info-beamer

Resetting WiFi setting

When deleting a medallion it automatically resets and boots into the “Install me” mode.

Is it possible to make something simular with the WiFi setting, so the device will go into AP mode to wait for the user to setup the WiFi again?

(But without removing the device-connect-key.txt)

/Lars Bo Wassini

You mean forcing the WiFi UI, without having to wait the minute before it starts and having it run until some changes are made? Right now that’s not possible, although adding something like /config/force-wifi-ui or similar could be added. This would then:

  • Trigger the WiFi UI immediately regardless of whether the current network configuration works or not.
  • On either setting a new configuration or hitting Cancel, the file would be deleted, thus disabling the setting until it’s applied again.

Right now the WiFi UI is unintrusive:

  • If it’s configured and the WiFi accesspoint isn’t reachable when the device starts, the UI is started for only 10 minutes. After that the device reverts to trying to connect to the network which hopefully works by then ➜ No failure state that requires manual intervention
  • Similarly if the WiFi changes, the UI only pops up if the device can’t connect allowing the user to change settings. Once they have been corrected, it becomes dormant again ➜ No permanently running config WiFi.

Having the /config/force-wifi-ui feature would prevent the device from connecting to an existing configured WiFi unless that user manually uses the UI to reconfigure the device. This means that the UI is permanently running and without the WiFI UI password, no progress can be made. Meanwhile the device is offline for the whole time and will be unreachable by the info-beamer service, even if the current settings still work.

So it seems like a risky setting to have and one that can’t be applied using the device config API as the device won’t be online once the device reboots after applying the configuration change. This is treated as a configuration failure and the change is reverted.

I’m not sure that’s all worth it, considering that all it takes with the existing method is to wait the 60 seconds. What do you think?

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As I’m in the process of deploying lots of Pi’s to different locations, I’m loving the wifi_ui option.

It means I can pre-load multiple sd cards, take a load of Pi’s with me and then just setup the wifi when I’m at the location. :slight_smile:

I know this might not be the standarad problem for your cusstomers, but let me explain my (temporary) problem.
At the moment we have some guys showing off the displays for different customers and they all have it setup for WiFi using their phones (no wired option is available on our hardware). Our customers takes over the displays but needs to put it on their own network. After they have installed different content on it, they transport it to the final destination, where it needs to be setup again.
Sometimes they want to move it to another location…

… You get the picture …

This is NOT something that are going to continue this way in all future, but if there were an easy way to make a TOTAL reset of the displays - including the WiFi settings - it would be a nice-to-have feature.

At the moment we have no way to know if the displays are connected or in WiFi AP mode.

I’m still not entirely sure I understand the problem. If you move a WiFi configured device to a new location and that configuration doesn’t work due to different WiFi parameters and WiFi UI is configured, the WiFi UI will pop up after ~60 seconds. I guess the problem results from:

which is a result of the round screens you use that prevent you from seeing the WiFi UI overlay icon in the top left corner? If so, do you see the LEDs of the Pi? One of them also starts to pulse in a heartbeat pattern while the WiFi UI is active.

Yes - we can’t see the corners of the screen :slight_smile:
Also we have no view access to the RPi.
What I want is (just) something like the “Delete” device, but where the WiFi setting is also erased, so the customer would have to setup everything from scratch again. When I reset it, the device boots into our default screen (with serial number etc) but the customer cannot see that it does not have access to the internet, thus giving him trouble understanding why he cannot add it like the screen tells him no.
But as I said - it isn’t a BIG problem, and we are working to find a better solution (with access to the LEDs)
Also we might need to add additional information on our default screen. I don’t know if it is possible to add some connectivity information on the screen, if the device does not have WiFi? I’ll look into this.

Now I’m slightly more confused :slight_smile:

  1. If there were an option to erase the WiFi settings (I assume you mean by removing /config/wireless and /config/wpa.conf - both documented here), the device won’t use WiFi when booting the next time. There’s no state “The device should use WiFi, but that is not configured yet”. There’s only “WiFi is configured and doesn’t work” and “WiFi is configured and works”. In the former case the WiFi UI feature can be optionally enabled to help get into the latter state.

  2. When you reset a device, all locally downloaded content is deleted. If you also prevent the device from using WiFi after that, I’m not entirely sure how your default screen ends up on the device. It’ll need connectivity for that as it (I guess?) uses the connect key feature and default setup to automatically sync a predefined setup. Or am I missing something? Right now there’s no way to change the welcome screen, except for setting a custom branding.

I could add an option to place the WiFi UI notification icon somewhere else (e.g. centered or to a specific coordinate), if that helps?

No - when the device is booted for the first time, it shows the WiFi AP name on the screen if the WiFi is not setup. That’s the screen I would like to have the device show again somehow.
The only way to get this screen back is to format the SD card and install Info-Beamer again.

No screen that info-beamer shows by default does that. Is that your branding.jpg/mp4? I think I start to understand, correct me if I’m wrong:

You demo the device to some customer. When preparing for the next you delete the device at the customers location which triggers the following steps:

  1. The device is deleted. This removes all content (but not any configuration!) and reboots it
  2. After the reboot, the device still has the old WiFi settings
  3. It uses those to connect to the (still existing) network and succeeds.
  4. It is automatically added to your account, thanks to a configured connect key
  5. It downloads some content (via default setup)
  6. It switches to that content.
  7. (Later) someone removes power.

Now the device is moved to a new location:

  1. The device boots
  2. WiFi doesn’t work, as the access point changed
  3. The device briefly shows your branding.jpg and then switches to the configured content that’s still cached from before.
  4. After ~60 seconds the WiFi UI triggers (as a result of 2.), but the customer doesn’t realize this as the icon isn’t visible.

Is that correct?

Yes, and the screen I need is this one:

Oh. Oops. Totally forgot that one. That is shown when the device didn’t switch to an assigned setup and WiFi UI becomes active.

If that screen doesn’t show and instead the device shows one of your setups, the sequence above happened. Is that what you see instead? One of your setups?

I have noticed that some TV screens are ‘zoomed in’ by default, cropping off the image in all sides, which has meant that I’ve been unable to see the flashing wifi_ui icon in the top left corner, but I just wait for a while and then scan for the info-beamer wifi config network.

Be sure to disable that zoom behavior in the display settings. There’s really little reason today to have that. On the welcome screen there are four little white dots in each corner. If you don’t see those, your display setup is wrong and should be corrected, so the complete HDMI output is visible.

Apparently TV manufacturers often set their TVs to a zoom setting by default.

I’ve read that this is to prevent any artifacts used in broadcast TV to show around the edge of the picture, and so reduce the chance of a customer complaint.

I don’t even think that broadcasters use this method of adding things to the overscan area any more, I used to see small black and white bars in the corner of the screen just before adverts years ago.

It’s annoying as it also messes with the 1:1 pixel mapping and introduces scaling.

Yeah. As a result an otherwise sharp output might look blurry.

Wasn’t teletext broadcasted that way? Looks like it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Overscan

Sory for the delay (holiday + business trip)
Yes - the device is going into offline mode and WiFi UI - but the customer does not understand this as it is only indicated (on the round screens) by a wrong IP number at the bottom (0.0.0.0).
What I would like to have, is an option to make a TOTAL reset for the device - including the WiFi setting, so is it just like the first time the device is booted without network settings (the config folder must stay)

Sorry, I still don’t understand. When you delete a device from an account it wipes/reformats the complete data partition thereby totally resetting everything previously downloaded/assigned to a device. The only part that isn’t touched is the OS files and the /config directory. What you get is exactly the same as when you setup a new device by unzipping install.zip and then adding the /config directory. The only difference is that during the initial setup, the device will repartition the SD card, but that step doesn’t have any effect on anything that follows.

There’s no such thing as resetting WiFi settings: They either exist in /config/wireless or /config/wpa.conf or not. There is no hidden/resettable networking state besides those two files. If the settings work, the device has network. If they don’t and you have /config/wifi_ui set, the device will start its adhoc configuration WiFi network after ~60 seconds and show this screen…

image

…for the first 10 minutes, provided that you don’t have your own /config/branding.jpg/mp4. If you have your own branding, that text is only shown at the bottom text row.

I feel like we’re going in circles getting nowhere as I think I still don’t fully understand the events that do happen or should happen. I just configured my own Pi with WiFi settings that don’t work, enabled wifi_ui and then deleted the device from my account and I get the text from the image above after the reboot that follows the device deletion.

I do not use the branding at the moment.
My problem is exactly that it does NOT show the config screen if the WiFi has been setup somewhere else. This screen is ONLY shown the first time the device is installed from new. Afterwards it “just” goes into offline mode and showing the content (and opens for AP/config mode in the background)
But if you say that the config screen will show after a device deletinon - I’ll have to test to make sure.
I’ll get back with a story board and pictures when I have the time. :slight_smile:

Close but not exactly: The welcome screen is only shown if the device isn’t registered/has registered itself (using /config/device-connect-key.txt). It doesn’t matter if the device was just set up or if it was deleted. The result is the same.

If it’s already registered and content has already been downloaded locally, the device immediately switches to that content and then (as you said) does all the wifi UI stuff in the background with no indicator other than the blinking WiFi icon in the top left corner.

If your workflow is:

  • Delete device at current location
  • Wait for it to reboot, then remove power directly after that (see below)
  • Carry it to a new location
  • Power it up
  • WiFi isn’t configured for the new location -> welcome screen with WiFi UI message after 60 seconds

If on the other hand it’s done like this:

  • Delete device at current location
  • It reboots, network still works and the device registers itself again using device connect key
  • It downloads the assigned setup and switches to it
  • Power it off
  • Carry it to new location
  • Power it up
  • WiFi isn’t configured for the new location, but assigned setup already locally cached -> switches to setup, then starts WiFi UI and only shows the icon.

Maybe that’s it?

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Ok! I sounds like I can use the first workflow.Then I just need to describe the procedure for our sales people so they know that they have to delete it and let it boot before they move it.

Would this be the correct workflow:

  1. Delete the device on the site
  2. Wait for the device to turn off
  3. Detach power imediately
  4. Carry it to a new location
  5. Make sure the “old” wifi is not active (could be a mobile hotspot)
  6. Power it up

WiFi isn’t configured for the new location -> welcome screen with WiFi UI message after 60 seconds

What they do today:

  1. Setup the device with connection to their mobile AP
  2. Adds the device to the site
  3. Installs content
  4. Move the device to the customer for demo (still using their mobile AP)
  5. Leaves the customer - taking the AP with them
  6. Calls me to have me support the WiFi setup for every customer they have visited