Bobcat Miner OTA Update - 11/11/2021
Nov 11, 2021 - Bobcat pushed the latest OTA update at 09:00 PST today.
The following updates occurred in this OTA:
Helium Hotspot Firmware updated to 2021.11.10.0
Bobcat Miner Firmware bumped to 126.96.36.199
This is a helium software-only update. Other than a version bump, no other changes were made to the Bobcat firmware.
This Helium release is a mandatory update for manufacturers and includes critical bug fixes. This miner update is expected to bring PoC activities back to normal.
Read the Helium Engineering Blog here for more details.
The core developers at Bobcat have been testing 2021.11.10.0 since 21:00 PST 11/10.
You might temporarily see these displays or errors during an OTA update, which are normal and do not require intervention:
The LED light turns yellow
The Diagnoser cannot be accessed
The Miner (5s) pages show the error ‘RPC to 'firstname.lastname@example.org' failed’
The hotspot blockchain height shows ‘unknown’
All of these are temporary and you DO NOT need to do anything. The hotspot will go back to normal on its own once the OTA is complete.
PoC activities during an OTA update:
There are two kinds of Bobcat OTA updates. The first releases a new Bobcat firmware. The second is a Helium miner update. These updates are always done separately.
When a Bobcat firmware update takes place, there is no impact to PoC activities because the miner software is not affected and therefore continues running throughout the OTA update.
Helium Software Update
When a Helium miner software update takes place, the current miner running on the hotspot has to be stopped and replaced. Depending on the release version, there will sometimes be important changes that occur when starting the new version. For example, updating the old database, clearing a broken database, downloading snapshots, loading snapshots, etc. During this process, the miner will not work normally. If it had been working as a challenger, its peers may not be able to dial it during the update to submit the receipts. Similarly, it can also affect sending out the receipts in a PoC.
While this firmware upgrade action is completed within minutes, there are a total of 115,835 Bobcat miners currently on the network. It is normal to expect a few hours of low activities, however, we try to minimize the impact of this by releasing OTAs in batches. We will continue to optimize this process moving forward, but keep in mind that PoC activity fluctuations and downtimes are ultimately inevitable given the size of the peer-2-peer network.
Recent Lack of PoC Activities
This lack of PoC activities is not related to the PoC activity fluctuations described above. Users that have opened port 44158 and are fully synced at the top of the blockchain have recently reported seeing a lack of PoC activities, such as only challenging but not beaconing and witnessing events. This is not an isolated issue, but we expect this OTA to bring activities back to normal.
As mentioned earlier, OTA updates are rolled out in batches. As the number of bobcat miners increases on the network, the roll-out will take slightly longer to complete. Nevertheless, you will still receive the update within 24 hours of the release.
We are aware of an issue with the data being reported on the Bobcat Diagnoser for blockchain height. There were some changes made to the Helium API that caused the diagnoser to be unable to retrieve this data. A fix for this is coming shortly.
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