Lost Reactor Requiring Manual Reconnection

Hi, I’m new to using the pioreactor so apologizes if this has been asked previously.

I’m having an issue where the pioreactor will intermittently lose connection (presumedly to the wifi) and then basically turn off. On the webpage (reactorname.local/pioreactor), all the activities will go from “on” to “lost”. This then requires manual intervention for me to turn stirring/temp/dosing back on.

Is there a way to setup a system where if it loses connection, it will restart the programmed functions when it re-connects?


Hi @jstiller,

Are the jobs stopping? Like does the fan stop moving, and you have to start it again?

I’m wondering it your Pioreactor is power-cycling (aka restarting, but not sure why yet), or if it’s just losing wifi connection. If the jobs stop, I would think it’s restarting.

Is the Pioreactor that is showing “lost” a leader or a worker?

Hi @CamDavidsonPilon,

Yeah, it’s pretty much all stopped. Once its “lost”, nothing is happening on the reactor.

It’s a Leader.

hm, sounds like it’s restarting itself. Can you email me, cam@pioreactor.com, the logs dataset from the Export page? Can you select “<All experiments>” in the dropdown, too?

Reasons for a restart could be:

  • a power-out in the room / building
  • a “brown-out” , basically the RPi doesn’t have adequate power to keep itself alive and restarts itself. If you experiment is pulling a lot of power (freq. dosing + high heat + high fan), this can cause a brown-out.
  • Similar to above, a inadequate power supply unit (PSU). There are lots of advertised 5V PSUs, but if the wire is too long and too thin, it’s not 5V by the time it reaches the Pi.
  • Another reason for brown-outs is the that RPi gets too hot (like > 80C). Heat sinks on the CPU can help with this.
  • There are some safety features in the Pioreactor software that force a shutdown, but I don’t think that applies here.

How often does this problem occur to you?

To answer your original question: can the jobs restart themselves? Not currently possible - I worry about safety of lab equipment if pumping suddenly starts again, for example.

Hi @CamDavidsonPilon,
I’ve just emailed you the export files and agree with your idea that it might be a power issue. As I said in my email, it’s pretty random, though 3 times today.
Thank you!