(Mostly) Unresponsive IoTaWatt - Resolved

I’ve had a working IoTaWatt setup in my residence for about a year. This morning, I accessed the device over my local network and checked some of the data via Graph+. In the midst of this, I received a database error of some sort (alas, I did not capture it) and my IoTaWatt has since been largely unresponsive. I have occasionally been able to access the main menu page (after many minutes of loading), but the buttons do not seem functional.

The device itself is showing an LED which alternates between bright and dull green. I have power-cycled it a few times but the problem persists. Any recommendations on how to further troubleshoot this? I’m not sure if the LED is actually showing me a “code” vs. just showing network traffic, though I’m only logging locally so I’m not sure what other traffic it would be showing.

There are two ways to proceed:

  1. You can power down the unit, open it up, carefully remove the SD card, Mount it in another computer, and upload the /IoTaWatt/iotamsgs.txt file for my review.

  2. If you have a terminal emulator like Putty, you can connect it to the USB port where the power supply connects, set it to 115,200 Baud and, capture a restart cycle. Post that and I should be able to determine the state.

Another approach is to send the unit to me for diagnosis and repair. If you choose to do that, I can send you the address.

Here’s the terminal capture. There’s nothing here that’s obvious to me. I can pull the SD card if necessary.

The last three lines showed up while I was trying to access the device’s web server from another device.


SPI started.

** Restart **

SD initialized.
6/08/20 13:31:37z Real Time Clock is running. Unix time 1591623097
6/08/20 13:31:37z Reset reason: External System
6/08/20 13:31:37z Trace: 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:3, 1:4, 1:1[10], 1:2[11], 9:0[11], 9:0, 9:1, 8:4
6/08/20 13:31:37z ESP8266 ChipID: 2529712
6/08/20 13:31:37z IoTaWatt 5.0, Firmware version 02_05_08
6/08/20 13:31:37z SPIFFS mounted.
6/08/20 13:31:37z Local time zone: +0:00
6/08/20 13:31:37z device name: IotaWatt
6/08/20 13:31:37z HTTP server started
6/08/20 13:31:37z timeSync: service started.
6/08/20 13:31:37z statService: started.
6/08/20 13:31:38z dataLog: service started.
6/08/20 13:31:39z dataLog: Last log entry 06/08/20 13:31:35
6/08/20 13:31:39z historyLog: service started.
6/08/20 13:31:40z historyLog: Last log entry 06/08/20 13:31:00
6/08/20 13:31:43z Updater: service started. Auto-update class is MINOR
6/08/20 13:31:43z WiFi connected. SSID=Valhala-N, IP=, channel=4, RSSI -83db
6/08/20 13:31:43z MDNS responder started for hostname IotaWatt
6/08/20 13:31:43z LLMNR responder started for hostname IotaWatt
6/08/20 13:31:44z Updater: Auto-update is current for class MINOR.
Server: sent less data than expected. file index.htm, sent 2920, expected 108633
Server: sent less data than expected. file index.htm, sent 4380, expected 108633
Server: sent less data than expected. file cnfstyle.css, sent 2920, expected 6075

The good news is that the device seems to be logging fine.
The bad news is that it looks like your WiFi is weak, RSSI -83db, and probably is producing errors.

The problem may lie elsewhere, but occam’s-razor dictates that the poor WiFi RSSI be explored. I have no history to go by, and that is available from the SD card iotamsgs.txt, but before doing that, it would be worth looking into if anything changed with the router/access point. Sometimes channel is set to automatic and it changes to something that competes with another radio or interference source. You might try using channel 1, 6 or 11 if in the US and look for an RSSI less than about -75.

Excellent detective work. Our WiFi router was recently moved to a place that seems to have resulted in poorer reception where the IoTaWatt was located. I set up a spare router to act as a WiFi repeater, and now everything is working flawlessly again.

Incidentally, there are no obvious errors in the iotamsgs.txt… not sure if I should expect there to be or not.

Thanks so much for your help!

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