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Onion Omega2 Pro not booting up correctly when powering on with webcam connected to usb port

  • I've been noticing that if I boot up my Onion Omega 2 Pro while there's a webcam connected to it's USB port -- that it's not connecting to the wifi hotspot that I've already configured it with. The LED doesn't turn blue, and when I try to load up it's web interface, it's acting as though it's a brand new un-configured device and is prompting me to set up the wifi connection -- almost as though it thinks the attached webcam is some kind of bootable storage device (???).

    Has anyone else encountered this? If so, is there any way to change this behavior? It's annoying because I'm trying to build a home monitoring unit, and it would be ideal if all I had to do was turn on the device to get everything up and running. But right now, .. I have to first wait until the device boots up -- and only then can I connect the webcam to the USB port. Obviously, if this is unfixable, then there's no way I'd ever be able to build any kind of enclosure for my setup.

    Does anyone here have any suggestions as to how I might remedy this?

    -- Yvan

  • @Yvan-Gagnon
    Proper powering is absolutely essential for Omega2 series.
    That extra drain from webcam certainly would make it even harder.
    In the forum there are many discussions about power arrangement and a few commonly made mistakes. Please take a look at them.
    Also sharing exactly what you've used (the power supply, cabling, connectors, etc. would certainly help.

  • I'm usually providing power to the Onion using a powered USB port on my laptop PC with a very short USB cable (less than 1ft). Other times I've powered it using a standard iPhone wall adapter that's plugged into an AC outlet (using the same short USB cable) -- although I haven't really tested that latter approach in a while to check to see if the same problem is happening. Could you please recommend the best way for me to manage power to the Onion in my situation?

  • Since it's a Omega 2 Pro board, I may have to defer the owner to check where/if there is a space to put in a large capacitor, say 470uF 4V capacitor on the 3.3V power rail nearest to the Omega 2S module itself.

    One thing worthwhile to point out is: sufficient power needs to be provided to such multi-purpose board (battery charging, operating O2 itself, and supplying power to the USB2 device plugged in to the O2 Pro board. That is, understanding power budgeting is essential.
    E.g., one has to make sure the power supply (e.g., laptop's USB2 "charging"/DCP port capability, or the external power adapter when negotiating with the O2 Pro board.) Getting a USB meter (or analyzer, which can show the current USB power delivery negotiation mode) will be very helpful.

    Powering O2 is tricky, adding the (quite diverse) USB power supplying scheme into the picture just made it harder.

  • @Yvan-Gagnon I tested about a dozen USB hubs over the last few months all of which plugged into mains power, so supply is not an issue. Typically I can power a maximum of 3 Omega2+ and they will boot, plug in a 4th and it's pot luck which of them will boot. If I switch each Omega on one at a time, allowing each to complete the boot process before switching on the next device, I can get up to 3 units to boot on some of the hubs I tested. This clearly demonstates that the Omega requires more power to startup than when idle. So I expect your camera is drawing too much power and therefore the Omega has insufficient power to boot.

    I would try a different camera to see if one you are using is just too power hungry. My next step would be to disable the USB port during the boot process then activate it after the boot is complete. You may be able achieve this l
    by customising the firmware, but I have not tried this on OpenWRT, but have done it on Linux on a different platform.

  • Hmm .. I hadn't even considered trying a powered USB hub. Thank you for this suggestion. This seems like it might be worth trying in my situation, considering that I'd like to use both an Omega2 Pro and and an Omega2+ for my project, and that I've been scratching my head about how to deliver power to both of them simultaneously using a single power source.

    Is there a specific powered USB hub that you would recommend? I found a 4-port one on Amazon that seems reasonably priced, but what I don't like about it is that there are on/off buttons for each of the 4 ports.


    It's a nice feature, I agree, but I feel it's only a matter of time before one or more of the ports gets accidentally turned off within the enclosure (from it tipping over accidentally, etc).

    Also .. it'd be a huge bonus of the powered USB hub had single power button on it .. which would allow me to turn both Onion devices on or off using a single button.

    -- Yvan

  • @Yvan-Gagnon

    if you are powering the omegas and the camera from the hub I'm not sure how you will receive the data from the camera. If the hub is powered from your computer you may only get two Omega to boot simultaneously. I also found that some of the cheap USB hub couldn't even power 2 devices enough to boot both at the same time. I have 2 units I found to work well:


    This is a 12 port device and only has two switches one for each 6 ports. But my earlier comments prevail, 12 ports doesn't equate to 12 Omega.

    The other I like is a 4 port device, here is the link but it is an Australian site, if you zoom in you can probably work out who the chinese manufacturer is:


  • To clarify -- I have been connecting the camera to the Onion's USB port. The idea would be to use the hub to provide sufficient power to the 2 Onion devices .. each of which would have a device connected to it's USB port (the other Onion has a USB speaker attached to it). Thanks for sending me the links. I can't view the Ali Express one, though (it's prompting me to log in). Still, I appreciate the advice.

  • @Yvan-Gagnon if I understand well you said this:
    you've got an Omega2 Pro (O2Pro), firmware ???
    and you've got a USB webcam, link ???

    1. your O2Pro can boot correctly and can connect to a beforehand configured WiFi hotspot automatically

    2. if you connect that webcam to the USB host port of your O2Pro and switch your O2Pro on
      then your O2Pro can boot but it does not connect to that previously configured hotspot
      according to the Onion web interface it's an unconfigured device and you should set up its WiFi station

    Please correct me if I misunderstood something.

    What is the output of the logread | grep ap_client command in the first and after the second case?
    What is the '/etc/config/wireless' file in the first and after the second case?
    A full serial console log can help a lot.

  • Found out that the Omega 2 Pro board microUSB port's data pins (D+ and D-) are connected to USB-serial IC. This means (if powered that way thru a PC) PC will interpret as a USB peripheral device and will power the O2 Pro board at most 500mA (sometimes even lower than that.) It will not supply most juice from it even PC's USB port is labeled as charging port!

    This leaves not much headroom to power everything (O2S, Li-Ion charging function, and USB2 host port when a webcam is connected.)

    This also leaves a dilemma that even if O2 pro's microUSB port is connected to a USB 2 power supply, such power supply most likely will not supply more juice (simply because the power adapter will detect there is a USB peripheral connects to it as opposed to a charging device connects to it.)

    What to do? Use a "dummy USB BC1.2 or Apple Power enabler dongle" to trick the USB-based power supply to think there is a power demanding device connects to it.

  • Thanks for all the feedback in this thread. Based on all of this info, I've concluded that my project is just not economically feasible given the complexities with providing adequate power to 2 onion devices simultaneously. I was hoping to build some kind of audio/video based home monitoring system (using 2 different onion devices -- one w/ a camera, and the other having a USB speaker attached) .. and so far I've calculated an absurd cost of just under $200.00, -- without any kind of enclosure, or guaranteed reliability. And then I came across this cool little gadget, and gave up entirely:


    I'm still quite fascinated by the Onion and am curious about it's possibilities, but I'm certainly not going to re-invent the wheel - and certainly not at 8x the cost !

    Thanks again folks!

    -- Yvan

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