[Ovmsdev] Lessons learnt, production batch #2 and onwards

Michael Balzer dexter at expeedo.de
Tue Apr 24 00:17:38 HKT 2018


I also had quite some user feedback to process over here. I could get some of them to send versions, backtraces and logs, very helpful.

Current remaining main issues:

  * Mongoose crash after STA disconnect in AP+Client mode (issue #45)
  * OTA (http download) via modem
  * SD logging affects overall performance badly, leading to failures of time critical functions
  * Server v2 crash on modem connection loss (got two user logs on this today, will check this now)
  * Memory loss can still happen (I've some new clues on this, will check later)

Also, I'm not sure the websocket queue lock issue is solved yet. It didn't occur for me in a while, but I've seen it in user logs, need to check their

I second the need for a fool proof setup procedure.

We can track the setup state in a config instance, so it doesn't matter if the wifi mode switch needs a reconnect -- or the module crashes, or the user unplugs
it in the process.

Fools can't handle complex pages with multiple issues, so the setup wizard should perform the parts and tests in series if possible. Probably mainly a UI issue,
I think about maybe an accordion for this.

Do we need to include the DNS in the wizard? I think we can use a default and let the user change that later. Or is there no public DNS that is accessable from

Also, as the vehicle type is fundamental, it should not be under the "use server v2" option.


Am 23.04.2018 um 10:44 schrieb Mark Webb-Johnson:
> Well, it has been an interesting few weeks as the first production batch of OVMS v3 came online. I don’t know about for others helping out with support
> tickets, but I’ve sure learned a lot - especially about what can go wrong for inexperienced users trying to setup a complex product. 14 support tickets were
> opened, along with another perhaps 6 calls for help via other means, and here are the most common problems encountered:
>   * Switched from Access Point mode to Client mode, and lost access.
>   * Can’t get into module via USB (drivers seem ok, but terminal emulators, and baud rates, are beyond most people’s understanding).
>   * Too hard for most to do a factory reset.
>   * Can’t see modem ICCID when powered off.
>   * Modem powered off by default, unless the little tick box is clicked.
>   * Server v2 off by default, unless the little tick box is clicked.
>   * Upper vs lower case on command execution.
>   * Unable to do firmware update in Access Point mode.
>   * Password confusion (wifi client vs module vs server vehicle vs server account vs access point vs OVMSinit vs etc etc).
>   * wifi vs modem switches and DNS settings.
>   * Modem SIM registration issues (can’t see, or don’t know how to see, status of simcom).
>   * Don’t understand how to check status.
> While some of these issues have been addressed, I am reluctant to release a new batch of modules to the world, especially this time with less technically
> capable users coming online.
> It is probably not ‘fun’ work, but I think we can make this much simpler for new users. We can lead them through the setup in the following stages:
>  1. Require, as a pre-requisite, users to initially setup the module within range of a home wifi / cellular hotspot connection.
>  2. Factory default, use Access Point mode, SSID OVMS password “OVMSinit”, and no module password. Have them connect to the module over wifi Access Point, and
>  3. The web interface then shows them a list of WiFi access points in range, and asks them to choose one and enter the password for that access point (clearly
>     labelled as SSID, and "<SSID> Password”).
>  4. The module then reconfigures as Client + Access Point mode, and tries to connect to the client wifi, as well as keeping the access point connection open.
>     If not ok, tell them and go back to #3 for them to try again.
>  5. When ok, proceed to ask them to update the firmware. This will do a simple OTA download over HTTP, then reboot.
>  6. When back up, in one screen ask them to enter all the details for their network, and configure appropriately:
>       * Use Wifi?
>           o WiFi Mode (AccessPoint+SpecificClient, or ScanningClient)
>           o OVMS Access Point SSID
>           o New OVMS Access Point password (as OVMSinit is insecure beyond initial setup)
>       * DNS (default: google, or custom)
>       * Module password (as default empty is insecure beyond initial setup)
>       * Use OVMS Server v2?
>           o Vehicle type
>           o Vehicle ID
>           o Vehicle Server password
>           o Vehicle server (openvehicles, dexter, or custom)
>       * Use modem?
>           o Modem APN, username and password (default: hologram)
>  7. Test each of the above, and show them the results. Set auto appropriately, and disable quickstart then reboot.
> The point is to lead them through each of the steps, test each setting and show them the result.
> Technically, my only concern is the switch from AP to AP+client mode and whether the existing wifi connection will die or survive the channel switch. We also
> have to do a wifi scan, in Access Point mode, but I think we can do that by just temporarily turning off access point or doing it before the access point is
> brought up. Both these will depend on how ESP32 handles it.
> I’m happy to do a lot (if not all) of the above, but will definitely need help with the web side.
> But, first let’s agree on the proper list of questions to ask and flow to follow.
> Regards, Mark.
> _______________________________________________
> OvmsDev mailing list
> OvmsDev at lists.openvehicles.com
> http://lists.openvehicles.com/mailman/listinfo/ovmsdev

Michael Balzer * Helkenberger Weg 9 * D-58256 Ennepetal
Fon 02333 / 833 5735 * Handy 0176 / 206 989 26

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