Goodbye Nest Hello, oh, hello again

The day of tech hell continued for me as my Nest Hello doorbell had decided to give up the goat. This is a somewhat interesting story and not completely concluded except I think I found the series of events that lead to it.

TL;DR – probably a loose connection caused indirectly by a motorcyclist’s death down the road.

The issue: Camera reports offline, blinking green light nonstop – reset does nothing (light stops at 16 seconds while I’m holding it, immediately starts blinking green when I let go,) factory reset does nothing, never see a ring light, voltage appears right (although this determined later,) Nest’s support was up at 10:47 CST helping me with this but it looked like my second Nest device in a month was dead (the other was an Nest Cam IQ).

I talked with a person at tech support on the Doogee phone because my Sprint Samsung Galaxy Note 8 is effectively a paperweight, can’t even maintain cell voice calls any more. OK Ting, you got me for $3 for phone calls this month.

We determined over the course of an hour that it would power on with a micro USB (I had not tried this troubleshooting method because I’m a terrible person who didn’t see that as an option to try before calling them,) and I determined that the voltage coming off of the adapter was correct (this however was after the phone call.) The last voltage the Nest Hello doorbell saw was 3.3 volts coming off of the brick adapter for the doorbell and that’s too freaking low.

Screenshot 20190328 221244 Nest - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here

We’d left the phone call with the belief that either the power route the two screws have into the Nest Hello were bad (liquid, ant, internal connection, whatever,) or the more likely scenario I had a bad transformer. I couldn’t find a multi-meter at this hour to … oh yeah, I didn’t leave it where I thought I left it.

I determined afterward that the brick was in voltage range and got to thinking about his statement that the screws wires might not be passing volts correctly as the last voltage reading was 3.3 and it’s supposed to be over 12. I rechecked all the connections (biscuit to clamps, claps to wire, wire in doorbell to front, and back of the Nest,) and the thing worked.

This jumped loose while we were doing nothing after several months of use? Seemed odd.

What I think happened

The techs among you are screaming loose connection at this point. Unless I see the Nest Hello go down again or I see the block not delivering I’m inclined to agree, but what caused it?

Let me paint a portrait here that sets the night. Sunday the 24th, a man on a motorcycle crashed into an SUV in excess of the speed limit. This seems to be undisputed.

From witnesses and Facebook chatter he was doing a hard acceleration and swerved out from behind another vehicle and slammed into an SUV turning left that both he didn’t see and they didn’t see him.

Whatever the case, bike met cage and we read the account of the people who stayed with him until the ambulance took him away. He didn’t make it to the hospital, it was terrible.

I ride, have for 16 years now, I’m quite inclined to believe from all accounts I read this was not the SUV’s fault.

My house and the church where his funeral was (Thursday night,) are about 5 houses apart. As it was a 20-something biker who died, several other bikers showed up and at 8:45:07pm they started gunning their engines.

I did not know at this point it was a funeral, nor did I know it was for him. There were balloons, weird lighting over at the church, seemed odd.

I’d say about 4-6 bikes, full throttle (not the Lucas Arts one or the remaster,) and potentially a monster truck opened up to the point my kids were woken, the house was shaking, and people were walking out to see what was going on because it sounded like a lumberjack contest.

I started getting texts from neighbors that the Easter play the church does every year evidently had chainsaws now, but no.

They revved until 8:53. The camera reported offline at 9:08 pm. This was probably enough to loosen screws on the back of the Nest Hello or connections elsewhere. Things were shaking at my house.

We’ll see, but this seems like the probable series of events.

Don’t speed in traffic people.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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