PaymentPathFinding Failed To Find Possible Route When Attempting to Send Sats from Node Via Lightning

Hi, I am trying to send some of my lightning balance from my Lightning node to a couple of different mobile lightning wallets and I am getting this error. I only have a single out channel right now and the attempted transaction amounts are lower than the outbound liquidity on the channel. Thanks all.

Failed payments is pretty common with smaller nodes that do not have a lot of liquidity. It’s good to have several channels. The more balanced you can keep them the better. You might also consider opening a channel to a larger node that is well connected. I run a small node myself, so trust me, I know the hassle of dealing with failed payments :slight_smile:

I guess the main thing intially that I am trying to establish is that I have the ready ability to take sats off both the lightning and on-chain balances before I commit more funds to the node itself and channels. So the sats I have on the lightning balance of my node wallet are now effectively locked up until I commit more resources to more channels? I’m starting under $500 with this initial experiment so that it is not the end of the world but I just want to know the limitations before I pour on the steam and beef up some channels. Thanks.

Yes. The creation of a lightning channel is done by creating a Hashed Timelock Contract (HTLC). Both the opening and closing of such a contract are associated with an onchain fee. One good way to experiment is to install both CLN and LND on your StartOS device, and open a channel between them to experiment. Spending more time learning about Lightning is always helpful as well.

Thanks for the reply. There’s just a leap of knowledge I am having a hard time making. Sleeping on this (and not) for a few days has finally brought me the questions:

  • Are the sats that are showing on the Lightning side of my Lightning node in Thunderhub, not just simply considered to be in a Lightning capable wallet, just like the sats that are in my non-custodial Lightning-capable mobile wallet, on my phone, sitting on the same desk and connected to the same internet connection as my LND? I can freely send the Sats from my Muun wallet, for example, to any other lightning address or on-chain address. No failed payments or routing issues. I understand that my Muun wallet isn’t routing payments through my own node, and obviously has the support of someone else’s connections and liquidity, but I am missing something. Hopefully not just a portion of my frontal lobe lol.

  • the amount of Sats that I have committed to funding my first opened channel with Start9 HQ well exceed the amount of Sats that I am trying to send out from my Lightning node out to my Muun wallet for example, and from there, back to an on-chain address, so I can repeat this excercise a few times before committing a serious amount of Sats to opening more channels. If I have X number of Sats of outbound liquidity available with the initial channel I opened with Start9 HQ, what does it mean that I am getting this PaymentPathFinding Failed To Find Possible Route message, when the whole reason I opened that initial channel was to gain that initial outbound sending capability on lightning? I haven’t even crossed the bridge yet of gaining inbound liquidity by having someone open a channel to me. That might be a challenge given the small scale I am operating at right now. More to learn.

  • If I close the initial channel that I opened in the hopes of gaining some self-routed spending capability on the lightning network, do those Sats come back to the Lightning balance on my node or the on-chain balance? I have already established that I can indeed send sats from the on-chain balance on my node to any on-chain address. So that’s cool.

  • On Thunderhub, what does it mean that I have on my lightning node: Available: 115,062, Not Available: 4,804, Pending: 0. I am mostly referring to the Not Available column. If the sum of these numbers (the number of Sats that I haven’t committed to opening channels) is still less than the number of Sats that I funded my one open channel with, why would there be a portion of them that are showing Not Available? I’ve noticed that these numbers fluctuate from time to time, indicating that there is some interaction going on with the network in general, but I am obviously not putting 2 and 2 together somehow, thinking that my lightning node is just a lightning wallet that I can send sats from freely.

Sorry for the wall of text and the days since my last reply, but it has taken me a couple of days to even generate the questions and get my head around what I don’t know yet. In the meantime I will continue poring over the documentation. I feel like I am close to a breakthrough. The main thing I have learned so far is that we are still.so.early. These layer 2’s aren’t easy yet. The hours tutorials I’ve watched don’t touch on any of this. The hosts just cavalierly open or loop out these massive channels equivalent to $5k USD and then buy something with lightning right from their nodes like it’s nothing. I feel like it’s 1990 again and I am hanging out at the computer store trying to coax out and learn the dark art of reflashing my bios and reinstalling my OS from the guys there. The key difference being that everyone is so helpful now and not protecting the knowledge, trying to maintain their PC repair customer base.

Thanks for your continued help. I hope to understand this to a degree that will permit me to do the same for someone else and help proliferate the network. Normies and non technical people aren’t going to get this yet. It’s going to be on me to help them get it.

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So I just did a test “close channel” (not a force close) on that channel with Start9 HQ to see what the mechanics are, and the 130,000 sats on the lightning balance on my node is currently flowing back to the on-chain balance. But can you tell me what is happening and how do I track what is happening to the 125,000 sats that I pushed to the channel? Thanks.

Ok I am seeing looking at the chain of transactions that all the sats add up to my initial channel opening balance minus some fees I have absorbed and I don’t think have anything forthcoming. I understand something I didn’t ten minutes ago about how the channel works. I guess I will just have to recommit and open up minimum 3 channels this time, and run the whole excercise again and just be willing to risk more. I have a helmet fire

maybe I am wrong. still doing the math

  1. I don’t fully understand your question here, but ALL lightning funds are “in” the node itself, meaning LND in this case. Thunderhub, and any other UI interface, are just being used as remote controls to the node. Calling them wallets is a misnomer, they are simply instructing your node what to do. If you connect multiple interfaces to the same node, they will reflect the same channels, balances, etc. Running a node requires a bit of a learning curve, so take your time.

  2. A liquid pathway from the paying node to the receiving node is required for payments to traverse the network, and having a few channels is sometimes required to get to all the destinations you’re trying to pay. If there is no route from start9’s node to whatever node muun is running, then the payment won’t get there because you have no other possible route.

  3. Yes, but you were charged a fee to open the channel, and will be charged another fee to close it. Channel opens and closes should not be taken lightly, as they cost money, and will likely cost a lot more in the near future. Funds (minus fees) will return to your on-chain LND wallet.

  4. The ‘not available’ funds are reserved, in this case to cover the fees to close the channel. This number will vary depending on the current estimated fee to complete a close.

There is a lot to learn, but starting is the hardest part. You are literally opening a Sovereign bank and running your own payment network. 15 years ago this was not possible, and now it is accessible to anyone with some motivation and persistence. Keep up the great work, we need more Sovereigns.

Thanks for the reply. This is starting to gel. Actually, the act of closing the channel showed me a lot. And your reply backfilled the rest. As soon as I saw where the funds flowed from/to upon channel close, the false distinction I had made between node and wallet vanished. Minutes later, looking at the chain of custody for the couple-day exercise I’ve gone through, in Thunderhub, showed me where funds sloshed around to/from through the whole exercise. It was just a little convoluted, because of course when I did my initial channel open, I specified too low a fee by misunderstanding the UI….a mistake that taught me more than I would have otherwise learned if I had done it right the first time lol.

At this point I am looking at these fees as tuition, so it hasn’t been too bad. I just wish I had more funds to “risk”. But as these lights come on in my head, I’m seeing that it’s not as sketchy as I thought. I just need to stack harder. And I’m sure a lot of the tutorials I’ve watched are conducted in testnet.

I need to also learn how to open a channel with myself locally between instances, as I’m sure that’ll show me even more. I haven’t got my head around the mechanics of that yet.

I just can’t wait to see and analyze my first successful incoming and outgoing transactions and start testing some mobile and desktop tools for administering the node. That will cement things further.

Thanks so much for taking the time to reply. You guys have a great product and a great community. I love the StartOS UI and the apps on the registry, especially compared to my humbling experience with Umbrel last year and attempting many things from just the CL.

Of course, alongside this course of study I am also trying to get squared away on more Linux command line work as a fallback. It served me well back in the early days of Windows. I feel the same way I did when I first found an unused 386 pc with a 14.4 modem and a thick DOS manual in my in-laws’ basement in 1992. It’s a whole new world. I just wish I didn’t need to sleep lol.

Onward. :call_me_hand:t4:

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