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Debugging your sensors

Smart Citizen Kits being tested at Fab Lab Barcelona

This guide will try to summarize the basic steps to debug your sensors whenever there's any problem. Let's be clear, there is no unique reason or point of failure for the sensors to fail, and very likely, if you use them extensively, something will happen, either after 1 month, 1 year, or 5 years. It is key to know how to debug them:

  1. Reset the sensor using the hardware reset button. This is either here:

or here:

  1. If this doesn't solve the problem, you might want to connect to the sensors using the Shell.

  2. The next steps would depend on what the actual problem of your sensor is. The most common problems are:

    • Sensors or hardware issues
    • Connectivity or configuration issues

Basic steps

  1. Reset the kit
  2. Follow this guide
  3. Check the FAQs
  4. Check the forum
  5. Ask support with a nice explanation

Sensors or hardware issues

As said above, there is no single point of failure for the sensors.

  1. If the LED is working normally, but there is one or more sensor that is not responding, connect the Shell and type:
version

Note this for later. If it's an old version of the firmware, it might help to directly upgrade.

sensor

This should show if all the sensors are being recognised. If one of them is missing from the list, you can try to check the i2c bus (where most of the sensors are connected):

i2c

If one of the sensors is not shown, it means that there is probably a hardware issue with the sensor itself and that the microcontroller is not recognising it. Now, it would be useful to look for corrosion signs around the sensors and maybe reflash the firmware in case there is a better detection of the sensors in a firmware update. Otherwise, it is likely that the hardware is no longer functioning and it needs replacement.

  1. If the LED is static, very likely there is a problem with the detection or electric behaviour of the sensors. For this, it is useful to start disconnecting each component to understand which component fails:

  2. Disconnect the power (USB and battery) and disconnect the PMS5003 sensor. Power again and check

  3. Disconnect the power (USB and battery) and disconnect the Urban Board. Power again and check

If this doesn't help, try to reflash the firmware, as there might be improvements. If it helps, also update and check if it improves. If the sensors heat up too much, there might be an electric issue.

Connectivity or configuration issues

Normally, configuration or connectivity issues can be due to the following reasons: - Typo during the setup process - Old firmware

  1. If not using the Shell, make sure that the information provided for the network is correct by putting the SCK in SETUP mode (RED LED) and accessing the SmartCitizeXXXX network.

  1. If using the Shell, you can check the recording configuration by typing:
config

If you see a problem with the configuration, you can fix each item or the whole thing by typing:

config -mode network -wifi "SSID" "PASS" -token token

Note that the token does not have quotes around it and that the SSID and PASS have straight quoutes.

In case there is no problem with the configuration, there problem might get solved by a firmware update.