clbpdx
Posts: 9
Joined: Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:02 am
Delivery Date: 26 Jun 2015
Location: Portland, OR

Re: Blink charger problems

Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:09 pm

Folks,
My Blink charger has also been working flawlessly since install last May, until 01Dec when it aborted charging in the middle of the night. The Blink box says last contact was 3:42am...

Wi-Fi connectivity is now inoperative. Scan for Wi-Fi networks is mostly defunct, and it can't get an IP address. I power cycled and went through setup -- tried manual setup of IP, mask, DNS, etc -- no help there. This thing appears to be a dead duck now.

I wonder if it's a bad firmware load?!? My current version in L2R.1.7A 1.10. I wonder if those folks are scrambling to get a new firmware load ready, and if a lot of us are going to be installing it via long Ethernet cables etc. or calling service because the Wi-Fi driver is hosed???

Volusiano
Posts: 1461
Joined: Thu Feb 24, 2011 2:41 pm
Delivery Date: 03 Jun 2011
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Re: Blink charger problems

Sat Dec 03, 2011 6:10 pm

My firmware version is L2R.1.7A, 040A, 1.10. I remember it's been on L2R.1.7A for a long time now, but I don't remember the bit about 040A or 1.10. Maybe that bit is new. But so far so good.

My Blink's wifi never works well so they gave me that power extension device that connects through the house wire (forgot the name). Maybe people with hardwire Ethernet or the power extension device like mine are able to download the new firmware better. But even if your wifi mess up the firmware download, it should still not have hosed up anything and the old firmware should still be intact and the new firmware just simply fails to download.

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gbarry42
Posts: 888
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:48 pm
Delivery Date: 06 May 2011
Location: Moonlight Beach

Re: Blink charger problems

Fri Dec 30, 2011 3:09 pm

  • I've now read the last 17 pages of this, and find that there's not really much new in my Blink experiences. It just took longer for mine to get to this state. As a summary,...
  • Worked for awhile: This unit did pretty well, from May until October. After that, things went downhill.
  • Failed to charge: It failed to charge one Friday night in late October, and i didn't need it on Saturday. Pretty good track record, overall.
  • Charged nonetheless: While it is a monument to cranky software, I am glad it has at least remembered to do what any cheap EVSE is expected to do.
  • Self Test errors (Red Screen): This is probably the only error I never got. It probably relates to defective hardware.
  • 502 Errors (Orange Screen): I used to get this from the Web site over the wireless link. And then it would reboot itself. I think it's an internal check some of the Web page scripts do to discover they didn't load all the way. This became less frequent after some firmware updates. After the WiFi failed completely, I naturally quit seeing them as much...
  • Downloading FW: It always was able to get the updates, somehow. But they generally did not make the bugs go away. They did let the screen go off and other such stuff as has been mentioned. I don't know when the 1.7 update came in, but that may have been when the Blink really started to suffer.
  • Not talking to Blink HQ: Whereas the WiFi only worked about half the time, it always managed to chat with headquarters enough that the data showed up on their website. It was only around November that I noticed the "last communication" entries were lagging. They haven't spoken to each other since Dec 1, and I think that was when I tried the...
  • Hardwired Ethernet: This worked as everyone had suggested. What I hadn't noticed is that you all warned me the network tests all fail. I figured that out subsequently. But it's not practical to run a cable permanently from the living room to the garage.
  • Reboots: Not only does the unit reboot itself, giving me "last charge was 0:01", but I hear that beep a lot. I think the user interface restarts itself regularly, without a complete reboot of the unit.
  • Says "plugged in" when not: This includes the "has been charging now for 18 hours" screen. This sort of thing is a tribute to Javascript, which can do wonderful things without any connection to reality.
  • Says "Please plug in" when charging: Kinda suggests something is wrong when the car is charging, and the screen says it's not even plugged in.
  • Charges upon plugin, outside of timer: Much like the above, it will sometimes begin charging when I plug in, rather than waiting for the appointed time.
  • Says "Processing..." and gets stuck. This is an optimistic promise, wherein the system believes that it really isn't stuck in a loop.
  • WiFi troubles: I saved the best part for last. Folks on this forum swear up and down that the WiFi is deaf. But there are a few facts that just don't jive here. The first one is, that when configuring the link, it will one moment say there is nothing to connect to, and in the next moment show me a list of all my neighbors WiFi links! Including one halfway down the street! That's pretty good for something that supposedly doesn't hear well. So, I took that extra long Ethernet cable, and an extension cord, and I arranged for the WiFi router to be sitting right next to the Blink. It acts no differently that way than before. I have a photo with the router, laptop, and Blink, all together. The laptop is displaying a blinknetwork.com page, showing that the router is online; meanwhile, the Blink is displaying the "failed network test" dialog. So I conclude, it ain't about the signal strength!
Given all the foregoing, I decided to call the Blink folks to see if they had any tried and true remedies. And they said, yes, the bad SD card is the cause of it all. It causes the WiFi connection to fail (not sure how), which causes the system to access the card a lot, which gets a lot of errors, which causes the main system to hang and do all those other goofy things. So, the plan is for the Blink Squad to come out next week or so and change out the card, and then we'll see how much it fixes. Maybe I'll get lucky.

They had me disable the network by configuring it for Ethernet, and then not plugging in a cable. They seem convinced that upgrading to version 1.8 would kill the unit completely, and wanted to make sure there was no chance of that happening.

As to why Blink never contacted me when I dropped off the map, my guess is they are taking care of the folks who are calling in, before they get around to fixing up the rest.

So, the moral (so far) is, that if your unit is old enough to have one of those "non-SanDisk" SD cards, that could be the cause of any number of problems. And they will assume this to be the case, anyway, so get that done first. My Blink was installed in April. I don't know when the switch to "reliable" cards was made.
And there goes the first capacity bar! At 24,000 mi on 9/9/2013.
Second bar at 30,500 mi on 2/7/2015.

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walterbays
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Blink charger problems

Fri Dec 30, 2011 5:02 pm

gbarry42 wrote:So, I took that extra long Ethernet cable, and an extension cord, and I arranged for the WiFi router to be sitting right next to the Blink. It acts no differently that way than before. I have a photo with the router, laptop, and Blink, all together. The laptop is displaying a blinknetwork.com page, showing that the router is online; meanwhile, the Blink is displaying the "failed network test" dialog. So I conclude, it ain't about the signal strength!
Thanks for doing that test! Although it quashes my hope that everything would be fixed if they just sent an external antenna not shielded by metal and adjacent to power electronics. :-( I was going to do the same thing you tried in hopes of getting a firmware update since my Wifi has been down for about a month on v1.7a, but it looks like I need to avoid v1.8 at all costs since v1.7a at least charges the car, and wait to do anything until they release v2.0. After all, I don't need a network connection for anything. They want a network connection to collect data, and they're welcome to connect to my network at any time they have a device capable of doing so.
Given all the foregoing, I decided to call the Blink folks to see if they had any tried and true remedies. And they said, yes, the bad SD card is the cause of it all. It causes the WiFi connection to fail (not sure how), which causes the system to access the card a lot, which gets a lot of errors, which causes the main system to hang and do all those other goofy things. So, the plan is for the Blink Squad to come out next week or so and change out the card, and then we'll see how much it fixes. Maybe I'll get lucky.
Now in turn I'll quash your hopes that a new SD card will fix everything: it won't. I got a new SD card 4 months ago and it didn't fix anything. I later got a new circuit breaker which did fix all the most serious problems, but not the buggy firmware. If I were you I'd take the new SD card, because I'm sure that some of the old cards fail in ways that create additional problems. But don't get your hopes too high that it will be the end of your problems.

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garygid
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Posts: 12465
Joined: Wed Apr 21, 2010 8:10 am
Delivery Date: 29 Mar 2011
Leaf Number: 000855
Location: Laguna Hills, Orange Co, CA

Re: Blink charger problems

Fri Dec 30, 2011 8:20 pm

Tell them you want to try the new 2.0 Beta version that is being tested.
See SOC/GID-Meter and CAN-Do Info
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TonyWilliams
Posts: 10091
Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 1:48 am
Location: San Diego
Contact: Website

Re: Blink charger problems

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:02 pm

walterbays wrote: Now in turn I'll quash your hopes that a new SD card will fix everything: it won't. I got a new SD card 4 months ago and it didn't fix anything. I later got a new circuit breaker which did fix all the most serious problems, but not the buggy firmware. If I were you I'd take the new SD card, because I'm sure that some of the old cards fail in ways that create additional problems. But don't get your hopes too high that it will be the end of your problems.
Mine is exactly the same. I'm currently waiting for service (about a month now).

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linkim
Posts: 495
Joined: Thu Dec 16, 2010 5:06 pm
Location: Silicon Valley

Re: Blink charger problems

Fri Dec 30, 2011 10:24 pm

walterbays wrote:Now in turn I'll quash your hopes that a new SD card will fix everything: it won't. I got a new SD card 4 months ago and it didn't fix anything.
I concur, the SD card (may have changed twice) did not fix my Blink. The Power Line Adapter provided stability so I don't have charging problems. However last night while charging to 80%, the last recording on the Blink display indicated 22 min charging. The Blink website showed 10. 6 kWh and the graphics on the home page didn't show any indication of the 22 min charge. In the past, the website showed the last charging event so what I saw is different from my previous experience. At least, I didn't have to continually hassle with rebooting the Blink, and I was able to charge. Maybe that's as good as it gets.
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Valdemar
Posts: 2632
Joined: Tue May 10, 2011 10:32 pm
Delivery Date: 09 Sep 2011
Location: Oak Park, CA

Re: Blink charger problems

Fri Dec 30, 2011 11:13 pm

I can report that after latest f/w update from several weeks ago (was it 1.8?) the unit is much more stable, I only saw it reboot once whereas previously it would crash and reboot every other day. Keeping my fingers crossed.

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walterbays
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Joined: Wed Sep 01, 2010 2:41 pm
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Location: San Diego, CA

Re: Blink charger problems

Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:06 am

linkim wrote:The Power Line Adapter provided stability so I don't have charging problems. However last night while charging to 80%, the last recording on the Blink display indicated 22 min charging. The Blink website showed 10. 6 kWh and the graphics on the home page didn't show any indication of the 22 min charge. In the past, the website showed the last charging event so what I saw is different from my previous experience. At least, I didn't have to continually hassle with rebooting the Blink, and I was able to charge. Maybe that's as good as it gets.
Since they replaced the flaky (new) circuit breaker in the submeter panel I haven't had any real trouble with charging. Occasionally/rarely Blink will fail and I have to unplug it and plug it back in. But since I'm now using only the Leaf's timer such failures only occur when I plug the car in, so I'm never taken by surprise. The Blink may work normally or it may show all kinds of crazy stuff on its screen, or the screen may stay black, but I just ignore whatever it says. Once I get the clunk clunk of the power relay and the blue charging timer lights flashing on the Leaf I know I'm good to go.

As for charging stats on the Blink web site, those disappeared for me months ago when they redesigned their web site, so I'm not missing anything. I'd like to be able to see how much it's costing if they ever fix their firmware and also fix their web site. But really, charging the car is so cheap compared to the gas station that I don't need to track it.

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gbarry42
Posts: 888
Joined: Mon Jan 10, 2011 5:48 pm
Delivery Date: 06 May 2011
Location: Moonlight Beach

Re: Blink charger problems

Sat Dec 31, 2011 12:17 pm

walterbays wrote:Since they replaced the flaky (new) circuit breaker in the submeter panel I haven't had any real trouble with charging.
What led you to try replacing the breaker? Was it obvious (no power to the Blink)? Because I would never suspect something like that otherwise.

It looks like our mileage will vary...my Blink was fairly well behaved in the early days. Was yours like that, Tony? I'm hoping for it to improve somewhat. As I've said, it's still able to charge the car anyway. Maybe if the service guys don't call right away (apparently, in the past, they used to), I'll try changing out the card myself (snicker). It would be nice if I could get all that saved data up to the site...I know it will all go away when they swap the card. Maybe I'll plug in the wired connection the day before they come out. I would think that even if it went to 1.8 and died, they could fix that by swapping the card. Ah, artificially created mysteries (they know the answers but we don't).
And there goes the first capacity bar! At 24,000 mi on 9/9/2013.
Second bar at 30,500 mi on 2/7/2015.

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