BT problem

Feb 13, 2014 at 3:59 PM
Edited Feb 13, 2014 at 4:00 PM
Hi Folks
I had SMAspot running and working well for 3 weeks without any hiccups and then I got a couple of notifications from PVoutput that my feeds had stopped.
  1. It appeared that the Bluetooth dongle had somehow got locked up to the inverter. The blue light on the inverter was on continuously. A reboot of rpi restored everything OK.
  2. Two days later the BT dongle wasn’t talking to the inverter. This time it wasn’t locked up to the inverter though (no blue light).
In the scheme of things it is quite reliable but I was hoping to get 100% reliability.
In the meantime I’m going to add a cronjob to reboot every night at midnight.
I’m not using the pi for any other jobs – it’s dedicated for SMAspot.
I am using an old BT dongle.
Has anyone else had these issues ?
What BT dongles are giving 100% reliability ?
Cheers
Davo
Feb 14, 2014 at 11:02 AM
Edited Feb 14, 2014 at 5:09 PM
dear bavo, on the website google.code project "SMAspot" (the former project hosting site for SMAspot)
you can find more information, including:
  • a list of proven dongles,
  • references to similar experiences of other users, (see as well the issues as the discussions)
    note: this information has not been moved from Google code to CodePlex,
  • only when items reappear since vers.2.2.10 or remain of interest one might transfer the info to codeplex
about your issue:
the, about, 3weeks period before the problem appears is, a strange, but regular experience
as well as the reappearence within a short time after reboot !!

very often it is a combination of causes that end up in the appearance of the problem,

some trics and precautions that one can apply are:
  • if your dongle is not in the list of the proven ones - try if replacing it by a proven one renders a permanent solution,
  • control the distance between the RPi and the inverter - try to remain within the 3meter distance (line-of-view)
    even if, your system works well during several weeks, your distance might be critical
  • regularly reboot your RPi or PC - eg overnight (!!! this is not a guarantee for success !!!)
for your information:
step by step, all candidate corrections are incorporated into the SMAspot code,
as a result - the rate of occurence of the issue - is far reduced, -- but till now this issue is not yet fully solved,

the main problem is that one has not yet found a fail-proof method (SW&FW commands) to reset the BTmodule,

be aware: reboot of RPi or Windows-PC is not a guarantee for unlocking the problem
the only ALLWAYS effective solution is to unplug/replug the dongle,
  • for the latter it is a good practice to apply an USB extension cable between dongle and RPi (or PC) to avoid force on the USB plug of the RPi
since the latest versions of SMAspot, there were no reports on this issue so it was assumed - "gone" - therefore:
  • can you send more details about your experience
type of dongle, version of SMAspot, type of inverter,
a detailed output log file after correct execution and the SMAspot cfg
a detailed output log file after failing execution

to get the detailed output log files - apply the command SMAspot -d5 -v5
!! if the text on screen is too large to capture then apply: SMAspot -d5 -v5 1>std-out.correct.txt 2>std-err.correct.txt

append these 4 files or send them (e-mail): - std-out.correct.txt & std-err.correct.txt, std-out.fail.txt & std-err.fail.txt

kr wim
Marked as answer by SBF on 9/16/2014 at 2:11 PM
Feb 15, 2014 at 11:22 AM

Hi kr wim (SillieWimons)
Thanks for your reply and help with the problem I experienced.
First of all I would like to thank you for developing the program for the pi and sharing your work with the world. It must be very time consuming - so be assured it is very much appreciated.
To be honest, I do find SMAspot very reliable - I have only had the 2 failures in approx 1 month now. I was hoping for 100% reliability as I sometimes go away for 2 months at a time so it would be useful to make sure my solar system is working OK while I way. But normally, I would think the very intermittent failure would be acceptable.
The next thing I have to tell you is that I am a complete novice with the pi/Linux etc
I tried running the code you suggested and it only produced 2 files. I have attached one, but the other one (std-err.correct.txt) was empty.
I couldn't find the other 2 files you mentioned - sorry.
I also don't know how to find the version of SMAspot that I am running. I can however tell you I downloaded around 14 January this year.
To add to my unhelpfulness I can't find a name on the BT dongle. It is USB2 but quite an old one I think.
With it being such a long time between failures and who knows it may not happen again, I think what I may do is add a cronjob to close down the pi at 12 midnight. I will then have a plugin electronic time to cut the power to the pi (and BT dongle) say at 1am. The timer will then switch the pi on at 4am.
This will ensure everything boots up OK should there have been a failure the previous day.
Thank you again for all your help.
Regards
Paul
Feb 15, 2014 at 12:23 PM
dear davo13 or paul,
abouth the output files std-out.correct.txt and std-err.correct.txt - if your system works perfect then the std-err.xxxx.txt is empty

it is not clear why,
but i don't get the file via codeplex: can you please send the file to my e-mail address: willie.simons@belgacom.net and to s.b.f@skynet.be about the output files std-out.fail.txt and std-err.fail.txt - i expressed this incomplete
-> only in case you experience the failure again hopefully never :-)
then you should execute the command SMAspot -d5 -v5 1>std-out.fail.txt 2>std-err.fail.txt

so you have 2-files from a correct execution and 2-files from failing exection

about the info that we asked for:
  • if you open the std-out.correct.txt file the version of SMAspot is part of the output-log
  • if you look through the output-file, you will find some details of the inverter,
please let us now (within a few weeks) whether your set-up with the cron and the power-switch keeps working fine

kr wim
Feb 17, 2014 at 2:00 PM
dear paul.davo13 - i've received your file - thank you

since yesterday (sinday) night release v241 is made available by sbf,
  • allow us the time to run the regression test -- take a look at this site toward end of week for its status
  • if issues are discovered: then you'll find them here - including the workarounds
note that there are improvements on the comm's part, made since v206, all of them are incorporated in this release
i propose that you should upgrade your sw version to v241 (eg after end of this week)

be aware that the new version includes several new parameters,
i suggest to apply the new version first on your windows platform - to get hands-on these new stuff
for your info: SMAspot (and SunnyExplorer) can be run in parallel from several stations towards ONE inverter

kr wim
Feb 17, 2014 at 2:11 PM

Hi SillieWimons (kr wim)
I only have SMAspot installed on my rpi. You did produce an excellent English guide to installing it on a pi which was quite simple to follow.
Will you be producing a guide and download V2.4.1 for the pi as well in time ?
Thanks again for the support.
Regards
Paul