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Thread: I think I broke my SS24

  1. #1
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    Default I think I broke my SS24

    I have been fighting a number of issues with my show this year. At some point when I was chasing another issue, my ss24 stopped working.
    Now I am trying to figure out how to fix it.

    The ss24 does not seem to be getting control input.
    I had been successfully using Bill Porter's RenardESP. The Renard ESP replaces one of the RS driver chips on the ss24. The ESP is getting power and the webage is responsive but the ss24 does not turn the on the outputs.
    I swapped the RS driver chip back in and connected the ss24 to a DLovely 6port E1.31 Bridge.
    I configured the bridge jumpers for Renard and I configured the software outputs for Renard. I connected the Bridge to the ss24 input using a standard ethernet cable.
    I used the bridge's built in test mode. The ss24 still did not turn on it's outputs.

    I do not have a serial adapter.

    I flashed all 3 pics with the diagnostic firmware (although I think only the first one matters in this case).
    When I turn on the ss24 with the diagnostic firmware, the outputs turn on in a test sequence and then settle into a pattern with the Heartbeat and Zero Crossing (LED's and outputs) blinking.

    From all that I deduce:
    Zero Cross is good.
    Everything from the PIC's to the outputs is good.
    There is breakdown in internal board comms prior to the PIC's

    I have new RS drivers on order to see if that helps.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    Doesn't sound like your issue is with the SS24, but rather your input method. If you have an USB-RS485 adapter to check that would be the easiest to test it with.
    James Family Christmas - 1600 channels of SS Renard channels
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne J View Post
    Doesn't sound like your issue is with the SS24, but rather your input method. If you have an USB-RS485 adapter to check that would be the easiest to test it with.
    Perhaps it would but I do not have such a device yet. I will order one of those as well.

    While waiting for that, do you think these other methods should work if configured properly?
    I have a Dave Lovely E1.31 bridge that worked with the ss24 last year but the combo is not working now.
    I have a Bill Porter RenardESP that worked with the ss24 4 weeks ago but the combo is not working now.
    I have a DIGWDF ESP-RS485/DMX Serial Adapter that I only tried after nothing else worked and that combo doesn't work either.
    else was working.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry-Rigs View Post
    Perhaps it would but I do not have such a device yet. I will order one of those as well.

    While waiting for that, do you think these other methods should work if configured properly?
    I have a Dave Lovely E1.31 bridge that worked with the ss24 last year but the combo is not working now.
    I have a Bill Porter RenardESP that worked with the ss24 4 weeks ago but the combo is not working now.
    I have a DIGWDF ESP-RS485/DMX Serial Adapter that I only tried after nothing else worked and that combo doesn't work either.
    else was working.
    I use a $10 RS485 adapter for here at home and have never used any of those devices, so I will not be of any help. Sorry.
    James Family Christmas - 1600 channels of SS Renard channels
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  5. #5
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne J View Post
    I use a $10 RS485 adapter for here at home and have never used any of those devices, so I will not be of any help. Sorry.
    I have 2 LOR dongles (USB to RS485). Should one of those work? I assume I would have to build a custom cable to make the pin-outs match correctly.

    BTW: Sorry for my attitude. It's been a PITA week.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry-Rigs View Post
    I have 2 LOR dongles (USB to RS485). Should one of those work? I assume I would have to build a custom cable to make the pin-outs match correctly.

    BTW: Sorry for my attitude. It's been a PITA week.
    Should work... here is the detail for a cable....

    http://doityourselfchristmas.com/wik...he_Renard_SS24
    James Family Christmas - 1600 channels of SS Renard channels
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  7. #7
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    When does the SD (Serial Data) LED turn on?
    - When there is a connection to the RS-232 port?
    - When there is a connection to the incoming RJ-45 port?
    - When data is being transmitted to the RS-232 port?
    - When data is being transmitted to the incoming RJ-45 port?
    Mine never turns on except for startup when running the diagnostic firmware.

    I am running default stock operational and diagnostic firmware with no speed changes

    My LOR USB to RS485 Dongle has a RJ-45 jack. Since it is built for LOR, I assume it uses LOR standard pin outs as shown below (not ESTA DMX standard)
    Code:
    LOR - Standard Mode
    RJ-45 pins	Description 
    Pin 1			
    Pin 2	        	
    Pin 3		+10 vdc	
    Pin 4		Data +	
    Pin 5		Data -	
    Pin 6		Gnd	
    Pin 7			
    Pin 8
    Renard standard pin-outs are
    Code:
    Renard
    RJ-45 pins	Description 
    Pin 1		Gnd	
    Pin 2		Gnd  
    Pin 3	
    Pin 4		Data-
    Pin 5		Data+
    Pin 6	
    Pin 7	
    Pin 8
    I built a cable that connects
    Code:
    LOR pin	to	Renard pin
    6 		1 and 2	(Gnd)
    4		5	(Data+)
    5		4	(Data-)
    Does that cable make sense?

    I then opened xLights (I can install Vixen if needed), started a new layout and installed a single USB controller. xLights config.jpg
    I opened the xLights test utility to send shimmer (constantly changing ) data to the SS-24 xLights Test.jpg
    I get no light output.

    Next?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    The SD light comes on when data is being received from either port
    The cable looks correct.
    I do not know about x-lights setup, so cant help with that.
    Make sure you have a shunt on JP2 as well as JP3, nothing on JP1
    In your devices, make sure the adapter is set to run at 57600 baud
    James Family Christmas - 1600 channels of SS Renard channels
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    New diagnostic results:

    I bought a Sabrent FTDI based USB to RS-232 converter cable. It is on COM9.

    I have PIC-1 loaded with Diagnostic firmware
    I have PIC-2 and 3 loaded with Operational firmware
    JMP-1 on because I am now using RS-232
    JMP-2 off because I am now using RS-232
    JMP-3 on because I am using the diagnostic firmware

    I installed Vixen 3.7u4 build 1031.
    I added a Generic Numbered Group of 24 elements
    I added a Renard Controller with 24 outputs on COM9 using 8n1 @ 57600 Baud
    I patched the group to the controller

    I created a 5 second sequence of the strobe effect and saved it.

    I connected the SS-24 to my computer using the Sabrent cable.
    I plugged in the SS-24 to power.

    The SS-24 ran through through its diagnostic startup sequence and diagnostic startup sequence worked.
    After it settled into HB and ZC flashing, I ran my strobe sequence in Vixen. No outputs.

    I have tried several different types of input at this point and none of them worked. If I built all the other cables wrong, the Sabrent is "stock" and should have worked.

    It is obvious to me that the PIC's and the outputs are working. Input is just not getting to the PIC's

    I built my .hex files a couple years ago and I swear I kept them stock as a rock. I didn't change baud rate, enable any extra features, or change the start channel number.
    I will rebuild them just to make sure.

    What am i missing?
    The board was working with wifi until I had to make some tweak to the wifi. I don't remember what I did before it stopped working.
    Looking at the schematic (not my strong suit), they ain't a lot between the connectors and the PIC's
    Could I have fried something and not realized it?
    Done something to 1 of the 2 diodes?
    Jammed the RJ-45 and broke a solder joint? I will check.
    I have spare serial driver chips (U4 and U5) on order and arriving soon. I will test with them.
    Is there anyway I can tell with a multi-meter if signal making it to the first PIC at all but maybe with the wrong serial config or baud? Maybe voltage across Pin5 and GND?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: I think I broke my SS24

    Using RS232, did you place a shunt on JP1?
    James Family Christmas - 1600 channels of SS Renard channels
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