All 4 LED's flashing in unison after re-installing software [sd card blank/corrupt]

edited April 2019 in Problems Now Fixed
My brand new KiwiSDR #1109 was not behaving as expected.
Login with http://kiwisdr.local:8073/admin was problematic. Only once did it work as expected, most of the time it was not recognized by windows or it would recognize the address, show a small icon in the browser tab then simply hang and no content was loaded.
I eventually decided to re-install the software via the provided SD card. The behaviour of the blue LED's where as described in the procedure. About 5 minutes of back and fro illumination, but at some point they all started to flash in unison ON/OFF instead of switching off indicating that the task was complete.
Now I cannot seemingly get it to re-flash again.
When I try using it, on start up all the LED's illuminate in sequence 1, 2, 3 then 4 and then reverts to only the leftmost LED double flashes rhythmically with no other LED's showing any activity.
What could be the problem?
Thanks in advance
Pierre ZS6A


  • Hi Pierre.

    #1109 is an early serial number. Although it is the exact same Kiwi hardware as is currently being manufactured and shipped. But the Beagle might have an earlier version of Debian Linux and the boot loaders installed (all of which will be updated when the Beagle is successfully re-flashed). This may be the source of your problems. Also, if you have a marginal power supply there can be problems during re-flashing as much more current is drawn during the process. The very fast flashing of all LEDs indicates an error during the writing of the eMMC (on-board filesystem chip) of the Beagle.

    One thing to try is removing the Kiwi board from the Beagle so it draws less and current, and so you can more easily access the Beagle "boot" button. Normally, without pressing the boot button, the Beagle first tries to boot from eMMC. If that fails in a "clean way" then it will try booting from the sd card if one is installed. But if the eMMC is corrupt such that is doesn't fail in a clean way (e.g. it hangs or something) then you need to use the boot button. If you insert the sd card, hold down the boot button, then power-up the Beagle it will boot from the sd card first and bypass booting from the eMMC completely.

    The boot button on the BeagleBone Green shipped with the Kiwi is the button marked "S2 USER" on the silkscreen. It isn't the power or reset buttons near the 4 LEDs. It's on the opposite end of the board. Same end as where the sd card connector is. Near the small "Grove" connectors.

    If you still get fast flashing LEDs then it's possible the sd card is bad (or has bad data written to it). There is a procedure for downloading an image file from the Internet of what's on the sd card. Then tools on Windows, Linux, Mac or another Beagle can be used to put the image on the sd. And then the new sd used to re-flash the Beagle. But we can talk about that later if necessary.

    John, ZL/KF6VO
  • John,

    Thanks a million for the advice, I will do as you suggested.
    I have read the KiwiSDR can be removed from the Beagle during the re-flashing? I can power it with a Raspberry Pi 3 power supply?
    I suspect the data on the SD card is also corrupt or way out of date......
    Perhaps my power supply is not up to the task? It is a LM350 (with heatsink) fed by a 60 VA 10V transformer.
    Pierre ZS6A
  • I separated the KiwiSDR from the BeagleBone Green, inserted the SD card and powered the Beagle with the RPI power supply. Some of the LEDs flash, but it does not get to the point where the LEDs run left to right and vs versa. I did this with and without using the S2 reset.....
    I guess I should be looking at loading a fresh image onto the SD card?
  • John,

    I followed your advice, downloaded the latest software, unzipped and wrote the new image to the SD card. It appears as if the SD card that came with the KiwiSDR was blank, no wonder it did not update the firmware.

    Fortunately, everything seems to be working just fine now.

    Thank You for assisting me, much appreciated.

    73, Pierre ZS6A
  • Pierre, I'm so sorry to hear the sd card was blank. That has happened to customers a number of times now. But I am especially surprised it was true of so early a serial numbered unit. Seeed is supposed to be 100% testing the image that is stored on the sd card by using the card shipped with the Kiwi to initially flash the Beagle. Although technically you would not have seen the "back-and-forth" LED pattern initially unless the install script was present on the card, at least to begin with. Maybe this is more a case of card corruption. Anyway, glad it is resolved.

    If it doesn't already have access full time, be sure your Kiwi has an Internet connection at power-on at some point so the software will automatically update to the latest version. I think the download image is v1.46 but the current version is v1.280 (the download image is not kept up-to-date with the current image because it's a big pain to create it).
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