Experiencing unstable behaviour - device drops out from Home Assistant, web interface is not available during the downtimes, intermittent ping. When the setup is not glitching, everything works perfectly fine - colours, brightness, animations.
Question: What should I try next to help troubleshoot the issue? My money is on the power supply and I’ll try the LED power cap next whilst I wait for the level shifter parts to arrive.
- 132 LEDs
- 12V WS2811
- Buck converter - DC-DC Buck Converter 7-24V to 5V 4A | DFRobot DFR0831 | Core Electronics Australia
- M5Stack Atom Lite controller - ATOM Lite ESP32 IoT Development Kit | m5stack-store
- No level shifters, capacitors, resistors
- Firmware v0.13.1
I converted two super cheap corner LED stands to run WLED firmware using the spare ATOMs I had lying around. This is my first project and I had a bit of fun putting it together. Worked fine “in the lab” but when I installed them in the bedroom behind the bed, I could not even load up the web interface. Blaming WiFi, I bought another access point for the bedroom. The wifi theory was supported by my better half complaining about the reception.
The new AP (Thanks Unifi!) made reception much better, the device was usable. After a week, I noticed that both of the devices would sometimes glitch out, but one more than the other. The one with more issues (Jess LED) was the one further away from the AP. And by further away I mean 2.2m as opposed to 20cm.
Worth noting that a bunch of other ESP devices in the household had no wifi issues at all, notably the in-wall Shelly relays.
I have eliminated the controller itself from being the issue by trying out 5 different ones. In fact I even flashed two controllers with ESPHome and sat them down next to the LED controllers to track their RSSI. The testers’ signal was inline with what I am seeing from the WLED devices, but much more stable. Note that the testers were running off their own power supplies.
Basically the light is sometimes unresponsive to commands. We have everything set up in scenes in HA and controlled by Google Home. The lights sometimes fail to turn on, turn off, change colour, or respond to preset changes. During those times ping is patchy and the web interface doesn’t load, loads halfway, or fails to perform commands. I tracked the device status and RSSI in a dashboard, see screenshots. Eventually the light comes back, after 5-10 minutes of downtime.
Given that the strip renders colour and effects properly, I don’t think this is a data line issue. I’ll get the level shifters anyway, but I suspect this won’t fix the stability issues. I am hoping that this is a noisy power supply issue with a cheap 12V 2A power brick that came with it and the step-down buck that I added. Given the outage frequency is correlated to the LEDs being on, my money is on power.
I am planning on tackling the following steps in order to try to get to a resolution. Thoughts?
- Add LED strip power line cap (1000 uF)
- Add a level shifter
- Use a different buck (which one???)
- Use a different 12V power supply
- Try a different controller? (toss up between NodeMCU and Wemos)
- Get a Philips Hue LED strip (j/k, never!)
WLED Web interface during an outage (when it loads).
Last two hours of status/RSSI
Last 24 hours of status/RSSI
What HA sees during the outages