Helium Mining

Helium Miner – No or Low Witnesses? Why? Check the logs!

If you are struggling to understand why your helium miner has no or low amounts of witnesses and you don’t know why – first thing you can do is to go to your logs. On a Milesight this is easy but if you have another miner you will have to figure out how to get these logs for yourself.

In your console log you will see a variety of messages – they may appear to be gibberish, but I promise you they’re not. Spend any amount of time with your Helium Hotspot and you’ll quickly learn a thing or two about witnesses, challengers, and more.

Take for example my log entry:

2022-02-24 12:06:33.600 7 [warning] <0.29748.1>@miner_onion_server:send_witness:{243,37} failed to dial challenger “/p2p/11VuTpT1Z6KxN5XhdURVAE7fEoakp8j3ANW8rAkm1ZwafDD7Rgv”: not_found

Eventually, my miner gave up:

2022-02-24 12:07:03.602 7 [error] <0.29748.1>@miner_onion_server:send_witness:{207,5} failed to send witness, max retry

So what happened? I’m not sure. But there’s one place to go for information… that’s right – helium explorer.

Type in the address of the challenger and you’ll see that 11VuTpT1Z6KxN5XhdURVAE7fEoakp8j3ANW8rAkm1ZwafDD7Rgv is “Generous Viridian Reindeer” If you own Generous Viridian Reindeer my apologies. This is only a real life example.

Go to https://explorer.helium.com/ and type in Generous Viridian Reindeer. Then click on “activity”.

You see that Steep Sepia Fox is a local hotspot to you that was challenged to beacon. If you click on the “View Transaction Details” you’ll find that my hotspot “Howling Arctic Toad” was not one of the ones selected. A beacon can only have 14 valid witnesses and unfortunately me witnessing the beacon doesn’t matter. I heard it – but it doesn’t count.

This same thing is true for beacons that you “successfully sent witness to challenger”. Again, keep in mind that due to helium rules, you can only have 14 witnesses as the maximum per beacon. So no matter if you think your helium miner witnessed the beacon or not…. or whether your miner successfully or unsuccessfully acknowledged that beacon… if you’re not one of the lucky random 14 witnesses – no rewards for you.

If you have a Milesight Miner, these commands can help you determine how many beacons are heard, successfully sent (but you may not be in the lucky 14!), and how many are not successfully sent. If you don’t have a Milesight Helium Miner, adjust for your own logs.

grep “found poc.” /mnt/mmcblk0p1/miner_data/log/console.log

This command will show you how many beacons were “heard” by the miner

grep “successfully sent witness” /mnt/mmcblk0p1/miner_data/log/console.log

This command will show you how many beacons were acknowledged successfully back to the challenger

grep “failed to send witness” /mnt/mmcblk0p1/miner_data/log/console.log

This command will show you how many beacons were attempted to be acknowledged but failed to reach the challenger

Hope this helps you get to the bottom of “why do I not have witnesses” question. The answer is always in your logs.

This guide for the Milesight UG65 Helium Miner is brought to you by Dennis Crawford. To help pay for server hosting costs, if you are looking for outdoor helium deployment equipment, please consider using the Amazon Storefront which has various products to use in an outside HNT environment. Or, if you’d like here is the HNT donation wallet:

13kPLKyXAVwHwTTKy7GDS5pAgM3X2A8BoeEezhSs7ZTb6cLnfwN – never expected, but always appreciated!!