: Connected to the internet, but could not reach the Particle Device Cloud. This sometimes is seen as yellow or red and indicates bad server keys.
  • 1 magenta blink: Authentication error.
  • 1 red blink: Generic handshake error. The device could have the wrong keys or has just encountered a generic error in the handshake process.

Repair instructions

Red Flash SOS

Is your device blinking red? Oh no!

A pattern of more than 10 red blinks is caused by the firmware crashing. The pattern is 3 short blinks, 3 long blinks, 3 short blinks (SOS pattern), followed by a number of blinks that depend on the error, then the SOS pattern again.

Enter safe mode, tweak your firmware and try again!

You can also reset your device to a known state by following these instructions.

There are a number of other red blink codes that may be expressed after the SOS blinks:

  1. Hard fault
  2. Non-maskable interrupt fault
  3. Memory Manager fault
  4. Bus fault
  5. Usage fault
  6. Invalid length
  7. Exit
  8. Out of heap memory
  9. SPI over-run
  10. Assertion failure
  11. Invalid case
  12. Pure virtual call
  13. Stack overflow
  14. Heap error

The two most common ones are:

Hard Fault (1 blink between 2 SOS patterns)

Some causes of hard fault include:

  • Using an invalid pointer.
  • Memory corruption caused by freeing memory twice, overwriting the end of a block of memory, etc.
  • Making Wire (I2C) calls without calling Wire.begin().

Out of heap memory (8 blinks between 2 SOS patterns)

If your device crashes repeatedly with an SOS code, first try recovering with Safe Mode and flashing Tinker with the CLI to see if it was something recently added in your user application.

particle flash <mydevice> tinker

Some tips for reducing the memory used by your firmware can be found here.

Stack overflow (13 blinks between 2 SOS patterns)

Stack overflow occurs when you try to store too much data on the stack. The size is quite limited, and storing large temporary objects on the stack can cause problems.

  • Main loop thread: 6144 bytes
  • Software timer callbacks: 1024 bytes

Heap error (14 blinks between 2 SOS patterns)

SOS+14 signifies:

  • Semaphore lock timeout
  • Since 0.8.0 60 seconds expired while trying to acquire a semaphore lock, likely due to dynamic memory allocation
  • Since 1.2.0 Other heap-related error, such as allocating memory from an ISR

Prior to 1.2.0, attempting to allocate memory from an interrupt service routine would sometimes work, and sometimes corrupt the heap causing the software to crash sometime later, while doing something completely different. Since this is very difficult to debug, now a SOS+14 is thrown immediately.

Some locations that are interrupt service routines:

  • ISRs attached using attachInterrupt
  • System event button handlers (just button_status, button_click, and button_final_click handlers, not all system events)
  • SPI transaction callbacks
  • SparkIntervalTimer library timer callbacks

Things you should not do from an ISR:

  • Any memory allocation or free: new, delete, malloc, free, strdup, etc.
  • Any Particle class function like Particle.publish, Particle.subscribe, etc.
  • Most API functions, with the exception of pinSetFast, pinResetFast, and analogRead.
  • delay or other functions that block
  • Log.info, Log.error, etc.
  • sprintf, Serial.printlnf, etc. with a %f (float) value.

Solid colors

Solid colors are rare. There only expected situation is:

  • Solid magenta if you are loading code in ymodem serial mode.

In most cases, solid colors are the side effect of a bug. If code crashes or infinitely loops with interrupts disabled, it's possible that the LED animation will stop. The color of the LED is the color it last was before failure. So for example, it could be solid cyan if it was previously breathing cyan, or solid red if it was trying to output an SOS pattern.

No status LED

If you power up your device and the status LED never comes on, you could have a missing or corrupted bootloader.

  • Unplug the USB (and battery, if you are using one)
  • Hold down the SETUP button while plugging in the USB power

If you still see no change in the status LED you probably have a missing or corrupted bootloader.

This can be corrected using a JTAG/SWD programmer if you have one. Otherwise, you should contact support.