Bobcat 300 Diagnoser Tool / Utility Guide (Helium Mining)

Bobcat 300 Diagnoser Utility
Bobcat 300* Diagnoser Utility

The Bobcat 300* Helium Miner finally has an interface you can use to be able to tell what it’s doing! Better yet, it lets you do a few things like conduct an internet speed test. You can even get a detailed breakdown of which block your miner is on!

In this guide I’ll break down how to access the web interface (easy) and run through some of the features that are available at launch (1.0). The utility started installing on Bobcat 300’s via OTA updates on August 3rd 2021. Let’s begin!

Finding IP Address

Hopefully you already know what the IP address of the Bobcat 300 is on the network as you will need to know that to get your miner out of relayed status and set up the “port forward”.

If you haven’t set up your port forward yet follow my Getting Out of Relayed Status Helium Mining Guide.

You can find your IP by logging into your router’s web interface / app or you can use the Helium app’s “Diagnostics” feature to get it as well!

Accessing Web Interface

Once you’ve determined your miner’s IP type it in your web browser like this:

http://192.168.X.X

It does not like https (port 443) and will only work with http (port 80).

Diagnoser Utility Options

Let’s cover what you can do using this utility at launch.

Temperature

Temperature is a serious obstacle for Bobcat 300 miners. If they are outside or in a very hot / poorly ventilated place they are well known to overheat. This feature helps you manage this and make sure your miner isn’t getting cooked.

If you choose the temperature option you will get the temperature of your unit (as temp.json in JSON format, useful if you are a developer) like this:

{
  "time": "2021-08-07 00:30:51 +0000 UTC",
  "temp0": 47,
  "temp1": 49,
  "unit": "°C"
}

This lets you keep an eye on your miner’s temperature. This one is inside an air conditioned building and it’s still nearly 49C or roughly 120F degrees but would be considered a “good” temperature reading!

Sync Status (Update 9/3/2021)

New option added in 1.0.3 that is described as:

Introducing the sync status feature on the Bobcat Diagnoser, which answers the very simple yet important question of whether or not your Bobcat miner is properly synced to the network. Stop incessantly rebooting or waiting for the helium app to update the miner’s status. Now you’ll have access to real time information at the push of a button!

https://www.bobcatminer.com/post/bobcat-miner-ota-update-09-02-2021-diagnoser-sync-status

The Helium app really is agonizingly slow to update so this is a useful feature. Here’s an example of how it looks:

{
  "status": "synced",
  "gap": "-2",
  "miner_height": "995790",
  "blockchain_height": "995788",
  "epoch": "25674"
}

The “gap” is how many blocks behind you are, so I am 2 blocks behind with a gap of -2. The math adds up with the “blockchain_height” representing the height the entire network is at and “miner_height” representing the block height your miner is at / sync’d to.

Miner

The “Miner” choice gives you an extremely detailed breakdown of your miner. You want to be careful with this option because the menus warn you that this option slows down the Bobcat’s mining (it’s a resource intensive / high CPU operation).

Here’s what it looks like:

{
  "time": "2021-08-07 00:11:15 +0000 UTC",
  "temp0": "48 °C",
  "temp1": "50 °C",
  "temp_alert": "normal",
  "ota_version": "1.0.2.10",
  "miner": {
    "State": "running",
    "Status": "Up About an hour",
    "Names": [
      "/miner"
    ],
    "Image": "quay.io/team-helium/miner:miner-arm64_2021.08.02.0_GA",
    "Created": 1628292218,
    "Ports": [
      {
        "IP": "0.0.0.0",
        "PrivatePort": 1680,
        "PublicPort": 1680,
        "Type": "udp"
      },
      {
        "IP": "0.0.0.0",
        "PrivatePort": 44158,
        "PublicPort": 44158,
        "Type": "tcp"
      }
    ]
  },
  "miner_alert": "",
  "miner_desc": "",
  "pubkey": "1125RGgX5aXXXXX",
  "animal": "shallow-maroon-xxx",
  "region": [
    "US915",
    ""
  ],
  "height": [
    "24468    955285",
    ""
  ],
  "ports": {
    "1680": "closed",
    "44158": "open"
  },
  "p2p_status": [
    "+---------+------+",
    "|  name   |result|",
    "+---------+------+",
    "|connected| yes  |",
    "|dialable | yes  |",
    "|nat_type | none |",
    "| height  |955285|",
    "+---------+------+",
    "",
    ""
  ],
  "onboarding": [
    "",
    "********************",
    "General Manufacturing Info",
    "********************",
    "",
    "+-------------+----------------------------------------------------+",
    "|    name     |                       result                       |",
    "+-------------+----------------------------------------------------+",
    "|    batch    |                     bobcat_609                     |",
    "|  createdAt  |              2021-06-09T09:41:12.706Z              |",
    "|heliumSerial |                        null                        |",
    "|     id      |                       82510                        |",
    "|   macEth0   |                 e8:78:29:51:XX:XX                  |",
    "|  macWlan0   |                 48:e7:da:13:XX:XX                  |",
    "|   makerId   |                         6                          |",
    "|onboardingKey|112xxxx                                             |",
    "|publicAddress|1125RGg                                             |",
    "|  rpiSerial  |                  7cdf8xxx                          |",
    "|  updatedAt  |              2021-06-18T22:30:18.486Z              |",
    "+-------------+----------------------------------------------------+",
    "",
    "",
    "********************",
    "Manufacturer Info",
    "********************",
    "",
    "+------------------+---------------------------------------------------+",
    "|       name       |                      result                       |",
    "+------------------+---------------------------------------------------+",
    "|     address      |14sKxxx                                            |",
    "|    createdAt     |             2021-02-24T22:16:39.379Z              |",
    "|        id        |                         6                         |",
    "|locationNonceLimit|                         1                         |",
    "|       name       |                      Bobcat                       |",
    "|    updatedAt     |             2021-02-24T22:16:39.379Z              |",
    "+------------------+---------------------------------------------------+",
    "",
    ""
  ],
  "errors": null
}

I told you it was a lot of information!

We can actually see a lot of stuff that was previously not possible to see on your Bobcat like the enrollment key, various internal components and their serial numbers, etc.

Our P2P connection status (what the light represents on your Bobcat, green yellow etc.) is revealed in great detail as well. Look at this detailed breakdown here:

   "p2p_status": [
    "+---------+------+",
    "|  name   |result|",
    "+---------+------+",
    "|connected| yes  |",
    "|dialable | yes  |",
    "|nat_type | none |",
    "| height  |955285|",
    "+---------+------+",

Explorer

This is just a link to the Helium blockchain explorer. Not very useful!

Helium API

Connects to the Helium API and returns some information in JSON format about your specific miner. This is Helium-specific information that is tracked across all miners and not Bobcat specific.

Onboarding

This one is a little more interesting. It redirects you to your hotspot’s onboarding entry at onboarding.dewi.org. The results are given to you in JSON like the other commands.

I had not seen this site before but sure enough my onboarding entry appeared as expected!

Net Speed (Internet Speed Test) (Update 9/3/2021: Removed, Secret Link Available)

Finally a fun one! This one lets you test your Bobcat 300’s internet connection speed.

I ran the connection test (using WiFi) and this was my output:

{
  "DownloadSpeed": "27 Mbit/s",
  "UploadSpeed": "33 Mbit/s",
  "Latency": "16.586062ms"
}

Those results are actually terrible for my connection speed (gigabit fiber) but not unexpected for WiFi using G/N speeds.

At any rate this is very useful information to have whether you’re using wired / wireless. Having a tool like this lets you test the Bobcat’s connection specifically instead of running a general speed test on your computer. That only diagnoses your internet connection in general and not the Bobcat’s connection specifically so having this tool is a giant leap forward and worth using.

It does make your miner slow down / stop mining for about 30 seconds so don’t overdo it!

UPDATE 9/3/2021: In 1.0.3 this option is no longer in the list of options. It’s still available on the miner as speed.json. To access the option replace the IP in the URL below with your own miner’s IP address and go to:

http://192.168.X.X/speed.json

After a 20 second pause or so you will see the speed test (for now, they removed the menu option but the JSON request is still available/permitted):

{
  "DownloadSpeed": "25 Mbit/s",
  "UploadSpeed": "42 Mbit/s",
  "Latency": "9.81852ms"
}

Resync Miner (Update 9/2/2021)

This is the first really serious troubleshooting option we’ve been given for the Bobcat. It was added in 1.0.2 and the description given by hovering your mouse over the option is “It will delete the miner data, let the miner resync to the blockchain from scratch”.

Basically they’re saying this will wipe the local blockchain data from your miner and let it resync from scratch. You would only want to do this if your miner is completely stuck / corrupted.

Do you remember how long it took to sync your Bobcat when you got it? You definitely don’t want to have to go through that again unless your miner is completely broken and won’t sync and nothing else has worked / troubleshooting has led you to this conclusion.

This finally gives users the ability to clear and resync their Bobcat though which is a fantastic improvement from the launch 1.0.0 version!

Also requires a username / password:

Username:  bobcat
Password:  miner

Reboot (Update 9/2/2021)

This was a new option added in version 1.0.2. It’s as simple as it sounds and allows you to reboot the miner through the web GUI. Very handy!

This option will prompt you for a username and password. Here they are:

Username:  bobcat
Password:  miner

Blockchain Height

Blockchain height just gets the current height of the Blockchain from the official Helium API. This would be useful if you wanted to write a very simple script that wanted to compare if your hotspot’s block matched the current block on the blockchain.

A lot of the other available commands give the blockchain_height already (such as “Sync Status” and “Miner”) so it’s not extremely useful.

Bobcat OTA Update / Troubleshooting (Community Res)

Don’t get too excited about these ones. These are not at all what they sound like. They’re both just web links to community resources (at least at 1.0.0 release).

Fast Sync (Alpha) (Update 9/11/2021)

This new feature was added in 1.0.4. It’s meant to help catch you up quickly to the blockchain. I had the chance to use it today as Bobcat has had a lot of issues with hotspots falling out of sync and mine has been impacted.

The function takes about 30 minutes to sync and you should be at least 400 blocks behind to use it. From Bobcat:

Fast Sync

This is an alpha feature that gives healthy miners a sync boost, so they can quickly catch up to the top of the blockchain from the block they are syncing at.

IMPORTANT: this feature will NOT work for healthy miners whose gap to the blockchain is smaller than 400 blocks.

https://www.bobcatminer.com/post/bobcat-miner-ota-update-09-10-2021-fast-sync-feature

As usual the credentials will be:

Username:  bobcat 
Password:  miner 

Conclusion

The whole time I’ve had my Bobcat it has been a “black box”. Who knows what it’s doing. You can’t log into it with SSH or using the serial console (set your speed to 1,500,000 baud (yes, 1.5 million) and the serial console “data port” does work over USB in something like Putty, this is some kind of security through obscurity baud rate) because all the accounts are either disabled or have a nologin shell.

There’s only a couple of useful “tools” in 1.0.0 release that actually make the Bobcat do anything but it’s so nice to be able to finally see and be able to do *SOMETHING*! I’d imagine that more menu options will continue to be added to the Bobcat 300’s new “Diagnoser” tool over time.

I definitely at least recommend running the “Speed Test” and checking your unit’s temperature to make sure everything is running well!

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