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Thread: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

  1. #1
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    Default 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    I have a 2 panel, 2 Triks-C Ledtriks. One Triks-C continually stops functioning. If I remove power from it and reapply it it works fine for about 10 minutes or so and then stops again. It appears to be receiving data, as it has one LED that stays on solid, and the other flashes rapidly, just like the one on the functioning Triks-C. If I plug it's Ledtriks panel into the functioning Triks-C, the panel seems to be working fine. I'm kind of at a loss as to what would cause the Triks-C to act that way. The only thing I can think of is that it is on my porch and currently it is 22F outside. Would the cold cause these types of symptoms?
    -Chris
    Follow My Journey: [url]http://www.christmasinbrewster.com/blog[/url]

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    It could be...

    I found a couple of my Ren-Ws would stop working like that when the temp dipped below 32F (0 C) if they had the max232N chip instead of the max232IN. The 232N is rated only down to 0 centigrade. I don't know what's on a Triks-C board, but it's worth consideration...

    Another thing could be that components have shrunk just enough to perhaps lose a connection or if in a DIP socket, a pin might not be in contact. You could try reseating any chips that are in sockets...

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Last year, I have a similar issue and found I needed to add a decent PI power supply filter to the incoming power supply lines. at the time I was running off a PC Power supply. I then tried a dedicated SMPS and the problem almost went away.
    I then concluded it must be some sort of PS switching noise. the PI Filter solved the issue. I used 2200uF 100uH 2200uF. (this is what I had available at the time)
    This year I connected it back up toe the PC Power supply and have had no problems. I think I have 1 filter per panel.
    Unfortunately the panel is screwed to a brick wall just under the eves, so it is sort of hard to whip out and check.
    [B][I]Matt[/I][/B]

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  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Interesting because I'm running a PC power supply. I'll have to try switching power supplies and see what happens.

    Quote Originally Posted by Matt_Edwards View Post
    Last year, I have a similar issue and found I needed to add a decent PI power supply filter to the incoming power supply lines. at the time I was running off a PC Power supply. I then tried a dedicated SMPS and the problem almost went away.
    I then concluded it must be some sort of PS switching noise. the PI Filter solved the issue. I used 2200uF 100uH 2200uF. (this is what I had available at the time)
    This year I connected it back up toe the PC Power supply and have had no problems. I think I have 1 filter per panel.
    Unfortunately the panel is screwed to a brick wall just under the eves, so it is sort of hard to whip out and check.
    -Chris
    Follow My Journey: [url]http://www.christmasinbrewster.com/blog[/url]

  5. #5
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    This problem just keeps becoming more and more unexplainable.

    I tried switching power supplies from a PC power supply to a dedicated 5V 12A supply from MPJA. I also built the PI filter that Matt_Edwards recommended, thinking there was too much noise on the line. That night the problem persisted, so I thought maybe it was the cold.

    I put a 60W bulb behind the sign to see if the heat from it would help. Last night it ran flawless, so I thought that perhaps I had fixed it.

    Tonight when I came home, the other LedTriks, the one that previously was fine was doing the exact same thing. Before power cycling it, I measured the board temp with an infrared thermometer and it was about 60F, so I don't think the cold was the problem.

    Once I power cycled, as usual, it was fine. It appears that for some reason the Triks-C just gets itself into a state where it stops responding to commands, and a quick power cycle brings it back. I'm kind of at a loss as to what is causing this. Anyhow, just thought I would report back with my progress.
    -Chris
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  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Hi Chris

    Not sure I can help much right now. Its strange that the mcu looks like its still receiveng data but either not being able to interpret it or locked into a state that it can't escape from.

    How are you getting signal to the board? is it serial or RS485? Is the terminating 120 ohm resistor installed? I have never liked that resistor for our application (the 485 interfaces are sometimes so marginal that it does more harm than good!) Removing it might be an idea to try to remove another variable. Or create one...

    (I hate intermittent faults!)


    Tim

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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    I'm having the exact same problem, but I never posted that here because the Triks-C boards I am using are homemade (I'm waiting on the mail to bring me 2 new boards I ordered from wjohn to see if that solves it) I figured I must have screwed up something in one of my boards, sometimes it will run all night, and sometimes just for 5 or 10 minutes and then it just goes blank and stays that way. I too have the data light blinking but nothing coming out on the panel. This doesn't give me a lot of hope that it was simply my home etch boards causing issues...

    It's only my second panel (ie, the panel plugged into the first TRIKS-C, not the PC) having the problem (second panel problems seem to be a theme for me this year :-) ), the first panel plugged into the PC has yet to even flinch. But like yours, if i cycle power, it starts working immediately again.

    Both panels are running from the same PC power supply, both panels have a 500,000 uF cap across them (that's what i had laying around) although the cap seems to make absolutely no difference, the PC supply is pretty darn clean... I am running RS232 from the PC to the first panel as it's only about 15 feet away, I haven't tried switching to 485 yet as I have been waiting for my adapter from Dealextreme.com to come (pretty sure I will never see it, it shipped well over a month ago and hasn't shown up, and they don't answer ANY of their emails... just FYI if anyone orders from them!!)

    Well, keep us posted if you learn more!!

    -James

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    I had the same problem a few weeks ago. Running two panels off a computer power supply. Only panels would usually go out at the same time. Cycling power always fixed it. I never changed anything and the problem seems to have went away for now (Oddly enough, the problem went away when it got colder here...)

  9. #9
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Would help if we could isolate the problem to the atmel chip or the 485 chip.

    Is the frozen panel displaying anything at all whilst frozen?

    is it possible to power cycle the 485 chip without the atmel (or vice versa) and see if this fixes things? Might only be something the home brew crew can do?

    Tim

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Quote Originally Posted by TimW View Post
    Would help if we could isolate the problem to the atmel chip or the 485 chip.

    Is the frozen panel displaying anything at all whilst frozen?

    is it possible to power cycle the 485 chip without the atmel (or vice versa) and see if this fixes things? Might only be something the home brew crew can do?

    Tim
    Mine always stops when it is blank. Each of my calls to LTC.exe are followed with a #CLS. I haven't actually caught it in the act of stopping, so I'm not sure if it is freezing in the middle of a sequence and going blank, or if it is going blank after a sequence and not responding afterwords.

    I am currently running RS232 from the PC to the first board and then out the first into the second. Generally it is the second board that has the problem, but the first one has been known to do it too.

    I will check out the terminating resistor and some of your other suggestions. I have a 485 converter, so I might try that too. I second that I hate intermittent problems lol, kind of have to try something, let it run for a few days, and see what happens.
    -Chris
    Follow My Journey: [url]http://www.christmasinbrewster.com/blog[/url]

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