IotaWatt appears to claim connected staus ... even with router powered off

I lost connection to my IotaWatt after a brief power outage. It wasn’t showing on HomeAssistant and didn’t appear connected to the router. I have had this problem before and it was usually fixed with some power cycling.

In this case, power cycling doesn’t seem to fix the issue. The light on the IotaWatt flashes green at eight-second intervals. I could not find the device on my router’s tables, despite the green lights. I tried blocking the IotaWatt’s MAC address from the router. Green lights, still. I tried powering off the router and power cycling the IotaWatt, in hopes of resetting the Wifi on the Iotawatt. But instead, the IotaWatt displays the green light, with flashes at about 8s. I’m at a loss … how can it be connected?

Could the unit have been damaged by the power outage? Maybe it is stuck in a boot loop?

I don’t really have enough information to speculate. Can you provide:

The original order number if you have it, if not the approximate time it was put into service.

Is the unit in the USA or another country?

If you think you can remove the SD card, can you locate the file /iotawatt/iotamsgs.txt and upload a copy in a private message (just click on my username and select “Message”)?

Thanks for the reply. I sent you the file. This is in the US. Order #125870.

Got it. I’m out right now but will look at it in a few hour. From the order date and symptoms I’d guess SDcard. Will be more specific later.

It appears that your system stopped on Sept 26, I think about 1:22am. Is that when you experienced the power outage? Your time is set as +8 hours from GMT, but your order was shipped to US Pacific time zone which is -8. So the log entries are timestamped 16 hours ahead and the last entry is Sept 26 17:22.

For the sake of simplicity, I’ll use the timestamps as shown in the log from here on.

Looking back at your message log, I see where the current log has had damage twice. Once in April and again in August. This suggests a problem with the SDcard, so I would recommend replacing that. See links at the end of this post.

Your current problem may be caused by the SDcard, but there is something more mysterious going on. Beginning 9/26/23 at 06:13, the unit auto-updated to release 02_08_03. That would be almost normal as the auto-update was uploaded 25 hours before.

Subsequently, you bounced around reverting to 02_08_02 and back to 02_08_03. That would be caused by the unit receiving different version files when it checked the current release. I believe you are getting different versions of the file due to some caching somewhere between your ISP and the IoTaWatt. I use Cloudflare to cache these files, but once they are updated, they should not revert. This works all over the world and I have not seen this problem anywhere else. Could be something with Cloudflare but I suspect it is more likely at your ISP (s?) or you have some other caching going on locally. I notice your SSID is dd-wrt suggesting that you are have some home-installed components.

I’m not a big believer in coincidence when it comes to computer anomalies, so I think it may be related. Hopefully the all of the caches you are using are now in sync. Try replacing the SDcard and then when you get the unit back up and it’s running, set auto-update to NONE for awhile to insure against the flip-flop updates.

References for new SDcard:

Thank you very much for the post mortem. I will replace the SDcard and see if I can get it back up.

Hmm, that was not the time of the outage – at least not the one I was aware of. Perhaps they are unrelated. The outage is what spurred me to check the IotaWatt, since that has been the source of connection issues before. I guess it could have gone down earlier and I hadn’t noticed.

Incidentally, the previous router was running dd-wrt. It is now an stock ASUS RT-AX58U. I gave it the same ssid as its predecessor to save me the trouble of updating logins for a bunch of devices. The change happened before this IotaWatt entered service.

I replaced the SDcard, per the instructions, and copying config.txt from the old card to the new card.

No change in behavior. Powers on to green, and the green light blinks about every 8s, but it is not connected to the router. Let it sit a while. Couple of power cycles. Let it sit longer. Same.

Pulled the SDcard and no log or iotamsgs.txt have been generated.