Intermittent device reset in modified ble_app_beacon example

I've been documenting this issue and asking questions here:

Intermittent device reset in modified ble_app_beacon example

Since I need to post a proprietary schematic, I made this private post to continue.

This project is a stripped down version of a product under development. It depends upon being able to change the contents of the advertising data whenever the board (a sensor) detects a new state.  The code as shown generally works but eventually the device resets. This could happen after running for a few minutes or a few days or anywhere in between.

UPDATE:

I've removed the schematic and am now making this post public.

SUMMARY:

  • Verified the resets are not caused by software by examining the RESETREAS register after a reset occurrs.
  • Learned the NRF52 processors will reset if the supply voltage rises 0.3v at or above a rate of 1mV/mS.
  • Verified the ripple on Vdd was within tolerance. Eliminate brown-out reset as a cause.
  • Verified no reset happens when running off a power supply instead of a coin cell (CR2477)
  • Eliminate battery connection as a cause
  • Suspect the battery brand, test another brand, still got resets.
  • Build and use a current to voltage amp to accurately measure peak battery current
  • Eliminate peak current as a cause
  • Measure battery current while programming the device and discover programmer is sending current into the battery.
  • Configure programmer to not send power to the device
  • Retest 12 devices with fresh batteries.

At this point I am gaining confidence that the programmer was damaging the coin cells with the reverse current. I've appealed to Nordic to document this in the DK user guide and am converting this post to public in case they don't.

  • I've posted the board layout for this device.

  • The schematic shows C7 as DNP.  That has changed,  it is now a 680uF electrolytic.

  • Hi,

    We did not find any issues with the schematic.

    You can find a list over different reset sources here. https://infocenter.nordicsemi.com/topic/com.nordic.infocenter.nrf52832.ps.v1.1/power.html?cp=2_1_0_17_5#unique_213661016

    1) Do you see the reset issue if you power the devices with external supply, instead of using coin cell battery?  

    2) Have you measured the ripple on VDD?

    3) Do you have this issue on all boards? or only some?

    4) If you don't have this issue on all boards; then if you take the coin cell from a "good" device, and use it on a "bad" device, do you still see the issue on the "bad" device ?

    Also note that a step increase in supply voltage of 300 mV or more, with rise time of 300 ms or less, within the valid supply range, may result in a system reset.

    To keep track of how often the board rests, you can try this modified beacon example. You will need to add nrf_nvmc.c (found in SDK_15_2_folder/modules/nrfx / hal) to the ble_app_beacon example to test it. The major value keeps track of how many times the boards is reset, and the minor value shows the value of the RESETREAS register. You can use e.g. nRF Connect for mobile to show the major and minor values.

    /**
     * Copyright (c) 2014 - 2018, Nordic Semiconductor ASA
     *
     * All rights reserved.
     *
     * Redistribution and use in source and binary forms, with or without modification,
     * are permitted provided that the following conditions are met:
     *
     * 1. Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this
     *    list of conditions and the following disclaimer.
     *
     * 2. Redistributions in binary form, except as embedded into a Nordic
     *    Semiconductor ASA integrated circuit in a product or a software update for
     *    such product, must reproduce the above copyright notice, this list of
     *    conditions and the following disclaimer in the documentation and/or other
     *    materials provided with the distribution.
     *
     * 3. Neither the name of Nordic Semiconductor ASA nor the names of its
     *    contributors may be used to endorse or promote products derived from this
     *    software without specific prior written permission.
     *
     * 4. This software, with or without modification, must only be used with a
     *    Nordic Semiconductor ASA integrated circuit.
     *
     * 5. Any software provided in binary form under this license must not be reverse
     *    engineered, decompiled, modified and/or disassembled.
     *
     * THIS SOFTWARE IS PROVIDED BY NORDIC SEMICONDUCTOR ASA "AS IS" AND ANY EXPRESS
     * OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, THE IMPLIED WARRANTIES
     * OF MERCHANTABILITY, NONINFRINGEMENT, AND FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE ARE
     * DISCLAIMED. IN NO EVENT SHALL NORDIC SEMICONDUCTOR ASA OR CONTRIBUTORS BE
     * LIABLE FOR ANY DIRECT, INDIRECT, INCIDENTAL, SPECIAL, EXEMPLARY, OR
     * CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES (INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, PROCUREMENT OF SUBSTITUTE
     * GOODS OR SERVICES; LOSS OF USE, DATA, OR PROFITS; OR BUSINESS INTERRUPTION)
     * HOWEVER CAUSED AND ON ANY THEORY OF LIABILITY, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, STRICT
     * LIABILITY, OR TORT (INCLUDING NEGLIGENCE OR OTHERWISE) ARISING IN ANY WAY OUT
     * OF THE USE OF THIS SOFTWARE, EVEN IF ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGE.
     *
     */
    /** @file
     *
     * @defgroup ble_sdk_app_beacon_main main.c
     * @{
     * @ingroup ble_sdk_app_beacon
     * @brief Beacon Transmitter Sample Application main file.
     *
     * This file contains the source code for an Beacon transmitter sample application.
     */
    
    #include <stdbool.h>
    #include <stdint.h>
    #include "nordic_common.h"
    #include "bsp.h"
    #include "nrf_soc.h"
    #include "nrf_sdh.h"
    #include "nrf_sdh_ble.h"
    #include "ble_advdata.h"
    #include "app_timer.h"
    #include "nrf_pwr_mgmt.h"
    
    #include "nrf_log.h"
    #include "nrf_log_ctrl.h"
    #include "nrf_log_default_backends.h"
    
    #include "nrf_nvmc.h"
    
    
    #define APP_BLE_CONN_CFG_TAG            1                                  /**< A tag identifying the SoftDevice BLE configuration. */
    
    #define NON_CONNECTABLE_ADV_INTERVAL    MSEC_TO_UNITS(100, UNIT_0_625_MS)  /**< The advertising interval for non-connectable advertisement (100 ms). This value can vary between 100ms to 10.24s). */
    
    #define APP_BEACON_INFO_LENGTH          0x17                               /**< Total length of information advertised by the Beacon. */
    #define APP_ADV_DATA_LENGTH             0x15                               /**< Length of manufacturer specific data in the advertisement. */
    #define APP_DEVICE_TYPE                 0x02                               /**< 0x02 refers to Beacon. */
    #define APP_MEASURED_RSSI               0xC3                               /**< The Beacon's measured RSSI at 1 meter distance in dBm. */
    #define APP_COMPANY_IDENTIFIER          0x0059                             /**< Company identifier for Nordic Semiconductor ASA. as per www.bluetooth.org. */
    #define APP_MAJOR_VALUE                 0x01, 0x02                         /**< Major value used to identify Beacons. */
    #define APP_MINOR_VALUE                 0x03, 0x04                         /**< Minor value used to identify Beacons. */
    #define APP_BEACON_UUID                 0x01, 0x12, 0x23, 0x34, \
                                            0x45, 0x56, 0x67, 0x78, \
                                            0x89, 0x9a, 0xab, 0xbc, \
                                            0xcd, 0xde, 0xef, 0xf0            /**< Proprietary UUID for Beacon. */
    
    #define DEAD_BEEF                       0xDEADBEEF                         /**< Value used as error code on stack dump, can be used to identify stack location on stack unwind. */
    
    #if defined(USE_UICR_FOR_MAJ_MIN_VALUES)
    #define MAJ_VAL_OFFSET_IN_BEACON_INFO   18                                 /**< Position of the MSB of the Major Value in m_beacon_info array. */
    #define UICR_ADDRESS                    0x10001080                         /**< Address of the UICR register used by this example. The major and minor versions to be encoded into the advertising data will be picked up from this location. */
    #endif
    
    static ble_gap_adv_params_t m_adv_params;                                  /**< Parameters to be passed to the stack when starting advertising. */
    static uint8_t              m_adv_handle = BLE_GAP_ADV_SET_HANDLE_NOT_SET; /**< Advertising handle used to identify an advertising set. */
    static uint8_t              m_enc_advdata[BLE_GAP_ADV_SET_DATA_SIZE_MAX];  /**< Buffer for storing an encoded advertising set. */
    
    
    
    
    #define MY_ADDRESS 0x32000
    static uint32_t number_of_resets;
    static uint32_t reset_reason;
    
    
    
    /**@brief Struct that contains pointers to the encoded advertising data. */
    static ble_gap_adv_data_t m_adv_data =
    {
        .adv_data =
        {
            .p_data = m_enc_advdata,
            .len    = BLE_GAP_ADV_SET_DATA_SIZE_MAX
        },
        .scan_rsp_data =
        {
            .p_data = NULL,
            .len    = 0
    
        }
    };
    
    
    static uint8_t m_beacon_info[APP_BEACON_INFO_LENGTH] =                    /**< Information advertised by the Beacon. */
    {
        APP_DEVICE_TYPE,     // Manufacturer specific information. Specifies the device type in this
                             // implementation.
        APP_ADV_DATA_LENGTH, // Manufacturer specific information. Specifies the length of the
                             // manufacturer specific data in this implementation.
        APP_BEACON_UUID,     // 128 bit UUID value.
        APP_MAJOR_VALUE,     // Major arbitrary value that can be used to distinguish between Beacons.
        APP_MINOR_VALUE,     // Minor arbitrary value that can be used to distinguish between Beacons.
        APP_MEASURED_RSSI    // Manufacturer specific information. The Beacon's measured TX power in
                             // this implementation.
    };
    
    
    /**@brief Callback function for asserts in the SoftDevice.
     *
     * @details This function will be called in case of an assert in the SoftDevice.
     *
     * @warning This handler is an example only and does not fit a final product. You need to analyze
     *          how your product is supposed to react in case of Assert.
     * @warning On assert from the SoftDevice, the system can only recover on reset.
     *
     * @param[in]   line_num   Line number of the failing ASSERT call.
     * @param[in]   file_name  File name of the failing ASSERT call.
     */
    void assert_nrf_callback(uint16_t line_num, const uint8_t * p_file_name)
    {
        app_error_handler(DEAD_BEEF, line_num, p_file_name);
    }
    
    /**@brief Function for initializing the Advertising functionality.
     *
     * @details Encodes the required advertising data and passes it to the stack.
     *          Also builds a structure to be passed to the stack when starting advertising.
     */
    static void advertising_init(void)
    {
        uint32_t      err_code;
        ble_advdata_t advdata;
        uint8_t       flags = BLE_GAP_ADV_FLAG_BR_EDR_NOT_SUPPORTED;
    
        ble_advdata_manuf_data_t manuf_specific_data;
    
        manuf_specific_data.company_identifier = APP_COMPANY_IDENTIFIER;
    
    #if defined(USE_UICR_FOR_MAJ_MIN_VALUES)
        // If USE_UICR_FOR_MAJ_MIN_VALUES is defined, the major and minor values will be read from the
        // UICR instead of using the default values. The major and minor values obtained from the UICR
        // are encoded into advertising data in big endian order (MSB First).
        // To set the UICR used by this example to a desired value, write to the address 0x10001080
        // using the nrfjprog tool. The command to be used is as follows.
        // nrfjprog --snr <Segger-chip-Serial-Number> --memwr 0x10001080 --val <your major/minor value>
        // For example, for a major value and minor value of 0xabcd and 0x0102 respectively, the
        // the following command should be used.
        // nrfjprog --snr <Segger-chip-Serial-Number> --memwr 0x10001080 --val 0xabcd0102
        uint16_t major_value = ((*(uint32_t *)UICR_ADDRESS) & 0xFFFF0000) >> 16;
        uint16_t minor_value = ((*(uint32_t *)UICR_ADDRESS) & 0x0000FFFF);
    
        uint8_t index = MAJ_VAL_OFFSET_IN_BEACON_INFO;
    
        m_beacon_info[index++] = MSB_16(major_value);
        m_beacon_info[index++] = LSB_16(major_value);
    
        m_beacon_info[index++] = MSB_16(minor_value);
        m_beacon_info[index++] = LSB_16(minor_value);
    #endif
    
       m_beacon_info[18] = 0x00;
       m_beacon_info[19] = number_of_resets;
    
       m_beacon_info[20] = 0x00;
       m_beacon_info[21] = reset_reason;
    
    
        manuf_specific_data.data.p_data = (uint8_t *) m_beacon_info;
        manuf_specific_data.data.size   = APP_BEACON_INFO_LENGTH;
    
        // Build and set advertising data.
        memset(&advdata, 0, sizeof(advdata));
    
        advdata.name_type             = BLE_ADVDATA_NO_NAME;
        advdata.flags                 = flags;
        advdata.p_manuf_specific_data = &manuf_specific_data;
    
        // Initialize advertising parameters (used when starting advertising).
        memset(&m_adv_params, 0, sizeof(m_adv_params));
    
        m_adv_params.properties.type = BLE_GAP_ADV_TYPE_NONCONNECTABLE_NONSCANNABLE_UNDIRECTED;
        m_adv_params.p_peer_addr     = NULL;    // Undirected advertisement.
        m_adv_params.filter_policy   = BLE_GAP_ADV_FP_ANY;
        m_adv_params.interval        = NON_CONNECTABLE_ADV_INTERVAL;
        m_adv_params.duration        = 0;       // Never time out.
    
        err_code = ble_advdata_encode(&advdata, m_adv_data.adv_data.p_data, &m_adv_data.adv_data.len);
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    
        err_code = sd_ble_gap_adv_set_configure(&m_adv_handle, &m_adv_data, &m_adv_params);
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    }
    
    
    /**@brief Function for starting advertising.
     */
    static void advertising_start(void)
    {
        ret_code_t err_code;
    
        err_code = sd_ble_gap_adv_start(m_adv_handle, APP_BLE_CONN_CFG_TAG);
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    
        err_code = bsp_indication_set(BSP_INDICATE_ADVERTISING);
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    }
    
    
    /**@brief Function for initializing the BLE stack.
     *
     * @details Initializes the SoftDevice and the BLE event interrupt.
     */
    static void ble_stack_init(void)
    {
        ret_code_t err_code;
    
        err_code = nrf_sdh_enable_request();
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    
        // Configure the BLE stack using the default settings.
        // Fetch the start address of the application RAM.
        uint32_t ram_start = 0;
        err_code = nrf_sdh_ble_default_cfg_set(APP_BLE_CONN_CFG_TAG, &ram_start);
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    
        // Enable BLE stack.
        err_code = nrf_sdh_ble_enable(&ram_start);
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    }
    
    
    /**@brief Function for initializing logging. */
    static void log_init(void)
    {
        ret_code_t err_code = NRF_LOG_INIT(NULL);
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    
        NRF_LOG_DEFAULT_BACKENDS_INIT();
    }
    
    /**@brief Function for initializing LEDs. */
    static void leds_init(void)
    {
        ret_code_t err_code = bsp_init(BSP_INIT_LEDS, NULL);
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    }
    
    
    /**@brief Function for initializing timers. */
    static void timers_init(void)
    {
        ret_code_t err_code = app_timer_init();
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    }
    
    
    /**@brief Function for initializing power management.
     */
    static void power_management_init(void)
    {
        ret_code_t err_code;
        err_code = nrf_pwr_mgmt_init();
        APP_ERROR_CHECK(err_code);
    }
    
    
    /**@brief Function for handling the idle state (main loop).
     *
     * @details If there is no pending log operation, then sleep until next the next event occurs.
     */
    static void idle_state_handle(void)
    {
        if (NRF_LOG_PROCESS() == false)
        {
            nrf_pwr_mgmt_run();
        }
    }
    
    /**
     * @brief Function for application main entry.
     */
    int main(void)
    {
        // Initialize.
    
        number_of_resets = *(uint32_t *)MY_ADDRESS;
        nrf_nvmc_page_erase(MY_ADDRESS);
    
        if(number_of_resets == 0xffffffff)
        {
           number_of_resets = 0;
           nrf_nvmc_write_word(MY_ADDRESS,number_of_resets+1);
        }
        else
        {
            nrf_nvmc_write_word(MY_ADDRESS,number_of_resets+1);
        }
    
        reset_reason = NRF_POWER->RESETREAS;
    
    
        log_init();
        timers_init();
        leds_init();
        power_management_init();
        ble_stack_init();
    
        
        advertising_init();
    
        // Start execution.
        NRF_LOG_INFO("Beacon example started.");
        advertising_start();
    
        // Enter main loop.
        for (;; )
        {
            idle_state_handle();
        }
    }
    
    
    /**
     * @}
     */

  • 1) I want to do a more controlled test of this. informally I think I have seen a rest once.  I am in the process of building a power harness that slides in like a battery and can test 12 boards at once.  Like you, I suspect a power issue.

    2) I have measured ripple, it is minimal. I will measure again and post the results.

    3) Eventually, they all experience this though for some it happens after minutes, some after hours and some after days of continuous operation.  On separate test runs each individual board behaves could do better or worse.

    4) Depending on results of the other tests I will try this.

    Step Increase:

    This is new information to me. I'll test the step response and see how it compares to 1mV/mS.

    RESETREAS:

    I was already thinking along the same lines. An hour ago I started a test that reports the reset reason. I already can determine a reset occurred by the time being off. I'll post results as soon as I have them.

  • 1 sensor reset after 2.5 hours. The reset reason reported was 0 (None).