emonTX V3 appears to have stopped working


I have an emonTX V3 with an emonBase; both working well since I purchased them in March 2015.

Today the system stopped working. The emonBase is working OK, so I assume that the emonTX V3 is the problem. I powered both units off and on, and it is still not working.

Looking closer at the emonTX V3, it does not have any red LED flashing.

I connected a Programmer - USB to serial UART to the emonTX V3 and it shows the following:

Welcome to minicom 2.7

Compiled on Feb  7 2016, 13:37:27.
Port /dev/ttyUSB0, 20:11:40

Press CTRL-A Z for help on special keys

Sketch ID:  emonTxV3_continuous_kwhtotals_noeeprom.ino
ADC mode:       free-running
Extra Features: none
powerCal_CT1 =      0.2619
phaseCal_CT1 =      0.22
powerCal_CT2 =      0.2619
phaseCal_CT2 =      0.41
powerCal_CT3 =      0.2619
phaseCal_CT3 =      0.60
powerCal_CT4 =      0.0478
phaseCal_CT4 =      1.25
voltage thresholds long:
  upper: 64000
  lower: -64000

this just continues to count up 3, 4, 5 … etc. nothing else happens.

Based on what I can see on the forum pages, I am suspecting that the radio module is not working correctly?

Any ideas on how I can do any further testing of the emonTX V3 using the “Programmer - USB to serial UART”, to determine the problem area of the emonTX V3?

It could well be the radio module. Normally, if the problem is a bad joint, the module will fail to respond to the sketch. This is not the case for you, because it is still printing the message number. So the sketch itself does appear to be running, though as it does not normally print anything else, that is not conclusive evidence. Neither is absence of a flashing LED, because it is not used in your sketch.

How do you know the emonBase is working? - I assume it is receiving other nodes, but you don’t say this.

Hi Robert, thanks for your information, I had forgot that I had updated the sketch, and that it does not flash the red LED any longer. I took the emonTX V3 to bits, and had a close look at it, nothing obviously wrong with it from what I could see visually,

After my email post I locked back at my original notes from when I originally installed the system, and found that what I was seeing on the “Programmer - USB to serial UART” was exactly how it worked after I installed it, and had it working in March 2015.
My system measures power consumption and solar power from my solar inverter.

After an overnight of more thinking, I decided to swap the wireless/radio module on the emonbase; it then burst into life and started working correctly, (luckily I had bought a spare emonbase wireless/radio module when I bought my original equipment in 2015).

So i now have a working system again. Thanks.

Just to make sure of any future issues or failures, I have purchased two more emonTX V3 transmitters, and two more emonSD - Pre-loaded Raspberry Pi SD cards from the shop this morning.

This will allow me to experiment without disrupting my now working system.

In answer to your question re was the emonbase OK, I don’t have any other wireless devices on the system. Luckily I do know my way around Linux systems, so I had successfully logged into the emonbase PI, and it seemed to be all OK; however I new that the wireless had failed completely because this has happened quite a lot in the past intermittently, so I wrote a watchdog timer (bash and php) script running on the enmonbase to check every 60 seconds that it received an update from the emonTX V3; if the update failed ,then the script sends a couple of syslog messages to my other Linux box (xubuntu home router) and then the script reboots the emonbase. This script started running in a loop every few minutes during the wireless failure, so I new that the wireless had failed, but I just did not know which end had broken. It turns out that the emonTX V3 was all OK, and the emonbase wireless module had failed.

Hopefully with the new emonSD cards that I have ordered I can build a new/replacement system which will be more up to date, and hopefully I can start to use some of the more recent features that have been added over the last two years.

One of the of the main features I want is to be able to collect my data (take a backup), either off the new emonbase system, or from the emoncms.org website; however the backup works when I get to figure it out?

Presumably I can build a new up to date system to replace my existing older system, and then have the new system just carry on updating my old emoncms.org account using the same api key, so I do not lose any of my last two years worth of data?

Thanks for your help. Cheers.

I can’t help you with the questions about backups and the potential loss of data.

One minor point to note: the emonTx is designed to transmit only, but with the appropriate sketch it can receive. So you have in one of those an independent means of establishing which end is misbehaving if or when something like this happens again.

@Adrian_Smith yes you can just set the new system to post to the same emoncms.org account.

If you want to download emoncms.org data locally, Im working on a module to make this easier which is currently usable but not 100% complete, if your happy with installing an emoncms module with command line the steps are here: GitHub - emoncms/sync: In development: Download or upload emoncms feed data between local and remote emoncms server's, you can also use this to copy data across from one local emonpi to another…

Hi Trystan, thanks for the information you provided.

I have had a quick look through the source code on the GitHub - emoncms/sync: In development: Download or upload emoncms feed data between local and remote emoncms server's web-pages that you pointed me to. It looks very complex as usual, and I do not see how it works just from looking through all of the code.

I presume that if I install the above sync code using the provided instructions at the command line; then this will add another, or some additional menu options on my local emonbase web-pages, which will then allow me to run the various backup/uploads/downloads and transfers to another local emonbase system?

If I were to download my two years worth of data from the emoncms.org website to my local emonbase, does this then overwrite my existing data on my local emonbase system, or does the data get stored somewhere else.

I have never managed to work out if all of my two years worth of data (power consumption & solar power) is still being stored completely on my local emonbase system, or is it just stored locally before being uploaded to emoncms.org?

I am also keen to understand how the system can collect regular (10 second) data and store this in such a small amount of space on the emonbase, I presume it is the phpfina format.

Thanks for you help. Cheers