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Magtag - ConnectionError: Unknown failure 205

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 3:29 am
by mzseast
I have 2 MagTags, both black pcb version (uf2 bootloader), and currently have circuitpython 6.2.0 beta 2 installed (previously 6.1.0, then 6.2.0beta1).
I have NEVER been able to connect to any network with either of them, even when using the example test code from "Adafruit MagTag - Adafruit learn...".

Installing CircuitPython worked perfectly - no problems there.
The test code loads fine.
The initial network scan works - it can see mine and other nearby wifi networks no problems.

When attempting to connect to my network, it always fails with "ConnectionError: Unknown failure 205"

Full output of test script:

Code: Select all

Adafruit CircuitPython 6.2.0-beta.2 on 2021-02-11; Adafruit MagTag with ESP32S2
soft reboot                             
Auto-reload is on. Simply save files over USB to run them or enter REPL to disable. output:
ESP32-S2 WebClient Test
My MAC addr: ['0x7c', '0xdf', '0xa1', '0x1', '0x8b', '0x28']
Available WiFi networks:
        DIRECT-1A-HP OfficeJet Pro 7740         RSSI: -62       Channel: 6
        eastnet         RSSI: -60       Channel: 1
Connecting to eastnet
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "", line 30, in <module>
ConnectionError: Unknown failure 205

Code done running. line 30 contains:

Code: Select all["ssid"], secrets["password"])
The "secrets" file contents are correct for my wifi network, so that is not the problem.
I've deleted entries for external networks detected from the "Available WiFi networks" list above, however it HAS detected networks well over 50 metres away!

I have several ESP32 Devkit-v2 and other ESP32 boards (not running circuitpython) which connect with my wifi network without any problems...

Testing has been done with magtag around 3 metres from wifi router - moving it closer or further away makes no difference.
The magtags can see other networks during available wifi network scan, so obviously not a hardware problem.

Re: Magtag - ConnectionError: Unknown failure 205

Posted: Thu Mar 11, 2021 7:51 pm
by mikeysklar
I see this issue has been logged with the CircuitPython github repo. It also occurs with 6.2.0-beta.3 in the same way. I don't think you have anymore to contribute based on your post, but if you find something of note you can add it to the open issue.

Re: Magtag - ConnectionError: Unknown failure 205

Posted: Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:03 am
by ryanpavlik
Have you tried from closer to your router? I've found my MagTag has a harder time connecting to WiFi than my other ESP boards (and all other WiFi devices in my home, actually). My uneducated guess is that the standoff so close to the antenna is affecting it. I also had the experience that I could list networks but not connect to them, until I moved closer to the router by accident when I went to file an issue on it.

Of course I'd love for this to be a software issue, I just fear it might not be. I'm also using a 6.2 beta, and on my fridge, refreshing once a day with Covid Act Now data, it gets an error roughly once a week or so.

Re: Magtag - ConnectionError: Unknown failure 205

Posted: Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:48 am
by mzseast
I've just spent some time testing distance from router, running the magtag off a USB battery pack. I finally got it to connect - for the first time ever!

(1) The magtag MUST be within direct line of sight, with NO obstructions in between, and the antenna side of the pcb facing the wifi router;
(2) The magtag needs to be roughly the same height as the wifi router, especially when close to it (nothing else I've got here has that problem!).
(3) Distance tested was from 1 to about 8 metres, and appeared to make no noticable difference.
(4) I also did a test using wifi AP on a vdsl2 modem (normally the wifi is disabled on this modem for security and other reasons) - the modem is sitting almost at floor level, however the magtag can usually (about 75% of the time) connect to it provided there are no solid walls/obstructions in the way! The vdsl modem is located approx 2 metres below the wifi AP router.

The ESP32-S2-wrover datasheet indicates that there is a "keepout zone" - nothing else should be in the area of the on-board antenna - I'm assuming that also means BEHIND it, however on the other side of the magtag's pcb there is a neopixel directly behind the antenna, and the top of the display is immediately below it - even though it is on the other side of the pcb, it could be interfering with the wifi signal. The standoff right next to it probably doesn't help. This is starting to look like a magtag design flaw.

*Possible* solutions could be:

(1) Try removing the standoff & see if that makes a difference (maybe replace it with a nylon part, or just leave it off completely).
(2) Try to connect an external antenna to the magtag - there is provision for an IPEX socket on the ESP32-S2 module's PCB next to the on-board antenna (or antenna leads soldered directly to pcb at the socket pads), and a tiny resistor would have to be repositioned - from the datasheet, move R7 to the R6 pads (same arrangement as used by most if not all ESP32 boards that I've seen). I also suspect that the "resistor" is actually 0 ohms...

Anyone else tried this? Any other thoughts?

Re: Magtag - ConnectionError: Unknown failure 205

Posted: Mon Mar 15, 2021 9:48 am
by mikeysklar
Thank you for taking the time to try different locations, heights and mounting techniques. This will definitely be of value to others getting started with the MagTag and it's limited range.

Re: Magtag - ConnectionError: Unknown failure 205

Posted: Sun Sep 26, 2021 4:17 pm
by activ8me
I am just experiencing the severely limited connectivity of the Magtag (which I received days ago) and I agree this seems to be a design flaw.

Actually, in my view, this product is unusable. The omission of an external antenna or a connection for one - plus the permanent design flaw - makes this device non connectable in practical terms.

It would have been nice if Adafruit had done some testing on this WIFI feature prior to releasing the product.

There are other same size boards (and smaller) with an uFL antenna connection/connected that have a decent connectivity.

Who has a router in line of sight of his fridge as an example?

BTW, I would like to know how to take care of these errors (i.e. timeouts, connection failure) without crashing by just keeping to reconnect. How does the library handle those?