View Poll Results: This troubleshooting FAQ/Guide helped solve my CF issue...

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  • Yes! Thanks Erv, thanks Novastar!

    8 66.67%
  • No. Dude... you just bring on the *suck*, N-Star...

    4 33.33%
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Thread: Crystal Focus TROUBLESHOOTING thread...

  1. #1
    Council Member Novastar's Avatar
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    Default Crystal Focus TROUBLESHOOTING thread...

    Ok all... this is the UNOFFICIAL troubleshooting thread for CF.

    I'm doing this to not only help Erv but to help the CF users. Now read this carefully... this DOES NOT mean that you shouldn't ask Erv questions if need be! I realize most people are aware of this, but... if you are not... now you are!

    This is just a general "Order of Operations" and a decent guide to HELP you if some custom sound you have made... some custom configuration change you've made, or whatever... doesn't work, and renders CF inoperative!

    Crystal Focus Troubleshooting & Order of Operations
    A.K.A. "BUTTERING YOUR TOAST"...
    --------------------------------------------------------------------

    INITIAL WIRING -- if you get absolutely no sound, light or any indications that CF works from the beginning... check your wiring against the wiring guides, and test all solder joints. If you have a multi-meter, check to see that the batteries are indeed providing current to the board.

    POPS & CLICKS -- To some small and inocuous extent, this is NORMAL when using CF. BUT... if it is simply RIDICULOUS and you are getting pops & clicks during transitions and "weird" sounds left and right... you might need to check your sound font. Chances are, you are using a sound font that is not designed correctly. Try a default sound font to see if it corrects the problem.

    FORMATTING the SD -- ALWAYS format your SD card prior to copying any files over. Use the basic FAT table (FAT16, not FAT32). If you need to change a file... as a general rule: FORMAT THE SD CARD! Yes... format you must! ALWAYS format your SD card prior to any file changes, copies, editing or alterations! If possible, try to avoid Windows marking any files as "archive" or to be "indexed".

    NOTE: If you are using a Macintosh computer, you will need to contact technical support, or be certain to prevent "extra" files from being placed onto the SD card. This is being worked on, and if a solution exists that you know about... let us know!

    TOP ISSUES WITH UNRESPONSIVE CF SETUPS...

    #1 -- Configuration file/package mismatch!

    Remember to get the CORRECT set of configuration files!

    v1.x (somewhat rare now) requires 8-bit sounds, and there is only ONE "sound font", not 4 or 6!
    v2.x requires 16-bit sounds, the config.txt values are unique vs. v3, and it has FOUR sound bank folders.
    v3.x requires 16-bit sounds, the config.txt values are different from v2, and it has SIX sound bank folders. Additionally, there is a special file "menubgnd.raw" that allows menu background music.

    #2 -- Battery cell(s) are bad, low on energy, or have wiring problems!

    Test your battery cells and their wiring. It's an easy check, and batteries with issues can cause a MULTITUDE of "false symptoms" that will sometimes point you elsewhere when trying to troubleshoot. IF YOU HAVE CF PROBLEMS... TRY A 100% COMPLETELY DIFFERENT SET OF CELLS, or use a dedicated power supply. If you can rule the cells out... moving forward in the troubleshooting process makes sense!

    #3 -- Files copied improperly, amount of total files is incorrect!

    Copy all the files over to the SD card ALL AT ONCE. Doing things differently may cause problems.

    File amounts in each directory must be correct:
    15 (v2.x) or 16 (v3.x) objects (files) in the root directory.
    25 objects (files) in any given "bank" folder. That means all four banks in v2 and all six in v3.
    "Tracks" folder will vary depending on music you've added, but the minimum is 2 files, the maximum is 17.


    OTHER TROUBLESHOOTING TIPS...

    Check for "duplicate" entries in all config.txt and leds.txt files.
    Check for bad entries in setup files as well (such as switchpolarity=7 or something akin to this).
    Check for any invalid sound file details (such as being 8-bit instead of 16, or signed instead of UNsigned, etc.).
    Check to be certain that no config.txt file in any directory stores over 512KB of data. You should be well under the limit if you do not add a multitude of long comments/remarks.

    Novastar... you jerk! It still doesn't work!!!!

    If your sound packages/choices STILL fail after all of this... try the ENTIRE PACKAGE of default sound files obtained at plecterlabs.com one last time using no modifications of any kind other than adjusting the LED current if need be.

    A last ditch effort: Optimize/defragment your hard drive. Then try a fresh format of the SD and re-copy the default CF sound package. This is unlikely to be the cause of CF issues, but... it certainly can't hurt!

    If all of the above fails--NOW is a good time to contact PlecterLabs and mention that you have indeed "buttered your toast" at least once or twice... but you are still having problems!!

    At this point, Erv will know that you have TRIED adhering to how CF functions, but the problem is more severe.


    Telling him that you have "buttered your toast" will alert him to the fact that YES, you have a serious problem, and it's a lot less likely to be a simple "missing file" or battery voltage issue.

    Thanks, and I hope it helps!!!

    --Novastar
    ~~ GREYTALE NOVASTAR (Writer, Director, Choreographer, Sound Designer, Actor, Saber Designer, Vocal Artist)
    ~~ Balance of Power, EP I: "Into The Lion's Den"
    ~~ Balance of Power, EP II: "Ashes of The Phoenix"
    ~~ The Crystal Focus Sound CD Compendiums... are HERE! ~~
    ~~ Nova & Caine's Staged Combat System... comin' SOON!
    ~~ Crystal Focus Wiring Guide

  2. #2

    Default

    I love it !
    especially the code name "I've already buttered my toast".... like if your capture by the enemy and they want you to contact the CTU for an exchange of prisonner, this can be used as a secret phrase to indcate somethine

    my appologize to nova, he sent me a guide of this sort a while ago... still haven't got the time to make a version for my website (french + english)... => todo list

    thanks again, it's really helpful !
    Erv'
    Props Electronics
    http://www.plecterlabs.com

  3. #3
    Jedi Initiate Vazan Maceu's Avatar
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    Default

    Nice one Nova, really helpful... This way we´ve got plenty of reference literature to revise whenever our CFs act weird

  4. #4
    Council Member
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    eastern57's Avatar
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    Default

    <Bump> shouldn't be forgotten

  5. #5
    Council Member Novastar's Avatar
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    Default

    Although I could add many things to this guide... one more in particular has reared its ugly head enough to warrant attention (even despite it not being directly related to CF itself):

    CANON 2.1mm RECHARGE/KILL PORTS

    Sometimes, the port will arrive defective... whether you bought this from TCSS or anywhere else. Don't shoot the messenger (and don't shoot Tim!!!)... this is most likely at the factory level... which is pretty unable to detect until the port is in your hot little hands to test.

    WHY does it fail? Well... I've found that the little "kill switch pin" inside--NOT to be confused with the central, cylindrical pin--can simply be out of specification, glitchy, or just plain easy to damage with an improvised or machined plastic/PVC kill plug.

    Sometimes your kill plug will push the port's pin aside... and cut the circuit (correct!!)... and sometimes it won't! (incorrect!!! SUCK!!!)

    Sometimes your kill plug will push the port's pin DOWN and bend the thing... and this will mess the switch up permanently--resulting in an "always-killed" switch... no matter if you have the pin in or not.

    This isn't really a "CF" troubleshooting thing so much as it is the jacked up port/plug. And again... this has NOTHING to do with TCSS or whatever... it's just the quality of the machine-made port sometimes.

    I've bought five of these (from differing vendors) and 2 have been "bad" right from the start. Even the two that I'm using at present are sort of... well... glitchy! They sort of work correctly 75% of the time. This is even with their "charger head" counterpart... so it's NOT just the machining of a kill pin by us "single biz" folks... I'm talking about the charger PORT and saber JACK not always "meeting" properly.

    Anyhow... some of you already know this I think...
    ~~ GREYTALE NOVASTAR (Writer, Director, Choreographer, Sound Designer, Actor, Saber Designer, Vocal Artist)
    ~~ Balance of Power, EP I: "Into The Lion's Den"
    ~~ Balance of Power, EP II: "Ashes of The Phoenix"
    ~~ The Crystal Focus Sound CD Compendiums... are HERE! ~~
    ~~ Nova & Caine's Staged Combat System... comin' SOON!
    ~~ Crystal Focus Wiring Guide

  6. #6
    Jedi Master Kal El Rah's Avatar
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    Default

    Hey Novastar,
    I got 1 from TCSS and the plastic kill plug didn't fit so I had to sand it down, well it seems to work correctly with it now(Checked with a DMM), Still awaiting batteries so I can make my pack(7.2v-2100mah)should be just fine with the P4 I am also waiting for to install in my Modded Aniken ROTS. It should be an awesome set up with my CF 4.0,and I can't wait to show it off here.
    I'M JUST A SPY(LOL)

  7. #7

    Default CF 4 comes back on after shutting off.

    My CF 4 comes back on upon pressing the button to turn it off. It turns off and then just comes back on upon releasing the button. However it works fine for novastar only. It does this on all the other configurations. Any insight would be appreciated. Thanks

  8. #8
    Jedi Knight Malaki Skywalker's Avatar
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    Default

    What type of switch are you using? Sounds like your switch configuration is set for the wrong type of switch in your sound font configs


    I don't know...

    If your NEW to TCSS READ HERE!! >>>>> http://forums.thecustomsabershop.com...d=1#post108682

  9. #9

    Default Switch

    Quote Originally Posted by Malaki Skywalker View Post
    What type of switch are you using? Sounds like your switch configuration is set for the wrong type of switch in your sound font configs
    Many thanks for help! Tim made it for me. I have to ask him. Sounds like I would have to futs with the SD card. EeeK!

  10. #10

    Default

    by default, the switch parameter on each sound bank is set to 0, for a normally close switch, means that when the contact is open (or if nothing is soldered) the board starts the blade, this allows to test and enjoy the board immediatly after opening the box.
    The switch parameter is then generally set to either 1 (normally open switch, most of latching are like that) or 2 for a momentary one.
    Props Electronics
    http://www.plecterlabs.com

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