BlinkX - Troubleshooting Guide

This document is a supplement to the user manuals for our BlinkX time lapse controller product for the HERO5 cameras. If using a HERO3+ or HERO4 camera, see our Blink 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 BlinkX is running the most recent firmware available.
  3. Your GoPro is connected to BlinkX using only the included custom USB-C cable.
  4. 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

Can BlinkX be powered from the GoPro camera battery?

No, BlinkX cannot be powered directly from the GoPro battery and requires an external power supply to be connected to the BlinkX micro USB port.
If using a HERO5 Black and have a 5V 2A external power supply, such as our V44 battery pack, BlinkX should be powered without the GoPro battery inside the camera to enable the safety reset feature that allows for the system to recover from a GoPro camera crash.

I have BlinkX 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. Activating 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 between presses. 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.

The camera system should only use the 2000mA USB port of the V44 labeled "For Tablets" to ensure the battery can supply the power required for the device and maintain the Always On setting. When using the 1000mA port labeled "For Phones", if a device is attempting to draw more power than the regulation of this port, it will result in a safety cut-off of power to the device.

What happens if there is a conflict between schedules?

If multiple schedules have been set and there is a conflict between the start times, priority is given to the lower numbered schedule. For example, schedule 1 has priority over schedule 2.

How do I program a schedule to span overnight?

Each of BlinkX's separate schedules repeats weekly on the specific days that are enabled. If you need a schedule to span overnight, since each day is scheduled separately, you cannot have a start time for a schedule that is before the end time. For an overnight shooting schedule, you will need to use two separate schedules. The first schedule should have the desired start time with an end time at 11:59PM. The second schedule would then start at 12:00AM (or adjusted to maintain the desired interval) and have the end time scheduled when needed.

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

BlinkX is designed to turn the camera off between intervals to conserve power. Due to the time required for the GoPro's bootup and shutdown procedures, the minimum interval for Intervalometer is 60seconds between triggers.

What is a "Camera On" schedule and can I use it to keep the GoPro camera on between scheduled triggers?

The GoPro cannot remain on between scheduled triggers and BlinkX will turn off the GoPro after a camera trigger. Scheduling a "Camera On" action turns the camera on at the scheduled time with no further action, such as switching camera modes or triggering the shutter to capture footage. This can be used for scheduling a USB download window, or for using the camera's HDMI video output signal rather than recording to the camera's SD card.

Why does my GoPro's WiFi not activate using a "Camera WiFi Window" schedule?

The GoPro camera must first be paired with a device through the GoPro App before the WiFi signal can be triggered by BlinkX. Camera pairing instructions can be found on GoPro's website here. This camera WiFi downloading window should only be programmed to be active while BlinkX has no active shooting schedules since BlinkX will not be able to trigger the camera when accessing the GoPro's footage via the GoPro App.

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

Make sure your GoPro camera has been updated to the most recent firmware available on GoPro's website.

USB-C Cable
The GoPro must be connected to BlinkX using the custom fully-populated USB-C cable induced with BlinkX. The use of any other USB-C cable or adapter will prevent the GoPro from responding to BlinkX.

GoPro Crash
If the GoPro camera has crashed, it will not respond from the physical camera buttons or BlinkX. The battery needs to be pulled from the GoPro to hard reset the camera. The most common cause of GoPro camera crashes are due to the use of an SD card that does not have the U3 speed rating required by the GoPro camera.
If using a HERO5 Black and have a 5V 2A external power supply, such as our V44 battery pack, BlinkX should be powered without the GoPro battery inside the camera. This allows for the system to recover from a camera crash by pulling power from the GoPro if BlinkX determines the camera has become unresponsive. However, a single trigger will be missed when the camera crashes. The HERO5 Session battery cannot be removed to utilize this safety reset feature.

USB Mode
BlinkX has data pass-through on the micro USB port to allow for downloading from the GoPro when BlinkX is attached. The GoPro camera will not respond to commands from BlinkX or the physical camera buttons when in USB mode, indicated by a USB symbol on the GoPro display. When the GoPro is triggered by BlinkX, the GoPro camera should exit USB mode within a few seconds of turning on. The GoPro camera will remain in USB mode if the data lines of the USB cable are connected to the GoPro camera via BlinkX's Power port, such as when connected to a computer. If your camera does not exit USB mode within a few seconds of startup, try using another USB cable without the data lines, a different 5V power source, or a USB data blocking adapter.

Setup Menu
The GoPro will not respond to commands from BlinkX when the display of the camera is prompting you to enter the initial setup (language selection, terms of service, date, etc.) information. The GoPro must be initialized before connecting BlinkX. If your GoPro is loosing the initial setup information mid-schedule, update BlinkX to the latest firmware.

How do I get the latest BlinkX firmware update?

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

Why is the BlinkX firmware not updating when attached to the USB flash drive?

BlinkX will only search for the firmware update file when it is first connected to power. When updating the BlinkX firmware with the OTG cable and USB flash drive, make sure to have BlinkX and the flash drive connected to the OTG cable before the male USB-A end is plugged into a 5V DC source. Note that the OTG cable included with BlinkX is not a "splitter cable" and the different pinout of the OTG cable allows for the firmware update process.

If the LED flashes red twice, this is an indication that BlinkX cannot read the file from the USB drive. BlinkX will not be able to read the file if the USB drive is not using the FAT32 format or the name of the update file has been changed, for example "blinkx_update(1).bin" or "blinkx_update.bin.txt".

The USB flash drive must be using the FAT32 file format and contain the "blinkx_update.bin" file in the root folder (the first or top-most directory in a hierarchy). If the "blinkx_update.bin" file on the USB drive matches the current firmware version of BlinkX or the update file is saved to a sub-folder of the USB drive, BlinkX will preform the normal bootup procedure, with two green flashes indicating BlinkX has been connected to power.

The FAT file saving format is the default format for PC and used with most USB flash drives upto 32GB. Large capacity drives might be using the exFAT format which is not compatible with BlinkX. 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.

How do I turn on BlinkX's WiFi signal?

While BlinkX is powered, BlinkX's WiFi signal can be turned on via the push button on the front of the controller or from a distance using a wired remote (purchased separately). The wired remote can be plugged into Port1 on the side of BlinkX (on the opposite side from the USB ports).

Blink with controller

Hold down the controller's WiFi button or wired remote button for 3 seconds - you will see the LED on BlinkX 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. BlinkX WiFi can be turned off manually by pressing the controller's WiFi button or 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 of inactivity.

Why does BlinkX's WiFi not activate when I use the button/remote?

BlinkX requires an external power source and cannot be powered from the GoPro battery. The LED of BlinkX will flash green twice when it first receives power. If BlinkX's LED flashes purple, this is typically an indication of insufficient power available to activate the WiFi signal.

When connected to BlinkX's WiFi, why does my device indicate that there is "No Internet Connection"?

WiFi Displays: No Internet Connection

BlinkX broadcasts a WiFi Access Point signal for programming that does not provide an external internet connection. This notification is indicating the WiFi network you are connected to does not have external internet access and you will not be able to access websites or use other internet features when connected to BlinkX's WiFi signal. Your webbrowser can only access the BlinkX's User Interface page when connected to BlinkX's WiFi signal. When connected to BlinkX's WiFi signal, you can use any webbrowser, such as chrome or safari, to access the BlinkX's Programming User Interface by navigating to the page http://192.168.1.1

When I try to access the BlinkX UI page, why does my browser indicate "this site can't be reached"?

Ensure that your device is connected to BlinkX's WiFi network. The BlinkX User Interface can only be accessed when connected to BlinkX's WiFi access point signal. If your device has a pop-up message indicating "internet is not available" you may need to accept/dismiss this notification before you are able to access BlinkX User Interface webpage.

Dismiss No Internet Connection Warning

Why does my device not stay connected to BlinkX'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 BlinkX. Since connecting to BlinkX's WiFi network does not provide external internet access, some devices will not stay connected. You might need to temporarily deactivate this automatic WiFi setting or remove other known networks in the area for the period required to set up the new shooting schedule of BlinkX.

When I have previously connected to BlinkX's WiFi on my device, why is it now indicating an incorrect WiFi password?

If BlinkX WiFi is password protected, the default password is: 1234567890 and cannot be changed. If you have previously connected to BlinkX's WiFi but the connection is not working, you should to remove BlinkX from your known WiFi networks before reconnecting to BlinkX's WiFi signal.

Remove BlinkX WiFi from known networks

I have an iPhone/iPad and am having trouble connecting to BlinkX WiFi. It used to work fine?

Make sure to try the step above, which is to forget the BlinkX WiFi network and try again. If that is not working you can try the following:

Disable Location services for Wi-Fi Networking
Turning this feature off will not disable Wi-Fi completely. Only those location services that are being used for wireless networking will be disabled.

  • Go to your iPhone Settings.
  • Tap Privacy.
  • Tap on Location Services.
  • Select System Services.
  • Toggle the switch next to Wi-Fi Networking to turn the feature OFF.
  • Try to connect to your Wi-Fi network with Wi-Fi network services turned off.

 

Reset Network Settings
Resetting the network settings often helps in resolving network-related issues occurring on any device. The process will erase current network settings and restore them to defaults. Network caches, DHCP settings, and other network-related information are also flushed in the process.
NOTE: This will delete all your WiFi passwords and all networks your phone has ever connected to.

  • Navigate to Settings.
  • Tap General.
  • Select Reset.
  • Tap on Reset Network Settings.
  • If prompted, tap OK or any other given options to proceed and confirm the network reset process. Wait for the network settings to reset completely.

 

Why does my device disconnect form BlinkX's WiFi network when sending Blink Email?

The WiFi network that is broadcast by BlinkX for programming is a WiFi Access Point that is a "WiFi Host Mode" and does not provide external internet access. When using Blink Email, BlinkX 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 BlinkX's programming UI while Blink Email is scheduled, your device will be disconnected from BlinkX since BlinkX's WiFi network needs to switch from Host Mode to Client Mode to send the email notification.

BlinkX must be running firmware v1.02.00 or newer to access CloudX to send the Blink Email notification. BlinkX 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 BlinkX includes a 2week free trial of the Blink Email service before a subscription is required to continue to receive email notifications. IIf you have purchased a CloudX subscription, the email account that will be contacted by BlinkX must be the email account that was used to purchase the subscription for BlinkX to locate and activate the subscription. The email account(s) that will be notified by Blink Email can be managed through your CloudX account.

Check the BlinkX Event Log from the page http://192.168.1.1/log.html when connected to BlinkX's WiFi network to determine if you have any connection problems. Status codes in the 10's are associated with Blink Email and outlined in the following LINK. If you are receiving status code 21, check your spam/junk email folder for messages from cloudx@cam-do.com.

Why is my email notification indicating more/less triggers than what was scheduled for the day?

BlinkX's notification email indicates the number of camera triggers since the last notification was successfully sent to CloudX. If there was any day(s) the connection to the internet for the email notification was unsuccessful, the next successful notification trigger count will include triggers for the current day as well as the day(s) that you were not previously notified.

If the trigger counts are occasionally more or less than the scheduled number by 1, this could be due to clock synchronization. Since clock drift will occur on all devices that are not regularly re-synchronized, including wrist watches, microwave ovens, etc. our CloudX service will ensure that the camera time remains accurate by re-synchronizing the time each day when BlinkX is connected to the internet to send the email notification. If the email notification time and a camera trigger time overlap or are only 1 minute apart, and the clock is running slightly fast or slow, this may result in an extra or missing camera trigger. To avoid extra/missed triggers due to clock synchronization, adjust your notification email time to be scheduled at least a few minutes before/after any scheduled camera triggers.

If the trigger counts are irregular, check on the BlinkX controller to view the Event Log from the page http://192.168.1.1/log.html when connected to BlinkX's WiFi network to determine if you have camera communication problems. Status codes in the 200's are associated with failed camera communication and outlined in the following LINK.

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 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 for 32GB and smaller cards, 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. A benefit of chaptering a recording into multiple files is that it 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.

BlinkX's Port1 is used to activate the Blink's WiFi signal and is typically used with the LED wired remote.
BlinkX's Port2 is used for Motion Detection operation and information about motion detection scheduling is located in our BlinkX User Manual.
BlinkX's Port3 is used for Bullet Mode operation for remote triggering of the GoPro's Power/Shutter functions and is typically used with the LED wired remote. Information about Bullet Mode is located in our our BlinkX 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 may damage your equipment.

For advanced users familiar with circuit design, we have a custom interfacing section in our BlinkX User Manual that describes how the BlinkX ports can be utilized for feedback and external triggering.

What are the status codes in the BlinkX Event Log?

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

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

  • STATUS_CODE: 11 is an indication that "BlinkX has located the SSID but failed to send the status email". You must update your BlinkX firmware to v1.02 or newer receive Blink Email notifications.
  • STATUS_CODE: 14 is an indication that BlinkX has "successfully joined the WiFi network".
  • STATUS_CODE: 15 is an indication that BlinkX "failed to join the WiFi network".
  • STATUS_CODE: 16 is an indication that "Blink Email has the incorrect password to the WiFi network"
    BlinkX 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 "BlinkX can't connect to the SSID". This may indicate that your WiFi router is out of range or is unavailable.
    BlinkX 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 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"
    BlinkX has a 32 character limit on the SSID. If your WiFi network's SSID is longer than the character limit, BlinkX will truncate the field causing a failed connection. For use with Blink Email, please ensure your WiFi SSID name is below the character limit.
    Make sure that WiFi router is in range of BlinkX. Note that BlinkX does not have as advanced of a WiFi antenna as most phones/computers so BlinkX 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 BlinkX to the router.
  • STATUS_CODE: 19 is an indication that BlinkX "successfully synchronized the clock time and date with the NTP server".
  • STATUS_CODE: 20 is an indication that BlinkX "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 BlinkX has "successfully sent a status update to CloudX".
  • STATUS_CODE: 22 is an indication that BlinkX has "failed to send a status update to CloudX". BlinkX 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, BlinkX will not be able to locate your subscription on the server. Contact support@cam-do.com to transfer your subscription email if your registered email address is longer than the 32 character limit allowed for Blink Email.
  • STATUS_CODE: 200 is an indication that BlinkX "was not able to perform the handshake procedure with the GoPro camera".
    Please contact support@cam-do.com if you have received this error code.
  • STATUS_CODE: 201 is an indication that "BlinkX did not receive a response from the GoPro camera".
    The 201 status will occur if the system has insufficient power to turn on the camera, the GoPro is not connected to BlinkX using the custom CamDo USB-C cable, or the camera is busy/crashed.
    If BlinkX is connected to the GoPro with the custom USB-C cable and 5V 2A power is available, 201 errors are typically due to the use of an SD card that does not meet the GoPro camera's U3 read and write speed requirements.
    • Using an SD card that is not U3 rated can make the GoPro prone to failures. A slow SD card can affect the timing of both the BlinkX 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 and write speed can significantly decrease as the card becomes more full and could 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 .
    • BlinkX should only be connected to the GoPro camera using the included custom USB-C cable.
      If BlinkX is connected using a standard cable that is not fully populated, BlinkX will not be able to detect the GoPro camera. Typically most standard USB-C cables are not fully populated. BlinkX's USB-C cable is a custom made fully populated cable with straight 1 to 1 wiring between the connectors. It is important to note that you may damage the camera or BlinkX if there are any missed connections or pin swaps when using an alternate USB-C cable.
  • STATUS_CODE: 202 is an indication that "the camera did not respond to the command request".
    The 202 status will occur if using an SD card that does not meet the GoPro camera's read and write speed requirements (U3 rating required) or the GoPro camera is in the data-connected USB mode.
    • BlinkX has power and data pass-through from the microUSB Port (power port) to the GoPro camera. When the GoPro is in USB mode, indicated by a USB symbol on the GoPro display, the camera will not respond to commands from BlinkX or the physical camera button. When the GoPro is triggered by BlinkX, the GoPro camera should exit USB mode within a few seconds of turning on. The GoPro camera will remain in USB mode if the data lines of the USB cable are connected to the GoPro camera via BlinkX's Power port (micro USB). If your camera does not exit USB mode within a few seconds of startup, try using another USB cable without the data lines, a different 5V power source, or a USB data blocking adapter.
    • A slow SD card can increase the time for the camera to bootup and respond to command requests. A slow SD card can affect the timing of both the BlinkX 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 .
  • STATUS_CODE: 251 is an indication that BlinkX has attempted to "reset the GoPro camera"
    This reset feature is used to restore functionality in the event of a camera crash and only available when using a HERO5 Black camera when the GoPro battery is removed from the camera. The battery cannot be removed from the Session camera to allow for the safety reset feature.

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
  • BlinkX firmware version
  • Type of SD card being used
  • Type of power supply being used
  • A screenshot of your BlinkX schedule(s)
  • A screenshot of BlinkX's Event Log from this page: http://192.168.1.1/log.html

 

 

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