PDA

View Full Version : Pulling my hair out?



mikeh65
08-30-2008, 05:04 PM
Can anyone give some help with my Grinch board? Nothing seems to be working but the power led. I've looked over both sets of trouble shooting instructions and I am not getting the power measurements either one says I should have. I am not sure, should the chips get warm while running? I mean warm, not hot. They only get warm when I run a test program, they remain fine when no data is being sent. I am confused. Would any one be willing to get on a phone and give some pointers? I know this is asking a lot but I think it will help solve my problem or at least give a direction to go. Send me a private message is you are willing to help over the phone. If not can someone also post some questions and I can answer with what I'm finding. THANKS.

ben
08-30-2008, 05:11 PM
ok, you mentioned nothing about your SSR's. Whats the status on those? Does the power light come on for those?

And its not uncommon for the chips to ge warm.

Ben

mikeh65
08-30-2008, 09:29 PM
Power light does com on for the SSR. As far as I know, Have not tested all of them. But the 2-3 I have plugged in the light went on. Also, the light goes on for the SSR when plugged into any of the Grinch outputs. Power is being provided through a molex connection from the computer's power supply and the J2 connector.

Wayne J
08-30-2008, 09:50 PM
First thing, lets make sure your PC to Controller cable is correct.

It should look like this. One thing that is important, is that the grounds are tied together. I don't know how you are powering the controller, but make sure you have at least two of the ground wires from the DB25 (pins 18-25) going to pin 3 of the IN RJ45 connector.
The blue numbers are the pins of the DB25 connector.

http://jamesfamilychristmas.com/files/pictures/pinout595.jpg

ibby
08-30-2008, 10:26 PM
After you check what Wayne J says, check to see if the first chip is bad by replacing it with the one at the end. That happen to me. The first one went bad and nothing work from that point on.

RavingLunatic
08-30-2008, 10:31 PM
Ok, where to start....


I've looked over both sets of trouble shooting instructions and I am not getting the power measurements either one says I should have.

I assume the troubleshooting instructions you followed were the one by toodle_pipsky and the one in this thread:

http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/showpost.php?p=36329&postcount=8

I have a some personal interest in how the above instructions failed to help you out. If your problem wasn't identified in those steps, it would be helpful to try to isolate your problem for future users.


What measurements are different? More details about where you saw different voltage readings is more helpful than that your chips are warm.

mikeh65
09-01-2008, 01:53 AM
Ok, I think the cable checks out. Am using a DB25 to RJ45 converter. Have included pictures of board and connector. I get confused with the drawings and getting the reverses right. Here is how I see the pin outs. Now, with a cable connected, I have confirmed with meter that I have connection 18,19,21,23,25 all go to Pin 3 on the board. Pin 1 on connector goes to pin 5 on board, Pin 14 on connector goes to pin 7 on the board, and Pin 2 on connector goes to pin 8 on the board.

Have already changed the chips out, re-arranged when I put them back in. Blew out the first set of chips, made mistake with molex connector, connected to the 12V instead of the 5V. Oops.

Can someone please check my pinouts? Want to make sure I have them right before I give voltage measurements. Want to make sure I am taking reading from the right places.

Thanks for all the help so far.

toodle_pipsky
09-01-2008, 06:45 AM
Here's my plug - and I can 100% safely say it works

Ignore the broken pin at hole 15 - I accidently messed it up and when I pushed the pin back it snapped. This would be due to the fact you're not meant to be able to push the pin back through once you've placed it. All the other pins that aren't needed are just folded up inside the plug.

You may or may not be doing this - but I thought I'd suggest it anyway. The best way I found to get the right pinout for any of my adaptors has been use a piece of cat5 cable made up like pic below. Fan the wires out according to order (1 to 8) using the pinout diagrams in the wiki (http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/wiki/index.php?title=Pinouts). Then plug it that cat5 cable into the adaptor. Before putting the pins in the plug, using the resistance setting on a multimeter go through touching one probe to to the end of the cat5 and the other to the pins of the adaptor. That makes it much easer to work out what's what in the pinout instructions for the Grinch. (kudos to klanger for giving me that tip way back).

Hope that helps or sorry if that's what you've already done!

Aurbo99
09-01-2008, 10:23 AM
Mike,

Not sure if this helps for you but it solved some issues I had with my Grinch last year.

The male db25 should have grouding pins in 18-25 that means, a pin in 18,19,20,21,22,23,24&25 all tied to ground.

Different computer manufacturers may use ANY or ALL of the pins 18 thru 25 as ground, if you grounded only pin 25 and your manufacturer ground only pin 21..., better to just ground all 8 pins to cover your butt.


Also make sure your LPT port assigment in the startup BIOS (not the control panel setting after the computer starts) is set correctly.

It should be set to EPP mode, you may encounter random issues with the other modes.

My last issue was using a bad wall-brick power supply, I switched to a new one, but since it's slaved off my computers main PSU with a wiring harness from the 5dvc supply line to the Grinch.

My main issue in the end was the LPT mode, but the other fixes cleaned it up completely.

Hope this helps

Steve
Aurbo99

mikeh65
09-01-2008, 01:38 PM
Have confirmed that the LPT is set to EPP in the Bios. I can add the other three pins. Will have to go out and get another set of pins to make that addition.

Mike

Aurbo99
09-01-2008, 03:42 PM
Mike,

Dont want to insult or anything but at this point you need to go back to the basics and confirm everything.

A few things to consider.

If you've already applied a 12vdc current to the chips, you may have fried them. Consider replacing them all.

BEFORE YOU DO:

Check the solder side of the Grinch and check EVERY solder joint for a good solder joint and NO solder bridges.
Any missed pins that need soldering?

Is your LED soldered in the correct way, a reversed led install would light up if the power was backwards, but nothing else would run.
The flat edge of the led body faces the resistor.

Did you use DIP Sockets? or solder the chips directly? check for good joints and a firm insertion.

All the chips face the same direction?
The notches on all the chips should all be closest to the IN and OUT rj45's

Capacitors in all 4 places?

Confirm your using the power connection in J2 and not J1.
Confirm positive 5vdc is on the outer pin and not on the inner pin of J2.

Data cable:
Confirm your using the IN port, closest to the LED on the Grinch.

Computer settings:
EPP in Bios
(check in control panel that EPP is the current mode to be sure after start up)

Vixen:
Have you set up the PlugIn corectly?
Use the Simple 595, make sure it has the check in the box, identify the number of channels 1 - ??, and check the Plugin Setup button to confirm your using the correct port address, (mine is Standard Port 1)

If your still stuck, take a few pics of your board, closeups of the solder side and topside with connections in place.

Aurbo99
09-01-2008, 06:41 PM
Mike,

I dragged out my ram sticks and found these pics.

This is the Grinch adapter I use on my system.

Its a DB25 to RJ45 adapter that I picked up at an electronics store for under a buck. It works great.

The cat5 cable from the adpater to the Grinch board is a 6" patch cord I made.

OH! speaking of cable from computer to Grinch.. MAKE IT AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE..

I originally ran a 6 foot patch cord and had glitching, finally pared it back to 6 inches with the Grinch sitting in a project case right on top of the computer.

http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=19&pictureid=61

This pic shows the guts, and wiring, the non-connected pins are covered in heat shrink and just folded back into the cavity.
http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=19&pictureid=58

A bit blurry, but it shows where pin 1 is. CORRECTED THE PIN1 Identifier, Thanks Wayne.. =)
http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=19&pictureid=62

If you go to buy one, make sure its a MALE pin on the DB25.

vairmoose
09-01-2008, 06:47 PM
Just another thought on the chips. Visually confirm that each and every pin is inserted into the proper socket and not bent or folded back. (learned this one through hard knock... didn't find the one folded pin even after looking at the chip several times through a 10x magnifier. Thankfully I was able to unbend the pin without any lasting damage.)

Larry

Wayne J
09-01-2008, 07:03 PM
Shouldn't pin 1 of the rj45 end of that adapter be on the right side. (looking at the picture) ?

Aurbo99
09-01-2008, 08:36 PM
Thanks Wayne,

Corrected the image and edited the post.

4 months without the hardware in my hands.. starting to forget.. lol

mikeh65
09-03-2008, 02:40 AM
Ok, more info.

I have replaced the current chips. They are new.

As for the solder joints, as far as I can tell they are clean. All connections seem to be complete. See attached pictures.

The LED is on the correct way, flat part toward the resister. Hard to tell from photo but confirmed with a larger LED and piggy-back touched it to the current one that was on.

Did use DIP sockets for chips. Have use a magnifying glass to confirm that all pins have been inserted and no pins folded under.

All chips are inserted in the proper direction. Again can be seen in pictures along with the Capacitors.

Power is going to J2 and the positive is on the outer pin. Can been seen in picture and confirmed by placing Red lead of meter on outside and black on inside. Possible problem could be that I am only getting 4.87V out of power supply not 5V.

Data is connected to in.

How to I confirm that the Parallel port is in EPP mode in Windows? Have is set in Bios. Are there any special settings the port should be set to in the Windows control panel? If so, can someone send screen shot?

Also switched from a 6ft Cat5 cable to a 3ft, made no difference.



Example of readings I'm not getting.

Following toodle_pipsky troubleshooting guide ,

Power in, measured across J2 is 4.78v.

Data in section:

On computer booting:
After computer is up, power to board, Vixen not running.
I have no power coming from any Data In Pins.
Pin 1 = 0
Pin 2 = 0
Pin 3 = 0
Pin 4 = 0
Pin 5 = 0
Pin 6 = 0
Pin 7 = 0
Pin 8 = 0

Did not test after that since I figured I have a problem there.

Thank you all again for the input and help.

Mike

toodle_pipsky
09-03-2008, 04:00 AM
To change your parallel port settings you need to restart your computer. While it's booting, look for a screen (usually just black and white, might have your brand logo on it) that says "Press F-something for System Settings" - should be the first or second screen you see. This will take you into your big boy system settings :) Have a look through the menu that comes up - look for something about peripherals, or ports, if you're unsure of anything, just don't save the changes. Down the bottom of the screen will have instructions on how to navigate and save settings.

I hope they're good enough directions! Sometimes getting to these settings can vary from machine to machine. Check the port settings and see what that gives you.

PS - pics look ok to me. I'd say your board's ok - it's going to be your connection or settings. But then I'm no expert!

Aurbo99
09-03-2008, 10:15 AM
The solder joints and connections all look ok from the pics, so its time to move up the line..

Data Cable, its a DB25 soldered directly to a cat5 which is crimped on a rj45 connector. pics of that if possible, showing the solder joints and the rj45 insertion points.

I know it needs more pics, but without sitting in your room its the only way to deduce the problem.

You say you have a completed SSR to test with?

Is your Computer a laptop or a desktop? anything else running off the LPT (printer port)

mikeh65
09-04-2008, 02:03 AM
Using DB25 to RJ45 converter. Then regular cat5 to connect to the Grinch. See picture of internal wiring of converter. Still need to get added pins to have all pins from 18-25 connect to ground.

Yes, I have SSRs completed to test with.

Am using a Desktop computer with nothing else running off of the lpt1. Have included shot of computer's bios screen showing LPT settings.

Mike

dnesci
09-04-2008, 08:22 AM
Mike,

I don't have a direct solution, but I am located just 30 miles north of Lomard. I have two working Grinches that I am using. If you want to bring up your board we can connect them to my computer and at least be able to determine if it is the computer or cable. I have used the Grinches on three different computers with 3 different cat5 cables.

If your interested send me a PM.

Don

Wayne J
09-04-2008, 05:32 PM
Something that hasn't been asked, which brand ICs are you using?

dnesci
09-04-2008, 07:51 PM
Something that hasn't been asked, which brand ICs are you using?

Based on his pictures, they look to be Allegros.

mikeh65
09-04-2008, 08:01 PM
Yes, they are Allegros.

mikeh65
09-08-2008, 02:45 AM
I want to thanks Don for all of his help. I was able to test my boards with his already existing setup. What we finally figured out was two separate issues. One, my testing circuit was powered up backwards. Once we reversed how the power goes it worked fine. The other issue was Vixen itself. For some reason the version I had only let me address the first three Allegro chips on the board and not the last one. When we plugged into his version it worked fine. I have since removed Vixen and re-downloaded it. All is working.

Once again, a HUGE Thank You to Don for all of his help.

Mike

SeaHoCaptain
12-06-2008, 10:55 PM
Mike,

I dragged out my ram sticks and found these pics.

This is the Grinch adapter I use on my system.

Its a DB25 to RJ45 adapter that I picked up at an electronics store for under a buck. It works great.

The cat5 cable from the adpater to the Grinch board is a 6" patch cord I made.

OH! speaking of cable from computer to Grinch.. MAKE IT AS SHORT AS POSSIBLE..

I originally ran a 6 foot patch cord and had glitching, finally pared it back to 6 inches with the Grinch sitting in a project case right on top of the computer.

http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=19&pictureid=61

This pic shows the guts, and wiring, the non-connected pins are covered in heat shrink and just folded back into the cavity.
http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=19&pictureid=58

A bit blurry, but it shows where pin 1 is. CORRECTED THE PIN1 Identifier, Thanks Wayne.. =)
http://www.doityourselfchristmas.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=19&pictureid=62

If you go to buy one, make sure its a MALE pin on the DB25.


OK ... Not really meaning to dig one out of the grave but the pix are very VERY helpful. This looks like the adapter I bought to a "T". My question though is the "18- 25 bridge" you constructed for the grounds. I'm a novice, but how did you do that? Did (can) you just buy more pins and solder the leads? Some other secret?

It took me no time today to breeze through constructing the Grinch, 8 SSR and 8 mini trees. But I sat here for over an 2 hours stairing at this stupid little pug with 8 wires like "what do I do". Till I found this thread and your pix. At least i got some of if ID now :-) Thanks!!!

David

Thanks

Wayne J
12-06-2008, 11:05 PM
Well, If you cannot find more pins, you could just cut off the un-used pins, and use them with a wire soldered across. When I was using a 595 I only used 3 of the ground pins.
Second option if you wish to use all of them, go to Radio Shack (or others) and pick a DB25 solder cup style connector and use it in place of the one supplied. Just cut the pins off the wires, and solder the wires to it. It should bolt right in that adapter.

Aurbo99
12-07-2008, 10:17 AM
I bought 2 of the adapters as seen in the picture,

The second adapter was torn apart and its db25 pins used to make the 18-25 bridge.

you can either take all the donated pins and solder all of them together, covered with heat shrink, or you can do like I did and soldered then all with a short piece of wire right at the mount.


Glad to see the pics are useful =)