Troubleshooting Helium Hotspot Network Connection - Mapping Network

Troubleshooting Helium Hotspot Network Connection

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Troubleshooting Helium Hotspot Network Connection

Helium Hotspots are physical devices that generate LoRaWAN networks over a wide area. They are designed to transmit data between a router on the Internet and a device on the web. They also make use of Proof-of-Coverage to validate coverage for People's Network (Helium Network).

Hotspots connect to the internet using a TCP/IP backhaul (Ethernet, Wifi, or Cellular). They are designed with open-standards elements to communicate with LoRaWAN based devices using the Helium Network.

In this article you are about to read, you will learn what each hotspot LED stands for during connection and how to troubleshoot hotspot setup and network connection.

Firstly, let's discuss what each hotspot LED light signifies.

Hotspot LED Meaning
Various Helium hotspots have different LED meaning during connection and setup, you must know what each colored light on the hotspot stands for. Some LED meanings of different helium hotspots brands are explained below:

Bobcat Miner 300

  • Red light: This means your helium hotspot’s miner hasn't started.
  • Yellow light: The hotspot’s miner has started but is having issues connecting to the internet.
  • White light: This means the hotspot’s framework is undergoing an automatic update. It goes back to green when done.
  • Blue light: The hotspot is in bluetooth mode and ready to pair with your phone.
  • No light: The hotspot is not receiving power.

Nebra Indoor Hotspot
This hotspot has both internal and external lights.

External Lights

  • Amber lights: Power indicator- This indicates that power is present.
  • Green light: Activity LED- This shows that the software has started work.

Internal Lights

  • Daughter Board Status Indicator: The blue LED turns off, but blinks several times during boot.
  • 3.3v and 5v Power Indicator: Two red LEDs indicate the 3.3v and 5v power supply status.
  • Daughter Board Status Indicator: The green LED indicates power is available on the daughter board.

Nebra Outdoor Hotspot
This has many similarities with the Nebra Indoor hotspot. The internal lights are the same but with an addition of a flashing red LED that will be available on the USB hub.

  • Yellow: This means the hotspot is not connected to the internet but is connected to power.
  • Green: Online and connected to the internet
  • Blue: It is in Bluetooth mode and ready to pair with your phone.
  • White: The firmware is undergoing an automatic update, which goes back to green once done.

How to Troubleshoot Hotspot Setup
You might encounter problems while adding a hotspot to your Helium account. However, the guide below summarizes some troubleshooting tips for solving these problems.

Problem 1: No light Came on When I Plugged in the Hotspots

  • Firstly, you need to make sure the outlet is not the cause of the problem and we recommend plugging it into a separate outlet.
  • You can try out another power cord. It eliminates the doubt of poor power supply being a cause. If you have an extra 5V 3A power adapter, you can try it with it.
  • If you discover the power outlet and cord are not the cause, you can leave the hotspot plugged in for 20 minutes. You can check back later to see if the lights are on.

Problem 2: I Can't Pair the Hotspot With the App

  • Ensure the phone's Bluetooth is on. Once it is switched on, go back to the app and enable pairing. Make sure you hold the pairing button for like 3 seconds before releasing.
  • Enable the App's location permission by going to App info > Permission > Location.
  • Ensure you are using the latest version of the app.
  • Force-stop the app and attempt pairing again.

Problem 3: I Can Pair, But I Can't Add my Location

  • Cross-check that the phone's Bluetooth is on, then try to pair again.
  • Ensure you enable the app’s location permission via App info > Permissions > Location.
  • Ensure you are using the latest version of the app.
  • Force-stop the app and try to reopen it again.

Problem 4: My hotspot is Saying it's Owned by Someone Else
It means the hotspot is currently linked to another wallet. There is no way to update the hotspot or make changes without the original wallet. This can be solved by having the owner transfer the ownership of the hotspot to your wallet. This occurs in most cases if you purchased the hotspot from an unauthorized seller.

How to Troubleshoot Hotspot Network Connection
Over time, the network requirements of the helium network have changed following the introduction of light hotspots. These hotspots do not use the peer-to-peer mode of connection. They receive challenges and report their witness receipts by connecting directly to validators.

Helium hotspot may not connect if secured by a firewall that uses an incompatible NAT type. Also, sometimes it might be because the network has been stopped. You can check the status of the Helium Network here:

The troubleshooting tips below will help you to resolve network connection-related issues.

  • Ensure your Ethernet is well plugged into the hotspot and your modem. Once you notice an amber light next to the port, it signifies a good connection.
  • Ensure you can connect to the internet from your personal computer at home using the same network.
  • If you can't connect to the internet, unplug your hotspot and router and plug it back in after 2 minutes (power cycling).

Final Thoughts
In this article, you have learned the various tips you can apply to solve your concerns about troubleshooting hotspot setup and network connection.

Finally, the information below helps you determine the ease or difficulty of connecting to the network.

  • Type 1/Open: In this type, the system is connected to the internet directly. It has the best connection quality.
  • Type 2/Moderate: The system can only be connected to the internet alongside a router. It requires a Type 1/Open or a Type 2/Moderate to link to other devices.
  • Type 3/Strict: This is just like the Type 2/Moderate. But in this case, it can only connect to devices that use Type 1/Open.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What can I do if the problem persists after following these troubleshooting tips?
After troubleshooting, it’s recommended to contact the hotspot manufacturer if the problem persists. 

Q. During power cycling, how long do I wait before plugging back the hotspot and router?
It's recommend to wait at least 2 minutes before plugging the hotspot back into the wall.

Q. How can I configure my NAT type?
In some scenarios, you may be able to resolve connectivity issues by refreshing the Network Address Translation (NAT) table. To refresh the NAT table on a router where UPnP is already enabled, you need to disable UPnP, save your changes, and then power cycle your router.

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