balenaSound on Pi 3B will not stay running. It seems to crash.

Hello:

I am having a few problems with balenaSound, and the one thing I can say is that they are consistent with different Pi 3B devices, and different 16 Gb SD cards but a standard Pi branded power supply.

  1. I install balenaSound to my SD card following the guide. I use the 32-bit OS version.
  2. The Pi is started with the SD card, and moments later I see it on my dashboard, updating. Take 20-30 minutes.
  3. Then I configure it for what I want. I don’t want multiroom, I do want the volume higher, and I do want audio to come from the 3.5mm audio jack.
  4. I also change the name of the device as it appears on Spotify/Bluetooth, and on the dashboard.
  5. Shutdown/restart.
  6. Everything works.
  7. Then, something catastrophic happens. Audio stops (if I am playing audio, this morning I was not), the device disappears from the dashboard, and the green LED on the Pi flashes quickly four times, repeatedly, ad infinitum.
  8. The only option at that point is to pull the power (something I hate doing of course) to restart the Pi.
  9. Once restarted, the device works again apparently normally.

Can anybody help me to debug this? It’s so frustrating, and of course unusable like this.

Thanks
Mike.

One thing to add. On item 7. if audio IS playing, the track finishes first, and then this fault occurs. That does seem to happen consistently.

Hi @mikepowell630, the issue sounds frustrating indeed.

Can you check the Diagnostics on the device dashboard page? When you hit Run checks, do you see any failures? Next, do you see any errors or warnings in the device logs?

the device disappears from the dashboard

What do you mean by this? Is the device going offline?

Even if the device is not running, you should always be able to see it on the dashboard. An application crash in theory shouldn’t remove the device from the dashboard.

Hello - thanks for coming back to me,

Next time this happens, I’ll take action as you suggest and post the results.

The device does not in itself disappear from the dashboard, but the dashboard reports that it is offline.

Thanks for your help.
Mike.

Hello - here is a screenshot of the diagnostics:

Please be aware also that I attached a screen to my Pi 3B this time. The balena logo appears at boot, and stays there all the time. When the devices goes offline, and the green LED flashes as described above, the logo stays on the screen. I assume this means whatever the faukt is, it is not a crash.

If balena goes offline becasue of weak Wi-Fi signal, surely there is a mechanism for it to reappear once the signal returns? By the way, I don’t understand this weak signal message - the device is not anywhere remote at all.

Let me know if there are any other logs or data I can send you. This forum seems to be limited to 32k characters.

Thanks
Mike.

Hello! The flashing pattern means that the device is not connected to the internet see here for more info https://www.balena.io/docs/faq/troubleshooting/troubleshooting/#unable-to-connect-to-the-internet .

If balena goes offline because of a weak Wi-Fi signal, surely there is a mechanism for it to reappear once the signal returns?

Yes exactly, is this consistent with all of the pi3s you’ve tried? Are the devices close to the router? If it’s one device I would have said to you that the device’s wifi antenna might be faulty. If that’s not the case, what I’d do is try to set my router’s wifi to a different channel because it might be a case that the channel you are using is full or isn’t playing with your pi’s wifi antennas. Feel free to try these and see if the above diagnostics change and come back to us.

Marios:

Thank you so much for this suggestion. That was exactly the issue. I simply restricted my Wi-Fi access point to only select channels 1 to 11.

The system has been running all night without a problem so far.

Thanks,
Mike.