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View Full Version : Crystal Focus 4.x and beyond Bug list & Fix



erv
10-04-2008, 02:08 AM
I thought it would be a nice way for group bug hunting and fixing to have this stickied. Feel free to add bugs you found. This is NOT a trouble shooting thread for CF. Post here ONLY if you really think you found an bug. Be sure to clearly describe it with accuracy. I'll edit the thread and the bug / fix list.

Erv'

Let's start with a bunch of bugs of the past, that will be fixed on the next batch of CF (aka 4.1)

- Erratic pulse + flicker combo fx values, hard to obtain the expected fx
[fixed] : use of an int instead of a long var in the code leading to int overflow (modulo 32768). [Fixed on 4.1]

- can't access the menu anymore. My last mod in the config.txt file was to set mute parameter to 1.
Last selected bank & configuration file is selected before accessing the menu and... stupidely the mute settings isn't overriden.
You can still "blind select" the next sound font in which mute is disabled, and confirm with the aux button. Or set mute back to 0 in the configuration file.
[Fixed] : mute is disabled during vocal menu access.

- Force Clash doesn't follow the "blaster priority" settings on the configuration file. When set to 1, the blaster parameter asks CF to wait for the end of a blaster / force / force clash sound file before accepting a swing. This is great for playing with a long blaster deflection SF and not getting the long "sound track" cut on the first swing you make. Works for Blaster and Force sound fx, but not force clash, in which an blade impact often makes the hilt "bump back" and trigger a swing. [Fixed] - Added the proper flag in the decision tree.

- clash flash fx not enabled during lockup (at start of the lockup aka initial blade contact) [Fixed] . The aux clash output goes on when lockup starts and lasts the duration configured in the config file (auxflashduration)
Some would like to have the aux flash control output activated during the WHOLE lockup, not during the initial blade clash. Not really a bug, but I could make a variant on this parameter, see discussion page 4. Added parameter xflashl (aux flash during lockup). Set to 1, the aux clash flash output stays on during the whole lockup until the aux button is released. [FIXED]

- New bug : if destination current can't be obtained during blade ignition (low batteries / high Vf luxeon like a lux V) AND quick on is selected AND it's the first startup, the ignition fx engine isn't lauching the hum sound after the poweron sound is played (silly case isn't it ?). [FIXED]

- May '09 : new bug found on the audio engine. Mad Cow actually mentionned this to me a while ago but it does that on long sound ONLY. A long hum sound or a few seconds long blaster blocking sequence tend to pitch down a bit within the last second of the sound. It's due to non constant sample rate in the playback interrupt.
I've reworked the audio engine on another of my boards, DroÔd Core, and I will port it to CF asap. to be fixed

- August '09 : clash flash mini bug, stays on if initiated then followed immedialty with a power off. Power on resets the hing. FIXED in 4.3

erv
10-31-2008, 01:44 AM
For the MODs, could someone sticky this one, I think it could be useful, thanks.
Erv'

Novastar
11-01-2008, 02:33 AM
Thanks Tim! I appreciate it... :)

Regarding bugs... hey folks, I *JUST* found that one Erv mentioned about the "force2" thing yesterday, so... don't be afraid to mention something that you REALLY have been able to replicate.

Granted... it's going to be all about needles in haystacks now. Not going to be easy to locate bugs on CF v4 anymore.

erv
11-01-2008, 02:39 AM
we have the haystack and needles thing in france too, I also like "cutting the rancor hair in 4 (all over the lenght)" :mrgreen:
Details & minor bugs fixing but I give some importance to those anyway.
Thanks Tim for making this one as a sticky !

Novastar
12-11-2008, 04:14 AM
Anyone?
Anyone?
Bueller? ... ... Bueller?

Not... one... person?
Not... one... finger?
Very well then... I go on.

:p heheh... seriously, has anyone found any strange "bugs" whilst wiring your new v4.1 CF boards?

erv
12-11-2008, 04:16 AM
Silence can be a good news, once for a while ;)

Eandori
12-16-2008, 10:17 PM
I guess this means you need to sell more v4.x boards so we all do more "debugging"

:)

Novastar
12-17-2008, 01:01 AM
Either that or... hmm, I'd imagine many people are taking their time to wire them up?

I personally know of about 3 or 4 people who have had some CF for almost a year or so and haven't completed their sabers, hahahah!

B5813
12-18-2008, 05:36 AM
I volunteer to take one for a free trial period... say, a year... and put it to extensive use and tell you how it went. he he

Novastar
12-18-2008, 07:02 AM
hahahahahh! Well... it seems we *should* have a bunch of "experiments" with the latest buyers... ~80 or ~90 folks who bought CF on November 8th... :)

erv
12-18-2008, 07:11 AM
lol,
well, V4 is over now, I mean, I might keep a few PCBs as spare parts or for personnal projects during the V5 design, but so far, since v1, many bugs and hardware details have been fixed, upgraded, improved. Honnestly, V4 is REALLY stable. My only current problem is the microcontroller, I can't figure out when I'm soldering them but *some* of them have a fragile on/off or aux button input. It's fine during the test then some people will end with a board that isn't responding to the on/off control, after soldering the switch.
Excess of ESD is a possibility and... awful soldering guns. Think about investing in a 50 USD smd soldering station, and please NEVER use any sort of soldering so-called "gun" (pistol shape).
Erv'

Donnovan Sunrider
12-18-2008, 07:51 AM
I'm planning to get myself a Metcal station before I touch my CF with an iron.
Ya don't work on a Rolls Royce with Wal*Mart tools!

Novastar
12-19-2008, 02:21 AM
I'm looking forward to seeing what stuff you come up with for V5!! I mean... sure, we spoke a bit, and I threw out a few more ideas, but... honestly, I'm starting to run out of "legitimate" ideas...

...unless CF doing my taxes *IS* feasible. In which case, I'll happily pay $300 for a board, hahahah. :D

sekrogue1985
12-19-2008, 07:28 AM
make it my cell phone and yeah i'd pay whatever!

gundamaniac
12-19-2008, 05:30 PM
lol,
well, V4 is over now, I mean, I might keep a few PCBs as spare parts or for personnal projects during the V5 design, but so far, since v1, many bugs and hardware details have been fixed, upgraded, improved. Honnestly, V4 is REALLY stable.

I forget which version of CF I have (I got it awhile ago...) but I think it's pretty stable too. V4 must be insanely stable if you're only just now considering CF to be stable haha

Jonitus
12-19-2008, 10:58 PM
I honestly have nothing in the way of suggestions for improvements to the CF line. It already does more than anything else out there and does it far better. No surprise it sells out in record time each and every time. No matter how many of these I put together, I still get a little thrill each time one boots up in a new saber. It's like I want to shout:

"It's alive! It's alive!"

Jay-gon Jinn
12-20-2008, 08:12 AM
I honestly have nothing in the way of suggestions for improvements to the CF line. It already does more than anything else out there and does it far better. No surprise it sells out in record time each and every time. No matter how many of these I put together, I still get a little thrill each time one boots up in a new saber. It's like I want to shout:

"It's alive! It's alive!"

I actually do that...does that make me a geek? ;)

Logan Cade
12-20-2008, 08:24 AM
I got my first CF out of this last batch that Erv did, and I canít even begin to express how impressed I am by it. Iíve been playing with it non-stop and all my other projects have taken a back seat.

Fantastic job, Erv! You are to be truly congratulated Sir!

And Novastar, your sound fonts are awesome and give a life of itís own to CF. I can understand the amount of work that goes into them and you are to be commended for your love of this hobby.

Offering suggestions on improvements is a difficult task, but if I had to, all I could offer would be a glimpse into the future.

I imagine a saber that has a USB port of sorts built into the hilt where you plug it directly into a computer. From there you have a software program where you can setup all your fonts, configurations and downloads and even charge your batteries. All CF come with stereo sound and a specially designed RBG led and optics that allow any of a million different color choices and thereís even a digital simulation of a saber and blade in the program where you can see and hear all your configurations changes prior to downloading them to the saber. With gigís of storage space, the possibilities are endless.

Thank you Guys for all your hard work and love of the hobby.

eastern57
12-20-2008, 11:40 AM
I actually do that...does that make me a geek? ;)

Yes. But no more than the rest of us... ;)

DizzyKungFu
12-23-2008, 08:56 AM
I'm new to the CF, but I've definitely become a believer since getting my v4.1! To echo the rest, it's hard to find room for improvement. However, I will say that it would be nice to be able to load more sound banks onto a single microSD card. The vast majority of the card's space is unused, so I assume there is some CF limitation that is the issue here?

Novastar
12-23-2008, 11:22 AM
That's a really good point... on anything like a 256mb card or > ... you have a ton of unused space.

Although I imagine other things could be stored there if you like.

Myself, I just put really large files in the first place (long hum sounds that don't repeat very much... long "menu" background, etc.)... and also super long music tracks (sometimes "doubling up" for the track with 2+ songs).

It's possible that v5 won't have this limitation. In fact... when I was first thinking about my Ns5 board design... I wanted it to be able to handle as many clashes or swings as were put in a particular directory. Random number chosen from 1 to "how many files are there". So you could have 256 clashes... or 1. Up to you--within reason. :)

But... we'll see what Erv has planned. :cool:

Hasid Lafre
01-16-2009, 01:54 PM
Not even sure if this is the right place but I see this as a bug.

Ok this all started out with a discussion on if anyone was making a gundam beam saber style font, Then I got to wondering if newer fonts will work on older CF's.

I have a 2.5 and if someone made a font to work with 4.1 CF will it work on a 2.5?

Jay said he would try it and it worked by taking the older CF config files and the newer sound font and removed the extra font files that isn't required on the older CF like the extra blaster and force sounds. It worked but he is unable to enter the menu, it just beeps at him.

Is something being done wrong? card was formatted and such but its just not letting jay into the menu.

If your lost you can check the shoutbox history and see what we are talking about.

http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com/vbshout.php?do=archive

Jay-gon Jinn
01-16-2009, 02:51 PM
It may be the SD card, Hasid...let me try putting the defaults on it to be sure that isn't the issue...but the question is a good one...can newer fonts be used on older CF's by removing the extra files, suc as blaster2, blaster3, etc. and force2?

EDIT:
The default settings and fonts worke on the SD card....it's possible I was simply missing a file somewhere, too....I'm far from being an expert on the CF board.

killphil
01-16-2009, 04:27 PM
If you have Novastar's CD, you can get all the sounds preconfigured in any version of CF you have.
If you do not have the CD, what you can do, is load the soundfont you want(deleating extra's that the board cannot support), and then simply copy and paste your default config files from any of the default soundfonts you have to the new config file, and it should work like a charm.

Remember, do all this in a separate folder, then copy and paste the contents of the whole folder into the previously formatted SD card.

Hasid Lafre
01-16-2009, 04:50 PM
Thanks phil, I dont have the 40 or so bucks to spend on novas cd so I got to do things the hard way as usual.

killphil
01-16-2009, 04:58 PM
Remember, if you are loading a updated CF font with extra blasters or force, then you need to rename whatever force and blaster effect you keep to simply blaster.raw and force.raw instead of blaster3.raw or whatever the file is named.

Novastar
01-17-2009, 12:57 AM
Entering the menu can be different on older versions of CF.

Older versions = hold aux... wait... CF BEEPS... release aux, quickly depress it again... enter the menu

Newer versions = hold aux... wait... enter the menu

I don't remember when it was implemented. Definitely after v2.61, and certainly before v4.1.

killphil
01-17-2009, 01:40 AM
It may be the SD card, Hasid...let me try putting the defaults on it to be sure that isn't the issue...but the question is a good one...can newer fonts be used on older CF's by removing the extra files, suc as blaster2, blaster3, etc. and force2?

EDIT:
The default settings and fonts worke on the SD card....it's possible I was simply missing a file somewhere, too....I'm far from being an expert on the CF board. Maybe you accidently missed a menu.raw file when you copied it.

I did that once and had the same problem you described.

Novastar
01-17-2009, 04:50 PM
HEY. I just saw Jay-Gonn's edits, hahahahah!

Well... yeah, if you're MISSING a file--uh... that will mess things up. :)

If that is the case... here are the files that should be seen... for V2.5 in the "root" directory (that is... NOT the "bank" folders):

7 total objects

boot.raw
one.raw
two.raw
three.raw
four.raw
player.raw
menu.raw

That's it. v2.5 does *NOT* have six banks, nor does it have a "menu background" sound. You may be in the menu without knowing it, depending on what the "menu.raw" sound is.

LOL Hasid... the CD would really help you. But... I understand not having the money to get things.

Lord Maul
01-17-2009, 05:04 PM
I've hit a bit of a snag. I'm trying to format the SD card. I'm doing everything according to the manual, but when I hit ok then it pops up a message saying that the disk is "write protected"

I've got no idea what to do :confused:

EDIT: Weird, I took the micro sd out and put it back in and now it works again

killphil
01-17-2009, 06:44 PM
That's also happenned to me too. My solution was the same as yours, but IDK why it did it or how that fixed it. I've only ran across this problem once, and I've formatted CF SD cards a hundred times or more.

Novastar
01-18-2009, 04:03 AM
Make sure the little plastic slider (very very tiny on the SD) is not in the wrong position.

For those who remember write protection for "floppies" back in the 5.25" and 3.5" days... this is in some ways--similar.

The problem with some little SDs is... the slider is not some amazing piece of architecture, and after it getting "banged around" in a saber a zillion times, returning to the reader (to hook to PC), going back into CF, back into the saber enough times... sometimes the little slider freaks out. :)

I've had this happen as well, and... you sometimes just have to jiggle it, heheh

(although I don't know if this belongs here in the "CF bugs" section, heheh. In fact--this has nothing to do with CF at all really... :) )

erv
01-19-2009, 10:58 PM
Make sure the little plastic slider (very very tiny on the SD) is not in the wrong position.


correct, this happened to me only very recently, I got a loose micro SD adapter, the write protection slider was moving too freely. I ended gluing this one with cyanoacrylate :D

erv
02-13-2009, 06:56 AM
It's not really a bug but maybe a feature you'd like to see evolving : refering to the discussion about madhatter saber (10W ledengin, freaking blinking leds everywhere), some would like to have the aux flash control output activated during the WHOLE lockup, not during the initial blade clash.

I was thinking about having an additionnal parameter or re using an existing one to select the aux flash behavior during the lockup so that the user can still choose, then I'll make a 4.2 version of the firmware.

any thoughts about that ?
Erv'

Donnovan Sunrider
02-13-2009, 07:14 AM
Sounds good to me. I didn't realize it didn't do that already since I haven't gotten to the point of hooking up the board yet.

erv
02-24-2009, 10:48 PM
I thik today I'll have the time to build up the last feature discussed above (new parameter to have permanent aux flash during lockup).
I have a spare CF to test this in my bag, I'll post here and in the other thread as well as soon as it's done !
Erv'

Novastar
02-25-2009, 05:37 AM
Ooooh, that sounds great! :)

If you feel like it... while you're at it, you might try allowing the flicker/pulse settings to affect the powerup/down ramps as well... although that's really not a big deal.

To make this sound more clear... if you have a lot of flicker/pulse set for the saber mode... when you power it on, you still have a very smooth ramping (naturally)... but perhaps it could be told as a parameter to behave more like the "hum" stage.

I understand that upon FIRST initial powerup... this would be too dangerous to implement (since CF is figuring out the LED at this time)...

Malaki Skywalker
02-25-2009, 06:03 AM
That would mean the CF has nearly all the movie accurate features! How about a "random ignition" feature? 4 ignition sounds of choice (And like in the movie) Its a different one every time you ignite your saber :cool:

Thanks for the update Erv!

erv
02-25-2009, 11:38 AM
if V5 can afford a real time sound mixing (and not pre mixed sounds), then having multiple ignition sounds will be possible ! However, a few tricks in the pre mixing process can give pretty good results anyway, and then the random selection is just a set of 3 or 4 lines of code.

flicker during ignition : still difficult to do if you want to match the ignition sound duration. An override mode could be set though, like fixed duration for the ignition effect but with flicker.
Flickering is then tricky cause you still have to follow the ramp defined by brake and slope (2 parameters). Adding random could work but might not produce the exact flicker setup with the parameters of the configuration file. That's a start anyway, it's still better than a smooth ramp, then switching to flicker.
The best algorithm for this is the "drunk" one (ref to a max/msp object). You define a starting point and ending point and "walk drunk" : you'll end to the destination, but with various steps backward and forward.

Donnovan Sunrider
02-25-2009, 05:36 PM
Those would be really cool if they can be squeezed into the code. The multiple start and end sounds is a great idea particularly.

Novastar
02-26-2009, 06:20 AM
...An override mode could be set though, like fixed duration for the ignition effect but with flicker. ... ... ...
The best algorithm for this is the "drunk" one (ref to a max/msp object). You define a starting point and ending point and "walk drunk" : you'll end to the destination, but with various steps backward and forward.Exactly the way I was imagining it... that is... it doesn't have to PRECISELY match the flicker that the saber would behave as (during "hum" / non-motion)... but yes, if there *IS* flicker/glow present in a ramp on or off... it will likely blend better with a saber mode that is configured to produce these flickery features...

However... if the flicker/pulse was somehow more mild, the user could simply go for a more traditional smooth ramp... OR... we could have:

[power glow/flicker]

pwrgf = 0 ... ... traditional smooth ramping as in previous CFs...
pwrgf = 1 ... ... subtle, yet "interesting" flickering ramp... "buzzed", heheh
pwrgf = 2 ... ... volatile, very "wild" flickering ramp (possibly with a little glow)... "drunk as a skunk"

:) This way... for "violent" saber modes (such as for example Phoenix Pyre or Ancient)... setting #2 is good. The rest... you get the idea.

erv
03-03-2009, 04:55 AM
ok folks, you'll be glad to hear that I've finished 4.2 in the train this morning.
I implemented the flicker routine inside the power on section.
It remains compatible with instant on, and it's taking the real settings of the flicker as specified in the configuration file, in terms of flicker rate and depth. As you might imagine, the pulse effect isn't coded there cause it's not natural to have the luxeon pulsing up and down *inside* the ramp up effect, but it will start pulsing as soon as the power on sound is finished (except if instant on is set to 1).

I programmed it as an "alteration" of the ramp up effect, just like flickering is finally programmed during the normal use of the saber. A random value is *removed* from the smooth ramp computed value, in real time. Result is that the light is still increasing in power and ramping in the tube but with time gaps, a little bit like a diesel cold start : you depress the throttle, the RMP increases but not in a very linear way, sometimes it randomly falls out.

I'll try to picture that if I can put my hand on a board !
Erv'

Agash
03-03-2009, 09:54 AM
Sounds nice Erv` canīt wait to see it.
You also included that lockup feature thingy ?

erv
03-04-2009, 01:02 AM
yes I did !
testing the thing in a few moments, I have some free time this morning, and a bunch of CF to repair, so one of them will be the perfect candidate !

Agash
03-04-2009, 04:19 AM
Thanks erv. I appreciate that you took your not existing free time for such a support.

erv
03-04-2009, 05:40 AM
Thanks erv. I appreciate that you took your not existing free time for such a support.

lol,
went to the bank and asked for a free time loan that I'll refund over 25 years thanks to 26 hour long virtual days :rolleyes:

ok, everything works now ! Took me sometime to fine tune the ramp up routines, including the first ignition after power up for which target luxeon control is unknown. Now, whatever the way you start, you get flicker in the ramp up fx.
If you want to stick to a clean and smooth ignition fx, just select no flicker in the configuration file, and you'll end with smooth ignition ending with a static blade.

So in a nutshell the flicker settings you selected in the configuration file are applied to the ignition fx, more or less (I mean, the fx is visible but more subtle, since the light continues to increase in power, so it's more difficult to see the brightness gaps generated by the flicker engine).

I also found a new bug : if destination current can't be obtained (low batteries / high Vf luxeon like a lux V) AND quick on is selected AND it's the first startup, the ignition fx engine isn't lauching the hum sound after the poweron sound is played (silly case isn't it ?).
FIXED !

I'll try to make a demo of this tomorrow morning of this afternoon if I can speak to the camera (I have a BIG BIG cold)

Erv'

Novastar
03-04-2009, 06:28 AM
Awesome Erv! I can't wait to see that "flicker within the ramp on/off"... I personally think that will add quite a fun touch. :)

And... holy heck--that is the *WEIRDEST*, most obscure CF bug ever. I can't imagine anyone running into that except YOU, heheh...

Good job "Bug Hunter" (hahahahah, from Prince LED)

erv
03-04-2009, 07:21 AM
fortunatly, I didn't need my carpenter hammer to fix this one :mrgreen:

FYI (all) : I've updated the first page of this topic to keep the list of bugs & fixes.

Novastar
03-04-2009, 08:39 AM
fortunatly, I didn't need my carpenter hammer to fix this one :mrgreen:hahhahahahah (for those that didn't see Erv in action with his hammer... click (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnOemNIHyJI&fmt=18). If you have seen "Prince LED"... don't bother, heheh)

BlackDOG
03-07-2009, 07:18 PM
hahhahahahah (for those that didn't see Erv in action with his hammer... click (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnOemNIHyJI&fmt=18). If you have seen "Prince LED"... don't bother, heheh)




two things.......

I have the Prince LED song in my head agian...took two weeks to get it out before.....its like tribbles, that song.......:)


I laughed my head off when I saw Erv' debugging and when I thought of that agian, shortly before the song invasion, I laughed out loud.


Many thanks Novastar!

bd

Kant Lavar
03-08-2009, 06:21 AM
I swear, one of these days I'm gonna get my hands on a CF4...

Though I bet it'll be around the time CF5 comes out. *headdesk*

Hasid Lafre
03-08-2009, 12:32 PM
What happened to your one cf you had? Iam waiting to get mine back from being upgraded.

Kant Lavar
03-08-2009, 02:12 PM
Well, I still haven't tried to do much with it since I screwed it up, so I could build experience with the US2. Currently, all my saber stuff is in the hands of the United States Postal Service, en route to Fort Bliss where it will await my return next month.

erv
04-29-2009, 07:31 AM
ok folks, new bug found. Another tricky one.

Madcow mentionned he had some sort of pitch down fx / sound slowing down a bit but only with long sounds and only in the last second of the sound.
I'm currently trying to improve the quality of the CF sound as well as my other boards since they are sharing the same audio pipeline / engine.

It took me like 3-4 hours of debugging but I finally found indeed why I had this problem, due to non constant timing in interrupt processing. I also found a few other timing problem leading to delayed samples, but only on 1 or 2 consecutive samples, it's almost not audible. However, it tends to create harmonics when you play a quite pure, sinewave like hum sound for instance.

This should be fixed in 4.2 / 4.3.
I know that you guys are starving of CF, but please be sure I'm working hard to complete my shop and go back to production (and be your soldering slave once again !)

Erv'

Barmic Rin
04-29-2009, 10:18 AM
Solder faster, Minion!!!!! LOL!!!!

I wanna get my hands on one, much as I love my 1.2, it's time for an upgrade!!!

Once the bugs are fixed, i'll grab one if I can get onto your site in time...

Revan
05-07-2009, 11:16 AM
(sigh.) i just hope i can get my hand on one before i ship out for the Navy Seals...

DarthHideous
05-09-2009, 07:17 PM
I have 3 sabers waiting on sound. However, I am also waiting on money. I have resorted to temporarily wiring them for illumination until I get the boards. Without sound, a saber is just a flashlight. Am I right? Since I am fairly new here, I first noticed the US boards, however, the more I read/see the more I think the CF is a better board. Especially with the SD chip.

killphil
06-20-2009, 09:03 PM
OK, here's the problem. I have a CF 4.0. It's been installed in the same saber for nearly a year now. Only minor things that are easily remedied, but all in all, it's been working great.

Few days ago, I swapped out a couple fonts, double checked all my files and configs, all was alright. I've played around with it for a few more days until the battery indicator started flashing tonight.

I recharged it, and once it was done, I took it and did my usual spiinuing it in the living room, activating the clash by hitting it against the couch and recliner Nothing too hard or oput of the ordinary, and suddenly the board freezes up on me while doing a clash. The blade is still on but no response from the buttons. Then it just reboots itself.

I rebooted the saber again any way and tried it out. Same thing happens. I went thru all the fonts, some have instant on, while others don't. All fonts are doing this to me if a trigger the clash. It usually freezes up after about the 2nd to 4th clash. Not hitting it that hard either, and I know I've hit it harder than that in the past, so what gives?

I just got done reformatting my carrd about 10 times and am about to knit the thing back together again and see if this does the trick.

Anybody know what I'm talking about and what the problem could most likely be? Hope someone can chime in on this. Thanks.

Obi-Dar Ke-Gnomie
06-20-2009, 09:56 PM
Mine did the same thing, but it happened when I dropped the saber. (Imagine my horror.) I think the mini-SD card was making poor contact in it's holder.

Make sure the contacts on the card are clean. You may have got oil from your hands on them. Or, the problem may be in the holder. Try inserting and removing the card several times to "freshen up" the contact surfaces. Make sure the kill plug is in when you do this.

killphil
06-21-2009, 12:47 AM
Thanks for the advice. I found a small piece of contamination around the SD card holder. I also cleaned up my switch wiring, and so far, so good.

Novastar
06-21-2009, 01:53 AM
Good points, guys. :)

Since v4.x has the mini-SD holder... it's as yet not "super duper" well-tested as to what happens if the SD jiggles around. Those little things are TINY, and since they (apparently) work with a little bit of "spring action"... it can be tough to know if they are seated right or if they will stay.

Personally... I only have v2 and v3 style CF ("normal" SD cards), and those are held by pressure. Plus... I add a little electrical tape once the thing is ready to go, and I tape the SD down. When I need to replace/change fonts, I can easily peel off the tape.

I have indeed had problems with the SDs slipping out, but very few, and it's always been when I did not "buckle 'em down". :)

Logan Cade
06-21-2009, 08:59 AM
I bought (6) 1 gb Kingston Micro SD cards off Ebay for quick swapping and Iíve had some similar troubles with them. Seems theyíre manufactured in different places, the ones made in Taiwan work flawlessly but the ones made in Japan have had issues like you were mentioning. I too believe itís in the contacts because when it acts up and I get the beeping and the blade turning on by its self, itís like itís not reading the files correctly.

Iím trying different things, contact cleaners and tightening up the housing, but so far nothing concrete.

Also watch that nothing is coming in contact and pushing on the SD card while itís in the hilt. I have mine attached to a sled with the battery pack and the extra wiring in front as I push the sled in might be part of my trouble at times.

killphil
06-21-2009, 10:12 AM
Good points, guys. :)

Since v4.x has the mini-SD holder... it's as yet not "super duper" well-tested as to what happens if the SD jiggles around. Those little things are TINY, and since they (apparently) work with a little bit of "spring action"... it can be tough to know if they are seated right or if they will stay.

Personally... I only have v2 and v3 style CF ("normal" SD cards), and those are held by pressure. Plus... I add a little electrical tape once the thing is ready to go, and I tape the SD down. When I need to replace/change fonts, I can easily peel off the tape.

I have indeed had problems with the SDs slipping out, but very few, and it's always been when I did not "buckle 'em down". :)
I did the exact same thing when I had a saber with CF 3.0. It was always coming loose when I would whack it a little to hard, once I secured it with electrical tape, that problem ceased. The problem with these smaller ones, is there is really no room to tape it down. I've tried it, and the tape always seems to come loose.

To be fair, though, I've had this saber for almost a year now (Thanks, Madcow), and this is the 1st major issue I've had with it.

The funny thing is, that when the SD card would loose contact on 3.0, the power would just cut off. What I experienced last night, was the saber freezing on me. Whatever led was blinking on the bargraph would stay lit, as well as the blade. It would stay frozen for about 2-3 seconds, power would cut off completely, and then the whole thing would reboot.

It would only do this when I made impact to get a clash.

Of course, like I said, I found contamination on the outside of the SD card holder, and it was sorta nestled inside the SD card holder via one of the slots on the bottom. So this might not have been an issue with the SD card loosing contact.

I consider all this valuable, though, as it gives me one more resource to trouble shoot should I run into future problems.

Appreciate the insight, guys.

Madcow
06-21-2009, 11:47 AM
I've done a number of CF 4.X sabers now. Only once did I find one that had an issue with the SD card staying in tight.
What I did was - apply a small square of Tuck tape to the back side of tha card (opposite side from the contacts. Tuck tape is really thin and super adhesive. That made the card fit in a little tighter.


Also - if the micro SD card is not a quality one - it may have trouble keeping up with a fast series of clashes. Then it would crash the saber and re-boot. (Correct me if I'm wrong Erv).


MC

erv
06-24-2009, 12:15 AM
I've done a number of CF 4.X sabers now. Only once did I find one that had an issue with the SD card staying in tight.
What I did was - apply a small square of Tuck tape to the back side of tha card (opposite side from the contacts. Tuck tape is really thin and super adhesive. That made the card fit in a little tighter.

Also - if the micro SD card is not a quality one - it may have trouble keeping up with a fast series of clashes. Then it would crash the saber and re-boot. (Correct me if I'm wrong Erv).
MC

A few points :
- yes, indeed, any holder is meant to have the card inserted in and out, hence contacts are little spring effect pins. On regular SD cards, those little pieces of metal are big and have inertia, with heavy shocks then can temporary loose contact with the card. The pads on the SD are large enough so that contact can't be lost if the card jiggles left / right. Nova is right, what I usually did was to add a bit of tape on the card to make it thicker on the top side (opposite of contact side) to make sure it can move backward, and applies more pressure on the contacts, hence reducing the mechanical dynamic range.

- micro SD : the fact it's a locked tray makes the thing even more reliable, cause some pressure is directly applies on the card, however contacts are smaller. Some chinese cards aren't fully compliant with the thickness / mechanical specs of the micro SD. On my side, I have to admit that on the ton of uSD holder I got and soldered, some of them might not be equal in terms of quality. Like MC said, a bit of thin, clear tape on the top side when you're done with configuration will help ensuring the SD can't move. Since the card itself is really small, it has REALLY LOW inertia, so kinetic energy can't really make it move, unless if it's loose. The worst situation is getting the saber falling on the pommel with the SD butt on the pommel side, it will tend to force the uSD out.

I try to keep going with quality, Japan made uSD cards (kingston). Most of them are really good, I got a few odds, and really few born dead. The main problem is I think the regular sized SD adapter, it's really cheap. I don't recommend using it in a CF using regular SDs unless you feel insertion of the uSD in the adapter is tight and strong, then you add the piece of tape on top to make it even thicker.

in extreme cases, soldering the uSD is also an option :rolleyes:

- rebooting board : that's not a bug, it's just that if contact is lost with the card, a watchdog ends up rebooting the board so that you're not stuck for ever like "could we stop the demo so that I disassemble the saber please ?".
That's also very practicle when you work on configurations, I often hot remove the SD, it stops and reboots after one sec, waiting for the SD insertion, then I put the updated card back in the holder and it starts immediatly.

Erv'

Novastar
08-21-2009, 06:09 PM
Ok... this is a small, "unofficial" bug that Don Close, Erv and myself have found with (at least) v4.x of CF.

NOTE: This bug is *NOT* part of the new run of CF... it will be repaired with the new release.

* You have CF v4.0 or v4.1 (possibly older versions as well)
* You are doing some kind of "flash on clash" setup. In other words, you probably have an RGB or LEDEngin or Rebel, or some kind of multiple die setup
* While running the saber in any sound mode... you trigger the clash (by whacking the saber, duh)...
* BEFORE the clash (and "flash") has completed, you power off the saber
* The clash circuit LED will remain on

* Turning the saber "on" again will reset things

Now... this is pretty difficult to accomplish unless you accidentally turn off your saber during a lot of spinning and smashing, swinging and clashing. It's nearly impossible to achieve this error with APOP functioning... and even more difficult to achieve if your switches are recessed.

Anyhow. It's being resolved for the upcoming release of CF v4.x. :)

--Nova

erv
08-22-2009, 04:35 AM
yeah, so now officially it has to be called 4.3 lol
already fixed
thanks nova !

Mcich
09-15-2009, 02:01 AM
ok been changing the LED setup on my CF 4 to have the led's in my MPP clamp scrolling in different patterns, now the first time I altered the led's it was fine, after browsing out through the PDF manual for the CF I noticed that it stated to format the card before altering the sound fonts.

ok so I still have no speaker but I wanted to get the led's all setup for when she gets mended, so I format the micro SD and reinstall all my fonts and their proper config files, ep1 config etc etc. and rename them config, install them in the correct folder and whatnot.

now when I take out the kill key no idle blinkies, when I power on no scrolling blinkies, the main led shimmers for a second then just hits a steady on glow, no pulsing or anything, I turn it off and the main led still stays on.

what is throwing me for a loop is that before I formatted the SD card it ran perfect, anyone have any suggestions on how to get it going again?

erv
09-15-2009, 02:24 AM
you need to format only if you plan to change the sounds, if you're just editing the configuration files, leds.txt etc you don't need to.

for your problem,
format the card in FAT16, and copy back in shot the default package to see if it works.

Mcich
09-15-2009, 02:28 AM
alas the only format options I get are fat or fat32 :(

forgot to mention, I am also changing the sound fonts to have an episode 1 - 6 SD card

ok formatted, added the default files, now its gone weird lol

the saber is on when the button is off, when the saber is off the blinkie is flashing but the power and aux button are ignited as well

edit time:

ok I reformatted using FAT then installed the fonts I intend to use, the LED's didnt blink, but the saber did power up and have the effects in the clamp I wanted, I changed my LED configs back round to idlepulsing=1 and they are running again, strange.

well least its working, all I need now is my speaker soldered back on and thats it!!! cant wait till payday so I can send her off to be mended :D

Novastar
09-15-2009, 02:55 AM
UH-OH!!!

Just as an FYI:

* The .PDF manuals all read "idleflashing" (all versions)
* The actual default config files read "idlePULSING" (from v2.5 forward!!)
* I think Erv programmed it "idlePULSING" ... in fact, I'm 98% sure of it
* Sooo... I'll test that for 100%... and if so... it's:

... never mind, Novastar got it "wrong-right" the FIRST time!!!

:D :D :D

Mcich
09-15-2009, 03:19 AM
we all make mistakes, lol.

cant wait to get this thing speakered up, Im goin nuts!!!

erv
09-15-2009, 07:13 AM
FAT = FAT16

default package has switch=0 so saber starts immediatly if the activation pad isn't grounded or tied to a momentary.
Now that works, you can start copying back your config.txt to get the saber working like before.

Novastar
09-18-2009, 10:56 PM
FAT = FAT16

default package has switch=0 so saber starts immediatly if the activation pad isn't grounded or tied to a momentary.
Now that works, you can start copying back your config.txt to get the saber working like before.For the record, all of this is covered in my CD video tutorials (NSCFCD#1), Mcich. :)

killphil
10-10-2009, 06:47 PM
I take it this is the de-facto troubleshooting guide for CF4? If so, I was hoping some of you might help me on this problem I've been seeing for quite a while now.

Have any of you ever gotten a complete power shut down while dueling? I'm talking mild-moderate dueling. No crazy stuff.

The short happens in both my CFs and it seems to be a pressure thing. A strong whack from another saber will make it crash or short or whatever. It always boots back up fine, sometimes requiring a kill key, other time not. It's so very annoying when it keeps happening.

Any of that sound familiar in anyway? If so, what would be the most likely (if there even is one) cause.

Any tips or advice would be great.

I can provide more specific info if needed.

Thanks -Phil

erv
10-10-2009, 11:52 PM
I take it this is the de-facto troubleshooting guide for CF4? If so, I was hoping some of you might help me on this problem I've been seeing for quite a while now.

Have any of you ever gotten a complete power shut down while dueling? I'm talking mild-moderate dueling. No crazy stuff.

The short happens in both my CFs and it seems to be a pressure thing. A strong whack from another saber will make it crash or short or whatever. It always boots back up fine, sometimes requiring a kill key, other time not. It's so very annoying when it keeps happening.
Thanks -Phil

does it "freeze" with the luxeon staying on, then no sound, and reboot after one second ?

killphil
10-11-2009, 12:50 PM
Yep, that's it right there.

Though sometimes, like I noted, it doesn't come back on so I have to reboot with the kill key, but yeah, that's basically it.

erv
10-11-2009, 02:04 PM
then it's because the SD card isn't sitting properly in the sd holder. You might add a piece of clear tape on the top of the card to make it thicker.
Of course, if your CF isn't installed in a craddle or a chassis and it's moving in the saber, nothing can be done (holding the board by a foam sandwich isn't an option neither)

killphil
10-11-2009, 02:51 PM
I don't have a cradle per say, but in one saber, the board is secured on top of the battery pack for a very snug fit. The board has been reinforced with mylar strips on either side of the CF to prevent any metal contact.

On the other, there is a length of poly C tube insulating the inner hilt, and the board has just enough clearance to fit tightly, but it won't move at all once properly secured.

So just a piece of scotch tape or something? I'll give that a shot and see if that makes a difference.

Thanks for the help, Erv.

beggarsoutpost
10-11-2009, 03:33 PM
How about this... I have my 4.2 setup with a pretty extreme pitch shift and when I turn it on the sound takes about 2 secs to orient to the correct position... instead of turning on and being instantly aware of what direction it's pointed in....

Novastar
10-11-2009, 04:17 PM
So just a piece of scotch tape or something? I'll give that a shot and see if that makes a difference. Thanks for the help, Erv.Phil, you can also use a little piece of electrical tape to hold the SD card onto the frame (until you wish to remove to change fonts, and then replace)... or... you can put a little tape on the SD's back itself... so that it's a tighter fit... as Erv suggests.

Or you could just glue in the SD. JUST KIDDING EVERYONE, any n00b$ don't listen to that!!!! hahahha... :D

Beggars-O... if the poweron sound is taking a few moments... the "hum" sound hasn't even started yet, and so the pitch shifting may not occur.

Also... I wanna say... TWO SECONDS is not long to wait for this little option, hehehe :D

killphil
10-11-2009, 04:59 PM
@Nova-

I tried the tape on the back of the card itself. It doesn't seem like a tighter fit. In fact, it seems to have a tendency to bounce back out (via spring tension) much easier.

I did you tip on taping the SD card down on earlier versions, but these 4.whatevers don't have enough space to let the tape gather any grip.

If you have a method for these Micro cards that I haven't thought of (taping it down), please post a pic if you can, because everytime I try to tape it down, the tape just pops loose due to little to no viable space to tape it down (mostly trying to go over the board, it stays on just fine on the under side).

erv
10-11-2009, 11:29 PM
I'm using clear tape on the top of the micro SD card. On the side where the capacity / brand is written. All over the surface, then I cut out the edges. I layer is fine. Electrical tape with be too thick for the micro SDs.

Novastar
10-12-2009, 04:37 AM
Oh shoot, sorry Phil & Erv... here I am with my CFs... all with "NORMAL" SDs (not micro)... duh. Sorry for that, lol...

killphil
10-12-2009, 01:48 PM
I'm using clear tape on the top of the micro SD card. On the side where the capacity / brand is written. All over the surface, then I cut out the edges. I layer is fine. Electrical tape with be too thick for the micro SDs.


I'm just trying to visualize this here. You said at the top, but then said all over the surface. I'm not clear if by "top" you meant the upper part of the card, or if you meant the outer side of the card in it's entirety. Do you encompass the top half of the card with tape, or does that whole side get the treatment?

Hope that made sense...

killphil
11-19-2009, 07:28 PM
Sorry for the double post, but I have another issue. When I recharge my saber, weird things have been happening.

When I plug in the charger, it doesn't always turn all the way off. When I remove the charging plug, the idle LED blinks very fast, much faster than usual. Other times, nothing happens (no lights, no nothing. One time I removed it and it made the most awful beeping noise. Sometimes the luxeon is partly on when I remove the charger.

When I reset the saber with the kill key it's always fine, but I'm sort of nervous to charge it, as I've never experienced this before.

erv
11-19-2009, 10:12 PM
that's because your recharge port isn't working well OR because the male charger plug isn't matching the recharge port.
Getting the charger voltage to the CF can damage it, so you need to fix this before continue to recharge or you'll fry something.

killphil
11-19-2009, 10:25 PM
I would guess that it is the recharge port, since I've been using it with no problems for awhile now, until tonight, that is...

I'll just buy a new one from here along with the matching charging plug.

Novastar
11-21-2009, 05:23 AM
Phil... don't feel badly--this has happened to me before with certain charge ports/charge pins... and it does suck.

I want to say: the charge ports/pins I was using during this time were NOT bought from here @ TCSS, so... I don't want anyone to think that they came from here.

I do have a feeling that buying "one port here" and "another pin there" and all that jazz (which CAN be natural when you buy saber electronics/parts/doohickies over a period of TIME)... can basically make a bad mix & match.

Even today... I notice some ports of mine that are "finicky". I've replaced one of them, but it didn't solve it. :confused: :confused: So... then I replaced the charge plug... and that did the trick.

I don't know WHY, but... here we are today. Your results may vary. Slippery when wet. Caution: contents will be hot when removed from oven... :)

The only last bit of advice I could give to any who are reading... take the charge + kill setup SERIOUSLY. If this little component isn't well taken care of, you risk all SORTS of heinous things. Grounding to the hilt is ugly... and having CF get voltage from the charger for a long period of time--can be catastrophic (as Erv says).

killphil
11-30-2009, 02:20 PM
OK, here's an update:

I ordered the recharge port and matching plug here at TCSS.

It worked just fine when I 1st wired it all up.

By that, I mean, the plug (independent from the charger) worked just as well as the kill key. Plug it in, power is instantly off. Remove it, and it boots up normally.

When I went to attach the plug to my charger and start charging the saber, the thing got finicky again. When I remove the plug (attached to the charger now), most times it will not produce the boot sound, the idle LED blinks. When I hit the power switch, the idle LED stops flashing for a few seconds, then the saber reboots.

Now if I slowly (very slowly) remove the charging plug, then it does indeed behave normal. I do this a few times, and then the recharge plug (now unattached to the charger) will work as well as before.

Another symptom is when I insert the plug (attached to the charger), it makes alot of pops and clicks from the speaker while I am inserting it into the recharge port.

The last thing of note, I am certain that the saber was low on battery life, hence the low battery indicator was flashing when I last used it. I rewired the new recharge port EXACTLY like the old one, but I do not seem to get the low battery indicator.

Sorry for the long winded post, but this is quite weird and I have never experienced anything like this.

Is it possible that the problem could be the charger itself?






Edit: it would appear that the charger isn't the issue. I plugged in my other CF saber, and this one is behaving with absolutely no issues. Completely normal.

So, to re-iterate:

1. New recharge port and matching plug wired identical to the last one., so that can't be the issue.

2. Charger works normally on my other saber. Can't be the charger.

I could try taking a video and demonstrating the problem, since I am not entirely certain I am explaining myself clearly. :End edit





2nd edit: On a whim, I decided to try it once again since my red saber was charging with no problems. Switched over to the offending saber once again....and it's perfectly normal now. I've unplugged it no less than 10 times at random intervals and all is well.............


.....what the hell is this?

Just hope it stays this way :End 2nd edit

Novastar
11-30-2009, 11:32 PM
Phil--I told you: the way some ports + plugs behave can be finicky. :rolleyes:

As to the way the "low batt" indicator behaves from one version of CF to the next... well, that can depend on the "lowbatt" (or is it lbatt) configuration parameter... the LED's fwd voltage... other components that draw energy during usage... and the battery cell setup in general.

Now keep in mind--I NEVER bother with the lowbatt indicator and parameter--some people understand from many of my previous posts that I feel it is completely irrelevant and pointless (although my perspective is of the MINORITY in this regard).

Still... CF is generally using the lowbatt parameter to get an idea of "when to go off". Obviously, if you have a 9.6v setup with an LED that only requires ~4v... you may never reach a point where the light is able to go off--the saber will simply "go dead" or start behaving in a berserk fashion BEFORE the voltage is able to drop down to a point which makes CF think the cells are low.

That's one very generalized example.

Then you have a Li-Ion setup. Oh joy, yet ANOTHER factor coming into play. Here, we have the Li-Ions under control of the PCB. A 7.4v pack will NEVER fall below 6v and continue to allow current draw. The PCB will trip, and the juice will be cut off.

Additionally with Li-Ion cells... you have your "flat" discharge curve. In other words, Li-Ions tend to maintain voltage throughout a discharge cycle... and only drop in voltage "significantly" near maybe the very very last minutes of the charge. Which means--if you set the parameter correctly with config.txt--you MIGHT see the battery low indicator start flashing like 5 minutes before the thing croaks, lol.

In the past, it's been pretty tough to get CF to "behave properly" with the low battery indicator when you're using Li-Ion cells. I don't remember what Erv did to newer versions of the code (v3.x?? v4), but I think he made some alterations.

Ultimately--I'll just say what I've always said... you know you're outta battery juice... .... when it's gone. When the saber stops working... it's over. If you're using Alkalines or Ni-Mh and the saber starts dimming really badly... it's over.

WHY people need to know if their saber is *about* to die... I'll never know. Even if you have precognition with it... you STILL have to take the time to recharge the cells (which is rarely <2 hours minimum)... and even if you have alkaline cells to swap out--what difference does it make if you swap them out NOW... or 3-5 minutes later when you "start seeing signs" that the cells are losing charge?

To me... ALL devices have a built-in "low battery indicator"... THEY STOP WORKING. :) LOL :lol:

erv
12-01-2009, 01:09 AM
from what I read in your previous post, if you have some pops and clicks sounds when you plug the charger, then it means that the board is *powered* when you charge.
So again, it's because you have an isolation problem somewhere, possibly the led backplate, the led soldering joints touching the blade mount.

The fact the board doesn't boot properly is normal in this case : it's partially powered by the charger, so when you remove the charger plug, it doesn't reboot properly, and will crash.

so, something is not properly wired in the saber. Maybe you answered that before but do you have the luxeon backplate isolated from the rest of the saber ?

Rhyen Skytracker
12-01-2009, 09:10 AM
One reason I can see to use the power level indicator is if you are doing a demonstration and you see the batteries are getting low then you will need to rush the demo to finish before the saber dies or at least prepare the audience to take a break while you change the batteries out. Having that extra 3 - 5 minutes could make you look more professional by not having a saber die on you. That is the main reason I can think of that would make the PLI very useful.

erv
12-01-2009, 09:30 AM
If it's not wired on my hilt, I double check using my keychain PLI

http://www.plecterlabs.com/catalog/article_info.php?articles_id=73&language=en

one of my customer also uses the low battery LED on some sabers in which he installed non protected li-ion cells (that was long ago), the begining of the blinking indicates when he should stop using the saber.

Rhyen Skytracker
12-01-2009, 09:36 AM
Very nice Erv. I like it.

Santa, can I have one of Erv's keychain PLI's? hint.....hint.....hehe

erv
12-01-2009, 10:25 AM
I'm planning to redesign the PLI and make more next year :-)

FenderBender
12-01-2009, 11:14 AM
They ARE very nice;)

killphil
12-01-2009, 11:32 AM
from what I read in your previous post, if you have some pops and clicks sounds when you plug the charger, then it means that the board is *powered* when you charge.
So again, it's because you have an isolation problem somewhere, possibly the led backplate, the led soldering joints touching the blade mount.

The fact the board doesn't boot properly is normal in this case : it's partially powered by the charger, so when you remove the charger plug, it doesn't reboot properly, and will crash.

so, something is not properly wired in the saber. Maybe you answered that before but do you have the luxeon backplate isolated from the rest of the saber ?

I'm not sure what you mean by LED backplate. Is it the underside of the star that is mounted to the heatsink?

All yo0ur assesment has been correct. Many times, the saber continued to function while it was plugged into the recharger.

Though, like I mentioned in my 3rd edit, after completing the procedures I listed above, I was able to charge the saber completely normally, and was even able to top it off later in the night at the rate you'd expect it to charge (both for the initial charge *3-4 hours* and the top off charge *around an hour or so*).

@ Nova, This time I purposefully used a matching port and plug. Not mis-matched at all. Also, I'm using a 4.8 2700 NiMH pack, not a Li-Ion. Sorry for not mentioning that.

@ Rhyen, The low batt ind is usefull regardess of it's use. It's just a good reminder that you need to charge your saber.

erv
12-01-2009, 11:47 AM
yes the luxeon backplate is behind the led star PCB. Is it isolated with cooltape ? Not talking of thermal grease / compound.

if the saber continues to work with the charger plugged, you have a ground path somewhere, or the recharge port isn't properly wired (batt negative and board negative inverted). Or the speaker is touching somewhere.

On another note, if you power the board at the same time you charge the battery pack, the charger probably won't see the delta peak and will never end charging the batteries, hence destroying the pack, especially ni-mh which are not like li-ion with pcb protection.

what's the led color ?
Erv'

killphil
12-01-2009, 12:10 PM
It's a green luxeon Rebel mounted on a star.

I have never attempted to power the board while charging it. It remained powered on it's own. I only repowered it when I removed the charging plug and I got no boot sound. Only a flashing idle LED. When I hit the power button (charger plug removed at this point), then the saber kills for a few seconds and reboots like normal....

..Though, it is behaving normally since I fixed it last night, though I can't really say how or why it was fixed.
Just kind of happened...

By speaker touching, you mean the solder joints on the speaker, correct?

I have the speaker completely isolated from any groundings.

I believe that the back of the star has a thermal paste. No tape.

My sabers have been running on this setup for about a year and a half now with no issues, until now or course. My red saber has never had this issue, and I've owned it longer than this green one.

Sunrider
12-01-2009, 05:48 PM
You might try the old continuity tester on beep & move it around to find an inter mitten.;)

Novastar
12-01-2009, 08:33 PM
Phil... (and all!)... I *LITERALLY* just somehow caught this disease, lol... in other words... yup, very suddenly--my Red Rebel Flange III saber (RRW) has suddenly done this as well.

However, when I've noted this in the past, using a non-conductive washer on the recharge port between the hilt itself and the nut that holds the port down (on the 2.1mm port at least).... can solve the problem.

In a nutshell--try a rubber washer! It can help.

As to "matching" ports and plugs... sometimes THAT doesn't even work. Again, they can be finicky no matter what. That's what I'VE found. It gets even worse with kill plugs, since they are generally hand-made and not "machined to spec". :)

erv
12-02-2009, 12:43 AM
That's not because it has worked so far that everything is good.
Thermal paste tends to be isolating at the begining when it's pasty and creates some thickness between the backplate the and holder. Then with heat, it liquifies and problem appears. That's why I've kept saying for years the led has to be isolated with thermal tape.

As for nova's saber, and the isolating washers, reason was the very same, it's just that fixing wasn't at the right place (sorry nova :mrgreen:). Flange red had... a red luxeon which are known to have a real isolation failure between the backplate and the led itself. I'm not totally sure, but I think I put cool tape on the Amber Amber White setup I wired and sent back, but I can't guaranty the RRW is isolated.

The recharge port sleeve is a the ground when you insert the charger, means that the whole hilt is at the ground. And that's ok. What is not ok is having a GROUND PATH from another spot of the hilt to the electronics, for instance thru the luxeon. Board's negative IS cut in the recharge port, BUT find its way to the board thru the luxeon, and can fry the board.

Isolating the recharge port sort of fixes the problem since it's isolating the thing from the hilt, but the problem is somewhere else.
I use cool tape and build a chassis each time I build a saber and I never have this sort of problem. I experienced it only once, that's when I built my first commission saber with an amber led.
http://www.plecterlabs.com/images/gallery/IllBeatsSaber009.jpg

I believe that if you try to charge the saber without the pommel or by removing the recharge port so that it doesn't touch the hilt anymore, the problem will disapear.
Try also by removing the blade holder and get the led out of the hilt, still wired to the board but not touching the hilt.
Try now with the recharge port / pommel in place. If problem isn't there, it's the led + hilt.

As for nova / machined killkey : custom machined ones are great unless a n00b machinist like Erwie Malmschmuck machines them. Back in 2006 - 2007. My bad, I had centering troubles when machining those little piece of plastic, so the center hole isn't perfectly centered.
Add to that the fact there *IS* some ID differences between recharge ports (that's another side of the problem). TCSS ones seemed to be tigher, the one I got slightly larger (or the opposite).

Novastar
12-02-2009, 01:52 AM
To be perfectly honest too... these past few posts regarding the recharge ports... are *NOT* bugs concerning CF. Erv is telling it like it is... it is indeed a grounding issue.

I've found it to be a common thing too--especially with the 2.1mm setups.

Hmm... all this being said, I used to use a "stereo jack" system which was NOT ideal as a port... but very ideal in that you could cut BOTH + and - ... so... that is a thought there.

The point being... ok--let's say ONE of the lines is shorting to ground... well with the other cut... still no power can flow. I guess though if BOTH short to ground... that could be worse, lol...

So, whatever the case--the lesson for all who are reading = do your very best to:

* Isolate your LED from the heatsink, and thus, the hilt (THERMAL TAPE!!!)
* Isolate your recharge port as best you can from the hilt (use rubber washers, and you might even "coat" the porthole with some paint that is non-conductive + coat the port itself (threaded portion) if possible. ANYTHING to get less contact with the hilt.
* Use a plastic-housed recharge port if possible (2.1mm ones are indeed metal, so... it can be tough!)

Hard to accomplish the last two I list there... believe me, I know.

killphil
12-02-2009, 02:36 PM
Yeah, you were right, Erv. My "fix" was short lived.

I troubleshot just like you said to do. I removed pommel, heat-sink, and even the LED from the heat-sink, and nothing worked. I tested them all individually as well as every combination.

Only when I remove all the electronics from the hilt will it work properly.

I insulated the entirety of the inner diameter of the hilt with electrical tape, as well as the recharge port.

I checked all my wiring, patched up some suspect spots, and knit it all back up again. Seems fine now. Operative word is "seems". I'm not holding my breath.

Just put in an order for some thermal tape.

Sorry to hear you have had the same problem too, Nova. Very frustrating this is.

Novastar
12-02-2009, 10:56 PM
The thermal tape will help quite a bit--if not solve the problem.

The rubber gasket/ring/nut and/or insulation of the port (and the hilt) will be helpful as well.

When you get right down to it... MANY people will run into this issue over time, simply because "GND" (ground) here... is essentially the negative line in the case of sabers... whereas in certain other electronics... there is an actual "ground path" for current to flow--for many reasons.

This is precisely why newer (I say that in a relative sense) electrical outlets have 3 prongs: pos, neg... and ground. In this case, the ground plug is not 'truly just plain negative', as it will handle shorts or spikes in some cases, and transfer the current to... I don't know... something like a metal frame or ground wire or whatever. AWAY from the main circuits. This is partially why your home/apartment won't "explode" your devices if lightning strikes the structure!! :)

In the case of sabers... well... they are handheld... there really *IS* no such thing as "ground" (well... technically). :)

Anyhow... I believe these things WILL solve your problem Phil. Remember to "pay it forward" and help others as well. And to remind anyone that this is *NOT* a Crystal Focus bug. Far from it. It's just basic electronic current + physics of that current. :)

killphil
12-03-2009, 09:10 AM
Yeah, I hear you. I'm always ready to help with any limited knowledge I take in (still relatively new at this). I appreciate all the help I've gotten thus far.

And yeah, I see that it is not a bug in the board, though I didn't know that when I posted and didn't know where else to post it, short of starting a new topic.

Again, thanks for the help, and I'll keep you all updated when I get my tape in.

killphil
12-17-2009, 04:25 PM
There is never any end to this.

My red saber has an issue that I cannot troubleshoot.

I swear I'm doing nothing to these sabers. It just started happening yesterday for no apparent reason.

The saber is turned on, the sound gets more and more distorted until it stops completely. I turn it off and then the retraction sound comes back on. Menu sound is just fine.

I have replaced the speaker and also the speaker quick disconnect. Something with the board, maybe? Send it out to be upgraded?

erv
12-18-2009, 09:12 AM
recharge your saber...

on another note, this is a bug list for the CF firmware, not trouble shooting for built sabers. We're trying to update a list of known bugs, not to discuss individual issues that are not "bugs" per say.
thanks.

grayven
12-18-2009, 09:37 AM
I noticed what sounded like a bunch of killer bees in one of my fonts:confused:
Are these the bug's you are talking about.:p

So I noticed this new star wars mind control game. Any chances of you incorporating a mind control circuit to the CFv5? I would love to think about turning on my saber and it just happens. I would also like to see the CF turn my Lux V into a metal cutting laser.Think you up the LED output to about 1gigajoule?

Back to the bug thing. Can we seriously get read of the crabs? Every time I play with my saber I go though a week of scratching and watching them do a trapeze act using my eyebrows.

killphil
12-19-2009, 01:16 PM
recharge your saber...

on another note, this is a bug list for the CF firmware, not trouble shooting for built sabers. We're trying to update a list of known bugs, not to discuss individual issues that are not "bugs" per say.
thanks.

Understood, Erv, but that is not exactly the problem per say.

Should have probably mentioned that I have a low battery indicator that always goes off way before I've ever experienced anything like this.

If this is not the correct thread, would the council prefer that I start a new thread, or is there a more appropriate thread already in existence..?

Novastar
12-20-2009, 11:01 AM
A new thread would be correct.

This thread is basically for CF firmware bugs (although not explicitly shown in the thread).

As to the low-battery indicator going on well before your cells need charging... this is something that is detailed in the manual (I think from v2.x forward). The lbatt parameter helps determine when CF needs to start interpreting battery voltage/current as "low". It differs from cell to cell / battery solution to battery solution.

If you think about it--Erv's setup makes TONS of sense... plus--it's ingenious compared to any standard product. Why? Well--most products come with a SPECIFIC set of battery cells. Erv has to figure in for most EVERY type of cell... let alone a wide range of voltages.

But again, as for the bizarre sound issue--new thread = yes. :)