Blink - Troubleshooting Guide

This document is a supplement to the user manuals for our Blink time lapse controller product for the HERO3+ and HERO4 cameras. If using a HERO5 camera, see our BlinkX Troubleshooting Guide. The manuals should be read in conjunction with the troubleshooting Q & A below.

Before consulting the troubleshooting guide, make sure that:

  1. Your GoPro is running the most recent firmware available
  2. Your Blink is running the most recent firmware available
  3. You are using an SD card that has a minimum read and write speed of 30MB/s (U3 rating) that is required by the GoPro camera for reliable operation. Our website has a link to an SD card speed tester to determine if your SD card has the required speeds for use with the GoPro cameras.

 

 

 

Troubleshooting Questions

Blink is designed to be powered from the GoPro battery, so any external power supply should be attached to the GoPro's USB port to keep the internal battery charged. Blink's USB port is used for updating firmware and does not charge the GoPro battery.

Blink firmware will be released periodically with new features and/or bug fixes. Head over to this page for detailed instructions.

Make sure that the file name has not been changed or Blink will not recognize the file, for example, "blink_update(1).bin" or "blink_update.bin.txt". When updating the Blink firmware with the OTG cable, make sure to have Blink unplugged from the GoPro camera while having Blink and the flash drive connected to the OTG cable before the male USB-A end is plugged into a 5V DC source. The USB flash drive must be using the FAT32 file format to be able to perform the Blink firmware update.

The FAT file saving format is the default format for PC and used with most USB flash drives. Large capacity drives might be using the exFAT format. Make sure that the drive is using FAT32 which is commonly referred to as just FAT. If you are using a MAC, the following link explains how to format a USB flash drive to the FAT32 format.

Blink WiFi can be turned on via the wired remote that ships with the product. Plug the remote into the 2.5mm jack on the side of Blink (on the opposite side from the mini USB port. It is on the right hand side when looking at Blink from the back of the camera).

Blink with controller

Hold down the wired remote button for 3 seconds - you will see the LED on the back of Blink flash cyan three times to indicate WiFi signal has been enabled. The LED will continue to flash blue every 5 seconds while WiFi is active. Blink WiFi can be turned off manually by pressing the wired remote button again for 3 seconds and the LED will flash cyan twice to indicate WiFi is turned off. WiFi will also automatically turn off after 15 minutes.

Why does Blink's WiFi not activate when I use the remote?

Blink requires more power when the WiFi signal is active. If Blink's LED flashes purple, this is typically an indication of insufficient power available to activate the WiFi signal. Make sure to use a fully charged battery or have an external power source plugged in when activating WiFi. Once the new shooting schedule has been programmed, WiFi is no longer needed for regular operation and the system can continue to run off a lower charged battery.

Why does my device not stay connected to Blink's WiFi signal?

Some phones and computers have a WiFi setting that will automatically connect to a known WiFi network with the strongest internet signal rather than staying connected to Blink. Since connecting to Blink's WiFi network does not provide external internet access, some devices will not stay connected. You might need to temporarily deactivate this setting or remove other known networks in the area for the period required to set up the new shooting schedule of Blink.

Why does my device disconnect from Blink's WiFi when sending Blink Email?

The WiFi network that is broadcast by Blink for programming is a WiFi Access Point that is a "WiFi Host Mode" and does not provide external internet access. When using Blink Email, Blink will automatically turn its WiFi signal on/off in "WiFi Client Mode" to allow connection to a WiFi router's internet network for the few seconds required to send the daily email notification. If accessing the Blink's programming UI while Blink Email is scheduled, your device will be disconnected from Blink since Blink's WiFi network needs to switch from Host Mode to Client Mode to send the email notification.

Blink requires a WiFi signal with internet access that is broadcasting a 2.4GHz 802.11 b/g/n WiFi signal for sending out the status email. Each new Blink includes a 1month free trial of the Blink Email service before a subscription is required to continue to receive email notifications. If you have purchased a subscription, the email account that will be notified by Blink must be the email account that was used to purchase Blink Email subscription for Blink to locate and activate the subscription.

Check the Blink Event Log from the page http://192.168.1.1/log.html when connected to Blink's WiFi network to determine if you have any router problems. Status codes in the 10's are associated with Blink Email and outlined in the following LINK. If you are receiving status code 10, check your spam/junk email folder.

I have Blink powered from an external battery pack. Why does the shooting schedule only last for one day when I still have power in the external battery pack?

Most of the batteries on the market, including ours, have an automatic power saving feature which turns off the battery if the battery is not constantly supplying power to a device. If the GoPro is powered off for more than a few minutes between triggers, the external battery might automatically shutdown due to inactivity. However, our V15 and V44 battery packs have two modes of operation, the standard Automatic Off mode and an Always On mode. The Always On mode is important to prevent the battery from automatically turning off when insufficient current is being drawn due to the camera being turned off by Blink between triggers to conserve power.

If using our V15 or V44 battery, make sure to activate the Always On feature. It is easiest to determine the battery's operating mode when the battery is disconnected and neither charging or supplying power. When in Always On mode, if you double tap the power button a few times, the LED should continue to stay lit. If the LED goes dark between every other double press, you are not in Always On mode. To switch modes, hold down the power button for six seconds. If the charge indicator flashes 3 times and stays lit for a second or two, you are now in Always On mode. If the charge indicator flashes 3 times and then goes dark, you are now in Automatic Off mode. If you are not in the desired mode. Press the button again for 6 seconds to change modes.

Blink is turning the GoPro on at the scheduled time, but why is the shutter not being triggered?

Make sure your GoPro HERO3+ or HERO4 camera has been updated to the most recent firmware available on GoPro's website. Blink will only work with GoPro firmware v3.00 or newer.

If your GoPro briefly (or continuously) enters USB mode when the camera is turned on (indicated by a USB symbol on the front GoPro display), the camera can be slow to respond and prone to failure. The shutter cannot be triggered while the GoPro is in USB mode and the GoPro camera will enter USB mode if the data lines of the USB cable are connected. If your camera is entering USB mode, try using another USB cable without the data lines, a different 5V power source, or a USB data blocking adapter.

If running Blink firmware v2.00 or earlier, make sure you do not have have the "Enable Scripting" checkbox enabled at the top of the UI. If this checkbox is enabled, Blink will only turn the camera on at the scheduled time with no further function since it expects a script on the camera's SD card to control the functionality once the camera has been turned on. If you are not using scripts, make sure to disable this checkbox for regular operation. If you are scheduling scripts, see the following link.

Enable Scripting? Checkbox

Why can I not set an Intervalometer-Photo schedule with an interval between photos less than 60seconds?

Blink is typically used for intervals greater than 60seconds, as it allows Blink to turn the camera off between intervals to conserve battery. The minimum interval for Intervalometer-Photo is 60seconds between photo triggers. If you require a shorter interval than 60seconds, this can be done on the HERO4 by using the GoPro's native "time lapse video" setting to allow the capture of 0.5 , 1, 2, 5, 10, 30, and 60 seconds between images.

To schedule a short interval time lapse video, first set the GoPro's standard "Time Lapse Video" at the desired interval as the default video mode from the GoPro setup menu. Once time lapse video has been set as the default video mode, programming a Blink schedule for Intervalometer-Video will allow you to set the start and end time to begin recording. Using a video schedule will switch the camera mode to the default video mode to record the standard video time lapse function of the GoPro camera. The use of Time Lapse Video produces a video clip from each scheduled trigger rather than a set of images. A set of photo and/or video clips can be stitched together to generate a continuous time lapse video using GoPro Studio and other video editing programs.

Why is my continuous video footage being split into multiple files?

The splitting of the files into sections is called "chaptering", and the final video clip can be joined back into a single file by using GoPro Studio, Adobe, or another video editing software. The chaptering a recording into multiple files reduces the chance of losing the entire footage if the power is suddenly lost, the camera crashes, or another issue causes the last recorded file to become corrupted to the point where it cannot be repaired by the camera. The length of each file is determined by the recording mode used but has a maximum file size of 4GB per file. This is because the GoPro camera saves files to the SD card in the FAT32 format which has a maximum file size of 4GB. The GoPro requires that the SD card has a FAT32 format, or exFAT for 64GB or larger cards, however, the file will still be saved in the FAT32 format that has a maximum file size limited to 4GB. 

How do I program Blink for script operation?

A script on the camera's SD card will run each time the camera is turned on regardless of the Blink settings. If Blink is not scheduled for "script mode" operation, Blink may trigger the camera's mode/shutter functions or turn the camera off before the script commands have completed.

If running Blink firmware v2.00 or earlier, there will be an "Enable Scripting" checkbox at the top of the UI. If this checkbox is enabled, regardless of the scheduled action selected, Blink will only turn the camera on at the scheduled time with no further function since it expects a script on the camera's SD card to control the functionality once the camera has been turned on.

Enable Scripting? Checkbox

Starting in Blink firmware v2.01, the "Enable Scripting" checkbox is removed from the Blink UI and scripts can be triggered using the "Camera On" action with a time of 0seconds. This "Camera On - 0seconds" schedule will function like the previous "Script Mode" by only turning the camera on with no shutter command or end timer since the camera should be turned off via the script on the SD card.

Scripting Schedule

If a 1minute start delay is set at the beginning of the script, this will allow for images to be triggered in separate schedules since, during a photo trigger, the camera is turned off by Blink before the commands of the script are executed. For example, our Pro-csiFirmware can be used to schedule an Active WiFi Window for a set time each day or week for the GoPro's WiFi to remain active for downloading and clearing the SD card using the GoPro App before the camera and WiFi are both turned off to conserve battery.

Blink's Port1 is used to activate the Blink's WiFi signal and is typically used with the included wired remote.
Blink's Port2 is used for Motion Detection operation and information about this port is located in our Blink User Manual.

Please connect only CamDo approved accessories to these jacks.  Do not connect any live voltage source, such as your solar panel or battery, to these jacks.  Doing so will damage your equipment.

What are the status codes in the Blink Error Log?

When Blink encounters a problem, an entry is saved into the Blink Error Log. You can access the Blink Error Log when connected to Blink's WiFi and using your webbrowser to navigate to the URL: http://192.168.1.1/log.html or by clicking the Error Log link at the bottom of the standard Blink programming UI.

A few of Blink's status codes are as follows:

  • STATUS_CODE: 11 is an indication that "Blink has located the SSID but failed to send the status email". You must update your Blink firmware to v2.02 or newer receive Blink Email notifications.
  • STATUS_CODE: 14 is an indication that Blink has "successfully joined the WiFi network".
  • STATUS_CODE: 15 is an indication that Blink "failed to join the WiFi network".
  • STATUS_CODE: 16 is an indication that "Blink Email has the incorrect password to the WiFi network"
    Blink has a 32 character limit on the password. If your WiFi password is longer than the character limit, BlinkX will truncate the password field causing a failed connection. For use with Blink Email, please ensure your WiFi password is below the character limit.
  • STATUS_CODE: 17 is an indication that Blink "Blink can't connect to the SSID". This may indicate that your WiFi router is out of range or is unavailable.
    Blink and the GoPro cameras do not have as advanced of a WiFi antenna as most routers (or phones/computers) so they may have difficulties transmitting to the router although they can detect the WiFi network from the router. We always recommend that the router should be placed as close to the GoPro as possible to provide an adequate signal strength from the GoPro camera to the router.
    Some WiFi routers, typically 3G & 4G routers, have a power/data saving mode that should be disabled. If the router is in a low power rest/sleep mode, it may take awhile for the router to "wake up" into the fully powered state causing an unsuccessful email attempt.
  • STATUS_CODE: 18 is an indication that "the SSID was not found" or that you are "attempting to connect to WPA PSK without a password"
    Blink has a 32 character limit on the SSID. If your WiFi network's SSID is longer than the character limit, Blink will truncate the field causing a failed connection. For use with Blink, please ensure your WiFi SSID name is below the character limit.
    Make sure that WiFi router is in range of Blink. Note that Blink does not have as advanced of a WiFi antenna as most phones/computers so Blink may have difficulties transmitting to the router although you can detect the WiFi signal with another device in the same location. We always recommend that the router should be placed as close to the GoPro as possible to provide an adequate signal strength from Blink to the router.
  • STATUS_CODE: 19 is an indication that Blink "successfully synchronized the clock time and date with the NTP server".
  • STATUS_CODE: 20 is an indication that Blink "failed to synchronize the clock time and date with the NTP server".
    This can indicate that an internet connection is unavailable on the WiFi network. Some routers, typically 3G & 4G routers, have a power/data saving mode that needs to be disabled (or scheduled to be fully powered/connected before Blink Email is scheduled if this option is available) for use with Blink Email. If the router's power/data saving mode is active, the router might be broadcasting the WiFi network so that it can be located and connected to, however, the router is not connected to the internet to conserve power/data during periods of inactivity. Once a device has connected to the WiFi signal, it may take awhile for the router to connect to the internet causing an unsuccessful attempt.
  • STATUS_CODE: 21 is an indication that Blink has "successfully sent a status update to CloudX".
  • STATUS_CODE: 22 is an indication that Blink has "failed to send a status update to CloudX". Blink has a 32 character limit on the email address. If your registered email address for the Blink Email subscription is longer than the character limit, Blink will not be able to locate your subscription on the server. Contact support@cam-do.com to transfer your subscription if your registered email address is longer than the 32 character limit allowed for Blink Email.
  • STATUS_CODE: 201 is an indication that Blink has not been correctly initialized after the firmware update to v2.02 or newer. Once the Blink firmware has been updated from a version previous to v2.02, the schedules and logs must be cleared before reprogramming and schedules. Use the "Clear All" button in the Blink Programming UI as well as the "Delete Logs" button in the Blink Error Log before reprogramming your desired schedules and saving them using the "Save All" button.
  • STATUS_CODE: 250 is an indication that Blink "was not able to turn the camera on"
    When 250 occurs, it is typically an indication that the system either has insufficient power to turn on the camera, or the GoPro has crashed and is no longer responding.
  • STATUS_CODE: 251 is an indication that "the camera is busy and did not respond to the command request".
    When 251 occurs, Blink will attempt the command another two times before resetting the camera if it does not respond (reset function is only available on HERO4 camera's with a Black colored Blink). If the 251 status shows up less than three times, your camera has been able to perform the command after another attempt has been made.
    251 errors are typically due to the use of an SD card that does not meet the GoPro camera's read and write speed requirements or the camera has entered USB mode.
    • A slow SD card can affect the timing of both the Blink and GoPro camera resulting in issues such as: corrupted footage, overheating, missed triggers, and camera crashes.
      The GoPro camera requires an SD card with a minimum read and write speed of 30MB/s (U3 rating) for reliable operation. An SD card's read/write speed can significantly decrease as the card becomes more full, and drop below the required 30MB/s read/write speed if the card is not U3 rated. Our website has a link to an SD card speed tester to determine if your card has the required speeds for use with the GoPro camera: http://cam-do.com/pages/sd-card-speed-tester .
    • The GoPro camera will not respond to commands from Blink or the physical camera buttons when in USB mode. If the camera is switching in and out of USB mode, it can be slow to respond and prone to failure. The GoPro camera will enter USB mode if the data lines of the USB cable are connected to the GoPro camera. If your camera is entering USB mode, try using another USB cable without the data lines, a different 5V power source, or a USB data blocking adapter.
  • STATUS_CODE: 254 is an indication that Blink has attempted to "reset the GoPro camera"
    This feature is only available when using a HERO4 camera and the system is powered through Blink's USB port (black colored Blink only) with the GoPro battery removed. The HERO3+ camera and white colored Blink require a charged GoPro battery inside the camera for reliable operation and cannot use this reset feature.

Why does my Blink Log show dates from Jan1, 2015?

The GoPro camera has a small internal (not removable) battery that is used to retain the clock time when all power is removed. The GoPro has either crashed or lost power for a period of time causing the clock time and date to become reset to the default of Jan1, 2015. When all power is removed, Blink will only retain the programmed shooting schedule but does not have an internal battery to retain the time and date settings. When power is restored to Blink, it will determine the clock time and date information from the GoPro camera to resume the shooting schedule.

I didn't find the answer in the Troubleshooting Guide, what is the next step?

Please contact CamDo support and provide information about your setup and problem including:

  • GoPro camera type and firmware version
  • Blink firmware version
  • Type of SD card being used
  • Type of power supply being used
  • Is the external power supply attach to the GoPro or Blink's USB port
  • A screenshot of your Blink schedule(s)
  • A screenshot of Blink's Error Log from this page: http://192.168.1.1/log.html
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