Dreamcatcher Shut Downs

I have been experiencing the loss of Dreamcatcher network connectivity over a period of several (1 -3) days. (Running in the Hot Spot mode produces the same problem, so its not my network.)

I believe I have read others were having this problem, and I don’t recall the solution. A simple reboot restores service, so I have added an ac timer to my USB power cube to turn it on and off once a day to do a forced reboot. Not the most elegant solution, but it works. Ken

hi Ken,

You mean the Dreamcatcher drops off the wifi network but remains powered? (I guess, but you wrote “shut downs” in the topic name).

It important to know if its actually off, locked up or just off wifi… what’s the state of the leds when this happens? Which are on/off/flashing?

Sorry about the confusion - - yes, Dreamcatcher drops off the WiFi but remains powered up. I can’t get into to see what it is doing. Ken

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The lights are the same (either lit in their appropriate color or blinking) after I loose the WiFi. Ken

Get a little closer to the router antenna, or change to different channel, or remove security. Probably you’re saying “enough already”.

Don, you make a good point here we should all be aware of. I will move my Dreamcatcher to within 2 feet of my secured WiFi access point, but it will be off the satellite as the new location is in inside.

That won’t matter since I’m fighting the WiFi shutdown issue. But what still puzzles me, is my Dreamcatcher worked for months before, but just recently started getting flaky. So I’ll report again in a few days. Ken

if the lights are blinking like normal, then its running… i would plug into the usb console with a pc then troubleshoot to see if its actually connected, has an address etc… check the logs in /var/log/messages for more insight…

Ken, you can try to connect via UART to the Dreamcatcher too, that’s the best indicator of it’s still healthy running.

Like James @DV8 one of my micro USB plugs came loose from my Dreamcatcher, so a direct connection won’t work :persevere:

Should I resolder it back and use it? It seems a more straight forword way to get into the board (as Syed @Syed suggested once) as opposed to UART plug. Of course a UART plug can connect to one of the USB ports, but I’d have to buy one. Ken

Something similar happens to me too (loss of wifi connectivity) and all I do I reconnect to the AP/hotspot, surf to and re-logon… I’ve always found that the DC hadn’t missed a bit… no need to reboot, ever. Besides, turning the DC off that way (un-graceful shutdown) could lead to unpredictable results, i.e. file corruptions, me thinks…

How are you getting back into the Dreamcatcher to reconnect to the Hot Spot? When my WiFi (connected to my house WiFi) goes down, I can’t access the DC to perform the WiFi reset, and I don’t see DC Hot Spot either to connect that way. Thanks, Ken

In any case Zoltan, what should I look for in the Dreamcatcher files?

I’ll have to set this thing up special for this test, as my Dreamcatcher lives inside my Lantern case powered by Boston Power Lipo battery with a micro USB charger. The whole thing is buttoned up and very portable, but not easily accessed. Ken

Hi, I have been reading the thread and regarding the problem that the wifi drops when connecting to the network I think that maybe the wifi dongle is in trouble …? You could try the dongle with some computer to confirm it works correctly …

Interesting point - - now that I think about it, the dongle unplugs from the Dreamcatcher. I’ll try it in a computer that doesn’t have a built-in WiFi. Thanks, Ken

yes, understand your problem better now, sorry… in my case I’m always using the hotspot which never drops or maybe it does occasionally, and comes back, which explains the few times I had to reconnect manually, but then again the dropping could be caused by other reasons in my home wifi setup…
Alessandro has a point, the dongle could be playing up… just tried experiment, pulled dongle out and straight back in and connection didn’t recover, dongle led off but board leds still ok (usual pattern)… powered down and back up, all good again

Well Luigi

I sent Zoltan a message about my testing this weekend, and am puzzling over why my system responds differently now without my changing anything in my home WiFi setup.

I’m thinking WiFi performance in my house can be variable with weather/temperature/how clean the house is :joy:, and the Dreamcatcher could have a threshold where it can’t resolve a WiFi signal to assign a local IP address, but the signal level isn’t low enough to force the Dreamcatcher WiFi dongle to reset to the HotSpot mode.

In my travels, I have always left an old WiFi network setup and let the Dreamcatcher discover it was not there when I powered up at a new location so the Dreamcatcher could do a reset to the HotSpot mode so I could set a new local WiFi.

What do you think? Ken

sorry Ken, can’t offer much more, always had a stable wifi in my small apartment and kept things as simple as possible. If I were you tho I would invest a few $$ for another dongle (in fact, I might just do that as well as I always like to have spares)…

Final Closure on Problem

All need to know what I discovered regarding my DC WiFi Shutdown. Yes, it was a signal strength problem occurring at my home. I fixed it by installing a TP-Link N300 2.4 GHz WiFi repeater.

As to DC not switching back to the AP HotSpot Mode - - @Abhishek filled me in on a DC detail I must have missed so thought it might be useful to other Forum members:

"Netguard, the component that is responsible for switching back to AP mode on STA-association failure was disabled on the DC some time back.

"On CHIP, the reason netguard exists is that if STA-association fails, there is literally no way to correct it short of reflashing the CHIP (and losing all files in the bargain). The flip side to netguard is, at the most minor of wifi hiccups, it would switch to AP mode, and then people who access it remotely would lose access until they could physically approach it again.

"On DC, there are ways to get back to AP without having to reflash or lose files:

“Login over USB and do a config wipe. Remove the sdcard from the DC, put it into a PC (if it has an sd reader, else use a usb-sd adapter), and when you can view the sdcard files in file manager (you should see files with extensions like .ksop, .dtb, a file called zImage, etc). Just make an empty file right next to these files called “reformat_conf” (no extension). It doesn’t need to have any content either. Now eject the card, put it back into DC, boot, and the default AP should show up. Any downloaded files would not be lost.”

From my experience in the field with DC, I would opt for restoring the AP Outernet HotSpot before leaving an active WiFi network so the next time I wanted to join a new network, I would have to go thru the Outernet HotSpot AP mode to load it. You just have to remember to do this, or you’ll be in big trouble :yum: Ken

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