So if you have gotten involved with helium mining, you know that feeling when you log into the helium app and you see your earnings down or even worse non-existent. The first thought that goes through your head is “oh shit my miner is a lemon and I am screwed”.
Well, I wanted to cover in this article a nice little checklist of resources you can use to make sure you know if it is your own problem or if it is the network as a whole.
The reason I bring this up is that recently the network was down because of blocks that we’re too large. This issue actually brought the entire blockchain to a halt and the developers on the helium team had to put out updates and work through issues for a couple of days until it was finally resolved and the network could start working again.
1. Helium Status
The above link takes you to a nifty page that will show you exactly what is going on within the entire blockchain ecosystem.
It lists a variety of items from Blockchain, API, Consensus Groups, Proof-of-Coverage, Router, Onboarding Service, Explorer, and Helium App.
If you suspect something is going on and your earnings are haywire, this is the first place to check. If the item you are trying to use or suspect issues with is green and operational, well then you may have a problem on your end.
You can also choose to subscribe to any alerts that will notify you when there are incidents as well as when issues are resolved.
2. Helium Miner (Bobcat Miner 300)
The following check is for those that have a bobcat miner 300 (which is the miner I personally have experienced within my helium mining journey).
You may need to research if you have a different miner on what you can do in order to check the status of the miner or for firmware updates.
The first thing to check is whether or not the miner is synced and online. This can be done using the diagnoser tool in your browser. To access, you type in the http://(IP address of your miner)/ and this is without the parenthesis.
An example would be http://184.108.40.2064/
In the first line item, you can see if your miner is synced. If it is not, understand what the block height gap is to understand if it just needs an hour to catch up to the blockchain or if it is a large gap (something like 2000 or more) then you can perform a fast sync. Full instructions on how to fast sync here.
Now if you are wondering why you may be out of sync, to begin with, there are really two options. The miner lost connection to the internet and therefore was not keeping up with the blockchain and the transactions that had occurred. Secondly, the miner could be going through an upgrade in firmware to address a known potential issue.
If you want to check the firmware version, click on the “miner” line item to see which ota_version your miner is running.
For bobcat, you can check this OTA update site to see if there were any recent updates and the latest version.
This concludes where you can do self-checks and if your miner issues persist you may need to reach out to the community or helium team in order to crowdsource an answer.
3. Helium Network Subreddit
While googling a question is usually the best first bet, sometimes there aren’t specific answers online for this newer space. So asking those that have been in the space for a while for a bit more about an individual issue may be beneficial.
This subreddit can be a lovely or awful bunch of people. You have the following groups that exist: using it as a proxy google (honestly sometimes google will take you to this subreddit anyway) with any small minor issue, to humblebrag about making only $500/day from their money machine, and lastly, you do have those solid people that are trying to help those with sincere questions.
I would say if you are going to post your question here, my advice would be to do it without emotional skew and try to provide as much detail as possible.
For example, there is a difference between saying “my miner isn’t mining HNT help😡 ” and “my bobcat 300 miner isn’t working, I did these tests already, this is my setup, and here is the name of the miner for those that want to look at the history and blockchain”
If shooting your question out on this subreddit doesn’t get answers you can try the discord.
4. Discord Group
Similar to the subreddit, this is where you can try to get answers from someone in the community or someone that is working with the helium team.
This may lead to faster responses and it is more of a live forum vs. the subreddit which may be more static.
5. Helium Twitter Handle
The last place I would go to if you can’t figure out what is happening is to blast the helium Twitter handle. Not only will you feel better, but they may also respond or someone random on Twitter will clue you in on what may be happening.
6. None of that Worked!
You’ve run all the checks above and you still don’t have any resolution to your problem. At this point, you can give the ole unplug it and plug it back in again trick. Or check that you are getting an internet connection. But if those last resort IT tricks don’t work…then you may be screwed. The last thing you can do is pray to the helium gods that your miner will start magically working again.
All jokes aside though, unfortunately, part of owning a miner or getting involved with crypto is a degree of risk. Whether it is the manufacturer you went with or your own mining setup (leaving it outside in extreme heat or cold) sometimes things break and unless it is covered under warranty you have to move on (and either by another miner or decide this isn’t for you). As they say, you got to risk it to get the biscuit!
If you did get an important takeaway from this article and want to learn more about cryptocurrency, make sure to sign up for one of our crypto courses!
This article was generated from the following Youtube Video: