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Thread: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

  1. #11
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Quote Originally Posted by jcizek View Post
    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
    -James
    Just a thought James... are you looking at this at the wrong order of magnitude?

    The glitches in the power supply that might lock up a MCU are not usually the sort that we'd use a 500000uF cap to fix (paticularly if its an electrolytic). What value cap did you use for the decoupling cap (is it 0.1uF?) close to the power pins on the atmel?
    Those little capacitors can be vital for suppressing very fast digital glitches (way out of the big caps league...). A simple overiew of bypass capacitors is here.

    Dont know offhand what the temperature performance of the decoupling capacitors are (gurus feel free to chime in here...)

    Anyway... one suggestion is to try adding another bypass capacitor or 2, close in to the power pins.

    I have needed to add extra decoupling caps to ledtriks boards in the past (for a specific STP chip I was using instead of MBI/Allegros). I just soldered them to the underside of the board across the chips power pins.

    Sorry if this is telling you stuff you already know! Just more ideas....

    Tim

  2. #12
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Well I do have (2) 0.1uF caps on board. 1 is with the 10uF across the power input, and a second one is across the power supply pins right at the atmel chip.

    The half farad cap was just something I tried, I also tried a 2200uF cap across the power line too. I don't really think the power line is the issue, the power from the supply is really clean on the scope.

    Sorry to have mis-lead there, I do think I have the proper filtering caps in the right places on the board. The big caps were something I tried outside the board just as an afterthought!

    -James

  3. #13
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Are you sure it is the Tricks-C that stops? Could it be the Tricks board locking up and Tricks-C is curning away but the other board doesn't see it? When you power cycle is both boards?

  4. #14
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Quote Originally Posted by holtm View Post
    Are you sure it is the Tricks-C that stops? Could it be the Tricks board locking up and Tricks-C is curning away but the other board doesn't see it? When you power cycle is both boards?

    Wish I thought of that! Would be consistent with the TrikcsC Rx LED still flashing (but not if anyone can still see an image on the panel when everything locks up.....)

    James... are you able to add some more bypass capacitors anyway? Based on above I'd try them on the ledtriks board as well!

  5. #15
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    I can sure add caps! I can add them everywhere. I'll put my scope on the output of the triks-c tonight and verify if there is data going to LEDTRIKS board from the Triks-C or not. If I see data, i'll try the caps on both boards, if not, I'll try them on the Triks-c board alone. Will report back... -James

  6. #16
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Quote Originally Posted by holtm View Post
    Are you sure it is the Tricks-C that stops? Could it be the Tricks board locking up and Tricks-C is curning away but the other board doesn't see it? When you power cycle is both boards?
    Yes, when I power cycle, it is both boards. The first time it happened I thought I tried just the ledtriks, with no apparent change, but I will make sure to try that next time it happens.
    -Chris
    Follow My Journey: [url]http://www.christmasinbrewster.com/blog[/url]

  7. #17
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    :oops: Um... I have another potential solution.... :oops:

    There is a LTC command called #BLK

    Guess what that does?

    So... if you have some noise in the signal line... what are the odds that sooner or later the Triks-C is going to see a #BLK command.... and blank the panel indefinitely????

    Hmmmm.....

    The antidote to a #BLK command is a #SHW command.... suggest you put some #SHW commands into your command lines and see what happens...

    I hope that fixes th#BLK #SHWroblem....


    Let us know...

    Tim

  8. #18
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    I added some sides to the box that was reflecting the heat from the 60W lightbulb back on the panels, and as of tonight it has run 2.5 nights with no problems.

    The #BLK issue makes sense, especially because I am running RS232, problably longer than I should be (~30'). So if the problem persists, I think my next step will be to try RS485, and if it still does it, I will try the #SHW and see what happens. I would imagine if for some reason it was #BLK that stopped it i should be able to quickly run ltc.exe #SHW between sequences and see a result.
    -Chris
    Follow My Journey: [url]http://www.christmasinbrewster.com/blog[/url]

  9. #19
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    I'll give that a try tomorrow night Tim, I just noticed tonight that my first panel went dead later in the evening. That is the first time it's happened yet.

    To answer others questions, i cycle power to each panel indepently (even though they are powered by the same supply).

    Anything wrong with just adding a #SHW to each of my txt files?

    Also, I have caught my panel stopping mid display... it doesn't always wait for blank spots, it dies in the middle of a sequence just as easily :-)

    Still waiting for the boards from wjohn (how long does it take to get stuff to US from AUS? I can't remember how long the last set I bought from him took to get here as it was last year... it seemed like it came really fast last time)
    Will be interesting to see if the commercial boards solve my issue or not..

    Tim, I added some .1uF right on the bottom of the board AT the atmel and AT each of the chips on the Triks board (though I don't suspect the Triks board, I ran these boards last year on a parallel connection all season and outside of the "jitters" they liked to display from picking up noise on the long line, they ran fine all season). The caps didn't seem to help at all. So basically at this point, there is a 10uF across the input right at the entrance to the board, and then .1's at the power entrance to each chip. Didn't seem to do anything for me.

    -James

  10. #20
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    Default Re: 1 Triks-C Stops Working

    Quote Originally Posted by jcizek View Post
    Anything wrong with just adding a #SHW to each of my txt files?
    no... worth a try...

    Quote Originally Posted by jcizek View Post
    Also, I have caught my panel stopping mid display... it doesn't always wait for blank spots, it dies in the middle of a sequence just as easily :-)
    Does 'stopping mid display' mean panel is still displaying but frozen (like the pix-c fault?) Or when it stops does the panel go dark?

    Tim

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